Is a tide turning? Wendy Williams is the latest in a string of black celebrities who’ve publicly claimed their natural tresses. Angela Simmons, rapper Lil Mama and reality star Toya Carter have all revealed that their hair is natural beneath weaves, with Angela and Lil Mama tweeting photos of healthy, large fros as evidence. Most recently Oprah Winfrey claimed that her hair is flat ironed and not relaxed (although this has come under scrutiny since Oprah’s long time stylist Andre Walker revealed that he does relax her hair on occasion.) And now Wendy Williams is claiming her natural hair, posting a picture of her 10-year-old self on Facebook with two long braids and the caption:

Wendy at 10-years-old sporting her ‘everyday look’. It was quick and easy to do on her own. “Here’s a little secret: Wendy has never had a perm.

Wendy’s proclamation might be a bit confusing to some, given her vocal criticism of Viola Davis’ short natural do at the 2012 Oscars. And perhaps it was just a response to Oprah’s “natural” O Magazine cover. But it seems that a tide is turning, and having your “own” hair is becoming a status symbol of sorts. It’s certainly not a full embrace of natural hair… but there seems to be a hierarchy forming where weaving by choice (while maintaining full, thick and healthy hair underneath) is perceived as ‘better than’ weaving by necessity because your own hair is damaged and broken. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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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150 Comments on "Wendy Williams is the Latest Celebrity to Claim Her Natural Hair"

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Candice

Wendy Williams wears a wig on television and looks like a drag queen. Too little, WAY too late after she dissed Viola Davis. Talking about your natural hair is completely different than being SEEN wearing your natural hair out.

naturally yours

Wendy Williams is natural. Picture of her natural hair was posted on lhcf a few yrs back along with an article on how she cares for it. Her hair was naturally thin and waist length, but bleach and badly damaged

lc

You beat me to it. 🙂 I was going to say the same thing, she has shown her hair before but has always said because it’s thin that she doesn’t wear it out.

Mai

I know much of the natural hair community is excited to see a celebrity wear their natural hair. But just because I (me personally) am natural doesn’t mean I support every other natural woman. Wendy spews too much venom for me to care if she is relaxed, natural, or otherwise.

Joy

I’ll believe it when I see it. Perhaps then my opinion of her will change because I’ll see what she really looks like under all the dead animal.

Blacgirlost
I am so pleased that all these black (white women) are proclaiming themselves “natural divas” while wearing their india and aisan hair daily and rarely (if ever) being seen publically without it. Let the rest of us pave the way and then you (they) can come out strong and secure knowing that white America has accepted our hair. Let the rest of us endure the strange looks and dumb questions. When all that passes you (they) can step into the lime light and show the world “yours too”. Kinda like that final (sweat shop) scene in the Wiz. You’ll (they’ll)… Read more »
Fia
It’s hair. And it is silly to pass judgment on someone based on wearing a weave. This is just ridiculous. We’re really getting ridiculous in the natural hair community. “Pave the way?” The natural hair journey has yet to be connected to anything other than.. hair. It’s important to love ourselves, but don’t get it twisted: any mammal can give birth and ANY woman can shave her head and let nature take its course as it grows back out. Enduring nasty looks, dumb comments, and overbearing relatives that wanna perm your hair is not the same as working in a… Read more »
Michelle
Thank You. This is getting a bit ridiculous. To me your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. My sister’s and I all have natural really long hair. The problem that we seem to have with natural sister’s is that our hair is very curly and wavy. It’s almost like hispanic hair and we get slack because our hair is not kinky enough. People look at us like we automatically have perms and we don’t we just have straight hair. To be totally honest there is too much judgement being passed when it comes to hair and it’s… Read more »
Alisha

+10000

Anonymous

*down home country church shouting right now*

Shahidah

WOW! Loved this : are proclaiming themselves “natural divas” while wearing their india and aisan hair daily and rarely (if ever) being seen publically without it.

M2

Get it girl…….that was powerful……..i have no words to follow that……BRAVO!!!!!

EG

lol…gurl come back, we want an encore

AC

+1

Venus
Jesus Christ! Im so confused right now…. Isn’t this what we wanted? For more black people to be comfortable with their natural hair?????? Anytime a celebrity comes out admitting they have natural hair (regardless of how often they show it) there’s always some backlash about WHY they are revealing it etc etc. like WHO cares why it’s happening I’m just glad its happening! .. What difference does it make if they are coming into some huge awakening, or epiphany while doing so. NOT everyone has that… I didn’t…But that doesnt mean I love my hair any less.. It’s like there’s… Read more »
NubianPrize
I totally agree. We black women can’t win no matter what we do, so you may as well do what pleases YOU^& let the haters hate. Just remember Jill Scott’e song “Hate On Me”: Hate on me, hater, now or later ‘Cause I’m gonna do me, you’ll be made, baby Go ‘head and hate on me, hater, I’m not afraid ofWhat I got I paid for, you can hate on me You cannot hate on me ’cause my mind is freeFeel my destiny, so shall it beYou cannot hate on me ’cause my mind is free Feel my destiny, so… Read more »
Shahidah

I don’t see how her saying her hair is natural, wearing a wig, and showing a pic at 10 years old says she is comfortable with her natural hair. She didn’t reveal anything. I have not seen the Viola bash but have heard about it from others and a few have commented here. No she is HARDLY comfortable with her own hair.

AC

She obviously isn’t comfortable if she feels the need to hide it under those horrible weaves. But if she wore her hair out naturally in a twa or all the way down her back I still would not like her, she is horrible and like many said before me..I remember the Viola Davis critique! So distasteful.

Pat

It was very distasteful how she came out against Viola.

aNON

NO need to blaspheme. Jesus Christ is LORD and created us beautiful.

binks

Wendy Williams can miss me, I don’t care if her hair is natural I still remember the episode where she went off on Viola Davis when she wore her natural hair to the Oscars. Despite her being a natural, she strikes me as the good hair/bad hair type honestly. I have no problem with naturals wearing weave if they choose too but I would love to see more of their natural hair than the weaves, I still feel like to a certain degree that weaves are another crutch.

Socialite Dreams

amen

Suni

she has always said she has natural hair under her weave but she never wears it out… so her saying more about it isn’t really a surprise.

eatmydessertfirst

It’s one thing to HAVE natural hair under a weave but it’s another thing to actually WEAR your natural hair proudly without a weave. Wendy Williams, I’m not impressed…with you or anyone else that claims the “natural” badge but who wears a weave in public.

If you are going to wear a weave, wig or relaxer then wear it. I support you! But don’t claim to be a Natural and still sport your false or relaxed tresses for the sake of claiming to be natural because the weave is the hair that is portrayed to the public.

KAN

Exactly!! I was so confused with the title of this article and was looking for a pic of Wendy with her hair out and got a pic of her at 10??!! Please, she never wears her hair out and criticizes others that do…smh….Publicity stunt and it’s working…

Angela

THANK YOU! This is what I am always asking as I simply do not understand why anyone would expect “props” for having natural hair under fake hair. If nobody can see your hair, what does it matter if it is natural or not? I am thinking that it is cheaper and easier to NOT relax hair when it is always under a wig or a weave.

Anonymous
Amen Angela, they want the “Natural Hair Badge of Honor” but don’t want to put in the work!!! It takes a lot of work to take care of natural hair not only that but courage to face all the nay sayers when you decided to go natural be it through big chop or transition. People will come at you like you’ve made the worse decision in the world!!! smh when did Wendy ever have to deal with any of that?????When did she have to go on national t.v. and rock a twist out that swelled up from the humididty and… Read more »
EG

Agreed

Shahidah

or at least SPORT your natural hair once in awhile. if they claim they wear weaves for protection and to change up their styles then at one point won’t one of those styles be your natural hair some kinda way???

nubia

This is a little dated she posted these pics a few years back and admitted back then she had never had a permIn her life. Seems Wendy doesn’t like her own her she states constantly that it us thin. But nonetheless she does has hair ?

Tamar

her hair*

Tamar

Wendy on her show mentioned has a thyroid problen causing her to be very thin and thats why she wear wigs

Dawn

Tamar, I remember her saying that too, and that she loves big diva hair.

Carla

Lol, many celebs are opportunistic. You can’t blame them however…they see that so many women are embracing their natural hair and want to receive the popularity that comes from that as well. Wendy, this would’ve been great to know four years ago when natural hair wasn’t so main stream smh.

hassan

Celebs are normal people and as black women have been conditioned to harbor the same insecurities about their hair/image as non celebrity black women. The only difference between them and us is their money and platform. Just as so many black women are discovering and embracing their naturalness, many celebs are doing the same.

eatmydessertfirst

Great insight Carla! I agree.

aNON

That is so spot on! Celeb like to be the leaders not followers. lol I am so amazed how mucch someone cuttingoff there relaxed ends can have around the world……

Dana
Wearing a weave as a choice as opposed to a neccessity has always been thought of as more acceptable…but that is rare. But then you always have to question the ‘choice’. Anyway, this aint about the celebrities. This natural hair shift started with sistas on the ground and will continue with them. The natural hair community had NO SUPPORT from people in the entertainment industry besides neo-soul artists, and even they have been sketchy. Now all of a sudden, everyone wants to come out of the hair closet. Wendy Williams and Oprah are businesswomen first and so are all the… Read more »
Anonymous

Preach, Preach, Preach!!!

Trini

So true about the ground movement. Not one given to “celebrities” though I must say that Janelle Monae was a major inspiration. I can’t name any of her songs, but when I first saw her hair a few years ago, that was the kick in the tush that my late 30-something self needed to halt the creamy habit.

Nelle

Well said!

honeybrown1976

She’s an opportunist. I don’t believe it at all.

Shahidah

I have to see it to believe it myself. Maybe because i’m not a fan of hers, maybe because this is a pic of a 10yo wendy and there could have been many changes to her hair since-matter of fact we know that- I’m going to hold off on congrats and just go with meh

Kincaid2576

She has said on the show quite a few times she has thyroid disease that has left her with really thin hair she dyes it but does not relax.

Anonymous
Then why not show a picture of her hair as it is now!! Why show us a picture from 30 years ago saying she’s natural now!!! REALLY,WENDY REALLY !!! SHOW us the money!!! Show ME HOW YOUR HAIR LOOKS NOW!!! NONE OF THESE SO CALLED NATURAL CELEBRITIES HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH GOING ON WITH “THE SHOW” EVEN IF THEY ARE HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY!!! LOOSE THE CRUTCHES!!! The wigs, the weaves, the texturizers, the braids, yeah I said it braids and learn how to manage your own hair first!!! I’M NOT SAYING THAT EVERYONE WHO WEARS A WIG,… Read more »
CLAW
As stated, the lady said that thyroid disease has made her hair thin and she chooses not to wear it out and she have every right not to if she doesn’t want to. She has also said on her show that she washes, etc her own hair so she does have the experience of handling/dealing with her own hair. Heck I’m not famous but when I lost my edges after wearing twists I bought a wig because I am too vain for anyone to see my head the way it was. Just like that’s my prerogative it is also Wendy’s… Read more »
Morgan

Then Wendy shouldn’t be claiming ish! Claim it, show it. Thyroid disease my behind. God knows if someone else pulled up with a 30 plus year old photo trying to claim some “natural hair”, Wendy would have tossed her wig over one shoulder and commenced to tearing them to shreds. If you serve crow, you need to eat crow. Period.

Anonymous
I am taking this serious because we as a people have been blind for too long and it’s about time we educate ourselves with “the truth”!!! If you choose to wear a weave because of thinning issues that’s fine, that’s your choice I am not referring to people with alopecia and the such. Who I am referring to are people with a perfectly good head of hair hiding behind wigs, weaves, braids ect. so it does not sound like the shoe fits here, but if it does please feel free to wear it 🙂 Wendy Williams shows no slack to… Read more »
NubianPrize
Why do you even care about what other folks think & do with their hair? & like CLAW said, why do you take this so seriously when it’s not even your hair?. The important thing is for you to do what you want with your hair. I’ve known folks with thyroid issues who’ve had hair fall out & many wore wigs to cover their hair because it was so thin or had bald patches. Same for folks who’ve had perms & gotten alopecia. I have 2 friends now who have scarring alopecia ( from DECADES of perms) that’s given them… Read more »
Morgan
How are you guys going to tell someone not to take it serious? It was obviously serious enough for Wendy to publicly air her so-called natural hair. If it’s nobody’s business, then she should have kept the info to herself. Shoot. You guys are the ones taking it serious, standing up for Wendy like she was your sole meal ticket. Who cares what she SAID about her own hair. If she’s going to jump on the natural bandwagon, then she needs to show what that mess looks like TODAY. She talked all that ish about Viola Davis, Wendy sure needs… Read more »
Shawna

Exactly, my hair has two big thin spots and it was so hard at first for me to do the big chop but I did. It takes time and if Wendy is not ready to show her natural hair that is her right. I took it one day at a time and I still do one year later.

HB
My first thought would be to say – “Oh, Wendy – you’re such a fame whore” [c’mon, you know you are]. On the other hand, even if mean people help orphans, orphans are still helped, so if popularity is the cause of her changing her mind, then great. She has a HUGE platform and audience and will no doubt change the minds of people in media, corporate America and the world. She should publicly apologize to Viola Davis for that negative criticism though. That was bad. Let’s keep it 100. As more famous people go natural, many women become less… Read more »
Anonymous

I think some celebrities now see that natural hair is more acceptable and love all the rage and are looking for a way to jump on board without the commitment and without having to go through the entire process (transitioning or big chopping) to be natural. Dont not be confused there is a rite of passage that we all must take to be considered natural those who take it, great you are strong those who fake it you’re all wrong….they rachet!!!! lol

eatmydessertfirst

I don’t know about a “Rite of Passage” to be considered natural. I think that’s part of the problem that causes the “elitism” in the natural community.

angy
I agree and I am sick of this big chop crap. I will get there but please don’t take my black card as I proceed cautisouly. Im just learning how to take care of my hair after years of braids and I am sick of feeling less than black because I have not taken this big chop/rite of passage. Its starting a divide with sisters and I don’t think it’s right. Its all our hair, its just what we decided to do with it. you are either Unprocessed or processed. The semantics are getting ridiculous. white women aren’t fighting over… Read more »
Anonymous

NO ma’am the rite of passage means dealing with the ups and downs of natural hair and learning how to manage your own texture without the aid of chemicals.

jewellthief

and dealing w/ the criticism from friends, family, etc.

EG
I disagree. The rite of passage I believe the young lady is referring to is not hiding your hair behind anything, wigs/weaves/braids or flat ironing your hair. The truth of the matter is that kinky hair is still looked down upon even in the natural hair community. You have to be a natural (who wears your own hair out) to understand the hostility that some have towards you just for wearing your hair as god intended. The only ‘elitism’ that I see in the black hair community is this need to turn kinks into culrs and this love interest with… Read more »
Fia
So… If I were my hair kinky, I’m talked about. If I use a little eco styler gel, I’m talked about.. Bullshit. THe beauty of being natural is that I can wear it kinky, I can twist it, I can straighten it– and I can do that all on my own. This natural shit is getting ridiculous. Are we really looking at each other, scoping out who is doing twist outs, and using certain products? Wow. I don’t see anything wrong with manipulating your hair anyway you can and please. Wear it kinky, bouncy curls, gelled to hell- do you.… Read more »
Marie
Yes this kinks to curls thing doesn’t go away. On another popular hair site that mainly features curlies, I have noticed some of the kinky heads on there describing their hair as loose in the back or 3c/4a here or there added to a clear resentment of that uncooperative 4c wherever it may be (usually the majority of their hair). Is there such a desperation and need to be on the curly side of the street? The natural community today is very different to the all embracing all encompassing political one of the 70s. It really isn’t about wearing your… Read more »
jeanettesdaughter
yep. you got it right. is any other people so completely obsessed by hair and looks as we are? black people want you to have good hair which does not translate as kinky or nappy. period. and with that they would rather you not be too black. whatevere that means. personally, i have no intention of spending the same or more on products as i used to spend trying to conform to someone else’s ideas about me. and let’s face it – most of us are not entertainers and we do not have to come up with a look that… Read more »
Anonymous

I can’t wait until this “Curly Natural Hair uprising” ceases. Let the real meaning of being natural stand up!!! Don’t get me wrong if your hair is naturally curly then I am not referring to you only the “Curl seekers” who buy up all the ECO styler gel!!!

Anonymous

Amen I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you

Bridget

ITA! I was born natural. My hair naturally grows from my head this way. There was no rite of passage.

sparkspop

I agree!

Venus

Exactly!!!

Venus

Lol I’ve been natural 2 yrs now… What is this rite of passage you speak of?

hyspin

Sorry, I rather see it to believe it. I recall watching one show of hers, a while back, where she says she would never leave the house without her weave. So if she does that (go weave-less in public) I will be impressed other wise I just consider it a jump the bandwagon comment.

Coi

Wendy said long before the whole viola Davis thing that her hair was natural but it was very thin. She prefers weaves because her hair is fine which is prone to breakage, plus with weaves ad wigs she can have versitile looks without putting stress on here hair. Her hair isn’t kinky the picture she showed looked like it had waves. She claimed she had good hair this was durin the movie craze of “good hair”.

Vee

Agreed. I love Wendy to death (she is a ball of fun craziness), but she has stated multiple times that showing off her natural hair is not for her and that she would not get caught without a wig on 😛

I think at the end of the day, people need to do what makes them happy whether that is natural, wig, weave or whatever!

kfortune

very true! she is adamant about her wigs and weave and she is quite beautful! but when its all said & done we must do what inspires us as individuals!

amy
You know Wendy might have said this because she doesnt know how to PROPERLY take care of her own hair. I believe that the reason why many black women resort to wigs or weaves or perms is not because they do not like their hair, it is because they do not know how to properly maintain healthy hair that includes less breakage and keeping it clean and moisturized. I know that for me that is why I chose to do relaxers and then braids all through high school. I didnt know how to properly wash my hair without it getting… Read more »
Cy

+1

amy

wow based on her attitude and how demeaning she is, I would’ve thought she would be the last person to comment or have natural hair. But I would not be surprised if more celebs start to showcase their own hair. They wear weaves so much in this industry I forget that some of them may be growing their own hair underneath it all.

kfortune

I dont perceive her as demeaning but she does “keep it 100”..great to see the childhood pic of her..but i agree she should showcase her natural hair

kiki

RIGHT!! lmaooo . thats like when New York showed of her natural…i was like o_0 WTF?!?!

yasmine

NY’s hair was flyyyyy though! lol

Landry
I am with a talent agent and have worked on a couple of commercials and one television show. I have noticed that most of the time, the production team of whatever is being marketed be it a certain grocery store, or company, they want the characters to have a specific look. That is why many African-American actresses resort to wigs and weaves. The wear and tear of straightening and styling from day to day can completely damage the hair. I am a 9 month natural and I love babying my hair, I wash it and condition every week and I… Read more »
Barbara

Que???? 90 percent of commercials (no exaggeration) feature black women with natural hair and have for years. I’ve noticed this way before going natural too and the looks range from TWA to ‘from to braid outs to loose curls.

Fia
I have noticed for years that any commercial for insurance, food, investment firms, medicines, legal services USUALLY feature women with natural hair. Any beauty product meant to enhance looks (makeup, Victoria Secret, hair color, etc) usually features women of color with straight or euro-looking hairstyles. It’s as if the ad industry understands that as a people, we have insecurities with regard to our hair and by showing someone with natural hair when advertising insurance, medicine, MCDonald’s, deodorant, and investment packages, we can “trust” those products. A woman with a weave is no less trustworthy than a woman with kinky coils,… Read more »
Diva
your observations are correct however, the bottom line advertising is not to build or crush the self-esteem or image of black women with natural hair the purpose is to appeal to the larger buying demographic. Many people may be surprised to know African American ownership is prominent in the franchised Fast food restaurant we call Mc Donald’s. On average how many black women are paying anywhere from a $100 to $200 for one matching bra and panty set 14 times over at Victoria Secrets? How large a demographic of black women are purchasing Lancome or Clinique’ not to say they… Read more »
amy

90%? I beg to differ, but I am not saying that ALLL casting directors REQUIRE the straight hair but most of them do. But it doesnt only stop at natural or straight hair. If they are looking for a male a female, red head, blonde, brunette, gray, whatever then that is who they cast or they change the person’s look to play the role. For example the show Hannah Montana. Hannah wore the blonde wig but Miley wore her natural brown hair. Again it is just to match the part you are playing

Landry

Amy’s right. Most casting directors have a specific look in mind, and from my experience, most prefer straight hair. I think some actresses who reach a certain point have more of a say in character development and appearance, but when you are just starting out, you need to be as flexible as possible with your look.

Likewaterforchocolate
Likewaterforchocolate

I am on the side of Amy and Landry, because they have lived what they are talking about and are in the business.

I do applaud you for not “permanently damaging your hair for a temporary situation”. I remember Tempestt Bledsoe doing an interview and stating that her lack of roles in Hollywood was due in large part to her natural hair. I didn’t really understand because she would not have to straighten her hari because there are soooo many other alternatives available to black women.

amy

yea same here! I know that casting directors want a certain look so for that I would change my look. I wouldnt even think about allowing them to touch my real hair because unfortunately many only know how to style straight hair. So for some celebrities I know that they do not wear weaves because they dont like their own hair, but it is bc it is more convenient and with their busy schedules they do not have enough time alotted to pay attention to their own hair at all times.

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