A Minute With: John Barrett

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A Minute With: John Barrett featured image

Among the well-heeled New York set, John Barrett is a legend–synonymous with simply the best hair and a trusted stylist to celebrities, editors and socialites alike. This year, Barrett is bringing his magical touch beyond the storied salon atop Bergdorf Goodman in the most exciting expansion plan in the brand’s history. We caught up with Barrett to learn what he has in store next and a few tricks of the trade.

NewBeauty: What are you most excited about for the John Barrett brand?

John Barrett:  My original location at Bergdorf is just a salon, but going forward for the John Barrett brand, I want my locations to have a full service spa (partnership with Tammy Fender), salon and shop–a bit of a one-stop luxury destination for women. Earlier this year, I opened in Palm Beach–we found a location that was so prime and perfect we just had to take it. We’re also looking at three new spaces in New York: the World Trade Center, West 56th Street and Bond St. We’re especially excited about our World Trade Center opening as we will be the first commercial business in there.

NB: Tell us a bit more about the shop you’ve curated within your salons.

JB:We want to have a very curated luxury offering of beautiful products, whether it’s a gorgeous candle or a $65k Hermes crocodile bag. The overarching theme is that they’re all favorites of mine. What I wanted to do was to create beauty so even when you’re sitting in the lobby, there’s something that captures your eye.

NB: Do you have a favorite brand or product?

JB: Tom Ford. We’re the only salon in the world that’s an authorized retailer of Tom Ford Beauty. I approached him and we had a great conversation. Since the inception of the John Barrett Salon, we’ve always been a leader in curating the best beauty products and when I saw Tom Ford Beauty, I know immediately they were products I absolutely wanted.

In terms of hair, I love Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil. It is very unusual to find an oil that’s so fine that you can put it in any kind of hair and protects, conditions and gives off a high shine.

NB: What’s the most inspiring thing about your job?

JB: The most inspiring part is the people –I’m exposed to so many different kinds of people from celebrities and world leaders to a group of young girls who came in from Massachusetts a few weeks ago to the Barrett Braid Bar. It was part of their spring break outing; it was great for me to talk to them because this tells me that my brand is much further reaching than I was aware.

NB: Any tips or tricks you’ve learned from clients through the years?

JB: I see a lot of fashion editors and they often push me in a direction that perhaps I haven’t already seen. A lot of times they bring in trends from the streets. For example, you might look down by NYU and see students–not fashion icons–and they’ll do something interesting with their hair that’s really inspiring.

NB: In all your years in the industry, what’s one discovery or ingredient you consider a game changer?

JB: Keratin. The ingredient really has changed how people can condition and care for their hair. It’s a protein that’s already naturally in your hair that helps coat and smooth your strands. It’s great for all types of hair. Looking for keratin in your hair products.


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