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Hairdressing runs in the family for Rio Sreedharan. The London-based hairstylist’s mother and aunt both worked in salons, and by the time he was 13, he had a Saturday job sweeping the floors in one. After training in hairdressing for two years through the UK’s day release program, he was a certified stylist by 16 years old. From there, he worked his way up the ladder at the Rush Salon chain and began doing hair in the fashion realm. He left the salon eight years ago and has since garnered a celebrity clientele that includes Yara Shahidi, Kerry Washington, and Thandie Newton, along with musical talents FKA Twigs and Mabel. From modern finger waves to fun twists, Sreedharan creates hair moments that are fresh and never over-done.
Here, Sreedharan shares how he always aims to take clients to the next level and why he personally plays it safe with his own locks.
How would you describe your approach to doing hair?
“I definitely feel like I’m the go-to hairstylist for people that are wanting something different, but not too editorial. I feel like my work is very in between that day-to-day and fashion. I try not to be too fashion, [but] I wouldn’t want someone to book me just to throw up their hair. I want them to book me so that I can be creative and take them to the next level of where they need to be. It’s fun experimenting and trying new things, and also what I like is the challenge. I like being able to take people out of their comfort zones, just a little bit. Then I see the end result, and 99.9 percent of the time I get my way in terms of [pushing the envelope].
When I did Yara [Shahidi] for fashion week, she wanted something up but wasn’t sure what. We did some fancy knots…and that was the image that was so creative, with her China bumps that had these spiked pieces out, which was actually a piece of material I found in a fabric shop. I don’t even know what the material is. I’d just come across it and didn’t know what I was buying it for, but I knew that it would be cool to work with. I brought it with me because it could be an interesting texture to make something go to the next level. It wasn’t hair fiber, but I turned it into hair. I have my little party tricks.”
Do you have a favorite look you’ve done?
“[No], because it’s all so different. I’m really proud of all of it. I really enjoy seeing somebody’s image and realizing that I can make them look completely different. That’s my favorite thing. Because I’ll do my research on what looks they’ve done before and how they usually look, versus how far I can push it that’s still within their brand. I work with FKA Twigs and so I get to be really creative with her. I actually dyed her hair orange and we just shot a new video that’s going to be out maybe in about four week’s time. We’ve got some really cool looks.”
You do hair for red carpets and for performances. How does your approach differ?
“I always like to have my two pence thrown in, whether it is red carpet, or performance, or video. If it’s at a red carpet, sometimes I try not to make things too detailed because the camera doesn’t always pick [that] up. Sometimes it is the small print that makes the look, but it just depends. For performance, I have to think that about what’s going to look best all through the performance. If they’re hair flipping, and if I’ve curled their hair, how is it going to hold? Or if they have extensions in, how is it going to move? I take all of that into consideration.”
What’s your personal preference for hair?
“I’m very simple with my own hair, I normally will just have a skin fade. My whole overall style is quite clean and classic. My hair right now is short and wavy. I’m half Indian and half Caribbean, so my hair has the soft texture where it’s wavy. I did dye my hair blonde one time, but that was the most daring I’ve ever been on my hair. I feel like because I’m classic with my own hair, I save the creativity for my clients.”
“My favorite products, which I think everybody should have in their kit, are the Oribe texturizing spray–I know a lot of hairstylists have that as their favorite, too–and a matte clay, it’s like a pomade. I like using that when I’m just doing something quite natural, with a bit of a beach texture. Then there’s also a wet look gel by Schwarzkopf. It dries and gives the hair that wet look, but it’s so cool. And the Ouai Wave Spray, it also gives such a nice wet look finish.”
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createdAt:Fri, 24 Jul 2020 13:27:50 +0000