Tanya Pacht is a New York City based hair stylist and men’s groomer who has styled some of the biggest celebrities in the world, most notably Daniel Radcliffe AKA Harry Potter! She got a lucky break from a friend who worked at Columbia Records to do men’s grooming for one of her bands and the rest is history. She’s traveled the world on private jets, doing press junkets and tours with rock stars! Her jet set lifestyle hasn’t turned her into a Diva, though! She’s a hard working artist who’s passion for styling hair lands her gigs in magazines, advertisements and on the red carpet! Read about how Tanya got her start and her advice for emerging hair stylists who would like to also fly on private jets one day.
1. How old were you when you became obsessed with hair?
Some of my earliest memories are watching my mother do her hair and makeup, I was mesmerized! I absolutely loved going to the salon with her, the hairstylists were so glamorous, and I loved listening to them tell stories of their nights out at Studio 54. I was probably 7 when I started to bring my friends and cousins into the bathroom (my salon) to do their hair and makeup whether they wanted to or not, lol.
2. When did you decide, “okay, this is it, I’m going to be a professional hair stylist?” Who were some of your mentors or inspirations when you got started?
I was a student at FIT studying fashion design, but I was cutting and coloring all of my friend’s hair. I realized that I love clothing, but I didn’t have a passion for making clothes. I LOVED doing hair. I told my friend who happened to also be my hairstylist that I was thinking of going to school to become a hairstylist, and within 48 hours I was enrolled in cosmetology school at night and working with her during the day assisting David Crandall at the Stephen Knoll salon on Madison Ave in NYC. I was formerly trained in color by David, and watched/studied Stephen Knoll cut hair for hours on end.
3. What were the early days of your career like? Did you have to test a lot in the beginning to build your book?
My early days were spent assisting in the Stephen Knoll salon, drinking in all of the knowledge around me. One of my girlfriends was a model, and we would test with photographers that we knew so I could get my book started. I said yes to everything to build my book. I left Stephen Knoll after 3 years and I started doing hair downtown in the East Village at ULTRA Salon. One of my clients was a publicist at Columbia Records and she hired me for a men’s grooming job for one of her bands. That moment was the beginning of my men’s grooming career.
4. Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey as a hair stylist? Any decisions you made when you were younger that you would not make today, know what you have learned so far?
I am very fortunate that I get to work with such amazing and talented people. I really don’t have any regrets
5. How do you communicate with the photographer you’re working with on a shoot to achieve his or her goals?
Communication is key- we go over the mood boards together to make sure we are on the same page. It is important that the photographer’s vision become’s a reality!
6. What skills did you learn early on that you still use today?
Be kind to everyone on the set, we are all in this together! Never stop learning, education is key, this industry is always changing, keep testing and growing.
7. Tell us what a dream job is for you?
A dream job is when I get to work with a client that I love, and my friends are on set styling and shooting. We have so much fun together that it never feels like work!
8. What are the three tools in your hair styling kit that you can never, ever be without?
My hairdryer (I love my Dyson), Oribe dry texturizing spray, Prejume wax
9. What advice for a young hairstylist who is just starting out and wants to be where you are, at the top of the industry?
Leave your ego at the door! Assist as much as possible, it’s free education. Nothing is handed to you, work hard for it and it will come!
10. What is your favorite quote?
I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring. – David Bowie
To see more of Tanya’s work check out her site: http://www.tanyapacht.com/