Mischa G. was never destined to be the Golden Girl. From a young age, she rejected the glass-ceiling of Buffalo, NY, in favour of a brighter, more inventive future in the Big Apple. Her father didn’t want her doing styling, so she went to hair-school behind his back. Her teachers criticised her. She fought her corner every time. While her colleagues made easy-bucks on MidWest supercuts, she was perfecting with razor work and Bouffant styling. With a background in clowning, a love of drag culture and the occasionally short temper, Mischa G. had her sights set higher. Destination: the centre of the sun.
It was a journey fit for the bold and the brave; just one look at Mischa G. - with that statement yellow hair and dedication to dress-up - will tell you that she is just that. But it wasn’t just bravery that got Mischa G. to where she is today. After winging it a little to secure a spot at New York City’s famous Bumble and bumble. salon, she found out she’d need her wits about her if she was going to cut it in the big leagues. “Back then, Bumble and bumble. would hire you purely on personality and drive. But I soon realised I’d need technical perfection to make it out of the apprenticeship stages. I was a terrible student, because I would always argue with my teachers. My imposter syndrome didn’t kick in until I was on the floor and shooting. Suddenly I was alone up there, the lights were on me. In many ways, it was like clowning again.” After ten years with Bumble and bumble. today Mischa G. finds herself once more in the spotlight, with the liberation of a freelance career ahead of her, and a nearly 20k Instagram followers wondering what she’ll do next. The tension was killing us, so we decided to just ask her...
GM First up Mischa G. Your profession?
MG I’m a hairdresser and an educator.
GMWhich year were you born?
GM Where did you grow up?
MG Buffalo, New York.
GM Who gave you your name? Does it have any particular or special meaning?
MG Mischa? A little of me mixed with a little bit of the Polish side of my family. It sounds similar to my “real” name, and it’s a term of endearment.
GM What’s your favourite style of music?
MG It varies on the daily, from Bette Midler and Dolly Parton, to nasty rap. From Grimes, to garage rock, or hardcore punk from my high school days.
GM Do you create parallel realities? Imaginary places which give balance to the real world?
MG Well, I used to joke that I lived in a tsunami of delusions until I realised I could make all those delusions into my reality.
GM What’s your favourite number?
MG I guess the number three. I’m one of three sisters and I have three animals. And I like to arrange my things in threes. I have no idea why!
GM What is your earliest childhood memory?
MG I remember playing with this tiny bean-bag type doll named Ballerina Bean. She wore a pink tutu and had a cute ponytail and bangs. I still have her actually.
GM What would you like to achieve in life?
MG I would like to find my place in the hair world and use my platform to make a difference in my families lives and the lives of others. Then I’d like to semi-retire in a place where I can have all the animals I want.
GM What is your favorite hairstyle?
MG I will always be a sucker for a snatched ponytail extension, and a beautifully textured beehive.
GM Does life imitate art or does art imitate art?
MG Both! It’s a chicken and egg debate
GM Why did you become a hairdresser?
MG I’d always wanted to do hair but I took a roundabout way getting there. It’s just the coolest job. You can look how you want, dress how you want, tattoo dumb stuff all over your arms, travel anywhere and have a skill-set that can transcend languages, all the while you’re making people feel good about themselves.
GM Where did you start your career?
MG Buffalo. I dropped out of college in my last year, and went to hair school (behind my father’s back!). After graduating hair school I started working in a local salon, it was there that I met one of my “mentors”: Maggie Ryan, from Bumble and bumble.
GM When you were starting out, did you have any hair-heroes/- heroines that you particularly looked up to?
MG I’ve always admired everything Bumble and bumble. had done before the buy-out. From Laurent to Rolando, Ward to James Pecis. They were the cool kids.
GM You took a leap of faith when you moved out of Buffalo for a career in New York City. Tell us about how that decision came about. Where do you think you would be today if you hadn’t made the jump?
MG I was looking back at my year book the other day. Even then people were writing “See you in New York.” I was always talking about going there. Honestly, I would probably be a complete mess if I hadn’t. See, I was a bit of a wild child. What a shocker, right? But I was told by one of my “mentors”, Maggie Ryan of Bumble and bumble. - who worked part-time in the same salon as me in Buffalo - that if I didn’t get out of my hometown, I would never make it out of my 20s. The career ceiling was only low and I would’ve had nowhere to put all of my energy once I hit it. Everybody in Buffalo was cutting classic Midwest hair, and I was influenced by drag culture, wanting to do inventive styling, like bouffants!
So I drove over to New York City, went into Bumble and bumble. looking for a job. They hired me on the spot - I actually lied and said I already lived in New York City, otherwise there was no way they’d consider me. I had one week to pack all of my stuff up and move my life, belongings and two cats to New York City. I arrived on Monday, started work on Tuesday.
GM You were taught by Sabrina Michals at Bumble and bumble. Were you a good student? A teacher’s pet or a rebellious soul?
MG I was taught styling by Sabrina the same amount that many others at Bumble and bumble. were. I was taught cutting by many others too. And I was an awful student! I took everything personally and I would challenge all my educators’ feedback. I just did whatever I wanted and I think I threw a few hissy fits. What’s that saying? “Good girls rarely make history.”