Andre Walker’s View on Kinky Hair

I woke up this morning with the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Not sure why but I just had the feeling that something was amiss.  I logged into twitter to find a tweet from @LolasGreenHair that read:

Filing this under WTF [#naturalhair] Andre Walker on styling Halle Berry; Elle Magazine, July 2011

In case you cannot read the image Andre Walker, hair dresser to the stars with big name celeb clients like Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry,  is quoted as saying, ” I always recommend embracing your natural texture.  Kinky hair can have limited styling options; tha’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing.”


Say what?

With a straight face?

Is he for real?

Andre Walker is a dumb ass!

The #NaturalHair hashtag was on fire with people tweeting up a storm about the sheer ignorance of his response.  This from a top noted “hair guru”, are you serious?  The funny thing is majority of naturals use his hair typing system everyday and hail him as some sort of hero only to fill spat on by his comment.  Well I refuse to let play into the stereotype that there is something wrong with my hair and that it needs to be tamed by a relaxer.

Let me first say that I have no beef with grown women who CHOOSE to relax their hair (my mama included).  Relax, perm, weave, color, cut, shave, afro, whatever its YOUR hair wear it as you see fit.  However, for a respected stylist to make such garish and wide-sweeping remarks specifically attacking one community is irresponsible.  His remarks further perpetuate the stereotype that there is something wrong with kinky hair and those that have it are somehow less than.  That is just BULLSH*T!

In the words of India Arie, “I know my creator didn’t make no mistakes  on me”, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I dare some “hair guru” to look me in the face and tell me otherwise.  It is misconceptions such as this that have held back an entire people for hundreds of years and it stops now!

When Andre in his ineptitude can show my another hair type that can naturally defy gravity, lend itself to being sculpted, braided and twisted into crowns reminiscent of royalty and plaited into intricate designs; but still lay down and mimic the silkiness of straighter types, then he can come talk to me about limitations.

Stylists love to pick on curly hair.  Calling it unruly, unpredictable, unmanageable and difficult to handle.  Turn on any make-over show and you are sure to find a girl with curly hair whose curls have been been blown-out, processed, and/or flat ironed into submission for a better, more controlled look.  Curly hair does have its own set of issues not unlike any other hair type but if you learn how to work with it and treat it like it wants to be treated it is nothing short of beautiful.

Woos-sah, I actually went ant picked up the July 2011 copy of Elle Magazine just so I could read the article in in its entirety for myself.  Aside from his assault on kinky hair Andre made some good points saying things like “make peace with your hair” and  “not try to make it do something it woldn’t naturally do”, but I guess this advice is only for the non-kinky haired individuals.

I am appalled at a mag that contained a cover story geared toward “natural beauty” yet bashed the natural kinky hair texture of woman within the same pages. *smh*  I will be writing a letter to the editor and I hope you do the same.

Elle Magazine, July 2011 Issue, Camera Man by Janna Johnson, pg 102

Elle, Letter to the Editors, 1271 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10020 or email