ep79 – Gerard Scarpaci

You will probably guess this week’s Headcases guest from my first hint. He is the cofounder of Hairbrained.pro and the Hairbrained Teach-In, and HBLive.me. He shares his passion for the craft by teaching every chance he gets. My guest this week: Gerard Scarpaci.

  • 4:18 – Gerard’s personal journey into haircutting including the struggles and his influences
  • 15:51 – Developing taste and an eye for hairdressing
  • 20:14 – Creativity at hair shows
  • 31:30 – Marketing strategies for salons
  • 42.58 – Creating the Hairbrained Live education platform, and its evolution from live classes to online streaming

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.

Well, welcome to head cases and delete you and a little secret the formula for introductions usually run something like this is that you list the person’s amazing street credentials. And then at the end is when you tell them their name. And it’s usually accompanied with a musical swell and the standing ovation if they can see you. The point behind it is that you hold the suspense until the end? Well, here’s the reason why I’m saying this, it’s not to mention that you saw the name on the intro card, and you just clicked on it. But if you’ve forgotten between them, and the 10 seconds, it takes me to get to the list the first street cred that they have, let’s face it, you’re gonna know who it is before I announce who it is. And here’s why I’m so excited about today’s guest is Respect is earned when someone personally teaches you a skill. And you even have more respect for that person, when they line you up with numerous other people to teach and to mentor you. And that’s what this person does. Wait for it. Because here’s the giveaway. He is the co founder of Hairbrained, Hairbrained Teach In, which is the master jam events, Hairbrained Video Awards and Hairbrained live.me, which is an online learning platform with the world’s best hairdressers. He’s an amazing educator, a thought leader and a podcaster, with over 300 episodes under his belt. So let’s get into this week’s head case. Gerard Scarpaci. Gerard, I have to tell you and I know we talked a little bit about this just putting our preamble beforehand, but I just want to jump into a little bit more of it. But first, I just want to say welcome to head cases. It’s just a real pleasure to have you on there. I’ve been an admirer from afar. So welcome is great to have you on board. I

Gerard Scarpaci 2:11
appreciate the invitation. Thank you.

Chris Baran 2:13
So listen, we were we were talking about this with just a little bit before and I said, I said that I had been admirer of yours from afar with everything that you’ve done in the industry and harebrained and everything that’s going on so but it was interesting. And I find that so many people that I talk to in our industry that do what we do. Because I know personally, I’m a bit of an introvert and people would never think that when you get on stage, they always think you’re an extrovert. And I’m shy personality I like to you know, I spent like spending more time at home with my family than I then and friends immediate friends and I do just hanging around in big crowds. Are you the same?

Gerard Scarpaci 2:52
I think I’m an extroverted introvert. Oh, is what I’ve heard I, you know, much like what you just said, I mean, there are certain situations where I can turn it on, and I really enjoy the attention. You know, so it’s not that I’m a shy person, but I am. I do like my alone time. And like, just like you just said, being home with my friends and family and my dog. You know, I don’t need the constant attention, but I definitely enjoy it and I am not afraid of it. Yeah. I guess it’s you know, being a little bit of a Leo and you know, I kind of, I need my downtime, you know, while the sun is shining to wag my tail. But every once in a while I’m you know, I’m ready for your time. Yeah,

Chris Baran 3:37
I know, for if we’re gonna do the cap or the Capricorn thing, we’re gonna do that. The astrology thing. Like, for me, it’s everything. And it’s funny, I had not that much I know what I am. And I know kind of what other people are. But I’ve never delved into it a really lot. But the one thing that does great is that they say with Capricorns are real slow climbers, you know, nothing comes like and it’s not just bang and you got everything. It’s just a slow climb a slow climb a slow climb, like, like the goats that we are anyway. Listen, it’s a pleasure to have you on here. And I just I just want to say, and I like to do this with everybody first is like, what’s your, what’s your hair story? How did you know? I think every time I talk to somebody and we’ve got a little bit of a different twist on how they get into it, some people like some people got into it because they just wanted to and some people kind of fell into it. Which category were you?

Gerard Scarpaci 4:32
I mean, you know, there’s a lot of layers to that. But the first part that comes to mind is desperation. You know, I was still pretty young out of high school, went to college for like a week, a local community college and I just hated it. And didn’t tell my mother that I wasn’t going you know, I come from single raised by a single mom and you know, she worked hard and she would get up in the morning and leave And I wouldn’t be like, Oh yeah, I’m getting ready to go to school. And as soon as she left, they go back to bed. And, you know, after a while, she she kind of found out, figured it out and said, Listen, you know, you don’t have to go to school if you don’t want to, but you know, you’re gonna have to work, you have to do something. So I just, you know, I was literally sitting at a bus stop getting ready to go back to this school that I didn’t really enjoy, for whatever reason, and it just occurred to me, like, what else can I do that I might enjoy and hairdressing just popped into my head? Don’t come from a hairdressing family, I had an uncle who was an unlicensed hairdresser. That’s a whole other story. He had a thing about shaving women’s head that he, you know, he was just into, that was his thing. But and, you know, he cut my mom’s hair every once in a while, but and he used to go to hair shows. But he wasn’t never worked in a salon. It wasn’t like a licensed hairdresser, or anything like that. So maybe that was an influence. But you know, we say it was some kind of divine inspiration for me.

Chris Baran 6:05
Yeah. What was it like? What was it like when you were first went in? I mean, because I think it’s a little different for guys going into hairdressing. Yeah.

Gerard Scarpaci 6:14
I mean, it was, it was a nightmare, to be honest with you. I mean, I just looked in the phone book. And I realized there was one like walking distance from where I lived, was called Hair Design Institute. I think they were put out of business like many of those old cosmetology schools. I could be wrong. I’m not I don’t want to defame them. But they were like, have that error. If you remember, like Robert, fiancee and all these places that were basically what do you call it? Like Student Aid? hustlers? Yeah. So I mean, I didn’t even really I walked in and I got pounced on by the sales woman. I remember, she’s a young Jamaican woman. And before I knew it, I had signed for loans and everything, like within 45 minutes. And then I was like, Oh, my God, what did I just do? I mean, here’s the funny thing we’re talking about. I think it was like $5,000 went to school in 1990. So it’s like $5,000, but it’s like the biggest debt I’ve ever had in my life. And so there’s that and then, you know, I started going and I had no experience with hair, you know, I had a clipper, I maybe cut a few friends like with a clip, bro, who like, who hasn’t done that when they’re a teenager. And, you know, most of the girls, they were way more knowledgeable. I didn’t even know I had curly hair I used to now not so much but and I saw them straightening curly hair. I didn’t even realize you could do that. I was like, what? You take a brush, and you can make curly hairs, like I had no frame of reference. And I remember, you know, one of my earliest teachers telling me, you’ll never make it, you know, because I was taking too long to section from my rollers. And I was like, obsessed with how they explain the sectioning should be and I, I think everyone was done. And I was still putting the sections in granted, she wasn’t wrong. I mean, spending, you know, I whatever, it was 90 minutes just doing the sections and not getting a role or in, you know, maybe she was trying to give me some tough love. Yeah. And I could go on and on. I mean, it was it was carpeted. So the whole, the whole place was carpeted. And they didn’t have real salon chairs. They just had office chairs. Wow. Yeah. And you know, as most cosmetology schools, the clientele was matronly, or geriatric or whatever the word is just very old woman. And after you finish cutting, you’d have to go and get a shot back. And I’m sure you’ve turned on a Shopback before. And the thing would just, I’m pretty sure there was a few heart attacks with that shot back. Long story short, I didn’t last very long. You know, I was there for maybe half the time that you’re supposed to do half the hours, but I met someone there who was working in a salon in Manhattan. I had never even thought you know, I’m a Brooklyn kid. I never had the desire to go to Manhattan or be part of whatever that meant. I figured I’ll just get this and I’ll find a job and I didn’t really have a plan. Maybe I’ll find a job in a salon in the neighborhood. But just like oh my boss, I think he would really love you like your attention to detail and this and that. So it’s like all right, I went in and got hired by Vince Smith. Vince ever ends up listening. Still a friend of mine.

Chris Baran 9:33
Well, thanks for everything you did. Vince.

Gerard Scarpaci 9:36
took me under his wing. Those first couple of years showed me the potential in the industry, you know that what you could do and how you financially creatively turned me on to Vidal Sassoon. I didn’t know anything about that. And you know, he had a master barbers license. And in New York at the time, you could Cut and color the hair of human beings with a master barbers license. So he’s like, Listen, you just have to sign up, finish up your hours at the barbering school and then take the barbering test and you’ll be fine because the I don’t know what the law is now, I still have a master barbers license in New York. But at the time, it said, you know, with this license, you can cut and color the hair of human beings. That’s all I wanted to do. So anyway, that’s, that’s my origin story. That’s wild,

Chris Baran 10:27
you know, you were talking about in school. And I mean, I went to Marvell Beauty School in Saskatchewan. But you know, the funny thing was, there was no at that time, there was no government funding, you just had to pay for it. But I thought you’d find this interesting between 1990 and $5,000, for the total tuition. And I started in 19. Well, actually was 1967. I wrote down here 70. But it was one I just I always say that when I was finished with grade 12, and we’re sort of finished grade 12 said when I was finished with it, and 619 67. And my mom was hairdresser and I figured I couldn’t get fired. So I went to school, marble beauty school. My tuition was $25 a month. That’s the Think about where that industry has come from right now. But the the idea behind I remember specifically in there, we like you said about matronly clients. And we had a lot of that and everything at that time, there was no blow dryers there was no, that was all well, that was all wild, as soon was building that all up and developing all the systems in London. And I can I still remember this one lady who you weren’t allowed to smoke in the school. But this, this one little lady that would come in God bless her soul, we had to do roller sets on her, and then we’d put her under the hood dryer. And we would have to sneak her a an ashtray, because there was no way in God’s green earth that she was not going to smoke. So we have to kind of sneak this stuff over and see this little old lady with a smoking and every time that she take a drag and then and blow it out all of the smoke from the dryer or it would just spread out like this little upside down much room. And it was just the funniest thing to watch. Anyway, I want to take it from where you were at two. You said that you went to CES soon. So there was this transition from when you were working with Vince. And then you went from there. And you were working in in insights as soon as well. I want to know a little bit about what that was like, what was that like at that time? Because that’s just I’m sure that must have been right when they came over to America. Oh, they’d come

Gerard Scarpaci 12:50
a little bit earlier. I mean, they were cuz I went over this as soon as like, by about 91. I worked with Vince for like a year or so while I was finishing up my schooling. It was really him that turned me on to it. He would go to London every year to do training. And he’d come back and you know, whenever he would teach me would, you know, teach me his interpretation of Sassoon. And you know how it worked for him. And I guess what happened was, I just figured why not just get the real thing. And in those days, they they used to do a once a month like cattle call hiring thing. It’s pretty wild. It was a massive salon on Fifth Avenue and 59th street that GM building. There had to be about 75 stations like Wow, 40 for color and 40 for hair cutting to separate areas. There was even a barber barber area, but that had been transformed into a training area full time training area. They had been Yeah, they’re already pretty. It was like 1990. So I think that came to New York, actually pretty early. I think at first New York salon was Madison Avenue like in the 60s, late 60s. Yeah, this location they moved to like in the middle mid 70s. And, you know, I guess this is the time when a lot of other salons were starting to really come out in New York, whether it be Bumble and Bumble, or some of the French guys were an oppa teeny or Frederick for chi. So I wouldn’t say it was like the glory day of Sassoon. It was kind of maybe past that, but still known as an incredible training program. And the thing that I got, because I went to some of those other places for interviews, and I just didn’t feel like there was like a culture, right, you know, at least I couldn’t see it. But as soon as I went to soons there was like a culture. Like right away like I’ll be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the pictures on the wall, because I had like already had a different aesthetic. But as soon as I saw that there was like a team and an assist. Stem and it’s like, okay, I can I can get into this, I can be part of this, I can figure out how to work with it and get successful with it. And take it from there, you know, I had to kind of change my perceptions and aesthetic. I mean, it was already very young. So it’s like I had a fully developed one. But I can remember, we used to do a thing called a MacBook, we had to pull pictures of things that you inspired you and had sheets. And I remember one of the art directors looking through and saying, Oh, this is all very nice, but it doesn’t look like anything that we do at Sassoon. And I was like, that’s, I was like, okay, all right, I get it, you know, I have to kind of change my eye. And I was willing to do that as trade off for what I got from being part of a culture and a system and, you know, something that you can understand. Yeah,

Chris Baran 15:51
you said a couple of really interesting words there. That I don’t want to go down this rabbit hole. But I, you know, with my mind, I always say, I’m male. So I can multitask. As long as I’m doing one thing at a time. Like you said, a couple things that I want to go down the rabbit hole, if we will on and that’s culture. I’m nebulous, but also on, you just said I, you had to shift and change your eye. And, and I think that’s something like if we were to talk about we see so many kids coming into our industry nowadays, well, and I call them kids because everybody’s a kid in my butt, but you’ll see them come in, and I’m not sure if they’ve developed an eye or a taste yet. What would you say? To them? To? Because I mean, you can look at your work other industry great works out there. And even when, you know, I could tell in judging Namaha that if somebody’s work came about it’s Oh, that was XYZ is work, because you can tell from like you call it their aesthetic, what their do what they like, and you can start to identify some ways any designer? What would you say, to the kids that are starting off to help develop that? I,

Gerard Scarpaci 17:11
I mean, I would say it’s the most important part of being a successful hairdresser, or any kind of designer, as you said, is to have an eye and to have a taste level, I think, you know, you can be an incredible technician, and I see lots of them. But they don’t necessarily have a vision or a taste level, you know, and I’ve seen lots of people who have a great eye and a great taste level that aren’t as good as a technician. And in the end, I think, to me, that work looks better. Yeah, I think in a, in a perfect world, it’s a great balance, you know, I believe in the craft part of it, as well as design, I believe you have to have pride in what you do with your hands. And if you can do it better than you should. But I think there’s also that balance with with the visual and having a vision for what you like, and it has to evolve to I mean, so I would say the eyes constantly open, it’s constantly looking, it’s kind of to looking at balance, shape, form texture, looking outside of hair, you know, I mean, I saw that pretty early on, you know, like, when I was looking at hair magazines, they would not typically inspire me very much. And even fashion in general wasn’t super inspiring to me, but I always found art, architecture, nature, you know, a bit more inspiring in terms of shape and form. So yeah, I would say the AI is incredibly important. You know, there’s a great saying that I don’t know who said it first, but I heard it first at Bumble and it was the is sharper than the scissor. Yeah, yeah, but that was a pretty good one. That’s

Chris Baran 18:51
a good one. I’m gonna I’m gonna get right that one down because I an animal. I’ll quote you on quoting people.

Gerard Scarpaci 18:58
I don’t know who said it. I first heard it at Bumble.

Chris Baran 19:04
Start putting the scissor I love it. So. So what the? Like, if you were would you advise them to go to get that aesthetic to get that taste? If you think that comes from being around someone else first that helps you? Do you think? Is it that where would you tell them to go to at least get the start? Because I don’t think there’s no magazine you go? What do I do to develop my taste? Yeah,

Gerard Scarpaci 19:27
I think you know, it definitely is who you surround yourself with, you know, in terms of your friends, you know, the concert should go to the way that people dress. And then of course, you know, the hairdressers that you work with. I mean, I think that’s the hardest part like if you work with people that maybe you like, but you don’t really respect their work like that, as would always be a challenge for me. Yeah, you know, and maybe respect is a harsh word but like their work doesn’t turn you on like you know, it does. I don’t mean to be negative about it, but like doesn’t do anything for me where, you know, that was when I first went to soons. And not everyone you know, but whatever, 40 or 50% of the people if I just didn’t watch them do hair, I’d be like, Whoa, like, I want to do that. Like, it’s just, it’s given me given me some energy.

Chris Baran 20:20
Yeah, I know that. Just just kind of amplify that. A mutual friend that I went to watch, Steve moody came to town just the other day. And so I just went to the salon he was at and watched into a haircut. And man, it noticed like, to me, I think what always inspires me when I’m watching the cutter, and it might sound like a really stupid analogy. But to me, when I watch somebody that really cuts hair, well, it’s almost like watching ballet. The way that they move the way that their hands move together, the way that the synchronicity between what they’re cutting, how they’re cutting it, and the results they’re getting are just phenomenal. Well, then

Gerard Scarpaci 21:09
there’s another thing for you. It’s not just the cut, it’s how you got that wrong. It’s, it’s not just what you’re cutting, it’s how you’re cutting.

Chris Baran 21:23
Yeah, yeah, there was a there was a great story that I this was like, 100 years ago, I used to go to hair shows with my mom, mom was obviously hairdresser. And there was a I can’t remember the name of the person that told the story because obviously the but there was apparently a gentleman by the name of get home. And I you know, I know that he was very big up in the, I think was the 50s and the 60s. And there was a first time obviously French hairdresser, it came over and I think it was the IBS or like that kind of show. And he had those days, you wouldn’t. You didn’t really teach people would come to watch you do what you did, even if it was a roller set or whatever. And, and there was a great story about him being on stage. And he brought out three models that were all they when he obviously picked them because they looked similar. They were dressed alike. The capes were like an each one of them was holding this wooden box. And he’d set the first person down, didn’t say a word, just the box was putting in her lap, she opened it up. He pulled out a pair of scissors, and very theatrically cut her hair into the shape. And everybody kind of went mild applause and then he that she stood up second model sits down, opens up the wooden case, pulls out a razor and cuts her hair. I’m gonna say exactly, but we’ve all we all know it will be similar to what he did on the first she stands up they see it’s the same nickel, more energy. Third model sits down, opens up the case, light bulb. What’s the light bulb down, crushes it with his heel boots, picks up the shards of the of the glass cuts the hair exactly the same way as he did the first two. And she stands up and the N and my French accents can be terrible. I’m going to warn you. And he says my friends it is not always sounds German whenever I do this, but yeah, like horror sneezes is not my it is not. It is not the tool you cut is not how you it is not the tool you cut, but how you cut the hair. And I just went I thought that was to it. And to that I guess the audience went nuts, standing ovation, etc. But I always thought that was a really great tool, which kind of sets me up to when I’m getting a little more feel of it right now with your aesthetic, your taste, and you said you had some of that aesthetic to you already. Because I remember listening to you know, a lot of the Sassoon greats that were there, you know, and particularly Tim Hartley and I remember him, him being interviewed by somebody and they said, Listen, you always do scissors, but and you guys never do razors, etc, etc. Why is that? And he said, Well, it was just that was Sassoon way of doing it. And he said now it’s just too late to change that culture. So you but you do you phenomenal with the scissor and the razor? So was that established with you beforehand? Did you develop it after and why?

Gerard Scarpaci 24:45
No, I mean, you know, I guess you know, I’ve tried to think about this a lot like my aesthetic. I came up during kind of the grunge era. You know, where things were originally. We hear it now. Lived in hair and it’s the country humor a version of it, but, you know, back then it was this post punk kind of American post punk thing where things were truly lived in and a little rotten on the edges and burn, lash and burn. And I just thought that hair should be that way too. You know, I just any kind of was, you know, a, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a great name for it, but they had like heroin chic and all this. And so that’s kind of like when the music I was listening to the art that I was seeing the books that I was reading. So that had an influence on me at this time where I’m trying to learn something that’s very like mod clean, geometric, you know, I never was super inspired by that kind of geometry in InDesign, you know, I think I like it a little bit more organic and ripped around the edges. So that that’s the aesthetic that I knew I had even then. And, like I said, I was willing to sacrifice it, because I knew this was going to be a greater path. Yeah, you know, it’s like joining the, the army or whatever, you know, you, they might not agree with everything. But you know, there’s a lot of benefits to doing it with your life, and your character. And I stuck with it for almost 10 years. I know you mentioned Steven moody there, Stephen played a big part of my path too. I was in New York, I went through the training program, I was starting to do clients starting to teach the other apprentices. I was kind of head down part of the system. And he came to do the IBS show, which you also mentioned. And you know, I had to kind of like, fight for my chance. I wasn’t probably wasn’t qualified enough yet to be on even the little booth stage. But I just believed that I should be there. And I fought to get there. And he was there. And he recognized me and met me. And he said, You know, I think perhaps recognize the communication skill a little bit more than the technical skill. And said, you know, you ever think about becoming a teacher, a full time teacher? And I was like, not really no. You know, have you ever been to California Santa Monica was like, No, I’m and I’m a New Yorker. But he’s like, Well, what if we brought you out there for a month, and you could, you know, see what it’s like. I was like, no free trip, like Kelly. I could go on and on about that story forever. But you know, flew me out to California for a month and, you know, got to work in Santa Monica at the time, I like to smoke a lot of marijuana. And there was a big difference in quality. I was what I don’t know, maybe in my early 20s now. And when I got to California, and I was like, well, that’s a whole different. That was one besides loving the teaching in the school. You know, at that time, somebody I gave off in my 30s. But at that time, it was a big, big influence, and moved to California teaching, working with this great team of educators and smoking in California weed.

Chris Baran 27:56
The interesting, you know, because and I still, you know, do you remember because it you would have had, you’d been more in tune with it. And I was like, that’s where kind of I got my dates mixed up when I was talking about the 70s when they came because when I went to Sassoon at in San Francisco, that was just, you know, would have been probably around I’m guessing 7374 When I went there and that’s I knew that was where I got mixed up and then just coming to America, but I know that like at that time, I think and I might I might I know that. Tony Beckerman was the lead instructor there and he was the one that really instrument I followed him around everywhere. I I give him tons of kudos for where, you know, he helped to really shape my career and my cutting skills, etc. And I believe like Sir Robert Clegg was there at the same time. And I know that was some of the greats and they, that all came over from London at the time and just to be blessed with having those people be a part of, but it was strict as hell. I mean, it was known as no way you could get away with anything there. Right? 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. But it was what was it like when you were there, obviously so you went there. We went there for the training. And did you Jumping into education there. Is that how the education started? Yeah,

Gerard Scarpaci 30:03
I ended up moving to after a couple of years as an apprentice and then a young stylist in New York, I moved to Santa Monica. Steven Moody was the principal of the Sassoon Academy at the time on the Third Street Promenade. And then we moved over to the newer facility on Santa Monica Boulevard. And I worked out there as a full time teacher from like, 94 to 99. Wow. And was able to get some stints working in Toronto and London in Santa Monica. And then by 99, I just I was ready to move on. I honestly, you know, I didn’t see a lot of future for myself there, you know, maybe my lack of vision, but I just, you know, I didn’t fit the mold in so many ways. At that time. I just didn’t think that there was huge opportunity for you know, kid from Brooklyn to go to the next level there. So I, I just decided to move on. had the dream of opening my own salon. I don’t know why. So I did a couple things, but ended up moving back to New York back to Brooklyn opening my own salon.

Chris Baran 31:10
Wow. And what?

Gerard Scarpaci 31:14
I opened the salon in August of 2001. Literally 30 days before. We had September loving six miles away from the World Trade Center. Wow. Yeah,

Chris Baran 31:28
I lived there. I lived there. I was there. When that happened. We were at that time we were at our apartment was raid on. On Broadway right off of a come on the street that ran adjacent. Well, there was no it was one of the older punk, the punk places hang out. Mark state marks was read off St. Mark’s. And but that was quite a wild time. So you had you had a you were just starting your salon? And I read at that time. Well, how did that like what was that? Like?

Gerard Scarpaci 32:03
I mean, it was it was a great training on how to run a business lean and, you know, in fear, I guess, you know, cuz the place where I opened it, i There were a lot of people that worked in Manhattan, there are a lot of people that were police officers, firemen. It was a, you know, middle upper working class part of Brooklyn where I grew up. I thought it would be solid place, you know, the economy would always be solid there. You know, and then all of a sudden, you know, for a year everything is just like upside down, you know, have some wild time rent to pay and business to build. And, you know, I’d say that that’s why I’m where I am now, because I had to learn about marketing. You know, it wasn’t just like, it was a beautiful occasion on a corner, nice glass. They signs nice design, I put every penny I had into making it cool. And then all of a sudden, there’s nobody walking around. There’s nobody, you know, everybody’s hiding, basically for a while. Yeah. And you know, when I opened that salon added zero bank bank balance, like literally not the smartest thing anyone should ever do. But you know that first one or two months, if I didn’t get people in the door, I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent? Of course.

Chris Baran 33:21
Yeah. So what kind of marketing did you do at that time?

Gerard Scarpaci 33:26
I mean, it started off with direct mail, which was expensive and hard to justify any kind of returns. But I had a client that was in that he could sell you mailing lists, and then you pay to make a postcard. The worst thing about direct mail is you have to pay for all the postage. Yeah, you know, so, you scraping together a few $1,000 thinking, Okay, I’m going to send out all these postcards, you know, like first haircut gets, you know, a free conditioning treatment, right? Because you don’t want to discount your service. Yeah, value up, and then okay, now I’m waiting, you know, waiting for the doors to come blowing off and it didn’t happen. So then just had to start learning, old fashioned really word of mouth, you know, having to put on the extrovert hat and get out into the neighborhood and network with other business owners and, you know, just kind of support each other in that respect. And then I started to understand, you know, the importance of email, you know, so when clients would come in we, first year, we didn’t even have a computer, it was like, things were changing. You know, we have just the, the old book columns and you know, then I was like, you know, we need to get a computer. We need to, like, take this to the next level, because we need the information. I didn’t know why, but I knew data was going to be important. You know, so now you’re starting to get people’s emails and then I realized As well you can, you know, send things for free, you don’t have to pay for postage, you don’t have to do this. So then starting to, you know, build a list that you can communicate with, you know, like your first following of people. And then it just kind of whatever way there is to get attention is basically what it is. It’s, you know, there’s a term called day trading attention. So, you know, like you do with stocks and bonds or whatever, every day, the goal is, you know, how can I get people’s attention about this thing that I’m doing? And like, what platforms do I use, you know, so it’s email, it’s, then it’s, you know, Google AdWords, then it’s like learning to use YouTube and create your own content. And then it’s this, then it’s that, and it’s just, you have to kind of keep up with it. And again, this isn’t just me, anybody listening to this? Who knows? Gary Vaynerchuk will know that that’s where this information comes from. But luckily, at pretty early on, you know, while he was doing the things that he was doing in New Jersey, and writing books and stuff, I started reading them and that helped to Yeah, I started thinking, you know, how do you get people’s attention? Because if they know, I know, we’ve got something good to offer. It’s a cool salon. People do hair well, but if they don’t get noticed, yeah, then what

Chris Baran 36:16
happens? Yeah, and it was you were really doing social before social was really sure social if that? Wow, I’m really already

Gerard Scarpaci 36:25
on MySpace to be completely honest with you. So I had a client, I guess, around 2004 2005, young girl, first time cutting her hair, cute style, something fun, I remembered, like a nice layer textured kind of Bob shape. And, you know, good, good conversation. And at the end, she invited me to join her on Friendster. I was now I didn’t even know what that was. So I went home, I had the computer, I looked it up. And I said that I’m not going to do this. And she never came back. So this is what I started to realize, Wow, this is a powerful thing. Like she invited me to be her friend on Friendster. And I didn’t do it. Even though I know she loved the haircut. She didn’t come back. I never forget that like, Oh, these connections, they have to be, like, woven together deeper and deeper and deeper. So you know, Friendster didn’t last very well. But then MySpace came around. And, you know, I was said, I got to connect with all my clients got to connect with fellow hairdressers. You know, it wasn’t we weren’t quite in the content area yet. But it was at least you had a friend. It was just building a friend networks. Because

Chris Baran 37:38
it was about community wasn’t it? And that’s the thing that, that I don’t think that most people realized at the time was the more I mean, you can do amazing work, but then and they will come back. But if you can combine that with community, then your your return your ROI on that return on your investments can even be greater. So my, so I see her I’m starting to see how all of these things connected in your brain. So how did that all lead to her brain?

Gerard Scarpaci 38:14
So you know, now we’re getting into like 2005 ish. I started getting into teaching again, a lot. I had some friends at Aveda. David Adams, primarily a great colorist at Aveda. And, you know, we had done a few little things together over the years because he always liked the sassy and trained cutter to do as cuts for him. And you know, he’s like, Hey, what they were opening this incredible advanced Academy in Soho. On Van Damme street behind the the Spring Street Institute. They carved out what used to be like the loading dock, I don’t know, maybe 6000 square foot space. And they put a ton of money into making it this amazing Aveda advanced Academy. And he needed, you know, Creative Director, artistic director to be part of running it. And he said, you know, why don’t you come in and do this. I said, Well, I have the salon. And he said, Well, you know, maybe you can work it out and do both, you know, so I kind of had a manager at the salon, luckily, who was pretty competent. And gradually over the next year or two, I got more and more into the teaching until I wasn’t even in the salon that much anymore. But the point of this is, you know, during that time I met Randy Taylor, who’s the co founder of harebrained he was an Aveda pure professional as part of their kind of associate training program. And I started kind of directing the classes and he would be on my team. And he was the techy one, you know, he is the one who really understood even more than me and I like clicked in my head. You know, he’s like, we have to do social networking for for classes to promote them to because I had thought of it that way, you know, like I said, it was just a way to, to connect, not to promote or to market or anything like that. And he had a nephew. Now, again, also, you know, a lot of guts here, because there wasn’t really much Facebook or anything like that at the time, he had a nephew that was a coder or programmer. And he was able to figure out how to cobble together the first, you know, hairbrained community. So, you know, using software where people could sign up, make their own profile upload their own, I know, for a fact, it’s the first place where hairdressers were loading images and videos and talking about them, that Instagram didn’t even exist, right? You know, so people would, and then we would curate them, and we’d have like, the best of the week, and we’d send it out in an email blast. That’s awesome. So it was called the Sunday News. And I mean, before we knew it, you know, there was 10,000, hairdressers, and then 20, then 50 than 80, using this whole thing, then the mega social media started. And, of course, people started to shift to that direction. And not just using, you know, this was it was a desktop, right? Community. This was before. And then the it, we couldn’t transfer it to be a mobile community. It was old technology, right? So we had to kind of basically shut the whole thing down and start a new one with a whole new software from scratch. But we you know, we got like 75,000 users on that app within a year. Yeah. But it could never really go much past that. So that original app and community we just sunset that this year. Yeah. Wow, that’s a, but it just became a place that the honest truth is, we weren’t investing enough time in it. So you can’t have a community, if you’re not going to be part of that, then

Chris Baran 41:50
go hang up. So just a step back here, because how did the name come about? Like, it’s really a name, I think that’s a brilliant name. So

Gerard Scarpaci 42:00
it’s funny when I remember when we first so we went through a bunch of different ones and the style list, which is owned by Vogue, so we couldn’t use that. Then Randy, one

Chris Baran 42:13
of them coming at you with their

Gerard Scarpaci 42:16
mafia, and I didn’t like that, you know, of Italian background. And I just thought that that was a derogatory thing. So then, and this is this was pressing it ready for a while we had it, a version that was called press play style. So this is like 2007. And it was all about watching video online. It was press play style. And we were pretty much that was, you know, that was where we were for a couple months in starting to kind of get it done. And we were teaching a class together. And Randy came in and he’s like, I was in the hotel last night and the fire alarm went off. And I jumped out of bed and I thought of the name hairbrained. I’m like,

Chris Baran 42:57
that’s, that’s usually when the great great ideas are coming out when you’re just not thinking about what it is. I just think it’s a brilliant name. And that’s like, and to me, I’ve always been a little irreverent when it comes to what you’re what you’re doing. And I and I, you know, I liked the fact that you could take one side that was, you know, we always called, you know, somebody was harebrained. And

Gerard Scarpaci 43:21
at first we had some people thinking it was like derogatory, I can remember early on, you know, people saying Why couldn’t you pick a name that was more professional and this and that. I’m like, you don’t get it. It’s your hair on the brain. Your brain doesn’t even spelled that way. It’s H ar e. Yeah, this is supposed to be like a rabbit. Right?

Chris Baran 43:40
Exactly. Yeah. And I think that that’s the see what what I liked about that is sort of that double entendre that you have there, the, the the shift, and it can be this, but it can also be this and I that’s even like when we call this, you know, head cases, and even were thinking about and when if you look at our industry and what we go through to get where we’re at, you gotta be a little bit of a headcase to do what we do. And so, you know, I do like the irreverence of it, but I also see and I love the fact that it really sets up where you guys are and to me it’s about if once people see what it is, that’s when they that’s when they join and they stay. So here’s one thing that I because I know you guys do a good job to dump a jump step back. And I know you kind of alluded to it, but how did how did Randy and you meet? Where was Randy and where were you when this all started? Well, you guys like mates. And then like you’re friends with one another.

Gerard Scarpaci 44:39
He came on the team as an educator. So at the Aveda Academy, he was essentially one of the he wasn’t a junior teacher because he’s actually a year older than me, but he was like, I was a creative director and he was one of the instructors on the team. So groups would come in for weekend classes. I’d be like, Okay, this is what we’re doing and he’d be one of The teachers. So you know, in great hairdresser fashion, we teach our classes and then afterwards go out for some beer at the local pub or glass of wine. And we just started to get to know each other. We’re very different people, which is great. But I think, in his mind, he realized that maybe I was like a marketer, or someone, maybe that’s too big of a word, I was a connector. I knew how to get people together and get people to see things. And he had these technical ideas about how to use these new mediums. And we just kind of put it together. Yeah,

Chris Baran 45:38
that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And the now so I want to advance just a little bit for that, because you created all these things like now you have harebrained lives, which, you know, if you’re a hairdresser at a major event, and you guys have an event there as well. And if you haven’t tell us, I want to know a couple of things. Number one, where did it come from? Where did hairbrained live? come from? And then, and tell us tell us a little bit about how it started. And then what’s it like on for you and Randy to try to put this event together, because now you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re planning everything you’re doing. And now you got to plan an event and anybody ever planned an event? No, that is, it can be amazingly difficult. And it can also be a big cluster of future. So tell us a little bit of all

Gerard Scarpaci 46:30
the above. I mean, you know, right from the beginning, like we were born in classrooms, so hairbrained was connecting hairdresser to hairdresser in real time. And we always found that, that was the best way to do it. You know, earlier on in social media, when the ability to livestream came with Facebook, or even before that Periscope. And Instagram, we realized, wow, this is really playing to our strengths. You know, this is before the popularity of the 35 Second Reel, where you can actually go on for an hour, demonstrate and connect with literally, I mean, we have some that have millions of people have watched. And we’ve done 1000s of them. So if you take the math is, it’s kind of unfathomable. But that idea of live education, and then being able to share it digitally, but still free to be live was something that, you know, we’ve spent a lot of time invested in. But then we would keep turning it around. And whenever there was a chance to get on stage and get hairdressers on stage in front of a live audience, we would always do it. So you know, pretty much for 10 years in a row at the Long Beach show and many of the other major trade shows, we would do what we call teach in. Yeah, where I mean, it’s not a brilliant idea. It’s pretty simple. All these different people are here, it’s Saturday or Sunday night, the educators are off, and everyone’s in town need something to do. And I’m sure people have done it before. But we just capitalized on a moment where we could have 2530 educators in 90 minutes on stage, you know, start to do kind of a little bit more fast pace, and less smoke and mirrors make an unplugged. You know, people could really, you know, whether it’s me or mark Hayes or Nick Arrojo or Sam via, like, get them in an unplugged way for on stage. And the other thing was, and this is why the educators like to do it, because they get to be on stage together with educators who they never be on stage with before or again. Yeah, so it’s like a whole and I say it from the nicest place like, there’s a certain competitiveness of you know, hey, I want to do my best so brings out the best in everyone. And then there’s that camaraderie. I mean, I always say the most fun was backstage, where, you know, people are meeting each other looking at each other’s work. It was, you know, very pure moment. And it continues from there it goes back and forth the pendulum you know, then we started to see how can we capture these kinds of live experiences online. So the first classes we did for the hairbrained life platform, we brought a whole group in 10 students we do a live so my the original, which I still love, I still want to do it even though intention spans are getting shorter. I still think there’s a place for this. So you know, I’m sure in your life, you know, you had a class or a curriculum that you just knew when you loved and you go out and you do it in a day in a salon, and you’d see the magic happen and you teach the three or four haircuts on automatic and remodels or whatever. And you were like, Oh, this one is this is my banger this year. So I wanted to like get everyone who was an educator and film their actual that whole experience multi camera, students practicing making mistakes, the demonstrations, the questions in the The answer is, you know, so we got lucky enough that, you know, a big company that was interested in education, digitally, they did a lot of stuff for photographers, then they started to look at the beauty space. And we got connected through them the second handedly, and they kind of financed the whole beginning of that. They quickly realized it wasn’t going to be nearly as profitable as photography, because anyone could be a photographer. I don’t mean that. I mean, anyone can attempt that not. If you pick up a camera, you only want to learn what the market of I want to learn how to cut perfect hair or whatever, was not quite there. And then they were like, oh, okay, this is a niche thing. And they were like, I don’t think we can do a niche thing. So then we started doing it ourselves. Wow. Are you? Yeah, but we streamlined it, you know, we realized that, you know, because literally those first five or six classes were like six hours of video. Wow. Now I know, they’re incredible. We had jibs, you know, moving around, we had all this different stuff. And I know a lot of you know, there’s still at that time, we were selling those individually, because we didn’t have a subscription yet. Yeah. I mean, the first couple of classes, I couldn’t believe, you know, selling 1000 of them at $150 Each or something like that. But we didn’t see a penny of it. Because you know, it cost $60,000 A day to

Chris Baran 51:28
film it. Yeah, exhibit film

Gerard Scarpaci 51:30
multiple days thinking, oh, you know, when we do these courses for photographers, sometimes we, we have a million dollar week, like, oh, okay, well, we’ll see what happens. Yeah.

Chris Baran 51:39
Well, I don’t think all that do is pay for one jib camera mounted cameras, just for one, and then realize how much they cost? Yeah, what I love that you you started was something that was an it was it was maybe was taboo. Because at the time, when you were with, you know, a company, and another artists was with a company you refer to to that, that healthy competitiveness that within there, but we would all hang around at the bar together. But the reality was, is that with the companies that everybody was sort of, you didn’t want to really hang around with one another really do work together. And I think that really has changed because of what you started, you know, where, you know, artists are a hair artists, the educators, they really do want to hang around with one another because they’re just we’re still hairdressers at the end game. Just got a different person that signed in some check source. I take my hat off to you guys for really starting that. But what was that, like? The very first time that you had to convince somebody from one major company that was a direct competitor with another? And some of them are very, very some of the manufacturers very touchy about that stuff? What was that? Like?

Gerard Scarpaci 52:55
Suspiciously easier than then you think? I don’t know. I mean, listen, the first one that we did was in Long Beach. And the space that the show gave us was like the cafeteria. So they were just finishing up like take it smelled like oil in there, right? Like they just fried something up. But luckily, these people you know, I’d say probably the headliners of that one were Mark Hayes and Nick Rojo. Yeah. So Mark Hayes from Sassoon, Nick Arrojo, from Arrojo. These guys, because I know all these people, I knew that in the 80s and the 90s. They were friends who work together. And even though they had these companies now separate, competing in a way, I knew that they would love to want to, you know, and to do it in a place that was unbranded in a way. So nobody could wear a cape with a logo on it. So you can use product, but you can’t talk about product, you talk about hair, you talk about culture, you talk about your career. So it was surprisingly easier. And you know, once you kind of break it the first time, then people start to say, hey, we want to get in on that. Like, you know, that. And it was easier and easier. Over time, there were a few people who didn’t do it or said, Hey, I just want to be on stage by myself. And we just said no, it’s not what it’s about, you know, maybe we’ll come up with something else for that. A few people. Not not many, though. Yeah.

Chris Baran 54:20
You know, a lot of the people that we know on the industry, they’re they’re still friends at the end game, not hanging around with together they don’t hold hands and go and have lunch together. But they still know one another and they still talk to each other in the bar and so on. So I think it was still a great concept. I when it

Gerard Scarpaci 54:37
was the way that it was, you know, kind of branded and marketed the teaching was basically you know, I remember writing to Fabio about it to get well a subtitle and saying, you know, it’s going to be leave your jersey at the door kind of thing. We’re going to be here to put the craft first because we’re all hairdressers first and then The more we support the craft in the industry, the better all the brands are going to do better hairdressers are the more skilled, the more connected. If you’ve got, you know, a good brand, it’s going to perform even better, because it’s going to spread like wildfire, which we’ve seen with different brands that came around virally now, where it used to take years and years and years, you see people get out there, and they put it all together, and they thread it all together. And they become huge in three or four years.

Chris Baran 55:29
You said something really interesting there it was, the better that the hairdresser is, the better that the industry is an A and what do you think we’re at now? With skill sets, etc?

Gerard Scarpaci 55:44
I think we’re in a decent place. I mean, I think there’s always been, you know, a small percentage that are beyond excellent. I think there’s always been kind of a wide percentage that, you know, get the job done. And I think there’s always been a small percentage that aren’t very good, I think. I don’t know that that’s changed that much. I mean, I think maybe that middle group has gotten a bit bigger, you know, because like there’s other and there’s so many other skills, like just being net nowadays, just training, training, training and being great at haircutting. It’s not enough, right, you know, just throwing, being able to make content, you know, if you want to be rec so like, again, in my day, when I left Sassoon, I was able to go to Aveda, um, Gerard from Vidal Sassoon. Oh, well, you must be a great educator. And, you know, Can you can you do this can’t do that. Now, it’s like, you know, how well what’s your engagement? What’s your, you know, what’s your reach? How many? There’s so many more things that need to go into the, the recipe? Yeah, that perhaps at the peak end, there’s a little less skill, but I think there’s a lot more middle skill than there used to be? Because there’s so much more exposure?

Chris Baran 57:01
Yeah, certainly. Yeah, there’s certainly different soft skills that are that are necessary to have right now. Because everything that when at least when I trained, everything was just about what your technical skills, and then the only soft skill you had was your chairside manner that you had on how to how to make the client happy out of a positive experience. But now it’s based around that and your phone and how you can do the your social media and so on. But so benefit

Gerard Scarpaci 57:30
of that is that that middle group of people are getting so much more education, so much more touch points. Maybe there’s a little like, you know, I still think why wish there was like, you know, and most brands still have their, their associate programs, but I don’t think they spend nearly as much as they did, you know, in the heyday of those programs. Yeah. So that’s what I mean by like, that tip of the spear is a little bit duller than it used to be. Yeah. But the rest of it has benefited a lot, you know?

Chris Baran 57:58
Yeah. So I, you know, I’m amazed by what you do it because you’re the time that you’d use to generate either other people’s content or yours, because that’s hairdryer, air hairbrained isn’t just about the content that you generate, although you generate a lot of content. But it’s also like, even in your introduction, I talked about how, what I was so impressed about you is that you true mentors are really, that the people that helped to make you better at something. But the ones that are super respected was are the ones that trained you and they got they lined you up with other people that helped to build your skills as well. So you know, when you do all of that, and you’re doing you know, the live you’re doing the teaching, you’re how, where the hell do you get all the time do you have do you have time for for Gerard, other than that? Yeah,

Gerard Scarpaci 58:58
I mean, you know, it’s, I don’t, I don’t spend a lot of time on petty things like I don’t watch TV, I don’t. I like a simple life. I spend an hour in the morning with my dog and get up early. Then from like, nine to four, I’m focused on this world here, whatever, that might be a podcast creating content. And I spend another hour with my dog, then maybe some dinner with my wife, then I usually kind of finish up with maybe another hour or two dealing with with my world. I think, you know, I read that something last night. That that it was like something like 86% of successful entrepreneurs work more than 50 hours a week. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And, and again, now I’m not advocating that you know, you should just work but the key is you have to You’re doing something you love, like work 50 hours a week is something that you hate sounds like a nightmare. But doing something that you love that 50 omelettes, I wish there was another hour, you know, not always I mean, of course, sometimes I feel burned out. But you know, doing what I love? Okay, I can always find another hour to do it. Yeah, of course, we have a team, we have a small team, but very, you know, efficient and focused. I think there’s seven of us now, that you know, fully employed. So it’s not just me. But you know, back to the original thing, like, when the first platform that we started hairbrained.me There were no content created, no one was creating enough content to fulfill something like that. So you had to like say, hey, we want a little bit from a lot of people. It used to be that way, like someone would drop in and drop a photo or a video once a month, and you’ve got 1000s of people doing that. Then Instagram started. And we had to kind of think, you know, the first couple of weeks, we only put up our own content. I’m going back to 2011. Yeah, Randy, it was all photo based. Randy’s a great photographer. He’s taking some of the most beautiful images of people cutting hair and styling hair. And you know, so we’re putting up those photos. And then we just started to say, hey, obviously, this is going to blow up what’s going to happen to community. Like if we just saw the original intent was, let’s show all the members we used to look, we used to say put posted on hairbrained.me. And then we’ll share it to Instagram because it was more action on harebrained that me than Instagram, right? You know. So we post it, we take the best ones, and we start posting them on Instagram. And then people started to catch on like post on Instagram and the trade media started to follow and copy what we were doing. And now all of a sudden you have this tsunami building of content. But yeah, so originally, it was just us posting our own pictures, you know, original content creators. The very first thing that Randy and I did together, it’s still on YouTube. He had like, it was called a flip camera, iPhone, there was no iPhone, and they didn’t have anything. So he had a flip camera. And he filmed me and I think it was cutting a mannequin. Maybe it was a model in the academy. And he put it up on YouTube. And like, we forgot about it. And we went back one day and saw it’s got like, hundreds of 1000s of views, which you know, for what it was like a 2005 Haircut shot on a flip phone. It’s pretty pretty mind boggling. But yes, for us, it’s always been a mix of having our own voice, our own representation of what the craft hairdresser is, what hairbrained is, what content is, but then also being inclusive to say these are people in the hair community that you should look at their work to. Yeah,

Chris Baran 1:02:51
that’s amazing. Well, first of all, I take my hat off to you not only for the work that you do, but the energy that you put into it. It’s amazing. And I know that other people that are out there really appreciate that too. So we come to that time where I’m going to just run you through what we call our rapid fire stuff. This is just like I’ll throw something we’ll bring it person that comes to your brain. Okay, what turns you on in the creative process?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:03:18
Color

Chris Baran 1:03:20
what stifles it

Gerard Scarpaci 1:03:23
I wanted to say shape.

Chris Baran 1:03:24
Ah, I’m not a colorist Yeah, yeah. So you’re you’re not a colorist but but that turns you on you really like that in what way?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:03:36
I don’t know. I think because it’s a fire round question. I just said the first thing that came to mind maybe I need to get on the couch and understand it because I’m not a colorist or people of color. Yeah, I definitely can understand why say shape is stifling because I always say you know, geometric haircutting is like a Rubik’s Cube. I mean, once you’ve got all the colors lined up it’s not that much fun anymore. Right? So isn’t it nicer when you have like, I can see why said shape is stifling. Okay, I was influenced by that beautiful purple light that you have in the background. That’s it. That’s

Chris Baran 1:04:09
that was it. It’s my Halo, you know, to give me ambience, a thing of life that you love the most? My wife and what do you dislike the most in life?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:04:22
Arrogance.

Chris Baran 1:04:26
thing that you love most about our industry,

Gerard Scarpaci 1:04:29
hairdressers,

Chris Baran 1:04:31
the thing that you dislike most about our industry greed. person that you admire the most. My mom your most prized possession

Gerard Scarpaci 1:04:44
or dog.

Chris Baran 1:04:47
person you wish you could meet

Gerard Scarpaci 1:04:49
my mom because she’s passed away. Sorry

Chris Baran 1:04:52
to hear that. Something that people don’t know about you?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:04:58
I do Besides all that I’m a DJ, you can see your stuff here. I started that when I was 14 in the basement in Brooklyn. And I’ve always kept it up as a hobby. I, you know, I was able to do some raves and nightclubs and things like that over the years. And so it’s been a big influence in my in my world.

Chris Baran 1:05:20
A month off, where would you go? And what would you do?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:05:23
Hawaii is my happy place. And I would lay on the beach and do nothing. Get tan.

Chris Baran 1:05:30
I’m there that get me surveys and I’m right beside you and the blanket thing that is something that terrifies you. Failure. Favorite curse word? Fuck. favorite comfort food?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:05:51
Any kind of Italian food, chicken parmesan, veal Parmesan pizza,

Chris Baran 1:05:55
love it. Something the industry that you haven’t done. I don’t know what that would be something. But in the industry you haven’t done, but you want to.

Gerard Scarpaci 1:06:05
That’s a tough one. Because I got a lot of things that I want to do. I’m not saying that I’ve succeeded at all of them. But I’ve worked in schools, I’ve worked in salons, I I don’t really I never wanted to have like a product line, like a traditional wet line or anything like that. I love tools, we’ve we’ve launched plenty of tools. I guess, you know, the thing I haven’t done is, you know, left an indelible legacy. You know, I don’t know, it’s kind of whatever I just, I think about that sometimes, you know, people will always remember Vidal Sassoon or always remember Frederick for chi or a Bumble and Bumble and, you know, the world is changed now where, you know, I don’t know that, like, just one person can have that kind of impression. But like, like a whole movement. I’d love people someday to be like, Yeah, I was hairbrained trained or not the perfect name for it. It’s so much less to say I was Sassoon trained or I was psychiatry. And but that’s that’s what I’d like to do leave that 25 years from now, some geezers will be on a podcast and say, you know, harebrained changed my life?

Chris Baran 1:07:17
Yeah, yeah. I think that there’s more legacy out there than you think there is for for drug. One do over? I don’t know if it’s a Canadian expression. But if you could do one thing over in your life, what would what would you do?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:07:33
There’s lots of them. But the first one that comes to mind is, you know, after I left Sassoon, before I opened my own salon, I worked for a year or two, just saving money and worked in different places. But I had an opportunity at that time to work at Bumble and Bumble. And it was again, the hate I would have gone from Sassoon to Bumble and puffle. And it would have been incredible. But I chose this other path. I later became affiliated with Bumble, I had Bumble products, and my salon was able to become friendly with Michael Gordon and a lot of the other key players there. But I didn’t actually work in that salon during its heyday, like when it was like changing the industry. And it was, that’s probably one of my regrets in my career. And well,

Chris Baran 1:08:22
tomorrow, you couldn’t do hair, what would you do?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:08:26
I keep doing what I do now. I mean, I can take the hair, I still love doing hair, and I enjoy it. But you can take the piece out of me actually doing hair and I still do clients every month I go to New York once a month I do clients, I still create content, you know, through videos, I still do one class a month. I was just in Chicago for two days. But there’s so much other stuff around hairbrained that I could do that I would just keep. I probably have a little more free time. You know, because I wouldn’t have to make a video or do a client and I could just focus on the administration of hair.

Chris Baran 1:09:03
Love it. Okay, so I’ve got one last question for you here. But before I do, if people want to get a hold of you and they say you can look it up with harebrained or I want to have more involvement inside her brain or they want to have you come in and teach something with them. How can they get a hold of you?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:09:21
i The best thing is to email me I would like to say social media but there’s so many messages that come in and so much junk that I mean it’s impossible to keep up but emails I do a lot better. So it’s my name Gerard at h b mail dot m e drawers HB mail.me.

Chris Baran 1:09:39
Love it. And then if you if you had one wish for our industry, what would that be?

Gerard Scarpaci 1:09:53
You know, I think we could have an I’m not speaking from experience here. I think we could have a hell With your industry in a lot of ways, I think, you know, we do sometimes focus too much on the fun part, I, you know, many hairdressers that I know drink too much to too many drugs. And at the time, it was all well and good. But I see so much wasted talent. And not to say that I’m an angel at all. But I think if I would have been exposed to it a little bit earlier, and some other people that I know, might have, you know, had better lives. So I wish there was a little bit more intelligence around caring for yourself. Yeah,

Chris Baran 1:10:34
yeah, that’s smart. So just before, just before we sign off here, I just want to, so I would just want to make a note out to the listeners that are out there, because if you liked what you heard, and you want to see more, if you could just show us some love on and leave us some reviews, you know, nice five star would be nice out there. And you can do that on our on the pages where you get your podcasts, etc. And I’m Chris Barron, and this is headcase. And I just want to say that Gerard, it has been a true pleasure and honor getting to spend an hour with you and learning and finding out exactly what your history is about. And I just want to say now I’m even more impressed with you than it was before.

Gerard Scarpaci 1:11:15
Well, thank you very much. It was it was an honor and have to do it again some time. Yeah, we only touched scratched the surface. I think

Chris Baran 1:11:24
that’s considered a date. And it was a pleasure. One more time. Thanks for being on head cases. Thank you.


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