Our second instalment of Natives focuses on Dun Laoghaire’s finest—Jason Brophy and his team at Mens Hair Co. We talk about how MHC came about, its link with BLOQ and recapped on their hugely successful first year in business.
Jason was born and bred in Dun Laoghaire, so it was only natural for him to come full circle and open up the first shop of its kind in the area. He began chopping when he was 21 and instantly became obsessed with his trade. Having spent a number of years working his way up the ladder in the Grafton Barbers, from apprentice to shop manager, he decided it was time for a change. He packed up his tools and headed east, travelling through Asia and finally settling down in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was there where the idea for a collaborative space that bridges the gap between the idea of a classic barbers and a retail space was born.
Having Jay cut my hair for as long as I can remember, we’ve notched up a serious amount of conversations about anything and everything. It wasn't until he returned from NZ that the conversations became more serious and more focused on a specific idea. At the time, Bren and I had just begun to get the ball rolling with BLOQ and were beginning to create our identity. Jay was doing the exact same thing with his vision for MHC, so the timing was perfect.We were bringing what we felt was something fresh to Dublin—A modern hairdressing experience with traditional values of barbering,combined with a studio/retail space for a newly formed clothing and lifestyle brand, all under one roof. Mens Hair Co. was born.
Situated at the Cumberland Street end of Dun Laoghaire, there was fuck all going on when we got the keys. The place was a ghost town and the majority of shop fronts were vacant and run down. Almost over night, it was like someone sprinkled magic dust over the area and brought it back to life. Shop fronts started filling out with quality little food parlours and up market, London style coffee houses. Couldn't have timed it better.
The shop just celebrated its 1st birthday 2 weeks back, which is crazy as it already feels like an institution in the area. In under a year, it has gone from a one man operation to being home to 3 unbelievably talented stylists, one of the best up and coming young apprentices around and a French Bulldog named Lenny. Go on Len.
If you haven't already paid them a visit, make sure you get yourself booked in before christmas and get fixed up.
Instagram - @MensHairCo
Words | Simon Bastable
Photography | Simon Bastable (@drtywzrd)