Celebrity Hairstylist John Ruggiero Dishes on Swimsuit & Major Hair Tips

Celebrity Hairstylist John Ruggiero talks hair, swimsuit and more in an exclusive Q&A
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Since John has been unsuccessfully attempting banana bread (daily) I figured it would be a good time to ask him to do a Q&A. John is essentially The Godfather of hair at Swimsuit. He has helped create some of the most iconic moments at SI on models like Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid, Kate Upton, and Paulina Porizkova. His friendship and attention is also fought over by our editorial team (see hillrugs for proof). So he’s not just ridiculously talented, he's also... cool.

(Clarissa Bowers, John Ruggiero)

(Clarissa Bowers, John Ruggiero)

MZ: We all miss you! Very glad we got to be together in Turks and Caicos for the Swim Search shoot. How are you holding up through quarantine?

JR: I’ve mastered puzzles, Hulu, and watching paint dry…. Still to master banana bread though!

MZ: What are you doing to stay creative?

JR: I work in my yard a lot. I started doing those plastic model car kits that you do when you're 12-years-old (I’m so weird). Not gonna lie, I’m pretty freakin' good at it!

MZ: So proud of you. If you don’t mind me asking... how long have you been working with SI?

JR: On and off for about 16 years (yikes!)

MZ: Do you have a favorite shoot?

JR: My (three) favorite shoots were Switzerland, Bora Bora and hands down the best was Africa last year.

MZ: Dream shoot location? I’ll put in a good word with MJ.

JR: Japan (only because I’ve never been) or Croatia.

MZ: Craziest hair moment on set?

JR: Probably Irina surrounded by sharks and stingrays in Tahiti. I was terrified to go in to fix her hair. Possibly one of my favorite photos too.

MZ: Thank you for your bravery. Well, clearly we’re the most fun, but how would you compare working an SI shoot to other editorial shoots?

JR: There is no comparison. Seriously, this is the job that will define my career and the one I will always look so fondly upon. Not just because it's creative but for traveling and working with the people I consider family.

BONUS! How John gets the perfect beach waves:

  1. Go to the beach
  2. Dip head in the ocean
  3. Dry in the sun

You can find John on Instagram here. Everyone should go and thank him for his insider tips.