Kim Kimble is arguably the biggest name in black hair.
The celebrity stylist’s client list includes stars like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Shakira and Mary J. Blige. Most might know Kimble, however, from her hit reality show on WeTV. L.A. Hair is now in its second season, and Kimble is busier than ever. She’s finally expanded her business to a second location, launched her line of hair care products, and still deals with the day-to-day drama of operating her salons.
TheGrio spoke with Kimble recently to discuss her experience in business, and managing something so important to black women — their hair. She also shared her expert summer hair tips on trends, maintenance and the products that will help you beat the heat.
theGrio: You got your first big break styling hair on the film B.A.P.S., but your introduction to the hair business came long before then. You’re a third-generation stylist, right?
Kim Kimble: Yes, I grew up watching my mother and other members of my family do hair, and I would have to say that they inspired me greatly. I am also an avid admirer of Madame C.J. Walker; my dream is to be the Madame C.J. Walker of our time.
It seems like you’re on your way. Season two of L.A. Hair is already on the air and it’s centered on you expanding your business to a second location. What has it been like seeing your business grow as it has?
Having my own business was something that I always dreamed of, and I was very excited when I opened my very first salon yeas ago. Now I’m in my new hair studio on Santa Monica in West Hollywood, and I am thrilled. My new hair studio is about 4,800 square feet, so it’s really huge and I love that. From the posh new look to our extension, eyelash, and nail bars, Kimble Hair Studio is somewhere that you must visit if you reside in or are visiting L.A.
A story line that has carried on from the last season to this one is the tension between you and one of the stylists, Angela. Can you go into that? And as a professional that’s been in the game or a while, can you talk a bit about the importance of mentorship — as you’ve attempted with Angela — for black professionals?
I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and therefore, I allowed her to give it another shot [and come back to the salon.] As far as mentoring, I do feel that it’s important to pass on the knowledge and experience that I have attained to aspiring individuals seeking to follow in my footsteps. However, it is important that as a student or apprentice studying under the tutelage of someone you aspire to be like, you must be willing listen, learn, and receive constructive critique.
When it comes to styling hair, specifically, what is it like managing something so important to black women? Do you feel a special responsibility, because it’s something so integral to their identity?
I believe that great hair equals great confidence, so there is definitely a sense of obligation to always do an excellent job and create styles that complement the individual that I am working with at that time.
Now, let’s talk summer hair tips. What are the hottest trends right now, and styles some your celebrity clients might be rocking this summer?
Right now, it’s all about natural hair and the natural look. You can expect to see more curly hair and textured looks.
And what would you recommend in terms of hair care now that it’s heating up out there?
I have my very own line of products. In fact, I use these very products on clients including Beyoncé and Shakira. I have an amazing product from the line, the bounce-back curl revitalizer. It’s great for bringing life and definition into each beautiful curl. With summer being the hottest season of the year, they key to maintaining healthy hair is using a leave-in conditioner and a great moisturizer. You can get my entire line of products at KimbleBeauty.Com and in Target stores nationwide.
What can you tell us about what we can expect from this season of L.A. Hair?
You can expect more celebs, more drama, and fabulous hair.
Follow Donovan X. Ramsey at @iDXR