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Mane Master: An Interview with Sascha Breuer

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12 . 15 . 14
Justine Marjan

Justine Marjan

Editor at Mane Addicts
As Editorial Director of Mane Addicts, Justine was enlisted as one of two to create the site in Jen Atkin's vision from the very beginning. A hairstylist for over 10 years, she loves all things beauty and fashion. She enjoys traveling the globe, long flights sans internet, and a good sheet mask.
Justine Marjan

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Sascha Breuer is one of the most charismatic, kind, and inspiring hairdresser’s you will meet. A true professional, his work shows precision, skill, and expertise. Working as a session and red carpet stylist, he has styled the likes of Jessica Biel, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Cameron Diaz, Olivia Wilde, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, and Shailene Woodley [to name a few]. His styles are architectural, soft, wearable, and inspired. His editorial work has appeared in Harper’s Basaar, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. A colorist, educator, and stylist, we particularly admire the way he has worked on all aspects of the industry, making him versatile and visionary. He allowed us to dive deep into the depths of his mind and poke his brain for all the gritty details of his career and how to make it in the hair industry. Take a look at out exclusive interview below.

How did you get your start in the industry?

My parents had a salon in Germany, that was actually founded by my Grandparents, so I was literally born into the business. My parents first met and fell in love at our salon when my Mother came to work there as a junior and I was born shortly after they got married. Sometimes when your parents influence you with something, you have a love/hate relationship with it. You aren’t sure if it’s something you actually love. So as a teenager, I had  to figure it out. I spent a long time as a junior hairdresser: training, washing, blowdrying, and sweeping up hair. I got to a point where I was so bored in the salon, that I started working weekends at the Wella academy in Dusseldorf. I started teaching and realized that’s what I really loved doing. When I was 19 I moved to Stuttgart to start working at the Toni and Guy Academy headquarters

What was your ‘big break’?

My first lucky break was about 15 years ago, working with Naomi Campbell. I was assisting someone who all of a sudden wasn’t available for her, then there I was, doing her hair. It was very surreal and a very interesting time.

I stayed in London for 15 years, then started working globally and internationally. I got a job with Wella as an ambassador, consulted on the brand, then started working in between NY and London. I did that for 4 years, then I moved to LA where I’ve been for the past year and a half.

By now, I’ve pretty much done everything from basic salon work, to education, working with new stylists, working on stage, color, etc. I experiment a lot. That’s what I love about this job so much is that no two days are ever the same.

What piece of advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?

If I could’ve turned back time, I would have told myself, “jump on the plane and go to New York now!” I would have done that a lot earlier than I did. I think a lot of what one fears is the unknown, and once you do it, you realize it wasn’t actually as scary as it seemed. I mean, of course it’s difficult (this is the third time I have literally packed up my bags and started from scratch), but it’s also super exciting.

If I had to sum it down to one quick sentence, “Just do it, don’t even think about it, just go for it!”

 

What advice would you give to new stylists or stylists who aspire to be where you are today?

Always try something new. Don’t get stuck in your own little world. Hair is an amazing canvas and there is so much you can do with it. Find your own inspiration. Reach out to stylists you admire and start assisting.

Being a hairdresser, you really have to love it, otherwise you’ll screw up the hair. It’s a bit like a being a chef. If you don’t love food, it won’t taste good, and people can really tell.

 

Did you have any mentors or people who helped guide you along the way?

My mom is the first that comes to mind. She was a great teacher and is probably the fastest person to roll a perm ever! I learned a lot from her, particularly in the sense that she owned a small salon that never really went anywhere. That’s part of the reason I left Germany and have never really stayed in salons.

Another mentor I had was at Wella, a woman named Ulli who really changed everything for me. I went through a moment when I was young where I almost quit doing hair, but she really made me fall in love with it again, and it was just by watching her. She showed me how to cut hair when I was still an assistant. She really inspired me to train others as well, because I had so much fun training under her.

Also people like Eugene Soulieman, Guido Palau, Sam Villa, and Vidal Sassoon.

Eugene is just a genius with styling. I can’t even explain it, but he comes up with the most amazing and crazy ideas that turn out so beautiful. He is also just an awesome guy who is so cool. That’s what I really love about him. There is a lot of ego in this industry. So many people take themselves too seriously. There are a lot of fresh faces out there, particularly in the past couple years, with the help of social media, who just aren’t willing to do the work to get there and who really feel like they are already the next big thing.

People like Eugene and most of the really great stylists out there have worked really hard to get where they are and I think that is really important and key in this industry.

What inspires you/ what is your hair and beauty philosophy?

I just love making a woman feel beautiful. I feel as a stylist, we just add an element to the total look and the feel of a person. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to not take away from the person wearing the hair. Always pay attention to the person you are working on and leave some of their personal style to show through. A little bit of imperfection allows the hair to feel lived in, like it has a story.

Thank you so much Sascha for your interview and don’t forget to follow him on Instagram for more #manespiration!

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