Meet My Hairstylist

1 / 10
8 min read

One of the most frequently asked questions is “Who does your hair” and with that, more questions about what I ask for when I go to the salon. So, I thought it would be helpful to ask the man, Richard, who actually does my hair, and report all the details back to you! Before we left on our trip, I went in for a trim and asked you guys on Snapchat to send in questions for him to answer. I pulled the top 12 recurring questions together for a Q&A with Richard below.

To give a brief background, Richard works at Population Salon in San Francisco. They have two locations, one on Divisadero and one in the Mission. When I first moved to the city in 2012, I tried out a few different salons before finding Population on Yelp and deciding to try it out after their amazing reviews. I was booked with Richard and had him chop my hair into a long bob, cutting almost 12 inches off and darkening it a bit. Any stylist that can make you feel confident and happy with such a drastic change is a keeper! I was in love with the results. It was the first time in years I’d had short hair, and Richard did a phenomenal job turning my thick mane into a chic, effortless bob. Finding a great stylist is all about trust and communication. Being able to get your vision across is sometimes the most difficult part, so I hope this Q&A can be of help!

1.What products do you suggest to make hair shine?

Products can be broken down into three categories: Cleansing and conditioning, styling and finishing. I love Oribe products. I cleanse and condition with the Brilliance and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. I style the hair with Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray and finish with the Shine Light Reflecting Spray.

2. What tips do you have for low maintenance highlights that will last a longer amount of time?

Ask for balayage highlights. Balayage techniques seamlessly blend the highlight with your natural hair color. Traditional foil highlights have a more defined starting point and grow out becomes more obvious as time goes on. Also getting a toner can help eliminate brassy tones in between highlight appointments

3. How do you create such natural sun kissed looking highlights?

I highlight the hair in varying degrees of brightness to get a natural lived in look. I also formulate my color to suit each client’s unique combination of natural hair color and skin tone.

4. What type of color technique do you use?

My favorite is a color melting technique I call American Balayage. It utilizes a combination of semi permanent color, high lift color and lightener. It helps me achieve both subtle and bold highlights.

5. What are your favorite hair products?

Again. I really like Oribe products. I use Imperial Blowout and Royal Blowout quite a bit. The R + Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo and Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray are a definitely a staple. I also cocktail the Population Hair Oil into all of my blow dry and finishing products.

6. What are the best products for thicker, more voluminous hair?

Cleanse and condition with R + Co Dallas shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry with R +Co Dallas Thickening Spray and finish with R + Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo at the roots for extra lift.

7. What products or regimen would you recommend for hair that’s been damaged due to coloring?

Using a hair mask once a week restores softness and shine almost immediately. I like the Oribe Gold Lust Transformative Masque. Working a small amount of hair oil into the ends of towel dried hair provides moisture and shine. I recommend Population hair oil. Before any heat styling use a heat protectant like Oribe Balm d’Or.

8. Are there any fun ways to spruce up long layers?

Adding bangs or facial framing is an easy way to completely change the look of a long layered haircut.

9. Is there a special way to do highlights that can make them less obvious as they grow out?

Balayage techniques create soft transitions between the roots and highlights which in turn require less frequent maintenance.

10. What is the best blow dryer for a quick dry that doesn’t fry your hair?

I have used basic dryers ranging from $40 to $200 ionic hair dryers. Personally, I think using the appropriate heat styling product should be your first priority and the dryer second. The Oribe Royal Blowout Spray protects the hair from heat and speeds up drying time.

11. Can you briefly explain the cutting style you use on Julia’s hair?

To achieve Julia’s soft lived in look I use a combination of scissor and razor techniques. I start by creating a soft chevron shaped perimeter with point cutting. I create long layers in the back by working off of the head shape. I remove weight and create face framing with a razor and slide cutting. After the hair is dry I detail it by removing more weight where it is needed.

12. Can you tell us what formula you use for Julia’s hair color?

Using my American Balayage technique, I start with a clear semi permanent color at the root to help blend any highlights into her natural hair color seamlessly. The midtone highlight is a combination of a level 8 natural ash and level 12 high lift ash. The lightest parts are a combination of 20 and 30 volume lightener. Julia has naturally warm undertones in her hair. To preserve and enhance those undertones, I finish by applying a level 10 natural gold toner.