'I took 22 days to perfect Ranbir's look in Sanju,' says celebrity hairstylist Aalim Hakim
Interestingly, Aalim's father Hakim Kairanvi styled Sanjay Dutt during his Rocky days in 1982
Part of the hype and hoopla surrounding the release of the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Sanju, Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic on Sanjay Dutt, was the uncanny resemblance that Ranbir bore to Sanjay Dutt. While we concede the casting was impeccable — it was the hair and makeup that clinched it. If you’re wondering who was behind the look, its the incomparable celebrity hairstylist Aalim Hakim. What’s interesting is that Aalim’s father Hakim Kairanvi was India’s first celebrity hairdresser who styled for Sunil Dutt, Sanjay’s father. Life seems to have come full circle for this 44-year old stylist, who started his career at 16. “Ranbir has been my client much before his Saavariya days,” says Hakim. “Sanjay Dutt too has been a client. So, I was quite emotional about the whole film. My father used to work on Sanjay too, during his Rocky days in 1982. It’s very challenging to recreate someone and make them look exactly like the original.”
After 22 days of experiments and trying with different styles, Aalim finally nailed the look — and to such perfection that one couldn’t separate Sanjay from Ranbir. Working with the star for so long, Aalim knows the hairline, each strand, and the way the hair shapes around the face. Aalim who has designed all the looks for Sanju, started by styling his friends from his drama club — actors Shreyas Talpade, Viveik Oberoi, Sajid Wajid and Bosco. “They were my guinea pigs,” he says with a chuckle. “I started with one chair in my small house. Then actors started coming home to get their haircuts done. The neighbourhood was shocked thinking, ‘who stays in this house that all the actors come only here to get their hair done?”
From one chair to two, and then several salons Aalim has come a long way. So has there been any embarrassing haircuts in his career. “Bad haircuts happen every day! But it takes a creative person to turn these around and make it a fashion statement.” Aalim gets nostalgic as he reminisces of a time when he first met Sanjay Dutt. “He told me many stories about our fathers and about the time when he hid from him because he didn’t want his long haircut. At that time, long hair was such a fad but colleges and schools didn’t allow them.” The hairstylist is now working on Prabhas for Saaho, Shahid Kapoor for Batti Gul, Varun Dhawan for Sui Dhaaga and Kalank and Salman Khan’s Bharat.