Tucked away behind Finsbury Park station, Chaps and Dames is worth seeking out, if not for the great value, then for the homely atmosphere. The mirrors are mismatched, vibrant colours adorn the walls and the familiarity with which the staff treat you is as lovely as a hug from your Nanna.
Opened in 2005 by Paul Federici, this modest hairdressers fills out two rooms to cater for the folks of Finsbury Park and further afield. During our visit Kelly-Marie, the salon’s education director and head barber 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 and plans to open a training academy at the salon, which are underway.
Federici’s mum – who's also a director of the company – 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, then look no further than Chaps and Dames.