andre-walker-oprah-winfrey-natural-hair

Oprah Winfrey’s hairstylist, Andre Walker, sent the natural hair world into a tizzy when he made statements in 2011 about kinky hair. He 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.”

When the backlash from his suggestion reached a fever pitch, Walker countered with this explanation:

“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.”

Andre will now help naturals “make peace with” their hair with his own branded line of natural hair products. Instead of the relaxers and texturizers he once suggested, he’ll be shelling sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner and straightening creme.

Via Juicy Magazine:

The Andre Walker Hair line, created for women who are looking to transition and become natural, promises to treat, condition and style African-American, ethnic and textured hair types without the use of chemical relaxers and straighteners.

The line includes an Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo, Ultimate Moisture TKO(Total Keratin Obsession) Conditioner, Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee and Straightening Crème, all to establish hair that is soft, healthy, shiny and manageable.

To accompany the collection’s debut in July, Andre tapped “The Coiffure Project” photographer Glenford Nunez to shoot the advertisements. The product descriptions and Glenford-lensed campaign may signify that Andre Walker is turning over a new leaf when it comes to natural hair.

Are you checking for his new line, Clutchettes?

 

  • shoSTOPPER

    i’m a serious product junkee- but i will not buy from people who i know aint nap friendly he’s just trying to jump in on the natural bandwagon

  • LKJ

    The natural hair business is booming, and ole boy just wants a piece of that pie. He can keep it though, Me and my type 4b-4c curls are not here for him.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Welcome to America, where the only thing people really believe in is money.

  • kc

    This ignorant opportunist can have a seat.

  • AJW

    I’ll pass.

  • http://nubiahbella.wordpress.com Nubiahbella

    lol! on another note, I am not sure why people keep saying, natural hair has limited styling options yet straight haired people (relaxed, naturally straight etc..) will wear their hair 90% of the time the same way ( bun, ponytail, down etc..) BUT kinky, curly etc ones HAVE TO change their hairstyles everytime?

  • http://twitter.com/Author_JGail J. Gail (@Author_JGail)

    He doesn’t get it. He’s still operating from the mindset of “straight is right” with his straightening creme product. I don’t think too many women who wear their hair natural now want it to be straight.

    Like someone else said, it sounds like an opportunist trying to cash in on the natural hair consumer. We can make our own products and have fun doing it!

  • Pink Lipstick

    Once again, we are reviving a dead horse only to beat it again….

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole of UrbanExpressive

    Same thing I thought when I read the headline: he’s jumping on the bandwagon.

    If he was legit, he’d admit his original comments were ignorant first, and then consider a hair care line later on. Much later on. I’ll pass. He must think women of color are so dumb that we’ll forget his statements and waste our money on something with the term natural on it.

  • D.T.

    It’s crazy how people get upset when someone is not singing the praises of natural hair. Not everyone thinks natural hair is the best thing since sliced bread. Most black women that are very vocal about natural hair used to get relaxers. You’d think they would be more understanding of statements made by ill-informed people. How soon we forget!

    I have very long natural hair and used to get relaxers. We need to have an honest discussion about natural hair because all the glorification going on doesn’t allow any room for others to be critical and truthful about their experiences.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com jenn dunn

    thank u

  • Kina001

    I second that.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com jenn dunn

    he is no different from any other company out there that is now trying to make money off of natural hair. that’s life. why is everyone so mad? do u really think that they care about natural black hair or the money they can get from natural black hair? i love natural hair but i do realize that some companies are only in it for the money

  • bloominlotus

    I wouldn’t trust his line because of his previous statements. I’d be too afraid that slipped into one of his products is a relaxer cream. LOL!
    You’ve heard those stories of naturals who’ve gone to a hair stylist and were told that the creamy stuff going into their hair was conditioner, but actually it had a couple of “shots” of relaxer!!!?

  • rose

    I am so grateful to this man’s comments. He voices the BC’s psychosis towards the hair that God put on our heads. And our fixation of European textured hair-that God put on THEIR heads! He makes no sense whatsoever! But it does soundlike he’s trying to keep his creamy crack addicted clients!

  • CurlyBrownGirl

    Boy boo! Take several seats!

  • Ajacks313

    First of all I’m not an Oprah stan so I’m not even sweatin’ her hair stylist. Secondly, I’m not surprised at all that he jumped on the natural hair bandwagon. Money talks and I’m sure someone pulled his collar….

  • just my thoughts

    I guess it’s great that women have so many choices for natural hair products to buy. It seems like everyone wants our money.I would like to see more emphasis on salons with stylists that are trained to do highly textured natural hair, we want the same options as other women. I think the market is saturated with enough products and not enough hair service options for those with highly textured tresses.

  • Lauren

    Say this again please! Most straight/relaxed hair girls wear the SAME wrap all the time. They may get a curly set from time to time but that’s it. Sometimes I miss my short relaxed hair because I used to experiment with a plethora of styles. However, I do not miss what I had to go through to keep that hair. Hell no! Natural hair brings so much versatility.

  • vonmiwi

    In our capitalistic society, he’s just joining the over saturated “natural hair” market. He now see’s this niche market as a gold mine by introducing his product line just like the rest have.

  • Rue.

    Can we please stop saying “ethnic” hair/ What duh [f word that rhymes with duck] is that?

  • lol

    i always appreciate your comments,they are realistic and honest.

  • jcross

    Thank you Rue. If you are a human being period, YOU ARE ETHNIC. French is an ethnic group, Swiss is an ethnic group, Scandinavian is an ethnic group. Who made it synonymous for non-White, I have no clue…

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    I won’t be checking for it, I stick to whole foods and target for the brands and products I use on my hair. But lol at him and other brands all of a sudden jumping on the natural hair bandwagon to get a share in the profit but more than likely these products are inferior.

  • omfg

    @DT

    “We need to have an honest discussion about natural hair because all the glorification going on doesn’t allow any room for others to be critical and truthful about their experiences.”

    and what “critical” and “truthful” information do you expect to glean about people’s experiences with natural hair?

    and, what’s wrong with glorifying natural hair?

    see this is what’s wrong with black people. everybody else glorifies whatever they have, despite whatever negatives they may have.

    i’ve been natural for YEARS now and i don’t have anything negative to say about it.

    “Most black women that are very vocal about natural hair used to get relaxers”.

    i would say most black women get relaxers. full stop. so, obviously most black women who are now natural had relaxers. duh. so, what is the point?

    you think people should start talking about how awful it is to wear your hair natural? really?

    what about how awful it is to pay hundreds for a poor girl’s hair or how horrible it is to put painful chemicals in your hair that seep into you skin?

    really? this post is ridiculous. black people should sing the praises of what has been given to us. if we don’t, who will?

  • omfg

    i hope black women understand their economic power.

  • Nadell

    Ain’t if funny how just a couple of years ago this same man was so adamant of opposing natural hair???…But of course he changes his perspective because natural hair is booming and he wants to get a piece of that profiting pie! Folks better understand that women are embracing their natural hair — so throwing shade does absolutely nothing to deter but really makes you sound ridiculous!
    SHEA MOISTURE! thaaaaanks

  • D.T.

    Being critical is not the same as being negative. Where did I say we cannot sing the praises of natural hair or that it cannot be glorified? Also, you took my comment about relaxers completely out of context.

    It really is impossible to have a logical conversation on this site.

    “you think people should start talking about how awful it is to wear your hair natural? really?”

    That statement proves you lack very basic comprehension skills.

  • D.T.

    Thanks lol!

  • ChaCha1

    Thank you for saying that.

    “Who made it synonymous for non-White, I have no clue…”
    Probably white people.

  • ChaCha1

    I think that is an issue that many have. People targeting and profiting from black people when they don’t care a thing about us. Just like I don’t buy stuff like Dark & Lovely’s natural line, I won’t be buying his. Sometimes I wish I could just buy nothing from companies–hair companies and otherwise–who only want to profit from black people but don’t care about us, but that seems to be almost all of them; so I avoid who I can, and hair products are the easiest to avoid.

  • MommieDearest

    Boy bye!

  • omfg

    @DT

    you want people to be critical of wearing natural hair and what goes into it. there’s not all that much to comprehend.

    being critical is to take a “truthful” look or discussion about natural hair, to use your words – as if there’s some big secret or lie naturals are telling about wearing hair natural. lol.

    black people have actually spent most of their time being critical of and thinking about natural hair to the tune of billions of dollars spent annually on relaxers, weaves and the like. we think so critically and hard about natural hair and our appearance that we’re wiling go broke or embrace an ideology that shuns everything about natural hair.

    oh yes, we sure can be and are already critical.

    it’s time black people start glorifying what they have, just as others do, regardless of whether it’s always perfect.

    you don’t seem to understand that. glorifying yourself inspite of whatever your perceived flaws or shortcomings are.

    so no, i don’t have reading comprehension problems. i simply think it’s silly to think black women need to spend any degree of time taking a critical look at natural hair.

    that’s utter rubbish.

    take more of a critical look at relaxed hair and the culture of hair straightening. now that’s worth a critique because we are rarely truthful about our deep-seated insecurities born of having nappy hair.

  • April

    You can’t say some mess like, “that’s the only hair type I recommend altering with professional relaxing” but come back and claim you’re trying to help us “make peace with our hair”. Sorry not sorry. Those two ideas just don’t fit and I’m sick of folks tryna cash in on us embracing our natural textures.

  • Keshia

    I hate this guy he created that stupid hair typing chart that is not only stupid but extremely limiting. I would buy anything this guy makes..might be some secret relaxer ingredients ill stick to Shea moisture

  • BeanBean

    Bandwagoner, Bandwagoner. I won’t buy anything this guy is selling. He doesn’t care about natural hair, he only cares about his bank account. I’ll stick to Shea Moisture and the occasional Carol’s Daughter and leave it at that.

  • D.T.

    Let me remind you of what I wrote…..

    I wrote: “I have very long natural hair and used to get relaxers. We need to have an honest discussion about natural hair because all the glorification going on doesn’t allow any room for others to be critical and truthful about their experiences.”

    Now you have gone all around the world and back putting words in mouth and basically proved my point (which you failed to grasp btw.) You defined what critical meant for “me” when I never defined it.

    I’m not asking for people to be critical. I’m saying if a person chooses to be critical about natural hair, the Natural Nazis (such as yourself) will jump all over it and act as if natural hair cannot be discussed unless it’s on some holier than though tip. That was my point. All this EXTRA stuff you’ve written and completely spun out of context did nothing but prove my point. You have me saying stuff I never said.

    This is stupid. lol
    Goodnight ma’am!

  • JetGal

    Hell no! He’s hopping on the natural bandwagon like Carol’s Daughter because it will line his….their pocket$!

  • simplyme

    Either he’s come around or more likely he’s following the dollar signs.

  • Pingback: Kinky Hair Critic and Oprah Stylist Andre Walker Launching Natural Hair Line | Black Girl with Long Hair

  • Pseudonym

    Following the dollar signs. DEFINITELY!

  • Pseudonym

    Well, I like the reminder so that I don’t accidentally buy any of his products. and, hopefully, people who missed it the first time will see this and not buy his pathetic sell-out hair care line, either.

  • http://thebamboonomad.blogspot.com Nomski

    All I see is dollar signs $$$
    smdh

  • http://gravatar.com/ruk1960 ruk1960

    OR he’s an a-hole who wants to make money off the same community he just thoroughly insulted. Maybe he’s gotten the memo about how Black folks tend to like to make rich the same folks who like to break us down. I say BOYCOTT.

  • HerDaughter

    Exactly! Why waste money on companies that care next to nothing about our needs! Many naturals are beginning to see the value in making their own products, so hopefully, this will not affect us. Just keep on doing what is healthy for our hair and forget about “bandwagon jumpers”!

  • AlZ

    I understand what you re saying .

  • imani

    His viewpoint likely hasn’t changed. He’s just going where the easy money is. His nerve insults my integrity & intelligence. He basically toted that spike lee “good n bad hair” attitude and I’m supposed to let that go bc time has passed? His prior comments sidelined a portion of the natural community…as if we don’t have enough of that already between some naturals! Now he suddenly embraces it! He’s full of it & I won’t be using his line.

  • j2

    I understand what you’re saying. However, a LOT of personal stories and testimonies I have read about in regards to transitoning from a relaxer have been very honest and candid. People are very open to discussing how hard it is in the beginning, contemplating going back to a relaxer, the backlash they get from family and friends, the fears of being able to fit in the professional field or not being found attractive by their peers, especially men. That being said, on this article, we’re mostly talking about Oprah’s stylist and he is anything but ill-informed.

  • Dontthinkso

    I will spend not one dollar! You hear me?? Not one. I can’t stand it when people like Andre and companies like Dark N’ Lovely try to step into the natural world like it’s brand new. You are a day late and a dollar short. Sorry, have several!

  • Sanura Rose

    Exactly. It drives me nuts..

  • http://kinkycurlyyounglady.blogspot.com/?m=1 1BlessedNatural

    I do not plan to purchase his products. Instead of saying that kinky hair is limited in style choices, he should have just admitted he didn’t know how to style natural hair very well. Many hair stylists do not know how to style natural hair. They are used to working with straight or permed hair.

  • Ugonna Wosu

    agreed. Curl Pattern does nothing to help you figure out your hair. Density, Elasticity, Porosity and Texture are more relevant, and at the end of the day the only thing that matters is your individual head of hair responds to a product and regimen. Too many women are caught up in curl typing nonsense, when all it does is create another way to feel inferior for some.

  • jumpstart

    Personally, I don’t need to “make peace with” my hair. I love it just the way it is.

  • Ugonna Wosu

    They weren’t dumb enough to make public comments putting down natural hair first.I’m not mad cuz of his opinion, I’m mad at his hypocrisy.

  • Lissa

    Last I checked Oprah is natural and he styles her chemical free hair..so his statement really confuses me…

  • who run the world???…GOD!!

    It’s fine if people don’t like natural hair but don’t put it down one minute and then attempt to capitalize off of the momentum, the next!

  • Jaimuziq

    I’m sure the white celebrities with black adopted daughters will buy this crap but I know better.

  • Soley

    Poor Ophra, she’s isn’t as popular anymore, so she forced her loud not thinking hairstylist to make a natural hair line to bring more money in…
    We black women are smart….
    Ophra go sit down….:)

  • April

    I’m with you on that! I did find his choice of words there lowkey sketchy…

  • supermom

    People who wear the same hair style over and over hair is much healthier than someone who changes hair styles on a daily basis. I’ve displayed the same hair style for many years and to this day people think I wear a wig because my hair is healthy, thick with an indian texture. My hair is the exact image of Oprah Winfrey’s hair.

  • supermom

    The products he use on Oprah’s hair, I’ve use them for many years and my hair is full, thick and long on my back. Those products indeed makes the hair healthier and long.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    Exactly! They are going after that 9 billion dollar industry!

  • Disgusted

    He’s an idiot.

  • Sandy

    Oprah ain’t natural honey- she’s relaxed. According to Andre, she relaxes her hair from time to time just that ‘she doesn’t do it too often’. But whether it’s relaxed once a year or one a month, chemically processed hair is still chemically processed hair.

  • texaschainsawlovin’

    basically

  • http://modeltheface.tumblr.com Carla

    +100

  • http://gravatar.com/thequietvoice152 Alyssa

    smh at “indian texture”.

  • http://www.newtress.com sallie

    He will fail so badly

  • BloominLotus

    Yes, but are these products for natural or relaxed hair? I think that Andre has a lot of experience with styling and caring for relaxed hair. I mean Oprah’s hair is beautiful! However, I still wouldn’t trust his “natural hair care” line because of his comments in the past.

  • brownlaydee

    One word – hypocrite. He’s jumping on the bandwagon now because he knows natural hair isn’t a trend, it’s a movement. I hope every natural woman boycotts his product line.

  • http://VerityReign.com Verity Reign

    Judging by the reader comments, I guess I’m the only one who didn’t take Andre’s kinky hair comment too seriously. For one, he’s an older man from an older era so unfortunately, he’s probably victim to a lot of our community’s historic misconceptions regarding hair. Because he’s been O’s stylist since she started, it’s not like he was doing other people’s hair and broadening his knowledge of our hair evolution. He said something stupid out of ignorance, as we ALL do. I don’t believe that makes him a bad person deserving to fail (and he won’t fail. He works for OPRAH!). I’m natural, but clearly haven’t joined the natural cult. Natural chicks can be so sensitive and harsh at times. Sheesh! It’s just not that deep–not all the time, anyway. His PR team sent me some samples and I can’t wait to try as soon as I take these braids out! Chill, people!

  • http://www.thejaylablog.com Jay L.A.

    Okay, I rant a bit in this response but so be it. :)

    Will I boycott Mr. Walkers’ products because of his perspective? No, because there is a chance they might actually be helpful to my hair.

    I would be amiss to assume that just because a natural hair brand has not openly spoken negatively about natural hair, that they are not only interested in profiting from the natural hair industry.

    Do I understand why he shared that,
    “Kinky hair can have limited styling options”? Yes. (Yet so does every other hair type. I am guessing this is why the “perm” was invented. ;-))

    For example, I wear my hair naturally with no chemical processing. However, it is quite frustrating to me that every time that I go on vacation, I must wear braids or twists or some protective styling. Why? Because I actually love getting in the water while at the beach or in the pool and while on vacation but I truly do not want to spend time detangling hair and braiding it in sections every night. I do not have wash and go hair so this would be the “consequence” of wearing it “out” (as I very much like to).

    That, is an example of a style limitation when it comes to wearing your hair naturally. Currently, I just choose to deal with wearing protective styles while on vacation because the positive aspects of wearing my hair naturally far outweighs that limitation.

    The point of this is that we are all on different journeys in life. Whether or not one chooses to wear their hair naturally is such a miniscule part of this journey yet I have seen this as a cause of dissension and strife.

    Wearing a relaxer does not necessarily indicate an expression of self hate and wearing hair naturally does not necessarily indicate an expression expression of self love.

    In all honesty, if one is pro-black (which is the tone that I sense from a lot of these comments) then why tear down another black man who is trying to make a name for himself in this world? Edifying/correcting him with love is far more instrumental than tearing him down with hate for his self expression and belief.

    Alternatively, why tear down other commenters who hold an opposing view? What makes one’s opinion more valid than the other? Constructive criticism is one thing but hate, negativity and the condescending taking of “several seats” only breeds anger.

  • Ashley

    Wow there are a lot of negative comments. To be honest ladies, please dont stress yourself over something so silly. You cant get mad at someone who is not so educated on this type of hair. I can understand where some may get offended, but just brush it off. Because all of us have better things to do then Get mad at this ignorant man. He is only “famous” or “well known” because angry natural women made him. If you want him to go away because he disgust you so much then dont talk or riot up about him on the interenet. And he probably would have never made his hair line with out the angry natural women. You ladies are just making him more famous and rich by your talk. Never get angry or riot against something that is not important. There are nations rioting and getting angry about their democracy/rights, dont let one ignorant person distract you from what you really should be standing up for.

  • Tanya

    He cant know that much about my kind of kinky coily hair, after all his hair is either processed or naturally curly. Consider the source.

  • Ms. G.

    I heard Mr. Walker on the radio this morning and he said that natural hair should be washed 2-3 times per week, comb (with a comb) only 1 every 2 weeks, and that hair should be finger combed every day. Well, I don’t know about other sisters with ‘kinky/coily’ hair, but I have to spray with water, comb with wide tooth comb, and twist or I would have a bird’s nest on my head. I’m just saying. He even said to not comb after washing.

  • gi

    i agree with you

  • https://www.facebook.com/mel.stevens.752 Mel Stevens

    I have been using the pro naturals shampoo, conditioner and hair mask and they are very good. They are made from argan oil so the results are truly awesome!

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