Ok, guys, after the last few posts being mostly based on slightly philosophical subjects and ending in a bit of naval gazing, it’s time to get back on track a little, and start talking about hair and style again!
You may remember, from one of my first hairy posts, that I was getting my hair cut in the Waldorf Barbers, in Dublin. Unfortunately, I started getting reports that they were refusing to cut women’s hair. Now, I understand if a woman was going in, looking for a ‘trendy’, faux-hawk type style, that you’d rarely see coming from a really old-school barbershop like The Waldorf. (Side note, are we in 2005? JK, I love all you faux-hawkers!!) Or a very feminine cut, that you might get from a salon like Toni & Guy or Peter Marks. But it seemed odd to me to be actively turning away customers based not on the style they wanted (which the barbers there may not be trained in) but on their gender. It’s a real shame, because I got some of the best cuts of my LIFE there, particularly from Katherine, who is an absolute lady and a world class barber.
But even though they hadn’t asked me to leave or denied me a cut, I didn’t feel right about using a barbers that wouldn’t cut my friends hair. So the hunt was on to find a new barbers. Easy, right?
Well, yes and no. My first choice to try was Sams Barbers, who I had recommended to some folks here and on my Twitter feed as a great place to buy pomades in Dublin, although I’d never had a cut there. They are a pretty large Irish owned and run chain of barber shops across Dublin. So I went into the shop closest to me, Dame Court, where all cuts are €17. Which is nearly half the price I was paying in the Waldorf- I wondered what the quality of the cut would be like.
I didn’t actually get that far. I was refused service, being told they did not cut women’s hair, but that if I went to their flagship branch (on Ormond Quay, right by the river in Dublin), they cut women’s hair there- for €25. Even though I already had short hair, and wanted the EXACT style the guy that was getting cut there at that exact time was getting.
Needless to say, I was pissed. And I let Sams know, via Twitter. Ah, armchair warriors, unite!
Now, I thought no more of it, shook the lesbian Facebook tree, and got a recommendation to visit the Star Barbers (where I hasten to add I got an great cut, and a great chat from Mark, the owner. Definitely recommended.) and kind of wrote off Sams.
BUT! Within a few hours, I had a private message awaiting me. (I like that they didn’t just reply to the public tweet. Shows a bit of class. Always good.) They apologised so profusely, and really wanted to impress upon me that it is 100% NOT their policy in any way to refuse business from anyone, and definitely not by reason of gender, whatsoever. After messaging back and forth for a little while, I got a phonecall from the manager in Ormond Quay, again apologising, and offering me a complimentary cut, and some pomade to make up for being refused.
I gotta say, guys. I was impressed. They dealt with a situation which frankly made me feel like sh*t at the time in a very professional, fast, and magnanimous manner. And it wasn’t like I was gonna say no to a free cut and some pomade, right? Who’d do that?
So, off I toddled yesterday to Sams. Whilst I was impressed and pleased with how they treated my complaint (which I admit I felt slightly sheepish about sending after the dust settled a bit…), I was reserving a bit of my judgement to see how they cut my hair. I really needn’t have worried, at all.
Elle gave me a very, very good cut, taking note of the way it flowed over my head and has oddly started to grow in about 5 different directions since I got a bit of a bad cut in Waldorfs a couple of months ago. (Seriously, I have cowlicks where I never had them before!!) What I really enjoyed was the little details they include with a cut there, like a 2nd wash after finishing the cut to get the tiny hairs off your scalp. Small touch, but appreciated.
After I was finished, I got talking to James and Sam, and again, they couldn’t have been nicer. We got to talking about pomades, and they showed me their range, which is usually more stocked than these pics show (and apologies for the not-so-great pics, it was a really bright day and the cabinet was really reflective!)
They stock the classics that I’d always recommend (Murrays Super Light, Sweet Georgia Brown Blue and Black & White) along with a lot of WB’s like Layrite, Sauvecito, Steadfast, Uppercut… The WB’s do sell better, so they have a bigger selection of them, which I can totally understand. I did, however, get a hold of their last tin of High Life VooDoo Island, which I have in my hair at the moment!
I’m also stoked to hear they’re developing their own range of pomades from the ground up- I can’t WAIT to try them out.
All in all, I was very impressed with Sams. After an initial bad taste in my mouth, I now have nothing but respect for these guys, and the barbers they have working in their shops. My cut was really great, and the service is cracking, with a really good range of pomades in stock to try at any time. And I wanted to tell the women out there who are thinking of getting cut in a barbers to try Sams out. I know that this is a pretty popular look at the moment, particularly in the queer community here in Dublin, but it might be scary to just walk into a barbers and get refused- you won’t have to worry about that with Sams.
Oh, and before I go, some news. I’m going to start reviewing pomades here in the next few weeks. I know there’s tons of guys out there reviewing at the moment, and I don’t necessarily think I can do any better. But these reviews will be a bit different- I’m co-opting my girlfriend in to do reviews too. So both of us will be reviewing the same product, but for very different styles. I’ll be styling my usual contour/ mini pomp and she’ll be… doing whatever it is femmes do to make themselves look fabulous. It’s a mystery to me, folks, but I guess I’ll learn, eh? We’ll present the reviews side by side(or as ‘side-by-side’ as WordPress let’s me!) at the same time. It could get weird, but hey! I guess we’ll soon find out.
Until then, stay dapper peeps!