Ionică, the most beloved barber in old Bucharest: he impressed the ladies of the royal palace and cut the hair of King Michael I

The interwar period is known both in our country and elsewhere as one of the most elegant in the history of mankind.

The ladies of high society paraded proudly through the streets of Bucharest on feast days, dressed in elegant and expensive clothes, with hairstyles according to the fashions of the time, often described as “artistic”.

By far the most beloved hairdresser of the interwar period was Ionică Oprișanu, the man who had managed to make his business so famous that he had officially become hairdresser to the Royal Court.

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Ionica Oprișanu’s hairdresser – picture from the newspapers of the period: “In the ladies’ salon – an artistic hairstyle”

Ionică Oprișanu, the man who managed to impress the Royal Family

Ionică Oprișanu was the owner of a well-known hairdresser in the interwar period, as mentioned above, and his mastery reached the ears of the members of the Royal Court. “Ionică’s salon, the famous hairdresser of the Royal Court, has long attracted, like a magnet hidden in the garden of the Romanian Athenaeum, all that the Capital has the most select: ladies, gentlemen, gentlemen and Don Juani”, says an article in the press of that time.

“A strange gathering of people of the purest and most fragrant essence, in search of an hour and a place in this enchanted laboratory that hides so many mysteries and performs so many wonders!

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Who could believe that Ionica and the salon he runs with such mastery plays a decisive role in the lives of our elegant ladies? Who could suspect that around a pair of scissors like any other, a few tools and a few appliances, our ladies weave all their dreams in the unbridled desire to have restored to them as completely as possible what they have lost or what nature has forgotten to give them?

And yet, there, in the perfumed atmosphere of the hairdresser’s salon, the “great mystery” of hair dishevelled after a night of dancing, of nails that have lost their elegance or of bushy eyebrows that “spoil” the line of the eyes; there, in the vapours of perfume, in the steam of water, of exotic spices, of whispers, of stifled joys, regrets and hopes, in the atmosphere charged with the essences of all the perfumes of the world, our elegant women endure the torment of the machines and all the inventions that modern art, in the struggle against the vicissitude of nature, has devised for the benefit of women”, it was also written in the press.

Customers often asked, however, if Ionica himself was there. “He’s at the Palace, cutting the hair of M. S. King Michael”, was the answer they sometimes received.

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Ionică Oprișanu’s hairdresser – picture from the newspapers of the period: “One day: Ionică at work…”

Devoted clientele, equally devoted staff: “Goodbye white hair, goodbye old age”

The clientele always proved to be devoted, and the staff seemed to function the same way. Ladies and gentlemen could always choose their “worker, worker and manicurist, for each one wanted the staff to know his tastes, habits and sometimes his habits. That is why the hardest problem for a lady who holds this preference is to get her turn so that she is served by staff who know her”.

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In Ionică’s hairdresser’s shop there was always a bustle, “an endless, sympathetic and perfumed coming and going of maids in the unhurried “row that doesn’t come”, of young ladies radiant with the art of the master hairdressers; of elegant women who return to rectify a “wave” left too long on the eyebrow or a few curls escaped from the tugging of the “tweezers”, of freshly shaven “ladies” who are late exploiting the multiple reflex of the mirrors full of smiling heads and eyes inflamed by the gentling of the hair dryers”.

What’s more, it’s said that here too, employees didn’t used to steal each other’s customers for the sake of a bigger tip. And if, in rare cases, this happened, everything was settled tacitly and extremely elegantly, so as not to disturb the good mood that Ionică Oprișanu liked so much. A quiet working environment would bring him customers, and the man knew this very well.

He promised his clients youth without old age: “Goodbye white hair, goodbye old age” was one of the slogans he used to advertise, and he himself was considered an artist rather than a hairdresser.

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Ionica Oprișanu’s hairdresser – newspaper article about the favourite of the ladies of high society

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