There’s perhaps no one in the beauty industry who’s warmer or more charming than the iconic stylist, mentor, Creative Director of Schwarzkopf Professional and 2017 NAHA Master Hairstylist of the Year, Damien Carney. Part of Damien’s world-wide recognition comes from his unwavering commitment to the growth of those around him. With a deep understanding of the importance of personal values, professionalism, and community influence, Damien has created a brand and presence that radiates wisdom through the beauty community.
Fascinated by the energy dynamic and physical experience of barbershops as a youngster, Damien witnessed how a change of hair could light up someone’s being (or have the opposite effect). “The world of hair is always changing and that keeps it exciting. Every day, work is like Pandora’s Box. What will it bring me?” Between seminars, photo shoots and styling in the salon, the only constant at work is variety.
From an early age, Damien saw the effect of pursuing careers that didn’t fulfill personal values or fit personalities. The third youngest of a large family, he witnessed the result of his siblings entering careers encouraged by parents or forced by teachers: “My siblings applied for jobs that they thought they’d enjoy, but they were bored a few years in. I’ve always had a natural attraction to the world of beauty and hair. I’ve never been bored once!”
Over his four decades-plus career, Damien has witnessed many beauty industry evolutions. “There’s more diversity now compared to five or ten years ago. We’re seeing more and more that beauty is inclusive of personality, ethnicity, and individuality.” Part of Damien’s success comes from constantly delivering the value of personalized beauty with expert technique – especially during a time of such choice and diversity. “Creating beauty isn’t rocket science, it’s a unique formula for each person.”
Damien fosters close relationships with his clients and co-workers by creating a foundation of trust that evolves with age and life changes. He understands that consumers have a lot of power when it comes to trusting a professional with their hair. “Especially with online resources at our fingertips, clients are smart consumers when it comes to where they spend their money.” With so many options, Damien explains what’s kept him at the forefront of success.
“My success comes from having a clear picture. Know what you stand for. Align with others who can help further that vision. I’ve been mentored by people with vision and energy and that rubbed off, but I had to process that influence and digest it and make it Damien’s version. Doing this can propel your career and vision and put you on a road that you want to travel more quickly.”
As an advocate for education and exposure to people, ideas and experiences that will propel creativity, Damien suggests that stylists soul search to discover what makes them unique and connect with others in the community who encourage their gifts and goals.
“At the end of the day, I’m Damien. You must discover who you are. What do you stand for? What do you believe in?” He encourages professionals to be authentic, upfront and honest, and to surround themselves with influences who align with their goals. “Have a conversation with a trusted mentor, follow figures on social media who align with your goals, and attend events like the International Salon and Spa Expo that expose you to industry leaders. The energy of the community you surround yourself with will rub off on you.”
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