Bey's Stylist Talks Cool Cuts, Red-Carpet Coiffs, And The Latest Hair-Color Trend

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It seems that all anyone wants to talk to Kim Kimble about these days is Beyoncé and her pixie cut. Which is a shame, because the celebrity stylist is absolutely full of all kinds of other info, tips, tricks, and general musings on the state of women's hair.

Kimble's clients include Bey, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Gabrielle Union, and she is also the woman responsible for helping to craft Oprah's "Wild Thang" wig. She clearly knows a thing or two about making hair look gorgeous, which is why we weren't surprised when Pantene snatched her up to be its newest celebrity stylist. We sat down with Kimble to talk about her new gig as well as her thoughts on everything from splashlights to some of the craziest things she's done with her celeb clients.

Read on to get the full scoop from this hella-talented lady.
pantenePhoto: Via Pantene.
How did you get involved with Pantene?
"I’ve actually admired Pantene for a long time — they’re one of the best in hair care. And, when I got this opportunity, I went down to their plant and met with them, and I just noticed that they did a lot of testing with their products. It made me very excited about getting behind a brand that was powerful and actually really does care about the consumer and put a lot into making the product — they don’t just slap a label on the bottle. I love that they have a line for African-American women’s hair — there’s not a whole lot out there for African-American hair. For them to take the time to develop that and really nurture that hair is great."

Is there a product you think every girl, regardless of hair type, needs in her styling arsenal?
"This is the product I’ve been talking about all day, the Truly Natural Shine Serum With Argan Oil. It works on all hair types — it’s oil, but it's still light enough that you can put it on straight hair, curly hair, textured hair, or wavy hair. It works great when you cocktail it with the curl custard for curly hair, because it keeps it looking shiny. And, it works great on hair that's straight like mine, because it creates beautiful shine on hair."

Have there been any cool cuts or styles that have caught your eye recently?
"I wouldn’t say necessarily new, but there’s been a lot of women cutting their hair, like Michelle Williams, Charlize Theron — beautiful red-carpet divas with these beautiful gowns and the short pixie hair. I think short hair is going to actually evolve into more structured hair, strong. I think women are getting stronger [with their hair choices]. People are getting into more color, which I’m excited about, because I love color — I have purple hair right now. I think we’re finally moving into that new millennium with our hair. You’re going see a lot more risk-takers out there. We had this era of just long, beautiful, sexy hair — Victoria’s Secret hair. Which still works, it’s not going anywhere. But, I think you’re going to see this breed of women, the ones that are wanting to take their hair and their career to a new level, push those boundaries. I see that with hair. So, that means more strong, structured cuts; more interesting hair color; bolder decisions."

Speaking of pushing boundaries, what's your take on the new splashlights micro-trend?
"I think it's very interesting. Very difficult to do, but it’s an interesting concept — like a light shined on it. That’s an art — it's a really interesting technique, but we haven’t thought about how you get out of that. I think ombré is here to stay. It's not going anywhere; it works for too many women. It's easy — you can grow out of it and don’t feel like ‘Oh my roots are so long… ‘ [Splashlights] is going to be difficult; you have to completely change it."

Over the past few years, we've seen an interesting yo-yoing about the issue of women with textured hair wearing it naturally. At first there was a big push for it, but now there seems to be a bit of a backlash, with women getting angry for being chastised for relaxing their hair. What's your take on this?
"I think you should wear your hair in whatever way makes you comfortable and makes you feel good. I know when the natural [push] first came out, it was a revolutionary thing, and it was like a rebellion. I’m all for people loving and embracing what you have, but in every race, everybody changes their hair. It doesn’t make them less whatever they are. I think it’s about what you want to look like, but you can’t let it define you as being a race, or being more black or more powerful, whatever. You should wear what works for your lifestyle. When you look in the mirror, how do you feel about how you look? I have my moments with my natural hair, and I have my moments with my extensions. For me, it’s all about fashion and changing my hair; it’s not really about being an African-American woman. I’ll always be one — I’m going to die this way. I love fashion. I love hair. I like changing. And I love to experiment with different looks, and I do the same thing with my clients. I truly feel that hair is an expression of you.

Hair is not about race; hair is about texture. Many different races have vast, various textures. You have Caucasians with kinkier hair, you have Latinos with kinky hair, and then you have some African-Americans with bone-straight hair. There’s just a multitude of hair textures. Heck, even on one head, the hair changes! I might be African up front, Puerto Rican on this side, Ethiopian back here. That’s how most heads are anyway. There’s lots of different textures going on in your head. It’s really about understanding texture and knowing what to do for it and how to really care for it."

A lot of people assume the life of a celebrity stylist is all fancy hotels and champagne, but it's actually a pretty crazy job. What are some of the most insane things you've had to do?
"It's usually us running late, jumping in a car, trying to finish the hair in the car, or running into the live performance and doing it last minute. The [on-stage] acts have been crazy, like 'Oh I want to flip my hair upside down and come out of the sky.’ One time a client said, ‘Oh, I’m doing an award show, and I want my hair to change five times in the night. Every time I change the clothes, I want different hair.' I’ve had to take extensions out on airplanes. It can get pretty crazy — it's not all glitz and glamour. What goes on sometimes behind the scenes is very dramatic. You could be asked to do something on a dime."