Want to know how to create the perfect waves? Sarah has the secrets!
Celebrity hairstylist and creator of the Beachwaver Sarah Potempa tells you why she created a tool especially built for crafting the perfect waves, what products you’ll always find in her kit and what it was like grooming the President of the United States and Cyndi Lauper!
When did you first realize there was a hole in the hair styling tool sector that you thought you could fill?
“As a celebrity hairstylist, I am often interviewed about the styles I create for the red carpet. I loved teaching how to re-create this look on yourself, but found that it didn’t translate well. As a stylist, I am standing above you so I am wrapping the hair downward and it is easy. When doing on yourself, I always would say ‘Hold the iron upside down and backwards…and wrap the hair away from your face on the left and away from your face on the right.’ This was difficult to explain and difficult to do, especially understanding which direction to curl. I knew there must be a better way. I sketched out an iron that you could hold upright and it would wrap the hair in the correct direction on both sides easily, which was the start to inventing the Beachwaver. I was excited about the idea that I could teach someone how to curl their hair the way I curl a celeb, but without all the complications. On the Beachwaver, the left and right button are based on the side you are curling and as long as you start with the clamp facing you, all you have to do is press GO and the iron curls for you! It is your own personal celebrity hairstylist!”
Are waves a frequently requested style?
“Absolutely! Waves is the number one request of all my celebrity clients. I am always asked to give them east, natural, soft waves. Celebrities want to look polished and cool and the 1″ curling iron is the tool that I use almost on every photo shoot or red carpet event. That’s also why I designed the Beachwaver to have a 1” barrel, the perfect size for soft waves! Waves are the perfect foundation for wearing your hair up (and having it look great!) so I tend to wait and see what a client is wearing and determine if the waves should be up or down! When I pull waves up, I love to throw in the ‘Wrap Up’ from my line which doesn’t require bobby pins and can create a faux bob, a low bun, or a trendy top knot!”
Can people with all hair types wear waves? Do they look better on certain people over others?
“Waves are universally a great style. They work best on hair that is naturally wavy or straight. It adds volume and movement to a dull shape. Women that already have gorgeous curls have to add the extra step of smoothing out their hair before waving, although waves tend to look incredible on thick, blown out hair!”
Can you share a story about one of the wackiest, most difficult, or most surreal hair styling experiences you’ve had?
“Beside styling Barack Obama for the cover of Vanity Fair or taking a helicopter to the top of a mountain in Alaska, I would have to say the time I transformed Cyndi Lauper‘s short hair into a long “Greek Goddess” for a photo shoot and listening to her sing “True Colors” a cappella…one of my favorite songs of all time!”
Where do you look to for styling inspiration? How do you come up with ideas for new looks?
“When coming up with new, fresh ideas I’ve always looked to nature for inspiration. I love the movement in the waves and the colors found in the trees of fall. For classic styling, I admire women through the ages — from old Hollywood glamour to victorian volume. When styling hair, it is important to understand someone’s personal style, their face shape, and what they are wearing. There is a lot that goes in to making a look work, but I enjoy collaborating with everyone to create something unique and beautiful.”