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.
Keep up with Chaka and her tour on her website- chakakhan.com
and on Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/chakakhan?ref=ts
Great interview. I've been a fan of Chaka Khan since her days with Rufus. I have to admit to not believing all that hair was her hair. Back in the day, the big afro style wig similar to her hair has was popular…
Wait, Wait, Wait!!!! That was always all hers???!!! Wow, hotness!!
Sooooo, since we in the business of clearing up real and fake…what about the next hair Diva #1…Dianna Ross. I needs to know!!
Chaka Khan, chaka khan, ha!!! We feel for you Chaka!!!! Just got finished watching Rufus and Chaka on YT performing "Do you love what you feel" and O Lawd, that woman is and was thebomb.com!! HOTT!
I really love Chaka's hair, it looks so defined and beautiful. I can't wait to see my hair that long.
LOVE Chaka, her hair and outfits from the 70s/80s! And I appreciate her more for speaking out on what's going on in the music business after Whitney's death!
OMG!!! Nikki, you have outdone yourself girl. I've been in love with Chaka, her voice and her hair my entire life. I'm so happy to read that she is repping team natural. When I wear my hair "big" I'm always channeling Ms. Chaka or Ms. Ross (circa 1983 Central Park). Good interview CN.
Oh WOW thank you so much for this interview Nikki. I love love love Chaka Khan always have and always will, I grew up off of her music and I've always adored her "Big Hair"! She is one of many influential natural hair ladies who inspired me to step out on faith and love my natural tresses. 2 thumbs up for this one!!
wow!!!!! this is so great! i loved this article, she is so amazing and so is her hair!
How'd I miss this the first time around? I'm old enough to remember Chaka Khan from the Rufus days. Her hair was awesome then and like others I assumed she'd started supplementing with weave as she got older.
"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!"
This is TOTALLY me. 🙂 Thanks for this, Nikki!
What a great interview Nik!!! Thank you for the eye opener, because all this time I thought she was rocking super fab wigs. Go Chaka!
She is phenomenal !!!!! she is still too gorgeous for me to handle . lol
I have loved Chaka's music from the start, but that is not her real hair. lets be real if we're going to talk about natural hair, back in the day Chaka didn't even wear her own hair then. on the back of one of her albums there is a picture of her in the studio and her real hair is super low. I believe it was the smoking room album.
When I was in high school, the men would have pictures in their room of women. At that time it was Farrah Fawcett the pin up, but in the black community it was Chaka Khan! lol
Thank you for this great interview.
Nikki, now you done did it, you bought us CHAKA KHAN!!!!!! I have always loved her hair, (and Valerie Simpson's braids) and I can't wait to have big hair too!!!!!
This interview was off the hook love Chaka, love the hair!!!! this made my day cant wait to have big hair!!!! congrats Nikkie always a great job!!!! thanks Pam
yes, i agree get Ms. Diana Ross, the Boss too. And get her daughter, another curly hair icon, Tracy Ellis Ross. puh-leeezzzz. 🙂
and Stacy Dash has gorgeous curly hair too. 😉
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Chaka!!!! Where was I when this interview was posted? This is THE woman! Amazing voice, beauty, and HAIR. I have always wanted my hair to look like Chaka's. Her hair never looks out of style to me. Thank you getting an interview with you.
you made my year. 🙂
Love the article. She is a true inspiration, and yes, her big hair is GORGEOUS!!!!!!
"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!" I just had an ah-ha moment reading this interview. What a fantastic role model!!! I am ALWAYS trying to make my hair PERFECT…perhaps I need to stop????
I loooove Chaka!!! Hair and all!!
This interview was such a blessing. Hearing Chaka's velvety voice on the video brought back such great feelings from back in the day. Thank you for that.
Nik…I just keep coming back and rereading this interview…..and singing still……"I'm every woman…It's only Me"……Ok……I'm done! Please post this on the "popular posts" list……..
I just fainted! This is the interview I have been waiting on. Nikki you rock!!!
Nikki, you are the BOMB!!!
Yea, Nikki commented on my statement thank you–I knew I wasn't alone! 🙂 Anon 92/1/12 9:40 AM
Yesssss!!! Chaka is my hair/fashion inspiration! Great interview 🙂
screaminglike a 12 yr old!!! is this the interview that had you doing the tootsie roll???
she is my hair idol, all my life!
She glows… woah.
OMGosh!:-O I had to do a double take with this one so when you said, "Yes you read right" at the beginning of the article, it definitely applied to me! LOL! Great job Nikki on landing an interview with Chaka Khan! Go Nikki, go Nikki, go Nikki! (Cabbage patching right along with you!)
Brilliant! Let's get Diana Ross on the couch next!
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! #BOOM
Don't hurt emm Nik! You're killing these interviews! Keep up the good work. CHAKA!!!!!!
AHHHHHHHHHH YESSSSS!!!!! ITS ABOUT TIME. I remember noticing her around 1996-[1998?] I was around 4 or 6 at the time and it wa sher hair that I notice first about her. She has always been my hair idol and I am still working on getting my hair like that. Its funny that you posted that song bc everytime i listen to it i see myself singing on stage, that and "Maybe My Baby"
Y'all killin a sista today. I was 1st drooling over Malcom Jamal Warner now Chaka Khan. I can't get NO work done today!
YYYYEEEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No you didn't get Chaka Khan on the couch!!! All together ladies, "through the fire, to the limit…through the fire, to the limit…" That's the jam!!!
OMG!!! I have goose bumps! Yayyy, Go Nikki! Great interview 🙂
CHAKAAAAA!!! This interview made my day!
I LOVE it!
I was giddy when I saw this
Thanks so much, Nikki for interviewing her….
Fantastic interview Nikki. Next up….Diana Ross? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
I am so jealous. That is my girl and I love big hair too. She's definitely an icon and her song was just on this morning on my ride home from work. Talking about jamming. Can't wait til my hair is like hers. You won't be able to pay me to hide it.
OMG….I haven't even read it yet, but I have to say "SHUT UP NIK….CHAKA????? I Don't believe it"…..Ok, I do believe it, because it's posted…..but WOW!!!!!!!!
(singing loudly in my office) I'm every woman…it's only me!!!!!!
She is gorgeous and a great singer love ya. Her eye candy boyfriend is yummy as well.
Bows to my phone at the mere mention of my Queen Hair Idol on the first day of Black history month….
I'm sooo impressed Nikki…Chaka Kahn !!! Really! Love her..takes me back to the good ol' days..Always loved her hair..Now i will be singing her songs all day.
OMG! Thank you for this interview! I have always looked Chaka's look, and her hair is on point!
Excellent interview CN! I'm definitely a Chaka fan!
Enjoyed the interview and you are making big moves Nikki!
The only thing I could have wished for this interview post was more pics!!!!! I love her wild hair!
I always assumed they were wigs too, but I bet she uses them like everybody else does. Her hair is gorgeous and big.
@Anonymous 9:40, Not gonna front, all these years I thought it was a wig, too! Not bad if it is, but now it's even more gorgeous knowing it's her hair!
Ahhhhhhh! I love you, Chaka!I literally let out a giddy squeal when I saw the post title. This interview turned my crappy morning into a much better one. She's the queen of big hair. Nikki, you've outdone yourself!
My ex-boyfriend of years ago, used to date Chaka before the fame. They went to the same high school (she indeed have the TWA, he told me)!
I love her, I used to be able to hit those notes when I was in chorus (age 15-16) when Sweet Thang came out 🙂
I always wondered about her hair though, it was always said it was a wig but no wig I know looked that real…hmmmm Great interview, Nikki…girl, we crown you: Queen Interviewer of the Celebrities with Natural Hair
Nik, Major score! I love Cha-ka Khan! Her hair matches her personality!
Nik, Major score! I love Cha-ka Khan! Her hair matches her personality!
I was just staring at the first pic for a long time before I started reading the interview….lol I've always LOVED Chaka Khan growing up and tried to mimic her hair when my pressed hair would sweat out. I love big hair!!!
Since I was a little girl I have LOVED her style and hair. She is a hair ICON to me!
awwwwwww! Look at lil Chaka Khan! This was great CN, thank you both!
She's always been my shero. Love you Chaka!
OMG *screams* Chaka!!!
Nikki girl, you're killing it hun! This was a great interview with a great woman. I love that big hair!
*can't wait til my hair grows out, can't wait til my hair grows out*
Wow. Just wow!
I stopped what I was doing at work to read this interview. She was and is my hair idol. OMG!
Little Chaka is a cutie! As usual, great interview Nikki!
Wonder why it took them so long to give her a star. She's one of the best of all time. Her voice is not of this world.
Nik congratulations on a "fantabulous" interview!! I love Ms. Chaka and her big hair and big voice!! I saw her in concert several years ago and she brought it!!
This is so huge! Thanks for getting her and thanks for sharing!
Congrats on a "fantabulous" interview Nik!! I love Ms. Chaka and her big hair and big voice. I saw her in concert several years ago and she works it!!
Great interview Nikki *whoop whoop two snaps in Z formation* My 14yr old is infatuated with her hair, and calls herself little Chaka.
#WINNING. You scored big this time woman. I'm so proud of you!
That's one of my favorite songs too! Great interview. I love the young picture of her, too cute!
Chaka!!!!!!!!!! Excellent interview!
Thanks ladies! Cabbage patching… yes. Tootsie rolling… yes! I've been pressing her people for 2 long years. PERSISTENCE pays y'all!
Great work Nikki! I know you were cabbage patching all cray…
The irony of this post, as I was just preparing to purchase my ticket to see her in concert! I love Chaka and I love her hair!!!
Oh. Em. Gee! Love, love, LOVE this! I remember being a little kid watching "I Feel For You" and loving that big, wild hair! Thanks Nikki!
Great interview! I'm a fan from the Rufus days. Her voice is still unmatched.
ohhhhh man, I am with Gina!!!!!!!!! When I saw that headline, I was like WHAT!!!!!!!!!! Love her hair!!!!!!!! Great interview Nikki!!!!!!
Omg! How amazing! I bow down to the Queen….
I ADORE Chaka! She is ageless & her hair is EVERY.THING!
Talk about amazing, what a great thing to wake up to. Chaka is still my favorite artist. Congrats on the star!
Damn! Go Nikki! Go Chaka! I'm a fan forever!
I wish you could hear how loud I just screamed! I LOVE Chaka Khan. Great interview!