Express & Star

Lichfield's oldest hair salon marks 40 years

Lichfield’s longest running hair salon still aims to be head and shoulders above the rest as it nears its 40th anniversary.

The opening of Joells

Joells Hair has been based on Bird Street for four decades and in that time has seen thousands of clients through its doors.

Owned and run by Dave Nolan, a well-known face and talented hairdresser in the city, the milestone will be marked on Tuesday, October 17 with friends, family and some clients – many of whom have been going to the salon since it first opened in 1983.

It was originally opened by Dave with the help of his friend and Black Sabbath tour manager, Paul Clark. The name Joells originates from a brand of Japanese scissors called Joewell which are handcrafted and made from high quality Japan steel.

Dave, now 65, had trained from the age of 18 as an apprentice in town after originally wanting to be a barber. However the trend at the time turned to becoming a unisex hairdresser so he took that path instead.

After working in a hairdressers called Bits and Bobs under the arches, he then moved on to work at a salon called Oliver Twist in Burntwood and then another in Sutton Coldfield called Scissors and Curls.

Dave Nolan in his salon

Dave said: “ I learnt so much at these salons and it was a great stepping stone for me before I took the plunge and opened the salon. I was also doing a bit of work at my Mum’s front room as I was training, and in fact, I still cut her hair. She’s 82-years-old and lives in Erdington, and still travels to see me to do her hair, which is so special to me” he said.

Dave, who was born in Lichfield, had been looking for somewhere to set up business on his own, and spotted that the unit on Bird Street was free, and so approached his bank manager, who was also a client, for a loan, to set up the salon from scratch.

“He of course did so and soon after I was able to open. The rest, as they say, is history. I haven’t looked back since and it’s been an incredible 40 years, filled with meeting lots of lovely people and doing their hair. They generally arrive at the salon, if they are new, as clients, then they become friends and leave as family. We are all here to help each other and it’s got a great community feel to it,” he added.

Dave said he believed they had lasted through several recessions and also the pandemic because of their commitment to their clients, but also making sure that they kept up with the latest trends and training.

“We learnt alongside Vidal Sassoon in the 1980s and since then have gone on regular training to this day. You can’t think you know it all because there are always new techniques and products being introduced in this profession so you have to make sure you keep your skills up-to-date. This is also supplied to us through Aston and Fincher, a Birmingham-based professional hair and beauty trade wholesalers who have been running since the 1950s and we are kept up to date with everything through them, which has been invaluable,” he added.

Alongside his wife Tracy and three children and colleagues, the salon will be making sure it marks the occasion in style.

“It really has been an incredible four decades and I want to thank everyone for their support over the years. I couldn’t have done it without you and I look forward to what the future holds," added Dave.