SARAH POTEMPA

SARAH POTEMPA

BEACH, PLEASE!

Hairstylist Sarah Potempa remembers the moment she found commerce through art.

Daria Werbowy photographed by Cass Bird for Dossier No. 5, hair by Sarah Potempa

Growing up, all I wanted was to make art with hair.

I loved practicing on my sisters, dressing them up as Marilyn Monroe, and using all the lamps in our house to set up photo shoots. As an undergraduate at New York University, I worked at a salon in Soho, and then went on to assist hairstylists like Danilo, Recine, and Ward.

I was really into fashion, but because of my personality and energy — I’m from the Midwest — my then agent saw my potential to be a great celebrity hairstylist.

It was a difficult transition because I was so set on being an artist, but I started working with cool celebrities, like Cyndi Lauper, and ended up getting a contract with Procter & Gamble.

Potempa’s red carpet work on celebrity clients, clockwise from top left: Jaime King, Evan Rachel Wood, Elizabeth Olsen, Olivia Wilde

I always wanted to do something business-related with hair, and while consulting with beauty editors for P&G, it clicked:

What I loved even more than working with a celebrity for a red carpet event was telling real women how to recreate those looks.

After explaining how to get beachy waves to an editor for the thousandth time, I sketched out the idea for the Beachwaver — the automatically rotating curling iron that has totally changed my life.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Alison Lou’s Alison Chemla designs her very first piece of jewelry, makeup artist Kristin Hilton takes The Thick Questionnaire.

Bethany Mota photographed by Nyra Lang for Yahoo Style, hair by Sarah Potempa