When it comes to maintaining the strands of Hollywood's elite, the competion is fierce. C'mon, the A-List won't just let anyone touch their prized strands.
Enter hairstylist Nicole Mangrum, who works on legendary women including Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Michelle Obama, Kelly Rowland, and many more. She's been working with the media queen since 2015. "The first time I worked with Oprah was when I styled her hair for the three-time Emmy Award-winning series Super Soul Sunday," Nicole revealed.
Of course, once we caught wind that Oprah has been rocking her natural hair for a minute (remember when Chris Rock was allowed to rake his fingers through her anointed scalp?) we had to get to the bottom of exactly how she maintains it. Keep scrolling to learn more of her coveted hair secrets.
If you thought your once-a-week salon routine was enough — think again. Oprah gets her "natural and extremely thick" hair tended to several times a week — three times, to be exact.
"[After washing] I always follow up with a conditioner, but deep condition it once a week with a hair mask to keep it moisturized and nourished," explains Nicole.
"When drying, I dry it in small sections always using a stretching method and Denman brush with medium heat from my blow dryer. I try to use as little heat on her hair and always use a heat protectant spray when heat styling. We also utilize protective styling methods such as wigs and extensions when we know we need to style her hair multiple times in a day."
Back in 2012, Oprah rocked own her hair on the cover of O, Magazine — and surprised many with her #lengthgoals. With endless debates over the length of celebs like Beyoncé's hair, we had to ask Nicole why people doubt Black women's ability to achieve great lengths.
"I think because for so long you wouldn’t see many women rocking their own natural hair and Oprah’s hair is so thick and long most people don’t believe it’s hers," Nicole says. "People are often surprised that her hairline is so thick, because many women who wear weaves and braids consistently have compromised their edges because of the constant tension and pulling."
Nicole feels that through consistent care, most women can achieve their very own length goals. See below for a few tips she shares:
1. "Condition, condition, condition. Your hair needs moisture and protein to keep it strong and hydrated."
2. "Minimize heat styling tools that will dry it out and cause breakage."
3. "Get a trim every 8-12 weeks to keep the ends of the hair healthy."
4. "Give it a break sometimes with protective styles (braids, wigs, weaves). Make sure the braids aren’t too tight and take care of your hair underneath."
She does caution not to get too caught up in the comparison game, especially as you grow your hair out. "Remember we are all different and our hair grows at different rates," she reminds us. "It’s not an easy process and can oftentimes be time consuming. Once you find a regime that works for you, your hair will reap the rewards!"
Considering the sheer amount of appearances Oprah makes, we imagine that she'd have an opinion of what she wants to look like. "Oprah is a woman who knows what she wants, but the final result is always a collaboration between the two of us," Nicole tells us.
We can only imagine how hard it is to pick a favorite look, however, Nicole is partial to O's latest look at the Golden Globes. "It was so glamorous and sophisticated. It stood out because she felt confident and beautiful — which are always the feelings that a great hairstylist is trying to invoke in her client."
We can't wait to see what other major hair looks Oprah will debut for the rest of 2018. What do you think she should try next?
(Photo from left: George Pimentel/WireImage, Jason LaVeris/FilmMagicAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)