Kaia Gerber on Why You Should Never Bleach Your Own Hair
Like most of your Instagram feed last spring, Kaia Gerber gave into the temptation of the DIY hair makeover about two months into quarantine.
"I wish I was only tempted," the model laughs.
After bleaching her whole head and dying her hair pink, Gerber has since gone back to her natural chestnut brown color, which can be seen in her campaign for Marc Jacobs' new fragrance, Daisy Eau So Intense.
The latest addition to the designer's cult-favorite franchise features notes of strawberry, honey, rosebud, and green moss. It's a remix of the classic Daisy scent, and evokes the feeling of frolicking outside on a warm spring day — which is exactly what Gerber does in the campaign.
Over a 10-minute Zoom call, Gerber and I chat about why you should never bleach your own hair, pandemic beauty routines, the power of book clubs, and more.
What memories and feelings does Daisy Eau So Intense conjure up when you smell it?
I love Daisy Eau So Intense because it's a reinterpretation of the signature Daisy fragrance that I've pretty much been wearing my whole life. I started working with Daisy back in 2017, so to be able to evolve and grow with the brand and have a family there has just been one of the greatest gifts of my life. This new fragrance is a little more rich, intense, and feels like a new fragrance for a new chapter of my life.
We're still in a pandemic so we're mostly staying home, but where and when would you ideally wear this fragrance?
I have a newfound appreciation for fragrance because it's a consistent thing you can do every day for yourself in a time where there are a lot of things we can't control. I've always viewed fragrance as something you put on when you went out, and since we don't go out right now, I've started wearing it every single day for myself. I have so many incredible memories associated with Daisy, and whenever I put it on, it takes me back to them, so it's an instant mood booster for me.
To shop: $99; ulta.com
What is the first fragrance you remember falling in love with?
I remember loving my mom's scent and I would sneak in and put on her perfume. She traveled a lot when I was younger, so I would have her leave a scarf with me and I kept it with me because the smell of her made me feel comforted. I've always associated scents with people or relationships or memories.
You're someone who gave into the temptation of the DIY hair makeover during quarantine. Tell me about your pandemic hair journey.
About two months into quarantine, I had the brilliant idea to self-bleach my hair with hydrogen peroxide, which no one should ever do — ever. So I did that, sat out in the sun and had some really nice orange highlights [laughs]. I decided to take it farther and eventually just bleached it, and then I dyed it pink, which I loved. Pink hair has always been a dream of mine and I've always wanted to mess with my hair, and I thought I might as well do it now and get it out of my system. That all happened in a span of five months, and now, we're back to my natural color and I appreciate it so much more.
As someone who also has brown hair, I get it. Those temporary pink hair dyes never work on dark hair.
Exactly! The bleach was my excuse to go pink because I've always wanted to do it. But, I'm telling you, if you have natural beautiful dark hair, it's not worth the bleach.
What was your haircare routine to get your hair healthy again after all the color correction?
I used to just use 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner because I had never colored my hair and it was short for a long time. Now, I realize I definitely have to care about it. Somebody recommended shea butter conditioner to me and I love it. There's also this amazing Christophe Robin hair mask that my mom uses and she recommended it to me. She was even helping me put it on my dead ends and braiding my hair. She was just so great about helping me get it healthy again. I've also had a break from having heat on it, which has helped as well.
I notice you always wear your hair in a center part. There was recently a huge debate on TikTok about side parts being for old people. What's your stance as someone who's Gen Z?
Well, I'm clearly very behind on the TikTok trends because I haven't heard about this [laughs]. The reason I started doing a center part is that my mom had a side part and I wanted to look different from her [laughs]. So I started parting my hair in the center, but I have hair that can literally part wherever. I've always loved a side part. I think it's very chic and I love people who are able to have that awesome side part, but I'm just too lazy to do my hair.
Also, a side part reminds me of listening to My Chemical Romance or Linkin Park with a side part over my eye and being very emo. It reminds me of being young!
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Aside from getting your hair healthy, what has been your approach to the rest of your beauty routine during the pandemic?
I always keep things simple anyways, but I definitely got into skincare, which I wasn't that into before. I was always traveling and didn't want to carry a bunch of products around with me, but now I have a routine and it's been really nice. I also work with YSL Beaute and they have really great everyday products. Their Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick is a really pretty lip color I wear for Zooms and stuff like that, and I wear their Touché Éclat every day because it just really gives you a nice glow. Those two products have become a really bit part of my routine because it can be hard to feel pretty when you're in sweatpants.
A lot of people have taken on new hobbies during the pandemic like baking sourdough bread. You've been painting a lot. How did you get interested in that?
I've always loved painting and took a lot of art classes growing up, including stop motion and little things like that. Over the pandemic I was in Malibu and I always wanted to be outside and painting was a really relaxing thing for me to do. I used to listen to Bob Ross because I would fall asleep to him and that's how I got into painting. I tried to recreate a Bob Ross painting a few years ago and loved it. Now I paint all the time and I'll even do paint by numbers, which people make fun of me for, but it's so therapeutic. And if you're not a great artist, it's a way to paint without getting stressed out about what you're making.
You also started a book club on Instagram. What inspired that?
The good thing about having a book club is that you'll never run out of books no matter how hard you try. We're now doing a book a month because I wanted to give people enough time to read and digest the material. It's been such a gift to have a platform to create conversations that are sometimes hard to have. I found myself getting frustrated by not getting asked questions that were real or that I felt had any importance, so I wanted to create that space for myself and for others to feel like they can talk about difficult topics and literature. I wanted to broaden my community and open it up to a lot of awesome conversations that I've been so fortunate to have.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.