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AN A-LIST STYLIST SHARES HAIR SECRETS OF ANGELINA AND KATE

You may know him as the man who partnered up with Kate Hudson and WildAid to launch a wildly popular hair care collection. -Or perhaps you know him as the stylist who coifs Angelina Jolie for movie premieres and award ceremonies, as well as Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Demi Moore and Kate Winslet, to name just a few. -I recently sat down with David Babaii to unearth a few things you didn't know, including the hair secrets he uses on his celebrity clientele, the products he swears by and the trade secrets he has amassed.

Fall flashback

The '80s may be back in style, but when I asked Babaii about fall hair, he said it's the looks from the '70s that are buzzworthy.

The Shag (the 'do Farrah Fawcett made famous), the Afro (once worn by a young Michael Jackson and now sported by Corbin Bleu of High School Musical) and perhaps a return to punk . . . all are on Babaii's list of inspirations for fall's hautest hairstyles.

Babaii says the modern interpretations of these looks are ultra-wearable for all.

"Any woman, no matter what hair type or face shape, can take from each style and adapt to her own," he said. "Nothing should ever be a complete cookie-cutter. Instead, consider doing longer or shorter versions of each look. This is totally acceptable."

a-list advice

While Babaii swears by flattering and modern throwback styles, he also encourages women to work with what Mother Nature gave them. Not working with their natural texture is the biggest mistake most women make with their hair.

"If your hair is poker straight, don't try to achieve a head of curls," he said. "You will be fighting gravity and only become frustrated. Instead, work with your straight hair so it is best featured."

Even the A-listers on Babaii's impressive client roster have to maintain healthy habits to keep their locks looking flawless. "We unfortunately are what we eat and that transfers to your skin and hair."

Keeping locks free from buildup is a little-known secret for maintaining that best tressed look. He says that not thoroughly rinsing out shampoos and conditioners is an easy-to-fix mistake that many women make. Product residue can weigh down the hair, making it appear flat and tired.

product picks

When Babaii and Hudson launched their hair care collection in 2008, they pledged to donate 10 percent of all profits to the global wildlife conservation group WildAid. The David Babaii for WildAid collection (db4wildaid.com) is never tested on animals and is free of sulfates, parabens and petrochemicals.

I'm also a fan of the collection: My staples include the Hydrating Shampoo and the Hydrating Conditioner; both call upon globally sourced ingredients to hydrate my dry, curly hair.

"I have two favorites that I can't be without," Babaii said. "The first is Bohemian Beach Spray. It is a multipurpose styling product that I use both for texturizing hair naturally or when using a curling iron. I spray the strands with it and curl. Each curl shines and has amazing holding power.

"The next is Hair Polish. I believe no matter how short or long your hair is, you need a leave-in treatment as the foundation for each hairstyle. I especially use it prior to flat-ironing to get that mirrorlike finish. It will not build up or create a greasy, heavy feel."

Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at carolyn@prettycity.com.

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