Grande Maison


A New Era for Mischa G: Early Influences, Hair Futurisms and the Great Work of Believing in Oneself.

In this new era of Mischa being forty, if I wasn’t yellow, what would I be?” It’s on this open-ended question that we conclude our transatlantic tête-à-tête with sought-after hairstylist and sub pop culture icon Mischa G. Afternoon sun glazes her New York condo and signature yellow locks as she muses: “Back to my natural dirty blonde? A Britney-shaves-her-head meltdown with brown hair and light blonde highlights?” Then, after a brief pause: “I wouldn’t be Mischa.” An interview about roots, risk-taking, and the great work of believing in oneself amidst life’s surprises.

The four decades that have sculpted Mischa G’s unique approach to hairstyling are nothing short of fascinating. From early cinematic muses to rebellious teenage ventures and moving out of her parents’ home in Buffalo, NY at the tender age of fifteen, Mischa’s capricious path continues to defy convention. She draws beauty inspiration from the grotesque: Hollywood’s golden age allure, drag queens, and clowns—a legacy from her clown school-trained grandfather. Rather than trailing trends, Mischa G’s work is kindled by individuality and those with their own distinct styles.

As she reflects on turning forty, Mischa shares her evolving belief in herself and the transformative shifts in her career and personal life. After rejecting the confines of a potential future in medicine, her pivot towards hair artistry became a cornerstone of who Mischa G is today. In the midst of the global pandemic in 2020, she opened her own salon, Treehouse Social Club—another testament to how Mischa’s fearless dedication to self-expression is a driving force behind her creative success. Amidst these tales of audacity, Farrah Fawcett’s famous feathered coif makes an appearance, epitomizing Mischa’s mantra that “you need the right haircut to make a style work.” In her upcoming masterclass The Farrah with Grande Maison and as an educator, Mischa G encourages others to unleash their vision in hairstyling. She emphasizes that mastering the art is more than just technique: It’s an infusion of confidence, empathy and collaboration into every creation.

GM Who was the first artist to influence you?
MG I used to watch a lot of Marilyn Monroe movies with my aunt and grandma. And also John Waters movies when those started coming out, let’s say mid 90s. So I was 10 or 11 watching raunchy John Waters movies. A little bit of highbrow and a little bit of lowbrow!

GM What else did you do for fun as a teen?
MG Listen to Marilyn Manson and Korn and tattoo myself with needles and pen ink. My mom still tells the story of my bedroom in high school. I had one entire wall that I painted fairies on, and I stapled pictures everywhere. You know those little round see-through bingo coins? I glued those all over my ceiling fan and light. I dyed my hair in the basement and sewed my own clothes, like skirts with matching little head scarves. I legally divorced my parents when I was 15 and moved out. My mom said the people who came to redo my room had never seen anything like it. It took forever for the workers to pull all the staples out of the wall!

GM Do you believe in the American Dream?
MG Maybe back in the 50s and 60s, the American dream still existed. But now... More of the American Nightmare, I would say.

GM Do you believe in yourself?
MG I believe in myself because a lot of things have happened really amazingly in my life, and with minimal effort from my part. Good things often just keep happening, easily and wonderfully, all sparkles in my eyes. But right now in my life—I just turned 40 and these past two years things have gotten a bit harder. I feel like I have to believe in myself, force myself to allow these things to happen.

GM How do you do that, force yourself into believing in yourself?
MG I’m working on it (laughs). It’s not just turning 40, but the past few years there’s been this big shift in my career, and my personal and social life. I opened a salon right after COVID, then the next year got a divorce from my ex wife, moved into a new apartment by myself… My body doesn’t move the way it used to. It’s like a big reality check. So I’m working on finding a new way to believe in myself, instead of expecting things to just happen easily. I have to push myself more.

GM It’s also an opportunity, perhaps, to take agency.
MG Oh yeah! To do fucking awesome things. The whole getting older, body hurting in this job—it’s just a big ‘Okay, time to get serious.’ Or more serious—I’m not a serious person.

GM One of your early ambitions was to become a vet. In college, you were a biology major going pre-med, then switched to art history and French before secretly dropping out to start hair school in your final year.
What sparked that switch from university to the art of hairdressing?
MG I started beauty school above an Applebee’s chain restaurant in a strip mall in the suburbs. It wasn’t a great school; I did little perm rod sets on little old ladies all day long, combed their hair up to a bubble. It was a financial decision and also about freedom. I didn’t want to be bound by pharmaceutical companies. In the States doctors make more money based on what kind of drugs they prescribe to their clients. That seems like the opposite of what a doctor should be. I was like: ‘This is stupid. I want to make people feel better. And I want to get hand tattoos.’

GM Your first tattoo?
MG I’m a Cancer so the 69 infinity symbol was my first tattoo. My first ‘real’ tattoo I got with a fake ID. The name on the ID was Vicki Love—V love. It’s on my shoulder, a person meditating. I have never meditated. Ever. (laughs)

GM And your latest?
MG When I opened my salon, my friend bought me a tattoo gun. My former assistant Clover gave me a heart on her second interview. She had never tattooed before and I said, ‘Oh, you want to work here? Tattoo me.’

GM Where do you get your ideas for hairstyles these days?
MG The youth and the women over 70 in New York. There’s this page on Instagram called Advanced Style. The clothing and hair and makeup—it’s just so cool. The guy who created it, Ari Cohen, was obsessed with his grandmother and he would photograph his beautiful uptown grandmother all the time. He eventually started photographing older men and women all across the country. Iris Apfel is one of them. When you’re young or over 70 you don’t give a fuck about anything. You do what you want to do.

GM The hottest styles you’ve spotted on the New York streets recently?
MG If I had to pick a few, I would say the chelsea mullet: little bangs and really long extensions in the back. And super strict bobs, I want those to come back! The shag is still everywhere. I have a lot of gals that I give a big curly 70s style disco shag.

GM Besides the strict bob, any upcoming trends you’d be excited to see more of?
MG Shorter pixies and pixie styles for women. And for men I want more of the 90s heartthrob, slit-in-the-middle Leonardo DiCaprio-style hair.

GM Speaking of trends—do you think hairstyling will ever get obsolete with robots like the 1980s flowbee machine, today’s hairdressing drones or new developments in AI?
MG Hairdressing drones?! At Target they have a machine that paints your nails. That
seems terrifying, to have this laser machine in charge of your hand. I couldn’t imagine having a machine in charge of my head. I don’t think it’ll become obsolete, unless people just stop producing hair and everyone wears wig helmets.

GM So what is the next level of hairstyling?
MG It’s all cyclical. I feel like the next level is going back to people ‘dressing’ their hair, versus a quick air-dried look. I’ve been using rollers more in the salon. A few of my clients even bring in older pictures of women with dressed hair. There’s ‘doing’ hair and then there’s ‘dressing’ it—like doing a full Farrah or Marilyn Monroe, or styling it in an updo that holds for a while.

GM What’s the difference between doing and dressing?
MG It’s about the process: all the finishing touches to create a beautiful shape like in the 50s, 60s and 70s, that’s hair ‘dressing’. Versus in the 80s and 90s (mimics the sound of hairspray), that’s ‘doing’ your hair. Dressing means making it more of an art and placing things exactly where you want them.

GM Your upcoming masterclass The Farrah is all about dressing. What techniques or tools do you think Farrah wil be using in the 2030s to achieve her desired look?
MG There’s that viral video of a girl blow drying her hair with a round brush, all forward, and then the hair goes into the perfect, almost Farrah look, just by shaking it. I feel like there’d be a tool that would just do it all in once, something that would make it even easier.

GM Would that be dressing or doing?
MG A little bit of both, because you’re dressing it in the beginning… I’m gonna think about that one!

GM What can participants of your class look forward to?
MG Different approaches to doing hair and looking at things a little bit differently. How to free-think on your own, given what you’ve watched me do. The way I teach is: you’re only as strong as everyone else in the room. So bringing on community and how to teach and learn from people in the day to day versus competing with them.

GM What are you looking forward to?
MG I haven’t been back to Europe since right before everything shut down, so I’m looking forward to being out of the United States. And teaching a class in Berlin on my own, because last time I taught with Sabrina Michals, who was actually my teacher. Building my confidence back up! Always before I teach or before I do an interview, I’m a wreck. But then, once I start doing it, it’s fine. I’m looking forward to kicking myself in the ass and getting inspired by the people I’m teaching and what I’m seeing.

GM Do you ever get impostor syndrome?
MG 100 to 110%. Especially at a certain level of your career and as an educator, if you say you don’t have impostor syndrome, I just think that’s bullshit. There’s a modesty and humbleness that comes through in your teaching when you have a mild form of imposter syndrome. Some people can get too much like the straight male hairdressers of the 90s: ‘I’m the best. Look at me!’ I think it’s cheesy.

GM Mad Max or Barbie?
MG Those are so very different. What era of Barbie? Haven’t finished the movie, but just from that I’m gonna say Mad Max.

GM The world’s greatest living artist?
MG Off the top of my head, an artist I really enjoy right now is a hairdresser: Charlie Le Mindu.

GM The Farrah: Mess or perfection?
MG Perfect mess!

Written by Mirthe van Popering