Meet celebrity hairstylist and author, Keith Campbell, the mane man behind Bridget Kelley’s signature bangs, Chrisette Michele’s soulful look and Melanie Fiona’s hair transformation. We had the pleasure of chatting with Campbell days before the launch of his second book, Decide to Be Beautiful, to get the scoop on the message behind his book, Estelle and more.
EBONY: Finish this sentence: "Hair is..."
Keith Campbell: Hair is everything. Hair is a canvas. It’s an accessory that most people want to experience with their best moments. If you treat your hair right, it treats you right. It can be a wonderful and powerful accessory. But if you don’t treat it right, it can be an embarrassment and create low self-esteem.
EBONY: The new book has a very inspiring message. How does this differ from your first book?
KC: Cuts From Our Infirmities was about cutting negative things out of your life and allowing God to be a whole and beautiful presence within. Decide to Be Beautiful is the next step after cutting those things out by making the decision to be beautiful. It will make you feel like you want to work towards something constructive and positive.
EBONY: Estelle wrote the forward to Decide to Be Beautiful. Tell us how that came about.
KC: We were on a panel together a few years ago, and we just connected immediately. I mentioned my project to her and she loved it. She asked for a snippet of the book to read, to see if she wanted to put her stamp of approval on it. I sent her manager about 10 chapters and she read the entire thing on a plane ride back to L.A. She wrote the forward in a day and it was perfect! She’s inspiring women to be beautiful because she keeps it elegant at all times.
EBONY: What are some of your essential hair tools on-set or on the red carpet?
KC: Because I’m a cutter, I’m going to say my shears by NIC. I’d also say a Hot Tools one-inch curling iron. And of course, the popular Mason Pearson brush.
EBONY: Are there any new product lines you're loving right now?
KC: Yes: Sojourn. They have a really great line, their Colour Preserve Shampoo ($25) and Conditioner ($26, both available at sojournbeauty.com.) The PH is very low, so it doesn’t make the hair hard like others. It cleans the hair easily, leaving it soft and shiny.
EBONY: As a hairstylist, how do you feel that inner beauty is affected by outer beauty?
KC: That’s a really good question because inner beauty is what no one sees. You can decide to get a new weave or a cut but that’s just an accessory or an accent. If it were to rain, it can all be washed away and you are left standing there with just your inner beauty. It never washes away, it never fades, it just grows stronger as you go through and experience life.
EBONY: Any tips for women switching up their hair routine for winter?
KC: Stay hydrated inside and out. Drinks lots and lots of water. Avoid shampooing as much, and lean towards creams to add moisture. Instead of focusing on the seasons, try to use a product that will benefit your hair year-round.
— Janell M. Hickman