After years of working in fashion — doing up fantastic hair at couture shows, coiffing models for editorials in Vogue and W, and curling up tresses for Oscar night — stylist Ricardo Rojas finally opened his own salon on the LES in the Hotel on Rivington. Sure, he’s worked for John Galliano and Donatella Versace, but the man really wants to work on you (if you’re his client). And funnily enough, he never even takes time to think about his own locks.
When did you start working in New York?
I started about seventeen years ago.
How is working couture versus being in a salon?
It’s totally different. Creatively it’s really different. At a show, you’ll be working the whole night, boxes of extensions, and then they will tell you ‘We just thought the dresses … they are going to be a little bit shorter — mini in the front and long in the back…” Someone like Donatella Versace or John Galliano will say something like that and completely change the whole concept. And at a salon, you know that whatever you suggest your client has to completely trust. It’s more one-on-one, which I really love.
Is there one couture show that you’ve done that really stands out as a personal favorite for you?
John Galliano — the one that we did in the train station. It was about the history of women. Like Pocahontas, Marie Antoinette, all the most remarkable women in history in different levels of society. It was amazing but so hot. Paris in the summer. It’s beautiful until the sun comes on. Love Paris.
You also do hair for the Oscars. Is that stressful?
Yeah, it’s stressful. You have someone that is under pressure. You have to keep the client, celebrity really calm. It’s my work. I try to deliver.
How many clients do you usually have on Oscar day?
The maximum I would take is two people because I wanted to give the last one the best attention.
How important is doing your own hair to you?
Mine? I don’t even think about it. Unless someone says like ‘Dude, you need a haircut” I don’t even think about it.
The pixie — great or terrible?
I don’t love it.
Any summer hair trends?
Brown. Love the brown. It will get lighter in the summer. Very rich color. We do this color here that is kind of like Demi Moore’s, lots of shine, dark, deep brunette. Super shiny.
Any tips on how to care for hair during the summer?
Most important thing: You should nourish your hair. I make sure that you have the right protein and silk in your hair. I mix a lot of things, like Kérastase. It’s great protection for the sun, for the swimming pool, for those blondes that don’t want to turn green. Also, make sure to have a spray protection for color-treated hair, especially for blondes.
How would you describe your style?
Rock and roll. Not super glam, I love glam but like rock-and-roll glam. I wear a lot of black, not much color.
What should every woman have in her closet?
Every woman … a pair of Manolo Blahniks for sure.
What trend do you love right now?
I love the Lower East Side. I love the bohemian idea. I feel like I’m in Paris. Come here and just go to another world. I’m really in the right spot.
What do you wish would just go away?
No. I appreciate every single one. Helps me come up with my own.
Ones you wear the most?
I love Ben Sherman and Marc Jacobs. And Dolce for shoes.
Where do you shop?
I don’t really shop! I shop by accident, really. Ben Sherman’s the only one, really.
What are you lusting after right now?
I would love to buy a house in Búzios, Brazil, to escape with my lover.
What can’t you live without?
Materially, my BlackBerry. And the spiritual part, I can’t live without being grateful for what’s going on in my life. —Kendall Herbst