Back in the early 2000s, the world fell in love with Kate Hudson as a bubbly magazine columnist with bouncy air-dried curls in the rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Since then — almost two decades, three kids, one activewear brand, and countless haircuts later — Hudson has remained loyal to the same stylist who prepped her for her first red carpet: David Babaii. To celebrate the multihyphenate's 40th birthday, Babaii shares some of his most memorable moments with Kate, including the time he used deodorant on her hair. The following interview was told to Megan Decker and edited for length and clarity.
It All Started With Spray Deodorant
I've known Kate for 20 years. Back then, I was in beauty school and Brad Cafarelli, who's Kate's publicist and a friend of mine, asked if I wanted to style Kate Hudson's hair. I was like, Who's Kate Hudson? She obviously wasn't famous yet, but we met, hit it off immediately, and started working together. Soon after, The Skeleton Key came out and that changed everything.
I remember Kate and I were traveling to London for that film premiere, and the airline lost my luggage. I had nothing to style her hair with for her first major red-carpet appearance. All we had was Kate's bag, and she had nothing except this hippie-dippie spray deodorant — probably the first natural deodorant ever made. It's all we had to work with, so I sprayed it all over her hair and hit it with the hotel blowdryer, which was so old-school that it was actually attached to the wall. I was haphazardly wrapping her deodorant-covered hair around my fingers and just scrunching the strands for texture; it was a crazy mess.
But by some miracle, she got to the premiere and looked incredible. Honestly, to this day, it's the best hair I've ever done. Serendipitously, that's also when Kate started doing her now-signature look-over-the-shoulder pose on the red carpet, and just like that, everyone was talking about Kate Hudson.
From Classic Waves To Badass Buzzcut
I will always love Kate's long, bright-blonde hair — down to her waist and tousled with that effortless, Bohemian wave — that style was so right for her. But my favorite look of all time is when she shaved it all off, definitely.
It's kind of a crazy story: Kate was working on a movie, and the character she was going to play had a buzzcut. At first, she was going to wear a wig, but I told her, If you're going to do it, just shave it off for real — it's a fresh, clean start. So she was on set before filming started, and she truly just grabbed an electric razor and shaved it off herself, like Demi Moore-style. But Kate's always been like that: pretty fearless.
Clean & Simple Style
Now, Kate's hair has grown out — past the buzzcut and the pixie phase — into this cool lob length that's fun to style. The tricky part is that she won't use any beauty products that aren't clean. That's with her skin care, hair, everything. She wants it super-clean. It's not like she's keeping up with the clean L.A. beauty trends; she's always been that way. Actually, Kate was a big inspiration for my hair-care brand, n:p beautiful, because working with her brought to light that there was a white space in the market of clean hair care.
My line is all-natural and Kate really loves it, so that's what she uses. For shampoo and conditioner, she likes the hydration line, because she's always in the pool or surfing, so it keeps her hair soft — it also smells like coconut, which is nice. Then for styling, my routine is really simple. There are three must-haves I always use: my blowdryer, curling iron, and beach spray. I use the blowdryer to blow her hair out smooth, then we add soft bends with the curing iron, and use the beach spray to hold that piece-y texture.
Considering Kate's busy schedule — with kids and babies and all that craziness — she's going back to her long hair, and the style that made her famous. I think she kind of misses her iconic Kate Hudson hair, that length and cool factor. With long hair, she'll probably just hop out of the shower, let her hair air-dry, and it will look amazing — which has kind of always been Kate's M.O.
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