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One Saturday last summer, I was in a rush to get ready for a bachelorette party downtown. You know the nights full of loud DJ music, sparklers and champagne where you wear your highest heels and an extra coat of mascara? I knew we’d all be flipping our hair around, posing for iPhone photos, and I needed a quick blowout. My go-to place was full, so I stumbled into an unassuming salon a couple of blocks from our apartment and met Ricky.

While blow drying my hair that Saturday, Ricky convinced me that he could color and cut my hair better than any snotty, waiting list salon I’d tried in the city, and I went back the following weekend for the works. The rest is history.

 

RICKY, HAIRDRESSER, 25 YEARS OLD

How did you get your start? I first cut my grandmother’s hair in Israel when I was 15 years old. I was an assistant at a salon, and she came in with an old book that had a photo of a woman with a short, funky haircut. I cut all of her hair off, and she loved it. If I weren’t a hairdresser, I’d be a lawyer, but I can’t really sit still for long.

How did you find your way to NYC? My family moved to NYC from Israel when I was 16 years old. My father gave me a gift card to get hair supplies. I bought everything I needed to cut hair, but nobody would hire me. I decided to go to a nursing home and offered to cut everyone’s hair for free. My first client, Maria, was slumped sideways, you know, kind of sitting crooked, in a wheel chair. I cut her hair like that. When she sat up, her hair was cut at an angle. It looked awful, but she loved it. I continued to cut Maria’s hair once a week, every Thursday, until she passed away. She left me an envelope with a note and a check for $1,000. I eventually made my way into salons in NYC, and I have been working here for about 5 years.

What do you enjoy most about working in NYC? No client is the same. Everyone is willing to do new things and experiment with their hair. Nobody is trying to be anyone else. I like that.

This blog has an etiquette element, so can you share some tips for clients? Please show up on time. If you show up late, it throws off the schedule for the entire day. Have an idea about what you want. We cannot read your mind. Oh, and be honest, please! Tell us the truth – if you don’t like it, we want to know so we can fix it! 

Ok, Ricky, anything else? Not all male hairdressers are gay – I’m not gay. And every woman should color their hair. Why doesn’t every woman color their hair? (Good question, Ricky). 

 

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