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Bashar Kallabat: Middle Eastern hairstylist to the stars

In 1989, Bashar opened a salon with his then-wife Kennice Kallabat, Salon Kennice-Bashar.  After parting ways, Bashar was approached by his then-client,  Heidi Ghaffari, a retired Lebanese-American salon entrepreneur (Heidi’s Salons), to open a location with her in The Somerset Collection.

The result of their partnership was HB Salon in Somerset.  

HB Salon currently has 60 employees working in every area of beauty.  Just about every service in the field imaginable is offered, including hair, make-up, nails, Botox, etc.  Over the course of 22 years Bashar’s Salons have been named “Best Salon Design” by American Salon Magazine; “Hippest Salon In Detroit” and “Best Haircut In Michigan” by Vogue Magazine; “The Stylist’ Stylist” and “Best Salon In Detroit” by Hour Magazine; “The Place To Get Your Haircut” and “Best Salon in Michigan” by Allure Magazine; “Best Salon Architecture” by Clear Magazine; “Best Makeovers” by WDIV Channel 4; and “Coolest Salon In Town” by Oakland Press.

Bashar credits his long-term success to always positioning for future changes in creativity and new approaches to business, as well as accommodating the current economic climate. 

“Almost every luxury brand business today has changed their approach from only appealing to a very small upscale crowd  to appealing and marketing themselves to the masses,” Bashar said.

Over the course of his career he has worked with some of the biggest names in music, film and fashion.  For years, Bashar  styled hair for New York Fashion Week during the days of the birth of “the super-model,” when names like Naomi, Linda, Cindy, & Kate were hitting the runways. 

Bashar’s advice to those seeking success in anything they do is, “Don’t think about being successful, just be passionate about it, work hard, and focus…success will always follow. ”

As simple as that advice may be, Bashar insists on the importance of it.  For the future of HB Salon, Bashar is looking to open multiple locations across the country within the next few years.

Bashar is also about to nationally launch his first hair product, made with natural vitamins and polyphenols.  Bashar Nutriments, a hair loss prevention and immune system booster supplement, works  to prevent hair loss and create a healthy immune system.  The b-healthy pill focuses on your health and boosting your immune system while the b-denser pill focuses on bringing nutrients to the hair roots and increasing micro-circulation, for thicker, stronger and healthier hair.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, and of Chaldean descent, his family moved to America seeking opportunity when Bashar was only three years old.  Bashar proudly notes that his father, Salim, arrived in the states with his wife, four children and only $200. 

His father was a Deacon at Mother of God church; therefore, Bashar was raised in a very religious household.  He grew up on the west side of Detroit until his family worked hard enough and raised enough money to move to Farmington Hills when he was about 14 years old. 

It was at the age of 12 that Bashar began his passion of doing hair, with his first clients being family members.  That was only the beginning of the journey Bashar was to embark on in his life as he built his career.  By continuing to train across the globe and challenge himself in every aspect of hair, as well as learning to be a smart businessman through his job at a bank, he gained more and more success in his field. 

Bashar says his drive came partially from his cultural background. “I’m Middle-Eastern and we by nature aspire to do more.” 

Bashar is very humble and appreciative of all of the success he has seen so far.  While he feels his career is very important to him, there is one part of his life that he is truly most proud of, and that is his 16 year old son, Skyler Salim Kallabat. 

Bashar says that his son is the most important person in his life, and has learned a lot about parenting in his 16 years of his experience.  Bashar admits that having certain privileges available to you does make parenting that much more difficult at times.  

He says “The baby-boomer notion that giving your kids everything you didn’t have growing up is actually handicapping them,” when asked about his thoughts on parenting. 

Bashar says that he hopes to continue the solid foundation that his son Skyler already has. “Instill appreciation without enabling your child to become weak or overly dependent”, which he admits isn’t the easiest thing to do when you want to do so much for your children. 

However, Bashar believes “success encompasses balance, balance is key” when it comes to parenting as well as other important aspects of life.       
Bashar is the biggest name in his field.   He has mastered his craft to the point of being the top dog in the game.  He isn’t only a hairstylist; he is a businessman, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a father.  He has gained much experience in his profession but even more in life. 

His advices to the youth who aspire to do more is simple but extremely relevant.

“Having a passion and being committed will give you anything you want," Bashar says. “The single most important thing: don’t ever worry about your end-goal, experience and enjoy the journey, work hard, work smart, and hold on to the passion.” 
For more information on HB Salon, Bashar Nutriments, and Bashar Kallabat, please visit www.basharinc.com.  

The Arab American News

New Michigan Media
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