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Sugar Cubed, a sister salon to Brown Sugar. A younger sister we’ll say! With that little bit of youth at heart, the salon conveys and pops; energy, fresh looks, colour, experimental minds and creativity.

The recently opened salon is situated by Westbury Mall, Clarendon Street, Dublin 2. This area is also known as the creative quarter, filled with Irish designers, boutiques, various salons and pop-up restaurants. Sarah Orr (our photographer) and I were kindly seated after the interview and invited to sample some fizzy pop and new hairstyles. I must say, I nearly fell asleep in the chair as I was so relaxed and my bum got a good massage in the hair sink chair! Good vibes (rations)! That room is like the 22nd Century – experience it.


First up, Mark O’Keeffe – Managing Director of Brown Sugar…

Firstly, congratulations on Sugar Cubed. A new hairstyle is something a person will spend their money on, young or old; we can always seem to afford to splash out on it. I really like this quote “your hair is your main accessory”. Explain to me the type of customer Sugar Cubed caters to.

We cater to the younger client in this salon; 18-28 years old. In a nutshell it’s Brown Sugar’s “little brother”! Brown Sugar has been affected by the recession but I wasn’t going to drop the prices. It’s the Topshop/River Island client. They know what they want. I wasn’t going to lose them, so Sugar Cubed was opened.

The interior is somewhat different, but different is refreshing. It is a place where the client switches off for a couple of hours in new scenery. What do you want the client to feel while in the Sugar Cubed environment?

1. Comfortable.

2. Motivated and inspired.

3. A place that belongs to them.

It is surrounded with metals and brick walls so it flaunts an urban feel, quite like the Meat Packing District. The prices are 40% cheaper here, but the interior cost just the same as the other salon. Just because it’s cheaper doesnt mean any difference in quality; the staff are experienced but younger. It’s all-round youthfulness.


Have you had a customer who has sat in the seat not having a clue what they wanted and you transformed their hair into something funky and edgy?

(Laughs) Millions of times! Nearly every day in fact. I’m not so much behind the chair these days. I have my regular clients who I have had for quite some time, so I look after them very well. I’m based in all the salons, I pop in for chats and see how everyone is doing.

Describe your personal style.

All my clothes come from The Kooples and All Saints. I quite like tailored pieces.

Worst hair style you ever graced on yourself?

The hairstyle I have right now (laughing). I’ve been growing it out for a good few months now. I reckon I look like Highlander!


Interview #2: Mark Byrne, Manager of Sugar Cubed.

The tradition of browsing through a hair magazine for inspiration still lives on, but blogs are currently a big aspect when it comes down to choosing a new style. Customers now sometimes come in with a photo of someone on their phone. Street style blogs play a big role on hair styles too. It is literally from-hair-to-toe looks. Would you agree?

I definitely agree with that. Most clients come in with a picture on their phone now. They know what they want. They are very clear about what the current look is at this very moment, and we try to achieve this as much as possible.

What is the most popular hair trend this summer, and what is the most asked for in the salon?

Last year, hair used to be curly and wavy. This year it’s the beachy look. Even straight hair is coming back! The transformation from the initial balayage style is more natural this year with that blending highlight look.


What exactly goes on inside the colour hub? Is it somewhat similar to what Van Gogh would whip up?

It’s like a kitchen – people see you prepare the food and cook it. The colour hub is very much like that, but rather with colour! Colour is an art form; colour is very personalised per client. My mixes are my own secret (said with a wink!)

Describe your personal style.

My personal style is high-street mixed with online clothes. I really like L.A brands. Styles and your type of clothing changes very quickly in hairdressing. You must change with it all the time.


Worst hair style you ever graced on yourself?

I permed my hair about 12 years ago. But I just permed the bottoms so the top was straight. Yeah, you can imagine what it looked like!

Sugar Cubed // Facebook // @SugarCubedDub

Words: Seana Henry // walkingasidream.com // Facebook

Images: Sarah Orr 

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