Beauty Bay

We Spoke With The Genius Behind Sachajuan

By Grace Day, 5th October 2017

Sachajuan might have been born in bricks and mortar, the brainchild of two seasoned and globally-renowned hairstylists, but it earned its stars online, where its chic, minimal packaging is right at home on Scandi-inspired bloggers’ slick, marble-backed flatlays. I sat down with Sacha Mitic, one half of the brains behind the brand, to discuss his creative vision and inspirations, the brand’s product development process, and his top tips for haircare and styling.

On his hairdressing beginnings:

“It all began when I was 14. I wasn’t going around dreaming about it so it was a bit of an accident. I was having my hair cut in a really cool salon by a really beautiful girl and I wanted to talk to her. I asked her what it was like to be a hairdresser and she asked me if I wanted to try. To be polite I said “Oh yeah that would be fun” but I didn’t think anything would come of it. I ended up working there, sweeping floors at first, then cutting hair – but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I really decided to pursue it. I was drawn to the creativity and the opportunity to meet diverse types of people. That’s one of the great things about hairdressing. And it’s been my life for 40 years almost.”

On how he broke into the industry:

“It took time, it took a lot of time. I trained in Gothenburg but then I decided to move to Stockholm to pursue more editorial hairdressing. I started to do more and more editorial and then after a while I decided to move to New York. It all developed step-wise, I was just trying to do things with quality every time and connect with people doing the same thing – that gives you the right base to make your choices. It’s all about being persistent in what you do.”

On the evolution of hairstyling:

“In 1978 when I started there weren’t many products to help you manipulate hair – what you did at that time was perm hair to get texture. But then there was the evolution towards hair and haircare and attitude towards hair that came in the Eighties and that’s when products started to develop and people started to use tools to do things with hair.”

On why Sachajuan was launched as a brand:

“Working as a hairdresser, products are part of your toolkit so it was quite a natural step for us. I wanted to create a line that would simplify – at the time product was very complicated in its communication, so we wanted to take it back to basics and do something that was reachable and understandable for the consumer.”

On the Sachajuan ethos:

“There’s no single Sachajuan style – we look at hair like a fibre or material that is then styled or a shaped in a way that suits it. When we create products it’s about being able to add shine or volume or bounce without the feeling of having a hair product in. For us it’s very important to balance it so the final look doesn’t look fake, and that hair looks like hair and reflects and strengthens the personality.”

On the Sachajuan product development process:

“Experience is key – it comes from being connected with many different kinds of people in different situations – you take in people’s ideas and you mix that into your own ideas. Also, you learn from your failures. For example I’d be on set and the worst thing would be having hair product that went sticky. When you’re on set you don’t have time to wash hair again. Rather than having one product that immediately takes hair to an extreme, for us it’s very much about creating products that can be layered to create texture, and that give flexibility and movement, and never get sticky. That’s why people appreciate Sachajuan products, they’re supportive and constructive, unlike products where you use a lot and then suddenly can’t do anything. That’s how we think when we develop products. If it’s hard for a hairdresser in a salon situation to use then it’s going to be even harder for a consumer.”

On why Sachajuan’s hero product, Ocean Mist, is so good:

“People ask me what the secret is about Ocean Mist, but it’s just the balance of the ingredients – they create the perfect combination of softness and movement and resistance. I always say it’s like wine, there are the same ingredients in every wine but it’s all about how you balance each element.“

On how he splits his time between salon clients, brand work, and editorial jobs:

“I’ve been gradually decreasing my editorial work and I travel quite a lot representing Sachajuan. But I’m still in the salon, it’s really important to me to see clients – it helps me to understand the current needs and trends and changes.”

On the one product he’d advise everyone to buy, regardless of hair type:

“I would say the Leave-In Conditioner. It’s a very light conditioner that is helpful both for very thick hair and very thin hair, and the great thing about it is it gives a little bit of texture as well. It really helps you to not be harsh on your hair when you’re brushing it, and it gives shine and really detangles the hair. Plus, the effects aren’t just immediate, they last for days.”