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With over 30 years in the beauty industry, it’s no secret Xavier Cruz has established himself as one of the best in the business.

The New York City native’s career began at the age of 14. A three-year apprenticeship at Airplay on Staten Island led him to trade school where he received his license by age 17. After nine years honing his craft while traveling the country for Revlon, he opened The Xavier Cruz Salon in 1997. The sophisticated salon developed a reputation for chic, trendsetting work, and was one of the first businesses that helped revitalize Chelsea’s now-thriving 9th Avenue.

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Xavier can give a mean head of highlights, but here are some of his career highlights:

  • His work has appeared in high-profile fashion magazines including GQ, Elle, Vogue, Men's Fitness, Oyster and Stuff.

  • Designed the "Coop" haircut popularized by Anderson Cooper in the '90s, and styled an army of Eminem lookalikes for the MTV Video Music Awards.

  • Made it big on Broadway, styling for hit shows including Hairspray, The Boy from Oz, The Vagina Monologues and Metamorphoses.

  • Created hairstyles for designer Trish Wescoat Pound's models for Fashion Week, leading to appearances on Time Out New York and InStyle magazine.

  • After opening The Xac Anthony Salon & Spa in 2004, Cruz was the celebrity guest stylist for Nickelodeon's Go Healthy Challenge, and the salon was a location for the feature film Violet Tendencies.


Today he’s proving to be a true innovator, single handedly evolving the industry. Cruz broke new ground in the beauty field when he opened Barba Men's Grooming Boutique - the first in the nation to offer scalp micropigmentation (SMP), the fastest growing and least invasive answer to baldness. He’s not sure what the future holds, but you can be sure he’ll be there, trimming scissors in hand with the smile everyone who knows him has come to love.