There will be no need to call and make sure there are Black hair stylists in the house, because at Hair Rules New York, the new salon founded by celebrity stylist and author A. Dickey and his friend, 90’s supermodel Kara Young, it won’t matter. Hair Rules houses a team of highly trained stylists and colorists who can comfortably work with any texture of hair…that’s right…any texture! And just like Dickey’s mission to promote an all-embracing approach toward every hair texture making healthy hair care the priority to attaining options in styling, beauty and self expression for a “multi-textural world,” you can see the diversity in Dickey’s work and clientele as well. Dickey has styled A-List stars including but not limited to Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Estelle, Minnie Driver, Alicia Keys and he’s even styled First Lady Michelle Obama. Dickey has been quite the page maker too with his work appearing in top publications like Vogue, ESSENCE, InStyle, Glamour, Ebony, and many others. A veteran pioneer in the beauty industry with the aim to heal and help women see their natural tresses in a new and beautiful light, Dickey’s blazing some brand new trails in hair care.
“It’s harder to go natural if you don’t embrace that standard of hair care and what it requires to be natural.”
While training with the best like John Frieda, Oribe, and Louis Licari, he learned through his own observations that there are two types of women: those that embrace their hair in all its naturalness but aren’t able to find the right concoctions to obtain the flawless, frizz-free finish their looking for, and then there are the sisters who are strictly straight and by any means necessary will do whatever it takes to maintain their straight style-no matter the damage that can and typically is done. But while perfecting his craft, Dickey listened to women and paid close attention to the hair care industry. With a couple of shelves, maybe a few, but definitely a very small section of hair care products in major retailers meant for multicultural women as opposed to the seemingly dozen or more brands for white women, it only makes sense that many women of color feel that their hair, in its most natural form, is a problem, and there’s very little “good” that can be done. “Only in dealing with what I think the industry has bestowed upon women with its misconceptions and myths about kinky hair are the only things that you have to overcome. How to deal with it is like any other hair texture; it has its own set of rules, but it’s really the psychological damage that the consumer has to deal with and what they have been led to believe about their hair texture.” Never initially planning to specialize in “kinky, curly, and wavy” hair, it was after many realizations such as this one that Dickey decided to be the change the industry needed and encourage women to embrace their hair in its true form. “It’s harder to go natural if you don’t embrace that standard of hair care and what it requires to be natural.”
“We’re not just doing a relaxer because you want a relaxer and your hair is torn up!”
Leader of the New School
Though really not something new, it definitely appears to be a move toward natural hair since the 1970’s with more and more women, both young and old, rocking proud, bouffant hair. It’s like a reawakening. And as a solution to the problem, Dickey rejects the notion that all hair should be straight or straightened, and approaches and treats every head he does the same. His 2003 book, Hair Rules! The Ultimate Hair Care Guide for Women with Kinky, Curly, or Wavy Hair, which gets into our “Hairitage” and absolutely everything hair from texture and type to the plethora of products and essentials, is now in its third printing. “I wanted to equip women with information that hairdressers held as a secret to themselves, and the many faces of the beauty industry having confused the consumer and my client about what they should be using and how they should be using it.” When the book was released, Dickey saw a change in his clientele go from about 90% Caucasian to completely 50/50 solidifying his expertise on many textures of hair across all ethnicities. And ladies, Dickey says run to the water! One thing you don’t usually find is women disregarding what their mommas have told them, and the one about steering clear of water unless your getting your hair “done” was one of the more serious commands that go way back, but has followed us and sticks firmly to our way of life even up to this day. But, if natural is not your thing, that’s fine because Dickey does it all, just not like all the others. “I’m not the natural hair guru! I embrace all things hair. There have been amazing and innovative things that have taken place with relaxers, weaves, and hair color and I do everything, but we do it safely, responsibly, and by educating and providing the customer with a lot of information. I turn down a lot of people too because we’re not doing a relaxer because you want a relaxer and your hair is torn up!”
With a 20 plus year reign, Dickey’s empire not only provided a book for the need-to-know answers to the many unanswered questions about multi-textural hair and the products we use, but there’s also Hair Rules, an organic line of hair care products meant to maximize the results of your natural hair whether kinky, curly or wavy. Honey, ginger root, avocado, shea butter, and gardenia are just some of the natural ingredients contained in the products.
Also, held on July 6th was the grand opening to Dickey’s new salon, Hair Rules New York, a more than 2000 square foot loft space located in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, where, as Dickey states, no texture will be viewed as problematic. To reflect his embrace and promotion of a multi-textural world, the salons waiting room is designed in “groovy” but elegant and colorful patterns. The salon is also an eco-friendly place to relax, boasting wind power, non-toxic paint and zone lighting. If you’re in the hair care industry, you’ll be happy to know that Hair Rules New York will offer advanced education classes, host events like seminars and workshops promoting not only beauty but community, the arts and well-being.
As Dickey was sweeping up his salon having put in many 18 hours days over the last few busy weeks, he was energetic and in a very pleasant mood as we continued our passionate talk about hair in the early evening. As he continues his mission to help replace the original crowns of glory to many queens, with his dedication, his empire will be a lasting one-easy.
For more information on A. Dickey, Hair Rules haircare line and salon please visit www.hairrules.com.