Sarah Mills Doesn’t Believe in ‘It’ Hairstyles

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Sarah Mills. Photo: Melissa Hom

British hairstylist Sarah Mills prides herself on the intimacy of her salon experience, best exemplified by the way she operated out of her Soho loft for years. This month, however, she trades in her home office for a 1,200-square-foot space on Worth Street in Tribeca. And sure, the space is larger, but the cuts are still top-notch. Mills, who specializes in short styles and won Best of New York (men's hair) from our magazine in 2005 , sat down to talk about surviving this economic mess and why she can't stand text messaging.

Who or what inspires your hairstyles?
Life inspires my hairstyles. And details in nature, in art, from old films. I have always loved children’s hair, the way that it has no structure but is so perfect.

How do you think the beauty industry is responding to the economy?
People need more than ever to look and feel good about themselves. Some may need to make their cuts last a couple of weeks longer, but they always come back.

Any tips for people to do salon-style hair at home?
A great blow-dryer. I recommend SuperSolano. Also, velcro rollers. They are a great way for creating volume and smoothness in the hair, and for sectioning the hair out of the way.

What is the "It" hairstyle right now?
I don’t believe in an "It" hairstyle. The most important thing is to create a style for the individual, something that works for them inside and out.

You just opened this great new space. Any more plans for expansion?
Some of my thoughts are to showcase up-and-coming artists and bring in interesting products that have synergy with the space. And I'm working on developing my own product line.

What's the first designer item you ever bought?
A Romeo Gigli burnt-orange silk suit from a consignment shop that later my mum made into lamp shades for me. The fabric was so amazing I could not part with it.

Are there any trends you wish would go away?
Text messaging. I think it’s great for business, but for our personal lives we are getting further away from the true thing we really want, intimacy.

What trends do you like for spring?
I love what Prada has done this season. It’s feminine, strong, and timeless, which is what I’ve always shopped for.

Are there any trends you wish would come back?
What comes to mind is Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren. Late fifties, early sixties, when women were women — sexy.

Who are your favorite designers?
Narciso Rodriguez, John Galliano, and Miuccia Prada. They are all geniuses in their own right.

What’s one thing you really want to buy right now?
A beach house.

What’s something that everyone should have in her closet?
A beautiful white shirt.

Sarah Mills Hair, 11 Worth St., nr. Hudson St., Ste. 2B (212-941-8552); call for appointment. Men's haircuts start at $110, women's haircuts start at $200.