Most people may know Ryan Nickulas from starring in the hit LOGO series “The A-List: New York”, but aside from being a reality star, he’s also a badass celebrity hairstylist. The Massachusettes native has styled the likes of Rachael Ray, Pam Anderson, and Isaac Mizrah – but his all-time favorite, VIP client was his mom (adorbs right?).
While maintaining star-worthy hair may seem like a chore, the New York City hairdresser swears it’s not as difficult as it seems. Nickulas, who works at the Vidov Salon, believes that even a ponytail can slay. We recently caught up with this 16 year hair veteran to discuss his career, favorite trends, and simple ways to keep your tresses on point.
MLB: What inspired you to get into the beauty industry?
RN: It was just natural for me; grandmother was a hairdresser, so I just grew up around it. I was that 10 year old asking for highlights (laughs).
MLB: I know you’re originally from Cape Cod, but now you work at a swanky New York salon. Why did you decide to come here?
RN: I moved to New York for love. I had rekindled with my [now] husband, and followed him to the city. Being that I had a trade, I knew that I could do it anywhere. As a kid I always read fashion magazines and dreamed of coming here, so it all worked out.
MLB: What is your favorite hair trend right now?
RN: I’m obsessed with really, really, really long hair extensions like you’re seeing on the Kardashians and Nicki Minaj. I love the opulence of it, they’re so seamless and simple, yet avant garde – it’s amazing! I once did a 38 inch installation for a client, but getting in and out of a car and using the toilet with hair that long can be difficult – you gotta be careful (laughs).
MLB: As spring approaches, what would you recommend for a woman to do to switch up her look in the new season?
RN: Everyone is cutting their hair. In the same breathe that I love a good 38 inches, the other flip of the coin is that a sleek cut is crisp and clean. J Lo just did it, she chopped her hair to her collar bone. For everyone’s sake, it gets all the dead ends off, and it makes for an easy color change. Chopping it off is a great way to feel fresh.
MLB: What is a simple hairstyle that any woman can do?
RN: If you have enough hair to fit into a ponytail, do a ponytail. I love seeing women’s hair up! It opens up the face, brings attention to the eyes, and it works for every lifestyle – whether you’re hustling or you’re bougie. You can make it fun by using a curling iron to create texture.
MLB: What’s hottest trend in hair color?
RN: Oh, that has to be “sombre”. That’s a subtle ombre that you can create with toners. It’s a simple way to ease into summer, it makes old color fresh again. If you look at the celebrities [their hair is] not jet black or over-highlighted, it’s kind of in between. There are highlights and lowlights in [the hair] but it’s all really tonal.
MLB: How do you keep colored hair super healthy?
RN: Always conditioning treatments, condition your hair often. A lot of women over-shampoo their hair, when they should be shampooing a maximum of twice per week. A lot of girls don’t realize that if they just get in the shower mid-week and rinse their hair well, put a conditioning treatment on and rinse that thoroughly, it will be enough to maintain healthy hair.
MLB: How do you feel about the pastel-colored hair trend?
RN: I think it’s on its way out, though Easter is around the corner (laughs). It’s out. It’s done. There are some really amazing hairstylists still doing it, and it’s great for Instagram, but the everyday woman is not doing it.
MLB: A lot of women of color are nervous about coloring their hair, especially if it’s relaxed. Is there a safe way for them to color relaxed?
RN: No, sorry. You really shouldn’t bleach relaxed hair, there are ways to lift the hair without bleach but they’re still damaging. When you add a heat style, on top of relaxer, on top of color, it’s not the best. It’s almost like just pick one (laughs). My best advice is don’t do it, but there are creative ways of adding color without actually coloring, like extensions.
MLB: Can you share some of your favorite hair product brands with us?
RN: Yeah, I love Oribe and Goldwell. Goldwell is the hair color that I use, but they also have an amazing treatment line. I recently discovered Jen Atkins’, OUAI, and it a great line. It’s clean, crisp, and works across the board for most people.
MLB: What is the best hair advice that you can give women?
RN: Cut your hair! Whether it’s just a dusting or a trim, it really, really, really helps maintain the integrity of your hair. Like 90% of women skip out on cuts or push them back; when they should be trimming at least every 3 months.