Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Nicky Lazou, the region’s hottest hair colorist, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from how she stays positive to how she keeps her hair looking and feeling its best around the clock.
I set my alarm clock for 6 a.m. every day, unless I’m traveling, which is a lot. For example, I was up at 4 a.m. the other day to go to Kuwait! If I have something to do, I like to wake up a couple of hours in advance because it takes time for me to get going. I sleep with the curtains open – it’s so nice seeing the beautiful orange sun in the morning, and I get to see the skyline.
I honestly wish we didn’t have to sleep. I wish we could simply press a “recharge” button in our brains. Sleep is such a waste of time – there’s so much to do in a day! Life is too short. You can sleep when you’re dead! As soon as I open my eyes, I say five things I’m grateful for. Gratitude is the most important thing, especially as a business person – and you can’t forget it.
Gratitude is the most important thing, especially as a business person – and you can’t forget it.
When I wake up, I listen to some motivational things, especially if I’m having a difficult morning. If I wake up a bit grumpy, I type Abraham Hicks into YouTube – it’s amazing! It’s all about growth; you need to keep growing and being the best you can be. This morning, I listened to one and it completely changed the way I was thinking about a certain situation.
I really believe that you are what you think, and that your thoughts create your reality – and that’s how I’ve built my business. I knew where I wanted to be, and I’ve actually achieved more than I expected by this point. I swear it’s because I read these kinds of books. You have to read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. He gives you scenarios that you can relate to. I also love Wayne Dyer when I’m not feeling ambitious; his quotes pick me up.
I love all those things so much as it really motivates me for my day ahead and to get to the gym! It goes hand in hand with healthy eating because I’m then able to use my mind better and be more focused. I train every morning, either with my trainer or by doing EMS, which is so great to get everything moving around my body, especially as I fly so much! I try to go really early to get it out of the way, and my day is always better when I’ve been to the gym. I might feel tired when I wake up, but I’m really hyper and full of energy after the gym!
I’m really into health, so I get my meals delivered daily. I believe being healthy really helps me deliver better at work because I’m more energetic and focused. I believe you are what you eat, and I love life, so I want to be the best at it that I can! I’ve always been quite healthy and inspired by health, but I’d still have burgers and stuff. About two years ago, meat was giving me stomach pains, and I felt like my body didn’t want it anymore, so I stopped eating it.
Then, when I moved to Dubai, I really did struggle to find fresh food, so I started the meal plan. There’s no point putting in effort at the gym if you aren’t eating right! I started on a pescatarian plan with no gluten or dairy, but then it was too much fish, so I’m now on a vegan plan with fish two to three times a week. It also means that I can cheat without feeling guilty. I do need my cake and chocolate fix! I’m obsessed with Yamanote. It’s my favorite place in Dubai, I crave it, and my clients always bring me there as they know I’m obsessed. Patchi is also another guilty pleasure!
When I go to the gym, I wear headbands because it helps with the sweat, so I don’t have to wash my hair. I tie my hair up in a bun or braid, and always use a scrunchie – never a hair tie! When you’re in the gym and moving around, a scrunchie won’t tug at or break your hair, but normal hair ties will rub. Never sleep with a hair tie on, either. I see so many girls that come to me with a breakage around the middle of their hair, even if they have no color in it, and that’s because they tie their hair with the wrong band.
From the gym, I go to work. I have a very, very crazy schedule. I see so many people a day, so I head to the salon earlier just to get organized, go through my schedule, check my e-mails and speak to my PA, Jade. She is the most amazing person ever and handles all my bookings, flights, everything! Once a month, we sit down and figure out when I’m going to Bahrain, Kuwait, London, etc.
It’s hard with all the flying, but whatever flight I’m getting on, I say to myself, “This is your rest time.” Because as soon as the plane lands, it’s go, go, go! The plane allows me that rest and sleep, so I can be prepared to go straight into work the moment I touch down. Mentally preparing yourself is very important, and my career has given me a beautiful life and the chance to help people around me, so I need to have a routine.
I have a trainer in Bahrain and Kuwait, and I go the gym in London and LA because I need to maintain that routine. Having a trainer means I have to get out of bed because I can’t let them down! I’m a bit of a control freak and I need to have everything planned – even my food in London is all sorted by my sister before I arrive!
I just started having acupuncture by the most incredible human being on the planet! He’s a doctor who trains others to do it, and he’s so zen – it’s like he’s floating. My job and lifestyle can be really stressful, especially as I have recently moved here and was struggling a bit to keep myself balanced. He has really, really helped me. I was quite nervous when I first tried it, but it doesn’t hurt at all.
When I finished, he showed me my skin, and it looked so much healthier and was literally glowing – even my blood was a lighter color because my body had more oxygen running through it! It was an amazing release, and I had so much energy because it releases all the negative blockages. As he told me, “Everything in life is positive, nothing is negative.” I now say that to myself every morning, and it’s really stayed with me. It even made my hair and nails feel better because oxygen flows better and the bad stuff is expelled.
I’ve always been a girl’s girl, and I love being a woman. When I was ten, I used to save my pocket money and go to Harvey Nichols on the weekend to see what was new on the beauty counters. They all knew me in there! I’ve always been obsessed with beauty; my makeup collection is huge! When I travel to England, I don’t have to take anything with me because I have it all there, too!
I don’t do my hair every morning. Everyone asks me how often I wash it, but I always say the more you wash it, the greasier it gets. I have so much hair, and it’s very thick – I’m very fortunate that way – so I brush really gently with a paddle brush. I like the GHD brush or a Tangle Teezer. I always start from the tips. I hate it when people brush from the top and tug on their hair!
I also sleep with my hair braided every night. If you sleep with your hair loose, the pillow rubs on your hair and damages it. I always use silk pillowcases. I love them! I saw a big difference when I switched to silk. I went really blonde once and cut my hair, and I felt like my layers weren’t growing because the cotton pillow was rubbing on my hair when I moved in the night. And because my hair was blonde and drier, it wasn’t doing any good.
The biggest tip I can give any woman to stop greasiness, especially if it’s not hair-wash day, is to wear a shower cap or towel on your hair in the shower. The steam makes it greasier, frizzier, and limp, so I always wrap my hair up in a towel turban when I shower. I wear my hair in a braid, ponytail, or low bun during the day because I feel like I can’t give my clients my full attention if I have it down – I’m always messing around with it!
I’m really obsessed with hair care. One day a week, I put a hair day in my schedule and spend a whole evening doing treatments. Even if I have to fly, I’ll leave a mask on my hair on the plane! I have so many products, but the one treatment I can’t live without and have used for over ten years is the Kérastase ‘Masque Thérapiste’. It’s the most incredible mask ever. I like to mix it with a moisturizing mask because your hair needs a balance of both. Too much protein isn’t good for the hair, while too much moisture makes your hair static.
When it comes to shampoo, everyone is totally different – what works for me might not work for you. I’m currently using one from Philip Kingsley. Since I’ve been in Dubai, my hair has needed some extra care because the water here is quite harsh. When I finish with my products, I love exploring new things and new technology on the market.
If my hair’s feeling dry, I really love the Davines ‘Oi Milk’ and ‘Oi Oil’. I put some on the tips. It is so light, easily absorbed, and gives you that nice shine without your hair feeling greasy. I don’t like to color my hair too much, so I use the Color Wow ‘Root Cover Up’ if I feel like my roots are showing excessively.
I use hairspray when I go out, but I don’t spray it all over my hair – I spray it on my fingers and then run them into my fringe to keep it in place. If you spray it onto your scalp, it can aggravate it and you have to wash your hair more! I’m really into having a healthy scalp. Every two days, I use the Davines ‘Naturaltech Energizine Lotion’. If you have fine hair, anything that energizes the scalp and keeps it clean is for you! I put it around my hairline and massage it in because it circulates the blood and ensures hair grows better. I only advertise something I really believe in because I have to give my clients the right information, so they trust me.
You don’t need to spend too much money on styling products – what you need to invest in is hair care. I’m Greek, so when I was growing up, my grandma used to put olive oil on my hair. Nowadays, we’ve gotten so obsessed with all these different products that are just about sales and PR, so I think we need to go back to the basics. Look after your hair!
I try new things all the time, but once I find something I love, it’s hard not to use it forever. The Matrix volume booster, for example, as it’s so light – ideal for anyone with fine hair. If I have time, I like to let my hair air-dry a little bit and then I’ll blow-dry. It’s all about keeping it simple. You don’t need to use a million products – no one has the time or the money! I can walk out the house without makeup if my hair is nice, but if I’m having a bad hair day, I can’t.
I love Huda Kattan and Rihanna’s makeup style, but I don’t suit it, so I just have light eyes, dewy skin, and maybe a lip for the day. Day to day, I use the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Magic Foundation’ because it’s so light that it doesn’t suffocate my skin. I do so much during the day, so I start to feel a bit claustrophobic if my makeup feels too much on my skin. I then use a little bit of the Charlotte Tilbury powder to set my T-zone, the Fenty Beauty highlighter to get a bit of a glow, and then a Becca blusher because it does not move! I love the Becca primer, too. It’s amazing because my makeup doesn’t move by the end of the night!
I wear lipstick when I go out as I’m obsessed! The Louboutin ones are so good. They stay on and the packaging is amazing. And I love Huda’s lip kits, whereas those by Kylie Jenner were too drying for me. I use Givenchy lip liners, too.
I am guilty of checking my phone and social-media accounts when I wake up. I love social media – it is really important and has definitely helped me get international exposure. The proof is in the pudding; if you show that you do good work and people are happy, they come back! And people now contact me on social media to book in. I Snapchat everything – I’m on it 24/7! I use Instagram to explore the latest trends and get inspired as I’m such a visual person, but I don’t really follow celebrities – I prefer following models as I’m so into hair and skin. I follow lots of inspirational-quote accounts, too.
Every day, when you wake up, you have to set an intention. I know that if, at the end of the day, I’ve accomplished the goals that I set out for myself that morning, I feel great and motivated. If I don’t, I feel like I’ve let myself down. But it becomes easier, and it makes you more of an active and healthy person. Be happy, work hard, and you can achieve your dreams.
Nicky Lazou takes appointments at Pastels Salon, Jumeirah. To make a booking, call (+971) 4 388 3534/3397.