Katherine Heigl, actress and former fashion model shared news of a heartbreaking loss on Instagram yesterday that her hairstylist and beloved friend David Babaii passed away at age 48.
A Touching Post
In the post, Heigl shared photos of her on set smiling next to Babaii, and of them laughing while he is doing her hair. Her caption is filled with love as she remembers his big personality, his humor, and his talent of “making you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world armed with nothing more than a hairbrush, some hairspray, and his overflowing heart.” The comments showed several heartfelt condolences from her fans as well.
David Babaii was a legendary hairstylist, who had worked with big-time actresses like Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, and Gwyneth Paltrow. He was known for his effortless waves and glamorous up-dos. Allure magazine featured his half-up, half-down hairstyle he created for Jolie for the Academy Awards in 2009. His work has also graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and W.
Babaii Went Into Business With Stars
Babaii went into business with Kate Hudson on the haircare brand David Babaii for WildAid in 2008 and, six years later, he joined forces with Gwyneth Paltrow on the salon chain Blo Blow Dry Bar. He was also the chief global creative director of N:p Beautiful, an entirely plant-based hair product line that celebrities such as Meghan Markle and Angelina Jolie have raved about.
However, there is more to Babaii’s legacy than just hair, as he was also a passionate animal activist. He also strived for his products’ formulas to be clean and their production to not harm the earth or animals. David Babaii for WildAid allotted 10% of proceeds to the organization WildAid, an environmental organization that focuses on reducing the demand for wildlife products. Its formulas avoid sulfates, parabens, and petrochemicals.
A Lasting Legacy
Katherine Heigl honors this part of David’s legacy, as in the caption she announces that she and her mother Nancy decided to begin a grant program in David Babaii’s honor. The @jasonheiglfoundation, founded in 2008 by the Heigl’s to end animal cruelty and abuse, will establish “David’s Grant”. David’s Grant aims to help small, struggling shelters, to fund spay/neuter operations and vaccine programs with the goal of getting as many animals adopted as possible. The first grant awarded will go to the Lenoir County SPCA. Heigl states, “David was a true and loyal champion for the pets of our world and this grant is for him.”