Salon Ruggeri is considered as best of Manhattan when it comes to a lot of prestigious magazines from New York Magazine to Times Out New York. Behind that success, there are Gregorio Ruggeri and Craig Longhurst, who worked together for 10 years and moved from Australia to New York seven years ago.
Gregorio Ruggeri and his crew create unique colors and models by working with their customers one by one, and Craig Longhurst redesigns the place with a true hair salon comfort with an eclectic spirit in every two or three months. We’ve met with the two, who just visited Istanbul a short time ago, and we’ve talked about what we wondered about hair care and new trends. Listen to them carefully, in fact, they’ll be visiting Istanbul more often, and with a private reservation system, they’ll extend their service to here as well.
Can you tell us about Salon Ruggeri?
Gregorio Ruggeri: Inside we do not have any assistance and we work with our customers one by one. Meaning from the beginning of the process to the end only one person takes care of you. Me or a person in my crew… I know people in Istanbul normally feel like more people they work with more luxurious the service is, however in New York the opposite is the case. Privacy is important.
Craig Longhurst: We’ve got a pretty small salon, and we change the interior design once in a couple of months. Anything you see from the chair to the chandeliers you see at the reception everything is for sale.
What inspired you while designing the place?
Craig Longhurst: We wished here to be a place, where people would socialize, talk with each other, get comfortable and get relaxed like a traditional salon rather than a hairdresser. When we moved to New York we thought about what kind of difference we would be creating and we thought of creating an eclectic spot like this one. Everything you see has a story behind. In time this difference has spread through word of mouth. We have businesswomen as our clients also house wives; there are ones that work at Macy’s or ones that save money for months…
Gregorio Ruggeri: We aim to have our customers feel like movie stars. That’s the essence of this work. Because experience is everything and nobody is less important than the other.
Craig Longhurst: We do not share our customers’ photos on social media because they do not define us; our work does. No architect gets acclaimed because they’ve built an apartment of a celebrity. After all, a person who coincidentally does a celebrity’s hair at a shooting or at another place claims that he is his hairdresser. I cannot count how many hairdressers Jennifer Aniston has!
What are the most up and coming hair trends in New York?
Gregorio Ruggeri: There is, in fact, a very complicated palette. For instance, there is a mermaid trend, which has color transitions that remind one of a rainbow. These colors are accompanied by large waves that reminisce waves at Victoria’s Secret shows. Balayage, which does not show itself much, and ombre hair with smooth transitions where colors get mixed is trendy. Perhaps it is a bit horrifying however 90’s cuts are returning too.
Craig Longhurst: And we get a lot of requests when it comes to blond hair that is almost white. We’ve done five of these models last week.
Isn’t blonde hair your signature style?
Gregorio Ruggeri: Accidentally yes. I know different hair types. I’ve done blonde for different ethnic groups while I was working in Australia and that way I’ve got experience in that. And then New York Magazine showed me among the best with the title of “Best Blonde Hair Designer”, and that’s how I got famous.
Craig Longhurst: I believe his signature is that consistency. Not only once, at all times he does it well.
What are the most common mistakes when it comes to hair care?
Gregorio Ruggeri: Apart from using wrong products, being misinformed and impatience, also changing hairdresser all the time. The key: consistency. A hair stylist can only do a good job, once he knows your hair. Kim Kardashian makes a transition from a dark color to light too however not instantaneously!
What if we’ve asked you most iconic hair models of all times?
Gregorio Ruggeri: First I will count two names that I had a chance to work with; Elle Macpherson, who is always perfect and Cate Blanchett. And from the past Grace Kelly, who was a “Hitchcock blonde”. Her hair is icy blond, however never gray… She is not a Marilyn Monroe type of blond. From her lipstick to her hair she is sophisticated in all ways.
What would be your best advice to women, when it comes to hair care?
Gregorio Ruggeri: To get it moisturized, and using the masks right for the hair type. What I’ve seen as the biggest mistake of Turkish women would be blow-drying the hair for twice or three times in a week. I call it “stretch and burn”. As we’re keeping our skin from the sun, it is also important to keep our hair from heat. And getting the right combination with the shampoo, hair cream, and other care products.
Craig Longhurst: You do invest in the hair designer… However, following that one should also pay attention to hair care.
What do you think about washing the hair? How often should one do it?
Gregorio Ruggeri: Washing it every day is certainly not good. According to me, the ideal is washing it once in three weeks. However now, there is an issue about dry shampoos. Using too much dry shampoo closes the pores and they stop the hair to get air and eventually become longer. For that reason keeping the dry shampoo away from pores and use it lightly after waiting for a couple of seconds. The best product I can offer is Klorane Dry Shampoo.
Craig Longhurst: Yes and in fact brands like Christophe Robin has hair skin scrubs, to keep the pores open.