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Everything You Need to Know About Summer Haircare, According to an Expert

John Barrett, the mastermind behind the “Bergdorf Blonde” (and inspiration for Plum Sykes’s novel), shares how to get “glossy and glowy” hair in the dead of summer.


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John Barrett has highlighted the tresses of New York’s elite—Hilary Clinton, Martha Stewart—and visiting Hollywood dignitaries—Reese Witherspoon, the Hilton sisters—alike for decades. The thing about Mr. Barrett’s work, you’ll find, is that he often takes the less-is-more approach (less maintenance and more natural) which, if you’re a regular salon-goer, you know is a godsend when it comes to hair care. Exclusively for Departures, Mr. Barrett shares his (low maintenance) trade secrets for getting your hair to be its best self—and not only for blonde, but every hair type.

For Beach Blondes

“Go Honey Bronde: A softer play on the beach blonde look, allowing natural golden undertones to pop through and take shine on sun-kissed skin without the damage of the pale beachy blonde. It can be worn wavy or sleek allowing a day-to-night low-maintenance look.”

For Natural Diffused Curls

“Add accented balayage highlights: this will allow curls to pop and show off their unique pattern adding depth to any curl pattern. Pair highlights with an Olaplex treatment to ensure elasticity and shine to hair.”

For Cool Blondes

“Opt for face-framing babylights to add character to the standard cool blonde hair without fear of over-processing the entire head. Going brighter around the face will allow you to have the look of all-over brightness without the commitment. Pair with an on-trend shag or long bob with waves. (Ditch the drying purple shampoo and opt for Shu Uemura cool blonde masque instead. It will give the in-salon-feeling and luxury of a gloss.)”

For Strawberry Blondes

“Incorporate golden copper lowlights. Add a Peachy-toned gloss at the end for olive or fair complexions.”

For Rich Brunettes or Shiny Black Hair

“Add brilliance to brunettes who have lost their luster from saltwater or vacations at the pool and are scared of commitment to highlights by opting for a semi-permanent hair color that will fade gracefully and allow the client to change up their look for fall. Brilliant Black hair is also on-trend—pair this look with a Milbon smooth treatment, sleek blow dry, and middle part.”

For the Bold Client

“Try Coral hair instead of pastel pinks and rose-golds. The golden undertone of coral enhances every eye color and is on-trend for 2019.”

Plus, Pro Tips!

Use sunscreen for hair and scalp before stepping out to the beach or pool. UV protection is important for hair as it is an extension of our skin and will help prevent oxidation and protective barrier from chlorine.

Vitamin C is also a great all-natural alternative to harsh shampoos that strip out green-tinged hair from chlorine and mineral build-up. Crush up some tablets or capsules into your shampoo and work into a lather focusing on the pieces that are green or orange. Leave on for five minutes and follow with a conditioning treatment. The added benefit of vitamin C is the antioxidants are great for hair and scalp, as well for hair growth and environmental abuse.

Pair any of these looks with a low sleek bun or ponytail, or with on-trend hair accessories such as stacked barrettes, vintage hair scarves, chunky headbands. Or opt for a wet look with a middle part ie: Kim Kardashian.

To get a consultation from the legend himself, visit Mr. Barrett at his exquisite new salon (formerly, the penthouse floor of Bergdorf Goodman for over two decades) on 57th Street: John Barrett Salon, 36 East 57th Street, Mezzanine, 646.231.2000


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