A Conversation with

Daven Mayeda

Celebrity hairstylist Daven Mayeda has coiffed some of the world抯 biggest stars and models - including Mariah Carey, who chose him to accompany her on tour. Daven, who抯 based in L.A., got his start with legendary makeup artist and Vogue favorite Linda Cantello - who introduced him to Oribe, Mario Testino, Gisele and more.

We caught up with Daven to ask him what it takes to 搈ake it, how Ms. Carey really is on the road and what looks feel the most modern.

We hear you took an interesting path on your way to becoming a hairstylist. How did you get here?
I was a classical piano major in college and eventually dropped out. I always drew and painted. I remember finding old pictures of cartoon characters with fabulous hair that I drew when I was 5: stick legs and arms, but a big coif of hasty kiddie-drawn hair.

I quit college and moved to Hawaii with my father. He suggested hairstyling to me because I was fond of color, art and fashion匒s I trained, we used to have to blow-dry the hula dancers with long, wiry Polynesian hair in the sweltering sun. They wouldn't let us flat-iron, so we had to learn how to blow out hair the old-school way. No cheating.

And you抮e also a makeup artist.
Years later, I found myself as a makeup artist assisting many celebrity artists, one of whom happened to be Linda Cantello. Through countless Vogue, Revlon, Versace, V magazine and other jobs, I met Oribe. I always knew that I was more of a hairstylist than a makeup artist, but because I drew and constantly sketched, makeup was easier for me from the get-go.

This might sound cheesy, but I really believe I began to comprehend the art of hair by watching Oribe work with Linda. I would watch him discuss the look with Mario Testino, and I loved the way he effortlessly created shapes and textures that were shift-able and changeable匸I later assisted Oribe on] a Chrome Hearts job making Barbies into fashion icons. His friend and colleague Roque Jimenez put me up for the Mariah Carey tour. He spent lots of time coaching me through looks.

What抯 your specialty?
I抦 not the guy you call for a simple haircut. I'm the guy you call when your hair is green and two inches, and you have to film a scene tomorrow that requires blonde hair down to your waist卭r when your hair is balding on top and you need someone to design an undetectable custom fall or hairpiece.

What抯 your best advice?
The majority of this business has nothing to do with actually doing hair. It's about the design, the references, the knowledge, the personality, the professionalism and everything in-between. No one can tell you how to be an artist.

What抯 it like working with Mariah Carey on tour?
She is the sweetest thing: such a humble, genuine soul. It抯 surreal. Mariah isn't demanding but she has mastered singing, recording, making music videos, doing interviews, the red carpet. She's done it all and been on top of her game, so she knows where every curl should fall. She's a genius.

What have you learned by working for television?
I currently do a lead actress in a TV show, and her character is very plain and tomboyish. We always joke around and say, "One of these days, they're going to let us do some crazy hair." You can't always do what you would like to do.

Your most memorable work experience?
The first time I assisted Linda Cantello. It was in Malibu. I arrived to the shoot early to set up, and I see Donatella Versace arrive. Then I see Mario Testino arrive. I met Oribe and Judy for the first time. The last car to pull in was a beautiful town car, and out jumps Gisele, with her hair in a high bun, sunglasses and skinny jeans. That was the biggest job set I had been on. It still gives me chills.

What hair trends do you love for spring?
We抮e seeing lots of natural, loose textures, not polished and manipulated by heat like seasons before. I love high messy buns, middle parts with lots of undone body, and short, cropped, boyish pixie cuts.

What are some of your favorite products from the Oribe line?
Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray and Superfine Hair Spray.

What抯 one thing that抯 essential for being a good stylist?
Faith in something.

- SHARON FEIEREISEN

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