As a young hairdresser, Kevin Ryan would sometimes do over 20 men’s haircuts in a day. But, Ryan says, “I learned with each cut.” Today, Ryan, the editorial director of Unite Haircare, can be found onset at photo shoots, doing hair for advertising campaigns or sending 20 models down the runway during fashion week.
“I grew up in a working class, not very artistic, family but luckily my brother veered off path so I jumped into his slipstream,” Ryan says. “He moved to London so I followed him at 17. The 1980s were an amazing time to be a London hairdresser. Boundaries seemed to be being broken daily.”
Hometown: Exeter, a small town in the south west of England
Industry Icon: Too many to list but I am partners with Frank Rizzieri and have a line of tools with him, Rsession tools. I consider him a great friend. He’s amazingly hardworking and talented.
Reading Now: Recently enjoyed Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan.
Hidden talent: Still looking for one but I have enjoyed raising my three daughters. My oldest is now 21 and training to be a hairdresser.
Day-off pursuits: I own some remote desert land and vintage trailers so that's where I would be found.
Title of your autobiography: “What I Wish I'd Said Was…”
First editorial experience: I cold-called ID magazine and managed to talk the fashion editor, Caryn Franklin, into giving me a chance to do hair on a shoot. She was a great stylist and helped start many people's careers. The industry was wide open and experimental so the youth took over.
Favorite part of doing editorial hair: I like to collaborate and be inspired by everyone else on set. Never knowing where I will be next and who with always keeps it interesting.
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