The Beauty Desk
The latest beauty news & views, direct from PRIMPED HQ!
Meeting David Babaii. And the Three Must-Try Celebrity ‘Dos.
Wed, 18 April 2012 1:12PM
“Oh my gosh, I love your hair!”
My interview with David Babaii – celeb-adored hair guru, not to mention mega hair brand – is off to a very good start.
“You’ve got that whole 1970s Goldie Hawn thing going on,” he proceeds to tell me.
By this stage, I’m putty in his hands. Or, more fittingly, serum in his hands. Or even his new Miracle Oil Hair Elixir, $29.95, from Adore Beauty …
(which, if you haven’t tried it, should be filed in the Beauty Revelation category. More on it soon …)
For the record, circa-seventies Goldie Hawn is one of my all-time-top hair icons. And in a nice segue, her daughter, the lovely Kate Hudson, is David’s good friend and own hair icon.
Initially involved in his company (David Babaii for WildAid), Kate served as both muse and hands-on guinea pig. She’s also the perfect example of beachy boho, so it’s little surprise that David’s Bohemian Beach Spray, $23.70, is the bomb.
Fun fact: David, who has tripped to Australia from his LA base many times, was actually inspired by we Aussie women to create a salt styling spray. “About eight years ago, I realised that all the girls here have this beachy yet amazing hair. I thought, wait a minute, I have to capture this somehow. I was already mixing up my own salt sprays for editorial use but I wanted to develop a product that was a beach effect in a bottle, but a glamorous one. Kate also does that look well. I call her my bohemian princess with a platinum card.”
Which brings me to my interview. Because I asked David to talk me through the three hottest celebrity styles right now – and first up is a look modelled recently by Ms Hudson herself …
1 Beachy Waves
“Beachy hair will always be big,” claims David. “Hollywood especially loves the look because it really suits the whole California breezy vibe.” He starts by working his oil through freshly blow-dried hair. “To pull off beachy, messy hair, it has to also be clean and healthy-looking, and the oil gives me a good base to work from,” he says. He next mists in beach spray all over, and volumising spray where needed. Then, he fires up the tongs. “There are no real rules here,” he notes. “Curl sections in random directions, so you get a kind of chaos effect. Then you take each section, and kind of tease up the ends a little, to give each wave a kind of zig-zaggy look.” Not that it’s all so chaotic; for the most part, David only tongs the mid-lengths and ends of hair, so as to leave the crown smooth, shiny and sleek. As he said, this boho princess likes a little luxury, too.
2 The High Ponytail
There has been an abundance of ponytails (a pride of ponytails? a herd?) on the red carpet lately, but Sandra Bullock was one of the first cabs off the hair rank this year, showing off a sleek, high-placed pony at the Oscars. Again, David’s divine handiwork. “They’re harder than you might think,” he tells me. “It’s all about the right placement.” While he generally prefers a pony to be placed on around a 45-degree line with the chin, he notes that it’s all about working your best angles. “You need to look in the mirror, from different viewpoints, to see what suits you best,” he says.
Once you know this, it’s time to tie it all up. David hands his clients a rubber band and asks them to DIY. “It’s actually much easier to do your own pony,” he says. “I first run my elixir through the lengths, to give smoothness and control, but then I get my client to tip her head back, grab her hair from underneath and pull and elongate it really tight, especially at the sides, then wrap the band around three or four times. I’ll then go into the top and add texture and make it look a little dirty, using my fingers and hairspray. But I always make sure to leave those side nice and smooth – it gives a great face-lifting effect!”
Finally, David spritzes a toothbrush with hairspray and runs it over the hair surface to calm down any frizzies, then he uses his oil and a flat iron to make the ends of the tail sharp and clean. Oh, and he always pops a jewel of some sort under the tail. “It’s my signature,” he says. “It’s subtle and peek-a-boo so you might not see it, but if you do, you’ll know I did the ‘do!”
3 The Bendy Blow-Dry
There’s still a time and a place for the stick-straight look – say, when you’re wearing a sharp, sleek outfit – but for the most part, David is leaning towards blow-dries with a bit of body and bounce at the ends. Like this beautiful style he created for Nicole Kidman at this year’s Golden Globes.
“It’s the soft, elegant version,” he says. Here’s how he does it … He massages his oil into freshly washed hair, then he blow-dries hair section by section, using a round brush and spritzing in volumising spray as he goes. To achieve a curvy effect at the ends, he simply leaves the brush in the bottom of each section, before twirling it out; “as the ends of hair cool around the brush, they lightly set into a bendy wave,” he explains (tip: blast it with the hair dryer on cool-shot to help hurry up this process). As for the partline, right now it’s all about the side placement; “it looks both natural and sexy,” he says.
And with that, my interview time’s up. As we both get up to leave, he exclaims, “Oh I love your Stella bag! I’ll have to tell her you have one.”
Now, if you don’t know yet know, I worship Stella McCartney and all her animal-loving goodness. Which is why I – somewhat embarrassingly – semi-squeal, “You’re friends with Stella? Can you tell her I love her?”
“Sure … I actually just missed out on doing her hair for a party in LA on the weekend (Kat’s note: this is the event he was talking about) … but I’ll be doing her for the Met Ball in a few weeks, as well as Uma …” And yes, that would be Uma Thurman.
And with that, David disappears into the evening, and back into his fabulous life. I hope he remembers to tell Stella I adore her, and Kate that I love her mum’s hair.
What do you think, Primpettes? Which of the three styles do you like best?
And how much do you love David Babaii products?
Posted by: Katrina Lawrence