ep39 – Jamal Edmonds

A friend of mine opened his own salon at just 23 years old. Since then he has styled hair for Hollywood celebrities and music icons. He is known as a leading expert in textured and curly hair and, in fact, he won the 2022 NAHA award for texture. Here he is: Jamal Edmonds.

• Even as a child he was constantly creative with the love and support of his family.

• Hear how Jamal got into education in the hair industry, how it fills his cup, and how it pushes him further in his creativity.

• Jamal has a unique approach to working with Evie Johnson in major competitions. Not only is she his partner in inspiration and creativity, but in accountability too.

Complete Transcript

Chris Baran 0:00
We discuss some images in today’s chat and you can see them in the podcast videos at Chrisbaran..com.

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

you know, I believe in gratitudes, and I’m really grateful for today’s guest. He is the Redken and Mizani ambassador and owner of Lamaj in the City salon in DC he is the known in the industry as a leader in texture and curly hair. He’s had covers and features in Washington life essence, black hair, black hair, UK, black, black passion, and, of course dozens more. He’s a Ford’s top 10 honoree salon lamaj was finalist for Steve Harvey’s neighborhood awards. He styled hair for CEOs actresses, fashion models, Grammy nominated musicians and TV hosts. He has been sought after to do work for the BT awards and promotional tours as well as New York Fashion Weeks. He is a multi finalist and NAHA winner. So let’s get into this week’s head case. Jamal Edmonds.

Jamal. It’s been too damn long since we’ve hung out together. But I just want to say welcome to head cases. And it is an absolute pleasure to have you on board here.

Jamal Edmonds 1:45
I appreciate it. It has been a long time

about hanging out with you today.

Chris Baran 1:50
I had your bestie on the other day. she, you know it was interesting. And just for those people listening and watching his best is Evie Peterson, or Evie Johnson. Sorry, wrong, Evie. And the we had a really good time. And she spoke very highly above about you as well. And initially what I wanted to happen is I was trying to get the two of you on together. And I think it was just would have been too much hassle. And you know, once we get this stuff all figured out really well. Maybe we can do that we can have another one on there with the two of you. And then I can find out the real truth.

Jamal Edmonds 2:26
I would love that. She had a great time.

Chris Baran 2:29
Yeah. Well, she’s she’s special, I think in both of our lives. So I have quick question. I have to think I was trying to think back to the first time that I met you now had this may not be correct. But was it? I believe, Lee, my son was directing a photo shoot a photo shoot video shoot, form a Zani. And I believe you, Evie, and I’m not sure if Michelle O’Connor was there. Was that is that correct? Is that that was that were you at that shoot? This was like, God knows, like, a 10 years ago.

Jamal Edmonds 3:09
No, you know what, I don’t think I was at that shoot, but let me remind you were

Chris Baran 3:15
no, I’m gonna. I’m gonna beg first of all, you know, for those of you just listening, he’s a young whippersnapper. And I’ve got old, I got the old gray hair and grow, grow gray beard. So my brain skills, brain cells aren’t quite as good as Jamal’s is.

Jamal Edmonds 3:33
So no, I don’t know if you’ve remember. But it was a it was in a training that I think it was you Ruth Roche. Some other amazing artists that did for PPD.

Chris Baran 3:46
Oh, that’s right. That was with Nick French. Kris, Kris Sorbie. Also was in the planning of that. And then she got called away just before him. So those just Ruth and I.

Jamal Edmonds 3:59
Yeah, so that was the first time we met. And that was many, many years ago. Yeah. And it was, first of all, one of the most exciting trainings that I’ve ever been to, to date. I mean, because it was just full of, I’m a true creative, you know, so it’s not often that we as stylists get to learn and recreate those really creative parts of the industry. And so it was really good. It was a really, really great experience. I walked away with so many tools and I believe that was the first year that I submitted to na

Chris Baran 4:40
that there was a lot of people there that can then you know and give true credit to that. I remember being at ca can’t remember what show it was. And I remember having a conversation with Christine Schuster would not time was the Head of Education. Throughout PPD and and she said to me, you know, I think that I’m afraid that the avant garde, is going to get lost, because obviously, I mean, she saw the future that you know, me getting a little long in the tooth, Nick, French, Ruth’s ,Kris Sorbie. And, and if we don’t pass that on, and at least the knowledge that we have, it’s not that the avant garde is going to die away. But she said, we want to get everybody together, and then just have real creative section and everybody just shares what they know. And so she was the one that really put that together. But it was, I’ll tell you, it was so much fun with putting that stuff together, and then just jamming the stuff down your throat on everything that we did. So that was fun.

Jamal Edmonds 5:43
Yeah, it was good. It was good. It was really, really a great training. And we walked away so inspired, you know, so much knowledge, and it was really good. Yeah.

Chris Baran 5:55
And you know, what it was, is what I think wasn’t because we were too, we were as inspired as everybody else. We were nervous as hell. Because we had all the industry peers and greats in that room. And, you know, we’re sitting there thinking everybody’s arms are gonna be crossed, sitting back in the chair, gone. Come on, okay, show me something. But all of you guys were just like leaning forward and gathering round. And it was just so much fun. But I’ll tell you what, what I think the miraculous thing that created the inspiration wasn’t, maybe we had a small iota of it, but it was everybody getting together after that, and actually doing the work and playing with the pieces and not worried about whether things turned out whether they did or didn’t. And I think that was the part that was truly inspiring. And I for me, that was a truly magical moment to see all of the other talent, and the inspiration and the sharing that happened within all the companies.

Jamal Edmonds 6:50
Yeah, yeah, it was a really, it was really good. You know, I remember walking away from that, you know, and I was so inspired to be able to, like create and, you know, just sitting there with all of these amazing, you know, artists from PPD, it was just like, wow, yeah, you almost there, which I think stuck out to me the most was to really be able to see like the the collections recreated on mannequin. Yeah. Yeah. It was, like you had, you know, you all did all of this amazing work, but to be able to recreate it, and then put it on mannequins and display it and show it to us, I think was also because, you know, a lot of times as an artist, you can do something and it’s like, how the hell did I do this? You know, but But you all did a really, really great job with doing that. And like I said, I left I was totally inspired. And that was kind of what jumpstarted my, you know, my interest in Aw,

Chris Baran 7:52
you know, and just in a second here, I want to I, the, the I loved all your work and ever since you started doing it, you can tell when somebody has taste, skill, and the stick to itiveness to get the look right. And I have to tell you, your work has always been inspirational to me and I some of it, we might have shared some of the things we do but I was looking at some of your work and how the hell did you do that? Is and I’m gonna get Lee to bring up just this and you’ve won many navajas you you’ve been in finalists and and I’m sure I want to show this one collection because this one was pivotal to me when I just and this was a finalist and I was just shocked that you that you didn’t win with this one. But but in you know and listen, you never have to worry about that. I always tell people look at I’m I can’t tell you I’ve probably shot almost every time for nah ha. And you know, I’ve won twice and been Susan Lucci all the rest of the times. But the middle one in this? Well, first of all, the whole crux of the whole collection is absolutely stunning. The middle one. Now I want to tell for the people that people are watching, they’ll see it for the people listening, the collection, we’re talking about these beautiful models with flowing outfits. And this if you can imagine this big S formation on top of the head, that appears to be bald, but yet this magnificent dressed hair is exaggerated, like you would see on a normal head of hair in a big S formation. How did you do that?

Jamal Edmonds 9:37
You know, this was a very, very interesting collection because again, as an artist you have in your mind or you want something to look, you know you can practice it, but it’s like, does it really happen? You know, does it really really happen the way or what you create? Is it exactly what’s in your mind Right. And so what happened was, it wasn’t supposed to look like that at all it was supposed to be, it was supposed to be more stretched out or elongated. So where this kind of bubbles up and the bottom that was supposed to be straight. But what happened was, I was trying to push it down, and my hand kind of pushed it up. And I saw, like, the texture and the color, it kind of loosened up a bit. And it created a really cool silhouette. So I was like, Okay, let’s go with this. Yeah, um, but I do have some other images where I got in a different way. But what happened was bald cap on the sides. And her hair was pulled through the top in a ponytail. And so I created like a cushion, and I actually wrap the hair around the cushion. So it’s kind of like some wires in there to kind of keep it and then to make it where I can move it a bit. But again, it was not what I envisioned in my mind. Yeah,

Chris Baran 11:03
you know, Ruth Rocke I what I love about her is, and I got this from her. She, she always said, do the hair, but wait for the surprise. And that’s exactly what I heard what I think I heard you say, was it, you never know exactly what it’s going to be. Or you might have an image in your brain. But you got to wait for the surprise, something that will happen that will be way, way better than what you actually pictured in your brain. Now you so you attach those and just so again, nobody that is listening. It’s a bald cap. Ponytail pulled through the top. And and then, but there’s still incredible ways you can’t really pin into a bowl cap. How did you how did you secure the top in the back?

Jamal Edmonds 11:50
So what I did was the ponytail was here. And then I wrapped the opponent’s around. Yeah, it’s a cryo, wrap the ponytail with wire and and I split. So kind of split the wire this way.

Chris Baran 12:04
So it was part in the front and part in the back. Yeah.

Jamal Edmonds 12:07
wire in the back. And then what I did was, I use some stuffing just attached to the wire. Yep. And then I started to wrap the hair

Chris Baran 12:16
around. Brilliant. Yeah, I know that what we found we had to do when I went to use bulk caps. With a wig we would use we would use carpet tape, double sided carpet tape. And that would adhere. The you can do it a couple of ways. I mean, I remember doing one for the symposiums when we had to create bald heads that were shaved sides and everything. And we did we actually use glue, and we glued the the hair to the bald cap. But you know, like the hair pieces shot after that. But that see that just to me shows that what your your creative mind is like, so I want to kind of shoot back a little bit. When you plan. I know that you and you and AVR are besties what’s the planning process like for you, when you when you plan when you’re getting ready for a shoot?

Jamal Edmonds 13:16
It’s really interesting, because I would always tell people, she’s a huge support to me, and a very intricate part in just my journey as a hairdresser. And a lot of times I feel like, you know, in terms of where do you find inspiration? Or who motivate you? Or who’s your accountability partner, you know, we are that for each other. And so we don’t you know, we we plan everything together. And so typically what happens is, we’ll get dates on the book will start to plan everything. So like dates will start to look for models. And typically what happens is she has she’s logistics, so she handles booking everything, except for the models. So I do the models, and then I do we sit down, and we kind of draw out what our images should look like. And it’s interesting, because, you know, she’ll draw stuff in and then I’m like, okay, I get it, you know, she’s walking me through it. And then just recently, we did we’ll do a lunch and a working lunch and what kind of draw, draw the images. And so the third image, she couldn’t really she she was explaining it to me, but she couldn’t really draw it. And so I’m like, Okay, let me figure it out. So I drew it out for and she’s like, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. Yeah, so interesting. Because, you know, we bounce off of each other. You know, we remember last year, my collection, my third image that I shot, I got stuck, you know, and she walked around and she’s like, Nope, that’s not it. And I was like, okay, so Like, what what do you think she’s like, I think you should take it up. So I was like, Okay, so now mind you, I created this image or what I thought was going going to be an image. And I’ve been working on it for probably about 45 minutes. Now you can imagine, as a creative, someone comes by you, and they’re like, No, that’s not it. Right? But again, you know, we trust each other so much where I know when she said it, wasn’t it, it wasn’t it, you know, and ego out the window, you know, we do it together, I took it down. I took her advice, I created it, I pushed it up. And it was perfect. And, you know, I think the other part is just us being able to respect and love each other. And also know that, you know, she has an eye that sometimes I can’t see things versa. And so being able to accept that criticism and know that it’s like, hey, you know, I see something this is, I want you to win, you know, yeah. Being able to accept that sometimes it’s hard for creatives. Yep.

Chris Baran 16:08
You know, the I, I really love what you said there, because I think that I want to kind of break it down and make sure that I got what you’re saying. Like, you know, the fact of an accountability partner, to me means just that is that they’re holding you accountable, not only just to the logistical stuff, but they’re there as a coach, and a coach is going to say, you know, that’s going to win, or it’s not, or you can have a terrible coach, that will just say, Oh, you’re okay, make sure that you’re feeling all right, and then let you go through all that motion, time, energy, money. And then you, you lose anyway. Now to be clear, you know, I remember doing an interview one time and with Maggie Mulhern. And she was asking me about telling me what your feeling is about, about winning about being in ,NAHA and whatnot. And I said, Well, I’d said, if you tell if you tell me that anybody is going to go in there and doesn’t want to win, I’ll call that person a liar. You know, we’ll always have our, our statement that will give after and that was okay, great. But you’ve been in there to win if you didn’t win to me, if you don’t want to win, you’re not a champion. And, and, but the funny thing that she said was, you know, I’ve talked to so many people, and they always say, Oh, well, you know, just being a finalist is okay. And there is merit to that, don’t get me wrong. But you have to go into it wanting to win, and do your very best. And here’s the reason why I don’t want everybody to think that you and I are talking about you got to go into win, and you stomp over people and do all of those things. But when you go into it, you’ve got to go into it and say, you know, if I don’t win, at least I’m going to the very least worst case scenario, I’m going to have an amazing collection that I can still put on branding on my walls, and I could can still have it in magazines, etc. But if you don’t, if that coach lets you pass, there’s going to be that image in there that you hate forever. And it’s there. So that’s what I love about what you said about what Evie hold you accountable on?

Jamal Edmonds 18:24
Well, you know, it’s interesting that you say that, because my very, very first collection, you know, I did not have I mean, Evie and I still work together. But again, this is the first time that we were shooting, you know, and I had that one image that I in that collection. So very, very interesting that you say that, because I feel like and I just, you know, tried a few different things with that one image would have been, I probably would have been nominated or even won. Yeah.

Chris Baran 18:56
Yeah. And it is very true. Yeah, it haunts you when that happens, because you knew it was there. And that’s why I’ll tell you what, when the budget allows, and if I can, if I need three images, I shoot four or I shoot five, because then I can pick the best three and still have a collection of the other one as well. But you know that I mean, just to go back to that. Um, your your work is so fine. I have to tell you that I don’t know if I’m dating myself by next word. I’m going to use this cool. So I want to go back because you’re you are a creative. But yeah, I want to go back to your family life. Did it start there? Were like, what was it? What was family life like for you?

Jamal Edmonds 19:44
You know, it’s very, very interesting because I literally as long as I can remember I’ve been being creative kid, you know? And you know what, what was most important to me about when I look back on my family life It’s not that I was a creative kid. But it was that my family gave me the space. And that allowed me to be creative. Because what happens is, you know, and I, you know, they knew that I was creative, but maybe they had a different idea of where they want to go. Right, and I wasn’t able to express myself, then maybe I would have gone a whole different path. So I think that, you know, my grandfather was an entrepreneur, he was a chef. And so I used to watch him decorate cakes, and I used to help him make cakes. And on weekends, we would help him like, at weddings and things like that. And so entrepreneurship, and just that creatives, you know, just a creative person, and being allowed to use my creativity to actually do something, it was something that I learned very, very early. You know, so I was always the one that, you know, I tried out, I wanted to try different haircuts, I wanted to, you know, wear different sneakers, and I was just allowed to, to take up space and be who I was. And I’m very grateful, you know, because I just, you know, who knows? What would have happened if they would have said, No, you can’t do that, you know. And they never told me that I remember telling my mother, when I was 18, I needed a friend, when I was 16. I hadn’t even finished high school. And I was like, I want to go to cosmetology school. And she said to me, are you sure? And I said, Yeah, and she, she signed me up, and I was a regular school that day, and I’m telling you school than I am, and I was where it all began for me. But what I remember, you know, very vividly, just the support and love, you know, my family always embraced me, and just, they knew that I was unique, and I was allowed to be there, you know. And, you know, I think, for me, it helped me really come into my own. And it also allowed me the time to focus on what I wanted to do, you know, whereas like, I didn’t, you know, they, when I wanted to become a hairdresser, I didn’t really have them saying, you know, no, you should do this, or are you sure that’s what you want to do? Okay, if that’s what you want to do, you just be the best hairdresser that you can be? And

Chris Baran 22:32
I thought it was what were your siblings? Like? Were they were they the same? Were they? What do I hate to lump everybody together? What.

Jamal Edmonds 22:44
So my older brother or two older brothers, both of them are not creative at all. And then my younger sister, I have a younger sister that is creative. But for the most part, it was only two of us that were really the creative minds. The other ones were were, you know, kinda they express themselves, but not create in a creative way.

Chris Baran 23:14
What was it? What was it, like, in school, like, was the, like, did that creativity help hinder what was like in school, it’s helped.

Jamal Edmonds 23:21
It helped, you know, I was, I felt like, because so early on, you know, I was in probably like, the seventh eighth grade, like, going to high school. And I realized that I had to give, you know, and so I was doing, I was doing everyone’s hair, you know, like, I would throw all my friends hair, and my friends, friends. And so it kind of created. It made me a little popular, you know, with people. So, people always wanted to hang out with me. You know, so, my high school years were really good. You know, I didn’t have any real issues. But in terms of my, my talent, I felt like it. It just blossomed, you know, and I never ever thought, you know, when I was young that I was actually going to be a hairdresser. I knew that I had a gift, you know, but I didn’t know how far it would take me. I mean, I even looked today in my while, you know, like, Who would have known that, you know, this little this little young man that was 15 years old, just learning to do braids, you know? I would actually be doing some of the things that I’ve done so you know, definitely made room for me.

Chris Baran 24:42
Awesome. The remember that like, Did you always have patience for it? It was a it I find there. Sometimes people that will want to get to an end result really quick. And there’s some people that will go into it and just really He put the time and effort into it now where we’re going with this. And I remember watch. And the reason why I’m asking you that is we were doing a show together, and I believe it was the BTC show. And there was the red Kozani. And we’re doing that all the whole thing together. And, and I remember, you have this stunning, stunning model with this perfect curl in in her hair. And it was blonde. Blonde dish.

Jamal Edmonds 25:36
Yeah. And ice.

Chris Baran 25:39
I was watching you. I don’t know. To me, it seemed like 10 minutes, because I was so fascinated by it. But it was it was, you know, an hour or more that you use and making sure that these girls natural coils? Yeah, perfect. Yeah, and positioning them and then having to dry them. Where were you? What are you always that type to? Put in the time energy was what? Tell me a little bit more about your feelings on that.

Jamal Edmonds 26:10
You know what? Yes, I have always been a very, very patient person. Even now, you know, when it comes to life and things like I’m a very patient person. And I will share something with you that I felt like as an adult, I see where my patients came from. My mom is today’s her birthday. She passed away though, two years ago. years.

Chris Baran 26:35
Well, let’s, let’s pause there. Let’s pause there and wish your mom a happy heavenly birthday. So happy birthday mom, I know you’re watching. You’re amazing, son.

Jamal Edmonds 26:47
Thank you, but my mom’s suffered from mental illness. And throughout my entire, like, teenage my, you know, my teenage years. I was one of you know, one of the people that could kit that had to care for her. And so my patients started there. Because, you know, dealing with mental illness, a lot of times people don’t really understand and it’s not like, it’s not her fault, you know, and I would always look at it. Like, it’s not her fault. It’s just, you know, some it’s almost like a sickness or illness. Right. And so earlier on, you know, as I was young, when I was younger, I had to have patience, because I had to help her I had to guide her I had to do a lot of things with and for. And so for me, that is where I feel like my patients came in, and I’ve been able to kind of carry it throughout my adulthood. But I’m smiling because, you know, my mother and I had a great relationship. Even the lows, you know, I think about just me being with her, you know, because had someone else been there, he may not have been able to be safe and as protected and cared for as what I did, you know, so I’ve had those opportunities or those times with her. But you know, it definitely helped me navigate through real life, you know? Yeah.

Chris Baran 28:13
Yeah, I feel I feel you on that one because my mom had dementia as well. And, you know, I often would get a little short simply because she wasn’t this when she was in that form. She wasn’t the person that I knew. And I knew it was robbing me of it. And I, I would get I would get impatient. still suffer from that one. So I understand. Thank you. But is there times in your life now? Like what what pulls your patients away from you?

Jamal Edmonds 28:47
Well, so I have three kids, and they’re all young.

Chris Baran 28:52
We know where you’re going it shows why some animals eat they’re young.

Jamal Edmonds 29:03
So if I could say anything that pulls my patients away from me, it’s you know, sometimes the kids we have a house full of boys and you know, you know how that can be. They are in constant competition and they just pick with each other and bother each other. And I’m like, Dad, can you just chill out for a minute? So that will be the

Chris Baran 29:27
only thing Yeah. You know, and I’m an only child so you know, listen, that’s probably why I didn’t have a lot of patience when I was first married simply because of you know, if you want to do is you made the noise if you didn’t want noise you shut up, you know, but it’s hard to do that. 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 let’s talk about I want to shift kind of how you got into hair. But you’re just an amazing educator as well. And you travel the world, you’ve you do these amazing collection, but how did you like what was the spark? Was there somebody that got you into it? Was there some thing what what got you into education?

Jamal Edmonds 30:54
So what, what what got me into education was I was a salon owner at a very, very early age, right? So I believe that I opened my first salon at the at the age of 23. And, of course, you know, I’m no clue on how to rate I mean, how to run a business, any of those things. So I was learning and going through, but what I felt the most was that mis and running my salon space. As a leader, you know, I will walk away feeling empty at night, you know, in terms of how I was constantly giving to my staff and motivating and, you know, inspiring them, but it was like when it was for me. I didn’t have that. Right. And so I was like, you know, one year, I think I want to join a brand or I want to become a part of Brian. And I didn’t even really know what that meant. At that time. I did know that, you know, I knew that it was going to be Mizani. Like I knew that that was where I wanted to go. And so I knew that I would see educators at shows on stage talking about product and that type of thing, or you know, doing hair. And so I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. And once I became interested enough, one of one of EVs best friends is who introduced us. And yeah, so I ended up into being introduced to Evie, we went out. I was telling her because she was on Mizani at the time. And so I was like, hey, I want to you know, I want to be a part of Mizani. I want to know more about it. And we went, we went to dinner, we went to lunch. And they were just so happened to be hiring that year. So I audition and I made the team and that’s kind of so Evie is what got me into Mizani.

Chris Baran 32:51
Yeah, that’s awesome.

Jamal Edmonds 32:53
And I felt like, you know, becoming a part of that is where I mockup is filled. You know, because when you think about when you’re in those leadership positions, you’re salon owners, you know, you’re educated, you’re doing all of these things. It’s like, how do you say, it’s fire, you know, and having a friend like Evie, or, you know, the artists that I meet alone along my journey, you know, a few reckon artists that I stay connected with isn’t a Zani artists that I stay connected with. And that way, I am still motivated. I am inspired. You know, I do want to show up at 110%. Because I’ve now connected myself to like minded individuals. And so it was important to me as I moved through, you know, my journey as a hairdresser that I could not only inspire people, but that I could meet people that would inspire me.

Chris Baran 33:50
Yeah. You’re always so gracious onstage. What’s it like, before you step onstage? What’s your brain like before you walk on stage?

Jamal Edmonds 34:03
So let me let me just tell you about one specific event. So I did a record symposium with you all this year. And when I say that stage was huge, and audience was huge. So when I went out, walked up. I’m like, you know, I’m so I’m so grateful that I was paired with Lindsey because, you know, Lindsey is amazing. She made sure that I was good. But I do have a little nervousness, you know, and I always tell people, I feel like that nervousness. I still have it because I’m still so passionate about what it is that I do. And I want to make sure that I’m delivering the information and that people still want to hear, you know, it’s not about me as a person. It’s also about the space that I’ve been put in and how I can share education or my journey, or anything else with someone that’s going to take something away from it, you know, because I think a lot of times be, you know, I know a lot of , I see a lot of artists that, you know, they make it about themselves, you know, and that that should never be what it’s about, you know, it’s always about you connecting with the audience or the attendees and making sure that you’re delivering impactful education, so that they can take back to their salons and they can earn more, or they can become more inspired, or they can pass it on to someone in their face, to help them do the same. And so that’s always kind of where my nervousness comes from.

Chris Baran 35:43
Yeah. You said something magical there that when you’re talking about them, meaning the audience and US that are meaning or me that’s on stage. And, and I think that if people would, if anybody that wants to get into education on stage is just to remember that, if you can just be authentic when you walk in, and I and this was something that was given to me, and I’ve passed it along numerous times to other people, I will say, I’m not smart enough to think of this stuff on my own, but I am smart enough to hear something brilliant and retain it. And I remember that somebody said to me, my teacher said to me, Listen, if you’re thinking about the audience, then you’re in your head, trying to think of what you’re going to do next to impress them, rather than be interested, interested versus interesting. Meaning, just be yourself. And just be yourself and let and think about them, those people that are in the audience, what you can do and give, and that’s what you were saying. So to me, it’s about, just stop thinking about me and start thinking about them. And it allows you just to be you. And that’s always that always is who you are, every time that I see you on stage. And that was an amazing, that was a brilliant class, that it was when you and and Lindsey. And what was that? Like when just for somebody that’s listening and hearing us right now who’s never been on stage. But you have two people on stage, both of you do amazing work, you admire one another. But you only have 30 minutes to get out the education? What when and when you’re used to giving it out in say, a 90 minute class? What was that like for you? Was it easy? Was that hard? was what was going on?

Jamal Edmonds 37:39
So it was I don’t want to say that it was easy, right? Because I do feel, you know, we had to talk about it, you know, we had to make sure that we were taking out those little bite sized pieces, right? That was the most important parts, because again, we only had 30 minutes, which really means that by the time we do intro all of these things, it was like 12 minutes apiece,

Chris Baran 38:05
right? You’re lucky? Yeah, yeah.

Jamal Edmonds 38:08
So how do you? How do you impact people in that short amount of time? And now there’s the question, you know, what do we what is the most important parts of what we’re sharing? That we can leave them with? You know, even though we don’t have this 45 minutes stage? Yeah. And I think that we both are that that 45 minute timeframe. And I think that we both did a great job of making sure that we could deliver those little bite sized pieces where people could take away, but just, you know, making sure that they were comfortable with it, and that they really saw and walked away feeling like okay, you know, I got something.

Chris Baran 38:52
Yeah, it was, it’s really interesting what you said, because, and what I took away from that was that if you have if you’re trying to get what you usually have 90 minutes of content, and you’ve only got now you only got 30, you watch so many people that take the same 90 minute program, talk faster and try to jam it all into 30 minutes. And what happens is it goes from one year to the next out the door and people don’t retain a thing. So they people have to learn to edit out what they’re gonna say, rather than condense it down. And I think that’s what’s magical in there, especially now, when you think of all the times that people are on their phone scrolling. If they don’t, if they don’t catch something in what is it now three seconds, that they’ll swipe up down, whatever. And you can tell my adaptation with a phone right now. Or maybe the app I don’t know. But the you know, people right now or their attention span is so short, so you gotta give small bites. Yeah, absolutely.

Jamal Edmonds 39:57
Absolutely. And again, you know, these The things that I can’t say that just like you said, I didn’t think of these things, you know. I mean, obviously, I’ve learned, you know, throughout the way, I think that we are a part of PPD is just such a great network where we’re able to constantly learn, you know, that’s what I love about being a part of it. But for me, it’s just like, you have to think about those things. Because I do think that, you know, imagine all of that information being condensed, and then you saying it all to everyone, they get lost? Yeah. You pick out the most important things that you want them to understand. And then you tell them, you show them and you tell them or you share with them. And that way, they get it? Because otherwise, you know, and it’s, I mean, how crazy is it that, you know, now, we can only absorb those small amounts of information because of what social is doing, you know, but I mean, it is it’s a thing, and now we kind of have to pivot to make sure that we are allowing ourselves to be, you know, to allowing ourselves to be able to give them the information and the ways that they can receive it.

Chris Baran 41:17
Yeah. And, you know, it was interesting when you’re talking about social etc, and getting permission, is this something that I just, I’ve been wanting to ask you for, you know, as public almost as long as I’ve known you now, is that okay? If I asked you this question is stupid as it is. No, of course, I see everybody building their brand. You know, and it’s always we always said you know, even when we when I started off it was you had you got your salon and everybody would want their name in the on the sign you know, we always call that the shingle that hung outside the door. And it was always be somehow your name like I had my first salon was called hair Baron as in the German hair and then Baron because that’s part of my heritage. But they always want their name on and yet your name is Jamal. Yeah, but your salon is called Lamar edge. It’s not full title, but it’s in there. Your Instagram title for anybody that’s writing this down now when you want to get a hold of them. Is Lamar edge backwards. La and AJ backwards as spelled. And that’s your instant. Why? Where did that ever come from with Lamar edge? Where did that come from?

Jamal Edmonds 42:31
My my younger sister that we just talked about? That was the creative one. Yeah. She definitely she named it. You know, we went I was Yep. So she basically it’s just my name backwards is Jamal backwards. So when she went live when we were young, you know, I was like, hey, I want to open a salon. And she’s like, Oh, this is what she will name it. And

Chris Baran 42:56
did it? Where did that spark from? Did she just out of left field?

Jamal Edmonds 43:00
I have no clue. I mean, she has she’s just as creative as I am. In fashion. So um, you know, she was thinking she was gonna do something a lot bigger, and fashion, but like, that was her thing. You know, back when we were young. He loved clothes. She loved to dress up. Like, I mean, I was literally doing our hair twice a week because she just always liked to change. And, and I remember her she she gave me that name. And I just kept it. Yep.

Chris Baran 43:33
Amazing. So now you’ve got the salons. Everything’s going on really? Well. Actually, I want to ask you a question first. Because I know who I know the the type that I am. Yes. Which one are introvert extrovert? What are you?

Jamal Edmonds 43:50
An introvert? Introvert? Yeah.

Chris Baran 43:54
Nice. So tell me tell me about that. What? Like because I’m an introvert as well. I like it. I like my alone time. I have a hard time mixing with people. You know, everybody sees me doing this and they think oh god, you must be such an extrovert. But I have to get other people to do that and hook up everybody for me. But the what? What drew you to education when you’ve got it? You have to get out and you appear more like the extrovert? Well, you know, it’s

Jamal Edmonds 44:23
interesting because people when I say introvert to them, they are like no, no way. You know, no way that exactly. But you know, what I will say is what the way that I see it, or the way that I can explain it to you the most is that a day of a let’s say a break and symposium. Right? And let’s say when they say another event that’s like multiple stage rotations throughout the day. When it’s done. I’m done. Like I’m like I need to I need to go. Now, you know, a lot of times they’ll throw those like, Okay, so after we’ve done stage rotations, now we have to go to a team dinner. Right? It’s like, oh my god, another team dinner. But again, you know, being any industry you have to play. So I put a smile on my face, I go and you know, take the minutes that I can, and then I come back out, but I definitely am a person who needs and who arrives and adding some time to myself. Yeah. So it’s, you know, when you think about being on a road for three days straight, don’t want to, you know, don’t want to show the next the next two days, I’m typically off and I’m in house by myself. Yeah. So it’s a con because I need it. I need to refuel, you know,

Chris Baran 45:55
with you on that one brother. I’m exactly the same way. You know, it’s

Jamal Edmonds 45:59
interesting, though. Sorry to cut you off. No. I heard that there. I’ve read somewhere that they are now. It’s something that they’ve incorporated, introvert and extrovert, I can’t remember what they call it. But I could possibly maybe possibly be that too. This is something new. After I’ll have to research it. And but it’s, it’s where where you have characteristics of both both introvert and extrovert.

Chris Baran 46:33
It probably comes I would imagine, because I’m trying to think back to, you know, my experiences being an introvert as well. But there is times when I know that I do want a little bit of the glory. And I want people to, you know, oh, it’s a good boy. It’s a good boy. All right, I want to jump back into something you said that I had, so that people understand that you were you talked about team dinners. And sometimes there’s, there’s things that you’re obligated to go to for the audience’s sake, and rightfully so, I mean, those are the people that are there, they deserve it, they want it. And sometimes they just do want to meet you. And I remember one. I don’t remember the state or the place I was in but I remember it one distributor, it was near Christmas. And we were doing a show and they had an after dinner. It like is the whatever it was sent this Sunday, you did a Sunday Monday show the Sunday night they always had the cocktail party and and they had in this one room, they had a sleigh setup. Or it might have been Thanksgiving, and it was a sleigh ride or something like this. And we had to sit on these bales and and then people would come and get their pictures taken with us. And then I want this to come across perfectly innocent as we admit it as the way it was and we just get it was brought it was Brian and Sandra Smith, myself. And we were sitting in this sleigh. And I said first of all, if we’re going to be doing this at first of all you have to understand being an introvert I’m going Who the hell would want to come and take a picture with me. You know, so am I just going to sit here and I just got to sit here now and I’m going to sit here without red wine. So I said somebody please make sure that we have you’re bringing some red wine over to us and keep us keep our glasses filled. So that was that part was great. And and so we went through the night did that and they set out and so the next day we were talking to somebody else and we and they said oh How was last night and I I nicknamed it the guest artist petting zoo. And so you know, and I say it affectionately please don’t listen to this. Don’t get it wrong, please. When you’re when you’re at the shows, I’m insecure. So please come up and ask if you want to pick and pick even if you don’t like me or know me. He has come up with taking a picture with you make me feel good. So that’s we we nicknamed it the guest artists petting zoo and that one has been stuck. Are you going to the guest artist petting zoo tonight? Go so. With that in mind, you know, okay, you are you and I are like what are you kind of this introvert, introvert extrovert? Whatever. Yeah. But what pushes you what makes you you know, especially when times are I mean, everybody thinks that life is all rosy for us. And it’s not when what pushes you and really gets you going. Especially when, you know it’s like when you’re at home and you go Mom, I don’t want to get out of bed this morning. What what pushes you

Jamal Edmonds 49:46
so in education field, I would say what pushes me is representation, you know, because obviously there’s not many, not many people Black men and look like me, you’re black there’s not many, there’s not many that look like me. And so, you know, I want to be an inspiration for, you know, maybe the maybe the little black boy that’s coming out of school that’s like, hey, I want to be able to do that one day, or is there even space and room for me to do that? You know. And I also want to, you know, be a, from my community, you know, a lot of black stylists don’t get a lot of the opportunities that I get. Right. And so I know that right. And so I want to not only show up, but I also want to give them all the information that I didn’t get. Yeah, you know, there’s a lot of things that I, once I became connected to a brand I was, you know, I learned a lot. And I don’t know that I would have ever got that, you know, or learn those things, if I wasn’t, and so it’s important to me to pay it forward.

Chris Baran 51:08
And like when you pay it forward, like what, tell us a little bit more about that? What does that mean?

Jamal Edmonds 51:13
Um, you know, it’s interesting that you asked me this, because I was taught I was on a panel a couple of weeks ago, and some some artists that came before me was kind of sharing their perspectives also on social media. And however, you know, I respect everyone’s opinion, you know, we all should live our lives the way that we want to live them. And one of the questions that came up, or one of the topics that came up was, why do Why does hair stylists give, let’s say, formulas, color Formulas, on Instagram for free? And I said, well, and then they were, you know, few of them were like, Oh, I would never do that. And, you know, you know, if you want to come and learn from me, then you, you know, you have to pay me for for this. And I respect that, you know, my way. And so one of my ways of paying it forward is to do those things to show tips and tricks and ways of being able to improve your business or, you know, how do you do all of these amazing things that I’ve been able to accomplish? Not maybe giving you my roadmap, but how can you build a client base in a salon, you know, what’s the best color coloring technique to add highlights to someone that has a ton of dense curly hair, you know, me giving you those tips and tricks, or even a formula, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to do it the way that I can. That I can do it. It just means that I’m going to give you some of the things that you know, has made me successful. And so that is kind of my way of, of, you know, giving it on paying it forward.

Chris Baran 52:59
Yeah. Yeah. No, I was doing a little research as well. And I thought you you’ve also been involved in some charities. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. What which ones?

Jamal Edmonds 53:09
So we like to do a coat dry every year. And we normally do something for Thanksgiving, too. So like, I normally haven’t done it in a couple years. Like, since COVID. I haven’t done it, but I probably will resume it next year. Every month, we would do something different, you know whether it was feeding the homeless. We did a coat drive all the time, we did a toy drive. It’s always the top tots. So we will get the clients to donate toys for Christmas. I normally personally donate coats and stuff to a homeless shelter. Like every winter. We’ll collect it, and then I’ll take my kids to help me donate it because I think that that’s just something they need. They need to understand. You know, because we live a great life and I need them to understand, you know, to be grateful.

Chris Baran 54:06
You know, there’s another side. Yep. And probably but from one mistake, yeah, there we go. You know, so I think that’s great. How old your kids are hold

Jamal Edmonds 54:17
711 and 13.

Chris Baran 54:21
Oh, yes. We’re all sort of running around that house

Jamal Edmonds 54:31
they this morning they arguing about something crazy. As weird in the car. Jesus, it’s just always something with these voids.

Chris Baran 54:46
Is there is there you know, everything always seems so rosy for everybody that’s out there that they when they see Jamal on stage, you’ve got it all. You’re successful. Was there was there any rough patch patches in your career that you could share.

Jamal Edmonds 55:03
Um, so the only thing I would say is a rough patch was the first rough patch was. I mean, there’s been many now that I think about it, but the first rough patch, I would say, was trying to trying to stay inspired. And that was kind of when I joined was Ami. The second rough patch was I owned a I own two spaces at one time. So I own one salon that was a booth rental space. And then I opened the salon it out that I had now which is a commission space. And so one salon understanding what the other salon was, there became this rivalry between spaces. Because the booth rental space felt like I was giving the commission space, a lot more attention, but really understanding what a commission based salon looks like, versus a booth rental salon. Exactly. Because that requires more energy and more space. And so navigating through that. And then just really building building a solid team. You know, it was it was it was rough, you know, and I still am looking for one other stylists. But for now, I’m a pretty solid team. But you know, things change all the time. So those are some moments where I was like,

Chris Baran 56:34
It’s like that old, their old saying, and again, I say this with my tongue in my cheek. But they say for salon owners and salon owners will giggle when they hear it because they’ve heard it before. The two best moments in your life are when you the day you open your salon and the day you said the day you sell it. One’s anticipation and the other one is relief, you know, so the, I just want to do is I’m gonna go into what I call rapid fire some rapid fire questions here in just a second. But is there mentors that you have to pay? I always think that if you know the mentors, and to me and to qualify it for me, to be a mentor is not somebody who influenced you that you don’t know, a mentor is somebody that physically helped to change your life and your career paths? Or your life? Yes. So I have mentors who are the mentors in your life?

Jamal Edmonds 57:34
Well, so I was I was able to EVM out both a crystal with me as a mentor or not, at some point, amazing woman. Yeah, it was it was some years ago, but I mean, just, you know, to be able to work with her. And to be able to really just, I learned so much from her. Two things that I learned from her was to look at the image in the camera. Because a lot of times, what I would do as an artist is I’m looking at the subject in front of me, but not on a camera screen. And so she changed my entire, you know, thought process around that. And also being able to walk away, being able to step away from what you’ve created. Give it some time to also, okay, just let it be, you know, because a lot of times, I’ve felt like I’ve overworked something, you know, that or again, trying to force what’s in my mind on that subject, where we’re not allowing it like the surprise to happen, like you said it right, to just being able to walk away from it and revisit it at a at a later date. Or, you know, what you’ve got to a certain point, let’s put it in front of the camera, see what it looks like. And then we pivot, you know, and then Kate Oh, show obviously is which is the Director of Education for Amazon. She’s been very instrumental and just my career and, you know, helping me along the way and making sure that I was, you know, on point at all times. Yeah.

Chris Baran 59:15
That’s amazing. And I know, I know both of them very well. And they are amazing people and I know Chris has had a lot of you’ve been a good mentor to me as well. So we both are a lot. Okay, so I want to throw out some rapid stuff. This is just rapid, rapid questions. You know, give it to you quickly, one or two words quick sentence answers. Okay. What turns you on in the creative process?

Jamal Edmonds 59:49
What’s going on great creative process, tribal

Chris Baran 59:52
what stifles it.

Jamal Edmonds 59:59
A lot of chitter chatter

Chris Baran 1:00:02
an event or show that you loved

Jamal Edmonds 1:00:06
innovative show that our MS our MYZONE summit are the thing that we do every year for our artists

Chris Baran 1:00:19
thing in life that you dislike the most

Jamal Edmonds 1:00:23
What am I dislike lazy people

Chris Baran 1:00:32
what do you love the most?

Jamal Edmonds 1:00:37
What do I love the most? Honesty,

Chris Baran 1:00:44
proudest moment of your life.

Jamal Edmonds 1:00:46
proudest moment of my life was when I adopted my son.

Chris Baran 1:00:56
thing that you hate most about our industry that you dislike.

Jamal Edmonds 1:01:01
Um, what I dislike most about our industry is that we still haven’t realized that any hairstylist of any any race to be able to do any type of hair.

Chris Baran 1:01:19
And what do you love most about it?

Jamal Edmonds 1:01:22
I love most about our industry where it can take you

Chris Baran 1:01:31
personally you admire the most

Jamal Edmonds 1:01:34
the person I admire the most is my day. Why? Because he’s just such a he’s such a he’s one of those people that has such a big personality. Well, it’s not even a bit person out he has a big influence. And he’s and he’s an introvert also. So he’s just hardworking, you know, always did the best for us and he’s just a humble guy.

Chris Baran 1:02:08
person you wish you could meet

Jamal Edmonds 1:02:12
person I wish I could meet

as well come back

Chris Baran 1:02:23
something that people don’t know about you

Jamal Edmonds 1:02:26
so that people don’t people don’t know that I love karaoke.

Chris Baran 1:02:33
Oh. a month off. Where would you go? What would you do that again? a month off? You got a month off? Where would you go? What would you do?

Jamal Edmonds 1:02:44
Maldives. Get in a water and take naps.

Chris Baran 1:02:50
Nice thing that terrifies you

Jamal Edmonds 1:02:57
I had this phobia of teeth something that terrifies me if I ever lose my front teeth.

Chris Baran 1:03:02
Oh favorite curse word. Word comfort food.

Jamal Edmonds 1:03:13
favorite comfort food sweets cupcakes cake.

Chris Baran 1:03:19
Something in the industry you haven’t done but you want to

Jamal Edmonds 1:03:23
something that interacted on television.

Chris Baran 1:03:31
If you could have one thing that you could do over in life, what would it be?

Jamal Edmonds 1:03:34
The one thing that I could do over in life our go to I didn’t go to college. I would go

Chris Baran 1:03:41
to college. What would you take? Probably business

Jamal Edmonds 1:03:45
some type of business management or something like that.

Chris Baran 1:03:50
Tomorrow you couldn’t do hair. Couldn’t have anything to do with hair. What would you do?

Jamal Edmonds 1:03:55
Oh, I’m something that fashion.

Chris Baran 1:04:00
Nice. Okay, one wish. One wish that if you had one wish for industry, what would it be?

Jamal Edmonds 1:04:10
The one wish that one wish that I had for our industry is erase. Erase erase

Chris Baran 1:04:19
Hmm. We gotta we gotta make T shirts for that. Jamal mean, we did talk about your where people can get a hold of you earlier. But remind us again, if people want to get a hold of you to have you come in and do a seminar or whatever. We’re How could they get ahold of you?

Jamal Edmonds 1:04:41
So my Instagram is Lamaj backwards. L A. M AJ Backwards ? Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:04:53
Gotcha. Okay. Jamal, it like I said at the beginning, it’s been too long. I can’t Don’t wait then two introverts get together. I don’t know what introverts drink, but I know what I drink. But next time we at least if it’s we’ll have we’ll have an extrovert and then we’ll get even get Evie in with us. And we’ll have cocktails. So I just want to say you’ve given up your time, your energy to be here. I hope you had some fun and a good conversation. I always think that’s what I love about this. And I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, and the industry thanks you for what you do.

Jamal Edmonds 1:05:29
Thank you. Thank you and thank you for having me. It’s been a blast.

Chris Baran 1:05:32
As I always say thank you for being had Take care, my friend

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