Interview with T3's lead stylist: Dan Sharp

Dan Sharp
Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How did you get into this industry?
Dan Sharp: I have been doing hair since I was 12 years old. I was at summer camp, and one of the counselors, a California blonde named Candy, mentioned that she needed a haircut. I volunteered, and for whatever reason, she went for it! From that moment, I was hooked and would cut, style or braid anyone who would let me. I had lots of guinea pigs -- friends, family, and much to my sister’s chagrin, Barbie!

Sarah Velasco: Is this something you have always wanted to do? If not, when did you realize it was something you wanted?

Dan Sharp: When I was a teenager, I did a little modeling in Chicago. I had a blast on those sets, and found the hair and makeup people to be the most fun. I think it was then that I realized that I wanted to be a hairdresser on fashion shoots.

Sarah Velasco: How did you become T3 's lead stylist?

Dan Sharp:I had been working with a woman, Julie Ambrose at QVC, who is a genius at branding and marketing. She was working with T3, and knew that they were looking for a “celebrity stylist” to represent the brand. My agent introduced me to T3 products, and I LOVED using their irons and dryers on sets, as they really cut down the time that I needed to do my job, and gave really shiny results to the hair. When I got the call from Julie that she had put my name into the hat for the job, I flipped! I flew to LA to meet the entire team, and I am happy to say that it was a perfect fit all around.

Sarah Velasco:What is your schedule like? 

Dan Sharp: My schedule is probably the same as any working parent. I basically don’t stop working! If I’m not in my salon doing clients, I’m at one of my celebrity client’s homes getting her ready for a red carpet event, or I’m going to meet with Beauty Editors to talk about the exciting new programs we are working on at T3, or I’m making scrambled eggs and toast while simultaneously ordering next week’s groceries on line (thank God for the internet!)

Sarah Velasco:Can you tell us about your salon? How did Danka Panka start?

Dan Sharp: My wife and I just opened DANKA PANKA a few weeks ago. We did it for many reasons, but mostly because, as freelancers (my wife, Dana Menussi, was a fashion photographer), we were always travelling or in studios all day and never at home. Now that we have a family, we wanted to center our lives around our home, our neighborhood in Brookyln, our community. We wanted our daughters to grow up knowing their neighbors and feeling a sense of belonging and social responsibility to a community. The salon is next to our apartment, so now, even if we are working, we are close to the girls, they can come by and visit on their way to the park.
The name DANKA PANKA was one of the nicknames that my mother-in-law had for my wife when she was a little girl. We knew that we wanted a name that didn’t mean anything to anyone, a kind of jibberish. We didn’t want to fall into the cliché of many salons which either use the names of the owners (that just wasn’t my style) or try and come up with some phrase that is a kind of joke, like “heads and tails” or “a cut above”.

Sarah Velasco: How would you describe your salon (vibe, type of customers, vision etc)

Dan Sharp: Our main goal in creating DANKA PANKA was to make a space where our clients could relax and be taken care of. Exceptional service is our #1 priority. Life is crazy (see: my schedule) for most adults these days. We wanted a space where people could come and chill out for a time. We offer our clients a variety of beverage options (of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties). We book haircuts on the hour, so clients get our full attention and nobody feels rushed.  Our clients enjoy our beautiful back yard where they can sit and enjoy while their color is processing or they are waiting for their appointment. I was so pleased when I saw that clients were actually utilizing the back yard, staying even after their services to read a book and enjoy a cup of green tea, or a glass of wine.

Sarah Velasco: Has your style evolved over time? If so, in what ways. 

Dan Sharp: I think that my style has definitely evolved over time. I think that life experience, travel, exposure to new ideas has a profound effect on us, whether we are conscious of it, or not. I think that my style has become both more sophisticated, and more simple at the same time, if that’s possible?

Sarah Velasco: How would you describe it now?

Dan Sharp: For readers that do not have T3 products yet, what are three must- haves for our readers to purchase?
The T3 Featherweight Dryer- in my opinion the best dryer that exists!
The T3 SinglePass Whirl- only my favorite tool in the whole world!
The T3 SinglePass Iron- There’s a reason why Allure magazine named it “Best Flat Iron” this year. It ROCKS!

Sarah Velasco: Are there any common misconceptions in your line of work?

Dan Sharp: I’m a BEAUTICIAN not a MAGICIAN.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the latest T3 product? 

Dan Sharp: We are preparing to launch our Hot Rollers, and they are unbelievable! I always scoured thrift stores and resale shops for old hot roller sets from the 80’s, but always had to put a piece of Kleenex between the roller and the woman’s head to prevent burning her head?! Can you imagine? Our T3 Hot Rollers not only make gorgeous, voluminous, shiny waves, but they don’t burn your hands, or your head. Sweet.

Sarah Velasco: Any up and coming projects you would like readers to know about? (About yourself, your salon, T3 etc)
Dan Sharp: Keep an eye out for our new group of “How-To” videos at YouTube.com/t3micro and Sephora.com. We shot them all in my salon, and they really help to take the mystery out of hair styling at home. T3 is so committed to educating their consumers. I have the greatest respect for that, and it’s why I am so grateful to have the opportunity to represent a brand that has such high standards and integrity.