Daniel Keane is a prolific internationally celebrated colourist, stylist, platform artist, salon owner and educator based in the US, who has added the role of Hot Tools Global Artist to his growing list of achievements and professions.
Launched in October last year, the Hot Tools Curl bar is the newest and most ground breaking innovation from the 20 year old cult US brand, so we took the liberty of picking Daniel’s brain on this revolutionary styler, as well as his thoughts on industry education and highlights from his expansive career.
Your salon Serenza Salon and Day Spa is thriving and growing year on year. What key elements do you attribute to the success of your salon?
As we enter our 37th year in business we continue to ask that same question. The drive to succeed and find new ways to serve in a changing world is what keeps us motivated. We have seen many ups and downs in the industry as well as in our salons over the years that we have learned to anticipate and educate ourselves and our teams that we must keep moving forward. At the same time, we continue to stay true to our foundations of great customer service and caring about our communities through our actions.
What about the hairdressing industry keeps you motivated to constantly adapt and remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape after 40 years in the industry?
I was taught early in my career that if you stop learning you are done and so I have always felt it was important to look for new ideas and find new inspiration while continuing to build on fundamentals and relationships.
You’ve been internationally renowned as a colourist and stylist for many years. What are your most loved hair trends you’ve had the pleasure of contributing to over your career?
I would have to say some of the combinations of colors and the placement of these combinations have been the most fun. My “Underliting” and “Radial Lites” techniques were my first big hits and then working with my dear friend Nick Trombetta teaching his “Chiaroscurro” technique we were way ahead of our time. We were melding colors from root to end to create a beautiful gradation of color 20+ years before Balayage gained popularity! I’m also proud of the techniques that I pioneered in combining base colors and highlights in one service rather than multiple applications.
These days stylists want the best tools to make effortless, defined curls and waves. Why are Hot Tools stylers your go-to for this?
I have had the opportunity to work with many brands of tools over my career and HOT Tools have stood out for me because they are well made and the company has worked to help the professionals do their best work at a reasonable price. They have always had the best warranties as well and for working pros that is a great comfort. Their fundamental tools are the standard that the rest of the manufacturers try to replicate and as we know imitation is the most sincere form of flattery! Also, the specialty tools they have created are SO much fun to play with and create different looks and effects.
The Hot Tools Curl Bar is taking curling irons to a new level. What sets it apart from other stylers?
The Curl Bar is so incredible because of the Ergonomic benefits to stylists first and foremost, but the ability to create beautiful curls with so much variety in a short amount of time makes it a must have for every beauty pro.
You’ve educated the hairdressing industry at shows around the world, why is hair education so important to you?
I have been a believer in life-long education as long as I have been a hairdresser (40 years now) because, as I said earlier, when you stop learning you are done! If we only do what we were taught at the beginning of our careers we won’t be able to keep up with the needs of the public, which are ever changing. We will become bored doing only the same thing every day and be done long before we should be in this fascinating industry. As an educator myself, I still seek out opportunities to attend educational events with others because I want to know more so that I can offer more. I almost always learn something from my audience as well when I teach (something they say, something they wear or how we interact).
You have a reputation for your original and ground-breaking cut and colouring techniques. Where do you source your inspiration from, and what sets you apart from other notable stylists?
I have taken inspiration from gardens/nature (underlighting, radial/pinwheel foils, flowers) and from classic art (sculptures and paintings in the Louvre) as well as the audiences at classes and shows. My own granddaughter comes up with very interesting ideas to challenge me!
What would you define as your biggest career highlight?
I have been blessed to do so many wonderful things, from teaching local cosmetology school students, to performing on huge stages and doing television appearances, that is difficult to pick the most outstanding event. But I would say being a part of Team NAHA as a presenter in Las Vegas was near the top as was being a featured artist at the National Theater of Milan for IT&LY Hairfashion.
What is next for you as a Hot Tools Global Artist?
We are continuing to define what is next! I look forward to more opportunities to present looks and educate stylists about the possibilities with HOT Tools.