Who was Nick Chavez? The life and death of the Beverly Hills hairstylist

Nick Chavez

Nick Chavez was an American celebrity hairstylist, television personality, and entrepreneur, who was best recognized for being the founder of the global Nick Chavez Beverly Hills haircare line. Among his extensive list of famous clients, he styled Michelle Stafford, Maria Shriver, and Ivana Trump before he passed away.

Born in 1956, Chavez hailed from Yuma, Arizona, and became passionate about hairstyling ever since he was a boy living on a farm. While tending to the family’s horses at the ranch, he became skilled at grooming them and learned that he could also create “hip and trendy” for his family members. Over the years, he became known for his ability to create natural-looking “everyday gorgeous” hairstyles.

Nick Chavez opened his eponymous salon in Beverly Hills in 1997 and released his haircare line two years later

Nick Chavez’s career as a professional hairdresser began in 1977 when he started out as an apprentice in a salon in Beverly Hills, California. He quickly grew to become a sought-after hairdresser among celebrities.

However, stalling his otherwise thriving career as a hairstylist, Chavez ventured into modeling and acting in the 1980s and found success in both.

As a model, he worked with notable designers such as Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Saint Laurent and even appeared in Vogue, Elle, GQ, and Esquire magazines. He also acted in the television shows Hollywood Detectives and The Young and the Restless.

In 1997, he returned to Beverly Hills and opened the Nick Chavez Salon which subsequently gained a star-studded clientele of celebrities and socialites. Notable names who frequented the salon at the time include supermodel Margeaux Hemmingway and singers Lisa Hartmann and Belinda Carlisle.

After struggling to find quality hair care products that catered to diverse hair types, Chavez developed his personal haircare and product line Nick Chavez Beverly Hills in 1999. The line amassed a decent following of customers and slowly grew into a global brand.

Chavez then went on to appear in television talk shows and reality shows as a consultant on hairdressing, making regular appearances on Extreme Makeovers, The View, E! Fashion Emergency, and The Montel Williams Show.

Chavez passed away on December 23, 2022, after battling pancreatic cancer for more than two years

In March 2020, Chavez was diagnosed with stage two pancreatic cancer. He had been experiencing severe pain in his abdomen that he initially attributed to heartbreak and depression following the death of his mother in December 2019.

Before having surgery to remove the tumor, he began chemotherapy in April to shrink its size. Chavez recovered from the treatment and survived the cancer for a short while.

“I was terribly sick but I healed. And yes, my hair and skin healed too! Both recovered,” he wrote on the website.

However, the cancer returned and claimed Chavez’s life, nearly three years after the first diagnosis – he was 66 years old.

“It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that our beloved brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, Nick Chavez passed away today at his residence in Beverly Hills after a long and courageous fight against pancreatic cancer,” read the statement about his death.

The Nick Chavez Beverly Hills brand will be passed on to Robby LaRiviere, a fellow celebrity hairstylist who was Chavez’s pick to be the Global Beauty Ambassador for the brand. Moreover, LaRiviere was not only mentored by Chavez in “all product development and formulations” for the line but had also been a collaborator for it.

Chavez’s sister Sandra, who has been a part of Nick Chavez Beverly Hills since the beginning, would also be joining LaRiviere as the spokesperson for the haircare line.