From a small salon to a beauty empire
Ricky Reyes’ first salon may not be much compared to his now sleek chain of shops. But it was there where he learned his first lessons in the business. “When he had saved a thousand pesos, he told his mother he wanted to go solo,” wrote Florendo in Hair Majesty.

“His mother, supportive as always, went to her comadre who ran a Sanitary Steam Laundry service on N. Domingo in San Juan near the public market and persuaded her to lease a corner of the shop to her son. In this wee space Ricky put up a wall mirror, a customer’s chair, a shampoo chair and bowl and a dryer. It didn’t look like much, but to the rapturous Ricky it was everything. In 1970, he was on his own.”

It was also the start of his success. From that small space in San Juan, Ricky Reyes’ business grew to what is undeniably an empire. He now has 12 branches in Metro Manila alone, excluding his shops in other parts of the country. Ricky Reyes also has thousands of surprisingly loyal employees under his care. “He’s a workaholic,” said Lhito Pantig, Reyes’ personal secretary, in an interview. “He’s always doing something.”

Ricky Reyes Salons now use the most modern beauty equipment for their hair and body treatments. It was there, in fact, that the 2003 hair craze, hair rebonding began. The salons also run a nationwide campaign (Gandang Ricky Reyes) that features popular Celebrities. It is perhaps the biggest advertising Campaign ever produced by a beauty salon.

But of course, if there is anything that the success of the shops has proven, it is Ricky Reyes’ undeniable talent. As Thelma Sioson San Juan, editor of one of Manila’s leading magazines, once said, “As far as my hair is concerned, he’s the best cutter—he uses instinct with his scissors.”

Indeed, ever since the first Ricky Reyes Salon was launched, it has influenced the look of an entire generation and, more importantly, changed the local beauty industry, as we know it.