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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Courtney Pochin

Confessions of a celebrity hairstylist - from Robin Thicke gaffe to Novak Djokovic mishap

Most of us can only dream of meeting our favourite celebrities.

But for hairdresser Ricky Walters, mixing with stars has become part of his everyday life thanks to his business Salon64 in Soho, London, which is a favourite with the showbiz set.

The stylist's Instagram account is filled with pictures and videos of him working his magic on the likes of Nicola Roberts, Joel Dommett, and Laura Whitmore.

But how did he get into his line of business and what's it really like?

Ricky told The Mirror how his career began in high-end Mayfair hair salons, but it wasn't until he went to work at a five-star London hotel that things really took off.

Ricky with Rose Ayling-Ellis (Ricky Walters)
Ricky says you become 'immune' to stardom eventually (Ricky Walters)

He said: "All the stars checked in and out of the hotel and it didn't take long before we were introduced and I had a chance to show them my skills with a hairbrush.

"Believe it or not the celeb world is relatively small. The stars have had such incredible careers, some of them spanning decades in the public eye, and therefore they all know and may have worked with one another before.

"This worked to my advantage when I found celeb clients recommending me as the hairdresser to go to when in London.

"I have since then been styling celebrities' hair for TV and red carpet for over 10 years and I love it."

Despite now having such a strong celebrity clientele, Ricky admits there was a time when he didn't pay much attention to fame and couldn't recognise certain stars.

This led to some awkward interactions, including one memorable comment he made to tennis star, Novak Djokovic.

"Unsure if this is considered a strength or a weakness but when starting out my career I famously never knew who anybody was," he admits.

"I once told Novak Djokovic that playing tennis while on holiday in London seemed like an 'odd thing to do' and I also once advised Robin Thicke that Nottingham didn't feel very 'him', not knowing he was about to go on tour there."

He continued: "I have worked with celebrities far more often now and I'm far more knowledgeable on the who's who and what's what of the celeb world.

"Over time you become immune to such stardom and simply enjoy the moment with such incredible talent."

Joking and mishaps aside, the job of a celebrity hairdresser certainly comes with a lot of extra pressure.

Ricky's always proud of the styles he creates for his clients, but has to devote a lot of additional time to ensure celebrity hairdos won't budge at glam events.

"There's no better feeling than seeing your hair creation walking along the red carpet or all over our TV screens partnered with praise from the press and comments on Instagram and social media from a celeb's fan base," he explains.

"That said, there is of course added pressure as the heads of hair I am working on can be seen by millions! A hair-up falling out on the red carpet, an extension weft being revealed by a sudden gust of wind or a few grips being photographed and showcased in the national papers the next day is simply not an option.

"For this reason, we allow far more time to style celeb hair than the everyday salon appointment. We work alongside an entire glam squad including fashion stylists, makeup artists, and plenty of others so all these considerations take added time but it's always well worth it."

But when it comes to dealing with negative comments about the looks he creates, the hair pro won't be put off by a few trolls online.

Ricky adds: "I have indeed experienced the odd controversial message on an Instagram post or a tough message in the comments page of an article and to be honest I LOVE IT. To me, it's a sign that my career is growing and more and more people are seeing my work.

"Creating anything at all and placing it within the public eye for the world to see means you have to be relatively thick-skinned. Everyone I am sure deals with these things differently but for me, I say bring it on."

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