ep29 – Damien Carney

This week my guest is a multi award winner, International Stylist of the Year, British Hairdressing Award winner, NAHA winner, and he was lead stylist for American’s Next Top Model and I could go on and on! I’m so pleased to sit down with Damien Carney and hear about his remarkable path.

  • After years as a successful stylist, Damien felt something was missing so he decided to chuck it all and go work for Trevor Sorbie, and completely retrained as a stylist.
  • he shares the biggest piece of wisdom that he got from working with Trevor Sorbie 
  • Damien believes that what you put into life is what you get out of it
  • learn what made Damien decide to pick up his own camera and begin shooting for other stylists

Complete Transcript

Chris Baran 0:00
How great would it be to get up close and personal with the beauty industry heroes? We love and admire and to ask them how did you learn to do what you do? I’m Chris Baran, a hairstylist and educator for 40 plus years, and I’m inviting all our heroes to chat and share the secrets of their success.

Today’s guest is not only a brilliant hairdresser, a celebrity stylist, a an editorial stylists, but one of the most amazing photographers that I know, modern salon said that he is among the 50 most influential hairdresser 10s trendsetters. He’s been NAHA judge and his awards range from British hairdressing award winner, international hairdresser of the year with the mirror Awards, the International stylist of the year with sensational hair awards. He has been a North American hairstylist of the year, he was featured in QVC, NBC and ABC. And he has been the lead stylist for the America’s Top Model. And I really believe there isn’t a national or international magazine that hasn’t featured his work. And if I had to simplify everything that he did it down into one word, visionary. So let’s get into this week’s head case. Mr. Damien Carney. Damien, first of all, welcome to Headcases. I always say that you gotta be a headcase to do the business. We do. But, you know, first of all, welcome. It is great to have you on board here with our podcast.

Damien Carney 1:42
Well, thank you. And it is an honor Chris, that I see you like ships passing in the nights at different events and get to see you face to face on this one. Thank you. Wonderful to be Yeah, you

Chris Baran 1:53
know, it was great. I think, you know, the, to that point, you know, and and for people listening and watching right now that when you’re on the road, you get a chance to see all the people that are the greats that are out there. But you’re sort of in the hallway, Hi, how you doing, you’re ready to rehearsal together. And so and you do some idle chit chat, etc. And I think the first real meaningful conversation that we had was, I believe it was at the SC show, like last year, or whatever, where you and Christopher Benson and I sort of said, Hey, let’s stop and have a little conversation. And you know, what, it’s, it’s when you have this and I’m going to tell the people in the audience right now because I’m probably saying what they’re thinking right now. You know, you watch your work Damien, and and it’s absolutely brilliant work. I love it. And I want to dig into that creativity and the avant garde, and where that comes from in later. But I just want to say that was that was that first real connection that I went, you know, like, I really liked this dude. And I want to get to know him better. And, and so I wonder I want the audience to know a little bit more about you. So I first of all, we’re did like why hair? Who did that? Was that something that always came to you? Was it uh you know, woke up at eight years old and said, I’m going to do hair? Was there other things that happened first that drove you to it? What how’d you get into hair?

Damien Carney 3:18
It’s kind of funny, you know, you hear different stories from different people all walks of her life. But I think there’s one common thing, obviously, is the love of hair. And one of our kids lost my parents when I was very young, which you know, was, you know, obviously devastating at that time. But you know, I grew out of that matured, and one of eight kids, third youngest, five boys, three girls, and they all did pretty good jobs and engineer, a PE secretary to a big huge corporate company, blah, blah, blah. As a youngster in that line of aid, I kind of discovered there was a pattern that went on. And that pattern was, you know, come the four or five, six year itch, a lot of them were getting itchy and irritable about the careers that they’ve chosen. They weren’t motivated as much they didn’t feel it was is what they had in their mind and so forth. So I stay true to what I wanted to do. I’ve always been that way. And that could be maybe my upbringing been very independent as a young child it’s either survive or you don’t. And I was just like anyone else fascinated get my hair cut and the barbers terrified at the same time, but there was just something I knew that I felt better for it. I mean, as a as a young little boy, but moving up to you know, the unisex salons in the 70s and the 80s. It was kind of like wow, this is cool. So for me, it just seemed like a great environment to be in. It was fun. It was fashionable things look like they were changing all the time. And it was really cool. And I knew there and then at the age of literally 1213 or 14 what I knew what I wanted to do. I don’t know if they have it now at schools, but there’s a person called the careers Officer, you know, they were taught to you and guide you into what they thought was suitable. Often they were all completely wrong, because half of them didn’t give a damn. Anyway, they just wanted to get a conversation over. I knew I walked in, I needed no convincing, and that was it that simple. And nothing changed.

Chris Baran 5:18
They tried to suggest something else.

Damien Carney 5:20
No stuff, you know, a cop, and I’ve got nothing against carpenter. I’ve got a brother. That’s one. But you know, very typical bank would be good. It’s like, Oh, great. Yeah, whatever. So we’re just ticking off the boxes on this, you know, bits of information on a piece of paper that, you know, had been approved that it spoke to the careers officer, I’d made my mind up and I was going to do what I wanted to do.

Chris Baran 5:42
And I wonder when you sparked something in my brain, Damien, when, because you were talking about the career people and you know, whether they, I’m sure there’s some out there one or two that do give a damn, but some of them don’t. And they suggest normal things. But you know, I know this is one thing that’s always I could never figure out why I didn’t like school. And why I didn’t do well school. I’m not I’ve said this 100 times I say it because it’s true, I was on behalf of the class that made the top out possible. But the downside of that that’s the funny part. But the downside is school made me feel stupid. And I went through school feeling stupid, because if I got a, you know, there was a few things that I would excel in, you know, even though I don’t like to tell my wife this because she handles all the math, but I was good at math. But I felt stupid all the time. And I really, I just thought I was a dumb person. And I realized later, and this is the point I want to get into here is your creativity. You know, I feel that I’ve got that Inkling in the back of my brain. But it’s that feeling of not feeling and smart, intelligent, like the rest of the group that I don’t know if it made us lean to that creative side. But what bugs me about school? Now, don’t get me wrong. And this teachers I love, they’re great teachers, they’re they’re put into a system. It’s the system that they took away all have the creative arts. I mean, the closest thing that I had in school to creativity, was shop is doing some carpentry, which I suck that, by the way, and I also got C’s in that. But the you know, to that point is I wish and I want to throw that to you. Do you feel that if we had more people or more in the creatives in the school system, we had more of the creativity of the arts, that would we would fare better in our industry and in hairdressing

Damien Carney 7:39
as a whole. Oh, absolutely. And I mean, I kind of share very similar points of view that you experienced. It was just like they took this big paintbrush, dropped it in a oh, let’s let’s This is the education paint bucket, and they painted everybody with the same paintbrush. So you lose, you lose individuality, you lose personalization, you lose character, you lose passion. The only thing that I really enjoyed doing was the artistic side, you know, of doing what I was doing. I can when I don’t know about you, when when I want to do something like anybody, you can focus and you can achieve it if that’s what you want to do. It’s very good at French as to very good, you know, artistic stuff. Maths was my other good thing and science was another. But I was bored stiff, I could not wait to leave school, because there was the sense of the way that they were being they were teaching and as I was being taught was very regimented. It was very much in a box. And the teachers looked like that might my teachers could have been my grandparents, nothing against that. And I mean that in the nicest way. I love grandparents. But there’s just something off kilter about it in the relationship between the teacher, what they’re teaching, and the pupil and what they’re receiving. Today, I think it’s a little bit more of an open forum in that sense. But but and also, I think the, in today’s education, I think they need to implement more things that brings them into the work of the real world, and things that pupils or people that are studying that would enjoy doing that building it towards a career. So I have all these qualifications when I leave school, in theory, but are they applied to what I’m doing with what I’m doing with hair? And also there was a perception, you know, there still is that perception, although it is changing, and thankfully for that, Oh, you want to become a hairdresser? Well, yes, I do. And I’m very proud of that. And I have earned and can earn as much as a lawyer and as much as a doctor now you’ve got to work your butt off for that, that that isn’t given to on a planet. But just because of what I do in the beauty field doesn’t mean that you know I have a low income or you know, Dizzy hated or not focus far from it much much clearer. Except I go to work every day enjoying what I do. You know, I’m saying so, very similar to what you’re seeing and absolutely, it affects what we do and what we do to the industry and when people leaves school that needs to be, I think bit more of a realistic kind of focal point and communicate in educating. You know, students when they’re at school to focus in on what they want to do maybe the last year of their, you know, schooling should be focused on what they might want to do you know, when they leave school as a full time career? Yeah, because most people leave school and it’s a difficult thing, you’re going to choose something that you know, you’re going to do, hopefully the rest of your life, how do you know what that’s going to be? If you have no experience on a day to day basis? Yes, you might know somebody, you might have an inkling of what it might be. But the reality is, until you actually experience it, and get more information about it, then you really don’t know what their careers are going to be. Most people go to work every day, bored to death. And they, you know, they’re robots. However, not everybody likes that, because it’s too loose. There are lots of people that I know, and I’ve got my brothers and sisters that some of them are very happy doing, they like to check in, and they like to check out. They don’t like to take work home. They know when they’re wrong. And they know when they’re off.

Chris Baran 11:04
Yeah, it’s interesting. And I wonder if they would have had more of those creative choices, the arts, whatever that might be in school to me, I believe that if you can develop somebody’s creativity, that it makes them a better entrepreneur, because you can learn to think and yes, everybody uses think out of the box. I have one really good friend that Justin Isaac, who said, you know, he said, I think that’s really silly to be outside the box, just make the box bigger stretch. You know what I love that, and I think from an entrepreneur entrepreneurial standpoint, is that if there was more creativity that was around us that we would, you know, people would learn to think up differently, just to stare at something, look at it and say, How can you twist that? How can you move it? How can you think differently? And also,

Damien Carney 11:57
you know, I mean, you know, touch the word creativity, what is creativity? What is being creative? You know, does it mean that to arrange hairstyle, I mean, you can be creative in a very technical sense, you know, so there’s different forms of creativity in different industries, that sometimes we I might not relate to, but we are in reality, a lot of my friends are in opposite careers that I am, but they’re creative in a very different way. Does that make sense at all, it’s not like getting out a pen and paper and painting a flower or, or let’s get the camera and let’s do some shoots. Or, you know, I’m going to do a, you know, 16 strand braid, there, you know, being creative about maybe budgets, or the well being of the economy or the well being of the planet. So creativity can be done in different ways, as is expressed, obviously, through hair and playing a lot more. But I think everybody can be creative if they allowed themselves to be and also be in an environment where that is encouraged.

Chris Baran 12:52
You know, I think that’s so true. And yesterday or the day before I was, as we do, I was going through Instagram, aka tick tock, whatever the hell is on there. I’m not I am a techie to a degree but I’d say I’m still in the AP had to grade me I would still be in C. There was an interesting John Cleese was doing this this was very short Instagram thing he had we could or you could only somebody was filming him obviously at a at a conference when he was speaking because he only saw like, it went half between his head and above bounds. So you know, it was recording, but he was talking on creativity. And he said that, and this was my takeaway, which I thought was so freakin profound. He says, creativity is nothing more than playful acting. Playfulness, it’s it’s trying stuff and and not being judged by something or let me phrase that he said, not feeling that you’re going to be judged. Because the moment you’re in our society and you’re judged on something, you stop being playful, you start thinking about I can’t do that because it’s wrong or I’m not willing to try. And I think of anything in our industry. That’s one thing I am sure you see it all the time is that people are so afraid of yes, we say mistakes and mistakes are okay, and all that other stuff, but there is such of a fear in our society of making a mistake. And, and I thought he just hit it on the head is if you can just get in playful state and, and doing things like you know, yes, they probably I got home from symposium and I said I was I need to do something. I don’t know what I want to create, but I just started taking hair and making micro braids. And knowing that I want to do something with it, but I don’t know what the hell it’s gonna be. So that’s where I think that if people could get used to this playfulness then I think that would make a huge difference to us. I

Damien Carney 15:01
think that’s a great point of view, absolutely that playful thing, but, but I think, you know, even if you take your career away, and you venture into your personal life, or friends or relationships, it’s just embedded in us, you know, as humans that, you know, we don’t want to fail, we don’t want to look silly, you know, we don’t want to do blah, blah, blah. And therefore, what we do is, is, it is a bit easier for us to go down that road. But not everybody is made that way. So, you know, everybody contributes in different ways, you know, they don’t necessarily have to be creative, they can be, you know, they can contribute in their own way, in their own playful way. That’s a better way of saying it. But at the end of the day, that’s really it. And when the emotions take over, the actions take over even more, because that’s what’s going to determine your actions. And I don’t know, maybe as much as they’ve matured a polite way of saying getting older folks, as they’ve matured, the fear factor will either put you in a bigger hole, that it becomes this dark vortex, or you just think you know what, I don’t give a damn. What do I have to lose by doing this? Who am I doing it? You know, is everybody going to be looking at my Instagram, which isn’t a lot? Or is everyone going to be looking at Damien kind of go? Oh, my God, his life. So but I don’t think so. I’m not that important. I’m not that valid anymore. Like, you know, when I used to get ready to put on a bright shirt, I wouldn’t want people saying, Oh, that’s a nice shirt, and it’s really bright. Whereas now put on the bright, bright t shirt. I don’t care. I’ve grown out of that. So what do I have to lose by having that playful time? What I do have is feeding your own soul. And it’s that that thing about, you know, when you look at the airlines, and they’re like, Okay, I know, you’ve watched this, and we’re gonna put the seatbelt thing on and watch it, put the belt on your little child or the infant before you do yours, which is right, because if you do yours first, and you can’t, then you can’t help anybody else. It’s like the poor what you know. And directly, you got to love yourself before you can love everybody else. Not that I watch all that all the time, everybody. But I think it’s quite humorous. And I think it’s a valid point. If you don’t think there’s a value in playing, then you’ll never make it happen. Right. And those, to me are the most important things. I make myself happy every day. And by doing that, I’m not God. Most of the time, I try to everybody, but but if I’m happy, small g everybody else, yeah, everybody else is going to be much happier than me right versus the other way around. So it’s almost like stacking your cards or you know, whatever dice you want to roll. But But playfulness, I think is important. But you’ve got a business to run, you got to make money, but how smart you are doing all those elements. And this is smart way of doing things. And there’s not such a smart way of doing things. So that also can be created the logistics of running your business, or your today’s clients. And I’m the same I’m no different than any other hairdressers that’s watching right now.

Chris Baran 17:51
Yeah, yeah. I want to go back to because I had a I did an interview with with Trevor the other day. And, and I think that you have more of a right to call him Trev than I do. But because you know, working in that environment. Yeah. I wanted to go back to that beginning. How was there a first job that you had in, in the hairdressing industry before you went and worked with Trevor?

Damien Carney 18:19
Yes. I mean, it can’t it’s quick synopsis of my career, went left school at 16 went to beauty school for two years, which was full time while I was at school. At that two years, I went worked in a salon and did training on a Wednesday and Thursday night. So when I left I was a bit more informed. We cut it or we termed it or if it had hair on the body or anything of the body who took care of it. So I would call myself a jack of all trades and master of nothing. And this I think is really ironic and very, very important for people to kind of hear that a hair show changed my life. It really did. And that’s where the big corner was called a well evoke. And it was a Wella haircare company in conjunction with Vogue magazine. It was a photo competition like nah ha or, you know, the contest is and all these wonderful things that go on now. So anyway, travel was one of the performing artists with I think we’d Michael John, and John Frieder. And all of these but, but the models came out with Trevor’s that and I didn’t understand what he did. I didn’t need to understand what it did. But it had an emotional effect on me literally the hands on my head and my arm stood up. And there were only five models but they were something I’ve never seen before. And I looked at and it was absolutely immaculate. So I jetted so I applied for a job you know got the job but but before Trevor, I went through a lot of ugly Cylons ugly situations to realize that they were the wrong places to be right and then knowing that I could choose the right salary and to get retraining and that will kickstart everything can to hold different arena. I don’t think you can eat one curry or one sushi or be in love with one person. You’ve got it. You’re going to have a little bit of a play and you know in that sense because you don’t know, you know, we think it is good. But really the early part of my career was was disastrous. I look back and think, how on earth did I ever get away with it, but I didn’t know any different, right? Because I didn’t know the difference between really great, excellent and amazing. And that’s where I got from, you know, going to Trevor Sorbie, where I retrained. So, I had to go backwards, eat some Humble Pie, which was very happy to do do some retraining. And then I, you know, established a real solid foundation that I use every day in my life now.

Chris Baran 20:33
Yeah. What was the tell us a little bit about this? I told Trevor this that. One there was, there was a time back, like, I remember 90s, early 90s, that I just felt stuck in my career. And I said, Look, I’m just going to sell everything. And I’m gonna go and apply and see if Trevor who was my hair hero at the time, still is that I just wanted to work there. So I could learn because I saw people that were out there and doing things. And Trevor’s work was phenomenal, always different than everybody else’s. And that’s what really pushed me. But I chickened out. So I told him that too, but the reality is, what was the viewer there and you lived it? And it is for some people? They’re probably going wait, why are you going on and on about this Trevor? Sorbie dude, because some people in the US might not even know who he was. But he was one of the people that instrumentally changed our industry, to that creative mode that it that it is now and but what was that like in that environment? I’m talking about the culture that you were in, give us a little bit of that. Well, it

Damien Carney 21:40
was really mind blowing. I mean, also, Chris, I was not I was not a youngster going through a retraining, but I wasn’t like he was 22. I was 27. So you know, I had my car had my apartment, you know, I was earning great money, felt good about what I achieved, but there was just something not in my heart. And there was something was missing. Going into that environment. You got Trevor, you got you know, Vivienne mackinder, which, you know, she’d left Vidal Sassoon and joined him, you know, for anything Javier and started up. You got Ruth Roche got internet been Bucha got Eugene Solomon. Anyway, it wasn’t a huge salon was in Covent Garden. There was maybe I don’t know, staff of 30. But it wasn’t huge. And that’s what I loved about it. The Salon wasn’t, you know, ginormous. And he didn’t need 10 or 20 Cylons to achieve what he was doing. And he stay true to what he was and what he is now, in the sense of not caving in and not giving in to other people’s requests, or, you know, I find it the most liberating thing. So basically, I retrained So, I had, literally a window, I think it was like two and a half months, 12 weeks where I had to do models every day, or all the way back to one leg trims to Bob’s graduation, all the fundamental, let’s say 12, classic haircuts. I was marked on those every day. So I was terrified. And you know, they were very pleasant. And they were all lovely and encouraging. But I realized that I needed to open up and step up to their culture and their game plan on what I was learning versus what I’d learned before wasn’t terrible. But I had no control over what I was doing, and really didn’t understand the huge benefits of really working on technique and creativity and all those things. So I’d go there every day, being terrified in in a very positive way. And I’d literally I’d, I’d literally, you know, worship the gods, you know, above that I was very grateful that I had this opportunity. I worked hard, I was a good, I was good at doing what I needed, what was asked of me, I was good that I got all of my models. I was good that my work was getting better. So I kept my agreement. You know, I was a very good assistant that sounds very blase to say. But I was everything was in order for the stylists. I knew what they wanted before they knew what they wanted. I used to make a fortune in tips because of the way that I kind of worked. So what I believe is what you put into life is what you get out. So I went through all this all this training, to summarize that 12 weeks, so you go through all of the classic haircuts. And then also you’ve got this creative phase, where you have to do some models that are inspired about what’s going on in the company, the culture of the company, what you wouldn’t do what you would do, this is not acceptable, or this is acceptable. You know, you can’t work for Tom Ford and expect it to be h&m And it’s nothing wrong with h&m I love both of them. But if similar Ron has this, everybody that has the Trevor Sorbie or the house of soons, which they you know, they open up then you you know location in Greek street, they stay true to who they are and what they did, and that I admire, because I learned a lot of discipline and that’s muscle power. You know, when it kind of comes to your hair, because it can be so easy kind of touching on what we talked on before about playing it safe and doing what everybody else wants you to do through an easy weigh out just oh, well, that’s the way that it is, it is what it is, I hate that word. I haven’t let me say, Oh, it is what it is, basically, they’ve given up. Now, you know, I think there’s always a solution to a problem, it may take a long time to get to some of the problems and certain circumstances. To summarize, again, that 12 weeks, there was a test, and the test was on Friday night, or was on a Friday, and I’ll tell you why. We had to have 12 models that were already pre cut, pre colored, pre blow dried, pre makeup, pre wardrobe, ready at, let’s say, six o’clock for Trevor to come in, and literally take a comb and section and look at every single haircut. So on that, it might take two, three hours to go through all those models, there was a review, thankfully, I passed. But on the opposite end, some people don’t make it and it ends up becoming, they won’t be coming back to work on Monday. So that’s why it’s done on a Friday, having said that, if somebody wasn’t cut out to belong, or be part or be open to be part of the Trevor Sorbie culture, then they probably would have would have let them go or say, you know, this isn’t working out, you know, so it’s not as if they’re allowing people to go on this, you know, this long string that you might get fired or not, it was tough. But again, it was the best thing that I ever did. It’s funny you look at Instagram, and and I’m not knocking it, um, you know, everybody’s got a different thing. And it’s called the butterfly layers that they you know, the ghost layers, the fengyi layers, I don’t know, call it whatever you want to, it’s either layering graduation, or one length, you raise rate, you chop it up, you’re cutting, you know, there is only so many ways you can do that. It’s the same with coloring, and everyone’s trying to reinvent things. But if you’re a seamstress at Tom Ford, and Bucha, you can go to land, you can go to all of these amazing houses, because it’s where you’re belong in the platform, amazing quality. If you go down lower, you’ll get a job. So the bottom line is, it’s it was the best thing that ever happened. And it really took me around the world, it took me to where I am now, I never knew in a million years that basically I would do this. But going back into the salon itself, it was a salad like everybody else, but you walked in the door. And it had this magic, from the posters on the wall, to the magazines that were there, to the cool music that was played to the outfits that people were wearing, which was very unique and different. And there was a synergy of creativity and you could smell and cut it with a knife that people were having a great time from people working there. And clients being part of that. I talk about celebrities, iconic celebrities, he did them, the staff did them. And they were game changers in the world of fashion. So it wasn’t your average, you know, daytime, you know, soap star, they were leading people but you know, was literally like go Oh, my God is that so and so of course it is, you know, they would go there and have their colored. But it’s very clear, he’s very clear about what’s going on, he’s very clear about what he wants to put up with is very clear and very gentleman all about it. He’s not a difficult man in the sense of ego and whatever. He’s just very clear, I value that because I wish people some of my mentors that it taught me earlier in my career, to be a little bit more stern with me, tell me what I need to do. Don’t Don’t sugarcoat it, it might hurt me. I may not like the words that come out of your mouth. But I’d have more value, if you’re really just being very honest. And another editorial hairdresser as a sidebar, kind of gave me some advice. And it was like, I feel like I’m a bit lost. And he says, Well, you know, if you want to be a rock star, you hang around rock stars, if you want to be a hook or find a corner of that, you know, in a in a rough area somewhere and be that you’re hanging around with the wrong people. I went What do you mean? He said, a lot of these people are losers, they’re giving you bad influence, you know, I think better than you, you know, in the sense of skills of hair or learning. I was like, they’re maybe not, but I like them, yes, but put them in a different chapter of your life, put them in a different box. So you’ve got to learn from people that are better than you that inspire you. And, and that’s what it’s all about. And I’ve been very, very fortunate to have had that opportunity. But I my my part of the agreement with when I was a traveler, I did mine as well. So it was like, like playing tennis like playing with the team. I was as committed with what I could contribute at that level to the company and return. I got even more back.

Chris Baran 29:30
Yeah. Yeah, it was. That’s really something to have that and I think in our society right now, particularly now, it’s so hard to give to say anything to anybody, a particular about their work and just based on sensitivity. And I think we have to think about sensitivity. That’s certainly there. But I think that when it comes to helping somebody that is your coworker and whatnot, are you willing to it I’m not gonna say to be a taskmaster. But just to have that conversation with someone and say, Hey, listen, you know, if you want this, you need to do this, and I’m going to tell you something that is going to help. You might not like it right now. But let’s do that. And I think the points that I’ve, I’ve had people tell them that to me, and it hurt like hell, and I had to go, I always say, I had to go home and curl up. And, and, and think about it, and then come back the next day and know that that was the right thing that you heard. But thank God that you were around that,

Damien Carney 30:31
you know, like anything, Chris, and everyone that’s watching, you know, you’ve heard that we’ve all heard this saying, you know, there’s a million times, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. But you’re right, today, we have to be extra cautious of that, because of the diversity the world is offering right now. You know, look at trends, look at people look at personalities. But you know, I have these conversations with some of the young younger team that might be in the sandwich, like, do you want to hear the version? That’s a softer version? Or do you want to hear the truth, you know, or maybe there’s something in between. Don’t be too hard on me today, because I’m being really sensitive, you know, so it’s just doing it, but but I do value that, because if one can’t be really somewhat honest with somebody within your business, then really, you have no control of your business and everything and everything else suffer, you know, like, like, you know, I’ve got a rapper that have, you know, just had a chocolate bar, and I throw it on, you know, on the street. Well, guess what, if I do that everybody else is going to do, we’re going to end up with a very dirty city, right. So, you know, everything has its place, and it’s belonging, and that’s very idealistic. But I think it’s important to believe in that. And there’s also that saying that you see in bars, or clubs or prestige is like, really reserved the right to refuse admission, I think sometimes we should have that in our salons. And we should have staff, because if it is your business, if it is your business, you put up your mortgage, you’ve gone to the bank, you’ve done this, you’ve done that, I see nothing wrong with the salon owner put, you know, being very clear about what they want for their staff and so forth. Do I agree with all of them? Not necessarily. Maybe they just the wrong salon for me, and I’ll find a salon where there’s a little bit more of a community with culture that I agree with, you gotta find your love partnership, I think a relationship when it comes to, you know, finding a salon and the salon that you work in. But you can have a busy salon and everybody’s working alone, you know, you can be a booth renter, and you’ve got two or three people that’s a small you can work, you can work equally effective and love it. You know, so different horses, different courses. And I think it’s important to, I appreciate what I went through, which was, you know, in the 70s. It’s now 2023. So how do we implement some of that, if not as much as we can in the world of 2023? I don’t think we can. But I think we can still take the essence of positivity and skill set and apply it, it isn’t going to be the same the different decades, different times.

Chris Baran 32:56
Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? I heard an interesting stat just the other day that said that the mortality rate and I don’t mean the physical mortality, but the lifespan of a hairdresser, within the hairdressing business has shifted, where it was five years, quite a number of years ago. And it’s shifted to three years just in the last while. Why do you think that is?

Damien Carney 33:20
I think that hairdressers today joining the industry or people that are going to become a hairdresser, or hairdressers that are already established or whatever, whatever walk of life they’re in, they want a different world. And they think that it’s the world of flexibility. They want to feel like they belong. They want to train in system, those maybe condensed down a little bit more rather than it being so lengthy, which, you know, if that is possible, I think it is somewhat with the salon owner, it’s going to cost but you know, you have to have an agreement that you’re going to train that person, they’re gonna stay with you XYZ. But we’re not we’re in 2023 People have different thoughts. It’s, it’s a bit like what happened in COVID. I don’t know about people listening to this at the moment. But a lot of my clients were like, I ain’t going back to that office. I don’t care if they’re in Park Avenue and their big corporate company and advertising or whatever they’re doing. I’ve been more effective working three or four days at home and I’ll go into the office today. So a lot of people sorry, went down there. A lot of people that you go see I left the office. So what they’re doing is they’re taking control of their lifestyle, their family, their personal lives. So it’s all of those things like in the salon that I’m in and a lot of salons of my other friends that are in New York, if you don’t have a 10 o’clock or an 11 o’clock most of the staff would have gone in hoping that that could possibly, you know get booked. Well the reality is is that you know the cylinder, I mean, just they don’t really call in on that day a lot of them prebook so you could end up you know, maybe having two hours where you sitting around doing nothing. So now it’s except more acceptable. Not every single staff member. And it can’t be, but you know, they don’t have somebody, they maybe they come in a little later that day, you know, so it’d be flexible. Some people only want to do four days or work four days a week, where they work longer hours, rather than spreading it out over five days, I get it, why not? So I think it’s different in that kind of sense. I mean, you’ve got educators, you know, that work with different companies. At one stage, you could only be exclusive with one company, whereas now you could probably work for two or three, you could work for color line, or hot or hot tool line, or brush line, whatever it is, that was unacceptable, you know, years ago, because a product company would want an exclusive on it. So it’s a bit like the the elastic that we knew, is got longer, and it’s been stretched further. Interesting. And I think it’s important that a lot of a lot of hairdressers want it on their terms, versus what we are older generations, I’m including myself here did or new, you know, so I don’t disagree with some of the changes, I think it’s a positive move. But to get them to do something that they’re not willing to do or they don’t enjoy, or they don’t enjoy the working conditions, the culture or whatever it is, you’re not going to be in a win win situation. So the salon that I owned in Covent Garden, which I owned many, many years ago, if I was to open up a salon today, which I wouldn’t do, because I’m doing my thing, I would operate it in those different ways, more flexibility, part time, full time, I want them to be in there and be productive going to use Britain. Richard Branson’s theory, I’m not the client is the customer is not always right. I want my staff to be right, and I want them to be happy. And then my customers are happy. So this just depends on your theories, you know, Pingle.

Chris Baran 36:46
This episode is sponsored by the salon associate accelerator from trainers playbook.com. Are you struggling with the time and cost of associate training? Do you feel like your salon is running you will get your associates on the floor, all with 90% Less time from you. So you can get back to building your business. Get them world class design, finishing color, and client care skills they’ll use every day for the rest of their career. While you focus on realizing your vision, go to trainers playbook.com and get the salon associate accelerator. And now back to the show. The you kind of hit on that there when you’re talking about the manufacturers and you’ve had the great opportunity. I know you’ve been like the Creative Director for a lot for a few different companies. And I think that it’s it’s in your work, what I’ve always admired is you have this incredible ability to do what most people can’t, most people are either very commercial, and the commerciality that they have spans everything that they do. And then you’ve got this other side that is your creative brain with the avant garde. And you and I think there’s a trick, know that there’s a talent in be able to do both. And both are tasteful. And I that’s a really different way to go about hair. So I want I want to take back a little bit about and go back in where we were it was your first venue that you were at and where that and also, where was the first time that you had an opportunity to build creativity into the oven garden? I’m curious on that, where that came from?

Damien Carney 38:45
Well, first of all, thanks for the compliments, but I don’t see what you sing it. What’s interesting is just a quick, we always see different things when we look at ourselves versus what people think of our work, right. But back to the Trevor Sorbie that was that was encouraged and instill. So you know, you can cut a bob a very technical Bob but but the length that you’re going to cut it and the length, you’re going to cut the fringe based on the face shape and the suitability is going to make it look creative. Then you add color, then you finish it. So that’s just taken a ball. So the creative side of what I learned to travel was encouraged and so was the technical skills. And that’s what I loved about what I learned. And Vivian, you know, Vivian, when I was being taught by Vivian eventually became a teacher with Vivian I was like terrified, but you know, she could cut anything. Yeah, and she can and it’s perfect if it needs to be and she can loosen up too. So you’re playing with two dynamics, you know, and but they are they are two they are together. I work in a salon in Soho there’s some wealthy clients, but sometimes the wealthier the client the worse their hair looks because they have this this perception of how they want to look their hair is thinning, the covering the gray this certain thing Is that they would go and get done because we’re aging. I’m aging too. But the point is, there’s certain things I won’t do on their hair. And there’s certain things like, I’m not against round brushes, I do round brushes in the salon. But if I’ve got a mature a woman that wants something a little bit more modern, I probably won’t use a round brush. Because her round brush styling, is making her hair look a little older than what she actually is. Yeah, yep. So the creativity. Chris, is obviously Trevor salon International in London is a very prestigious trade show that you know, has, I think, some of the best hairdressers in the world, obviously, from the UK and also worldwide. But it is it is an environment that you’re expecting to see new groundbreaking things and creativity. But you know that they can cut very technical, commercial wearable things, just because I work in a salon on a Friday and Saturday when I’m free, which is my everyday sanim work doesn’t mean ID value that or I just think oh, I’m going to go into fifth gear and Wacom in and Wacom out, no, I still apply my creativity to be a little bit around the front, it could be a little bit here could be a little bit of disconnection here, it could be maybe the color is going to do something if it’s gone to the color department. So I always try to think about the value of Beauty and the value of making that person be relevant in the world that we live in today, and what hair is doing, and the world of what fashion is doing with hair, we are fashion and we are here combined. So you know, changing a tool, or an approach can make your work look very, very different from what we already do. When I was a young kid, when I was 20, I could talk to a client and I could talk about anything. And I had, you know, but I only had two techniques in my one pocket. And there’s two techniques we use that everybody. And God helped me when I look back about the ones it didn’t work on. So my roster of work is kind of got better, but But back to your point about always making somebody look beautiful. I know that’s cliche. But in the world that we live in of diversity of skin color, I find clients either don’t do anything to their hair, because they don’t want to, and they don’t have the time, or they blow in blow drying every hair around their face, night and day. And if one of those hairs around a place, it’s like having a divorce. So from a client’s point of view, in where I live, where I work, you know, it’s one it’s famine or feast. But I definitely think you need to feed your soul in both because I know that if I get lazy and don’t stay on top of my game, I get used to being pre programmed, or what I know or what I do safely. But that’s going to kill me. Because it’s going to grow old with me, my techniques are going to date and my clients are going to grow old, I’m going to get bored. And once that boredom, or that sense of not caring, like I used to and gets into your system is sometimes can be very difficult to get ahead. When it doesn’t matter. No one will notice this it will. Because that’s what I learned when I went work to Trevor and other salons that I worked with. Those are the little bits, the posters on the wall, the music that you’re playing the service that you’re giving them of the refreshments. Those are just the exterior bits. Now let’s do something amazing with your hair.

Chris Baran 43:19
Yeah. And we talked about about before, when you’re talking about in Trevor’s salon, how the the pictures that were on the, on the walls were inspiring, where I want to go back, because you’re now very known within the people that know in our industry as an incredible photographer as well. The but I like to know where with that first shoot, I mean, obviously you didn’t do your first shoot on your own say, Well, I’m gonna pick up the camera that had to be an evolution. Tell us about that. How did that what was that? What was the spark? What made you say, Oh, I’m going to pick up that camera and I’m going to start shooting because I know if I tried to do that it would come up just an absolute mess. But how’d that happen? But

Damien Carney 44:05
again, thanks, Christopher for the kind words, but I mean, like everyone had made 1000 mistakes, I could look back at all the experience. I’m going to talk about one in particular, there was a very well known beauty female photographer in London that, you know, is known for her beauty, you know, so anyway, went along to do with the hair, and blow dried, it was all great. And she wasn’t happy at all. She said she gave me the you know the brief, they should look messy and a little bit like Bedi and well of course might look like she just stepped out the sail on. Well, I freaked out because it was one of my very first shoots that I was doing for a photography. It wasn’t a test. It wasn’t a playtime with an agent and I was young, and she fired me. She pushed me. She said, I’m going to relation I was like well, I went home and cried seriously, this is a true thing. So that was just one experience. But it’s all about learning and doing different things and when you’re looking at it Camera and you’re looking at different situations, you see a whole different world, when you look at your work, so I’m looking at my fringe that I’m cutting in the cell on, or let’s take a bank or a fringe, it looks pretty strange to me, you know, take a picture of it. Yeah, it’s so straight. There’s little bits that that other eye that we’re not seeing as a camera, because it is a machine, it is a tool that we are seeing, it doesn’t have any emotions. A camera only has emotions, when you feed in the F stops the shutter speed and everything else. So why did I pick up a camera, I’m a hairdresser, first and foremost, you know, secondary, the photography kind of goes hand in hand, and they kind of can crossover. But I’m a hairdresser first and foremost. But the the reason why I did it, Chris was that I couldn’t find photographers that would shoot what I was asking them to shoot that, you know, didn’t cost a fortune, I couldn’t afford that. There was some photographers that would shoot with me, but they weren’t capturing what I wanted, and was not at the level that I wanted. So there’s also a dynamics of that I was inexperienced. So I am here, and the photographer’s that I wanted to work with were up here. So I’m out of my depth, they need to get my skill set, a bit closer to what the good photographers very good photographers are used to and who they used to work with. So I’ve got a handful of photographers that are beauty and fashion photographers. And I’ve got a good network of editorial hairdressers, wardrobe stylist and makeup artist that truly do editorial work, not just pretend not just putting a bio that’s, you know, sent on something out to a hair trade magazine. So it goes back to what we talked earlier on surrounding yourself with the right people that can help you grow. So they said, You know what, I’ve been in a studio for quite a while in the early part of my career do an editorial, and I’d watch the lighting, but I didn’t understand it. I watched the poses, okay, we need a hand shot. There’s only so many ways that you’ve got to compose something. And within there, there’s a lot of creativity, but there’s certain things that are definitely wrong, that a camera would not like if you view it through through the lens. So it was desperation. So my friend says, You know what, I think you should get flash, I think you should get this. And are you really serious about this game? And I was like, wow, yeah. And they said, Well, you need to invest in this or do some good equipment. If you’re, if you’re going to mess around and pussyfoot around, then buy the cheapest stuff. But if this is a five or 10 year or 15 year goal, and you’re really serious about it doing well, we recommend you get XYZ, so it cost me some money to get some good stuff. But you can also do some great stuff with cheaper stuff. But I made a commitment that I was going to buy the best pair of scissors, the best cutting comb, the best camera with the best lighting, so I could do what I wanted to do. The wonderful thing about digital is that you can see there and then yeah, you know, I came from the school of photography, where it’s a Polaroid and you know, God help if your exposures out. And if something’s not right, because you’ve got to develop that image that film and then you’ll end up with something monstrous when you get back. If you’re a hair colorist, and you’re a great technical hairdresser, you will understand photography, because it’s all to do with light and dark. The aperture, how much light it comes in how quick you put the speed on, or how slow if you want blurry, you’re gonna have blurry images, look at power reverse. So you can add images that are super sharp, it’s about capturing an emotion. So I just I self taught with some help along the way, Chris, I know really invested COVID was actually a great time for me, when I was kind of like, you know, a little low, like everybody else the world had stopped, I looked at my apartment, it’s no one going on you I got my equipment up from my basement, and I laid it all out. And every day I’d shoot different techniques that I hadn’t done before. So turned it into something positive. But necessity, Christopher Chris, it wasn’t anything more than that. Because I knew that that would help me elevate my career and broaden my options of work. And also broaden my, my heart as in I’m learning and doing something different. I get my I always know my trigger a boredom is when I’m not doing something and learning something. Yeah, when I get bored, and I get frustrated, it’s like, okay, come on, Damien, which is very rare. You got to you’ve got to do something, and I get complacent. And I just want to sit in the back like everybody else gossiping and wasting time and to old Chris, you know, and to me time is valuable. And there’s lots of things you can learn on YouTube. If you want something, you can click on something on your computer and you can find whatever you want and I mean whatever you want, whatever you’re into. So that was it and we’re time and some good advice and some critiquing wrong models, wrong concept. You’re all over the shop, you don’t understand beauty, and you need to go to a library and go and read and look at some great imagery, some great monumental books that will turn you on to what is a beautiful images and why Yeah, you know You know Robert, the Vectra is another sort of is a great photographer and such a great vision when it kind of comes to the end. Tim Scola, we can name many, many more. But they have a good sense of of what is technical what is not what is beautiful and what is not. I don’t need so fun rabbiting on too much talking too much now. But I don’t need to understand why somebody’s done something. And literally, I don’t always have to get the concept immediately if I’m looking at an image. But if it makes me stop, and it makes me go, Wow, that’s beautiful. I don’t like the hair. And I don’t like that. But this is beautifully done. So I have a respect. If I see great hair and great makeup and everything else, that’s a whole other world to me. So I try to open up my mind and don’t just look at an image is just hair. Yeah, it’s lots of all things, the position, the model, the makeup, the background, the lighting, the shadows, the crop in the editing, how does one image go with another what story you’re telling. So it’s really opened up my world of whatever. And actually, on a very commercial point of view, it really has influenced and helped me, my salon work has improved dramatically, because I look at things through the lens. Now, when I’m talking to my clients, I’m not I’m not going to Canberra. Yeah, but over the shoulder, I’ve got you know, Trevor on the team go and you gotta cross check that nature, then I’ve got all that looks beautiful, and what would it look like if I took a picture of it? You know, how does that client look from a total look. So those things are constantly going on, I don’t need to think about it. They’re just automatically going on in your mind, which I’ve got a hairdressers do every day.

Chris Baran 51:37
You know, it’s interesting, as we’ve heard you talk about your, your work, and how and photographing your work and then just how it came from necessity. But now you shoot for other people as well. Other hairdressers, right? What’s that, like, when you have that? Like I’ve shot with many different photographers and and some of them will give you advice? I had one photographer that said, Well, it looks like piece of shit like that. So you had you need something else in there for the camera to recognize that at recognizing the motion. And and we did. And it was right. But what’s that like for you? Is it like? Do you have it? You find that? If you have a you’re shooting for another hairdresser. Do you lay it on the line with them? Do I love

Damien Carney 52:27
it? I love it. And like you’ve expats. First of all, I’d probably never I might say it would be rare that word ship would come out of my mouth. Because you know, we’re talking earlier on about why we’re going to quit as the sensitivity in education and schooling. So I’m pretty good. And I think one thing in life as I’ve matured, and for everyone that’s listening out there, regardless of your level, know, know what you’re good at, you know, in your career and know what you’re not good at. And you know, go with what you want to you can improve what you’re not good at. But if it’s consuming too much time, and it’s you know, something you don’t want to do just forget that and focus on what you’re really good at. I’m very good at nurturing people and very good at choosing the right words, I’ll kind of get my message over there if it’s unsuitable or if it’s not at a level. But you’ve got to be careful about how you say it, because it can be very, you know, they put their heart and soul into it. Yeah, you know, they could have they’ve worked on that, that hairpiece or that week for hours, and then somebody could just dismiss it can be so critical. And I think a little cruel sometimes. Now, if you’re telling them 20 times, then the last one, you’re like, you know, I tried the nice approach on the 21st time, you might need to use something a bit more. And when somebody hires me, they’re hiring me, obviously, because of what I do, there’s a certain look that they find about my work that sometimes I don’t even see it, you know, so it goes back to this me different than what I see myself, I’m paranoid and uncomfort, about certain things like anyone else. The most important thing is it’s a journey, they’re making a huge investment. There a lot of the experiences that I hear from a lot of people that have shot, they’re working with the wrong people. They’re working with the wrong team. They’re working with the wrong photographer, and it’s put them off dramatically. So they’ve not had a good experience. Just like somebody’s you know, being in a bad relationship, any future relationships, they’re going to base that on their past Well, you know, Prince Charming or so forth might be waiting for you. Right, and we just had a bad taste of it. So it’s, you know, being clear about you know, I am the mentor with them. So that becomes part of what the service that I offer. But their work is their work crews. It’s not mine. Yeah, I make it very clear that I will never touch their wigs. I’ll never rearrange anything. I will encourage them to, you know, maybe rethink a few things but but they do it all I’m doing is being a very positive support and bringing them the best environment that they can go in. They feel good about when they’re shooting. If they’re shooting wigs and a lot of the works done. It’s a breeze because literally, you put it on and you’ve got a little bit of refining to do so all this sweat is gone. If you’re using real hair, and you’re dressing or cutting hair, you’re doing a lot of that work on set. So sometimes it works for you. Sometimes it doesn’t. But you’ve got to know how to go into fifth gear, and how to change something tip. It’s not kind of working. But I think it’s really important because anyone that I’ve worked in, we’ve had some really great results, not only for their portfolio, but but results that have made them feel really good about their work and encourage, I encourage them to share with other photographers, right? If this is a benchmark for you go out and you know, do some networking and work with other photographers, if they become a finalist or a winner, that’s even better. And it’s opened up doors that they haven’t thought were possible to open. You know, I suppose I do. I’m doing it. Because it was done to me. I was given it. And I could count on my hands, the mentors and the companies and the people, you know, that I’ve been with, and they changed my life. So I’m just passing on, you know what I did? If you asked me about 30 years ago, I might have been a little bit more defensive, and less about surrendering, and giving up my things. I’ve got it, Chris, you know, if somebody says, how’d you do this light, and I tell him, I give him the readings, I tell them to whatever. And if it helps them, then then that’s what it’s about. It’s about having a great experience. And, and it is expensive. And I think you don’t always have to have a photoshoot that costs a lot of money, you’ve got to have, you can have no clothes, you can have very little net you can have, you can have it down to the bare bone. But if the bare bone fundamentals of your team are particularly bang on, then you will get a great photo shoot. And I mean that for anybody that’s looking for ideas, look at Nick Knight, Paula reversi, you know, Steven Klein, and you can see beauty shots where there’s it’s pared down, you know, very minimal, and a girl against the wall, but the hair looks amazing. And then the photographer has brought it to life.

Chris Baran 56:53
You know, I think you brought up, you brought up something that was really I find, not can’t say controversial, but everybody thinks right now that with all the awards, picking award, whatever words that you’re putting out that you have to spend, like 2030 $40,000, on a shoot in order to get the results you want. And I think what you said some there was so profound that if you’re using somebody who can pare it down, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or a year salary in order to do it. That I think that we would get some really amazing talent that would get out there. I think there’s so many people out there, they’re so talented, but so afraid just to go in, either because a they don’t know how to work with a wig or be they just think it’s too expensive for see that they’re just not confident enough in themselves. And they can have people around them that could help them with that. So if people wanted to hire you, where would they go? What would they do? How would they contact you?

Damien Carney 57:56
Well, there’s your question anybody’s got a computer can find out so you can go on Google, Google my name, like my website, or come up my Instagram. So there you go, Chris. So with such great technology, you can find anyone you can find information about anybody under circumstances under certain circumstances. Website, DamienCarney.com, is where you’ll find me give some overviews of the programs that I offer. And there are not a lot of dates in there. Because a lot of my My things are based on a one to one or a group thing. I don’t do a lot of postings on social media about what I’m doing, like people with, you know, oh is the dining class or that periodically, I’ll do it. But, but a lot of my world is a little bit more exclusive. In that sense, you know that I kind of work with clients, but anyone can get me on those. I’m quite happy to chat with people, if they’ve got, you know, a project that, you know, they’re unsure about, I do a lot of vetting beforehand, about you know, what I’m going to do for them, so they know exactly what they want to do. If they do in a cutting class, what do they want, I don’t offer a generic program. So they could do a classical haircut in the morning, they could do an advanced one in the afternoon. We could do some styling on the next day. So it’s very much cherry picked. I hate that word, but but really driven into what they need and what they want versus some programs are not all of them. Too regimented, that, you know, part of it is relative and part of it’s like, well don’t really need that information, or I’ve already done it. So being an individual rather large organization, I can kind of control that and make it work for them. What do you want to learn Chris? What do you what did you get out of the photo shoot less than what don’t you want? Another thing about the budget thing when you know everybody does their storyboard? And of course good old Alexander McQueen is up there. And everybody wants Alexander McQueen clothes, which they can get unfortunate for a lot of people don’t. A lot of people don’t understand what a stylist does. Yeah, they go they go out to a rental house. They will shop for you for two days a day before the photo shoot. Then they shoot it and then they spend another day or another to two days returning it, the bigger your budget, the bigger you can have the design and things. But if you’ve only got a small budget, you’re going to end up with tank tops from Calvin Klein, where you get three in a pack. So it’s also understanding the role of a makeup artist and a wardrobe stylist and everything else. And I think, you know, that’s for learning. And another little tip for every concept boards, if it’s got more than 12 in images, yeah, stop. Because the makeup contradicts with what you’re saying over here. Then you’re saying this, then you say and it’s a bit like a client say, Well, you know, when it cut it to here, how much is that, but I want to cut it to here. And you’re like, Okay, you’ve already got a confused client. Yeah, right. So but it’s all it’s all a learning process and, you know, being respectful and honest but but because they’ve been there and I understand it, I understand, you know, how much time and how much money it can cost. However, with all that being said, if you’re willing and you’re serious about investing, it will turn your career from here to here angle it will take you to places that you’ve never ever thought or dreamt about that you would ever go Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:01:04
Yeah, I think that’s the thing is that it’s it’s in our industry now the way you get known is by being seen in your work your word your work getting recognized and and I think your Truer words were never spoken is that it can be a total career shift in how people perceive you. The I want to do what I do this with everybody. It’s a It’s rapid fire. You’re going to throw out just a series of questions. Just one two word answers. What turns you on in the creative process?

Damien Carney 1:01:41
originality,

Chris Baran 1:01:42
and what stifles safety. What? An event a show or a shoot that you loved that I know there’s many but the first one that comes to your brain?

Damien Carney 1:01:56
anything nice. What’s that? Anything, Nick? Nice. Wow. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:02:03
thing in life in general that you dislike the most negativity, and what you love the most.

Damien Carney 1:02:12
passion and love

Chris Baran 1:02:15
things that you hate most about our industry?

Damien Carney 1:02:20
Zip up. Well, I can’t answer this in, well zip up. Because too much of that you got to back it up with talent and content. So I think let’s talk and zip up and we’re listening here. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:02:33
Good. Good eyes and hands. Right. person that you admire the most?

Damien Carney 1:02:40
Well, it would be Trevor because he had such an influence on my life. And Vivian and all those people Eugene. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:02:46
person that you wish you could meet. Living Dead.

Damien Carney 1:02:52
Rock Hudson. Oh, interesting. Just for scandal? No, I’m not fancy and rock concealer. Very handsome man. But just for scandal. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:03:00
Interesting. Something people don’t know about you.

Damien Carney 1:03:07
I’m actually very shy. Mm hmm.

Chris Baran 1:03:09
Interesting. I would have never thought that in a million years. But there’s our statement.

Damien Carney 1:03:14
So can we add on? Yeah, that but But it’s interesting. You know, we all you know, when we’re kind of pushed into different situations that we obviously may have a different character. But if you look at let’s look, look at celebrities in the music business, they’re great on stage, but when they come off, we’re all that. So you ask a lot of great hairdressers, or a lot of great hairdressers or hairdressers that love to do hear that there’s a shyness to it, and you have to get over it otherwise you can’t survive but but that’s kind of it but it’s I think a very endearing and beautiful quality to address.

Chris Baran 1:03:46
month I’ll give you like that snap my fingers or just give you a month off. Where would you go? What would you do?

Damien Carney 1:03:53
Let’s still be in New York, or London doing what? Chilling it’d be chill time. Because I do think it’s important Chris like I’m sure you agree with a lot of people are also watching. You know, you got to work hard and you got to play the game and what you put in is what you get out but you got to be very careful that you don’t burn out. I’m a great believer I work hard and I have time off. It’s to breathe. It’s to clear the mind. I know that sounds very obvious. But people come very unhappy when they’re so overwhelmed or they need it. They can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. They can’t see where they’re going. Because they’re doing God 10 too much and they just need a break. And go

Chris Baran 1:04:29
anything is a thing that you’re you’re terrified of.

Damien Carney 1:04:35
Terrified Oh yeah. Oh heights, heights.

Chris Baran 1:04:39
You and I brother. Yeah. Yeah, favorite curse word. Motherfucker. Favorite. I don’t know why I laugh every time somebody says her curse or your favorite comfort food.

Damien Carney 1:04:53
Oh, Cory Hmm.

Chris Baran 1:04:57
You know the the what we To curry

Damien Carney 1:05:00
Oh, Eddie curry, I could eat curry day nine everyday the way to love it

Chris Baran 1:05:06
something in the industry that you haven’t done, but you’d love to

Damien Carney 1:05:13
extensions. Oh,

Chris Baran 1:05:17
do you do over? You know, are you familiar with the word do over a dual makeover, something that I do over? Well, it’s like what I wish I would have done that differently. You know if I could do that over again, I would do it differently. Is there a do over that you had in your life? What would it be?

Damien Carney 1:05:34
Mostly not. But I suppose you know, that’s a little bit deeper in the kind of, you know, my conscious, not put up with the fucking bullshit, excuse my language and just been a little bit more direct about, you know, where I want to go and want to want to do and it’s not shitting on people, I think it’s important. It’s not about being selfish, but just being a little bit more on it. I think, come on. Let’s do this. Yeah. I Helen mirror says you know, a word. And it’s kind of like she wish she had what was the word you’d advise to say to people? Fuck off. Yeah, excuse my language, everybody. But sometimes you really want to say that rather than because sometimes there might be a time where you need to say in your head, not outward verbally.

Chris Baran 1:06:19
Okay, tomorrow, if you you couldn’t do hair, or you couldn’t do photography? What would you do?

Damien Carney 1:06:26
I’d help people. In what way I think, oh, it could be a charity. It could be it could be any of those things. But you know, people that I feel I could maybe enlighten or help or support. And it could be in any way, you know, particularly the elderly or the the young, the in betweens can survive on their own, somewhat, but not everybody. So I’m generalizing. But you know, younger kids or elderly people just, you know, if there was something I could do to brighten them up, that might be going to do their laundry, or, you know, walk them about or do something that has a little bit more of a meaning of life. I love what I do. But I think sometimes it’s important that we do that. I do that occasionally on certain things. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:07:08
If you had one wish for industry, what would that be?

Damien Carney 1:07:12
Sites tighten up, let’s get back on to a little bit more quality. We are in a different time zone decade and we’re in 2023, I do get it. But cutting corners on certain things just just doesn’t work. You know. And I think there’s a sense of, of quality and pride that you know, sometimes is lost in the industry. You know, if you want to be really good at what you want to do be a magician be, you know, a designer, clothes designer, hairdresser. There’s just certain things that demand you’ve got to put something in and only accept the best, even when you fail. Of course, we want to do things a little different because of the world that we live in. It is what it is. But I think we need to get back into some kind of seriously and particularly in education.

Chris Baran 1:08:00
BINGO, BINGO. Well, Damien, I feel like I’ve gotten a new bud. I can’t believe it

Damien Carney 1:08:10
sounded good. But we just never, we’ve always been like, you know, passing well, you know, you’re doing your thing, model call and work, see working is working away, right, but always a delight.

Chris Baran 1:08:21
Well, next time I’m in New York, and if you’re in town, we’ve got to do dinner, and libations of whatever that might be, from Coca Cola to wine, whatever. I’ve got to say, Damian, for giving up your time for our listeners, and the people watching this. You’ve always you’re so insightful. And you’re such a visionary when it comes to really seeing where our industry is going. And I just can’t thank you enough for being on the program.

Damien Carney 1:08:50
Thank you and your team and everybody at what you’ve always done, Chris, and as you love what you do unconditionally, and they’re like, Well, it’s a lot of industries. It’s not just here, but in our industry. You know, there are no a lot of people like that. And I think it’s important to have those kinds of characters and people that do that, because that’s what makes the future of the hair better. And, you know, makes everybody’s world be enlightened. You’ve got to give sometimes and and that’s what it’s about, rather than we take some times and always expect to just go there. Well, eventually the jar will be empty. Yeah, you know, so thanks for replenishing it and what you do it’s been in your You’re incredible, and thank you for having me, and I hope everybody watching has enjoyed it, too.

Chris Baran 1:09:32
I’m sure they will. Thank you. And again, one more time. Damien, thank you so much, and Cheers. Thank you