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Andre Walker Clarifies Once and For All Whether Oprah is Really Natural

Avatar • Sep 24, 2012

Last month when we posted a photo of Oprah rocking textured hair on the cover of O Magazine, many weren’t buying that the queen of talk was actually natural. Well in an interview with ModernSalon.com Oprah’s long time stylist Andre Walker finally clarified the state of Oprah’s hair…

If you’ve read the magazine about her hair, it’s exactly that. It’s not totally natural. It’s her hair after it’s been braided while it’s damp, and that’s the texture that it leaves. Her natural texture is similar, this is a more stylized version of what it looks like.

Oprah has slightly relaxed hair, it isn’t totally relaxed. I relax it normally to the point of being just a little more manageable. We only do it maybe a few times a year. Her hair is pretty much in its semi-natural state. It’s pretty kinky and full. If you have relaxed hair you could possibly get the look, probably not as an afro look or a full look. It would probably be a little straighter. But I think you could still probably do it.

He also shared how he achieved the textured look… 

Usually I start with hair that’s a little damp, and on her we add a little bit of some sort of oil and a little bit of styling cream, something that gets it a little bit of shine and hold. Then we cornrow it while it’s damp and then, overnight if you can, let it dry. Then the next day I unbraid it and finger it out until I get it exactly where I want it and maybe add a little bit more oil to it like, Argan oil. That’s pretty much it, it’s as simple as that.

I kind of teased it a little bit, too, to get it that full. There’s another cover coming out where it’s also natural but not as full. It’s probably a little, for lack of a better word, floppier.

He also shared some secrets of how he keeps her hair healthy…

There have been times in the past when we just about killed her hair. We were styling it sometimes three and four times during the day. The average person doesn’t have to do that, of course, but with a job like hers it’s damaging for her hair. But we figured out ways to keep it healthy.

There’s no miracle conditioner. Sometimes for three months we put it in extensions. There are times when most of her extensions look like her hair, so it’s hard to tell. But we do. She’s very candid about it. She’ll tell you if it is or isn’t.

Natural or not, Oprah is definitely a hair idol for a lot of women! Click here for the full interview with Andre Walker. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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sam
sam
8 years ago

Is “slightly relaxed” similar to being “a little pregnant”?? LOL! Either you are or you aren’t. Either way, I only have mad respect for Oprah. Young people should study her work ethic and try to achieve a fraction of her success. Do you!

Ashley Simmons
Ashley Simmons
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

I was wondering that too. Slightly relax? Walker cracks me up.

Melia
Melia
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

You beat me to it with the “a little pregnant”!!! LOL!

Vonnie
Vonnie
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

+1

Sunshine
Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

It’s about time people recognized this is also a type of hair. we have relaxed hair, the natural hair n texlaxed hair. YES, it’s a thing. In between, semi-relaxed. we do not claim we are natural neither do we claim we are full chemical as our texture “appearance” remains natural(more curly than straight). please note i said appearance not that the texture does not change.

juanita617
juanita617
8 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

That’s so interesting because I used to do that myself. I never liked it bone straight so I would never keep a relaxer in so long to get it that straight. I liked it when I would wash my hair I would get my curls back. I just never knew there was a name for it. Cool! I like it. ‘texlaxed’ 🙂

Nikole
Nikole
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

Yes there is such a thing as slightly relaxed. Basically you cut the processing time in half and the relaxer loosens the curl pattern making it not as tight; it doesn’t straighten it fully. There are lots of women who do this to make their natural hair more manageable… it’s actually very much like a texturizer
It’s not the same as a little pregnant because your either pregnant or not, but for relaxed and natural hair there is an in between

C.J
C.J
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikole

Isn’t that just called texlaxed?

Brittany M
Brittany M
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

Exactly! Either you chemically altered your hair with a relaxer or you did not. Sorry, there is no in between. Regardless she looks great.

Distinctionsareimportant
Distinctionsareimportant
8 years ago
Reply to  Brittany M

I’m, sorry but this is ridiculous!I respect people’s opinion but i will have to disagree. You either alive or you ain’t? We have to stop this Politically Correct madness. You either a man or woman.I mean what is this attack at the distinctions it’s getting outer hand! Distinctions are there for a reason. Moving on swiftly why are we giving Andre Walker and his narrow minded views the time of day? Didn’t he come up with the awful typing hair system? They are enough labels already in this world for us.I mean how can one know every hair type on… Read more »

Amma Mama
Amma Mama
8 years ago
Reply to  sam

lolol

Carla
8 years ago

This is interesting. Honestly, I could care less about whether or not Miss O is natural…it’s her hair. I just wonder how the word spread that her hair was ALL natural minus the relaxers two to three times a year to make her texture more manageable? Maybe that’s just the internet and how fast things spread…

DiJah
DiJah
8 years ago

What exactly is “slightly relaxed” ???

Who took that picture and ran with the idea that she was natural? I could care less if Mother O is texlaxed. She is beautiful, and so is her hair on the cover.

This is the only time I wanna say…It’s just hair guys, sheesh!

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  DiJah

Maybe he meant to say “texturized”? Either way it looks good and it’s great that he’s candid about her routine: acknowledging that there is no miracle product and that sometimes, one’s hair needs a break from all the manipulation. This is a natural hair site but I think a lesson learned here is that if you do choose to use chemical treatments, moderation is key! Many of the adverse effects of relaxers exacerbate when the chemicals are left on too long (until it burns!) and used too frequently. Of course there will always be people for whom even the “slightly… Read more »

Miz B
Miz B
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

@Sue…I concur, some women with relaxers only relax 3 or 4 times a year. If this is your decision so be it, but one would really have to condition that new growth or else there will be breakage. Moderation is key. Oprah’s schedule is demanding so she has to do what she has to.

Nikole
Nikole
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

All those products that you naturalists use contain chemicals so i wouldn’t go there. Texturized hair is still considered natural since the hair retains some of its curl pattern, the chemical only loosens it making the coils not so tight.. Henna does the exact same thing

3rdxsthecharm
3rdxsthecharm
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikole

Not all natural women use products with chemicals. Some have embraced the organic, all-natural route with their hair. Also, I henna and my curl pattern hasn’t loosened any. In summary, no two heads of hair are the same or react the same way to the same things.

AC
AC
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikole

Texturizing/texlaxing is STILL RELAXING, aka NOT NATURAL…all what chemicals us naturals use?? I’m confused, Idk a chemical out there that natural haired women use to alter our hair…using a chemical to alter your hair is not natural, maybe I would consider it as natural if your pattern returned to normal after say a few weeks…but it doesn’t.

Henna is a plant grounded up, not some funky chemical compound that could actually be detrimental to not only the health of your hair but your health in general. I don’t use henna but that’s just common knowledge.

Nikole
Nikole
8 years ago
Reply to  DiJah

Basically you cut the processing time in half and the relaxer loosens the curl pattern making it not as tight; it doesn’t straighten it fully. There are lots of women who do this to make their natural hair more manageable.

Ashley
Ashley
8 years ago

Relaxer= not natural. She gets a relaxer every couple of months, meaning that her hair is chemically processed.

Distinctionsareimportant
Distinctionsareimportant
8 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

That’s correct,i wish people would stop sitting on the fence.It’s very simple,why does truth have to be so distorted to fit everyone.Truth is no respecter of persons.

Jae Mac
8 years ago

Very interesting, I agree that either you’re natural meaning without chemicals or you’re not, but in the end who cares, it’s just hair. I’m just happy he spoke so candidly about Oprah as so many women and young girls look up to her.

Andi
Andi
8 years ago

There’s not such thing as ‘a little relaxer’. It looks nice but she’s NOT natural. Which you could tell just by looking at the picture lol.

Jai
Jai
8 years ago
Reply to  Andi

I agree.

binks
binks
8 years ago
Reply to  Andi

Agreed! Not saying Oprah doesn’t have a great head of full thick hair but she is not natural and you know what…that’s okay!

Nikole
Nikole
8 years ago
Reply to  Andi

Yes there is such a thing as slightly relaxed. Basically you cut the processing time in half and the relaxer loosens the curl pattern making it not as tight; it doesn’t straighten it fully. There are lots of women who do this to make their natural hair more manageable… it’s actually very much like a texturizer

Nikole
Nikole
8 years ago
Reply to  Andi

Yes there is such a thing as slightly relaxed. Basically you cut the processing time in half and the relaxer loosens the curl pattern making it not as tight; it doesn’t straighten it fully. There are lots of women who do this to make their natural hair more manageable… it’s actually very much like a texturizer
And He said she’s not totally natural

B
B
8 years ago

Oprah hair always looks good, straight or bouncy curlys it doesnt matter! Her hair is so thick & shiny…he has taken great care with her hair and my has it grown, just look at old tapes of her talk show to now, amazing!

dani
dani
8 years ago

I could care less if she’s relaxed or not but i dont think there’s such a thing as semi relaxed. Actually since Oprah seems to prefer straighter styles (am assuming she does) its better she just relaxes her hair rather than having it heat styled everyday to keep it tamed from humidity. However i had to give the side eye when he said he uses the relaxer to make her hair more “manageble” because you dont need a relaxer to do that. Am waiting for the day when people will stop associating a relaxer with type 4 hair as the… Read more »

Marcia
Marcia
8 years ago

Her hair is simply beautiful! She is texlaxed which is semi-natural. Still some texture, still shrinkage, like a cousin to full blown natural.

LEANNA
LEANNA
8 years ago
Reply to  Marcia

EXACTLY

Mai
Mai
8 years ago

…its either processed or not, Andre. We know you know nothing about natural hair, so stop trying to work semantics into the very simple conclusion that Oprah is not natural. (Personally, I don’t care if she is natural or not, her hair is beautiful, and it isn’t mine so I can’t tell her what to do or not do with her hair. I’m just sick of Andre trying to explain himself.)

NaturalHairRocks
NaturalHairRocks
8 years ago
Reply to  Mai

Spot on!Semantics are very important and the moment people do that they are trying change how we VIEW it.

I really feel their is a HUGE assault on the Natura Hair as people are trying destroy it before it blooms. 🙁

Curly Queen
8 years ago

He’s just confirming what we all suspected that Oprah has relaxer in her hair. I personally don’t consider that natural but it’s her hair and she can style as she pleases.

Like has already been said I don’t agree with Andre’s comment about a relaxer making someone’s hair more “manageable” because once you know how to care for your hair it is manageable.

Vonnie
Vonnie
8 years ago
Reply to  Curly Queen

Welp, that about takes the comment I was about to write, lol. Agreeable.

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  Curly Queen

Agree. You don’t need a relaxer to make hair more “manageable”.

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago
Reply to  Sue

How do you know? You don’t have the same texture as other women…heck I’m at a point to get a relaxer because IT WOULD make my hair MORE manageable in the time that I have alotted for it. Worry about yourself and whether or not you need a relaxer or not geez.

LBell
LBell
8 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

A TWA or short ‘fro takes no time at all. If you don’t want to or can’t commit the time to learn how to care for longer natural hair, that’s not reflective of your hair…that’s reflective of your schedule. And that’s OKAY. Everybody’s got their own life to lead. But the idea that a relaxer is the cure for manageability only works if you’re still thinking that textured hair can’t be manageable. The Internet is (now) full of folks proving this wrong. What was the original post about? Oprah? Oh yeah… Having seen Oprah’s hair up close and personal twice I have never… Read more »

Jessica
Jessica
8 years ago
Reply to  LBell

+1. Perfect response

Eloisa
Eloisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

LOL, tell us why you mad son.

Natalee
Natalee
8 years ago
Reply to  Curly Queen

I agree with you. The “manageability” comment did rub me the wrong way. I wouldn’t even care, but this was the same man who said, “Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing,” just a year ago.
If he prefers to do relaxer or texlaxed hair, say that. Don’t make it seem as though kinky means difficult or that there’s a struggle to comb it and style. There are plenty of kinky haired women who can achieve great styles in a reasonable amount of time.

Jc
Jc
8 years ago

I am so bored of this topic. Seriously, many of us have already commented to say we know that Oprah uses a relaxer and she is what is referred to as texlaxed. We also know that both Oprah and Tyra use the word ‘natural hair’ to refer to their own hair. Nobody as far as I know had conclusively defined natural hair as virgin unrelaxed hair. If your hair on your hair belongs to you, some people call that natural regardless of whether it is relaxed or not. The horse is beaten. Bored to death of this topic and Naomi’s hairline… Read more »

Sue
Sue
8 years ago
Reply to  Jc

At least this lays to rest the second guessing.

LBell
LBell
8 years ago
Reply to  Jc

Nope, not just you…I keep saying I’m not going to discuss Oprah’s hair online again and I keep getting sucked in (see above). 🙂

Jc
Jc
8 years ago
Reply to  LBell

Yup I think I am going to go your way too LBell. I already said that I saw the backstage episode where Oprah was excited about getting her relaxer. She is an open book, she has stated that her hair is relaxed in atleast 3 episodes of her show. Notably many people here watched the good hair episode where Solange came on there was a direct question from an audience member as to why does Oprah not embrace her natural texture like Solange. Oprah said it was because Bill Cosby told her she didn’t have the head for it. I am not… Read more »

Purpleone
8 years ago
Reply to  Jc

I’m not surprised Bill Cosby said that.

I don’t expect anyone on TV to have natural hair or even hair without extensions, too much manipulation is needed for TV hair.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
8 years ago

so she’s texlaxed?

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
8 years ago
Reply to  Ugonna Wosu

seems to me like instead of “clarifying” the issue, he’s elicited more questions.

Lynn
Lynn
8 years ago

People are starting to get out of control with this hair thing.…relaxed, not relaxed who gives a sh*t. If your hair is managed and HEALTHY in the style that you choose so be it…JESUS…folks are taking this hair stuff TOO FAR.

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago
Reply to  Lynn

Pssst, you are on a hair site, what do you expect as the main topic? Why so darn touchy? sh*t.

LEANNA
LEANNA
8 years ago

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A “LITTLE” RELAXED — WE KNOW WHAT HE MEANS — YOU LEAVE THE RELAXER IN FOR A VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME — LIKE A TEXTURIZER SO YES HER HAIR IS NOT TOTALLY NATURALL JUST LIKE HE SAID. Y’ALL CRACK ME UP. IT IS MORE HER NATURAL TEXTURE THAN IT ISNT. WHAT IS WRONG WITH USING SOMETHING TO MAKE STYLING EASIER- NOT THE SAME AS GOING BONE STRAIGHT BECAUSE YOU HATE YOUR HAIR. EVERY OTHER CULTURE CAN DO ALL SORTS OF THINGS WITH THEIR HAIR WITHOUT ALL THIS DRAMA EXCEPT FOR OURS. Y’ALL SOUND… Read more »

Shan
Shan
8 years ago
Reply to  LEANNA

A little relaxed is still relaxed. Its a chemical process. A permanent one. You cannot undo a “little” relaxer. Even if you leave it on for a “very short amount of time” it still breaks the bonds in the hair. Just not as much as it would if it was left longer. Does the breaking of protein bonds permanently sound any kind of natural to you? Wouldn’t you still have to process it once your true texture shows up? You say it makes styling easier.…but all I see is it adding to your maintenance, time and money if you want… Read more »

AC
AC
8 years ago
Reply to  Shan

YESSSSS! +1,000

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago

1. Why are you YELLING?
2. Who is “y’all”? What “drama”?
3. Most are agreeing with your point.
4. When did “ignorant” become the catch all description for varying viewpoints?

meowmix
meowmix
8 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

LOL @ #4. Thanks Barbara.

Ladybug
Ladybug
8 years ago
Reply to  Barbara

+ 1

tonisha
tonisha
8 years ago

andre walker go take several firm seats

tonisha
tonisha
8 years ago
Reply to  tonisha

Im okay with oprah i just really dislike him because of some past things he has said that doesnt prove to be true for everyone oh and i do agree with people above making it clear that any chemical straightener on your hair makes you not natural lol. its a chemical process so your hair is not in its full natural state

Inf
Inf
8 years ago
Reply to  tonisha

LMAO @ firm seats! He should “get his life” as well. Gotta love Tamar.

Adetta
Adetta
8 years ago
Reply to  tonisha

I’m gonna have to co-sign this comment here. I think Mr. Walker is a little to ol’ school for my tastes. He needs to have a firm seat in front of a monitor and spend a couple days with some youtube and see what women are really doing with with their hair. Oprah’s hair is and has been for a long time very lovely, but I wouldn’t pay this guy to give me hair advaice if somebody gave me the money.

Susie Dean
Susie Dean
5 years ago
Reply to  tonisha

We do a “wee lil bit of this.” And a wee little bit of that lol

Penelope
Penelope
8 years ago

Just because your hair is still curly doesn’t mean it’s ‘natural’ LOL. It means you just didn’t process it to the point of making it straight (basically a texturizer). I can see now why people think of his hair typing system as a hierarchy. Everyone’s hopping on the natural train for sales, not because they actual support the decision people are making.

Mahalia
8 years ago

I don’t care slightly relaxed, texturised etc is not natural. As long as your curl pattern has been permanently altered it’s not natural. Loosening up your curl pattern is not your natural curl pattern. Therefore not natural. You are either natural or not there is no grey area

If you want to do that go ahead and there is nothing wrong with it but it’s not natural nor is it slightly natural.

naomi
naomi
8 years ago

ROFLMAO. ~Andre’s always good for a laugh. Whatever will he say next?

yoco
yoco
8 years ago

O has a texturizer which means she is not natural. But, either way, Ms. Winfrey has a fab head of hair!

Marlea
8 years ago

I’m slightly straightened with a MEAN pressing comb… I’m still NATURAL, lol… I beat the creamy crack with NO problems, 10 years FREE anniversary, but the pressing comb is my new “massa” lol…Darn Madame C.J. Walker…smh

Tessa
Tessa
5 years ago
Reply to  Marlea

What type of pressing comb do you use?

Jeniffer Bruh
6 years ago

more at Voice of America (blog). Filed Under:

Teresa Schuhmacher
6 years ago

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6 years ago

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CYW
CYW
5 years ago

Sounds like a texturizer to me. Nothing wrong wrong with that but call it what it is: not natural. Saying it’s a little bit relaxed is like saying a woman is a little bit pregnant. *lol*

Susie Dean
Susie Dean
5 years ago

Oprah ‘a hair, is not natural. We’ve already had this conversation.

sanjidude
sanjidude
5 years ago

So then it has been clarified…she is NOT natural. A texturizer is a relaxer left on for a shorter time, that’s all. FREE YOUR NAPS OPRAH! You’ll probably live a lot longer!

Keneesha Hodge
5 years ago

I’d love for my hair to be “more manageable” but I’m not going that route. Thankfully my stylist doesn’t have to use a semi relaxer to work in my head…and it is kinky

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