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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021

Documentary on Ireland's barber culture: From trendy city spots to mobile shops at cattle markets

“We wanted to get a lot of different takes on the trade and we got some really good characters and really great stories.”

“YOU MIGHT NOT have any clothes, you might not have an automobile, you might not have an apartment – but you do have control over your hair.”

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Gruaig is an Irish documentary which explores the barber culture in Ireland.

Director Colin Brady told TheJournal.ie that it involved travelling around the country for two years filming different barbers and listening to their stories.

“Your stereotypical barber now has beard and tattoos and it’s seen as a really cool rock’n'roll job but we also found guys who did it forever as well as the new guys coming in.

“It’s not all about cool and trendy barbers. We wanted to get a variety of different barbers, of different ages and different voices.
We also interview a Tipperary barber who travels around in a van cutting farmer’s hair at cattle markets.


Brady said they spoke to around 30 barbers. Most were Irish but some worked in Norway, Rotterdam and LA.

We wanted to get a lot of different takes on the trade and we got some really good characters and really great stories.

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One barber they spoke to was 92 years old and died during filming. Brady said his name was still above the door at the Dublin barber and he used to go into the shop to chat with the customers.

We have a lot of observational footage, real everyday stuff – some really funny moments and some sad moments in there too. There are some ups and downs but these are people’s lives and they’re letting us in.

“Anybody from this country, or anywhere in the world, would see that it’s not just about barbering, it’s about life and family and the trade being handed down through generations.”

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Brady said they’re hoping to have the full length documentary in cinemas this summer.

Source: Taller Stories/YouTube

Read: After 49 years on the round, Ireland’s oldest ice-cream man stars in short documentary>

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