Beyonce’s hairstylist discusses ‘Black is King’, the ‘hairspiration’ and those 30-foot braids

Ari Bines
·4 mins read

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Anticipation for the Beyonce-produced visual album “Black is King” was real — and expectations for the film were entirely exceeded. But out of all the magic in this Disney Plus production, the “Black is King” hairstyles were truly something to witness.

“Of course Beyonce was at the helm of it — which is a different type of project altogether,” Kim Kimble, hairstylist for “Black is King,” tells In The Know.

Kimble explains how the looks behind “Black is King” were “more visual and designed for more of a visual album” than her previous work as a hair artist for Ava Duvernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

“It’s even more fantasy than ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ if that’s possible,” Kimble says.

Beyonce’s 30 foot braids, though

Some of the instantly-iconic “Black is King” hairstyles Kimble created for the film included the double-braided style in the ‘Spirit’ video, as well as those astonishing 30 foot-long braids in the ‘Water’ video featuring Salatiel and Pharell. And yes, that was a personal request from Queen Bey herself.

“I never had that request before. It was a surprise, but we’ve done a lot of interesting things,” Kimble says about the wildly long braids, which is actually a wig that took three days and six braiders to make.

“But I was also doing other things,” she explains. Kimble says she had an entire team of stylists who were simultaneously working on the braided wig as well as the hair for Beyonce and the dancers for the ‘Spirit’ video.

According to Kim, ‘Spirit’ would have originally featured the 30-foot braided wig, which arguably may have gotten the masterpiece more air time in the film. Ultimately though, the wig made its grand appearance for a split second towards the end of the video for ‘Water.’

With her team, Kimble also produced the braided hairstyle Beyonce wears in the bright greenish-yellow highlighter dress during the ‘Spirit’ dance number. Kimble says the look was inspired by a tribe in Chad, where the women had “really long and intricate little braids.”

Credit: YouTube
Credit: YouTube

“African hair and beauty is so unique, but it’s so colorful and very creative and very vibrant,” Kimble explains. “That was one of the things I was really excited about for this project, that I get to work in this creative capacity, because I know African influence is out there and so that was probably one of the most exciting parts about it.”

How to recreate these Black is King hairstyles

For the Black is King hairstyles, Kimble was primarily working on textured and curly hair. She explains that “there was no really straight hair” on set. Kimble’s own line of Kim Kimble products, however, came in clutch for every head of hair that came through.

“We used pomade for braiding hair, shine spray because we’re dealing with curly hair, as well as shampoos, conditioners, curl cream and baby hair pomade for the edges of the braids,” Kimble says. “There was tons of leave-in [conditioner] because of the curly braids.”

Take a peek at some of Kimble’s product line that she used on set that will help you slay your natural hair game.

Shop: Kim Kimble Leave in Conditioner, $25

Credit: Kim Kimble
Credit: Kim Kimble

Shop: Curl Defining Conditioner, $25

Credit: Kim Kimble
Credit: Kim Kimble

Shop: Curl Defining Shampoo, $25

Credit: Shampoo
Credit: Shampoo

Shop: Curl Whip Mousse, $25

Credit: Kim Kimble
Credit: Kim Kimble

Shop: Shine Spray, $25

Credit: Kim Kimble
Credit: Kim Kimble

Shop: Curl Cream, $22

Credit: Kim Kimble
Credit: Kim Kimble

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