Vixen Chat: Kim Kimble Dishes on “L.A. Hair” Drama And Explains Why She’s a Great Example For Women
Kim Kimble is perhaps one of the most acclaimed celebrity hair gurus in the business. Remember Shakira's long, flowing locks on NBC's The Voice? Kim styled it. And remember Beyoncé’s glam hair for the Super Bowl? Or Kelly Rowland’s big, curly hair? Yup, those are Kim’s creations too.
But Kim isn’t only a star behind the scenes, now she serves as an industry expert in front of the camera on the second season of her hit TV show L.A Hair. Her new goal? “I want to help people learn, grow and educate them, that’s why I chose to do a TV show,” she says.
On today's (June 20) episode she's slaying the manes of Fantasia, Lil Mama, and Syleena Johnson. But being a megastar doesn’t come with drama. Herewith, Kim reveals what it’s like to be an owner of a L.A. salon, and why she believes in giving her staff a second chance even if they are (really) crazy.
VIBE Vixen: Congrats on your new salon! How has that transition been?
Kim Kimble: Oh my gosh it’s kind of rough because you know with contractors and dealing with the building, it was a lot of work. I’m super excited about it because we needed more space. It’s been really great, but challenging because the drama is real [laughs]. But it’s coming together, I’m happy with it.
Angela is back to working in your salon, but is she staying for good? Or is her appearance temporary?
I believe in giving somebody a second chance. She asked me to come back so I wanted to give her another chance and bring her back into the salon. You will see her back this season, but I do have my eye on her! I had to be smart about it, but she asked nicely so I gave her an opportunity.
How are things between you and Angela now?
I’ll say this. Angela is not the first Angela in my life. This is a competitive business. I’ve dealt with this in the past and it doesn’t make it easier, but I know that at the end of the day I am blessed. I still have a great career, great clients, and a great business. I am too blessed to harp on whatever she’s done. She has to pay for her actions. I have my vision and goals that I want to do and I’m going to stay focused because I have a mission.
Do you have a favorite staffer on the show?
My mama. But, besides her, I love me some Dontay; he’s a mess, but I love him. He makes me laugh all the time with his drama and his silliness. He’s talented and he never changes.
How is it working with your mom?
It’s not easy. She’s one of my favorite people in the world but it’s not easy.
Many people say that they watch the show for the drama, but it seems that the show is real-life for you; it’s your career. How do you respond to these people?
To be honest with you, sometimes I wish it wasn’t real. People that know me, know I have a reputation. It’s [being a hairstylist] not something that I just all of a sudden started doing because I have a show. I was a celebrity hairstylist before this show. But, I didn’t want to do something fake and that’s why I was nervous about doing a reality show. And, I know how much drama a salon can be. Oh God!
So let’s talk a little bit about China. What’s her relationship like with you, your staff and clientele?
China is interesting. I worked with her for a while and she’s cool. But, when I finally saw the show I was like “wow!” TV can bring out the best in people, or sometimes it can bring out the worst. I don’t agree with everything China does, just as I don’t agree with what everybody in the salon does. They’re grown people and I’m not interested in raising anybody. I will work with people, that’s just who I am until they get disrespectful. I’ll give you one chance but I don’t know if you’ll get another one because I don’t have too much time to be playing around. But, all and all I think she’s a cool person we have a great relationship.
Are you happy with your entire staff now?
Yes I am, I am happy with my staff.
It sounds like you had issues with everyone at some point, but at the end of the day you respect them as long as they do their work. Is this true?
They are very great stylists and we don’t have a lot of issues. But sometimes they want to test you. They want to do their own thing, they want to be their own boss, they want to have their own staff, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to be here, this is how Kimble Hair Studio needs to operate. I don’t have a problem saying “you can’t do this in my salon” because this is my business and if you can abide by the rules great, if you can’t then you have to go.
I don’t really have too many issues or fights with stylists. If we have an issue then you can’t work in the salon. I’ve had some issues with Angela, yes, but she wasn’t always that vicious. This viciousness is kind of intensified because of the show.
Which the camera will do.
Yes! Some people can easily talk in the confessions because nobody is standing there watching them. But, going back to Angela—she’s just young. I’ve been in this business for a long time. I’ve matured and I can teach Angela a lot of things if she would only listen, but she’s young she has a lot to learn. Life has a way of teaching you—and you can either learn from somebody who’s been in the business, or you can learn as you go through it. The choice is yours.
What do you want your salon to be known for? What do you want viewers to know and remember?
I want them to remember that we are creative and great hairstylists. I want them to learn lessons from my show—I look at it as education. I want them to learn about Kim Kimble, as not just the celebrity hairstylist, but as an entrepreneur. I’m trying to be the next Madame CJ Walker. Yes I get angry when something doesn’t go right, but who wouldn’t protect their business? Who wouldn’t protect their mother? Who wouldn’t protect their territory? At the end of the day I’m professional, I do my job well and I try to be a great example to women.
Everyone, especially stylists, say women should learn how to care for thier hair. What’s the best way to learn how to take care of your hair?
First you learn from your stylist. You look to your stylist or to other professionals in the industry and take their advice. Also look through magazines for tips from professionals in the industry like myself or other hairstylists. I have a few rules on hair maintenance: 1.) Keep your ends trimmed. 2.) Keep your hair moisturized with the right conditioner, leave-in conditioners, any product that is moisturizing that doesn’t have alcohol in it. 3.) Don’t use a lot of heat in your hair, the more heat you use the more you’re going to damage it. 4.) Sleep in a silk bonnet. If you don’t have a bonnet, use a silk pillowcase or scarf.
We have a lot of readers who are transitioning to be natural, but a lot of them are using heat on their hair because they want their hair to be straight. What are some ways that they can minimize breakage with heat?
If you use heat properly you don’t have to use it too much. But, you must use the right technique. You’re supposed to move in the direction the cuticles in and look when you do it so it doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft. If you want your hair to have a lot of curls and body, don’t over heat it. You don’t over-process it with the relaxer. If you blow-dry it, maybe press it a little bit and curl it with the curling iron, but if you flat iron it and you go back and curl it, you’re doing too much. Also, use deep conditioners or leave-in conditioners that soften the hair.
You mentioned good conditioners. I’m sure your hair care line offers some. Let’s talk about Kimble Beauty a bit.
Kimble Beauty is a solution-based hair care product line. We specialize in natural hair, dry hair, damaged hair, and curly hair. I’m about healthy hair. I love to see the hair respond properly when a product is used on it.
We have a Brazilian Nut & Acai Berry line that’s designed for normal to dry hair and damaged hair types. That line includes a shampoo, masque, leave in conditioner, shine spray and serum. We also have a Bounce Back Curl line that’s designed to enhance, de-frizz, moisturize and control curly textured hair. We designed our line of sulfate free products, with no alcohol, only moisturizing items. There is something for everyone.
Catch Kim and her staff in action, Thursdays at 9pm EST on WeTv