Considering its vast community of style-focused residents, Dalston is poorly served for salons along Kingsland Road – with only Blue Tit and Bleach to its name. Now Stunt Dolly deserves some of that fashionable footfall, but it’s also got a refreshingly welcoming feel. ‘A lady came in for a wash and a trim the other day,’ says head stylist Dean Tooley as he gives my hair a powerful lathering and my ears a thorough gossiping.
‘It was only when I started scrubbing that I realised she was wearing a wig. She had total alopecia, but I thought: Why shouldn’t she sit down and enjoy an hour in the salon? I gave her hair a lovely trim, a fab blow dry and sent her out the door smiling.’
Stunt Dolly may be in hipster central, but it caters for everyone, not just the dip-dye types that hit the strip (although they do a mean ombre too). Unusually for a style salon – if not for the area – it also does dreadlocks, wefts and wigs. If you buy a hairpiece from nearby Pak Cosmetics, they’ll position it for you for a tenner. Washing and wig services take place on the good-looking ground floor, which is all original floorboards and reclaimed art deco fittings from Retrouvius.
Downstairs, where the dries and nails are carried out in a pair of darkly painted rooms, has more of a disco feel. The reasonably priced, full menu of hair services come with a retro roller dry rather than a blow dry (for soft waves.)