Why taking the healthy approach to your hair will be the smartest move you make this year


Locks & Lace  –   


‘A pure cupful of soul’


 The ‘Mindful’  hairdresser   


Keeping healthy is the best choice you can make this year and a new holistic hairdresser on the west coast wants the same for you – this organic hairdresser salon, situated in a cosy cottage betwixt the mountain and sea – in Strandhill, has an instant warm welcome when you arrive, with its woodburning  stove and a range of herbal teas on offer from Trimlawn Farm – a pure cupful of soul – and locally home baked goodies from Black Sheep bakery, and fairtrade organic coffee supplied by locals, Jessie and Troy of Driftwood Coffee Cart. On the wall in the reception area is a specially commissioned painting by Julie Potter and your tea or coffee is served to you in dainty mismatched china cups. Also on display in the salon, is the owner’s other business – her hand crafted hats.

This hairdresser salon, Locks & Lace, is the brain child of Emma Murphy –  Emma has over twenty years of experience in the business and has worked as a hairdresser in Sligo for over 12 years. She lives locally, married a surfer –  and now has a little smile of a daughter, 3 and half year-old Sadhbh.

Emma opened her organic hairdressing salon, ‘Locks & Lace, Hair, Happiness and Hats,’ last October in a renovated nineteenth century cottage and solely offers hair colourants, that are 99.9 per cent free from chemicals, with an organic range called Natulique.  It is 100 per cent sulfate free, parabens free, paraffin free, amnonia free and is created with all-natural ingredients. “It’s as pure and natural as hair colour can get – and it works,” said Emma. Natulique contains pure sunflower seed, jojoba oil, apricot seed oil and grape seed extract which activates the colour and restores the hair with a balanced nutrition of vitamins and proteins. The shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments used in this soulful salon are by ‘Intelligent Nutrients,’ an organic paraben-free range, with ingredients based on Indian ayurvedic medicine.

On arrival to her cosy salon, there are no chemical smells, but only the soft  aromatherapy scents of juniper berries, jojoba and fresh peppermint. Emma and her staff, cater for everyone – breastfeeding mums or for anyone  looking for a good haircut, a complete change of hair colour or retouch to their roots. It is also a unisex salon, so any post-surf salty locks can be tamed and treated, for both men and women.  Locks & lace are offering the special offer for April, “Bring your daughter to salon” month. Mums and daughters over 16 will get a treatment , blow dry, with a nail and polish for €40 on selected days. The salon can also be booked for up to two hours for their ‘Sushi and Bubbles’ offer– where a group can get make-up tips, blow drys and upstyles done, all served with champagne and sushi.

“All the shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments used in the salon are 100 per cent paraben free. The organic hair colour gives 100 per cent coverage for greys and leaves the hair, softer with less frizz,” explained Emma. “It also gives beautiful natural tones – the colours don’t turn brassy with washing, but the colours melds into the hair, with no damage to the sensitive follicles. Your hair is in better condition than before it was coloured,” said Emma. “We offer a safe, less toxic environment without cutting corners on colour longevity, shine or vibrancy.” Emma only realised after Christmas, that the Oncology Unit in Sligo University Hospital were recommending her salon for anyone who had gone through chemo. She discovered this through chatting with her new clients. Now working with lots of post Chemo clients, giving them peace of mind that they are in a less toxic environment, It makes sense as Emma, is mindful of what we are putting on our hair and in our bodies, and she cited a frightening statistic: “There are strong links between chemical hair colours and different cancers and it has been proven that hair stylists are forty times more at risk” and Emma added, “In my own bathroom at home everything is chemical free.” Because traditional hair dyes and many shampoos contain harmful synthetic chemicals, and then are washed down the drain to accumulate in waterways, soils and our own bloodstreams.

“Everyone can be allergic to hair colour ” said Emma, “and you can get a reaction at any time throughout your life to these chemicals. Even though there is only a tiny amount of chemicals in the hair colourants we use here at salon – we still have to do a patch test,” added Emma

Last year, before the opening of the new salon, Emma researched other salons that offered these eco services and found that the prices were higher for the ecological option for beauty and skin and hair maintenance, but she has decided to keep her prices in line with other salons in Sligo and only offers the organic eco option at Locks & Lace.

Also on offer in salon is the eco-certified French makeup range, Zao, which has a beachy Hawaiian-vibe to it –  with its sustainable refillable bamboo casing. Bamboo, the fastest growing plant – is also used in the product, as it stimulates collagen and keeps the face softer with use. The eye shadows are toxin free and the lip balms are talc free, and enriched with organic rice powder. The lipsticks are improved with organic pomegranate butter – a natural antioxidant. This funky brand has a beachy feel, which suits this salon perfectly, based  in Sligo – the adventure capital of Ireland and at Ireland’s premier surf destination of Strandhill. “The range is an eco certified silica based makeup” explained Emma, “and all the colours are really high in pigment and are long  lasting. We do make-up application in the salon. We also stock a French nail polish range, Nail Berry, which is  only available in Harvey Nichols.” Nail Berry – is an oxygenated chemical- free nail lacquer and comes in a gorgeous array of lush colours, and with the tagline, ‘Colour your nails healthy!’

Locks & Lace have just added the newest member to their small but dynamic team – Kerry Bonner. “Kerry has a vast knowledge of hairdressing with years of experience and with her lovely bubbly nature” said Emma, “she fits right in with our little cottage family at Locks& Lace.”

“We are truly passionate in what we do here.” We don’t do compromise,’ as she referred to the salon’s organic approach, “but we do amazing hair with a great service – we truly make you feel fabulous inside and out.” If you want to have the healthiest locks on the west coast look no further than ‘Locks & Lace’ and you can follow them on social media to find out about their latest offers and amazing promotions.

Locks & Lace.

Hair, Hats and Happiness

Organic Hair Salon and Millinery Studio

The Cottage, Strandhill, Co. Sligo


Tel: 071 9128160

Website: locksandlace.com

Email: hello@locksandlace.com

Facebook: locks&lace. Hair, Hats and Happiness

Instagram: @locksandlace


Snapchat: @locksandlace

Pinterest: emmaLandL

Written by Lara Byrne


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