Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross team up for Black hair docuseries

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Quick Facts About Oprah Winfrey.Oprah Winfrey's famous mononym is a typo.Her name is written "Orpah" on her birth certificate.Oprah's name spelled backward forms the title of her media company, Harpo Productions.Oprah's name spelled backward forms the title of her media company, Harpo Productions.She's the first African-American woman billionaire and the world's richest black woman.In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama.In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama.In 2021, she partnered with Tracee Ellis Ross for the docuseries "The Hair Tales."

‘The Hair Tales’ will be available on OWN and Hulu

Oprah Winfrey and Tracee Ellis Ross are bringing a docuseries about the complex culture of Black hair to cable and streaming.

“The Hair Tales” will be narrated by Ross and her real-life friend, Michaela Angela Davis, who wrote “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” with the Grammy-winner.

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The show is described in a press release as “an intimate exploration of Black women, beauty and identity through the distinctive lens of Black hair.” It’s poised to “offer an honest and layered look into the complex culture of Black hair and ultimately Black women’s identity, creativity, and contributions to society – all delivered with a rare mix of intelligence, humor, style, joy, and justice.”

Production will begin later this year. It will premiere in 2022. It will be available on cable via OWN and streaming via Hulu as a Hulu Original docuseries.

“This series is about identity, culture and legacy, beauty, strength and joy,” Ross said in a statement. “Hair is a portal into the souls of Black women, it drives straight to the center of who we are. Our goal is to share this vibrant community, where we hold a sacred space for each other. Like many women, I can trace my own journey to self-acceptance through my hair. This series is personal and universal, American and global. It is a love letter to Black women.”

Winfrey reflected on a career-related hair moment.

“Early in my career, when I was just 22, my boss informed me my hair was too thick for the green screen wall behind the news desk and I needed to change my style,” she said. “So I was sent to a fancy salon in New York City and the stylist put a French perm on my hair. It burned so badly when he washed the perm out, my hair came out with it – and so did my identity and sense of self. Having grown up with the cultural edict ‘your hair is your crowning glory,’ it took a while to regain confidence with my teeny weeny Afro. I learned then that our hair and how we as Black women see ourselves had deep roots.”

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Ross and Winfrey have famous ties to their hair.

Ross launched her hair care line, Pattern Beauty, in 2019. Her products are specifically focused on coily, curly hair types. The “black-ish” star’s tresses are also regularly touted as “hair goals.” But she didn’t always have a good relationship with her natural hair.

“For me, the reason my hair was such a battle is because I was trying to make it something it wasn’t,” she said in a 2013 YouTube video. “I wanted the hair that somebody else had. And because of that, I was damaging my hair, trying to beat it into submission, trying to make it something it wasn’t, trying to make it slip into my face unconsciously. I was trying to do all of those things to it and as a result, I was ruining and damaging the hair that I was given.”

Winfrey, meanwhile, has been styled by Andre Walker for more than 30 years. Walker is responsible for creating the hair typing system that many natural-haired women use, despite some criticism.