Yes, you read right! The queen of BIG hair is On the Couch! The legendary singer/songwriter and 10 time Grammy award winning diva gave me a moment of her time to reflect on her hair story. There aren’t even words to describe how amazing it was to speak with the woman who inspired an entire generation. Her music, her fashion, her hair… all so revolutionary and timeless. When I asked her how it felt to be a natural hair icon, she showed a humility that doesn’t always accompany such greatness, and said she had no idea. She reflects-
My mother used to braid my hair in three braids- – one one each side that she’d pin at the top, and one in the back. There was a lot of duplication… she would use the hot comb and we’d wear the Page Boy. That’s pretty much it. I was wearing a perm when I was 15 or 16, which was also around the time the Afros came out. I remember, I cut all of the perm out and wore a short ‘fro for a long time. I wore it for years before growing it out.
When asked how she felt about her TWA (teeny weeny afro), she responded,
I loved it. That’s how I wore it on my first album cover with Rufus. I was actually pregnant at the time. Since then, throughout my career, I’ve experimented with a thousand colors and a thousand styles… everything from microbraids to blow outs. I’ve done it all.
Chaka still reps team natural to this day but enjoys experimenting with different looks–
Sometimes I’ll go for a straighter look, but I really don’t like straight hair on me, it’s not my favorite hair at all. I find it… unlikely [laughter]. I like a lot of hair. I’m about the wild things.
Today, Chaka admits, she’s “not really fussy” when it comes to her hair and is a self-proclaimed “wash and wear” girl. Most days, she just spritzes with a conditioner and keeps it moving. Her favorite products are Mixed Chicks and Peter Lamas. She goes on-
For me, it’s the wilder the better. I love big hair! I don’t like the coiffed look. I’m not a coif hair girl. I don’t like to look neat like I just walked out of the beauty shop!
Much to the dismay of her stylist, there have been times that she’s spritzed her freshly straightened and barrel curled hair with water to give it some “umph!”
Chaka is just as busy as ever. Last year, she not only got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (’bout damn time), but she and her former band Rufus, were jointly nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! She continues to tour and is clocking tons of studio hours in prep for her next album. She is humbled that we in the natural hair community tout her as Natural Hair Style and Hair Icon and appreciates our support and love.