Harlow’s Den: Vintage salon gem shines on New Briggate

By Katie Elsworth

Laura Dawson: ‘Girl Boss’ of Harlow’s Den. Photo by Katie Elsworth


Leeds hair salon, Harlow’s Den, turned their business into a thriving hotspot on New Briggate using social media and clientele’s word of mouth.

Laura Dawson, 28, has been the manageress of vintage-orientated salon since August 2014. She said: “We haven’t spent any money on advertising – we owe our business to Facebook and Instagram.”

Stylists Talisa, Laura and Rae take pictures of every client’s finished product and upload it to their Instagram: @HarlowsDen

Just over 1300 followers get to follow the business’ journey through the filterless pictures of real customers and their gorgeous cuts.

Laura said: “We try to keep it as real as possible – we don’t want the glossy pic in a magazine effect. Our customers are normal people, we show their real beauty and stay away from the filters on Instagram.”

Originally from Hartlepool, Laura left her hometown to pursue her media degree at Leeds Trinity University.

The salon has been open since August 2014 and prides themselves on their vintage atmosphere. Photo credit: Katie Elsworth

“I’ve always wanted to do hair, but there’s a notion about hairdressers where I’m from… that they didn’t do well in school. So I did a degree in media,” she told me.

Post degree work led to the Victoria Quarter where she worked in retail management and dabbled in hair styling part time at the weekends.

But an underlying passion for hair and a lifestyle change pushed her to become a qualified hair dresser three years ago.

“I had a horrendous break-up, I hated my job and I was feeling depressed. Within a week I quit my job and pursued hairdressing,” and she hasn’t looked back since.

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'Oh honey, Goddesses don't speak in whispers. They scream.'

A post shared by Laura-Ann 🌙 (@dontspeakinwhispers) on

The salon has become notorious for its vintage styles and the decor in the salon screams kitsch fifties spirit – the salon is rated five out of five stars on their Facebook page.

With inspirations like Dita Von Teese, Laura is the epitome of the bygone era, she said: “My heart lies with vintage – my mum used to listen to old music, and watch old films. I’ve always had a natural flair for vintage styling.”

With ten years in Leeds under her belt, the next five years are full of exciting plans and hopes for Laura and the ladies of Harlow’s Den.

Pretty in pink. Photo credit: Katie Elsworth.

“The way we’ve grown in a year and a half is beyond what we could’ve expected,” she said.

“It would be amazing to open another salon and expand. We’d love to get more stylists involved and keep growing.”

Positivity oozes out of the stylist and manager as she leaves her concluding words for those looking for the push they need to achieve ambitious goals: “The best advice would be to just get up and do it, stop moaning and do it. I’ve become a connoisseur in being happy with yourself. Just do it.”


To contact Harlow’s Den visit their Facebook page or ring: 0113 244 9559


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