Changing hairdresser or changing your hair is probably one of the biggest decisions you can make in your life, nearly in the same category of moving house or job, or changing your MAN!

If I am not happy with my hair, I am not happy. It is as simple as that. Luckily, there have been only a few disasters and that was because of over-zealous stylists who did not understand the difference between one inch and four.

It is not just the hair, it is the fringe; it is the reason I have not had botox! I like to keep it long and nearly into my eyes. I have been doing this long before Claudia Winkleman tried it.

I am a serial adulterer when it comes to hairdressers. I stay for years and then get fed up. In recent years, I have even strayed within the same salon. Not a good idea, as I felt very guilty.

So it was time to move on. I needed a lift and as I was reluctant to do anything too drastic with my face, it had to be my hair. So I made an appointment with Darren Lacken, Style Director at Crow Street Collective.

Full disclosure here. Darren is a good friend of my daughter Courtney (he does her hair) and he is also a talented, award-winning (too numerous to mention) hairstylist. His work can be seen not only on the heads of ordinary mortals, but also graces the pages of fashion magazine. You can read more about him HERE.

When you walk into Crow Street Collective in Temple Bar,  you wonder if you are in the right place. You see, it is not like any other salon. You are greeted by comfy sofas and seats, an amazing front desk/counter and a beautiful fireplace. You feel as if you are in someone’s living room.  Have a look at the photo below.

Mark Talbot, Darren’s partner, is the genius behind the interior design.  Having found the right building, Mark set about creating a salon with a homely, casual vibe. When he found the main piece for each area, he styled around that; for example, the couch in reception (above) dictated the colour of the walls.

The main salon upstairs also has an eclectic feel and is where the stylists work their magic.

And I love the separate area all shiny black with cool lighting, where the washbasins are hidden away from the rest of the salon.

In the last year or so, I had found it necessary to get my hair coloured every four to five weeks, which was really annoying me and I was getting fed up with the style too. Now I did not want any major changes, just something more youthful. So about six weeks before Kirsty and Mark’s wedding, I headed into Darren. The photos below are from my second visit, not my first.

The atmosphere in the salon is part of the charm. Darren has gathered a talented team around him and there is a friendliness and genuine warmth in dealing with each client and all are treated like royalty. They have built up a loyal following of both women and men of all ages.

I look forward to my visits to Crow Street Collective, I enjoy the personal service, the welcome, the tea served in china cups (and I have been known to take a glass of prosecco, too!) the craic and, most importantly, I LOVE my HAIR. I love the different colours and highlights (it lasts much longer too) and the cut is more youthful and modern.

A much cheaper and far more pleasant alternative to a face lift! Wouldn’t you agree?