Interview and photography by Florence Noble

Quality is all in the details for the founder of Ryder Salon.
Are you from Auckland?
I’m originally from the Waikato, but I’ve been in Auckland since ’84.
How do you get to Britomart?
I drive in. But I’m starting to experiment with other ways of getting to and from work. Like running. I’ve Lime scootered. And even take the bus or train sometimes.
What do you do here?
We provide the finest hairdressing services to the good people of Britomart and beyond.
How did that come about?
I think hairdressing sometimes attracts people who didn’t quite fit in at school, who can’t see themselves going to university. Maybe they did art, maybe they didn’t. I was one of those kids. And when I started in the 80s, hairdressing was a pretty hot thing to be doing. And there was the fashion aspect, which I really liked, because fashion changes. It was a pretty fun industry to be in, because there were a lot of very experimental things going on with hair. It was – put it this way – now when we do something, we think about the condition of the hair. Back then, you didn’t.
What’s the strangest hair cut someone has asked for?
At the end of the day, everyone’s got their own aesthetic sense, and their own definition of tasteful. I’ve literally done so much hair I couldn’t think of one particular thing. I know that there were a lot of mullets at one point and I grew to hate them. Now if someone asks me do a mullet, then I’m really into it.
There is a sense with Ryder that you’re not afraid of going against the norm.
I think for us, we want quality with everything. Quality of the environment, quality of service, of the experience, and our work is very crafted. Everybody’s pushed hard to up-skill themselves over their career. When you’re highly skilled, you can do almost anything and pull it off. You’re making good decisions from experience.
Where’s the best place to eat around here?
I’m not going to say Amano because it’s ridiculously popular. I’ll say Cafe Hanoi.
Where’s your favourite hidden Auckland City spot?
Cassia. But too many people know about that. I do like it there a lot. And the gins are amazing. How many places do you go to that have a gin menu?
What’s your idea of fun?
Being with good people.
Do you have any hobbies?
I run. I love music, cooking, gardening, a little bit of photography, hanging out with my kids.
What’s your favourite thing to spend money on?
Clothing and books.
I was admiring your clothing.
Thank you. I like quality. If you buy something quality, you’re more likely to keep it longer. I don’t like disposable culture. I’d rather have one thing that was really good, than 10 things that are purely functional.
If you could do any job in the world what would it be?
I would like to be on a team that resolves climate change. It’s the most pressing issue, really, isn’t it?