Side-eye of the week: Andre Walker

Last week or whenever, Oprah’s hairstylist Andre Walker made some interesting comments about maintaining kinky hair. According to Mr. Walker, “Kinky hair can have limited styling options; that’s the only hair type that I suggest altering with professional relaxing.”

Pardon me?

Sigh. Some people just need to keep quiet. As far as I’m concerned my kinky hair has a vast number of styling options and does not need professional relaxing.

This is what the natural hair community is trying to combat: that we need to do something with our hair because it’s not good enough in it’s natural state. Mr. Walker is ignorant of natural hair and what natural hair can do. If the only thing your stylist can thing to do with your kinky hair is to relax it, you need another stylist.

I could care less what Mr. Walker has to say about hair and taking care of our hair. If he wants to slap relaxer on someone’s kinky hair and that someone is OK with it, so be it. No natural hair police here… but I think if he doesn’t have anything useful to say about taking care of natural hair or styling natural hair, stop talking about it.

This has become an uproar in the natural hair community, so much so, the Globe & Mail — Canada’s most conservative newspaper — ran an article about it. (Hat tip to the Relaxed Chick for the article.) Read and discuss.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Nikkele says:

    Ok, I am really shocked about this one!

    1. urbansista says:

      Really? I’m not. I just rolled my eyes and sighed. Andre Walker never seemed to be a proponent of natural hair 😦 Boo for him.

  2. Shan says:

    Way to go Globe and Mail.

    “know that I believe in personal freedom, and in the use of advanced technology when it yields positive results.” To me this says that straight hair is positive and thus kinky hair is negative so not much of an apology.

    1. urbansista says:

      It’s that old school mentality that kinky, afro hair = bad and straight hair = good. It’s a concept that I no longer can get with. If you are blessed with kinks, enjoy. If you’re blessed with straight hair, enjoy that. Don’t subscribe to the notion that if it’s not part of the Eurocentric beauty myth it’s not good enough.

  3. DJB says:

    it says that he clearly thinks one look is better than the other, but so do a lot of stylists. we can’t be mad at everyone…besides, he wrote one of the best “bibles” on how to manage black hair. my mom STILL refers to that book.

    1. urbansista says:

      Granted. I’m not angry at him, but I think it’s just the same foolishness that we always hear. Times have changed and, in order for Andre Walker to stay relevant, he may need to reassess. Not saying he can’t prefer straight hair but to make it sound like kinky hair needs fixing he’s looking for natural haired women to skewer him online.

  4. DJB says:

    i think i’m angrier at the headline of the article! lol

  5. glamazini says:

    “Some people just need to keep quiet.” « That.

  6. r*dean says:

    Wow. It can only be pure and simple ignorance. And worse that he’s not even trying to educate himself on how AMAZING our NATURAL kink’s are!!!!

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