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Iles Formula Hair Talk with Nikola Moda from Salon Ruggeri in NYC


Iles Formula Hair Talk welcomes Nikola Moda from Salon Ruggeri in NYC. Nikola Moda is an up-and-coming editorial and salon stylist who has worked on set with photographer Peter Beard and on New York Fashion Week and bridal runway shows for Donna Karan, Kithe Brewster, Ines de Santos, AI and more.

Take a read of what Nikola has to say on hairdressing today.

Instagram: @nikolamodaHair
Salon Ruggeri: https://ruggerinyc.com/

IF: Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today?

Instagram filters.


IF: What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

Seeing that genuine smile on my guest’s face once I’m finished. There truly is nothing more gratifying than that.


IF: Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?

Got into hair through music actually, growing up going to punk shows at CBGB’S and the like. I feel subcultures have fueled a lot of styles and trends that eventually made it on a broad, conventional level. Art in general has been fed through hunger, incontent, and controversy meant to provoke thought.

At first, doing hair did not come easy. I didn’t grow up playing with hair and found it difficult doing simple things like holding combs in a certain way or having a delicate, refined touch. That came along with practice and drive.


IF: If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?

A tailor or motorcycle mechanic.

IF: What is your greatest strength?

The ability to extract originality.


IF: Your favorite hairdressing tools?

My best tool would absolutely be my mind. All the lessons I’ve been taught through my career and life, knowing when, why, and how to apply which techniques to achieve what is desired without overshooting my mark.

IF: Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?

I first came upon Iles Formula working at Salon Ruggeri. I love the simplicity of their products that can be applied to all hair types. Behind their products, there is the support and communication. Seeing Wendy visit salons and chatting with stylists really shows how a brand should be- in touch with the people that use it.

By far, my favorite product is the Iles Formula Finishing Syrum. I use it on 95% of my clients. The versatility I have to be able to use it on so many hair different types is unbelievable. It is an absolute necessity when I’m doing my work.

IF: What was the most challenging job you ever made?

I can’t recall the most challenging job. Doing something that is outside your comfort zone is like hiking up a steep mountain. It’s only as difficult from the perspective you view it. But taking action and moving toward that peak makes it look easier with each step closer.


IF: What was your worst hair moment and why…. privately or on set/stage or in the salon?

My worst hair moment was when I was an apprentice, assisting a guest stylist from another city. I was sent to mix lightener in a “clear plastic bag” that was in that stylist’s luggage and did so. Almost a full head of highlights later, said stylist realized it was flour, not bleach powder. It definitely taught me how important it is to label things and clearly communicate with people.

IF: If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?

Silent film starlet, Clara Bow. She was my first Hollywood crush.

IF: Where do you pull hair inspiration from?

Draw a lot of inspiration from history especially from youth counter (sub)cultures. Swing kids from the 40’s, Teddy boys from the 50’s, mods, rockers, and rude boys from the 60’s and punks from the 70’s and 80’s. Also from many things vintage from outside that realm. Life is not linear, it’s cyclical. So is style. A good understanding of that history has helped me understand a lot when drawing ideas.

IF: Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?

My advice to new hairdresser’s goes as such: work hard but also learn to work smart, learn the rules first, then break them and above all always enjoy your time.

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    Tips and Tricks by
    Wendy Iles