oprah.com A year after signing off from her daily talk show and more than 25 years after debuting, Oprah’s still grabbing the attention of women everywhere. This time, it’s for her hairstyle on the cover of the August issue of O Magazine, where she featured her natural hair for the first time in the magazine.
Nobody knows Oprah’s hair better than Emmy award-winning stylist—Oprah’s only stylist for the past 25 years—Andre Walker, who still regularly tends to Oprah’s locks and styled the look for the cover. MODERN got a step-by-step how-to from Oprah’s mane man and talked to him about how to keep your clients’ hair healthy and his upcoming product line.
Were you a big influence in experimenting with Oprah’s natural hair on the cover?
I don’t think I was a big influence because she’s always wanted to do that. We just never had the opportunity. You probably heard Oprah say during the summer she braids it or gives it a break. When that six weeks is up, we normally take it out and it’s wavy and full. She thought, This is a great style, maybe I should wear my hair this way. We just finally decided to do it for the September cover.
Some have questioned whether or not this is really Oprah’s natural 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.
How did you achieve the look for her?
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.
What type of hair does Oprah have?
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.