5 Minutes With Damien Carney, International Artistic Director for Joico

Hair guru, Damien Carney, has the secrets to some of your top beauty challenges (including one of the biggest: The secret to The Perfect Blowout). He’s the international artistic director for Joico and has prepped fashion week looks backstage for global catwalks (Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Calvin Klein, John Galliano, Pam Hogg and Agent Provocateur to name several) and is a never-ending fountain of  knowledge and expertise when it comes to haircare. We could listen to him for hours – literally.

Stylesight interviews Carney on the trick to saving your tresses from too many blowouts, the secret to surviving in the beauty industry and why Tom Ford is his ultimate beauty muse du jour.

Stylesight: Music, fabrics, art, icons: which of these are inspiring you for the S/S 14 season?
Damien Carney: I really take my inspiration from the streets, I walk the streets of New York City and you’ll see people who love to experiment and every trend and style is different in each neighborhood. Hair is a lot like fabric in fashion – you work with it and manipulate it to get different effects. What’s great about hair is that it’s art that you can play with. Sometimes I’ll create a look on a model and love it and then see what I’ve created and say ‘Oh, what was I thinking!?’ The great things about hair, if you don’t like the color or you don’t like the style, you can just shampoo and start all over.”

Stylesight: What is the secret to succeeding in the beauty business? Is there one?
DC: “The only way to stay ahead of the curve is technology. Making people’s lives easier with a product – a hairbrush, a blowdryer or hairspray. Women today aren’t different than they were 50 years ago. Every woman still wants to have shine, volume … the only way to be revolutionary and really move forward in beauty is to break through using technology and new ingredients. People want to do things quicker and faster. Joico is driven by this idea.”

SS: First experience with beauty? Tell us about a moment or memory.
DC: “It was probably the first time I ever got a haircut. My dad took me to the barbershop, I can still remember it to this day. I think I was 5 years old and up to today, it’s still so memorable for me. It was like a club, there was a culture there, it was all about people walking in and getting their hair done and walking out feeling great. I walked out of there with my little side part and it probably had loads of grease in there, but I felt fit as a fiddle. Then it evolved as I got older – I started going to the unisex salon – it was like going from economy to first class. Hair is emotional, most people don’t wake up with perfect hair … we all know when we have a great hair day and when we don’t. Sometimes a little bit of technology, a little bit of primping and a bit of fashion injected into the person that’s wearing can make them feel beautiful and that’s what we as stylists try to do.”

SS: Beauty product (skincare or makeup) you’d never live or leave the house without?
DC: “Hair: Joicos’ K-Pak reconstructor puts all of the peptides, all of the natural things your hair is made of back into the hair, it’s honestly one of my favorites. If I was on Mars, I’d also absolutely need a working hairspray, Joico Power Spray Fast-Dry Finishing Spray is amazing. It lasts 72-hours and is patented-pending. Face: I like Cetaphyl. It’s a brilliant cleanser that I love using. I’ve tried a lot of things and what I love about this that it’s a reasonable price, I can get it anywhere–at almost any drugstore– and it’s an extremely gentle cleanser that you can apply straight out of the dispenser. A lot of my friends use it and I got hooked on it.”

SS: Name the beauty campaign or editorial spread (old or new) that’s inspired you the most.
DJ: “Anything Tom Ford, really. There’s a certain direct, simple view of beauty that he has that I admire. I particularly love his use of Abbey Lee Kershaw in his campaigns. I like the approach. You flick the page and suddenly there’s a girl, she’s got great lipstick, fabulous hair, it grabs you immediately. I like his model choice, the photography and also his participation in the ads, his being in the campaigns are quite humorous. When you talk about brand identity … whether he’s selling his fragrances or his clothing line … he nails it on the head as far as I’m concerned. It’s always very beautiful.”

 — Glynnis Mapp, Stylesight Beauty Editor

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