Whether he’s cutting or styling the hair of David Beckham, Jamie Dornan, or Nicholas Hoult, Mane Master Larry King has made a name for himself as THE men’s groomer. Residing in the U.K., Larry recently opened a namesake salon in the heart of South Kensington. He’s jet-setting the world, goofing off with one of the hottest men alive, and styling the tresses of an array of a-list actresses. It’s clear that Larry’s connection with his clients are what really sets him apart. Keep reading for a glimpse inside his career…
How did you get your start in the industry?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school, my mum introduced me to Toni & Guy in Cambridge in 1997 and I got a job as a junior. At the time Toni & Guy was massive, it was the biggest salon group in the world and I was totally inspired – I fell in love with hairdressing and never looked back.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenges have always been set by myself, I’ve always put pressure on myself to be the best I can possibly be, I’ve put pressure on myself to achieve high.
I also think there’s a lot of competition between hairdressers, there’s a lot of rivalry, all hairdressers like to think they’re the best. For me, this is one of the industries biggest challenges. It’s about celebrating each other’s talents, bigging each other up, and being part of a team, not clambering over each other or stifling someone else’s talent because you know they’re good. Everyone has something to bring to the table and however good you are, you’ll never stop learning from others.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
When I started out I was massively inspired by Anthony Mascolo, he was three times British Hairdresser of the year. Guido of course is way up there and Garren too.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
I like to evolve my looks all the time, but what’s key for me is a good technically structured haircut. I always cut hair in a way that’s workable, movable, and adaptable. If it’s well cut in the first place it’ll last and look good right up till the next appointment.
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I try to make over all my clients all the time. It’s important to keep things evolving and changing. In saying that, I’ve pushed Pixie Lott recently to embrace her natural curls, which looks incredible.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
As well of course as my trusty scissors that go everywhere with me.
Along with my trusty suitcase, I also always carry a toothbrush and clean underwear – as a session stylist, you never quite know where you’ll be from one day to the next!
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
To not stand still in an industry that can open so many doors for you.
To give out good vibes and positivity and people will give it back to you ten fold.
To set goals and not to be afraid to aim high.
And that nobody is ever going to hand you success on a plate – hard work ultimately pays off.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I’m not sure what the best advice I’ve been given is. There’s certainly people who have encouraged me to go further, David Gandy for example, he told me how good I was and how good I could be at session work, sometimes you don’t need advice, you just need encouragement and a gentle nudge in the right direction. It’s not always easy to see strength in your own talents.
What advice would you give to new stylists?
Support each other in this small industry – there’s plenty of room for everyone, learn from each other and encourage each other to be better, to become a better hairdresser.
What is the next chapter for you?
I’m opening a salon in South Kensington, London this January; it’s been a dream of mine for a while. It’ll be a super cool yet luxurious hang out, it’s a space to be pampered, have a coffee or a cocktail while your tresses are trimmed and teased by my expert team. The hair methodology is that clients, both male and female leave the salon with structured, workable, adaptable hair that lasts right up until the next cut, complemented with beautifully creative and classical colours.
We’re also trying to keep it fun, it’ll be a bit of a social media hub with a Selfie hot seat and loo’s specially designed with selfies in mind.
We’ll have a Cocktail Myxologist in once a week too so it’ll have a great vibe. Like a social life for your hair.
The salon opens at the end of January and bookings can be made via the website www.larryking.co.uk
Follow @larrykinghair for more #manespiration.
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