Tucked away behind Finsbury Park station, Chaps & Dames is worth seeking out, if not for the great value, then for the homely atmosphere. The mirrors are mismatched, stylish old suitcases are used as tables and there’s a piano in the window – the same one that owner Paul Federici has been playing since he was seven. You can find the singing barber tinkering at the old ivories at least twice a week.
Open since 2005, Federici’s modest hairdressers has discarded its old vintage emporium in the back to make way for Linh Cassling’s nail salon, but various voguish items can still be found scattered around the place. As well as little additions like these adding character, Federici’s welcoming staff give the place charm. Senior stylist Kerry Marie talked animatedly about styling, including the best mousse to use – ‘It’s not just for grandmas! Look at the ingredients, the first thing should be aqua, not alcohol’ (it’s the alcohol that makes it sticky) – as well as her pet chihuahuas.
Federici’s mum popped by briefly with her dogs too, which were unbearably adorable. Of course, if you’re not comfortable chattering away like you’ve known these hair maestros for years, this isn’t the place for you. But if it’s a familial and fun atmosphere you’re after, than look no further than Chaps and Dames.