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.”
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.