At just 24 years old, Kahh Spence already counts superstars Kehlani, Cardi B, Ella Mai, and Yara Shahidi as regular clients. Known mainly for his custom wigs, the Brooklyn-born, self-taught hairstylist and OGX Beauty brand ambassador is behind many of Cardi B’s ever changing looks, and shares that his first encounter with the female rapper was the year before the juggernaut’s meteoric rise to fame with the release of her single “Bodak Yellow.”
But his real break came a few months later when R&B singer Kehlani asked him to join her on tour. “Probably the second time I worked with her she asked me to go on tour, and I’ve been working with her ever since,” he says. Spence credits the clout of social media for gaining him his celeb visibility; it is the way Cardi’s publicist reached out to him, after all, he reveals.
“I feel like it’s opened over 70,000 peoples eyes to me,” he says of his amassed following. “They get to see me, what I do, who I work with — they get to experience everything.” Since December, Spence has been posting self-shot hair tutorials that have been racking up thousands of views — reactive proof that people are hungry for hair diversity. Playing with all types of hair textures and hairstyles, the pro can basically do any style imaginable — all while showcasing Black hair in its full glory.
At the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York last weekend, we spoke to Spence about wigs and natural hair maintenance, plus all his favourite products.
FAKE HAIR, DON’T CARE
Thanks to a slew of female celebs who wear faux locks proudly, and hair masterminds like Spence who are pushing the hair conversation forward with informative tutorials, wig-life is no longer merely hush-hush gossip among Black women anymore. But contrary to what many believe, wigs aren’t simply a grab-n-wear deal. “You definitely want to treat your natural hair under your wigs,” says Spence. “I think the misconception with wearing [them] is that you can go months without touching your protective style, but you want to make sure that you keep conditioning it every so often [and] trimming your ends — doing everything you can to treat your natural hair.” As for what to do with your own hair under the wig to avoid daily manipulation and breakage (aka the protective style mentioned by Spence): “Just cornrows,” he recommends. “Straight back, super simple.” Lastly, a hairpiece isn’t something you can just toss around and expect to stay looking on fleek. “Treat them like your natural hair,” says Spence. “You need to wash them, store them, and make sure the hair has some air and moisture.”
The Product Heroes
When wigs are the game, Spence reaches for OGX’s Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner for a double-duty boost of hydration, he says. “I use [it] as a conditioner for extensions and to treat natural hair.” As for a go-to finishing spray that gives wigs a natural, lived-in feel without weighing strands down, he loves the Natural Finish Aspen Extract Dry Texture Spray. “Say you’re doing some type of curl style or even a straight style, just spray a bit of [it] to keep the hold a little longer.” When you’ve put the time into styling your mane to perfection, there’s nothing worse than creepy crawlies that break away. Spence’s secret to keeping flyaways at bay is a good control paste. “My ultimate fave is the Natural Finish + Aspen Texture Molding Paste,” he says. “It serves multiple purposes: flyaways, styled edges, baby hairs — every little thing.”