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Few in Hollywood know hair as well as stylist Nick Chavez. His client list includes Oscar nominees, first ladies, royalty, a Desperate Housewife and Nicole Richie.
Nick Chavez opened his Beverly Hills salon eleven years ago -- fulfilling a dream that began when he arrived in Los Angeles with stars in his eyes at age 19.
Before long, he was styling the hair of the stars of NBC's "The Facts of Life" and actress Charlotte Rae.
Now all kinds of celeb phone numbers are at his fingertips, and they frequently ask his opinion on what to do with one of their most vital assets: their hair.
With a full product line available on QVC (and also sold on his website), Nick Chavez is considered a true celebrity hair expert.
When asked if there was one product any woman should not live without, without hesitation he responds, "My flocker and my hairspray," Chavez said from his Beverly Hills salon, after ushering another lucky client out the door with a fabulous 'do.
A recent guest at Ivana Trump's wedding, he offers a tip for the most fantastic hair of the night -- direct from the man who styles the bride. "The women who pulled their hair back off their face," he says of summer-perfect hairstyles. "In that weather, the heat -- when you're around it, that's the best thing to do."
Even a partial list of Nick's clients reads like a celebrity who's-who of the last 20 years:
Favorite celebrity hair
Chavez has had a palette of Hollywood's greatest heads of hair, and when he scans the landscape for the perfect piece of artistry for him, the woman's hair lives in Sacramento and descends from Kennedy.
"Maria Shriver has the most amazing hair," he says from his Beverly Hills studio. "When she was on Oprah, it's like…her hair is the dream hair. When it's blown out you can do so many different things with it. You can blow it straight -- anything."
When he says "dream hair," Chavez specifically refers to hair that is thick and easy to manipulate. "You can put wave into it. You can pull it back in a ponytail. You can slick it back. Hair like that is really something that's such a pleasure to work with," he says. "It looks good layered. It looks great one length. You can even pull off wispy bangs and you wouldn't even know it. And Maria's a woman who is mature and still looks hip. She doesn't look like she's out of her element, ever. She has a very strong face, but she wears it great."
People always compliment Chavez on his work with the First Lady of California, but he defers much of the initial credit for her look to her Kennedy family genes. "She just has good hair," he says. "That is like a dreamboat for anybody."
Chavez arrived in Los Angeles eager to use his innate talents for hair styling to illuminate the already bright stars of Hollywood. He was only 19 and within years he had opened his Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Salon.
"It's the biggest blessing ever. My whole life has been such a whirlwind. Lately, with QVC selling my products and traveling all over the world, it is blowing up really big. We're in London, Canada, Germany, Japan and of course, the U.S. The fact I'm selling the Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Haircare line is unbelievable."
Hair trends for summer and beyond
"One of the greatest trends that is coming back is the classic styles -- the Sophia Loren kind of feeling. The great part of it was that hairstyle was always messy, but now it's going into a glam-rock kind of thing," says Chavez. "Mixing rock n' roll with a couture dress -- it's amazing."
Another style he's noticing on the heads of starlets across Hollywood is ponytails. "The easiest thing to do, and the trend is coming back in a big way. For women, time is of the essence. Women barely have time for themselves. You don't want to be married to your hair, make-up or nails," he says.
Color trends…seeing red
"You know what? You're starting see the reds out there. They're really pretty. Julianne Moore, for one, is just beautiful -- her latest color. You're starting to see those reddish tones within brunettes now, too," Chavez said.
Ashlee Simpson, who recently spoke to SheKnows, is currently sporting a red hair that she describes as "fun."
"It's a red ginger. It's got gold highlights," Chavez said of Simpson. "That is such a pretty color. It's an easy color for taking a woman from blond to that red because you can always come back to blond easier."
Styles for celebrity and everyday moms
For busy moms -- or, really, any woman -- Chavez's recommendations and predictions of future trends involve the same style. "You're starting to see a lot of bangs," he said.
To explain the burgeoning trends' functionality, Chavez illustrates. "Let's say if your hair is really dirty, brush your bangs really quickly, and then pull your hair back in a ponytail. With those bangs, you're ready to go out in seconds. It looks really clean."
The thing that is so special about bangs, he says, not only is it timeless through fashions, but through generations. "You see women of all ages with them. It's fantastic for all of them. For the woman that is noticing wrinkles on her forehead, having bangs is a great money-saver instead of Botox and it's very youthful," Chavez said. "It's the Botox of hair: bangs."
Chavez recommends the style for grandmothers as well -- not only because of its wrinkle miracle work, but by the way it injects vive into a woman's step. "You see a lot of older women doing that, because it takes them back. There's such a youthfulness about it that it is always safe. When you see a woman peeking through her bangs, it's like she's peeking through a window. Or, from a man's point of view, it's like we're looking through her window into her eyes. She's the photo and the frame is the bangs."
The celebrity with the most beautiful bangs?
"Paris Hilton, she's the best. When she does the smoky dark eyes makeup -- you see her eyes peeking through those blonde, blonde, bangs – wow," Chavez says. "The other ones are Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes. Also, Heidi Klum. They all have those sexy bangs!"