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Miami Bangs and Waves

RIKRAK Salon talks to Miami Shoot Magazine

Interviewed by Gabrielle Campolongo

Raquel and Ric Watters opened their first RikRak hair salon 22 years ago. They are a thriving Miami salon with beloved clients and attentive staff. With Ric being an established stylist in the Brickell area, the salon went off without hesitation and has been growing since inception. As a matter of fact, you can expect another RikRak to be opening this year.

MSM: What are the current trends in today’s hair styles?

Raquel: I’m seeing a lot of bangs, with straight hair. Long, straight hair, as well as the shorter look with bangs. Bangs are big and back. They’ve been back, but I see more and more people asking for bangs. For the shorter look, the blunt cut. Pretty short, but with a lot of swing, like the Vidal Sassoon flowy look. Precision hair cuts. Those are the two prominent styles.

MSM: What is the most unattractive style you’ve ever seen in Miami?

Raquel: I saw the mullet the other day. It’s just horrible. They need to come to RikRak! [laughs]

MSM: What is your best selling product?

Raquel: Kerastase for finishing. My #1 product right now is called “Amazon”. It is a very intense, Brazilian conditioning treatment. We don’t even call it Keratin, but it is amazing. You don’t even have to comb your hair. Your blow dry lasts at least a week. We’re a very proud distributor of Amazon.

MSM: What is it like to run your own salon in Miami?

Raquel: It’s hectic. We’re always on top of it. We’re here 7 days a week, in and out, but always very concerned and very attentive of our employees and our clients. We are always trying to make our clients feel at home and comfortable. It’s difficult. It’s not easy, but it’s our passion. That’s all we would do. We would do it all over again. We’re opening another salon as a matter of fact, our forth one. We have a salon at the Four Seasons, at the Sports Club LA, and also at the Sagamore on South Beach. And now we’re opening at the JW Marriot Marquee on the Avenue of the Americas. The opening is in October. It’s a 4,000 square foot spa salon. We’re excited, proud, and honored to be there.

MSM: Is it a challenge to stay on top of the current looks all of the time?

Raquel: For us, it’s easy. Our hairstylists are always taking classes and always in tune with the latest look and trends that are coming. We do change rapidly, but it’s not difficult for us.

MSM: What are the top 5 things to look for in a salon?

Raquel: Cleanliness. Making sure that everything is kept clean, especially if you’re getting services such as waxing, or manicure or pedicure. Making sure the instruments are sanitized between clients. We do most of our pedicures and manicures with hot towels infused in essential oils. The towels are disinfected with Clorox between clients. We don’t use water anymore; you can get so much bacteria with that. We decided to play it safe. The brushes need to be kept clean; the waxing spatula shouldn’t be double dipped.

Another thing is that the salon employees are people who are experienced and licensed. The licenses should be exposed. The attitude of the salon owner and staff is important. You want to feel comfortable and welcome. Have good light when it comes to doing color and when it comes to doing makeup and haircuts. It’s crucial that you’re stylist or makeup artist has good lighting. We have windows all over. It’s important that you see color in natural light. The salon should know the latest trends and the latest looks that are up and coming. Of course you’re coming out of the salon looking great, but to continue that care with the products at home.

MSM: Starting out, were you accepted into the community right away?

Raquel: Yes. Honestly, when we started 22 years ago, we were like pioneers in the Brickell area. We’ve seen the train being built and all these high rises being built, so yes we were immediately very welcomed. There was only one other salon in the area.

MSM: What is the most important factor of being a salon owner?

Raquel: Cleanliness and service come hand in hand. If you don’t have clean brushes and you do a fabulous up-do, it doesn’t cut it. A high quality of service and cleanliness are the two most important factors.

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