When it comes to getting glamorous hair many of the world's celebs turn to Sarah Potempa, a bicoastal hairstylist whose clientele includes: Lea Michele, Emily Blunt, Ana de Armas, Busy Philipps and Millie Bobby Brown. Editorially, her work has graced shoots for Vogue, Paper, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and W. In addition, she has been the hair partner for a number of Fashion Week shows as well as Victoria's Secret shows. She is the Creator and CEO of the best-selling Beachwaver Co. curling iron and styling tools.
We took some time to chat with this hair visionary to find out about how she came up with this successful line, upcoming launches and her participation as a partner in the World Surf League as the title sponsor of the first ever Beachwaver Maui Pro.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about the a-ha moment that took place for you to create The Beachwaver Co.
SARAH POTEMPA: My “aha” moment came when I was on the phone with a beauty editor describing how to get gorgeous, red carpet worthy waves at home. I explained to the editor, as I had done many times on tv segments, how-to videos, and beauty articles, how you had to hold the curling iron upside down and wrap the hair backwards. She said it was too confusing to write "upside down and backwards" and sounded difficult to do on your own hair. So when we hung up, I sat down and drew out the idea to have an iron that could be held upright, allowing you to curl both sides of your hair seamlessly with the push of a button. I saw a need for a curling iron that all women could use on themselves; one that would give incredible results without a hairdresser.
The Beachwaver is a rotating curling iron that you hold upright. It rotates in both directions and you control it with the touch of a button! All you have to do is clamp the hair, tap the arrow away from the face, hold the barrel for 3-4 seconds and release straight down for a perfect wave. It also has 350 custom parts and 3 computer boards, which control features like the digital temperature setting, dual rotation, and heat up and rotation speed allowing for more customized use.
AM: With the holidays coming up, what are items from your line that we should make sure we’re gifting to others or snagging for ourselves?
SP: We recently launched our Beachwaver S Series in a Dual Voltage model; this is a perfect holiday gift as it has the same user-friendly functions but is compatible internationally so it can travel with you anywhere! Its ceramic, rotating barrel provides easy, quality waves in minutes! The new launches from our new Beachwaver Co. Collection are must-haves as well – Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray to create a protective barrier while heatstyling and Second Chance Dry Shampoo to revive your hair and restore fullness. The holidays are a busy time so all these products combined will make sure your hair can withstand 2nd or even 3rd day hair, and make touch-ups super easy and quick.
AM: Tell us about your sponsorship of the World Surf’s League Maui Women’s Pro Championship – how did it come about, what will you be doing in this partnership and how synergistic is this with your brand?
SP: The Beachwaver Co. is thrilled to be partnered with the WSL as title sponsor of the first-ever Beachwaver Maui Pro. This partnership extends beyond a shared love of beautiful beaches and perfect waves. We are proud to partner with such strong athletes and role models and I am so excited to work with these incredible women, with equally incredible stories, who are inspirations to people around the world, and who inspire us, too. Our brand shares so many of the same philosophies as the WSL, between innovation, women’s empowerment, inspiration, and especially the fact that they just announced equal pay for all athletes – so amazing! We are the brand known for creating gorgeous beachy waves so it just made sense to partner up with the WSL and these phenomenal athletes and bring our fans and audience along to Maui as we chase the perfect wave together!
AM: With the holidays coming up, we all love doing something fun with our hair. What would you suggest as an easy quick do and let us know the tools of the trade that we need to get to do it.
SP: I love this Double Half-Up with Braids and Beachwaves using the Beachwaver and these super cute accessories we just launched. This is a really fun and festive look to try for the holidays!
Step 1. Prep the hair using The Beachwaver Co. Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray. Section off the top half of your hair and divide into two equal parts. Pull each section into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic.
Step 2. Using The Beachwaver Co. Half Up, create two topknots by pulling each ponytail through the Half Up and slide it towards the ends. Roll the Half-Up down towards the base and bend each side under. Create two 3-strand braids under each topknot and secure the ends with an elastic. Take two of The Beachwaver Co. Velvet Bows and clip directly underneath each topknot.
Step 3. Curl using The Beachwaver S1.25, rotating the hair away from the face and finish with The Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray for additional lightweight hold.
AM: Are there new products that you are releasing next year that we should keep an eye out for?
SP: Yes! Creating innovation in product development is a huge passion for us as a brand. With the success of the patented Beachwaver® Tools, our fans were constantly asking for products to pair with their Beachwaver or Coast Pro styling iron! As a women owned company, we wanted to create a vegan, cruelty-free line that was free of negative energy and we have spent over 2 years creating innovative formulas with strengthening benefits, as well as styling. The Beachwaver Co. Collection products are free of parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, mineral oil, benzophenone, and phthalates, and that’s something my sisters and I are so proud of. We worked closely together on this for years and felt that we had a responsibility to future generations to create products that are not only good for humans, but also for the environment. Great Barrier Heat Protectant Hairspray and Second Chance Dry Shampoo are available now on Beachwaver.com and more will be launching in early 2019 so keep your eyes peeled on Instagram @sarahpotempa and @thebeachwaver!
AM: How are you spending the holiday this year?
SP: With my family!
AM: How do you take time for yourself to ensure that you have appropriate downtime?
SP: One of my favorite ways to unwind in my downtime is with Green tea, a piece of dark chocolate, listening to the Avett Brothers on our record player and sitting by the fire! I also have two kids and a huge 125 lb. Alaskan Malamute puppy!! On our days off, we love to go to the dog park, cook brunch, and go on a bike ride through the forest preserve by our house! To really unwind and relax, I go to hot yoga with my sister and get a good iced coffee cold brew after!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We had the chance to talk to Australian 6X world surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore briefly about her win. Since her entry into women's professional surfing in 2007, she has dominated the scene by winning her first world title as a rookie, then 3 consecutive world titles (no other surfer in men's or women's) can claim this accolade! In addition to her 6 ASP World Titles, she has 24 Elite World Tour victories as well!
What does it mean to take this title at the Beachwaver Maui Pro and what is the state of women's surfing now?
STEPHANIE GILMORE: This season has been incredible and to win my 7th WSL Title in Honolua Bay at the Beachwaver Maui Pro was so special. Women's surfing has never been in a better place - the level on the tour just keeps going up and up, the recent prize money equality announcement was groundbreaking and the amazing support of brands like Beachwaver is so important. I can't wait for 2019!
PHOTOS COURTESY | BEACHWAVER + WSL