Chopping It Up
Chopping It Up With Angela Christine, The Stylist Behind Eve’s Haute Hair
Many of us know Angela Christine from her time on Kim Kimble’s We TV show, “L.A. Hair.” But, Angela’s talent and experience go far beyond the television screen, and it’s allowed her to work with celebrities such as Rihanna, Keke Palmer and Eve. For this installment of “Chopping It Up,” we got a behind-the-scenes look into Angela’s recent work with Eve, some valuable advice for aspiring celebrity hair stylists and learned about Angela’s personal hair journey.
How long have you been working with Eve? How did you and her connect?
I’ve been working with Eve about six, almost seven years now. I started working with her when I moved here [Los Angeles] back in 2010. I met her when I was working at Kimble Hair Studio, and I started working with her on some videos shoots. My first international trip was going with her to do a performance in Australia with Guy Sebastian.
I did a video with her there, and she did X-Factor Australia, and we just kept building a relationship. She later moved to New York, and she would still call me to do stuff when she’d come to L.A. She then moved to London, and I didn’t think that I would continue to get that much work from her.
But, we’ve built this relationship throughout the years, and I was there for her wedding back in 2014. So, she’s really like my friend at this point. She’s amazing client to have, she trusts me and she’s totally chill. She’s not over-the-top at all. She’s just a beautiful person.
What’s the creative process like? How do you decide which style and color to try next?
I think more recently, it’s just been doing whatever I want to do. Sometimes she’ll have wardrobe ideas and style ideas, so I’ll look at what she has, and I’ll incorporate my own opinion into that. For example, one time she was thinking about doing red. And, I was like: “Everybody’s done red, so why don’t we do rose gold?” There hasn’t been a black girl who has done rose gold before. So, I sent her references, and she just let me create the look.
And now that we’re in the fall, we’ve decided to go ash, a mousy, kind of dusky ash. If you look at the picture of her in the blue dress at the charity event, you’ll see it’s a caramel ash brown — something really different than what we did over the summer.
She just gives me the freedom to create, and once we start styling, we see what works with her outfit and her face, and go from there.
Where do you find your inspiration for your styles?
The internet is an amazing tool because people are always putting out different ideas and different creative things to draw from. But, you can really find inspiration from anywhere. I tend to just look for things that people aren’t doing. Especially the black community, we have a different way of doing hair. A lot of times I look at high fashion and see what we are not doing, and I’ll try it on a client.
I don’t really go for gold or yellowy colors because we always tend to go more warm, so I like doing more ash when it comes to color. I like doing older cuts, more mod cuts, things from the 80s.
I like to go for textures that look more natural. The lace wig craze is crazy right now, as far as the baby hairs. I’m not into that. I like hair that looks like your hair. I don’t want anyone to say: “Ooooo, look at this nice wig!”
I’m looking for things that look beautiful, compliment the client and that feels edgy, but not overdone or forced.
You go between a lot of styles and colors for Eve. So, what are some of your favorite styling products for Eve? How do you keep her hair healthy?
We do a lot of braiding for Eve. Her hair is braided most of the time, and when we take it out, I’ll deep condition it. I’ve introduced her to this line that I’m obsessed with for natural hair — Mielle Organics. I use the whole system on her hair, and because she does have braids most of the time, I use GirlandHair, they have a serum that keeps the hair moisturized and takes out the itch. I also use a lot of Kevin Murphy products.
Everything I use is eco-friendly, sulfate and paraben free. It’s important to use more natural products because you don’t get as much dryness in the hair. You see more elasticity and more curl retention.
I’m trying to push her into wearing her natural hair. It’s a little bit more difficult because she’s back across the pond now. But, hopefully, you can look for a natural hairstyle from Eve soon.
What’s your favorite style you’ve created for Eve?
When I look back at when I first started working with her, I always think: “I should have done this, or I should have done that.” So, honestly, I think my more recent things are my favorites. She did “The Real” last week, and I was able to play with texture, and I love the textured bob.
I think the look we most recently did where she has on the yellow dress on “The Real” is my favorite. I used the small barrel In-Styler to create the look and I curled it in different ways and kind of messed it up. I just loved how it looked kind of edgy.
I think the shorter bob is really killing it right now for her because people love to see her in shorter looks because it really speaks to her edginess. The rose gold was my favorite color. I definitely loved seeing her in the rose gold because it brought out the warmth in her skin.
What are some tips you give to stylists who aspire to work with celebrity/ high-profile clients?
The biggest piece of advice is to be yourself, but always maintain a level of professionalism. I think it’s really important to be the stylist that you would want to go to and to be open to a lot of criticism.
When you’re working with high-profile people, there’re several other people in the mix who have opinions on the look. So, you have to take yourself out of the equation and your vision.
Also, most celebrity clients don’t really trust the stylist unless you’ve built and maintained a relationship. So, it takes awhile to prove yourself to people. So, you have to keep tough skin, be professional as possible, and execute and deliver what the client wants.
But, you have to trust yourself and trust your creative direction as well, and find that balance to make it work.
As far as your personal hair journey, I saw that you big chopped a little over a year ago. Why?
I have always been natural, and I wanted to cut my hair into a pixie. And, I tried to keep my hair natural in a pixie, but it wouldn’t lay. It just wasn’t cute. So, I relaxed my hair. Then, I did a commercial for ORS, and I relaxed my hair completely for that.
But, I just hated it. My scalp hated it, and I didn’t like having relaxers in my hair regimen. So, I went back into wigs so my hair could grow and I went into this phase where I had 2–3 inches of natural hair and 2–3 inches of relaxed hair. So, I was like: “Either I can keep braiding this, I can let it grow and cut the relaxer off gradually or I could do something completely out of my comfort zone, and cut it in a little, itty-bitty fro.”
So, I sat at the mirror one day and just cut off all the relaxed ends, and I got some product and twisted it, and I actually enjoyed it! What I will say, is that because I was natural but I was always straightening my hair or always wearing weaves, I never got to see myself bare bones, and completely myself.
I think doing a big chop or wearing your hair natural is similar to walking around naked. It’s like this is me, flaws and all, whether you like it or not. It is a very eye-opening experience, and you assess how you feel about yourself a lot deeper. It was a real re-programming of the mind. It’s made me more comfortable with myself, and it’s helped me to better understand the natural hair community as a whole as far as haircare and texture.
And, it’s made me want to help encourage women to step outside the box and want to see themselves differently. We all want change, we all need change, and we need to shake it up a little bit.
For women who want to go a big chop, go to a professional who knows how to take care of your hair and that can give you the proper cut for your hair. It’s important to have someone who can hand walk you through the process.