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Sarah Adams

Vision, pride and determination are Sarah Adams’ mantras when it comes to her hairdressing career. A salon owner, gifted artist and avid eco-preneur—she commutes as often as possible by cargo bike, even using it to get to her session styling gigs—Adams also enjoys sharing her knowledge about the men’s grooming market with her peers. “While educating stylists and creating collection imagery are some of my favorite things about this job, I would love to add guys like David Beckham, George Clooney or Macklemore to my editorial portfolios,” Adams says. “Call me, guys!” ✂ —Kelley Donahue

photography: Rose City Photography (RUNWAY); Mark Daniel Muzzy (HEADSHOT)


What inspires you?
Nature—mountains, clouds, crystals— often serves as the inspiration for my structural designs. 

I dreamed about being a stage performer and even won some awards, but by the time I got to the college level, I realized that music wasn’t going to afford much security. During my time in the spotlight, I fell in love with the hair created backstage, so I changed course and went to beauty school. My parents weren’t thrilled, but now they’re my biggest fans.

I attended Phagans School of Hair Design in Portland, OR, then studied at the American Crew Menswork Academy in Denver and eventually became a Crew educator and member of the All-Star team.

Today’s men’s hair looks rank high on my list, as do The Beatles’ bowl cuts from the ’60s.

American Crew Light Hold Styling Gel and my Mason Pearson brush.

American Crew artists Craig Hanson, for his creativity; Paul Wilson, for his humility and brilliant design; and Theri DeJoode, for her rock-solid road maps to great men’s styling.

One of my biggest challenges thus far was serving as makeup and hair style director at FashioNxt, a four-day runway event featuring 26 designers. I ran a team of 28-plus stylists. It was a lot of pressure, but I pulled it off.

This past February, Carmen Dell’Orefice—the world’s oldest working model—grabbed my arm backstage at the Dennis Basso show during New York Fashion Week and said, “You have a wisdom in your eyes, you want something, so try—and try and try. Never stop making your life your own ideal.” Wow!

Owning 77 Salon in Portland, OR—I’m incredibly proud of my team and my shop.

I love collaborating with photographers and designers to create editorials and hope to soon be designing hair and makeup for major ad campaigns and runway shows. 

Publisher Issues: 

About the Author

Kelley Donahue

As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.