To Claude Baruk, an artistic canvas doesn’t just sit on an easel. It walks, talks, and plops down in his chair.

Sometimes it even has a quite famous last name.

The native of France, who specializes in hair artistry, was giving Steve Wynn a little trim years ago in St. Tropez…only the master hair guru didn’t exactly know what a Steve Wynn was.

Case in point: “Mr. Wynn asked me, ‘What do you know about Las Vegas?’ I said, ‘Well, Bellagio, Mirage, ‘Oceans Eleven.’’ I asked why and he said, ‘I’m Steve Wynn.’ I ended up cutting and coloring hair for Mr. and Mrs. Wynn for many years. One day, we started to have a business conversation and he asked me to come here with my family.”

Baruk – whose celeb clients have included Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman and Karl Lagerfeld and is a L’Oreal Professional ID Artist– now helms the Claude Baruk Salon at the Wynn where he’s making revolutionary strides when it comes to his own new technique involving hair extensions.

“First of all, my way of working is I never touch hair if it’s going to cause any damage,” Baruk said. “The sad thing is for many years, I keep seeing disasters when it came to almost every client doing hair extensions where the new hair was literally glued into the existing hair. This was not good when you think about it. You have glue stuck in existing hair causing breakage. To fuse that glue, you need to heat the hair until both the glue and hair are melting.” Disaster! 

“So, I made my own technique,” he said. “I use 100 percent keratin and 100 percent natural hair to have the best quality for The Fusion,” he said. “The keratin is fused to the hair, which does no damage. It’s safe and works with any hair color or type.”

“It’s revolutionary,” said Baruk “because with the keratin I can place any of piece of hair into an area precisely. It gives us amazing results with no damage.”

He added that extensions aren’t just for those who want to swing a major mane around. “Extensions are very popular now to just give thickness and volume to the hair. Some people want longer hair, but they have naturally thin hair. Adding extensions is a great strategy to thicken your hair.

“Many of my clients say, ‘My hair is too thin, so I can’t do that style.’ But if you put in extensions in a healthy and safe way then you will have the thickness to have any cut you want.”

Lasting three to four months “depending on your lifestyle,” Baruk said that he can match any color from a multi-toned, balayage blonde color to the deepest browns. “We can correct shades and give hair dimension,” he said.

Baruk has been dealing with Vegas ‘dos for the last five years after moving here with his family to work as the managing director of Wynn and Encore salons.

Born in Avignon in the South of France, he graduated from hairdressing school at 19 and worked around the world earning a top reputation. He said the move to Vegas was surprisingly easy. “I’m very grateful to work with a big corporation and have the Wynn supporting me,” he said of his work life. “Also, the lifestyle in Vegas is great. My kids really enjoy living here.”

But can he find decent  French food in the desert….and what does he miss the most from his days in Paris? He laughed. “The culinary skills here are so high that I have no problem finding a great pastry and I’m crazy for a French pastry.”

As for the future of hair in 2018, he said that trends materialize quickly. “Something can come up from nowhere,” he said. “You’ll have a star or an influencer on social media with a new cut and it starts a big trend.” Baruk said that he is constantly going through worldwide magazines and keeping up on social media with the latest and greatest in the world of all things beautiful. “As an artist, you must live in the moment and be ready.”

Yes, he will pinpoint some follicle fumbles. “It’s a hard question to say who is doing a great job. I know who is doing a bad job. For instance, I don’t like pure platinum hair because on most people it’s just too much, plus every ten days max you have growth and it will look washed out.

“I do love bangs, which are one of my signatures. Very sexy,” he said. “I love a natural blonde with beachy waves or ombre with just the right highlights. You just don’t want to look like your natural look has taken hours in front of a mirror.”