Gregorio Ruggeri of Salon Ruggeri is an award-winning and widely respected hairdresser who is known not just for his impeccable cuts and color, but for caring for the scalp and the integrity of the hair from a holistic point of view that prioritizes long-term health.
“I want to care for the hair beyond the time someone spends in my chair,” says Ruggeri. He is attuned to treating varying textures of hair and pays careful attention to his clients’ lifestyles when considering their cut and their color (80 percent of his clients come to him for both). It is not uncommon for Ruggeri to advise on everything from how diet, stress, and fitness routines contribute to the health of the hair, and how seemingly small but hugely helpful details like what linens and pillowcases to sleep on will maintain its quality over time.
When Ruggeri and his partner, interior designer Craig Longhurst, opened the first Salon Ruggeri in New York in 2010, they sought to create a stylized respite from urban life, and a place where personalized service is offered in an intimate gallery-like setting.
Since then, he has won “Best Blonde” in New York’s “Best Of New York” issue, and the salon has been named on “Best Of” lists in Allure and Time Out New York. He has also been featured in countless print and digital publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, W, Vanity Fair, Beauty, Inc., as well as in the story “The Place Where It Girls Go For Perfect Hair,” in Refinery29.
The native Australian began working with hair at the age of 13, assisting his mother in her own salon. By 15, he was apprenticing a top stylist at an upscale salon in Sydney’s chic Paddington neighborhood. Within a few years, he was working full-time as both hairstylist and makeup artist, in salons and for Australia-based runway shows and ad campaigns for fashion houses like Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. After he and Longhurst spent five years running a bustling salon in a Victorian townhouse in Sydney, they decided to make the leap to New York. “As Sinatra said, ‘If you can make it there, you make it anywhere.’”
Ruggeri credits his enduring passion to a constant desire to learn (he is currently completing a master’s degree in hair color, and continuing to study trichology, the medical treatment of the hair and scalp.), and grow along with his clients. He has seen many of them through life’s biggest moments, and it is his connection and commitment to them that makes his work fulfilling. “The famous hairdresser Kenneth had this quote and I’ll never forget it. He said, ‘What I do is just a shampoo away from being nothing.’ Anyone can do this, but it’s how you do it that makes the difference. And I really enjoy doing it.”