After I went nat­u­ral back in ’06 and was scour­ing the web look­ing for ‘hair­spi­ra­tion’, pic­tures of Chaka Khan popped up in many Fotki albums. I had always known her music, but when I began study­ing her ear­ly style I learned that her huge, soft hair was a trade­mark.

I know that in recent years she’s worn a lot of wigs and exten­sions, but I still draw inspi­ra­tion from ear­ly Chaka. Aside from her hair she was just a real­ly cool chick back in the day. She had a laid-back vibe and an eclec­tic style that I real­ly relate to.

Pho­tos cour­tesy of and

I also ran­dom­ly found this vid of Chaka rock­ing big hair and play­ing drums on CBS in 1976. 

Awe­some, no?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

Leave a Reply

14 Comments on "Chaka Khan // Natural Hair Celebrity"

Notify of

I absolute­ly love Chaka Khan. I have been a fan of hers for years. Plus we both rep Chicago as our home­towns. When I was younger I would sing her songs a lot. Her hair and style was and still is both eccen­tric and sophis­ti­cat­ed! She is my favorite R&B singer of all time!


[…] case you haven’t noticed, I am a super fan of Chaka Khan. Here are vin­tage pic­tures of Chaka being a god­dess, as […]


Fun­ny coin­ci­dence: my uncle just told me that I remind­ed him of Chaka Khan at a fam­i­ly bbq. I wasn’t sure if it was a com­pli­ment, until I saw the nos­tal­gia in his eyes and this post con­firms it. Go Chaka!


Wow, what a great nat­u­ral inspi­ra­tion


For­give me for post­ing a com­ment that has lit­tle to do with the arti­cle, how­ev­er I wasn’t sure what the BGLH email address was. Any­way, a while back you pub­lished some­thing on black mod­els and the NYTimes just did a piece on eth­nic mod­els in Brazil. I found it pret­ty inter­est­ing.

Here’s the link:

Chaka looks great.


Chaka is my dad’s lady! She was so fear­less back in the day, and super-tal­ent­ed as well. Thanks for post­ing the­se pics of one bad chi­ca!


Chaka Khan is such an indi­vid­u­al. She’s beau­ti­ful.


and BGLH, kind­ly sub­mit some of your pho­tos to Essence to show them what a REAL NATURAL HAIR GALLERY looks like. Sche­upssssssss.


Chaka is too cute lol, still has the trade­mark smile & hair going on. Actu­al­ly went to the Essence site to what oth­er pho­tos they had and came across this ‘Nat­u­ral Hair’ gallery. Sor­ry if this has been men­tioned here before but this -> ain’t nat­u­ral.
This is, in fact, a bloody slap in the face; and call­ing it ‘African Amer­i­can’ hair? Are they afraid to say ‘Black’? This is the height of ridicu­lous­ness. If I weren’t so aghast, I’d laugh.


chaka khan was beau­ti­ful, i love her hair when it was like that


[…] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by sarah daw­son, Black Girl Long Hair and Javon­ne, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: my homage to chaka khan, one of my great­est “hair­spi­ra­tions” #nat­u­ral­hair […]


she looked total­ly awe­some like that and it’s a head of hair that I could actu­al­ly aspire to :)


i :heart: chaka khan :)


Her hair has always been won­der­ous to me.

Peace, Love and Choco­late