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Birchbox Hair Crush: Stylist Sarah Potempa


Few things get us as excited as an amazing hair day (it’s the simple things in life, right?). If there’s anyone who knows how to take a blah-day to absolutely stellar, it’s stylist Sarah Potempa.

After working with stars like Michelle Williams and Lea Michele, and creating her own line of strand-saving tools (a QVC regular), it’s clear that there are few who can better handle a stubborn mane quite like she can. But don’t take our word for it—read on to find out more about one of our fave Hollywood mane mavens, and hear about the amazing tool she developed to get you the perfect beachy waves.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved styling hair. When I first moved to New York City, I began assisting some incredibly talented artists like Recine and Danilo in their editorial campaigns before being signed by The Wall Group. I love my job because everyday is different. One day I will be working with celebrity clients such as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or Jake Gyllenhaal and the next I’ll be creating editorial hair on the beach. In addition to styling hair, I have also been a spokesperson for Aussie hair products for 5 years. 

Then a few years ago, I started my own company SARAHPOTEMPA, Inc and in January 2012 we launched our tools on QVC.

2. When did you start as a stylist?

When I was 15 years old, I began working at a small salon in Chicago.

3. Why did you develop the beachwaver?

As celebrity stylist, I was constantly asked by clients, friends, and beauty editors how to get the “beachy” wave. I tried to teach them how to use a curling iron by holding it backwards and upside down, but it was always really difficult for them to get the look at home. I thought, there must be a better way! So, after referring to some original sketches I made to help women do their own hair, my sister and I began a three-year research and development process that would eventually lead to the creation of the Beachwaver.

4. Who should buy the Beachwaver?

The Beachwaver works best for women with shoulder length or longer hair who want glamorous curls or fresh beachy tresses.

5. How do you use it and what makes it different from other curling irons?

The Beachwaver is a rotating curling iron with a ceramic rod, digital temperature clock and an extra-long barrel. It also has a right and left button that you press according to which side of your head you’re working on. In one-inch sections, place your hair in the clamp and press “Go.” The hair will wrap around the iron and you simply release to get a perfect beach wave. That’s it!

What makes it unique is its motor, three computer boards, and customizable full-length internal heaters that have a fast recovery time. So it not only drastically reduces your styling time, but it also does all the work for you. There is no strain on your wrist and you always get a gorgeous, wavy look in minutes.

6. Current celeb hair crush?

Emma Stone

7. Favorite hair product?

Aussie Mousse + Leave-In Conditioner and Rodine by Recine luxury hair oil

8. What’s your dream for the brand?

To connect with real women and empower them to feel beautiful! My favorite moments have been when a girl tells me “the beachwaver has changed my life” and that “I can finally curl my own hair and don’t need to pay to get it styled for me!”  I believe that all women can have fabulous, red carpet worthy hair!  

Can’t get enough Sarah Potempa? Us either. Here’s how we’re creating the perfect sock bun with her line.


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