There are few women of color who didn’t see Chris Rock’s interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where he felt Oprah Winfrey’s scalp for tracks. (There were none). And when her hairstylist, Andre Walker, made some off-color comments about “Type 4 hair,” many were up in arms. Needless to say, when Oprah talks hair, women listen.

The fact that the September issue of O: The Oprah Magazine shows Ms. Winfrey rocking a textured voluminous ‘fro is a truly big deal. It’s similar to the way commenters reacted when they saw a (doctored) photograph of Michelle Obama wearing a natural. When a public figure of that stature embraces textured hair, it tells the world what we already know: natural is beautiful.

Oprah’s ‘do (which could very well be a braid-out of relaxed hair) will surely elicit wonder and possibly admiration from her base of non-black readers. It might also encourage a young woman to embrace her own texture despite natural hair naysayers.

If it does none of these things, it is, at best, a landmark for Oprah who built her brand with straight locks, sometimes long, sometimes short. And a radiant, beautiful cover.

Inside, Oprah talks about her personal journey with hair, saying she wears her strands curly on weekends and loves to experiment with varied looks. She recalls a time when she wanted to cut her hair completely off even: “I wanted to wear it close-cropped, à la Camille Cosby, but her husband Bill convinced me otherwise. ‘Don’t do it,’ he said. ‘You’ve got the wrong head shape and you’ll disappoint yourself.’ I took his advice.”

What do you think of Oprah’s hairstyle on the September issue of O: The Oprah Magazine, Clutchettes?

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  • Ms. Information

    From my understanding, Oprah does not have a perm….it is cool that she did a cover like this…don’t know how much her white audience will understand or appreciate it, but I do.

  • Hehe

    Oprah has a relaxer. Her final season of her show there was a behind the scenes look at her getting a relaxer touch-up. Oprah has great hair.

  • Amber

    If she does have a relaxer its not a very strong one. Her hair is always mighty thick and luscious.

  • CurlySue

    That woman has an incredible head of hair. It’s so versatile and healthy looking!

  • Heide

    So when she goes back to her straight permed look is that going to get a post as well. Or when she puts her weave back in is that going to get a post also. And yes I saw the same episode as Hehe when she was getting a perm. I swear this is the most annoying topic ever. Most of us have all been natural at some point. I don’t see what’s so epic about it. I mean do we really need validation from Oprah or any other celebrity to wear our hair natural or any other way. I just don’t get it. You wanna go natural cool, you don’t cool. But gracious this is getting ridiculous. She has beautiful thick hair however she wears it.

  • Kam

    I’ve seen a picture of her with her natural hair and it is very thick and long.

  • http://gravatar.com/hardrockgem Courtney B.

    I think it looks great! There’s a statement on her website (http://www.oprah.com/style/Oprahs-Natural-Hair-on-O-Magazine-September-2012–Oprahs-Real-Hair) explaining that it’s her natural, unrelaxed hair. After years of straightening, I think it’s safe to assume that her curl pattern has loosened some, hence the “braid out on relaxed hair” appearance.

  • http://gravatar.com/worshipandpraise JN

    love it!

  • Sweetles

    If the topic annoys you so much, why did you take the time to click on the article and then comment on it? Some women enjoy discussing hair, why is that ridiculous? If you don’t like to talk about hair then stay quiet on the subject, and don’t read the articles on it.

  • izzy

    Wrong head shape?!?….I think she would have looked nice with a close crop and hey she can always wig out it if it didnt fit right….I bet alot of ppl talked smack about Bill’s sweater addiction but he still rocks it

  • Joy

    Oprah has always had a full head of thick beautiful hair. Her hair is her shining glory!

  • Joy

    izzy: close crop.? I think not. Oprah looks great with a full head of hair

  • http://twitter.com/PiscesStar7 PiscesStar7 (@PiscesStar7)

    This topic is epic because, so many black women seem to be required to have european-looking hair to be viewed as “professional” in the workforce. And, to those to didn’t have to…consider yourselves blessed…not every black woman has the opportunity that you had…

  • ShellB

    I so agree with you. I’d be interested to know the upbringing of some who find this epic. I grew up in DC, what used to be called the chocolate city,so,seeing different types and styles of hair on Black women is not foreign to me. I think Oprah’s hair is beautiful because she has beautiful hair.

  • JC

    I agree with the original poster. If you want to go natural cool, if not that’s fine too. The insinuation that you are somehow brainwashed by European standards of beauty of you choose to relax your hair irks me! Oprah has beautiful hair. When is straightened tomorrow it will still be beautiful hair.

  • Willow

    The Hollywood Reporter is talking about Oprah’s natural hair…the woman has mainstream appeal… http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/fash-track/oprah-winfrey-hair-o-magazine-september-issue-357352

  • Barbara

    Speaking as just one member of Oprah’s “white” audience, I think this natural look is simply gorgeous. I would hope women of color will embrace the full complement of their natural beauty. As one with enough curl in my own hair to know I’ll never have that “straight” look without lots of chemicals, I have come to realize that our notions of “good hair – bad hair” usually come from someone else’s standards of beauty that dictate that we must look a certain way. As a teen back in the 1960s, I used to literally iron my hair to make it straight in an effort to look like a California beach girl type!. I also remember the full, natural look that was so prominent in the 1960s with the rise of civil rights victories and black pride and I thought women such as Angela Davis were smashingly chic and with-it. You ladies are beautiful just as you are!!

  • omfg

    i don’t like when black women’s bodies (including hair) becomes a topic of discussion in the general media.

  • barbara

    She has beautiful hair not because it’s long, but becausei it’s healthy looking,so whether
    she wears it relaxed or natural it”s a beautiful head of hair

  • http://www.networklocators.com Von

    Barbara, well said and a good comment, HOWEVER, I know some will comment negatively on this, but: for many of us to rock our natural hair at the “office” (where the culture is primarily White in most circumstances) can perhaps be a bit challenging – in efforts to either avoid possible undesirable comments or simply taking the added time it takes to “deal” with natural hair in the early morning work prep hours.

    I also agree with JC’s post, relating to the fact that so many Black “sistahs” believe we’re somehow brainwashed with European hair standards-is absurd. Although I desire going natural many a day, my personal preference of yes-wearing weave/entensions saves me daily on time and MUCH frustration that comes with my “Black” hair! And yes, I do LOVE MYSELF. No low self-esteem issues, etc. Oprah being a billionaire, can choose to go bald if she desires- so can we, the difference is SHE doesn’t have to step ONE FOOT into anybody’s workplace everrrr again.

  • Sick

    I believe Oprah has her hair natural, she just wears it many different ways and probably uses wigs to keep from ruining her own hair. But she did say her hair was natural and has been for a long time, hence, the length!

  • http://gravatar.com/alm247 ALM

    Nice!

  • S.

    Same here. I actually don’t like it as a topic, at all.

    It’s weird

  • Jewel

    Exactly. She does/did use Phyto relaxer because it’s like no other relaxer.However, she may not use one year-round.

  • Yulez

    I thought Andre was anti-natural?

  • Heide

    Thanks JC.
    Umm Sweetles who said they didn’t like to talk about hair? Maybe you should actually READ before commenting. Some folks be so busy trying to be quick w/the mouth (in the case the fingers) and end up making themselves sound stoopid. Uh and 2) I can read whatever I choose to read hun. 3) I selected the article to voice my opinion which is what the COMMENT section is for. duh & duh – Get Yo Life – Boom!

  • Heide

    I’m sorry I don’t buy that. It’s a grip of professional women in various industries that are natural, boardroom and all. I know because I’ve met tons and I work for a major network so no. I also don’t buy that because my mom had a natural in the 70′s and she was a professional woman so no. This ain’t nothin new. Another thing why is everyone trying to act like this is so new and undiscovered. Whose mother or other family members weren’ natural in the 70′s? Hell all the Cosby kids were natural in the freakin 80′s. So yeah no not buying it at all.

  • Sweetles

    “I swear this is the most annoying topic ever” That is what you wrote. I didn’t agree with your opinion, so I responded. The only person who sounds stupid is you. Your post is comical.

  • shawn britt

    There is just one problem with all of this adulation of Oprah’s beautiful natural hair. It is NOT her hair. The Chris Rock incident was a scam, and you all are believing anything anybody tries to put over you. Yes, Andre is a liar as well. Don’t you know this is Oprah’s
    big secret. Her hair is so unattractive, she goes to these lengths to hide the truth!

  • Beverly Williams

    Beverly Wms. I thinks it great to able to wear ur hair wavy stright extra curly or what ever variety is the spice , gabby oprah , india or whoever. It’s just hair get over it

  • They So Mad

    Lets face it–black people have a problem with Oprah because she is dark skinned with long hair. They aren’t used to seeing someone with severe african features have such good hair. LOL #StayMad

  • http://www.aineko.nl kristel

    Love her hair!

  • CVH

    Think back to pics of her in the beginning stages of her career her hair was, in what like to me a short natural, if my memory serves me even if it was a curl it still simulated a natural hair style.
    We have always worn our hair natural, to what extent has our natural hair been accepted is another matter. As mentioned earlier its not so popular a look in the professional arena. However, I encourage women to embrace the natural texture of your hair, the natural beauty your of your skin, and the natural beauty from within you.

  • Nic

    Um, Oprah has a pretty big noggin so I don’t think that is too far off base. I don’t think Oprah would look nice with short hair. Not everyone does, just like not everyone looks nice with long hair. He didn’t say, oh, don’t cut your hair b/c it will make you ugly and manlike.

  • Nic

    I dislike how many non-black people jump in and start insulting the other ways that black women choose to wear their hair.

    So they’ll chime in with a lot of “oh, i don’t know why black women straighten their hair, it looks so bad” but you know, they dye, botox, inject, and alter their bodies in so many ways and we don’t get in their business, so they should think about that.

    I don’t need anyone’s approval for how I wear my hair, and I’m not going to react well if you decide to “approve” of me by insulting everyone else.

  • WezeP

    Right on Barbara! I love it when a women of other ethnicities/cultures can appreciate the full spectrum and collective beauty of all women.

  • Bernie J

    Remember India/s word. How we wear our hair is our own personal choice….it reflects our own personal style and creativity.

    I am not my hair
    I am not your expectations
    I am not my hair
    I am not this skin
    I am a soul that lives within

    If its not what’s on your head
    Its what’s underneath

    Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
    Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend?
    Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
    I am expressing my creativity..

    Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
    Took away her crown and glory
    She promised God if she was to survive
    She would enjoy everyday of her life
    On national television
    Her diamond eyes are sparkling
    Bald headed like a full moon shining
    Singing out to the whole wide world …

    If I wanna shave it close
    Or if I wanna rock locks
    That don’t take a bit away
    From the soul that I got
    If I wanna where it braided
    All down my back
    I don’t see what wrong with that

    India.Arie

  • Steve Aeilts

    wow!- as another of O’s “white fans” i think it looks way cool!

    just another comment from a 62 yr. old “product of the 60s”

    keep the Faith

    love&peace, steve a.

  • Bebe

    Personally, I think it’s just too hot to not wash and wear. “Natural” looks are much less the rage for me when the hawk blows in Chicago. I’m glad Oprah is working the look and helping people embrace their options. When the snows return, she’ll probaby not want to wet her hair every morning. I know I won’t.

  • permafrost

    How is this an Afro? Her hair is merely curly, not kinky. It’s gorgeous, of course, because she has a team of stylists and photographers working to make her look her best. This is not going to do anything for non-Blacks who think TWAs, dreads or puffs are unprofessional, because there is nothing “extreme” about Oprah’s hairstyle here. I’ve seen Whites and Indians with this texture. The only ppl who will care about this–maybe–are Black ppl…

  • Cool Jaelyn

    I don’t have a problem with Oprah because of her long hair am I am a black person. There are eight females in my family of siblings and all of us have different textures of hair, from semi-straight to curly. We have long hair, my aunts have long hair, my nieces have long hair and sisters-in-law have long hair and their daughters have long hair. What exactly is good hair?
    If you’re talking about hair that is easily maintained, then I have good hair because I use products that help. Anybody can use products to keep their hair maintained and manageable. Products of every kind are out there. For those who have super kinky hair, don’t despair. You can find products that will help you manage your hair. If you want to grow hair, take care of your health and stop using the hot comb and perms so much and it will grow. Massage your scalp and don’t use heavy pomades so much because they will clog pores in your scalp. Straight hair is nice, natural hair is nice, kinky hair is nice, wavy hair is nice, curly hair is nice, because this is what we are given. Just take care of it and don’t trip if your hair is short and slow growing. Take care of your health, take vitamins if you need to and shampoo and condition your hair and keep it in the natural for a while to help it grow longer.

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