Most of us know David Babaii for his work with Gwyneth Paltrow and their amazing salon partnership Blo Dry Bar or for his work with Kate Hudson and their product line for WildAid, which appeared on HSN. David has an uncanny knack for creating budding friendships with Hollywood’s elite and a keen business sense for creating partnerships that pursue his passions. But David’s story is far more interesting. Shadowing his mother at her hair salon as a child, it took David some twists and turns to see what’s right in front of him; a career as one of Hollywood’s most sought after hair stylists and visionaries. Today his work has been featured in Vogue, Elle, InStyle, Allure, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, W, Flaunt and L’Officiel to name just a few and he works on celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Emily Blunt, Katie Holmes, Catherine Zeta Jones, and so many more. We had a chance to chat with David about what crazy moment pushed him to the spotlight and how he made the bold career move that changed his life.
How did you get your start in the industry?
Hair is actually my second career. I received my degree in Hotel Management so I was a Food and Beverage Director in the hotel industry. I pretty much was over it and talked to my mom, a former stylist, and she suggested that I become a stylist and insisted that I go to the best school; which was Sassoon. I was accepted into the academy on a Thursday, flew back to the States on a Friday, and started class the following Wednesday. The rest is history…
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
I’d say my biggest challenge has always been balancing my work load and all of the clients that I love. Two weeks out of beauty school, nearly fifteen years ago, I worked with Kate Hudson for the Globes and was named the “King of Curls” by Vogue which garnered a lot of press and made more clients come my way. I got so caught up in work, which I love, that I didn’t allow myself to grow in other areas which can impact both your artistry and your general happiness.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
My mom is at the top of the list because she was a hair industry rock star. She had a L’Oreal contract back in the seventies and was Vidal Sassoon’s assistant for ten years.
Of course Vidal Sassoon who is a true inspiration in the real art of doing hair.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
Fifteen years ago when I did Kate for the Golden Globes I didn’t know how to use the curling iron that was available to me. I read the instructions and made this kind of beachy curled head. It was a huge hit and I couldn’t get away from it for a long time. I’ve mastered that beach-wavy look. I guess I’m known for Boho-Chic Hair
What was your last major makeover that you’ve done?
I cut Kate’s hair into a long bob the other day.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
GHD is always in my kit, I can never go anywhere without their products.
What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?
The most amazing and inspiring account is @bestsayingss.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Have a healthy balance between life and work. Life isn’t about choosing one over the other.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
When I graduated from the Sassoon Academy, Vidal told me to never forget to keep the art of cutting sharp. You’ve got your foundation, evolve from that foundation but never forget the basics.
What is the next chapter for you?
A lot of fascinating and interesting things will be revealed. Perfecting the art of being very happy.
For more #manespiration, follow @davidbabaii.