Friday 3 January 2014

Interview: Nicky Clarke OBE

There is not a hair-obsessed girl around who hasn't heard of styling legend Nicky Clarke. Mr Clarke is regarded by journalists as 'the world’s most newsworthy hairdresser'. He is a personal stylist to the stars - royalty included - and runs his own, hugely successful, hair care brand.

Nicky also owns four fabulous salons across the UK and, even though his career spans over 35 years, he still researches new techniques and products. So it's kind of easy to understand why he's revered as the best in the business.

Luckily for me, I was given the opportunity to interview Nicky on all things hair. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

Nicky Clarke OBE

What inspired you to work in the hairdressing industry? And how did your career journey begin?

From a very young age I was interested in hairdressing. I used to practice on my whole family every chance I could get.

My first job was as a junior with Leonard’s of Mayfair when I was 14 years old. I knew of Leonard as the man who gave Twiggy the look that made her famous and I was in awe of him. I was paid £12 a week and I worked for many stylists at the salon before I graduated to assisting Leonard himself. It was my first big break and I grabbed it with both hands. I worked long hours but I loved it; opportunities like this were rare then. I knew it was my vocation and, since that first day, I have never stopped.

What is your career highlight?

There have been so many wonderful moments in my career, however I would say receiving an OBE from the Queen, for services to the hairdressing industry was a truly honourable moment in my life. It is a moment I shall never forget.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in the industry?

To be successful within this industry you have to be passionate about what you do. Hairdressing is a real art form, so being creative and hardworking will get you far. The harder you try, the luckier you get!

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

From the sheer beauty side of things, the likes of Sienna Miller and Penelope Cruz are difficult to beat!

What are your hair and beauty essentials?

My hero product is my Nicky Clarke Hair Raising Spray. I take it everywhere with me and I have used it at fashion shows, photo shoots and within my own salons. It is my favourite pre-styling product as it gives substantial lift before blow-drying and helps you to create your desired shape.
Nicky Clarke Hair Raising Spray
What is the biggest hair crime a person can commit?

Overusing products is the ultimate hair crime. Some people think that the more you use, the greater your hair will look. This is not the case; overusing a product can leave your hair more greasy and less manageable. It is key to remember that, when it comes to using products, you can build but you can’t take off.

I also tend to find that a lot of people do not wash their hair properly. You really need to rinse out all of the residue left from shampoos and conditioners. The cheaper varieties contain agents that make you believe your hair is smoother and silkier when washing. However, once the hair is dry, these agents will leave residue on the hair that can build up, causing dank, lack lustra locks. So always rinse until the water is clear and the hair is squeaky!

What is your top hair tip?

Having a regular trim is very important to maintaining healthy and glossy hair. The hair that grows out of your scalp is healthy. The further it moves away from the scalp, the more it is exposed to ‘the elements’. If you are washing and conditioning every day, you are stripping your hair of protein. Straightening and/or blow drying every day, as well as overusing products, can strip your hair - slowly (but surely!) causing damage. By having regular trims every 12 weeks, you are ensuring that the oldest, and most damaged parts are trimmed away. Regular trims also ensure that any split ends are immediately taken care of. If left alone, they can get worse and damage the hair ore by splitting further up the shaft. Each hair does not grow at exactly the same rate, so having regular trims will ensure your cut and style stays even.

Nicky Clarke Hair Care
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