It’s known that stylists must climb several steps on the industry ladder before securing a job even worth noting on their resume. Not for Ashley Streicher. The Nor Cal native went from high school grad to Edward Tricome’s assistant in seemingly no time at all. From NY-living and mattress-sleeping, the stylist later leaped and landed in Los Angeles. There, she opened STRIIIKE, a 90210 salon that she runs with her two sisters, who coincidentally work in the same industry (one, a makeup artist and the other, an eyebrow pro). When Millie Bobby Brown, Emily Blunt, and Alicia Vikander are your clients, you know you’ve made it (big)—and that Ashley did. Ahead, the youngest Streicher sister tells us her story and lets us in on her success secret and affection for hair spray.
How did you get your start in the industry?
My first job ever ever – ever! – was assisting Edward Tricome at the Warren Tricome salon on 5th and 57th in New York City. I started pretty much the minute I graduated high school. I was able to get my cosmetology license while I was in high school and graduate at the same time, so the moment I graduated high school I was ready and excited to work! Both of my sisters were living in NY at the time and I was able to sleep on an air mattress on the floor of their one-bedroom apartment while I assisted Edward.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest challenge was, when I moved from New York to LA, transitioning from my the lifestyle of my Northern California upbringing to that of Southern California, while at the same time transitioning from working 12 hour salon days to doing freelance red carpet work. I knew I wanted to make a change, but sometimes just doing it and being uncomfortable is the hardest part! I had a lot of support and help from my sisters who are also in the business (makeup artist Jenn and eye brow specialist Kristie, with whom I co-own STRIIIKE in Beverly Hills). Plus, I wanted it so badly that my whole frame of mind changed and I became very open to a new way of doing hair and put my ego aside.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
This is going to sound real cringy, but my two sisters are my biggest role models. They are 8 and 10 years older than me and I think I can speak for all of us when I say I’m very lucky to have learned and grown from watching them. I’m lucky that we all have a very similar lifestyle and work ethic AND we happen to all be in the same industry. (Yeah I know – I’m lucky!)
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I think I’ve always liked a more natural look and feel when it comes to hair. I find that people generally look best when they are harnessing their natural form in some way.
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I feel that my job is a series of baby makeovers. Even just giving someone bangs can be all the makeover they need. My most recent makeover though was my own. Just last night, I realized I look terrible with long hair so I gave myself a bob – much better.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
I have several kits that I use, mostly ranging in size. I keep two in my trunk so I generally can always be ready to go anywhere to do any job. My favorite products are always changing, I think that’s partly why I love this job so much. I love change. Lately, I’m really into hairspray. I’d say the first 10 years of my career I hardly ever used hairspray, and now I love a good buildable hairspray that you can layer and keep brushing out so that it almost creates a hair memory. After you build enough, each hair goes to its place without feeling hard or stiff or too molded. Davines Medium Hold is one of my favorites. Also, all of my salon clients at STRIKE know that MILK Anti-Frizz Leave-In by GM Reverie is my all-time favorite product, just ask them! It’s been two years and it’s still the running favorite.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Move to LA sooner.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
I would encourage new talent to keep your head in the grind and learn all you can. Don’t try to be famous, since that’s a surefire way for your work to suffer. Stay connected to the craft. It’s very easy in LA to get your head in the clouds. I urge you to stay grounded.
What is the next chapter for you?
The last 15 years for me have been really only focused on work and career, so I’d like the next chapter to be more about me personally. Hair is the only job I’ve ever had or known so obviously I will continue doing hair, since I love it! But I’m also so excited and motivated by the success that STRIIIKE and my sisters have been working toward. Hair has been such a solo job for me, so partnerships and collaborations majorly excite me. I’m loving the collective, collaborative work that working with my sisters has brought about, and I hope there’s more of that in my future.
Follow @streicherhair for more #manespiration.