For our latest “Faces of Smithtown,” we bring you to Main Street to introduce you to Richard Daly, owner of Richard Salon of Smithtown. In this Q&A, Daly talks his past as a musician, the challenges of opening and running a salon, and more.
What inspired you to get into hairstyling?
I’m a musician personally, I played in local bands growing up and it was just another extension of the creative aspect of what I liked growing up and it kind of segued from that industry to the hair industry – music, creativity, hair – it was an extension of that more so than something I really thought about as a kid.
When did you realize you wanted to own your own salon and what were some of the challenges that came with starting it?
It was just kind of a progressive approach. Pretty much when you first get into the industry you just kind of have that in your brain, ‘one day I’ll open my own shop’ … I was working as a head colorist of a salon and I worked all the time and that’s all I really did because I was so busy with extra clients, it was just an extension of the next part of the career so I came over here and opened the salon, five years ago this month actually.
We do hair expertly, there’s a lot of training and a lot of education for our staff. It’s not just being kind of consistent assuming you know as much as you could possibly know – we educate. We’re in Manhattan once a month training under Arrojo, it’s a celebrity salon run by Nick Arrojo of TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”
Describe a normal day in the salon.
Let’s take Saturday for example, we’re open eight until six. We open at 7:30 in the morning with the full staff here and the first appointment comes in at 8:00am. We have a receptionist up front; three-to-four training apprentices, and then we just roll. We do a lot of hair – a lot of hair color, hair cuts through the day – and it just runs. We have a person handling the shampooing, sweeping and all those things.
Speak about your interests outside the salon.
I was raised in the 80’s era of rock and roll. Influenced by classic rock, good guitar players. 80’s music was an extension of what I was as a kid going into it and we resonate that here. Keeping it real, keeping that kind of vibe through the whole salon to let creativity flow and have style all based on that same philosophy. We don’t have an extensive dress code, no restrictions as far as creative ability based on the music influence early on … It’s just the vibe that we try to put out, to keep it real and put good hair on people.