Legendary Clerkenwell hairdresser Fuat closes The Avenue after 50 years

Fuat (second from left) and father Hassan (second from right) with clients at The Avenue Hair Salon

Fuat (second from left) and father Hassan (second from right) with clients at The Avenue Hair Salon - Credit: Fuat Fuat

A hairdresser closed a much loved Clerkenwell hair salon his family had owned for more than 50 years last month. 

Fuat Fuat, 50, closed The Avenue Hair Salon on May 24 after its lease expired and he was unable to negotiate a tenable rental agreement with the site’s landlord.

He had worked at the salon for more than 30 years, taking it over from his father Hassan.

Fuat said: “Closing The Avenue Hair Salon wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. 

“It was hard to let the salon go because of its history and part of me felt like I was letting my family down but I know my dad would’ve told me that it’s silly to carry on.

“There comes a point where you have to start thinking about reality rather than with your heart.”

The salon has existed at 49-53 Rosebery Avenue for more than 100 years under five different owners, with Fuat’s family running it for the last 51 of these.

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Fuat had been around the salon from the age of six months, even having his nappies changed there.

He said: “It’s been more of a home to me than home, especially during the Covid pandemic when you could only have one customer in at a time. 

“It took me over three hours just to take the last boxes out and shut the doors for the final time.”

Fuat explained he enjoyed engaging with Islington’s community, allowing his elderly and vulnerable clients to come into the salon to read a magazine rather than them being at home on their own. 

He said: “Being a hairdresser is all about reaching out to your community. I’ve cut people’s hair from when they were three years old and they’re now in their late thirties and have a family of their own.

“It was one of those places that if you were going past the salon and I’d seen your face more than a couple of times then I’d either smile at you or give you a wave.”