Hairstylist Neil Grupp on the man who brought him to the big leagues.

Tara Lynn photographed by Cass Bird for, hair by Neil Grupp

I first met the hairstylist Duffy in November 2009, after his agent emailed me asking if I wanted to assist him on a Vogue story with photographer Patrick Demarchelier.

He was shooting a portrait of Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber to promote their Broadway play, ‘A View From the Bridge.’

At the time, I was working at the Warren Tricomi salon in Greenwich, Conn., cutting half an inch off clients’ hair and doing blow outs, but I wanted to be more creative.

I knew Duffy’s name from credits in [magazines], but I always thought he was a girl until I got to set and saw a guy with this long, red beard.

Hailey Baldwin photographed by Paul Maffi for L’Officiel Netherlands, April-May 2015, hair by Neil Grupp

I was nervous to work with him — to this day, it’s still a big deal — but, over time, he became my mentor.

I’ve since assisted Duffy on advertising and editorial jobs, in addition to almost ten seasons of runway shows. I’ve learned so much — like what makes a beautiful image, and how to act on set.

Working with hairstylists at that level is like going to an Ivy League beauty school.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Stylist Erica Pelosini meets the Vogue Japan editors who jump-started her career, makeup artist and designer, Daniel Martin & Sophie Theallet, swap war stories from their decades-long careers.

Patrick Demarchelier's portrait of Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber for American Vogue, February 2010, hair by Duffy with assistance from Neil Grupp