Coffee For Lunch | Interview With Salon Co-Owner Paul Davey

4 min

Coffee For Lunch | Interview With Salon Co-Owner Paul Davey

The concept behind the monthly “Coffee For Lunch” Phorest interview series is quite simple. Always on the run and tied to a million commitments, we often forget to take a little breather. This month, we’re happy to introduce you salon co-owner and multi-award winning hairdresser Paul Davey.

More than a mere profile spotlight, this interview series focuses on industry thought leaders’ main specialities and aims to give you a quick insight into their recent projects or ideas.

paul davey

Paul Davey, Multi-Award Winning Hairdresser & Salon Co-Owner

Coffee For Lunch With Multi-Award Winning Hairdresser Paul Davey

There’s a proverb that says “do it with passion or not at all.” Paul Davey is – and always has – been passionate about the industry in which he’s built his career. Reputed for his creative craft, his hard work and values he opened Davey Davey in 2010 with his brother Ian. Highly in demand, Davey can be on the road quite a lot, but this week he squeezed a bit of time to discuss what he considers fundamental to salon success: training and education.

paul davey

Let’s Talk About Training & Education…

Phorest Salon Software | Who or what inspired you to pursue hairdressing?

P. Davey | When I was in school, my brother and I used to have radical haircuts, and we could never get them cut in the salon. No salons would do it for us at the time, not in our area anyway. We started cutting our hair and everybody else’s hair in the area, and that’s how we got inspired by hairdressing. It was only when we got to leaving school that we went “Okay, what are we gonna do?” We loved cutting hair, and that’s how we got into hairdressing I suppose.

P.S.S. | Did you start off your career in a local salon or did you straight away opened up a business of your own?

P. Davey | I left school at 16 and was living in Ireland by the age of 17. I got a job at an international hairdressing company and was then on the floor from around 19-20 – I got qualified quite quickly. Come 22 years old, my brother and I opened up a franchise, and we’ve been going for quite some time now!

P.S.S. | How has the industry changed since the beginning of your career? Did any major trends stay alive or were they all replaced over time?

P. Davey | You know, that’s the beauty of our job. Fashion changes and evolves all the time although the integrity, the classic works have always stayed apparent. As fashion changes, you always look back into the past to take inspiration and go into the future. So, I mean, hairdressing isn’t different. We are the hair creatives of fashion and style always evolves. That’s what keeps our job interesting; you can change regularly but still see the classics stay. Take the Bob [cut] – it has never gone out of fashion all the way from the 20s. You can reference the Bob in the 90s (laughs)!

paul davey

P.S.S. | Let’s talk about your most recent project a little: Hairdressing Live – a global live academy. What’s the idea behind the initiative? What is lacking in today’s industry for this idea to come to life?

P. Davey | We [Paul & Ian Davey] were coming up with new ideas and new concepts of how we were going to evolve with the business, and I mean, this is it! We wanted to hit the world with some of our education! We’re very knowledgeable about fashion, techniques, colour, cutting and everything like that. So at first, we thought to ourselves we could do all the education. But then we realised we were doing this for the industry; it wasn’t about us. Through the academy, people can find inspiration, motivation, and they can learn huge amounts in an accessible way at prices they can afford. It’s a live virtual classroom.

P.S.S. | This academy providing online courses, what’s your take on the digital age – social media, things going online, etc.? How is it affecting today’s hairdressing reality?

P. Davey | I think it’s the way we’ve got to adapt. Communication has been made so accessible to everybody and now what we’re trying to do is educate people – I see many platforms unfolding, and not just for hairdressing. I truly believe that over the next three years, it will evolve. It’s going to become visual; it’s going to be videos, tutorials and a lot of this going one. If you don’t jump on board with it, you’re going to be left behind.

P.S.S. | Is your initiative specifically aimed at millennials or do you have a broad range of applicants?

P. Davey | It’s for everybody, but it’s for during quiet times to inspire people! In quieter times in the shop or the salon, people can sit down with the laptop and learn. And what you are watching [Hairdressing Live] is people in the current movement of fashion. You can look at YouTube videos, but many will have been made 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 years ago. This is current; it’s right now. You can ask questions, and you get to see the current techniques.

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P.S.S. | Would you need a particular background to join the course or can anybody start from scratch?

P. Davey | Each course is a topic, so you’re buying a technique. It could be a bob, a pixie cut, a particular colour technique, so I mean, it’s for professionals, but we have huge plans for the future. At the moment, it’s a professional site, for people from all levels.

P.S.S. | There’s no doubt that training courses are necessary, but who should after booking and paying for them?

P. Davey | I think salon owners can put a budget together for the staff and buy it for them, but you know what? I come from a proactive background myself. I wanted to get ahead and learn. Therefore, I put myself forward and do it myself. People who wait for things to happen will always wait for things to happen.

P.S.S. | What would you like to see more of in the industry at the moment?

P. Davey | Initiative; we have to evolve, we have to change. Davei Barnett is teaching a course at the end of 24th April and he talks about ourselves being a marketing tool. That all comes down to being proactive. In a competitive industry like ours, how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you make a difference? You have to be proactive.

Paul Davey, co-founder/co-owner of DaveyDavey and the man behind Hairdressing Live Academy, in Dublin, Ireland.

Website |

If you’re interested in leveraging your staff to support client retention, mastering client referrals to build recurring business and putting together a lucrative loyalty scheme, why not sign up for the Phorest Academy ‘Client Retention’ Masterclass?

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