Over the weekend, Black women all over the nation got a taste of Chris Rock’s “Good Hair.” In our continued series, ‘Shop Stories,’ we hooked up with celebrity stylist Kimberly Kimble, a connoisseur of fabulous hair and coveted stylist to Beyoncé Knowles, to help guide our hair journey now that we’ve been exposed to the strength of the “creamy crack” and the eye-opening truth about Indian hair. Read on to see how to begin this new Black hair revolution.
Of course I have to ask you to give your definition of ‘Good Hair’?
Kimberly Kimble: The “good and bad” hair thing has been going around and around. All jokes aside, I think that ‘good hair’ is healthy hair. I see the beauty in all textures of hair. If you have a great cut, great color and it looks good, then it’s good hair.
What’s so bad about having kinky hair? Why is it so hated?
Kimberly Kimble: Being a product developer in the hair business, I think that education is the key. There are certain products that work better on kinky hair. Style also has a lot to do with it. If your hair is natural, it’s going to look better with certain styles. As long as you have a great cut and learn how to maintain it, there’s nothing wrong with kinky hair. For years, products were not made for kinky hair. I think that a lot of people were wearing it in a way that didn’t look healthy, so it was giving off an undesirable appeal. But, now it’s more accepted because there are products to manage it. Hair has to be groomed no matter what texture you have.
Let’s talk about the ‘creamy crack’. Be honest. Is there such a thing as a healthy relaxer?
Kimberly Kimble: I’ll be honest with you. I wouldn’t say that it’s healthy because it’s a chemical and it takes the life out of the hair, but I’m not telling anyone to not get a relaxer, especially if you need it. Relaxers don’t work well on my hair because it causes it to break. It’s not for everyone because it’s made from lye and it can burn. After seeing that (“Good Hair”), it makes me wonder about the substance if it can burn through a can! There are relaxers that are milder and packed with conditioners to help minimize the stress and intensity of the lye in the relaxers. I think ‘no lyes’ are still lyes. It’s a lie! If it’s changing the hair texture, there’s something there.
We’ve noticed that a lot of celebs don’t have relaxers anymore. They just go to their stylist every week.
Kimberly Kimble: I don’t really do relaxers anymore because weave is the new “creamy crack.” I do texturizers twice a year. I’ve never wanted bone-straight hair for people who wanted to wear it long, because it takes all of the body and elasticity out of the hair. It also depends on where you live. Here in L.A., everyone wears press and curls. In those hot or humid locations like New York, Chicago and Miami, people can’t do that.
Tell me about the Brazilian Keratin treatment that’s supposed to work in place of a relaxer.
Kimberly Kimble: The Brazilian Keratin treatment makes your hair straighter and longer. The keratin helps to build the hair bonds as opposed to relaxers, which typically tear down the bonds.
Chris Rock claims, ‘Black men don’t care about hair,’ but we know that isn’t true. Do you think Black men contribute to a Black woman’s negative thought process concerning her hair?
Kimberly Kimble: I definitely think that men have a lot to do with it, but I think women style their hair for other women. It’s a competition. You know, I hear the same thing, ‘Men don’t care, they want women with natural hair and no makeup,’ but I really believe that men don’t care if you have a weave as long as it looks good. I can’t really blame it on men, though. I think it’s more so what society tells us is beautiful and what we see in the magazines.
What’s with the underlying hair competition between Black women?
Kimberly Kimble: I don’t know what the competition is about, but if everyone just learned to be individuals and wear what works best for them, there would be no competition. Wear your hair with confidence! I’ve been to a few fashion shows in Europe and I’ve seen those tall, slender, dark-skinned women with the short naturals, and they look beautiful with it. I love seeing the variety.
As a celeb stylist, what did you learn from “Good Hair”?
Kimberly Kimble: I think I was one of the first few people using Indian hair when it came out and I didn’t know that those women didn’t know that their hair was being sold. I used to make jokes to my clients like, ‘There’s a poor Indian girl who got jumped and had her ponytail whacked off,’ but I didn’t know that they really did things like that! It’s crazy to think that some poor girl sacrificed so that you and I could have long, beautiful hair.
Do you think Black women will make any ‘weave’ changes as a result of seeing the sacred rituals in the film?
Kimberly Kimble: Nope! I don’t think it’s going to change a thing (she giggles). I didn’t take my weave out. But, I am going to be looking into ways to find weave that’s legit.
In our personal pursuit to eliminate bad weaves all over the nation, what tips can you share?
Kimberly Kimble: Consult with a stylist. Don’t go in those wig stores with those folks who say, ‘Put this on, it looks good,’ just because they want to sell you something. If they don’t wear weaves and they don’t do them, don’t talk to them! In our salon, we provide all of the hair and wigs for our clients. They receive a consultation, and I make sure that they have the right hair and the right color. It sounds funny, but when it comes to your hair, seek professional help!
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