Hairdressers of 1980s London

For this week’s post, I bring you a collection of photos taken in 1985 and 1986 that focus on the Hairdressers of east and central London. These show a type of business that whilst providing the same function, has changed over the years and provides a snapshot of London streets in the recent past. Many have long since disappeared, but good to see that a couple still survive maintaining a continuity of business across many decades.

The first photo is of Ron’s Gents Hairdressers – 27 Three Colts Lane, Bethnal Green, E2.

After almost 30 years, this building is still there, but has changed from a Hairdressers to a Barbers, fascinating that the same type of business has been operating in this location for many decades as Ron’s had obviously been long established in 1985.

Hair 1

The perfect location for an “Executive Mood” or “Avant Garde Mood” hairstyle. 1980s “big hair”.

Hair 3

Dave & Syd Strong, Gent’s Hairdresser. Typical of the time, always with photos in the window showing typical hairstyles:

Hair 9

Dennis Gents Hair Stylist. Note the razor blade advertising sign, the long term association between barbers and shaving.

Hair 10

Gents Hairdressers moving into Ladies Hairdressing:

Hair 11

If it was not for the sign you would not know this was a hairdresser:

Hair 12

Apples Hair Stylist:

Hair 13

Peter Individual Gents Hair Stylist. Again with model photos in the window. The painting of the wall to the left of the shop continues the association of red and white stripes with barbers. This is more usually seen as red and white stripes around a pole and symbolises bloody bandages wrapped around a pole when barbers also performed surgery, blood letting, the use of leaches and teeth extractions.

Hair 14

The Saloon. Faces of customers peering out from the left of the shop window:

Hair 8

Mario’s Men’s Hairstylist. With the traditional red and white pole.

Hair 7

Hairdresser at 10 Laystall Street, EC1 with plaque commemorating Giuseppe Mazzini “the apostle of modern democracy inspired young Italy with the ideal of independence unity and regeneration of his country. ” I am not sure why this plaque is on this building, when he was in London he lived at 183 Gower Street where there is a London County Council Blue Plaque.

The plaque is still there, although the hairdresser is long gone.

Hair 6

The Pleasant Gent’s Hairdresser. Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1. Still going as the Pleasant Barbers – (Interesting to see the change over the last 30 years from Men’s Hairdressers to Barbers)

Hair 5

Gentlemen’s Hairdressing Salon, 59a Carter Lane EC4 (central London). The building is still there as are the same bollards, however the building is now a coffee shop.

Hair 4

Junes Ladies Hair Stylist. Closed and being cleared. Note on the sign the old London telephone number format with the area name rather than number. STE was the code for Stepney Green. Letters were replaced by numbers around 1966.

Hair 2

5 thoughts on “Hairdressers of 1980s London

  1. Andrew

    In the 80s, I used to go to a barbers on Neal Street before – and as – Neal St went upmarket. I can’t remember if it had a name over the shop, but we knew it as Andrews. It was run by Andrew & Andrew, two Greek Cypriots, and was left over from when the market still operated in Covent Garden. To finish the haircut, they both always went over the back of the neck with a razor blade, which felt great, except that one of the Andrews had a bit of a shaky hand, so you always ended up with a a series cuts on the back of your neck.

  2. Ben Haddock

    Hi, I really enjoyed this post. The one that is captioned “if it was not for the sign you would not know this was a hairdresser” reminds me of the barbers I went to as a lad (though that was ”oop north” not London). Do you know whereabouts it was or if it’s still going? I’m sure it’s long gone but it’s very cool. Cheers!

    1. Deb Joyce

      Norman’s Barber shop in Bradbury street is one of the barbers my husband worked in during the 70’s , then he moved to Geoffrey’s in the 80’s, by the royal exchange.
      Every day there was a new barrage of jokes and tales lol!

  3. Ben

    Hi there, I run a website dedicated to documenting the history of the Waterlow Estate in Bethnal Green, home of Ron’s Barbers. I was wondering if the photographs are your s and whether you’d grant me permission to reproduce it on my site ? (with full credit of course).

    many thanks

  4. Desmond St Rose

    I remember His & Hers Salon at the bottom of Middleton Rd, Hackney, just past the train bridge. I used to go to the shoe-menders a few doors away quite regularly and Mr Jeffrey’s grocery store. We used to frequent afro-Caribbean stylists mostly, but one day mum took my brother into His & Hers for a quick cut and they did a remarkable job. It was a husband and wife team who used to run the shop and they were a really friendly and smiley couple.


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