Hairdressing Icons: Nicky Clarke
With a career spanning more than 35 years, Nicky Clarke was one of the first hairdressers to become a household name. After assisting John Frieda in the House of Leonard, a breeding ground for hairdressing talent, Nicky first made his mark as a session stylist, winning HJ’s Session Hairdresser of the Year in 1988 and 1989.
Having launched a salon in Mayfair
with his wife Lesley in 1991, he then went on to win HJ’s London Hairdresser of the Year in 1992, 1994 and 1995 and British Hairdresser of the Year in 1994.
It was the famous names Nicky styled which put him firmly into the media spotlight, including Margaret Thatcher, Jonathan Ross, Selina Scott and Sarah Ferguson (who turned up to open Nicky’s first salon after jokily asking if there was anything she could do to help). Nicky quickly became the go-to guy for media appearances and hair advice.
In 1993, Nicky launched his haircare product line, followed by an electrical range in 1999 and hair colour in 2000. He also has salons in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds and is still one of the most well-known hairdressers both within the industry and beyond. Nicky was also one of the first hairdressers to charge £500 for a haircut, paving the way for salons to mark up their treatments accordingly.