Some see David Garcia as simply a hair dresser, hairstylist or hair guru.
But he considers himself, a style educator. "I thrive on meeting new individuals and love assisting them with their styling and lifestyle needs," Garcia said.
Since he was 3, Garcia has been judging other people's image. At age 18, he decided to take his gift more seriouslyhe enrolled in the Mario Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, "where I was able to enlighten others with my talent. I quickly grew to understand the power of change and set out to change the beauty industry in itself."
He is now in his sixth year as a hair stylist, working in northwest suburban Arlington Heights and downtown along Michigan Avenue.
"My style influences derive from pop culture," Garcia said. "I believe it's important to keep an updated account on celebrity stylists. That said, Guy Tang, Oribe, Tracey Cunningham and George Papanikolas are some of the celebrity stylists I follow closely for inspiration. Last but not least, Taylor Swift's entire being gives me life."
Garcia said Blake Lively has the best hair on TV. "She made pregnancy look like a piece of cake, and Matt Bomer can do no harm," he said.
The worst-hair label falls on Chelsea Handler. "I love her, but I'd love to give her a real blowout," he said.
"Every day is a new opportunity to set new goals," Garcia said. "I have been very privileged throughout my career and have decided to embrace my duties [now] as an instructor, [too]; I plan on being the best instructor I can be. To achieve that, I plan on taking classes with Intercoiffure, Wella Studios and Redken Exchange," among others.
Garcia said the most fulfilling part of his job is "being able to create new looks from person to person. I believe it's essential to guide your guest with his or her needs, but also by giving them a little edge or character."
And the worst part of the job? "Honestly, I can't think of a single thing," he said. "I collaborate with people I love on a day to day basis. If anything, whenever I am a customer and pick up on a worker's lack of enthusiasm for their job, it drives me to want to do mine better."
Garcia has certainly had his share of hairy/funny moments on-the job. Such as, "That awkward moment when a neighboring stylist and their client are talking about something racy, and my client and I catch each other's eye and smile," he said.
So what look is "in" these days?
The lob is totally in, he said. "This bold, yet simple style has got to be this year's greatest trend; it's practical, yet versatile," he said. "It's never about what's out. [Rather,] it always is about what's next. But if you still live in the 1980s [style and fashion], please just give it up."
Garcia added, "I thrive on the energy of people, events and my surroundings. I am constantly looking for new inspiration when it comes to my workbe it on social media or in person; my eyes and ears are always open. Being a part of different fashion shows, such as the Akira Fashion show, Fashion Week Chicago and Mario Make Me a Model, really allow me to take my styling abilities to the next level. The fast-paced, high-fashion looks is what I live for. Instagram also has been a huge part of my success; it's important to keep your audiences updated; it's basically an online portfolio."
Town: Bloomingdale, Ill.
Relationship status: Single
Job title: Stylist at Mario Tricoci
Three favorite TV shows: Gossip Girl, Scandal and RuPaul's Drag Race
Favorite movies: Body Guard; To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar.; Hairspray and Dream Girls.
Favorite pizza toppings: Italian beef pizza with hot giardiniera
Preferred drink at a bar: Whiskey soda
Fear factor: He fears being alone. "As long as I can remember, I have poured myself into some sort of relationship. The obstacle I have come to learn is, it's OK to be solo. If anything, some of my most productive moments in my life have happened while being single. In a relationship, compromise is a key factor to the success; I have a bucket list and I plan completing it by myself, or with people who have similar interests."
Little-known fact: "I can't stand around and do nothing; it's just not in my nature to be a slob."