QUITE POSSIBLY ONE OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND HAIR STYLISTS IN NORTH AMERICA, KIM KIMBLE HAS HAD A REMARKABLE CAREER. FROM WORKING IN HER MOTHER’S SALON AT 16 YEARS OLD TO WORKING WITH SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN SHOWBIZ, SHE HAS BECOME THE GO-TO EXPERT FOR ALL THINGS HAIR.
We often throw around the term ‘household name’, but when you are talking about the woman who styles the likes of Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey, it seems only appropriate. For Kim, her entry into the hair world seemed like a natural one, working as a shampoo girl in her mother’s salon as a teenager before pursuing a degree at the Vidal Sassoon Academy and Dudley Cosmetology University in North Carolina. Hair styling, it seemed, was in Kim’s DNA.
Kim opened her first salon in 1995 and gained her first Hollywood gig on the film B.A.P.S and has been the hair stylist to the stars ever since, even starring in her own reality television series, L.A. Hair.
“I love the creativity,” says Kim. “There are so many directions that you can go in the hair and beauty business. I do a lot of editorial shoots and I love fashion. The collaboration with hair, makeup, wardrobe design – the right hairstyle just completes the look.”
Going from washing hair to styling celebrities was a long and incredible journey for Kim, and she credits God first and foremost. After that, it was all about being consistent, reliable and professional, constantly working on learning and honing her skills at every stage of her career.
“The most important lesson I’ve learned is to always surround yourself with people that are better than you,” says Kim. “From business to hairstyling, it is always important to be around people that you can learn from and grown. Never get stagnant and stay ahead of the curve – don’t ever get too comfortable.”
Despite having, quite possibly, one of the most star-studded client lists in America, Kim still has to sometimes pinch herself when a new job or client comes along. She is human, like the rest of us, and it still gives her a big thrill when a new opportunity comes knocking: “No matter how big or small the job, I always get excited. I work with some amazing clients. I love being challenged. So, for me it’s all about those projects that challenge me or allow me to be creative.”
Her most exciting and memorable job to date was being able to work on A Wrinkle In Time, which featured an all-star class including the one and only Oprah – who wouldn’t be excited to work with Oprah?
Kim was able to work with the amazing director, Ava Duvernay, and film in New Zealand, where she was able to get super creative with the hair styles, bringing back memories of hair show competitions. As the head of the hair department, Kim was able to work with and guide a group of amazing hair stylists and manage a rather big budget – a challenging but truly memorable experience.
Always keen to challenge herself and break boundaries, Kim has also developed her very own product line, featuring everything from styling products to conditioning treatments.
“I love creating products that help my clients achieve their hair goals. I believe that healthy hair and style should co-exist. A lot of my clients had to style their hair so often – sometimes even multiple times a day. It left their hair so damaged, so I create products that help to strengthen hair instead of damaging it and still give them style,” explains Kim. “One example is my silk vapor iron. It’s a flat iron that infuses argon oil into the hair, so even though you are flat-ironing your hair and applying heat, it works like a conditioning treatment.”
Kim’s paraben and sulfate-free product line are put to use at Kimble Hair Studio in West Hollywood, with appointments available through booking app, Booksy. An ambassador for the brand, Kim knew that Booksy was right for her, given her busy and often changing schedule.
“As a business owner who travels a lot, I need to be able to rely on something. It just helps to have a tool right there on your phone that you can rely on,” explains Kim. “No need to wait for anyone to answer the phone, appointments can be booked 24/7 and the stylists at my salon have access to their schedule at all times. It makes it super easy for the stylists to manage their schedule without having to rely on anyone else.”
Kim first came into contact with Booksy on a trip to film at the Home Shopping Network. When she met with the CEO and the rest of the team and they discussed their vision, she knew it was right for her: “Marketing is key. I think it’s really cool that you can create fliers for social media in the app. Also sending out text message blasts to the customers is a really amazing feature. Booksy is staying on the cutting edge of a lot of marketing features that beauty professionals really need – whether they are building their clientele or have an established brand.”
There is no question that Kim has a well-established brand, built on her stellar reputation for innovative styling, high-quality products and unparalleled professionalism when serving her long list of celebrity clientele like Kelly Rowland, Gabrielle Union, Mary J. Blige and many more.
Her work has featured in some of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, as well as national campaigns, movies and Beyonce’s award-winning project, Lemonade. What, then, is the one piece of advice Kim could give to a budding stylist keen to follow in her footsteps?
“Find a mentor. Mentorship is so important – it can fast track your success and help you avoid the pitfalls.”
As for Kim’s future, while we have no doubt that she has any number of incredible projects in the pipeline for the year ahead, she is keeping them close to her chest for now. Having already achieved so much over the course of her career, Kim is not one to shy away from self-progression and still has numerous goals in sight, from continuing to grow her brand globally to offering more classes – she is even working on a tour.
Booksy ambassador, stylist to the stars, product developer, educator… Kim has many titles and is an inspiration to so many people. Without doubt, she is one hell of woman and if she can do it, why not you?