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Beauty Alert! Q & A With Celebrity Hair Guru Sally Hershberger

Anokhi DIY Fashion & Beauty Features Interviews Reviews Tips & Tricks Trends Jun 02, 2013

From creating Meg Ryan's "Sally Shag" to working on Hilary Clinton's Vogue cover; this in-demand hair artist shares with us her secrets in creating the perfect tresses.

When it comes to hairstyling, Sally Hershberger is a pro with amazing impact and business acumen. Hershberger's exclusive salons are based in L.A. and New York, where she is high in demand by directors, photographers, models and celebrities alike.

Famous heads of hair she's cut, wash and dryed? Everyone from Julia Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Mayer, Cindy Crawford and Hilary Clinton. Now that's impressive. At $800 per cut, you'd have to be an A-lister to get your hair done by Hershberger.

But after I got the chance to sit down with Celebrity Hairstylist Sally Hershberger and stylist Mike Viggue of the Hershberger team for a quick chat I learned her work is worth every penny.

A.D.: How did you begin your career in hairstyling? What was it that sparked you about wanting to go into hair?

S.H.: I didn't. I didn't want to do hair at all, my mom kept saying that you have to get a job or go back to school, and a friend of mine said, "You should do hair, you could work for this famous hairdresser" because I was always into my own hair. And then Horitz right away. Then I was on tour with Olivia Newton John, my career took off by the time I was 20 and Horitz was like, "Do you want to do the cover of Vogue?" and I was like "Alright." That was kind of the beginning. And then I just got into it.

A.D. So it's really just being at the right place at the right time?

Sally styling a client's hair

S.H.: Yeah, the thing that is so great about doing hair is that there are so many different areas you can do. You can work on hair, you can work on hair in a salon, you can work on hair on photo shoots, you can work on hair on movies, you can work on product, and you can work on press. It's got such a huge spectrum.

A.D.: You are known for creating Meg Ryan's haircut the "Sally Shag", every artist always has something that sticks out for them that they want to be known for. What is that personally for you?

S.H.: Obviously I am known for the Meg thing. Here is a perfect example. I worked in fashion for so many years and almost styled hair for every major movie star and I was known for a lot of their hair, not just Meg, but Meg had that signature look. That took me out of the fashion hair world and into a whole other world, in many ways it's great and in many ways it wasn't because (as a hairdresser) you get type casted. I definitely love cutting layered hair and long hair, which is somewhat of a shag.

For me a defining moment, highlight of my career was doing Hilary Clinton's hair on the cover of Vogue. I got to change her look, so I would say that was my biggest moment in hair. And working with John Freida for 10 years and creating the Chevron line and making a ton of money.

I have so many defining moments throughout my career. Working with legends like Barbara Streisand, Fate Donway, Rachel Welch, the President Bush. I've pretty much worked with everyone, that's a defining moment in itself, being able to work with everyone. And having my salons be a success. It's all successful I feel really good about it all.

Mike Viggue – And with the Meg Ryan thing, there are only a few hairdressers to have come up with something that.

S.H.: Yes, Vidal Sassoon, Chris McMillan with Jennifer Aniston and me. I think that's pretty much it in terms of hairdressers that are known for hair looks.

A.D.: It's amazing what you have done as a hairdresser.

S.H.: I feel like I have changed the industry in many ways by charging more than anyone else. ($600 per haircut that is). And hairdressers were first like, "Oh God…"

A.D.: Laughs.
S.H. But now they all do. And also just breaking the rules and definitely adding a lot more money into the industry. In the movie industry I would charge so much they would put me down as a producer because they couldn't validate paying a hairdresser for that much, but it made it better for all the other hairdressers. It paved the way and turned this industry into a much bigger thing. Now straight men are joining this industry because there is a lot of money to be made. John Freida, he's straight, sold his company for half a billion dollars. We make more than doctors, some of us.

Sally Hershberger and the styling team at the Murale TIFF 2011 lounge this past September

A.D.: Now to your hair care brand what made you decide that you wanted to do it?

S.H. I have always wanted to do it. Then I met John Freida and I did it for him. And they took care of me very well and then when they sold their company I went on my own. They were getting ready to make a line for me and then they sold the company. So I have been doing it for years, I designed it for him first, but I feel like I have been doing it for a while.

A.D.: ANOKHI Magazine is a magazine for a South Asian woman, usually South Asian hair, it's a little thicker, coarser and heavier and it's prone to frizz…

S.H.: It's a lot of fine hair and it's a lot of hair. Yours isn't coarse, I already know you don't have coarse hair. You have super soft and a lot of fine hair. I bet your hair hurts when people brush it.

A.D.: Actually yes. That is a common problem a lot of South Asian women can't get rid of, the frizz…

S.H. You need to use our Keratin Spray; it's called Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray. We are the first company to come out with it.

M.V.: Also don't be afraid of the oil because it doesn't get greasy. We are not oil fans by any means, I can use it on dry and wet hair and it really takes out the frizz without making your hair greasy. If you start putting on too many lift sprays and all that stuff because you are trying to combat it from being too heavy, then it can also go the other way as well, it can be too greasy and weighed down. It's not about over thinking the hair, because your hair is naturally shiny, you just want something to coat it. Your hair will do whatever you want it to do; it will hold a curl or straighten it. Unless we are doing some kind of editorial I wouldn't do that much to your hair to get it to that dry consistency.

A.D.: How long have you worked with Sally?

M.V.: Started with her 5 years ago as her assistant and started doing hair and been around ever since. It's good training, we have done a lot of fashion shows, Orlando, Freida, work with Guido, so we get to do those things. Editorial. It's a lot of different experiences. You get all kinds of avenues.

A.D.: What are some trends for winter hair to keep an eye out for?

S.H.: Grunge hair and short hair again. What about colour any news on that?

M.V.: Everyone is coming in and they want the darker root and bleached out bottom and they will add like a pink to it.

S.H.: Like Kate Bosworth, she has an apricot root and the ends are white and the blue ends, but that's a trend for models and not us older ladies. You know what I mean; older ladies don't want to look like that. That's more modelly, I always love all of that, and to be honest that is way more my thing than pretty hair. I like more grunge.

A.D.: Its fun too!

S.H.: In my hey-day, that was what I am into. My real hair is very edgy, more punk, rock. Much more along the music end of things.


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