Gareth Penn, Managing Director of the Good Salon Guide presenting a bouquet of flowers and the Nation's Favourite Hairdresser Award 2021 to Mary Ryan of Mary's Hair Salon | PICTURES: Dave Gaynor
A LIMERICK woman has proven she's a cut above the rest having been crowned the nation’s favourite hairdresser.
Reaching master colourist status and graduating with a Diploma in Management and Business Masters from UL wasn’t enough for the salon owner, Mary Ryan took the national title after a career spanning 45 years.
Mary left school early in her teens to set up shop at the side of her parents’ home in Croom, where she first began to ply her trade.
Still cutting hair in her salon each day, now at the age of 60, Mary loves feeding her hairdressing “addiction” and cites lifelong education as the key element to her success.
“Most of all I love education. My mission is to always surround myself with people better than myself. Next week I will be starting an apprenticeship. There has never been a nationally or internationally recognised apprenticeship until last year. Along with 10 others, we will be the first group of qualified hairdressers doing an apprenticeship. You have to constantly upskill in this industry,” the Good Salon Guide National winner stated.
The importance of constant learning is a message Mary imparts daily to her “Little work family” of eight, which includes salon manager Brigid Lenihan and stylist Aisling Madigan, both master colourists. The award, which was presented at Mary Ryan’s Salon in Croom by the Good Salon Guide, recognised the rural business as the best in both the UK and Ireland.
Mary hopes that the win will be “a huge boost after Covid” will draw more customers in, and “will put Limerick hairdressers back on the map.”
“Our footfall here is one local man with his dog. If you come here, it’s only to get your hair done and not to head to the bank or butcher. We are continuously working to get people here. The fact that we are local and small helped us in the voting. It’s a bit less personal in big cities.
“When I was presented with the bouquet of flowers and the award, I got a little emotional. I thought of my father Jimmy and mother Nora, who were both greatest pillars of support,” the Ballygriffin business owner expressed.
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