Kelsea Ballerini on Her New Love Language, Hair Health and Sharing Skin Care With Chase Stokes

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Kelsea Ballerini on Her New Love Language, Hair Health and Sharing Skin Care With Chase Stokes featured image

I sat down with Kelsea Ballerini on one of the coldest days New York City has seen all year. The moment she greeted me, I basked in her immediate warmth. She is sunshine incarnate, everything you want in both a friend and famous singer.

Kelsea has had a whirlwind year. She toured the country, fell in love, traveled the world, and saw her album Rolling Up the Welcome Mat nominated for Best Country Album at the 2024 Grammys. Not to mention, much of her most recent album made my Spotify top songs of 2023 list. She partnered with Pantene during her healing era to mend her hair while she also mended her heart. Kelsea did the big chop and was one of the early celebs on the ongoing bob trend, then took a 12-week challenge to use Pro-V Miracles Bond Repair Shampoo and Deep Conditioner with Pro-V Melting Pearls to heal a year of color and heat damage. She shared with us a few other details on her healing era and where she’s at now, and you’ll want to hear this.

This campaign is all about embracing the golden era, and I feel like you’re definitely in one right now. So, how does it feel to be in that new golden era, and how do you think it’s affecting your aesthetic?

“It’s funny, I feel like a lot of things aligned in this last year. I also turned 30, so I feel like when you enter a new chapter of life, in any capacity, you kind of take inventory and reevaluate, and you’re like, ‘Okay, what’s important? What am I shifting into in this chapter?’ And just in the last few years, my life has changed so much. I think right now I’m just really prioritizing balance—making sure that I have time for myself, and I call it, ‘my real life,’ and then also to really give the right amount of myself to music and work.

I’m so interested in getting to know myself right now. Who am I at 30? What is my priority? And within that, I’m really enjoying being on this healing journey. I feel like it’s kind of bled into all these different areas of my life. I think that’s what my golden situation is right now. It’s like the beauty that comes with healing and taking care of yourself.”

You mention that you want to balance how much you’re giving towards work better. Do you feel like there was a point where you were overworking?

“Yeah, I think that there comes a point, and everyone’s different, but I never want to get to a place where I feel like a robot on stage, and I think it’s really easy to do that as a touring artist because you’re at a venue where the backstage looks the same every day and you’re in your summer camp on the road and everything can feel really monotonous. I never want to get to a point where I’m dishonoring each stage that I get to be on because I’m so, so happy that I get to be on it. So I think I just need to be more careful about making sure that I have time before and after to stay in it.”

What advice would you give yourself two years back?

“Two years back? Oh my god. I would say start taking your supplements. Double down on therapy.”

What supplements do you take?

“Everything. I’m a supplement girlie. This is my new love language. I haven’t talked about this. I take women’s multi, obviously, pre- pro- and post-biotic. I take magnesium. I take ashwagandha for stress. I’m going to let you know when that starts helping.”

What helps you feel confident on stage or on a red carpet—moments when all eyes are on you?

“You know what, I don’t always feel confident if I’m being so real with you. On the CMA carpet, I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is the best and least anxious I’ve felt on a carpet.’ But there are times when I don’t feel great. Like it’s just not normal, you know what I mean? It’s just not a normal thing to do. So I think allowing my brain to know that has been helpful. 

Truly, if I can take the morning before a chaotic day, whether it’s a carpet or a big event or a big show or something, if I can have a quiet morning, that usually helps me. Whether it’s going for a walk or doing a little exercise or actually getting good sleep and having a slow morning with coffee and I can just have some time to myself. That usually sets me on the right track.”

You seem so real and down to earth from your Instagram dumps and your “Call Her Daddy” conversations. Does that come naturally to you? A lot of stars are really guarded.

“I feel open, and I’ve had a couple of things that have challenged that for sure. I think probably people who have followed me for like 10 years or so have watched me kind of ebb and flow with that. I’m at a space in my life now where I just think about how impressionable I was when I was like 13, 14, 15, and I was watching whoever I was following. I was just watching everything they did and everything they stood for, and what they said and what they used and all that stuff. So I think for me, I think about that, and I want to make sure that I’m showing the whole picture. You know what I mean? Not just a really glittery outfit and me on stage, and it looks really cool. I want to be able to show what it is to be me at 30 in my life as it is, and it’s all of it. 

I think it’s fun for me to curate a very chaotic photo dump, but it’s also the truth to kind of show all the corners of my life as it is right now. I also just think I get bored of myself when I’m only posting really glossy things. I don’t want to see that. So why would anyone else?”

You’re working on a new album. What gets your creativity going?

“Real life. I keep saying, this time around, I need to live a life to write about. I’m Virgo, and I’m always like, ‘Okay, this is the plan. These are the goals. How do we get from A to B?’ I think sometimes, within that, I lose the space to have a life. I don’t know, maybe it’s age, maybe it’s experience, maybe it’s all of it, but I just really crave that balance now, and I’m noticing the more that I take the space to have a girls’ trip, go hang out with my dog, go to Charleston and be with my boyfriend, whatever it is, those things are all allowing me to make better music right now. So there’s this new beautiful balance that I’m really finding value in that I really want to protect.”

My partner is always stealing my skin care. Do you ever do skin care with Chase [Stokes]?

“Oh, yeah, skin care, haircare. Luckily, he’s someone who is also in entertainment, so we’re both always trying to really take care of ourselves because our jobs are forward-facing. So he’s always interested in what I’m using. I have definitely noticed a couple of things go missing, but I’m also like, ‘Hey boo, you look good, so steal whatever you want, you’re hot.”

Your hair always looks so soft and healthy lately, just so touchable. What is your secret?

Pantene Miracle Repair Deep Repair Conditioner ($16). I’ve been doing this combination for 12 weeks [the Pantene Miracle Repair line]. Basically, like I said, last year was the craziest year, and I was always either traveling or touring or coloring my hair or putting heat on my hair, and by the end of the year, it was just chaos. So I did a big chop and just decided to really try to get my hair healthy again before this year takes off because the reality is I’m never not going to do those things, right? But I just wanted to find something that helps me maintain the health of my hair while I’m still able to do everything that I want to do.

So we did this 12-week challenge, and it truly, from the beginning [helped]. There are videos and pictures where you can just see the frayed ends of my hair. It was just really nice to be able to be consistent with it and introduce it into my routine and truly notice the shine come back and just really bring it back to life. A true reset.”

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