Darshan Yewalekar is an Indian celebrity barber and entrepreneur. He is famous for being the hairdresser-in-chief of the Indian actor Ranveer Singh.
Darshan Yewalekar was born in 1986 (age 36 years; as of 2022) in Bhusawal, Maharashtra. He did his schooling at St. Aloysius High School, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
He then pursued a hairstyling course in Pune. Hindustan Times As a kid, he used to accompany his mother to a parlour where she gave haircuts to customers. He used to observe her which helped him later in learning the basics of the hairstyling course within 12 days of joining the course. While he was doing a hairstyling course, he grabbed the attention of his trainer Jasbir Arora (celebrity hairstylist) after an argument on hairstyling.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His mother, Anupama Yewalekar, works at a parlour.
The celebrity hairstylist and his trainer in the hairstyling course ‘Jasbir Arora’ was impressed by his work and asked him to work as his assistant. While Darshan was in the third month of his course, Jasbir offered him a job at one of his salons in Indore. During an interview, while sharing the incident, Darshan said,
The salary was ₹3500! I was 16. I had just passed my 12th! But I got bored with that job and came back to Pune. There one day I got a call from one of my seniors who casually invited me to come and visit him in Mumbai where I had landed a job in a cool salon and was working on a Bollywood film shoot. The word ‘shoot’ piqued my interest. My connect with the world outside my town was through television and movies. And he said he was shooting with Sanjay Dutt. So I landed on the sets of Musafir.”
He then started working at Hakim’s Aalim, Versova, Mumbai, Maharashtra, as a hairstylist in 2003. He worked there for almost 10 years and after quitting the job, he established ‘D Shave,’ a barbershop in Mumbai. He then got an offer to work for the Indian actor Salman Khan, and after working with him for almost five years, he left the job. During an interview, he shared that his life was not easy after leaving the job with Salman. He said,
After leaving Bhai I had gone through a really bad phase where nothing really worked out. I had started a salon that I had to shut down within a year. I was 22 then. I had no money, was living in a chawl and on most days I’d starve. But going back was not an option because I couldn’t go to him as a failure. During those four years, before I landed Ram-Leela, I had hit rock-bottom. I was a simple small-town Marathi guy, I was not fluent in English, and people even mocked my name.”
He then worked as a hairstylist for various Indian actors such as Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Saif Ali Khan, and Anil Kapoor. He came into the limelight after being appointed as the hairdresser-in-chief of Ranveer Singh. He has created the looks of Ranveer Singh in various Hindi films such as ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ (2013), ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2015), ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015), and ‘83’ (2021).
His work in the Hindi film ’83 was well appreciated by the industry veterans in which he replicated the look of the legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev on Ranveer Singh. In an interview, while talking about creating the look, he said,
The biggest compliment I have got from industry veterans is, ‘You have made it happen!’ The whole experience has been overwhelming, to say the least, especially because it is relatively easier to work from one’s imagination but to replicate something that is part of everyone’s imagination just adds that extra pressure.”
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of such a mammoth and historic project. Kabir sir gave me a very straightforward brief during our first meeting — to replicate ‘the’ hair. We had to go through volumes of Kapil sir’s pictures to get every curl and wave right. We went through almost four to five look tests to achieve the precise ‘Kapil Dev look’. Then there was his classic moustache. I had to be very precise about how much to trim it, and that literally came down to slowly removing a single hair strand to make sure we got the look just right.”
Darshan has also worked for a few TV reality shows as a hairstylist and has led a team for the hairdressing competition ‘Loreal Color trophy.’
- During an interview, while remembering his struggling days, he said,
My parents could not afford to send me to a college in Pune. One day, my father came to me, sat down and said, Pune is unaffordable with my monthly salary of ₹5000. My parents were always very supportive of whatever I did and provided me with the best of things they could afford, even though it meant only two sets of new clothes each year. I had not seen any better and I was content with what I got. So, I knew if my dad said he can’t afford something, he really can’t.”
He further talked about his career. He said,
I went to a shooting set and found a job as a sweeper and hair assistant on that same set, same day. One of the best days of my life. Worked my way up one cut at a time, travelled the world and worked with the shiniest stars of the film industry and then fell, down and hard. Failure turned me towards myself. Instilled pure passion and gave me the resilience I lacked. I trained harder, dreamt greater and built D Shave, my passion project to connect the art of barbering to its roots. This venture is driven by pure love for the craft. It’s as personal to me as your hair is to you. My senior introduced me to his boss, Aalim, who’d wanted to have a chat with me. So, I stayed back that night and the next day he took me on a movie set in Film City and casually made me meet a guy who looked a lot like Salman Khan. He called him Bhai. It was actually Salman Khan! Aalim introduced me to Bhai as his new assistant.”
- He has got a big tattoo of a sword on his back.
- In 2017, he appeared as a guest speaker at TEDx-COEP 2017.
- During an interview, he shared how he managed his work during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. He said,
I am facing it hands-on in my salon. We have complete protective gear from the face mask to face shield to disposable gloves, capes, aprons, and feet wraps. It’s not easy to execute a finished job wearing all that. There is no film shoot on the floor and there is not substantial crossover for film technicians in TV and Ads.”
No one expected such unprecedented times. It was easy initially but I was in the loop with the situation and adapted quickly. I had been a workaholic all my life and especially the last eight years with Ranveer Singh were full of shoots and lots of shoots. So I had no break as such. This gave me time to ease up a little. It has healed my mind and body and let me reconnect with my loved ones. Like every single guy stuck alone, cooking was my new hobby and I never knew I could pull it off (of course with mom on video call guiding me throughout). “
- Darshan has featured in the TV show MINUS30 aired by CNN IBN.
- He regularly practices yoga and workouts in the gym to remain fit and healthy.
- In an interview, he shared the most well-groomed celebrities according to him were Ranveer Singh, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Gigi Hadid. He further added that as per him, the actors’ with the best hair were Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, and Shah Rukh Khan.
- He loves to go on motorcycle rides during his leisure time.
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