If you don’t know Anthony Dickey, you need to. He’s the founder of the hair brand Hair Rules. He is also African American and a natural redhead.
Dickey has used his background to change the beauty industry. He is known as the “texture guru”, especially to his clients like Solange, Sarah Jessica Parker and Minnie Driver. He’s helped many women overcome the frustration of dealing with so-called “hard-to-manage” locks, and embrace the beauty and versatility of their natural texture – whether it’s kinky, curly, wavy or straight.
In 2008, he laughed Hair Rules and one year later, he opened the Hair Rules Salon in New York City. It is the first and only multi-textural salon in the U.S. with the goal to offer the healthiest approach to hair care and styling as a means towards evolving mindset and changing perceptions.
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Usually, the beauty industry targets one type of redhead: fair skinned with freckles. Hair Rules showcases the many different types of redheads and caters to their individual hair needs.
We had the chance to talk with him about his red hair and how it feels to transform the beauty industry in such a unique way:
H2BAR: What was it like growing up with red hair?
AD: I am 52-years-old and technically bi-racial. My German mother passed away when I was 3-years-old, so I grew up with my black dad’s side of the family. I didn’t even get light skinned. I’m just red. I grew up identifying black in a black community and I assumed I was black and that my light skin and bright red hair was unique.
Pictured: Anthony Dickey as a child
H2BAR: Tell us about Hair Rules! How did you create the company?
AD: Early on in my career, I recognized disturbing parallels between skin color and hair texture. I realized the limitations of the marketplace and questioned why beauty couldn’t be inclusive! There are a zillion hair textures, but in the beauty aisles, there was one row for black hair, one row for white hair and absolutely nothing for the spectrum in between (and one size definitely did not fit all!). I longed to have a positive influence on the largely monochromatic images that the beauty and fashion industry had been churning out.
I began to think of ways to merge the aisles and the cultural landscape of beauty. Fatigued with playing mad scientist at the styling chair (i.e. mixing products to get his desired result), I launched my own line of customized, texture-specific cleansers, conditioning treatments and styling aids — all geared to the special needs of kinky, curly wavy hair and straight strands… a multi-textural world!
H2BAR: What is one word to describe your red hair?
H2BAR: Why do you love being a redhead?
AD: Because it makes me feel special.
H2BAR: What is your top hair advice for a redhead looking to tame his/her coarse, frizzy hair?
AD: Avoid at all cost using traditional shampoos that suds or lathers. It will dry and strip your hair; causing it to be dull lack luster and unhealthy.
H2BAR: What is the #1 hair product every redhead must own?
AD: Our Cleansing Cream! It is like skincare for your hair.
READ: 9 Natural Redheads From Different Backgrounds and Ethnicities
READ: These Stunning Photographs Showcase the Beauty of Redheads Around the World
H2BAR: What is your top piece of advice for a redhead looking to maintain her curls?
AD: Certainly finding a regiment that’s specific to your texture, not someone else’s. Apply your cream, jelly or mouse to frizz-free wet hair and do not disturb till dry.
H2BAR: One piece of advice for the redheads out there reading this who have not yet embraced their natural color / texture:
AD: I honestly would not be able to comprehend someone not being able to embrace their red hair. Texture is a different story because of the archaic one size fits all standard of beauty (which has caused pain for so many textures). Your texture is your perfect match and is your best look. It was meant to be that way. I feel the same for red hair. You’re meant to be that way.
TUTORIAL: Easy Twist Using Hair Rules’ Volumizing Hair Spray
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