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...

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

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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