Guy Laurent Winterstein | 3000 SECONDS OF BREAKING RULES With John Barrett’s #HairGuru GLW
Guy Laurent Winterstein loves breaking rules: those kinds of rules that keep a woman vulnerable to trends and societal ideas of style trying to impose what and who she should be or project. His idea of creating beauty is emphasizing the existing inner qualities of a woman and bringing her personality to life in an effortless way:
“My hairstyle looks like she did it herself but it’s impossible she did it herself. As much as I love extremes and creating contrasts I much more prefer spontaneous, organic creations.”
Guy is definitely one a kind: an effervescent personality with a silhouette reminiscent of a punk-rock artist and oh! that charming French accent! He and I met on a gorgeous day at the end of November when I entered the elegant John Barrett Salon with breathtaking views mirroring Madison and Park Avenue at the launch of the revolutionary haircare line Truffle Collection by Moroccan Gold Series. As soon as I was seated in his chair he started giving quick directions to his assistant and expertly layered the new Truffle serum on my very long hair. He loved it! Without extensions, my hair easily reaches my waistline, the perfect playground for Guy who immediately suggested we try two hairstyles. What followed is what you call an experience merging high-class hair salon appointment and a professional fashion shoot.
The first style he chose was a bohemian country girl, a complicated braided style sort of intentionally imperfect. My black leather clothes didn’t suggest such and I was puzzled: Why choose this style? “I wanted to create a contrast, he said. You are sophisticated and worldly with an edgy sense of fashion but there’s something inside of you that speaks volumes about your candor and innocent demeanor.” Little did he know that indeed I grew up on a farm in a small village in Romania! This is the magic of Guy: he senses things, he pays attention and loves people enough to unveil the hidden traits of their personality. I didn’t even have the chance to gasp for air and the second style was already in the works. He literally deconstructed my existing hairstyle in less than five minutes and a new style emerged. He was braiding and twisting so fast while talking quickly and keeping a very upbeat attitude. And Voilà! The Matrix Girl emerged: my sleek complicated ponytail suggested I was ready to enter Elon Musk’s SpaceX Dragon and take it to Space in style.
Both hairstyles took literally 3000 seconds. Yes, I have a penchant for seconds and I counted. Smile! But how did it all start? Who is this unpretentious, fun artist who makes effortless beauty so chic?
“I am from the South of France and grew up in a family of gypsies. I have twelve sisters. Being the only boy, they dressed me like a doll all day long. I was spoiled beyond measure.”
Somehow at the age of thirteen, he decided he would become a chef because he loved cooking. But the idea was short-lived as the grueling restaurant hours were no longer appealing. He started working in a hair salon for a change of pace.
“The aha-moment that changed my life came in 1988 when I saw Cindy Crawford in a magazine: a black and white photo of the supermodel wearing a swimsuit on a beach photographed by the incomparable Peter Lindberg.”
Guy was mesmerized by her hair and make-up and thought: what am I doing in the South of France? I packed for Paris. Right there I realized the possibilities. Work experiences in Barcelona and Tokyo followed, and when he turned nineteen he moved to New York. Under the mentorship of legendary Bruno Pittini who trained everyone from Frédéric Fekkai to John Barrett, he learned the fundamentals. When Bruno passed away Guy joined Bumble & Bumble.
“From Bruno, I learned the classic and nostalgic technic but the Brits are rawer and less romantic. They taught me to deconstruct my initial conservative technique. It’s like going from playing the violin at the opera to playing guitar with Sex Pistols…”
What Inspires Guy’s work? “Mistakes inspire me. Each morning I wake up and I start over like I don’t know anything. I’m thinking: oh my God!! I don’t know how to do this. I never reach perfection. The hunt is exciting. The day I feel I know enough I may retire and go sailing around the world.”
But until then he confesses to enjoying every second of life with the enthusiasm of a child who just discovered the world. Guy thinks that every day is a chance to start all over again with greater hopes, new loves, and desires to surpass ourselves and re-learn the world and who we are, and perfect our craft in an effortless way.