LEADING LADY | Pocketmags.com
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

2 mins


Debbie O’Keeffe Crinnion owns Montana Blu Hairdressing and Academy in Fermoy, Co Cork. She is also Osmo’s lead educator in Ireland and the new president of the Irish Hairdressing Council

What’s your earliest memory?

I remember being a busy child, full of energy, always up to something and never being able to sit still. I used to cut my dolls’ hair and colour it with magic markers!

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I think we can take inspiration from anyone, anywhere. So many people inspire me, especially those who show up for others and dedicate their time and patience to helping them.

What was your first job?

It was a part-time position in Salon 33 on Patrick Street in Cork city. Michael White was the owner and he was superb. He taught me the importance of customer service. I went on to work in Peter Mark in Merchant's Quay and that was a game changer. I’ve had some fantastic mentors over the years.

Ideal holiday destination?

Anywhere that is hot and peaceful.

Favourite food?

I love goat’s cheese.

Favourite drink?

Prosecco. And you can’t beat a proper pint of Guinness. I have to force myself to have two litres of water a day and I drink too much coffee.

How do you relax?

I can’t! Anyone that knows me would laugh if I said I relax. My work isn’t just a job, it’s a part of me. I have a great friend who’s a masseuse and she tries out new techniques on me. I love the beach, and if we had better weather, I’d probably enjoy our beautiful country more.

Dream dinner party guest/guests (alive or dead)?

Gordon Ramsay, Gino D'Acampo and Fred Sirieix. As well as being amazing chefs, they are very funny, so we would be well fed, and the conversation would be brilliant.

Do you cook and, if so, do you have a signature recipe?

I do enjoy cooking, but I don’t really get the time. My husband is a fantastic cook, so I enjoy his meals more than my own.

‘Failure is just another stepping stone to success, and my perception of success has changed as my career has evolved’

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Get up, dress up and show up.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

There’s a reason why horses wear blinkers when running in races. Stay focused on the end goal and your own business. Wish others well, and mean it, but block out whoever is trying to catch up beside you.

Have you changed the way you work since the pandemic?

It was a reminder that nothing is secure. We’re here for a good time, not a long time.

Favourite thing about yourself?

My resilience. I'm not made of stone, but I’m able to pick myself up and be grateful that I’ve another day to try again. Failure is just another stepping stone to success, and my perception of success has changed as my career has evolved.

What’s the one hair product you can’t live without?

I can’t pick just one! Osmo Berber Oil and Osmo Scalp Therapy Finishing Creme. These both go everywhere with me.

What, if anything, would you now tell your 16-year-old self?

You can’t learn everything straight away. It’s great to be ambitious, but enjoy the process and don’t rush it. Don’t try to be the best without learning the basics first.

How would you like to be remembered?

As somebody who gave it my best shot, and made a difference to other people’s lives, whether they were a student, colleague or client. I would also like to be remembered as someone who supported our industry, and everyone in it.

This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland