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Ambassador Spotlight: Richard Ashforth

Richard Ashforth is well renowned in the hairdressing industry for his directional, forward thinking ideas, his belief in simplicity and commitment to beauty. His role as Schwarzkopf Professional Global Styling Ambassador takes him all over the world coaching, teaching and inspiring.


As co-founder of SACO – one of the world’s leading salon groups – Richard is able to stay in close contact with the daily hairdressing environment. The salon group has an impeccable reputation for creating inspiring seasonal collections, motivational education programs as well as their cutting-edge salon venues. Richard Ashforth also shaped the concept of award-winning event: NOISE. This inspirational gathering of industry professionals was created to help give young people access to some of the most legendary names in the industry...


The ASK team take ten minutes and catch-up with the man himself:


Richard, could you tell us a little bit about your professional background? 

“I began hairdressing as a means to support some musical ambitions during a gap year before going to study fashion – I needed a job and hairdressing looked fun and fashion related so seemed like a good option. My mother’s hairdresser, Robert Taylor (Taylor Taylor in my home town of Sheffield), gave me a job and pretty soon, I really loved it!" 


"After some time, I knew I really wanted to be able to cut hair to the best of my ability so I applied to work at Vidal Sassoon – I got the job and moved to London – I never looked back and stayed at Sassoon for 18 years.”


What were the key milestones in your hairdressing career?

“I worked with some amazing people at Vidal Sassoon – from Tim Hartley and Mark Hayes to Annie Humphries and even Vidal himself on several occasions (always incredibly special moments for me) – I’m immensely grateful for the knowledge and perspectives they gave me. In 2005, I left Sassoon and began my own company, SACO. It was a leap of faith and a very hard beginning, but I’m happy to say we now have grown to 12 salons and several academies around the world!”


“I’ve been blessed to travel the world and have had many amazing moments with incredible people…becoming Schwarzkopf Professional Global Styling Ambassador is one of the greatest! Perhaps one of my favorite moments was the first time I shot with Peter Lindbergh, he’s always been a huge icon for me, since I first became aware of him in the early 90’s. He captures the beauty in people so perfectly, yet so simply, very special... I felt I could die happy after that day!” 



Where do your creative ideas and inspirations from? 

“From everywhere and anywhere, my philosophy is to keep my head up and my eyes open – be aware of your environments and the people within them!”


We currently see a lot of Windswept and Wooly hair textures in global trend reports. How is this trend currently evolving? 

“I think the major evolution is that clients are wanting to move away from the perfectly preened looks of recent years which is really is a great step forwards for our craft. I think people are really enjoying playing with products to change-up their look and experiment a little more with rougher textures.” 


You have established a unique hair event concept called NOISE. Please tell us a little bit more about the concept behind the hair show…

“The concept for NOISE is essentially very simple… It’s a platform for the new and known to showcase some intently creative ideas and concepts, which they may not feel fits one of the more ’traditional’ hair shows. We keep the location a secret until the last minute and keep the ticket prices low too, so it definitely appeals to a younger audience. It’s more like going to a gig than a hair-show – much more ‘raw’ and ‘in-your-face’.”



Which key cities have you launched the hair event in?

“We started in London, in 2012, and have since taken the show to Tokyo, Moscow, Paris, Taipei and Shanghai… and there are several new locations on the cards for 2018!”


How long does it take to plan and prepare such an impactful event?

“We plan the dates maybe 6 months ahead, but really don’t start the planning in any detail until around 4 months before the show.”



What is your future ambition for NOISE? 

“I would love to see it grow a little more so we can bring it to other locations and spread the word – I’m passionate about education and trying to inspire others, and would love to take it to the USA to see what they make of it over there!”


Don’t forget to follow Schwarzkopf Professional and Richard Ashforth on Instagram for even more hairdressing inspiration!