Celebrities cannot afford to have bad hair days and with a hairstylist as skilled as Aalim Hakim, they can be sure they’ll never have one.
Having trained under his father Hakim Kairanvi, who styled for the likes of Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna to name a few, Aalim started work at the age of 16.
He will now be seen on TLC’s Style Inc. with Aalim Hakim, that brings you the glamorous styling trends of India’s hottest film stars. On this show, audience get a chance to watch Aalim work his magic on stars such as Ranbir Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor.
“Style Inc is a really neat show,” says Aalim over the phone. “It is well-packaged and edgy. The audience can watch their favourite actors getting haircuts and makeovers. They even get to see them in their vanity vans and green rooms. Usually actors don’t talk about stuff like this or give out information on how and where they got their haircuts done. But here’s where we bare it all for the fans to see.”
Ask him what goes into celebrity hairstyling and what it is about the show that gives it its edge, and Aalim says: “To get into the skin of the character, hair also plays a very important role. While two segments of the 30-minute episode feature an actor, there are regular people as well to make the show more watchable and relatable. Girls who undergo a drastic makeover add to the edginess of the series.”
Giving a sneak peek into what he would be doing on the show with the celebs, Aalim says: “You will watch me turn Ranbir from ‘boy next-door’ to a smoking hot biker dude. With Ajay Devgn, I try out a new look that involves the superstar sporting an 80s look. I give Hrithik three distinctive looks for an advertisement campaign and do something entirely new with Shahid’s hair.”
He adds: “Shooting with Saif was good fun. The two of us take you on an exclusive tour of Saif’s treasure trove of shoes, shades and watches. Saif shares secrets about his prized possessions, his idea of style and even on how to keep shoes gleaming with champagne!”
Speaking of his innings so far in the field, the celebrity hairstylist says: “I love working with actors, especially this younger breed. It is a wonderful experience to be a part of their films by building their characters with my craft.”
Given that hair can be tricky, it is important to gain the trust of one’s client. “The good thing is that actors know they need to look good and they completely trust those who make them look good. While an actor might know how he wants to look, 80 percent of the job depends on me because I’m the one who needs to visualise and execute the look. Every individual is different so one has to go with his gut feeling about a look. That’s an art that is learnt with time,” Aalim explains.
Having said that he has no qualms admitting, “I’ve committed blunders aplenty. Sometimes I get carried away and even the actor doesn’t quite notice and two or three days later, we figure we went wrong but the good thing is only we know what the flaw is. The audience won’t really be able to spot it. “
So does he have 3 am friends in filmdom? “I don’t try to be friends with any of them. We just keep working together and we turn out being good friends. That doesn’t mean we call each other up or expect to hangout off the sets.”
About challenges faced, Aalim winds up the chat explaining: “Depicting an era is difficult. The 60s, 70s and the 80s for example had distinct fashion trends but with the passing of time and with each larger-than-life personality looking the way they want to without conforming to norms of a time period, it becomes difficult to depict someone from say the late 90s or the early 2000s. But challenges are fun as people like me keep reinventing ourselves professionally.”
Style Inc. with Aalim Hakim premieres on March 8 and will be aired every Friday at 10 pm on TLC