Anthony Dickey Hates Shampoo

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Photo: Melissa Hom

Even in a city as diverse as New York, women with textured hair need to search long and hard for a salon that can specialize in their hair, or one that has a token stylist who is able to work with it. Fortunately, hairstylist Anthony Dickey has a new salon called Hair Rules New York (named after his line of textured-hair-care products) that caters to all hair types, from nappy to silky. Having worked with everyone from Michelle Obama to Sarah Jessica Parker, Dickey (who already has a waiting list) and his staff are prepped for any hair challenge. We caught up with the lovable stylist while he was putting the final touches on his first salon (which opened earlier this month) and chatted about how he hates shampoo and why people call him Dickey.

Tell me about the name Dickey? Is it short for something?
It's my last name. I worked for Oribe when I got here in '89 and there was another Anthony. We changed it because of tip reasons.

You work with all hair types?
The salon was born to cater to all hair textures. We try to be all things to all people. We train our assistants to work on everyone. It's all about diversity. I'm for the kinkiest of the kink to the finest of white hairs that fall flat to the scalp. I'm for everything and everyone in between.

How did you get such a diverse clientele?
All I can say is it's about still being here and staying around and being open to whatever comes your way.

Did you always want to do hair?
No, but I had to do something out of school. I was pumping gas out in Arizona and my aunt said, come live with me in San Francisco and I'll put you through beauty school.

Who was your first celebrity client?
Raquel Welch. I think it was for an awards show. Oh wait, or maybe it was for the thing at the Met?

What was your first big break?
Well, I had two moments when I felt like I arrived. I got booked to do Sports Illustrated in Hawaii in 1995 and I did a shoot with Ellen Von Unwerth for L'Uomo Vogue in 1997.

What products should every woman have?
Daily cleansing cream. I call it a daily cleansing cream because it doesn't sud and it's like Cetaphil for your skin. You shouldn't have to suffer from dried-out hair because then you have to overcompensate with other products.

What are your favorite products?
Bliss Hot Salt Scrub. I love to bathe. I looovveee to bathe. I'm a bathtub man. You can wipe all of New York away.

Where do you shop for beauty?
Love Sephora. One-stop shopping, particularly for skin care.

What beauty trends do you hate?
I'm so tired of shampoos. Beauty magazines telling you to use this shampoo and your hair is going to look like this, but they know damn well that it ain't. For most women with textured hair, it's a disaster.

What beauty trends do you like?
I like what skin care has turned into. There are a lot of pharmaceutical brands out there now. I call them gentle, ready-to-wear medicinal products.

What was the first designer item you bought?
English Eccentrics. I'm dating myself. It was a $200 bomber jacket.

Who are your favorite designers?
Margiela and who am I wearing now? [publicist checks his shirt] Michael Bastian. Him.

Hair Rules New York, 828 Ninth Ave., nr. 54th St.; 212-315-2929