StyleNest take five minutes with hairdresser to the royals, Richard Ward to bring you the latest hair tips and insider news from one of the world’s most famous salon’s.
Located on the hustling and bustling Duke of York Square, off Sloane Square the Richard Ward salon has been home to the brand since 2005. After a journey of moving and rebranding, Richard Ward is an award winning hairdresser, who’s expertise has led him to appear on national TV along with glossy magazines alike. StyleNest chat to Richard to find out what’s new in the world of hair trends and how best to avoid those summer tangles.
We hear you are involved with the new site tothetops.com. Can you tell us a bit more about your decision to get involved and what it’s all about?
tothetops.com is an expert recommendation curated retail site, which focuses on key experts from various sectors and what is on their own professional wish lists, so it’s my ‘can’t live without’ bucket list for hair, I suppose.
What have you recommended for us?
Amongst other things, there are obviously products I’ve created and also products that my team of 80 just adore and use day-in, day-out on the salon floor. That sort of recommendation, particularly of professional products, is priceless.
What’s the ultimate Richard Ward product that every woman should own?
I’m massively in love with my new Shine Angel brush. I’ve never seen technology like it in a bristle brush before. It uses boar bristles that are actually horizontal, so the hair lies flatter, making the cuticle smoother and enhancing shine. We’ve had one sample for the past 6 months and my Art Director and I have literally fought over it. Also Pure, my all-in-one cleanser and conditioner, really is a revolution in shampoo and caring for hair.
Other than Richard Ward what products do you swear by?
Elnett is the most iconic product of all time, but as its widely available I didn’t put it on my list. I’m a big fan of Shu Uemera hair care and of course Kerastase is fantastically luxurious. Fuente is an organic range which we use in the salon and has a huge following. For skincare, Carita is my all time favourite and brings out the metrosexual in me.
You have a gorgeous range of products, what was the process behind developing Richard Ward Couture Hair?
We literally started by asking our team what they wanted if they had their ultimate wish list – some were to be expected, for instance, a really good Argan Oil without any staining or colouration and others were untried and untested and required formulating from scratch, which was enlightening. Some hairdressers stick their name to products, but I’ve developed mine and trialed them on the hardest audience – my salon team. Also, there was a real demand for some high quality hair accessories, so we created those, too.
You have had such a successful career, a busy leading salon, a great product range, guest presenting spots on ITV and a client list that reads like Who’s Who. What would you say is your proudest moment?
My team and I styling the wedding party for the Royal Wedding has to be up there, it was a wonderful occasion of course, and I was hugely proud of them. But also reaching our 20 year anniversary in 2012 was really momentous. Longevity isn’t easy to achieve and to have worked with some of our team members from the start is just fantastic.
How would you define the ethos of Richard Ward? What makes your salon different to others?
Our team, in short. We work alongside people who really believe in the customer experience we’re trying to offer and help us to deliver it. My ethos has always been to make women look and feel beautiful and my team help me to ensure that happens. Most people come to us for the first time and find us all much more down to earth, friendly and welcoming than they had imagined a top salon to be. That’s always a joy to hear.
You did the hair for the Duchess of Cambridge on her wedding day. She looked incredible. Any tips for brides to be when it comes to choosing a style for their big day?
Bridal hair is quite complex, I always suggest to any bride that she doesn’t go too far away from her signature look – the temptation is to sometimes go for an intricate hair up, but any bride should feel comfortable and not deviate too far from the norm. Much depends on the dress, and total look of course, as sometimes a total up-do works fantastically well.
Can you clue any StyleNest readers in on any exciting projects you might be working on?
I’m travelling all over the world at the moment with my Tangle Angel brush – it’s a detangling brush that’s also anti-bacterial, heat resistant and anti-static, so it’s quite unique. I’ve been launching it in the US and Canada recently. There are several other irons in the fire, as always but if I told you I’d have to kill you.
What hair trends are going to be big this season?
Hair is quite eclectic at the moment – there are coiffed, retro looks vying for attention with soft, casual un-done glamour. Braids are still a story, and can work well on any age, and fringes are a way for women to make an instant change. It’s very diverse out there, which is fantastic.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Like most creatives, it can be from the most random of things. Architecture, music, fashion – they all contribute to new ideas. I firmly believe however, that in a city like London the street is the biggest inspiration and working with so many young people at the salon you can’t fail but to absorb what’s happening.
What should someone opt for when seeking a dramatic hair change? Colour or cut?
It would have to be cut as I think it’s such a radical way to re-invent yourself. It can be life changing to get a new look – or even just try something different like a fringe. Nothing updates you faster.
With the summer approaching, what’s the best way to avoid dry and damaged hair?
Use the right products and stay away from the chlorine. Sun, sea and styling are hair’s biggest enemies so make sure you are extra caring and gentle with your hair in summer. Using a product like Pure really will help minimise damage.
For more information visit www.richardward.com.