On a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim admitted to not knowing how to style her daughter North’s hair and enlisted the help of celebrity stylist Kim Kimble to teach her how to braid.
Little surprise, Kardashian’s admission resulted in a social media firestorm, with many passing judgement on the celeb’s lack of styling ability. However, those of us familiar with the vastly diverse world of texture will know that a parent struggling to care for her child’s different hair type is no uncommon tale—and not a situation to be ashamed of.
“I love the fact that she reached out so that she can show her daughter how to embrace and enjoy her curls,” says Kimble. “North has beautiful hair, just like her mother’s. It’s all beautiful and as long as you know how to maintain and take care of what you have, you’re winning.”
Kimble, who has styled the hair of countless celebs including Beyoncé, Halle Berry and Zendaya, praises Kardashian for making the effort to learn how best to care for and style her daughter’s curls, when for many the first thought is to straighten textured hair. Kimble divulged that she herself has only recently gone natural with her locks.
“Natural texture is something I have long admired. I’ve let mine grow out naturally without heat damage or chemicals and I’m really enjoying wearing my own natural hair. It took years to get to that point because I group up in an era where everyone was straightening and relaxing their hair. But now I think natural is here to stay.”
Kimble’s advice to stylists working with children’s textured hair—and teaching parents about at-home care—is to discourage any chemical services such as coloring or relaxing before about 15 years old. It’s about avoiding long-term damage and encouraging positive routines. Just like teaching kids to brush their teeth, encouraging kids to care for their hair, whatever its type, will be beneficial for their whole lives. Regular use of conditioning masks, sleeping with a silk bonnet or on a silky pillowcase and avoiding products that contain drying ingredients like alcohol are all practices that can keep textured hair naturally healthy and easy to style.
“If at a young age they can start learning to take time for themselves—conditioning their hair, eating properly, getting the appropriate amount of sleep and exercising, all of these are great things to have in your life,” says Kimble. “These are the important things to give back to young women. Train them young and these things become repetition. And they will have great results in the future. Kids have to learn to embrace their hair while they’re young and there are so many great ways to do that.”
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