Born biracial during the tumult of the Civil Rights era in Seattle, Dickey experienced first hand the divisiveness and prejudice that skin color inspired in American culture. After a stint in a San Francisco cosmetology school, he soon recognized disturbing parallels between skin color and hair texture. Dickey longed to have a positive influence on the largely monochromatic fashion images being published in magazines in the late eighties, so he moved to New York City to pursue editorial work. Over the years his bold and imaginative styles have been featured in numerous publications, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Essence, Glamour, Vibe and Harper's Bazaar.
In Manhattan, Dickey also cut his teeth at world-class salons like Oribe, John Frieda and Louis Licari — and soon established himself as the go-to stylist for women with “unmanageable” textures. As he became familiar with multi-textural hair, he realized the limitations of the marketplace and questioned why beauty couldn’t be inclusive! There are a zillion hair textures, but in the beauty aisles there was one row for black hair, one row for white hair and absolutely nothing for the spectrum in between (and one size definitely did not fit all!). Soon he began to think of ways to merge the aisles and the cultural landscape of beauty.
Prompted by the mystery surrounding how to care for textured hair, Dickey authored “Hair Rules! The Ultimate Hair Care Guide for Women with Kinky, Curly, or Wavy Hair” (Random House, 2003). The book immediately became the catalyst for an industry-wide redefinition of haircare and styling standards, so that they address the needs of a multi-textural world. Now in its third printing, “Hair Rules!” has recently been endorsed by Los Angeles’ esteemed Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and has become a staple in its’ curriculum.