Hustling To The Top: The Story Of Celebrity Hair Stylist Cash Lawless

Many a Vogue cover showcases Cash's work. Yet he is a rare gem in an industry where superficiality is common. Extremely disciplined, driven and hard-working, Cash also prioritizes his family above all else. And besides working magic with hair, Cash started and runs a real-estate company with his wife.

cash lawless #mySENE
Cash Lawless + Claire VanBeber

 

How did you get started with hair?

It was sparked by a hairstylist who cut my long hair off years ago. I went to Walmart, bought a $15 haircutting kit and watched the dvd that came with it. I thought I was pro.

It wasn’t until about a year later that I was homeless. A Brazilian family took me in, and helped me clean up and get back on track. I started reading voraciously trying to improve myself and it developed my character immensely.

This character change gave me the inner tools necessary to succeed but I didn’t know it at the time. The first job I got was as an actor in a TV commercial for a salon. Everyone at that salon told me I would make a really great hairdresser. I had to get back on my feet so I looked into it. The only school in my area was in a trailer; but I committed. I said I’ll give it five years of absolute dedication.

I worked front desk at a salon, went to school at night, saving my money to go to my dream school, the prestigious Sassoon Academy in London where I landed in 2009.

I received an email from one of Sally Hershberger people asking if I could be in NYC with just two days notice to film a reality TV show and compete to be her next assistant. The show didn’t get picked up but it landed me a job at Sally’s downtown salon in late 2009. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was out of the salon world and into the realm of freelance hair styling.

 

cash lawless haircutter hair vogue clair vanbeber
Cash Lawless + Claire VanBeber

 

Why do you do it and how do you think you've gained the success that you have?

I do it for a few reasons and each day I may need to draw on the strength of a different WHY. And those why’s changed overtime continually as I grew older and developed a clearer idea of my values.

In the beginning I did it because I needed to choose something, and it had my curiosity. From the second I got the scissors, I was on fire for it. I loved it. I was obsessed, but hated it at the same time. To this day, I hate hair… it frustrates me, but I am still obsessed with good hair. That magic moment. Paradoxical I know.

I am an artist at heart and I LOVE to create. I am way too much of a vision type to ever have a boss or work a job. To this day I still don’t know of a better career. These days, I do it for my wife (who I am sickeningly in love with) and our kids first and foremost, and secondly for other artists. This career has given me more than I could have dreamed up when I was 19 years old.

One of my biggest WHY’s I have established in my life is SERVICE. Why am I here on earth? For me, it is to love and serve, and inspire that same heart in others. So now, giving advice, guiding, helping and inspiring aspiring hairstylists like some of my assistants, is one of my big why’s.

 

cash lawless haircutter hair vogue clair vanbeber
Cash Lawless + Claire VanBeber

 

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Born in the Bay Area California, I moved to the Dominican Republic when I was 7. We left the country because my parents were running from some dangerous business deals that put our family's safety in jeopardy.

I went to High School in Portland, Oregon, and lived in Spain for a bit in between. I was Valedictorian of my high school and on my way to Ivy League college, to pursue a career in cosmetic surgery when when my parents divorced. I decided to drop out of college and tour with a band.

Shortly there after, I was homeless with no family to go to.

 

How did you end up in NYC, Dallas and LA?

I ended up in NYC as a fluke. I moved here from London to work with Sally and I’ve been here ever since.

I am in Dallas a lot because I married a Texan and we own a real estate investing company that flips houses out there.

I am in LA quite a bit because of the nature of celebrity work.

 

What's the highlight of your career?

Still waiting for it really. I’m still learning and hoping I never think I have "arrived".

But if I were forced to choose a moment, it would be a Vogue cover or meeting Julien D’ys, who inspired me to continue in hair when I didn’t want to.

 

What do you do for fun?

What don’t I do for fun?! If it’s not fun, I won't do it for long. This doesn't mean I won't do hard things. Rather, fun is in the attitude you choose.

I am not a traditionally “fun” person. I am a driven person with an obsessive personality that wont stop until that which is on my mind has materialized. The downside is this can lead sometimes to uncomfortable hard work and isolation.

That being said, I am having most fun when my goals are being realized. In terms of hobbies, I build and ride motorcycles and I flip houses.

I love surfing, scuba diving, anything under water.

I love building guns, jewelry design, vintage watches, or just buying watches haha, painting, learning languages, tennis, bodybuilding.

 

What are your favorite places to hang in NYC?

I don’t “hang” much anymore. When you live in 3 states, own two business’ and have a wife and 4 kids, “hanging” isn’t an option.

But occasionally I’ll get a break and take my wife to The Nomad.

Also Fat Cats. I am getting old for it but I can’t resist the ping pong and chess.

The Village Underground. Any place I can sit, and listen to singers.

The tennis courts at the chelsea piers.

The Ralph Lauren Mansion.

 

What’s something people who only know you through your work/insta would be surprised to know?

I am a 2nd degree black belt (so nerdy), I had a massive collection of star wars toys as a kid and never opened a single one.

I think I am fat and skinny simultaneously, all of the time.

I have a weird love with manliness and all things manly but at the same time, I love Celine Dion…SO good.

I’ve been using eye cream and facial moisturizer daily since I was in my early 20’s.

I play five instruments, and haven’t played since I got married.

I am a Christian who really believes Jesus is the Messiah.

I hate videos games with a passion.

I’ve been obsessed with Lucille Ball since I was 13. I have a picture of her in my bedroom. weirdooooo haha

cash lawless hair #mySENE
Cash Lawless + Claire VanBeber

 

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