Behind The Hair - Sarah Potempa Blog
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Get the Look: Fishtail Half Up

Add a spin on the classic half up hairstyle with Fishtail braided strands, and beachwaves - simple, classy, yet unique. 
Before the braiding begins, grab your Beachwaver Pro to add those beachywaves.
Half Up Crown Braid:
Step 1: Grab a small portion of hair on the right side of your head and separate into two equal sections. 
Step 2: Pull a skinny strand from the left section, and cross that strand over to the section on the right. Then pull a skinny strand from the right section and cross that strand back over to the left section.
Step 3: Repeat, pulling strands from opposite sides, until your fishtail reaches the ends of your hair. Hold braid in place with a bobby pin while you braid the other side.
Step 4: Recreate the braid on the left side of your head with another small portion of hair.
Step 5: After both braids are completed, merge the two and finish with a regular three strand braid.



Get the Look: Fishtail Braid Bun

Fishtail braids are the perfect way to spruce up your everyday hairstyle. Don't let the intricate look intimidate you from trying it out for yourself! 

Classic fishtail braid:

1: Prep damp hair with a flexible mousse, like Aussie Sprunch and Leave-In Conditioner. Gather all your hair over to one side of your head, and separate your hair into two equal sections on that side.

2: Pull a skinny strand from the left section, and cross that strand over to the section on the right. Then pull a skinny strand from the right section and cross that strand back over to the left section.

3: Repeat, pulling strands from opposite sides, until your fishtail reach the ends of your hair. To create a fuller, messy style, lightly tug the braid, tugging pieces outward to loosen them. 

Fishtail bun:

1: Weave a classic fishtail at the nape of your neck.

2: Coil it into a bun, and pin in place with hairpins.

3: Spritz on light-hold hairspray.


Beachwaves and Bunnies

One of my best friends, Diana, has the most beautiful hair. Long, thick and shiny; her hair looks amazing in every style. However, as a typical college student she’s always pressed for time and it’s hard for her to find ways to style so much hair without it being painfully time consuming.

This last weekend the two of us decided to take a trip a few minutes out of State College to a local petting zoo! Before leaving, Diana was just gonna throw her hair up into a ponytail because she didn’t have the patience to straighten or curl it herself. I offered to Beachwave her hair and promised it wouldn’t take more than twenty minutes and she was thrilled with the results!

I sectioned her hair quickly with my Darby Hair Clips and was able to Beachwave her entire head, as promised, within twenty minutes. Her waves looked perfectly loose and chic and lasted through both the wind and crisp weather. We both physically couldn’t be more in love with this amazing styling tool!




POPSUGAR: #100HairDays

Love this article by  on Popsugar to cover my 100 hairdays challenge! See the full article:



100 Days of Beach Waves, Braids, and Rainbow Hair

You know the drill: your alarm goes off, you snooze, finally get out of bed, shower, and then head to your vanity where you think, "What the heck am I going to do with my hair today?" Wearing the same style over and over again (I know I rely on the low ponytail way too much) can be totally boring, especially during Halloween and holiday party season. When I saw celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa dominate the 100-day hair challenge on Instagram, I was totally inspired. Sarah is the genius behind the Beachwaver curling iron (my personal favorite — it spins on its own!), as well as a plethora of other handy tools, including a portable hair iron. She took on this challenge wholeheartedly sharing looks that included innovative braids, waves, bold colors, and retro influences. It's pretty epic.

"I have always loved braiding hair, painting, DIY art, and home-decorating projects," she told me. "I love the concept of 'hair as art' and find it to be such a moldable, creative medium. I drew inspiration from old Hollywood imagery, nature, and my celebrity clients. One of my favorite portions of the #100HairDays was creating different hairstyles from over the decades. A celebrity makeup artist and friend of mine, Gianpaolo, wanted to do my makeup, so we teamed up on creating some of the '20s-'60s looks, which was such a treat! Aside from the decades series, I also had fun creating the long pink fishtail braid and wearing funky colored wigs!"

One of the things she learned from doing this was that it's a real commitment. Even if it was 11 p.m., she made sure to post a new photo so as not to let her Instagram followers down. And would she do it again? Totally, she confirmed. "I know that hair can change the way you look, because I change the hair of my clients all the time, so it was interesting to see how you can be perceived differently when you change your hair," she explained. "My goal was to always be creative so that meant styling my hair in looks I've never thought of trying before, even if that meant stepping out of my hair comfort zone."

See the full article and pictures HERE



The best part of a sugar skull look, is that you can play around with what kind of colors you want to incorporate. We decided to use big purple flowers, a sequined mesh black flower and two Wrap Ups. Here what we did:

Step 1: Section your hair in half horizontally and create two side ponytails.

Step 2: Create a bun using the Wrap Up on the bottom ponytail.

Step 3 & Step 4: Create a bun using the Wrap Up on the top ponytail. 

Step 5: Add in the flowers in between both buns and all the way to the top of your head.


Get the look: Vintage Waves

Who doesn't love gorgeous vintage waves? You can channel your inner Veronica Lake too by using the Beachwaver® Pro to create a roller-set. It's also a great look for Fall!

Here's what you need:

Step 1: Create a deep side part.
Step 2: Divide hair into three sections: Left, Right and Back. 
Step 3: Select "R" on the Beachwaver® Pro.
Step 4: Select a 1-inch piece of hair, clamp the hair all the way and the bottom and hold "GO" to start the rotation. Be sure to keep the hair in the same spot on the barrel, as you want to create a tight curl.
Step 5: Release hair and clip the curl with a metal duckbill clip. Repeat this and continue to curl 1-inch sections. 
Step 6: Allow the curls to cool. Make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy while waiting!
Step 7: Remove clips, spray Aussie's Sprunch Spray onto your brush and brush the curls into shape.

Check out her amazing before and after hair! 



Get the Look: 1950s

Who doesn't like the classic Marilyn Monroe look!? It's one of my favorites!
What You Need: Step 1: Create a deep side part.
Step 2: Take a 1” section from top of hair, bang area, and curl under with the Beachwaver Pro.
Step 3: Roll up curl and pin to head with hair clip. Repeat this step.
Step 4: Work from the top of the head down. Make the sections toward the back of the head larger and the sections around the face tighter for a true vintage look.
Step 5: Let the curls cool completely.
Step 6: Take out all the metal clips and just let the curls fall but don't manipulate them.
Step 7: Carefully run your fingers through the curls to break them up.
Step 8: Take front bang section and brush hair together with On Set Styling Brush to form one big curl.
Step 9: Brush the rest of the hair out, and start creating and molding curls into waves.

My friend and celebrity makeup artist, Gianpaolo Ceciliato, had a great time re-creating this iconic makeup look.

Here's what he used:


Get the Look: 1940's

One of my favorite hairstyles, is the double reverse roll of the 1940s. I love that I can use both the Beachwaver Pro and Wrap Up to easily create it! Hair in the 1940s was always perfectly styled and voluminous. In this decade, women had very complicated hairstyles to make up for the fabric rationing that impacted dresses.

What you need:

  • The Beachwaver Pro
  • All Purpose Clips
  • Bobby pins
  • Two Wrap Ups or Half Ups
  • Flexible Hold Hairspray, like Aussie's Spruch Spray

Step 1: Use the Beachwaver Pro to create a roller-set on the bottom half of the hair. See tutorial here. Brush out and mold the curls with the On Set Styling Brush.

Step 2: Divide hair into two sections, half up/half down. Then create a middle part on the top section of the hair. Divide those two sections.

Step 3: Using he first Wrap Up, create a double reverse roll on one side by pinching the Wrap Up at the end of the hair and rolling in. Fasten in place with bobby pins. Repeat this on the other side of hair.

Step 4: Spray hair with flexible hold hairspray.

Makeup in the 1940's was drastically different than that of the makeup looks in the 20s and 30s. Makeup became fresh and sweet. Redder than red lipsticks and nails were all all the rage. Prominent arched eyebrows were also big.

Whenever you are going for a more natural look, focus on your skin. Start off with a tinted moisturizer that will give you coverage and moisture. For more of a natural flush and glow, use a cheek stain like the one by Tarte in Tipsy. Finish with a bright red lipstick with orange undertones. Use a small angled brush with your foundation or powder to clean up any areas to get the perfect lip.

The amazing Makeup Artist, Gianpaolo Ceciliato, did my makeup. Here's what he used:

  • Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska
  • Laura Geller Brow Pencil in Taupe
  • Tarte Lip stain in ‘Spirited’
  • Tarte Cheek stain in ‘Tipy’


get the look: 1930's

I love this 1930's look I did for my #100HairDays challenge! I love how the 1920's look became softer in the 1930's. Women rebelled in the 1920s by cutting their hair really short but in the 1930's they started to bring feminine hair back. Many of the 1930's hairstyles that became popular were introduced by movie stars such as Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo. While finger waves were still incorporated into the popular 1930's hairstyle, the waves more lush and not slicked onto the head. 

What You Need:

Step 1: Start with clean hair. It's best to blow it out before styling.

Step 2: Create a side part and then divide hair into 4 sections using Darby Clips.

Step 3: Curl your hair into tighter curls with the Beachwaver Pro. Make sure all curls are uniform in size. See tutorial on how to get a tighter curl with the Beachwaver Pro here.

Step 5: Let all the curls completely cool.

Step 4: Using the On Set Styling Brush, you want to gently start brushing out the curls until they mold together and create waves.

Step 5: Using the brush and your fingers, you want to mold the waves so that they have shape.

Step 6: If you have long hair, you can use the Wrap Up to create a faux bob! Tutorial here.

Step 7: Finish the style by spraying hair with a flexible hold hairspray for extra hold. 

In the 30s, the makeup look was much more refined than in the 1920s. Makeup companies like Max Factor and Elisabeth Arden were household names. The makeup style was all about eyes, especially big eyelashes, and dark lips.

Here's what Gianpaolo Ceciliato used to create my look:

  • Josie Maran Argan Infinity
  • Josie Maran Beautiful Eyeshadow quad – Dark Purple Shadow
  • Nars Lip Gloss in Rose Gitane
  • Lip Liner in Currant



any of the 1930s hairstyles that became very popular were introduced by the big movie stars of the day such as Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, J - See more at: