What is your background and when did you know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
I have always been interested in fashion and beauty. Early in my career, I represented France at the WorldSkills competition in Montreal, Canada, where I received a silver medal. That was a platform for me to go to St. Tropez and Courchevel in 2000. Soon, I was freelancing in some of the top fashion cities, including New York City, London, St. Martin and Geneva.
I went on to establish luxury hair salons in St. Tropez and Courchevel, where one of my regular clients became Steve Wynn, who presented me with the opportunity to open salons in Las Vegas.
What sets your salon apart?
Claude BARUK Salons at Wynn and Encore
• Address: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas
• Phone: 702-776-3900
• Website: claudebaruk.com
• Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
• Owned/operated by: Claude Baruk
• In business since: 2013
I developed a five-step hairstyle that is used by all of the stylists at my salons. The first step: We consult with a client and only move forward when we know exactly what the client wants. The biggest complaint anyone makes about their stylist is that they cut off too much length. If we are in agreement from the start, we always have happy clients.
We also approach every style with a single premise, that beautiful hair begins with healthy hair.
In France, we were always setting trends, not following them. I bring that background to Claude Baruk Salons, many times reimagining classic styles.
What are some past hair trends you’d like to come back, or a current trend you’d like to go away?
For women, the classic Hollywood styles are always fun to bring back, as are ornate hair accessories. For men, we’ve been reimagining classic cuts from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. The styles were dapper — sophisticated but edgy, like the flip.
A current trend I’d like to go away is the Kim Kardashian platinum blonde.
What is your business philosophy?
Through much of my career, I have been self-taught, so I have built my success in learning from my mistakes. I also believe in making people happy, from the artists working with me to my clients. It brings me so much happiness to have a happy client; to make someone feel beautiful is the most rewarding part of my career.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?
I’ve been lucky to receive advice from two business icons: my client Tony Robbins and my employer, Steve Wynn. Robbins told me, “People overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in 10 or 20 years.” Wynn has said, “Only people can make people happy.”
What is the best part about doing business in Las Vegas?
There are so many things. One, it is a fun, high-energy and stylish city. People come to Las Vegas to dress up and have an unforgettable night, and we get to be a part of that experience. The nightlife in Las Vegas is unmatched, and we’ve become a popular salon for DJs like David Guetta, Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall of the Chainsmokers, Alesso and Kygo. We’ve had beauty icons in the salon, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell.