Fresh fades and leg day: This Dublin gym/barber has got you covered
The new business is set up at two locations in the capital.
If you, like me, didn't go down the route of a DIY haircut since the hairdressers were last open in December 2020, then we're closing in on almost half a year since the last haircut.
With more of the restrictions lifting this week, one of which was the reopening of barbers and salons, maybe people around the country will be celebrating with a long overdue mop chop.
Another person who will be celebrating is Stephen Ward, the founder of The Barbell Barbers, a new business setting up in Dublin. The idea is simple but brilliant: opening a barber shop in a gym.
It makes a perfect kind of sense, as folks who are looking after themselves in the gym will be able to kill two birds with one stone by getting a fresh fade (or whatever you're having) in the same building.
Currently, the Barbell Barbers are only open in Artane, as part of a physical therapy space, with a second location already in place in Smithfield, awaiting the opening dates for gyms.
However, for anyone who has no interest in working out but simply wants a haircut, The Barbell Barbers also have an alternative entrance for customers who don't want to have to traipse through the gym to get to their appointment.
Stephen has recruited a staff of some brilliant barbers, and sought knowledge from some barber business owners who have been operating in Dublin for decades, with the intent of making The Barbell Barbers a successful franchise.
And the timing couldn't be better, with many hairdressers around the city (and the country) unable to reopen their shops after over a year of paying rent on premises they couldn't work from. Additionally, there will be countless folks who simply want to get back out there and get their haircut, a basic but hugely-mood-boosting act of self-care.
When we spoke to Stephen about those people who may have gotten too used to the DIY cuts, or maybe even need some convincing to try out a new barber, this is what he had to say:
"I've seen people walking around with dodgy haircuts," he told JOE.
"Hopefully, once things start to open up again, whether they're on Tinder or they're in restaurants and they feel the need to be a little bit more presentable, and things are back to normal, then they feel they might just want to get that.
"It is the experience of coming into the barber shop as well, which is a big thing. People thrive on connection. Human connection is paramount.
Have you ever heard of the love hormone oxytocin? Oxytocin comes from touch, whether that is someone cutting your hair, or somebody wrestling with you, or just somebody nearby and talking to you in the gym. You're developing that connection that releases that oxytocin without you even realising.
"Because a lot of the time, people live an isolated life, unless you're married and you have kids and you've a family. But you could go all day every day without touching another person, and they don't realise they're missing out on that. But when we do interact with other people, we get that oxytocin release and we get that endorphin rush."
And he wasn't wrong.
As someone who had gone those months without a haircut, and had found out that their own barber had closed up shop permanently during the lockdown, getting a great haircut is one of the great re-experiences (not a word, but go with it) as we leave the worst of the pandemic behind.
Just like going to the pub or a restaurant or the cinema, or working out in the gym or getting to actually look at clothes in a shop, getting a great haircut will be something we won't be taking for granted again.
More info on The Barbell Barber can be found via their official website right here.