A block away from the New York Stock Exchange in the basement of a towering building, Italian barber Gian Antonio Pisterzi has a small shop. The location feels old-school — wood panels, leather, marble — but Pisterzi’s services are anything but stuffy. He specializes in haircuts, but also offers shaves, facials and manicures.
Before opening shop in New York, Pisterzi worked at the Dolce and Gabbana barber shop in Milan, and later served as the master barber for Acqua di Parma. Needless to say, he’s seen a lot of hair. Though Pisterzi’s hair care recommendations differ based on a person’s body chemistry and hair type, he universally endorses the hair mask, a long-overlooked product that helps keep hair healthy and hydrated — especially after the summer, when hair is exposed to harmful UV rays (yes, even hair gets sunburnt).
“It is really good to keep the pH balance of the scalp regular, and also to give a lot of moisture to the hair,” Pisterzi says. “If you have broken ends or dry hair, the mask helps to give the hair [its] life back.” The process for using one is relatively simple: Once a week, after shampooing and rinsing, apply the mask evenly to the hair concentrating on the ends. Leave the product in your hair for as little as three minutes, then rinse well.
Pisterzi favors a hair mask by Kiehl’s called the Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak ($25), which utilizes avocado oil and lemon fruit extract. “I love this mask because it’s really simple,” he says. “There aren’t too many ingredients in it. For me, the more natural it is, the better. Sometimes, also, I go with my grandmother’s suggestion of putting olive oil in your hair overnight. That helps a lot.”