Nicky Clarke's resume reads like a chapter out of the lives of the rich and famous. A London hairdresser with a salon in the city's fashionable Mayfair district, Clarke's clients include royalty from all walks of life.
Sarah Ferguson and Queen Noor of Jordan are among the bona fide royalty. The late Princess of Wales was a client.Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Elizabeth Hurley and Claudia Schiffer are some of the runway royalty whose tresses he has tended to.
Hollywood royalty include Isabella Rossellini, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields, Andie MacDowell, Hugh Grant and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Clarke could drop names for a living, but he doesn't.
After 23 years in the business, he continues to style the hair of models for fashion shoots, he appears regularly on the English morning TV show "This Morning" and he works in his salon, cutting the hair of non-celebrities who have the money to pay the bill and the patience to wait for an appointment.
He charges 250 pounds (about $380). Even so, people queue up, as they say in England, for a chance to have their hair cut by the master.
"We opened our salon in 1991, when England was in a recession," Clarke told the Deseret News during a visit to Salt Lake City. "We had a great business. Beauty and hair don't suffer during a recession."
He books appointments 13 weeks in advance. "I could be booked three years in advance, but we hold it to 13 weeks," he said.
His celebrity status has reached such heights that his salon is a one of the sights pointed out by guides on double-decker bus tours of London.
He and his wife, Lesley, oversee their hair-care products business. Called Hairomatherapy, the line is the No. 1 selling designer brand in Great Britain.
The products will be crossing the Atlantic, soon to be on the shelves of American stores.
Clarke was recently in Salt Lake City to promote the line, which will be sold by Smith's and Albertson's stores.
During a chat with the Deseret News over breakfast at Little America, he offered advice to ordinary people - those of us whose lives are overflowing with ordinary tasks such as looking after children, running errands, earning a living, warming up meals in the microwave and trying to do something with our hair every morning before we go out the door.
We may not be Hollywood royalty, but a movie was named after us.
Here are some of Clarke's ideas about hair.
It should be flattering. Women should look beautiful. "In England I'm known as a safe pair of hands. Clients aren't going to come out looking like some freak."
Do enough but don't do too much. "I don't know what it's like in America, but in England women either do too much or too little. There are people who feel they can't handle their hair, so they don't do anything. Others use every piece of equipment they can get their hands on. You should be somewhere in the middle."
Get a haircut that will keep its shape from one shampoo to the next. If you have a lot of bad hair days, "your cut doesn't have the substance to take it through from one wash to the next," he said.
It should be appropriate for your face. "You'd be amazed at the number of people walking around with the wrong haircut," said Clarke.
A small woman with fine features who has massive hair.
A tall, big-boned woman with short "tiny" hair.
A woman with a squat (short, round) face with short, flat hair (that conforms closely to her head).
A woman with a long, thin face whose hairstyle adds height to her head and closely follows the long contours of her face. "Why would she want hair that goes like this," said Clarke, pulling his hands down the sides of his face.
What are most people trying to achieve with all this hair hullabaloo? "In the end, people want their hair to look thick, shiny and touchable."
How do you know if your hairdresser gave you a good cut?
"If that person walks out of the salon with their head held high, that's a good sign. And they don't go home and mess with their hair," trying to rearrange it.
A good haircut is versatile. "There isn't anybody whose hair can't be done at least six different ways. By using the right products, you can make your hair look completely different."
That might be an interesting challenge for your own hairdresser to take on.