Builder-turned-hairdresser Rick Roberts is based at his eponymous salon in Beverley, near Hull. A well-rounded stylist, Rick is up for two awards in the upcoming British Hairdressing Awards: North Eastern and Afro.
What do you like most about working with Afro hair?
Afro hair is very versatile. Other stylists might use weaves in their Afro hair work but I am trying to promote natural hair. Being from a mixed race family, it’s a part of my culture and a nice way to acknowledge that is to work with textured hair.
What’s the most highly requested look at your salon?
Because of where we’re based, only a small amount of our clientele have textured hair. However, for the clients that do, a good cut on either Afro or relaxed hair is in demand. Sometimes I feel as if the work on Afro hair out there is quite dated, so I like to try cuts that are more up-to-date.
Tell us about raindrop colouring!
It’s a colour technique developed by Schwarzkopf. It creates the effect of raindrops in scattered or speckled colours coming through the hair. I think it would be a great look on curly hair because I can imagine the colour being distorted. It wouldn’t even need to be bright or bold colour, I would just pair two soft and natural shades together to create an almost 3D effect. The technique is very forward-thinking and it pushes the boundaries of colouring. The process looks easy, but it’s actually quite hard to pull off!
Vogue’s September issue is all about ‘forces for change’ - who are your forces for change?
For me, the biggest force for change is Michelle Obama. Her ‘Becoming’ tour sold out stadiums, which is incredible for a speaker. I also think Alicia Keys is a powerful figure for celebrating natural skin, and also Winnie Harlow for taking a positive stance on skin conditions.
If you had an hour to style a model’s hair for African Fashion Week, what hairstyle would you send down the runway?
I wouldn’t do braids, because I feel like it’s a look that I’ve seen a lot. Instead I would create a look with loose texture, or a up-do with a big, power-ponytail. However, when I’m working on a fashion show I like to work with the clothes, so the hair really depends on the silhouette and other elements of the outfit.