Oprah's Hair Stylist Pisses Off Kinky-Haired Folks

In a recent interview with Elle magazine, Andre Walker — who was responsible for Her Majesty Oprah Winfrey's hair for more than two decades, said: "I always recommend embracing your natural texture. Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that's the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing." Uh-oh. Kinky-haired people did not like that.

Obviously a man who swears that kinky hair has "limited styling options" has never seen any of the amazing pictures on Curly Nikki or Le Coil.

One disappointed reader sighed:

"Oh Andre. You can do better than that. Natural hair is so versatile. The styles we can choose from are diverse and stylish. Saying that kinky hair is the only hair that should have chemicals poured on it is pretty lame. I suspect the comment has more to do with your personal aesthetics or lack of skills to work with any kind of afro hair. "

Walker — whose motto is "make peace with your hair," backpedaled and clarified on his blog, writing:

It is a fact that kinky hair (my Type 4 definition) is extremely fragile and breaks easily. Even when you are very careful, something as simple as combing can break this texture. It is very difficult to achieve a longer length when the hair breaks, even with simple combing. That being said, there is the style option of wearing braids, dreads, or twists, which allows the hair to grow longer because it is combed less often. Another style choice is to simply wear a shorter cut, which is very attractive on some women but just not right for others.

So when I say to embrace your natural texture, but consider relaxing kinky hair, am I contradicting myself? I don't think so! You see, even relaxed hair can still be worn naturally. If you want a natural look, but find that your kinky hair is difficult to manage, breaks too easily, lacks shine and luster, and limits your preferred styling options, I say feel free to consider a mild chemical relaxer, sometimes called a texturizer, that eases your hair to a more manageable texture and allows you to Make Peace With Your Hair.

This didn't do much for those he upset. As a commenter named Danielle notes on The Mane Source, "Sad, this is why so many women feel they can't go natural, when "professional hair stylists" shame their natural hair texture and suggest relaxers."

Maybe some ladies feel natural isn't an option, but if the comments on these stories and natural hair blogs like the ones mentioned above are any indication, plenty of women are trying it out, no matter what Oprah's hair guy thinks. Maybe Elle should interview them?

Oprah's Hair Stylist says to Chemically Alter "Kinky" Hair [The Coil Review]
Oprah's Hair Stylist Sorta Kinda Apologizes For "Kinky" Hair Remark, But Not Really [ONTD]
Andre Walker Clarifies Comments He Made About Kinky Hair [The Mane Source]
My Professional Opinion About The Care And Styling Of Natural Hair [Andre Walker Hair]