- Many celebrities tend to wear wigs, extensions, and weaves to protect their hair.
- But many have also rocked their natural hair and have opened up about their feelings about it.
- Tina Knowles-Lawson revealed Beyoncé’s natural locks that reach her waist.
- Kelly Rowland created an anthem to create a new portrayal of what beautiful hair looks like.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Hair can be a controversial topic as women of color have tried to conform to certain beauty standards by using relaxers, flat irons, and various other products that can cause hair damage.
But from recording artists like Solange Knowles to actresses like Viola Davis, many have also spoken out about embracing their natural locks and how they keep them healthy.
Here’s a look at some celebrities who are loving their natural hair out loud.
Lizzo said she’s excited about her natural-hair journey.
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Musician Lizzo said she’s recently been focusing more time and energy into her hair-care routine.
“I’m just getting hip to the skin on top of your head being as important as your face,” she told People magazine earlier this year.
“There are pores there. They can get clogged. [Hairstylist] Shelby Swain has this steamer that I sit underneath, and we’ll put a little peppermint oil and jojoba oil and steam my scalp. That’s my favorite new hair practice,” she explained.
“I’ve been really excited about my natural-hair journey,” Lizzo told the publication, explaining she went to a special stylist who cut her curls one by one.
Solange Knowles has written songs about loving her hair.
Solange had an entire song “Don’t Touch My Hair” on her “A Seat at the Table” album about the politics of natural hair and people’s fascination with touching it.
Whether it’s braids, afros, or blonde hair, Solange did the big chop in 2009 and it catapulted her into a natural-hair icon.
In 2012, she told Essence that wasn’t her intention. “I honestly was just tired of the energy surrounding my hair. So, when I cut it, I didn’t think about what anyone else would think,” she explained.
In 2017, the singer-songwriter called out a London-based magazine for seemingly altering a photo of her hair, according to Teen Vogue. The original photo showed a large crown of braided hair behind her head that was edited from the Evening Standard’s final cover and she reminded them “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
“[Braiding] is an act of beauty, an act of convenience, and an act of tradition,” she said in that interview.
Taraji P. Henson did the big chop in 2017.
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The actress started her natural hair journey in 2001 since she starred in the cult classic “Baby Boy.” Over the years, she would press and go to straighten her hair, in turn damaging her hair, and in 2017, she decided to start over.
“I just decided to cut it all off and start from scratch and that’s what I did,” Henson told HuffPost.
“We have shame when it comes to our hair. What we’ve been told, ‘Your hair is nappy.’ It’s not nappy, it’s curly. That’s a curl, that’s a coil. That’s energy leading up,” she said. “And I was like, we need to convey that message because I see a lot of girls, natural, is it for fashion or do you really understand what that is? It is a crown that God gave you. Our hair defies gravity without any products. Do you know how powerful that is? That’s powerful.”
Amandla Stenberg said she has learned to love her natural hair.
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The power of social media encouraged the “Hate You Give” actor to do the big chop and let her hair grow back naturally.
She told Glamour, “Seeing people on the Internet post pictures with their natural hair, I realized like, ‘Oh, wait, this is actually so cool. Why have I been fighting this component of myself for so long?”
She added that it is still a constant battle to love her hair despite the images in the media of straight hair.
Kerry Washington confirmed that her hair is natural.
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The “Scandal” star has been seen out and about with her natural tresses, even rocking her fro at the 2018 Met Gala. She told Redbook in 2016, that she had stopped chemically relaxing her hair years ago.
“I’d been relaxing my hair since I was a little girl, so part of it was just wanting to see what would happen if I didn’t. Quitting has been such a time-saver, and my hair feels much healthier now. It’s been fun getting to know my real curls,” she explained.
Gabrielle Union created a line of products specifically for natural hair.
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Gabrielle Union has talked about how early on in her career, several hair stylists damaged her hair so badly that she had no choice but to cut her hair, and grow it back out while hiding it under wigs and weaves. Now that her hair is healthy, she is rocking her natural hair, even posting on Instagram, when she cut her natural hair into a short bob.
She told Allure that she created her own line of natural hair care products, Flawless by Gabrielle Union out of her own needs. “No matter what part of the journey you’re on, I’m giving you a high five,” she said.
Oprah’s stylist shared some of her natural hair secrets.
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It’s no secret that Oprah loves big hair and in 2012 she rocked her natural hair look for the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Hairstylist Andre Walker told NaturallyCurly that Oprah vowed to go natural at 50 because she wanted to show other people that they could embrace their natural hair too.
“She said she wanted to look like that and she wanted to encourage people to embrace their natural texture at some point,” Walker told the publication. “She always thought that way, but never did it because it’s a hard thing for people to accept. Twenty years ago, it just wasn’t as easy to wear natural hair.”
Hairstylist, Nicole Mangrum revealed in a 2017 interview with HuffPost about how she keeps Oprah’s hair looking so perfectly laid.
“Oprah gets a deep conditioning twice a week-and a heat-protecting spray when styling with a hot tool.”
Lupita Nyong’o has spoken about the historical importance of natural black hair.
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The actress keeps giving Oscar-winning looks with her natural hair, but she revealed in an interview with Porter, that she always opts to wear her natural crown on red carpets, in magazines, and movies to send a message of self-acceptance to young people with the same type of hair and complexions.
“My hair is something that, historically, has been shunned,” she said. “I mean, how often do you hear, ‘You can’t get a job with hair like that’? She continued, “natural, African, kinky hair – it’s often been painted as uncivilized or wild.”
She even spoke out when her hair was edited off the cover of UK magazine Grazia in 2017. She posted the original and altered photos on Instagram and shared her disappointment at the alteration.
“As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being, I embrace my natural heritage and despite having grown up thinking light skin and straight, silky hair were the standards of beauty, I now know that my dark skin and kinky, coily hair are beautiful too,” she wrote.
Susan Kelechi Watson said that she wanted her onscreen persona’s natural hair journey to be authentic.
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The “This is Us” star showcases her natural tresses weekly from braids, to twists, to natural curls. Watson told O, The Oprah Magazine that she went natural in 2012 and wanted her character Beth Pearson to be authentic with her own hair journey.
“So, I know that for Beth to be authentic, her hair is always going to be changing because as Black women, hair is such a big part of our lifestyle. That’s also why I make sure each style looks like something she could have done herself as a working mom and wife.”
Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Lawson, shared a video of her natural hair.
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Just last month, hair envy took social media by storm when Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson posted a now-removed video cutting her daughter’s lengthy natural hair. “Au naturel,” Knowles-Lawson repeated in the video while laughing and combing through Beyoncé’s waist-length hair. The singer is known for wearing long weaves and wigs during her shows, so it took fans by surprise to see just how long her natural hair is.
Though Beyoncé may have called her mom’s comments “annoying” in the video, fans couldn’t get enough.
Issa Rae’s stylist shared her tips for rocking natural hair on and off-screen.
From frohawks to side cornrows and other unconventional styles, Issa showcases a variety of natural hairstyles on the red carpet to her HBO show “Insecure.”
Rae’s stylist Felicia Leatherwood told The Zoe Report that she makes sure Rae’s hair changes depending on what is happening in the show, but no matter what, it always looks good.
“As you read the script, you know how she started off – she’s with Lawrence, you see her getting her footing. I try to make the hair match what the emotion should be in the particular scene. Every season that we come up on another ‘Insecure,’ she’s growing her hair. Her looks are growing as well.”
“Just to keep it real – most sistas know that it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life,” she told them. “You’re gonna make sure your hair is done! You can be sleeping on someone’s couch, but guess what? You’re gonna look good!”
Cheslie Kryst was crowned as Miss USA rocking her natural hair.
Miss USA stood out from the rest of the contestants vying for the crown, because of her head of natural curls.
She told Refinery29 that wearing her natural curls for the pageant wasn’t an easy decision.
“So, I was a little bit worried and anxious about doing it, but I thought, ‘I want to do it as the most real and authentic me,’ and that’s really what my hair represents.”
She added she hoped to inspire other women to feel confident to rock their natural curls in their personal and professional lives, “You can wear your hair the way that it’s growing out of your head proudly out in the world.”
Viola Davis encourages her daughter to rock her natural hair when playing pretend.
The actress rocked her natural ‘do on the 2012 Academy Awards red carpet with motivation from her husband to take the wigs off. She said she also encourages her 7-year-old daughter to do the same even when playing dress up.
“I say, ‘You gotta wear your hair exactly the way it is. You can be Wonder Woman, but you gotta be Wonder Woman with your hair. You can be Elsa, but you gotta be Elsa with your hair,'” Davis told Yahoo Beauty.
Ava Duvernay said she thinks locs are magic.
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DuVernay celebrated her own locs on her Instagram page in 2017 saying she has always loved locs and growing up she thought they were magic.
“No one in my family wore their hair in this style. I grew up going to the beauty salon with my Mom or getting my hair pressed in the kitchen by my Gramma,” she wrote. “I’ve had every style. Short bobs. Long weaves. Braids of all kinds. But when I saw this picture in @hollywoodreporter this morning, I smiled at the crown that now adorns my head. And hope some little girl somewhere comes across this image and sees magic too.”
Kelly Rowland said she has fun with her natural hair.
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The singer partnered with Dove to produce a hair anthem called, “Crown” which empowers girls to celebrate the diverse beauty of hair.
In an interview with Marie Claire earlier this year, the singer talked about how her insecurities with her hair started when she was a child,
“I don’t think my mom did it intentionally, but I was given a chemical perm to straighten my curly hair at the age of five. That’s when I thought maybe my hair wasn’t okay. My mom had super-thick and beautiful hair, but it was hard for her to deal with on her own. Maybe she thought it was too much for me to manage, which is why she gave me a perm.”
She also revealed that she’s been straightening her hair less and embracing textures and learning her natural hair.
“I have fun with my natural hair,” she told them. “I wake up and condition my hair, detangle, add oils for extra hydration, and let it do its own thing. I love taking my hair down and wearing my fro – it feels amazing. When you’re in the mirror, take advantage of that quality time with your natural hair. Tell yourself you’re beautiful. It should be a part of the experience.”
Sanaa Lathan chopped her hair on camera.
While filming the Netflix film “Nappily Ever After,” Lathan opted to cut her own hair, and her hairstylist revealed to Refinery 29 that before the actress shaved her head, her hair was natural and waist length.
Nearly a year later, Lathan is still embracing her new look.
“Honestly, after 20 years of wearing weaves and wigs, I got tired of them. There’s a kind of a freedom that comes with giving them up – and not just a mental freedom but also a physical freedom,” she wrote in an essay for Glamour. “It’s hot and uncomfortable to wear wigs or a weave.”
But she also wrote that the decision to rock natural hair is one every person should make on their own.
“That’s not to say that I’ll never do it again because I know I will. But one of the main messages I want to get across to women is that it’s not that you should only have natural hair. It’s that natural hair is beautiful, and it should be an option.”
Tamar Braxton shaved her head on social media.
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Her reason? “I’m over feeling captive to a wig, weave, people, people’s comments & opinions hell… even my own feelings. WE can choose to stop these things from having the power and victory over us!! And for me, that starts TODAY.”