At Robert Byrne Hairdressing, we want our clients to leave the salon not just feeling and looking good, but with a skill set enabling them to take care of their own hair from root to tip. Our team is highly trained and expertly qualified in all areas of cutting, styling and colouring and we always listen to our clients, working closely with them to get their desired look that suits both their personality and lifestyle. Robert Byrne Hairdressing is at its heart a family-run business and by extension, the relationships built between staff and clients are what make the salon the success that it remains today.
OUR HISTORY (1898 – 2018)
2018 marks the centenary of when Robert Byrne Hairdressing first opened its salon in Navan. However, the Byrnes have been cutting hair since long before that and in other places, which makes Liam Byrne sixth generation in the line of Byrne hairdressers.
Liam’s great-grandfather and salon namesake, Robert Byrne, hailed from Dundalk, where he worked as a hairdresser before setting up on the square in Navan in 1898 and in a building from which Charles Stuart Parnell, just a few years earlier, had addressed a crowd of 5,000 people.
Over the door at the time, the sign read ‘Byrne, Gents Hairdresser.’ In the rooms above the salon, Robert lived with his wife and four children – three of whom also went into the hairdressing business.
Customers came from all over and would often visit three times a week as back then many men did not know how to shave properly. Haircuts were basic and there was no styling as such, just trims. A short back & sides cost 6d, a shave 4d and a boy’s haircut 2d.
Then in 1927, while business was booming, Liam’s grandfather, Willie, opened his own salon in Watergate Street, just 50 yards from the original shop. Willie’s two sons and Liam’s father and Uncle (another Robert and Jim) then joined the family business. Over the years, the Byrnes saw many hair trends come and go. After the short back and sides and Brylcreem era came the 1950s and a new wave, The American Crew-Cut. In the 1960s as the crew-cut grew out, the Elvis quiff came into style and towards the end of that decade, flower power provided a slightly looser look.
The 1970s was a worrying time for hairdressers when long hair came in, but despite this, the business continued to grow. After a few years, Liam’s father, Robert, began to concentrate on ladies hairdressing while remaining on in the premises with his father and brother. At 80 years of age and three days after tending to his last customer, Liam’s grandfather died. By 1969, Robert’s business got too big for the Watergate Street premises and it subsequently moved to Cornmarket where it exists today.