Famed Hairstylist John Barrett on His Career, Hair Trends, and New York City

Updated: Jan 13

By Elise Ehrlich, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson


Hairstylist John Barrett

John Barrett is a hair pioneer. A longtime leader in luxury hair care and one of the originators of the full-service salon, he helmed the John Barrett Salon for over 20 years. He has worked with everyone from Princess Diana to Hillary Clinton and Beyoncé.


I have known John for almost two decades, trusting my own hair to him and his talented team. We work in two very different industries, but at the heart of both of our businesses is the desire to make sure our clients are happy and pampered.


I recently sat down with John at his salon to discuss the highlights of his career, his thoughts on hair trends, and more.


John Barrett NYC hairstylist interview

What do you love most about what you do?


I love nurturing people’s beauty, making people feel confident, and meeting some of the most interesting people in the world.


What are today’s hairstyling trends for women?


The best trend for women is bringing their personality forward and emphasizing their individual style. We don’t follow trends; we create trends.


What’s the best hair product for women?


Kérastase L’Huile Légère and Moroccan Gold Series Truffle Serum.


Which celebrities have the best hair?


Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, and Tony Ward.


Is there anyone you credit with helping you reach your heights of success?


I will always be indebted to Dawn Mello (former fashion director and president of Bergdorf Goodman) for setting me on my way.


Tell me the best hairstyling story of your career.

Elise Ehrlich and John Barrett interview

Once while doing Isabella Rossellini’s hair, I dropped and smashed a mirror. Freaking out, she ordered me to gather the debris, accompany her to the Hudson River, and drop the pieces to stop the curse. I’ve been blessed since. I love you, Isabella!


What’s your favorite neighborhood in Manhattan?


The East Village is one of the most vivid neighborhoods in Manhattan. I love the East Village because it reflects what people expect from NYC: a multicultural brew of incredible individualities, where young people are always one step ahead of time. They constantly inspire my work and outlook.


What are your favorite dinner spots in the city?


Le Coucou and Oiji.


Why do you choose to live where you live?


New York is the greatest city in the world. Why live anywhere else?


Elise Ehrlich is a Licensed NY Real Estate Salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens. You can see her current listings and connect with her here.

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