There's not too many things in this world that can rile a woman up like a negative comment on her hair. Oprah Winfrey's hairstylist Andre Walker is facing heat beyond the hot comb for his statements from a recent Elle interview where he discussed the styling and care of kinky hair (read: highly-textured, curly strands).
In the article, Walker encourages loving what you've got on top, but then goes on to say, "Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that's the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing."
I wasn't the only natural hair rocking young woman who was taken aback by the professional's statement, especially since Walker has a curly coif himself. As Jezebel Senior Editor Dodai Stewart reported, readers took to Elle.com's comments section to unleash their thoughts.
One commenter wrote:
"I, too, was offended with the statement on natural hair. When I stopped wrestling with my daughter's kinks, a whole new world of styling options opened up to us. It wasn't about making ponytails in different sections and putting on new barrettes. Now she wears an afro, frohawk, twists, straw curls, etc. and we're both much happier. Mr. Walker just went down a notch in my eyes."
Another upset reader revealed:
"I personally do not find that it limits my styling options in the least nor is it any more difficult to manage than any other texture of hair once one is properly educated. *SMH* Maybe Oprah would have embraced her natural hair texture had she had a more open minded stylist."
Walker shortly after took to his blog to clarify his perspective on kinky hair writing:
"When it comes to curly and kinky hair (there is a difference), I leave the political correctness of "going straight" or staying natural to a woman's personal preference. Once again, my advice is based on how to best achieve strong, healthy hair. So for those who would like to engage me in a debate about who has more racial pride and self esteem, based on hairstyle preference and use or non-use of chemical relaxers, know that I believe in personal freedom, and in the use of advanced technology when it yields positive results, which many of today's (versus yesterday's) chemical relaxers do deliver."
As the mane man to a media mogul (who's hair is not naturally straight) and with a plethora of natural hair bloggers like Patrice of Afrobella.com, Mae of NaturalChica.com and the curly-haired duo, Michelle and Gretchen, behind NaturallyCurly.com enlightening us with their tress-formation, you'd think Walker would have enough knowledge to make it clear to Elle that the possibilities of styling kinky hair are indeed limitless and that you aren't bound to short, unhealthy strands because this hair type tends to break easily.
What do you think about the kinky hair "debate"? Do you agree or disagree with Walker's statements?
Leave a comment below and click here to read about my personal journey to love my hair.