Celebrity hairstylist David Babaii, crowned by Vogue Magazine as The King Of Curls, has always been very generous with his time and willingness to share his hair knowledge with me and all our visitors at HairBoutique.com.
There's isn't a celebrity hairstylist alive who isn't crazy busy, so it's always such a gift when they are willing to take a few minutes out of their jam-packed days to answer questions and share their hair wisdoms.
Even better, David is always warm, funny, engaging and thoughtful.
I enjoyed interviewing David so much in our first call that I wanted to figure out a way I could become his shadow and soak up all his hair wisdoms embedded in his soul.
In the years since our first interview I have followed David's work with his dizzying array of celebrity clients.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to catch up personally with the amazing stylist until two weeks ago when I was able to ask David some questions.
As always, David was a wealth of information and insights. Check out his answers below:
HB Question You've been named the "King of Curl" by VOGUE Magazine. What is behind this title? Was it because you have a special affinity towards curly hair or was it because the majority of your celebrity clients have curly strands?
David Babaii This was such a great honor from VOGUE! It came from the Bohemian Look I created for Kate Hudson which consists of wild beachy loose curls.
It became her signature look as it became my trademark. Many of my other clients also love the beachy waves and I always have fun creating their own style.
What are the most common misconceptions about caring for and styling curly hair? Do you think there is too much confusion about naturally curly hair with the average consumer?
I feel that most people with curly hair shouldn’t fight them but work with their curls.
A great haircut, the right styling products and great tools can help their curls thrive and look fabulous.
HB Question With over a hundred major magazine covers, and a who’s who list of superstar clients (Angelina, Uma, Nicole, Scarlett, SJP, Gwyneth) your signature in the fashion world is your genius for creating hairstyles which are natural, unique, free-flowing, and full of an untamed spirit.
If you had to make a list of the most favorite hairstyles you've ever created (on celebrity heads or not) what would be your top favorite hairstyles you've created? Why?
David Babaii I have so many favorites and all of my celebrity clients are so beautiful that it is not rock science making them look glamorous. But, I have to pick there are several:
- Kate Hudson’s Bohemian Curls – this launched beachy Bohemian waves. I love soft natural waves and this was the perfect hairstyle
- Angelina Jolie for the cover of Vanity Fair – I wanted to make a statement and to bring back full volumized hair plus she looked so amazing.
- Angelina Jolie for the 2009 Academy Awards- this half-up, half-down style showed off her great bone structure. It is also a style that allows a woman to still keep her long hair while having some of it up. (See above and to the side)
- Nicole Kidman for the 2010 Grammy Awards- this was my faux-bob which allowed Nicole to keep her long hair while I tucked it under to make it look like her hair was cut into a bob. (See below)
- Katherine Heigl for the cover of W-Katherine makes a beautiful mom so I wanted to show to show-off the beauty of motherhood in honor of my own mom.
- Uma Thurman for the cover of ELLE-besides curls, I love sleek, straight hair. It isn’t always necessary to have long hair to show off straight sleek looks.
- Emma Stone for the cover of Glamour - I am known as the “King of Curls” so I always love this look. (See below)
HB Question You have a dazzling list of celebrity clients which is constantly expanding.
Back when I interviewed you in 2007 - I asked you what your goal was with regard to your celeb clients and you said "You've got to realize, my whole goal is to make my client look beautiful. That's it."
You have done an amazing job of making your clients look beautiful. Have you expanded your goals with regard to your clients or is beauty still your #1 priority?
David Babaii This is still my goal but I also make sure that they are happy and they we have a great experience when we are together.
HB Question What was the most important hairstyle you ever created in the history of your amazing career as a hairstylist? Was it for a Red Carpet event or a magazine cover or some other event?
David Babaii The cover of Vanity Fair with Angelina Jolie was very important to me.
HB Question You confided to me back in 2007 that you "wake up at all hours of the night with new ideas for hair".
Back then you shared that you were inspired by the security cages and tunnels at the airport for a new hairstyle for Kate (Hudson). You also mentioned that you are inspired by art, films, architecture and similar.
I remember you said your favorite films were 9 1/2 Weeks because of Kim Basinger's hair and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof because of the cinematography and the late Elizabeth Taylor's hair.
Do you feel any other films have passed your watermark for great hair and cinematography?
Do you still wake up at all hours of the night with new ideas for your clients?
What other ways do you receive inspiration for your clients and for their hair? For Red Carpet events do you ask for photos of the gowns and accessories to create some ideas of where to start with the hair?
David Babaii These will always remain part of my ideas, but today I try to view as many films as possible to draw inspiration from. Plus, as I travel all over the world with my clients, I now pay more attention to my surroundings. You never know what might strike you or churn your creativity.
When doing a red carpet, magazine cover or an ad campaign I always take into consideration the wardrobe. Hair is an accessory and needs to compliment the whole look.
HB Question Is there a dream client you would love to have in your portfolio?
David Babaii I would have loved to have had Elizabeth Taylor. Her passing was such a sad time as I always admired her beauty.
HB Question What is the best part of being a highly sought after celebrity hairstylist?
David Babaii The best part is meeting such wonderful people. I am very fortunate to have the greatest clients and friends in the industry.
HB Question Is cutting hair still your most favorite hairstyling focus? If yes, how has your love of hairstyling changed over the past 4-5 years? Are you still super detail oriented?
David Babaii I love to cut hair! It is the foundation and makes styling the fun part as you see your creation come alive.
With all my training in London and here in the US, I spend most of my time on the “cut” so I become a detail freak with every snip.
HB Question Have you been pack to the Eiffel Tower? If so, how often do you go? I still remember that amazing story and about your mom Hilda.
David Babaii Yes, I have been back many times. It is the one place that I can reflect back to my career beginnings. My mom and I often talk about that day and how it changed my life.
HB Question What do you do when you're not in the "hair zone" or spending time with your beloved animals? What do you do for fun, to relax, to regenerate your hair creativity batteries?
David Babaii I have become a health nut so I work out and take walks. It gives me another chance to meet other people and see what ever one is up to.
HB Question If you could put any part of your hair career into the "Take It Back Machine" and undo it - what would it be?
David Babaii The only thing I might change is taking more time for me. Life becomes very hectic sometimes and I neglected myself way too often.
HB Question How has the world of hair changed, in your opinion, since you began in the profession and what do you see becoming the next "big thing"?
David Babaii The world of hair has changed a lot. New styling tools, new hair products have all altered how we can change hair or alter its original state.
We have the flexibility to curl straight hair and straighten curly hair with not only chemicals, but some advanced styling tools.
Actually, I have to say that the world of technology has invaded my profession.
What do I see as the next "big thing?" I guess less is more. In life must more of everything.
HB Question When we last talked you mentioned that one of your favorite things is your neice Isabella as well as your dogs Chester Nigel and Nino.
Are they still at the top of your list or have you added more favorite things?
David Babaii My sister has had one more so I have added Nicolas to my list now!
For non celebs who admire your work, do you work out of a salon where they can visit you for your amazing haircuts? Or do you only work with celebrities?
At one point I thought you were working out of a salon in Beverly Hills?
David Babai My schedule is so demanding and hectic that it is almost impossible for me to work out of a salon to service clients.
At any given moment I can get a call to be on a photo shoot or one of my client’s needs their hair done.
HB Question If you weren't a hairstylist what career might you be in?
David Babaii I think I would like to be a Vet!
As always David Babaii was a joy to interview. Not only is he incredibly talented with his visionary hair creations, he's just a great guy with lots of energy, love for animals, clients, family and the planet.
What more could you ask for?
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- Revised Date: 06/03/11
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