By Tracy Lamourie
Read the full article here: https://www.prosperipress.com/celebrity-stylist-dani-toma-from-baghdad-to-beverly-hills/
Dani Toma is more than just a celebrity stylist. He’s an internationally renowned one: from the salons in Baghdad and Istanbul where he grew up sweeping the floors of the barber shop, dreaming of the day he’d take up the scissors himself to realize his own creative vision… to the cities in Canada where he was educated and first built his public reputation as a stylist to the stylish… to Hollywood, where celebrities and other power players are buzzing about his work.
Toma, who was recently featured in profiles in both Hollywood Times (June, 2021) and Authority Magazine (upcoming), takes it all in stride.
To him, artistry comes first.
Recently, Prosperi Press got Dani to put down his scissors and combs to spend a half hour with us, giving our readers a peek behind the scenes.
You have developed a global reputation as a stylist. What do you love the most about what you do?
I love the fact that I’m able to affect people beyond just appearance. Usually, people come in for a cut looking unhappy but at the same time hopeful. The smile on people’s faces when they look in the mirror and see that nice and fresh cut is indeed rewarding. I love that I make people look and feel good and I get paid for it.
Who is your ideal client?
I love working with all kinds of people from all walks of life. I generally prefer working with people who come in regularly. People who wait too long between cuts would eventually have a look that doesn’t quite represent my brand. So, someone who sees the importance of maintaining a certain standard with their look would typically be my ideal client because we would be on the same wavelength.
What are some dos and don’ts you can give men when it comes to styling their own hair?
Don’t go past what the cut was designed for. It’s essential to stay within the parameters of what the cut dictates. If your styling is at loggerheads with the cut, it becomes counterproductive. For men styling their own hair, your blow dryer is your best friend – it creates a pre-style and you end up using fewer styling products. Remember to go easy on the heat and if you have to apply heat, use heat protectants.
As a stylist, what is a major pet peeve?
Cheating on your barber is definitely one. It’s always best to stick to one artist. Sometimes, it takes months to fix the issues caused by other barbers.
As a stylist, do you prefer doing men’s hair or women’s hair or both, and why?
I love styling and I’m very good at styling both men’s hair and women’s hair. I was brought up in a barbershop, so I might be a little more at home with styling men’s hair. That said, my years of experience and training have afforded me the versatility needed to work with all hair types.
Is there something you would say you are most known for?
Over the years, I have developed many signature cuts and techniques. I would say that one thing I’m known for is my knack for pushing the limits of possibility and creativity when it comes to cuts and styling. There’s always a ‘wow’ element to my work.
You’re very stylish yourself. How do you describe your “look”?
I’m an artist, which means I don’t just create art, I’m a representation of my art and style – so I always live up to that. I put a lot of thought and intentionality into how I look. I certainly don’t compromise on comfort. Overall, I’d say my look is classy, catchy, and daring all at the same time.
Do most people come to you with a hairstyle already in mind? How do you tell them if you feel it isn’t the right fit for them?
Well, first of all, I respect every client that comes to me, and I respect their wishes. At the same time, I understand that there’s a reason why they came to me, and that’s because they know I have their best interests at heart. So if I feel a client’s request isn’t the best fit for them, I would respectfully explain why. I always make sure to let them know that my suggestion is strictly from a professional perspective. If they insist, I must respect their decision.
What are some styles you are seeing in 2021?
What I’ve noticed now is that people are embracing the clean look on the sides with a bit of scruff on the top. It’s interesting how there’s this perfect blend of ‘clean’ and ‘scruff’ without compromising style.
How have you dealt with the challenges the industry has faced from COVID-19?
COVID-19 hit the world hard in more ways than I can count and it created so many challenges for my industry. However, the beautiful thing about a challenge is that it inspires innovation. I believe that 2020 was a year that I truly realized and utilized the power of social media. I was able to stay relevant by engaging my clients and potential clients virtually, even through the lockdown. I’m excited that things are opening up now but I’ve certainly learned valuable lessons.
What are you most excited about moving forward?
There’s a lot in the works and I’m really excited about all my upcoming projects. I’m always evolving and willing to learn and try new things, which means there’s always room for growth and expansion.
Are there any hair products or tools that you can tell us civilians about?
I would say right now for short hair styles, Remy Ricos Matte Clay provides a very nice matte finish/zero shine with great hold. When it comes to grooming tools, I always recommend using Wahl because they are high quality and built to last. Finally, make sure you are shampooing and conditioning!
What would you be doing for a living if you weren’t doing this?
I’m blessed to be doing what I’m so passionate about but I’m confident whatever sphere I find myself in, I would thrive and excel. I love visual and performing arts so who knows… Maybe music, or acting, or maybe I’d be an astronaut (I always wanted to explore space).
What is the best way for people to reach you?
You can reach me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/danitoma333 and on Facebook at web.facebook.com/danitoma333.
More about Dani Toma
Dani Toma is a third generation barber whose passion for hairstyling started at a young age and has continued into his adulthood. He was born into a barbering family, and his family owned both a women’s salon and a men’s salon in Baghdad, Iraq.
At the age of seven, Toma began what would soon become a career by sweeping the floors in a barber shop full-time in Istanbul. In 2002, tides turned for the Toma family. They moved to Canada in 2002, and when they arrived, they set up a new family business, called First Impressions Hair Design. This is where Dani Toma began to cut hair. He was in 9th grade at the time, and customers returned to him despite his age.
Dani finished high school, but during this time he planned to take his haircutting career to the next level. After high school, Toma went on to Marvel Beauty School to complete what would become a very successful education in cosmetology. From there, he set up his own business.
Now, Dani Toma is an award-winning journeyman barber. He has also won awards for his cosmetology work and his signature hairstyles. He provides more than just haircuts and has been providing beard shaping and trimming and hair tattoos as well as the traditional barbering services.
Dedicated to meeting his customers’ needs, he also provides after-hour services for those haircuts that just cannot wait or work themselves around a busy schedule. Toma is confident in his haircutting skills because he has been in the business for so long. Through his long career, he has met people from all over the world who trust him with their hair. So far, he hasn’t let anyone down.
Learn more or book Dani at www.danitoma.com