Having joined Glasshouse in 2016, Mia Waldern is the salon’s resident LA girl and has become an irreplaceable part of our team. As she steps into the role of Creative Director, Mia will be bringing her impeccable style, makeup artistry and cutting expertise not only to the salon floor, but to our Journal editorials too. We paid a visit to her East London flat to find out more about her home life and her journey into the world of organic and natural beauty.
Tell us a little about your upbringing in San Francisco and California.
I grew up in a small town just outside of San Francisco in the West Coast sunshine. I’m one of five siblings and so family life was always important, we spent most of our time together outside amongst nature and with animals.
What influenced you to choose a career in the hair and beauty industry?
My mother used to design wedding dresses when I was growing up, so I suppose she introduced me to the world of fashion and beauty. From a young age I loved playing dress up and giving people makeovers for fun – usually my sisters or even my pets!
Knowing I wanted to do something creative, I originally enrolled at San Francisco Art Institute when I was 18 but found myself feeling unmotivated. Painting can be very antisocial I think, and I’ve always been a people person. Instead, I decided to go into something more interactive and hairstyling seemed like the most natural option for me.
Do you find that there is a different beauty scene in London compared to the States?
In terms of style, I do think all cities have their own ‘look’. A beach blonde balayage is always popular in LA for example. I find New York and London quite similar as they are busy, world class cities and fashion capitals, whereas somewhere like San Francisco is a little more au naturale. When it comes to sustainable beauty however, I would say the movement is global. People everywhere are demanding for more natural and responsibly sourced products.
Why have you chosen a more natural and organic approach to hairdressing and beauty?
I’m a huge advocate of animal rights and a few years ago I came across an article on animal testing in the beauty industry. I was shocked to find that so many of the companies I trusted were carrying out inhumane tests all in the name of research. As I continued researching, I became more aware of the ingredients used in products and how certain chemicals could be harming our planet and our health too. I love my craft, but I didn’t want to continue working in a field that was posing a threat to animals and to the environment. I expected that finding a cruelty-free, low chemical and sustainable salon to work for would be a challenge, but luckily I found Glasshouse.
What hair trends should we expect to see more of as we head into A/W 2018?
This summer I’ve seen a lot of blondes and textured shapes with long, soft fringes. As we move into the Autumn though I think fringes will start to get cleaner and sharper and I like to think that blunt bobs will return. In Autumn I find people often opt for more solid colours with warmer, deeper tones.
Where are your favourite places to source inspiration?
I find I get the best inspiration on the streets, especially in London where fashion is fearless and women aren’t afraid to try new styles or colours. Whenever I’m out I’ll notice what colours people are wearing, how they’ve styled their outfit or what they’re doing with their hair. My clients in the salon inspire me too, it’s what I love about working in an environment where I get to meet so many different people.
What do you like to do to relax in your spare time?
I like to take advantage of all the free museums in London, I’ll usually visit on weekdays when it’s less busy and I can take the time to wander at my own pace. I’m particularly fond of the National Portrait Gallery at the moment, and Sir John Soane’s Museum is definitely worth a visit if you’re into architecture. When I do have time to relax at home I love to paint or draw.
How do you stay connected to nature in such a busy city?
London’s parks are beautiful and going for a run in the park is one of my favourite ways to clear my mind, but the best thing for my relationship with London is to take regular breaks. I love taking trips to the countryside, the Lake District in particular, and after a few days of stillness I look forward to getting back to the city.
What can we expect from your new role as Creative Director at Glasshouse?
I am very excited about my new role as Creative Director. We are planning some great Glasshouse editorials and shoots over the next few months where I will be collaborating with photographers, artists, stylists to create some beautiful content. I’m passionate about educating people on making more sustainable choices in the industry, making naturally-based and organic beauty more accessible and exciting. I’m also working closely with our PR Manager, looking after our lovely press clients and getting the team excited about new product launches, trends and things going on in the industry.
Best thing about working with Glasshouse?
I love that we are so transparent with our clients about the products and ingredients we use when integrity is so rare in the industry. I also love being part of a salon that is led by women, in an industry where the management is so often dominated by men. The best thing about working with Glasshouse though is simply being surrounded by an incredibly hard working, inspiring group of young women. It’s the best motivation you could ask for.
Visit our Glasshouse Salon website or give us a call to book a cut or colour appointment with Mia.
All images by Celine Maria Guiout.