Beloved hairstylist John Barrett — who ran a salon with an impressive list of celebrity clientele including Princess Diana, Beyoncé, Katie Holmes, Martha Stewart and Reese Witherspoon — has died after a battle with cancer. He was 66.
“John lit up any room that he walked into with his charm, wit, and candor,” his salon team wrote in an emotional statement on Instagram on Wednesday. “His superhuman talent was his ability to make anyone who sat in his chair feel like the most beautiful person in the world.
His close friend and health proxy, Julianne Jaffe, confirmed that his cause of death was due to a battle with blood cancer, according to WWD.
Barrett’s salon employees expressed how the legendary artist truly embodied his favorite phrase he used to live by: “It’s not just about the hair, it’s about the care.”
“He cared with great passion for his beloved family, friends, salon and staff,” the statement read. “Now more than ever, we will come together as the JB Family that John so proudly created and care for, and continue working hard to make out clients from NYC and afar look and feel their best.
The salon’s statement concluded by sharing how much they will miss their founder.
“John – We will always miss you, love you, and we will carry on in your honor and memory,” the salon wrote. “Thank you for all you have done for us and the beauty industry.
“Rest in peace our dear friend.”
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Barrett, who ran his storied salon out of Bergdorf Goodman for two decades, is also responsible for cutting the coiffeurs of A-listers including Hillary Clinton, and Princess Diana.
The ever-so-modest hairstyling legend exclusively spoke with Page Six Style in April about working on the late Diana’s famous bouffant on more than a few occasions.
“I was so nervous,” he recalled of the pair’s first meeting at New York’s Carlyle Hotel. “I get to her suite, and immediately she’s sitting on the bed with my assistant looking at photographs of my assistant’s children. The chatting was easy,” he said.
Barrett said that it was “comfortable” between him and his royal client, but admitted he felt pressure because “if [he] did anything bad or wrong it would be visible to the whole world.”
The Princess of Wales died shortly after his last visit with her and Barrett reflected on her tragic life.
“I felt that she found happiness and comfort, and it’s such a sadness that it wasn’t destined to last.”
Barrett was born in Ireland but was raised in London. He moved to Los Angeles in the ‘80s where he befriended actresses and fashion editors and after a brief stint back in the U.K. he relocated to New York City where he opened his first salon in 1996.
After running shop at Bergdorf Goodman for 23 years and creating his signature “Bergdorf Blond” hair color, Barrett moved his salon down the street in 2019.