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)