Wigged Out :: Hair Salon for Drag and With A Cause

  • by David-Elijah Nahmod
  • Sunday August 30, 2015
Share this Post:

On August 7, David Carver-Ford's Diva Hair opened for business. The new enterprise seeks to reach a clientele not often served by mainstream salons: Diva Hair will be a wig studio for drag performers and transgenders.

"It's a private and intimate scene for wig fitting and purchases," Carver said as he prepared for the opening earlier this month. "I like to call the style of the studio pink, plum and persimmon; a 1960s mod theme with pops of bright yellow and pink furniture and accessories with an eclectic mix or art. It's a calm, artsy place for clients to come and relax and sit over a cup of coffee while purchasing wig ideas."

Diva Hair will be a salon with a social conscious. Part of Carver-Ford's service will include wigs for people suffering hair loss due to cancer or alopecia, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles.

"I have created wigs for Peaches Christ, Heklina, Mutha Chucka, and Cookie Dough when she was alive," Carver-Ford said. "I have collaborated on and designed outrageously big drag queen wigs for their performances."

Carver-Ford recently celebrated his own drag coming out at the Oasis.

"This included a variety show of Phyllis Diller-inspired skits and a runway fashion show of my wig work," he said. "With many of the drag queens performing and modeling, I held a raffle for my favorite charity: Wigs For Kids."

For the past thirty years Wigs For Kids has provided hairpieces for children who have suffered hair loss due to cancer or other illnesses.

"Helping children look themselves and live their lives," states the Wigs For Kids website.

While the work he does for people suffering from illnesses is fairly simple and natural, Carver-Ford's work with drag performers is another matter entirely.

"What I'm trying to convey and present is big and campy beautiful hairpieces," he said. "I get my ideas from old Hollywood. I think of movies from the '20s and '30s with stars like Claudette Colbert, Jean Harlow and Mae West. That was a time of glamour hair!"

He explained what the work means to him.

"It's an artistic and meaningful desire to express myself, and to work with talented, creative people in my community," he said. "I see the community as being all about self-expression and thoughts of 'you can be whatever you want' through performing. Dreaming big, working hard, making friends and to belong sums it up."

Cruzin d'Loo (left-right) David Carver-Ford, his mother, and Philip R. Ford at Diva Hair's opening. photo: Gareth Gooch

Carver-Ford was once a high school dropout who always knew he wanted to work with hair. It was while studying at Zenzi's Beauty Academy that he went back to school to get his diploma. It was Zenzi who personally mentored the young Carver-Ford, becoming a second mother to him, nurturing him as we went for his cosmetology license.

"Around that time, bolstered by Zenzi's invaluable support, I found the strength to come out to my family about being gay," he recalled. Zenzi also gave Carver-Ford his first job.

"I learned what it was like to have a job and be responsible," he recalled. "I earned my teaching certificate soon after, and taught classes to the art of cosmetology."

Eighteen years later, Carver-Ford is living a life that he loves. He's fulfilled his dreams.

"I'm still amazed at what I've accomplished in the last year," Carver-Ford said happily.

Diva Hair by David Carver-Ford offers service by appointment only. The salon is located at 3150 18th Street, #318. (415) 378-3728. www.divahairbydavidcarver.weebly.com