Tyra Banks Real Hair Dismay

In retrospect, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. I shouldn’t have come into the new season of the Tyra Banks Show with expectations.

But I did. My bad.

Tyra's real hair, ZOMG!

For some reason, when Tyra announced September 8 would be “National Real Hair Day,” I confused “real” with “natural.” I assumed we’d be seeing a supermodel first — iconic beauty Tyra Banks sporting her hair as it grows out of her head. Embracing her hair’s true texture.

Wrong.

Instead, what we got was Tyra with her hair slick straight and dripping wet, a texture clearly chemically assisted. (PLEASE prove me wrong, if you disagree). And then she proceeded to introduce her hairdresser, Oscar James, who gave her a fancy blow out and used heat to style it into curls before a rapt studio audience.

It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who was disappointed by this heavily hyped television event. During the show Tyra became a Twitter trending topic, and the consensus in the natural hair community seemed to be a collective meh, served with a generous dose of side eye.

I started out the episode with a heavy heart. From minute one it seemed that Tyra held some outdated hair beliefs — namely, length = beauty. I’m not clear on why her hair had to be soaking wet the moment she appeared – to the point where her back was wet too. The only thing I can think of is, to add to the appearance of length.

Every time Tyra insisted it was her responsibility to show young girls what real hair looks like, it made me cringe. And as Concrete Loop pointed out, why did she feel the need to repeatedly declare that she isn’t bald?

Tyra's new Twitter avatar featuring her "real hair"

The potential was there for this show to educate women of color about the beauty they so often hide behind sewn in pieces and slathered on chemicals. Instead it quickly devolved into a self-aggrandizing display that (in my opinion) reinforced negative assumptions about black hair — further compounded by the other guests on the show. All of whom had their hair styled and styled and styled some more before their “big reveal.” And then it was time for the Perez Hilton interview and I swear, my hand up and flipped the channel all of its own accord.

I always try to look on the bright side… so I’ll end with this. Tyra’s “Real Hair Day” was the beginning of an important conversation. But myself and the many natural haired women I know, were left cold by the episode. Where were the women with kinky, coily, natural hair textures? Why not feature a woman with a TWA? Why not expose her hair as it truly is — unaltered texture and all? Maybe, despite the hype, Tyra wasn’t yet ready. And that I can almost respect.

Going natural shouldn’t be a fad — it takes dedication, committment, and courage. Maybe this was a baby step for Tyra. I’m gonna hold out hope that someday she’ll do an episode that truly displays a range of hair textures and explores the deep feelings associated with natural hair. If not now, then hey — there’s always the premiere of season six.

Photos are from Tyra’s Twitter page.

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Comments

  1. I was disappointed that there weren’t any “kinky” hair guests on the show who do not have processed hair and their natural hair has very tight curls. I didn’t relate to anyone on the program and my hair is very kinky, thick and never been processed – that’s the natural hair that needs to be exalted.

  2. I will admit I was guilty of that, assuming real hair day meant Natural hair day. I mean, why all the fuss over chemically straightened hair? That is not revolutionary. I think it was damaging for her to say that she wanted to show all the little girls out there what real hair looks like. She’s actually perpetuating the same damage she wanted to undo. Real, beautiful hair = straight hair.
    I dunno. Like you said. Mehbeh next season.

  3. Didn’t see the show but I’m not surprised.

    She IS a Model. Actually, a Super Model.

    Clearly she has been brainwashed to think of beauty as being determined by specific features.

    A couple of years ago she discussed weight and realized how unrealistic her/society’s thoughts were around normal/real sized women. Maybe she/her people will come across this and other blogs about the “big reveal” and she’ll understand more about true beauty.

    Let’s hope her next reveal will truly be about her natural hair.

  4. I don’t expect much from Tyra. I’ve learned to keep my expectations low since I started watching Top Model, which I no longer watch. I had a feeling it would be relaxed. It was so extra. The wet hair/back/clothes. As much as Tyra wants to be a “deep” interviewer, she comes up very short everytime. I love her hustle though.

  5. I was curious enough about the show would be like to record it. I wasn’t expecting Tyra to have natural hair at all because she said REAL hair, not natural. Since I didn’t have any high hopes, I wasn’t that disappointed. The piece was just as fluffy as I thought it would be, but that girl whose white mom shaved her head so she wouldn’t have a nappy headed baby broke my heart.

  6. I have chemically straightened hair and I’ve been debating on whether or not to go natural. A friend of mine has natural hair and we have talks all the time about what it entails and the commitment. I was disappointed with Tyra’s show for different reasons. I figured that her hair would be relaxed. She’s a model and has an image to uphold. I was disappointed when she said she was still going to wear weaves, wigs and pieces. When she said that it completely negated the purpose of the show IMO. I was hoping there would be a hairdresser that would talk about natural hair and the process of going natural and what it takes to take care of it. I thought having Perez Hilton on the show was random and a waste of time. Oh Tyra, you tried but you came up short.

  7. Tyra doing this is one small step for other women to appreciate the hair coming out of their scalp. I hope we can at least find a second to at least acknowledge her for taking that much needed step. I’m not sure if she has a perm or if that’s a dominican blow dry (which it appears to be). She has green eyes for all I know she might have a certain texture of hair that doesn’t “kink” when in it’s natural state. I didn’t see the whole show did she say she “permed” it? Or is that what everyone is assuming?

  8. I laughed so hard at this because it was exactly what I expected from Tyra… nothing!
    There was no way in the world that Tyra was going to come out on national television without her hair freshly permed, dripping wet and blown out by the king of processed hair. Give me a break.
    It’s just sad and shameful.
    I feel bad for all of the little girls and grown women that look up to and respect her.
    As has been stated, she’s looked upon and always saying how she wants to be a role model. Well she didn’t just drop the ball, she shattered it here.
    Real hair? Major side eye!

  9. Well for me that is how my hair looks when washed and I don’t have chemically treated hair.. I can’t dye or perm my hair but everytime I get my hair done people swear I have a perm???? Some people are born with kinky hair and I’m one of the few that wasn’t.. And when tyra said real hair day I just thought she meant her hair sans weave.. Cause technically its her hair permed or not..

  10. Gigantic “meh” indeed. Chile please. I’m not surprised at this failed attempt to connect with real women. Solange got crucified all over the blogosphere for her bold and fab move, but Ty Ty baby thinks she’s doing something. I would have thougt that she was natural under the ever present remy 33/2B but I guess she really thinks that she needs her extensions, all the time. What about the ((shudder)) “good hair “episode? Where is the self love? The happiness in our nappiness!! Tyra let go of weavy and let us see that
    gorgeous face!! Rant over, I’m going to class. Peace bellas! :)

  11. To be honest, I wasn’t falling for it. As much as Tyra tries to be the down to earth, around-the-way-girl always proclaiming when she can, “Chile, this is a weave…”, she is a glamour, hollywood girl. Unfortunately, I would think that the latter would be shown more than the ‘natural’ Tyra we Natural Women would care to see.

    Not a surprise at all, yet it is a damn shame.

  12. I didnt watch the show and I really had no intentions of watching it.. But I kinda figured her hair would be relaxed.. I will be natural 2 years in Feb 2010 and when my hair is soaking wet it does not lie like that. My 10 year old daughter watched bits and peices of the show and she came in the room with me ( ironicly as i was flat ironing my hair to get my ends clipped..lol) and said “Momma, Tyra’s doesnt have anybody with hair like you on it” then walked back out.. But I do think that its time for people in her position to engage in the natural community… When I first went natural i admit my purpose was to let it grow out and then relax it again. However once I saw my texture and how healthly it was..I decided this was the best decision I have ever made…. Tyra needs to have a series of shows on this topic and not just “real Hair” to prove she has hair..but to showcase its beauty and how beautiful we are as a people with only what God Gave us…

  13. Madame Zenobia says:

    Bless you, Afrobella. I couldn’t agree with you more. Tyra really didn’t do much of nothing. She never does…though she ‘tries’. She’ll never be on Oprah’s level of seeming genuineness and I say ‘seeming’ ‘coz it ‘seems’ that sometimes even Ms. O pushes it.

    But that’s a rant for another day. Length = beauty. Yes, that’s the message I got too and I kinda want to shake my head. Thought it was kinda wtf-ish that all those YT lady’s were like cheering and going on…..they have no idea the struggle with hair has been (and probably forever will be) for Black women since we landed on this side of the world.

    Again, she tries. She does, but this just shows how ‘affected’ Ms. Banks is. *sad face*

  14. Styleis20/20 says:

    Bella ,

    I never assumed that Tyra would be in curly fro glory on the show why should you have. I had the thinking that by natural hair she meant no WEAVE not Kinky Natural she has never have unchemicallly treated hair so I never expected her to have it. I thinkn you missunderstood whatshe meant you have to think about the person and then think about the statement sometimes. Simple mistake. Maybe one day she will come around *wink*

  15. I think that hair is just a personal choice. Hair is an accessory. I don’t believe that just because one chooses to wear extensions or a weave makes you any less beautiful or educated about the beauty of natural hair. I wear my hair natural but I do love fashion and accessories and have a drawer full of beautiful wigs when I want something different for the day.

  16. tyra’s such an overall disappointment. her thinned out hair was nothing worth mentioning & making an episode out of.

  17. I like the insightfulness of this post and love the comments and I certainly understand everyone’s frustrations.

    But, afrobella you gotta do what you’re doing…which is running a blog dedicated to natural hair. You may not be as big as Tyra or have as much money, but, you have something going here so keep at it.

    As others have said, I never thought for a second that Tyra was going to wear her natural texture, I thought she was going to wear her REAL hair which only means no weave. We have to stop expecting celebrities to be what we want them to be. They are who they are.

    Tyra has been in the industry since she was 17 years old…she’s been in an industry that praises size 0s and 2s, weave and extensions, white over black, light over dark. So, why in the world would you think that she would want natural kinky hair? That doesn’t make any sense and is unrealistic.

    She is a product of her environment. I like Tyra because although she isn’t necessarily “conscious” she’s trying…she’s trying to get the convo started and that’s what’s important. There has been no other black model to do what she has done, bring up the issues that she has. She ain’t the Virgin Mary…meaning she ain’t carrying the savior…she’s gonna make mistakes. But, at least the Chanel Imans, Jourdan Dunns, and others can possibly come out with their own TV shows, talkshows, win emmys, and maybe even go natural. Remember there had to be a Hattie before there was a Halle.

  18. I must agree with Styleis20/20

  19. Look, we all know that we can wear our own relaxed hair. We all know that hair is an “accessory”. But let’s be real: If you can only feel “beautiful” if your naturally nappy hair is straight, then you need to be re-programmed. If you “fear the nap”, there’s a problem. Simple as that. Now, we all have been there, but if you’re still there, don’t try to act free. People will work with you, but don’t try to front. I don’t like that.

    If your hair is not naturally kinky, then rock what the good Lord gave you, which should be the point. But black people, as a whole, struggle with natural kinks, not naturally straight/wavy hair.

    Tyra had the opportunity to show the world that “real hair” for the vast majority of black women is…beautiful, glorious and full of wonder, sans any chemical enhancement. She passed on that, and that’s just the way it is.

  20. I will commend Tyra on shedding light that most female celebrities wear wigs, weaves, pieces, etc.

    I’m not sure people are really ready to put natural out there. Many women are ready to go that route because they may not like the texture of their hair. Others just can’t think about it.

    The highlight of the show was the young woman with biracial heritage. She found some prejudice in her own home with her mom cutting off her hair to avoid the true texture. When she came out with her natural curls which were AMAZING, I hoped that she would put the flat iron away for good.

  21. Kwana aka OrangeStar616 says:

    Tyra is an air-head thats all that can be expected of such….I have relaxed tresses myself was never an advocate of weave etc
    but Ms.Banks was acting as if all sistahs aport that Yaki etc…..SMH

  22. Bella! You just said everything that I was thinking about Tyra and her “real hair.” I couldn’t tolerate the first 30 seconds of the episode and was actually relieved to see Perez Hilton because I could pretend it was a different episode and what I had previously witnessed was just a really poor stretch of my imagination. I watched her natural vs. permed hair episode just the night before in order to prepare myself for what might be. I shouldn’t have. Because I too had increased my expectations based on the fact that she had introduced this topic to her audience before. “Real” hair should have been a walk in the park for her. It is evident that she, like so many others (esp. those in the industry), is still tottering on the “embracing my natural pattern” vs. “embracing what is socially acceptable” hair seesaw. I guess it will take time. Hopefully though, this is a step in the right direction.

  23. I have to admit, I really thought she meant that her hair wasn’t relaxed.

    Whatever, I have my eye on Bey, apparently her hair IS natural.

    I can’t hate on Ty Ty Baby, she means well, and for some women this is a major first step. We just need to encourage more women to embrace their natural curls.

  24. vainbuthonest says:

    I was looking forward to Tyra sporting a cute TWA. I’m very disappointed. I understand if she wasn’t ready but please don’t call it a ‘real hair show’ when that texture is not your own.

    I heart Tyra, but she has to do better.

  25. Meh. I didn’t have any expectations regarding this episode cause Tyra has always seemed one sandwich short of a picnic to me. I do hope that Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” asks the hard-hitting questions and tackles issues head-on, but if it doesn’t then Bella I see a gap that needs to be filled (hint, hint). :-)

  26. Tyra is a work in progress, and I think we should relate to her as such.

  27. I never interpreted Tyra’s “real” hair to mean natural hair no chemicals. I always assumed it meant she would remove her weave. In all reality would we assume that Tyra (assuming she has a relaxer) would come out no relaxer. I didn’t see the show, and I love the blog, but there seems to be a lot of relaxer hate. Women wear relaxers for a lot of reasons, and its not necessarily because someone “hates” or is ashamed of their natural hair. Maintenance and lifestyle are two bigs ones. It should also be noted that every Black women doesn’t have naturally kinky hair. Some of our hair is kinky, some wavy, some curly. And there’s nothing wrong with any of them. If there was not a representation of all textures on the show, then that is wrong. There should have been. However, I think Tyra’s use of the word “real” hair when we know she wears weaves and wigs was open to interpretation.

  28. Great article Bella! Tyra’s “real hair day” was both a non-event and a contradiction to say the least. I know folks are going to label me – and others that share a similar opinion – as “haters”, but the truth is I have nothing but love for Tyra. My concern with The Tyra Show is that they initiate dialogues that they are seemingly unqualified to lead. It’s as if Tyra wants to go there, but while “there” she doesn’t fully want to embrace her discovery. I liken Tyra to a talented dancer who has lost all passion for his/her craft. For example, last season’s highly anticipated show on natural hair within the black community failed to examine the history that has shaped our [the black community’s] present day attitude towards natural hair. She also half-heartedly supported natural hair with her words; however she has not fully accepted it with her actions (i.e. she has relaxed hair). Yesterday’s show was just another example of Tyra’s non-committal disposition. Afrobella, I agree that it had the potential to be more than the Twitter-fest it amounted to, yet it lacked true dedication to the topic at hand. I am by no means suggesting that Tyra should transition to natural or rock a twa to appease us natural bellas; I am however advocating that she [Tyra and staff] refrain from holding interventions (as often illustrated on The Tyra Show) when Tyra is unwilling to digest the truth that would inevitably lead her to the same conclusion her guests arrive at. With respect to why there were no kinky/curly/coily haired women featured, that would have opened Tyra’s Pandora’s box, which she is clearly not ready to do – at least not publicly. Just as I respect everyone else’s right to wear their hair in whatever fashion they choose, same goes for Tyra. I wish her nothing but the best on this journey of self-discovery called LIFE!

    Thanks Afrobella for imploring me to find the silver lining in yesterday’s episode.

  29. I agree with J.Adia. I did not expect much. It could be because I am relaxed…but I just assumed she would be too. If she wasn’t I wouldve been surprised, but not like wow! I am knowledgeable about natural hair personally–but she did say REAL, not natural. I didn’t expect anything more. I didn’t watch the show but based on the blog post I agree she shouldve shown more textures that represent true diversity among black women–but also like J.Adia said, Tyra tries entirely too hard and I really can’t with her most of the time anyway….

  30. I didn’t see the whole show and I was really exicited and wanted to see it. But I end up seeing a snippet of the show and I was really disappointed. My first thought was how did she get her wet hair so straight? I was really slow about what was going on (or just really in denial)
    My next thought was…”this damn girl has a perm, boooooooo.” I should’ve known better, she is mainstream and kinky curly hair unfortunately, is not. What’s more upsetting is that the media keeps referring this to “Tyra reveals her natural hair.” We in the natural haired community know what “natural hair means but other races may not. Yes, it’s her real hair but it’s not natural…it’s been chemically altered.

    *sigh*

    I guess Tyra had to start somewhere

  31. I didn’t expect much, but geez can you say “Lowered Expectations…” I think it was more to pimp the debate that natural hair is garnering and the increasing number of people embracing their natural hair. Tyra blatantly took advanatage of this. I don’t know when the word “real” wasn’t synonymous with “natural”…maybe I’m just bumping to a different beat.

    I have no problem with chemically treated hair, only when people make excuses as why its the only state their hair could possibly be in because it’s “unruly” or “unmanageable” otherwise. Just say you like it as it is and keep it moving. Am I disappointed in Tyra, no–just for the fact that I either watch Oprah or Ellen anyway. 4pm is Oprah’s slot anyway.

  32. Nappy, relaxed, straight, curly, permed, kinky, WHAT DOES IT MATTER. I think the point Tyra was trying to make is that not everyone who sports weaves, wigs or any of the like is BALD. So many folks (black and white alike) assume that only women with very short hair or practically NO hair wear weaves or extensions or wigs or whatever. So in that respect, much props to Tyra. As for the natural is better clique—i think natural is what makes you feel good. If I feel like rocking my natural kinky hair, then so I will. And if i feel like having it pressed or relaxed or even tightly curled, then so I will. Get it—it’s my own free will.

  33. I live in Nigeria(in Africa in case you didn’t know) and i think you guys are being way too hard on Tyra. Having your natural hair texture does not make you any better than someone with a relaxer or a weave. We need to worry more about the content of a person’s character and not the hairstyle they choose to have. We all have free will and the right to choose.

  34. I am not sure why anyone would expect Tyra to be deeper than the shallow, superficial person she has always been. She is mainstream media, and should be regarded as such.

    If someone wants a natural hair mentor for themselves or their daughters there are plenty online-you are a prime example, Patrice. And also all the young ladies on Youtube who have done their research, had their own journeys and have created fantastic videos on styling options and the proper way to take care of all types of natural hair. I have SERIOUS AFRO ENVY from some of the girls on youtube and other hair care blogs I visit! I am a grown woman, and feel embarassed that i did not know how much moisture my hair needs until recently. There is no way I would expect lightbulb head Tyra (sorry, i just don’t like that phony chick) to teach me how to take care of my hair, even if it was relaxed.

  35. Well….basically what Lee said. I believe that people who are natural probably feel a little more disappointed than those are relaxed (although I’m natural and am not disappointed). I don’t necessarily believe that she reinforced stereotypes by coming out with relaxed hair. She’s DEFINITELY allowed to do with her what she wants, but the whole point was to show her real hair, which is EXACTLY what she did. She doesn’t have to be natural to have REAL hair.

  36. meant to add, I refer ro Tyra as phony not because she straigtens her hair; but because she has a way of not providing any depth to her topics, and she does not present different viewpoints of an issue. Only the easiest/or most controversial.

  37. The ladies on the view dealt with this today. Whoopie was brave enough to ask why Tyra’s hair was not “natural” (although she did not use the word). Most of the ladies indicated they also straighten their hair, and the consensus seemed to be that straight hair was “easier” to manage. Go figure

  38. What I don’t understand is what difference it makes. If she didn’t have a relaxer and her hair actually was “nappy”, she still had been hiding it under these weaves for years. I don’t know why anybody would be so disappointed…it’s Tyra. lol…

  39. I do not understand why so many people are hating on Tyra. No one knows for sure if her hair is relaxed; her natural hair texture might be softer and curlier, not as kinky. I’ve seen many different hair types among black women alone, some have really coarse, thick curls and some have softer, looser waves. I do agree that she should have shown a larger variety of hair types–but I believe what she meant by natural hair was the hair that grows out of her head, point blank.

  40. I didn’t see the show, but when Tyra said we would see her real hair, I didn’t assume she meant her natural hair and I don’t know why others would have. As naturals (I have natural hair) I think we put to much emphasis on what other people do with their hair. Who cares? Your real may not be my real. Your natural may not be my idea of natural…again who cares. It’s just HAIR!

  41. I didn’t see the show but I agree. Sounds like Tyra wanted everyone to see how long her hair was. Of course, if you perm natural hair no matter how short it is, it will give you some length. Boooooooo Tyra! Disappointed. Someone needs to give Tyra the definition of “natural hair”. She needs to try this again and this time without a perm.

  42. again….Tyra is an airhead. To expect any kind of ‘depth’ when it comes to Tyra is a major faux pas. I respect her hustle in entrepreneurship…but other than that, her interview skills have always been lacking, she tries so hard to prove that she’s ‘deep’…and THAT my friend….she is not.

  43. Perhaps we did expect a bit too much from Tyra; maybe to her, real hair = hair I didn’t purchase, not hair I didn’t alter. I also agree that it is unfair to equate real hair with un-chemically treated hair, or to assert that “nappy” is the pinnacle of realness when it comes to hair. Perhaps the media was using natural and real interchangeably but they do not mean the same thing.

    That said, I think that a lot of people who are feeling uncomfortable about the ‘relaxer hate’ and claiming that “it’s just hair” are missing the point about what was really disappointing to Bella and some of the other commenters. For a lot of people, it’s not just hair when people assume that your unrelaxed hair makes you thuggish, unkempt, militant or unprofessional. It’s not just hair if you have been told how unruly, unmanageable and unpretty your natural texture (however curly or kinky it may be) is since you were a child. It’s not just hair if you don’t feel you look your best without a fresh touch-up. If it didn’t matter, we’d see lots more nappy-haired models, actresses, newscasters, etc. There is a pervasive message in our society that straight is great, curly is quirky (but sometimes acceptable) and nappy is a tragedy that should be corrected as soon as possible and as often as necessary. As a style icon and nationally-syndicated talk show host, Tyra had an opportunity to include people with natural hair and show that natural and/or nappy hair is beautiful too (even if her hair isn’t “natural”) but she missed it entirely. That’s what is disappointing and unfortunate.

  44. It was implied that Tyra relaxed her hair. Her stylist said something about not wanting to use 2 chemicals on her hair, but she had it colored by someone else and now he has her growing the color out so she wouldn’t be double processing her hair. I don’t have a problem with people who relax their hair; sometimes I miss wearing my signature “Nia Long on the Dark & Lovely box” flipped bob. I just have a problem with people who express their disdain for natural hair (but I can’t stand the look of bad weaves or women with chemically-damaged edges.)

    I appreciate Tyra’s enthusiams but like several others said she lacks depth. She continuously scratches the surface with her “social experiments”, and discussions on race and hair issues. She could have done much more. I do appreciate the fact that she wore her real hair. I’m not sure what impact it will have but at least she showed people that you don’t need 20inch weave to beautiful.

    I would love to be a researcher or producer for her show. She could be so much better if she dug deeper. She’s going to have another show on black people who don’t like other black people this week. I don’t know why I plan on watching because I know the outcome, I guess her show is like a bad accident I can’t turn away from :)

  45. Bella’s:
    It was what I expected it to be. I definitely didn’t think she would go natural. You must understand that some of “us” are scared to go natural because we don’t know how to get started and the challenges that come with going natural. So I commend you ladies who have gone natural and one day I hope to do the same.

  46. Oh Afrobella, you expressed my sentiments exactly. I like Tyra. She’s a product of our collective African American consciousness. She’s successful and beautiful. She’s also not ready to celebrate the natural texture of our hair as are many many women who are color struck and hair texture struck. Who is she talking to?

    I was shocked that she didn’t use the forum to highlight the many beautiful, creative, and elegant styles of our African diaspora, natural and otherwise, that we have free will to choose. This is what you get when you hang on to the advice of drag queens instead of real women in the fashion industry. No offense to drag queens.
    I’ll give her another shot at this, to make amends- then I’m out. We need to raise our collective consciousness on this issue. Celebrate our hair, our perfect uniqueness – NOW!

  47. I also want to comment to Ndidi, commenter #34 from Nigeria who thinks we’re being too hard on Tyra. Don’t get us wrong, we are the first to defend Tyra, we love her, but we also hold ourselves to high standards as Afro women in the Western world. We’re not in the motherland, we have to work with a great deal of ignorance, self-hatred and fear in our communities and nation about hair! I do believe our comments come from a place of love. And yes, I do think we all know that Nigeria is in Africa as well. LOL!

  48. I think it is great that Tyra decided to reveal her hair on national TV. However,I was disappointed to her constant reference to the length of her hair. There is a big disconnect between what Tyra says and does.I do not understand why someone, who claims to love her hair so much, would cover it up with weaves and wigs. Her hair, like all hair, is beautiful, so why not wear it everyday?

  49. I can’t help but wonder how many natural bellas out there would look down on me because I have a relaxer? I’ve attempted to go natural and like afrobella said, it takes commitment and courage and then some. I am inspired by women with natural hair and I believe I will do it someday and stay with it.

    I guess the disappointment is a little hurtful. I agree Tyra didn’t need to come out with her hair drenched down her back, but why is non-natural hair viewed so negatively. We are all different and some of us are still learning and discovering ourselves.

    I ask for sympathy and patience from my natural sisters.

  50. I didn’t see the episode but I watched the clips online as well as the clips from the “Natural vs. not-natural hair” show. And on the previous show she sure as hell let everyone know that her hair was natural and sure as hell scrunched up her face at the relaxed girls while almost berating them about why they felt their natural hair wasn’t good enough or what have you. And from the clip I saw from this season’s premiere she did seem to tip-toe around the word “natural” and barely looked its way. Regarding this issue, I think most women will agree “to each, his own,” but her hypocrisy and self-indulgence is annoying. I mean really – who goes anywhere with soaking wet hair??????? I think for most women with hair of all textures, that is when hair is the straightest and longest, yes? IMO, she was trying to pull something over on us – what happened to all that natural superiority she was all about a few months ago? did I make that up? and why weren’t any very kinky-textured ladies on this show or the previous one?

    In general, the biggest problem that I have with Tyra Banks is that she tries oh so hard to act like she is “one of the people.” it’s ok to make millions and be a supermodel! however much she spends on fake hair probably costs more than some people’s houses! lol who cares if “oh I’m not bourgeois, I use vaseline just like you!” give me a break. Ego cyah done.

  51. LMAO there must have been a reason I decided to check out Rich’s blog (fourfour.typepad.com) – he articulated what I was trying to say about Tyra perfectly:

    “…I know it’s Beatles Day and all, but really, those half-dead mop tops have nothing on her panty-sopping properties. Sorry guys, Tyramania > Beatlesmania. And she deserves it — she works so hard day and night to innovate facial contortions, contradict herself, create arbitrary rules and to insert herself into any relayed story and/or situation. It’s a triumph of the human spirit, really: if you’re frustrated that the world doesn’t revolve around you, well, create one that does…”

    I don’t mean to sound like Tyra’s number 1 hater, she was one of my beauty idols growing up, but dang it she makes me shake my head at her like, all the time.

  52. Never did I once think that Tyra was going to grow out her permed tresses. I am sorry that several people had their hopes up.

  53. I’ve come to realize that trying to convince some black people of the glories of natural nappy hair is a losing battle. I’ll just taken care of my own hair. I don’t have the strength to deal with folks like Miss Banks.

  54. I expected this from tyra, she said real hair so I didn’t expect much. As a Nigerian woman, born and raised but currently live in the states, I can honestly say I don’t fully understand the anger towards tyra not having natural hair, in nigeria young school aged girls usually wear their short and in a fro, so I have had my hair very short/natural, long natural, relaxed short, and relaxed long, braids, I love natural hair and relaxed hair I can understand some of the anger more if tyra or any woman hated her natural hair texture, but for some ppl I don’t think relaxed hair means you hate your real hair texture. And to me having natural hair means no chemicals, so no hair color or relaxer period. I am a college student 21 and lots of girls are transitioning to natural hair and I love it but many do it as a trend/fad, I had natural hair for 3 years in college before it became popular this my last year i plan on graduate school so I got a relaxer and a hair cut that i felt would be easier to manage straight. I come from a family that embraces natural hair, relaxed hair, no hair so i get offended sometimes when some natural women say relaxed girls are suffering from self hate each individual case vary.

  55. Ladies!!! I think some of you are taking this too far, its hair!! And yes we as blk women take that very serious (as do I) but come on… what Trya did was a good thing, was it what you hoped for NO! But it was a step in the right direction. I think many of you made yourselves believe that Real meant natural, I mean really, stop it, they are two different words with totally different meanings. Just stop it, lol! As a natural I think women need to stop trying to make this a revolution and focus on their what grows from there scalp alone. Yes trya texture is altered but its still her hair. What women choose to do with there hair is there business. I believe Trya wanted blk girls to that whats behind the lacefront… that he does have hair… and that weave is not there only option, that they too can grow long hair, each and everyone of them.

    As we all know going natural is a choice, and a personal journey that is extremely emotional. Its not for everyone and doesn’t have to be. So give Trya a darn break, its really not that deep.

    HHG

  56. I’m not sure what I expected.
    I’m sure Tyra means well though. As with most other issues she tries to tackle, she doesn’t really go deep into it.

  57. What difference does it make if her hair is relaxed or not? I thought her point was to show her “real” hair minus weave. Just because people have relaxed hair doesn’t mean they are brainwashed into thinking that “natural” isn’t beautiful.

    Moreover, instead of focusing on what she “didn’t” do, why not applaud her for having the desire and courage to do what she did no matter what the motive was behind it. At the end of the day it’s her hair and her show. Anyone who is attempting to help improve the view of what beauty encompasses should be applauded not mocked.
    Natural hair isn’t for everyone just as relaxed hair, weave, braids, etc… isn’t for everyone either.

    The implication that one way to style and take care of hair is superior to the other is just as bad as the message that only “this” (whatever “this” may be) is beautiful.

    The message that women should be exposed to isn’t that only one way of choosing to do their hair is superior to the other, but that no matter what you suits your fancy you should be confident and work it.

  58. i wanted to see the show… thank goodness i didnt. her concepts remind me of my youthfull days in the hood :-). u remember the girls who grew their own hair out in braids or under a wig or good weave for a good amount of time- then when it comes to a certain length they want to show it off (thats the ~good~ way of growing the hair out :-)). and p.s. everybody knows freshly permed hair looks longer and slicker after being soaked (really tyra). for most black women (sad to say) being absent from weave, wigs, or other hair pieces is considered natural. when i was growing up all of us black girls were focused on the length of our hair; being nappy was not an option. considering i was the first girl in my hood who abandoned the staight look or that so-called good hair curl for a fro, OOOHWEEEH, i got hell. and i was the source of jokes for the clowners. but i made my own definition of beauty. tyra is in a world where she conformed to a standard of beauty… and she obviously has some childhood pains :-(.

  59. Im glad Tyra did what she did, she’s only proving how bigoted black women are when it comes to hair. and the majority of comments above proves so.

    “Why not expose her hair as it truly is — unaltered texture and all?”

    She doesn’t have to, GET OVER IT.

  60. I applaud VLew’s comment.
    No offense, but after reading most of the comments on this site,I am extra grateful that I was raised in Africa. I come from a land where people rock Afros, green weaves and everything else under the sun. There never was a question of blackness, accusations of “whiteness”, standards of “nappiness” or any kind of stigma attached to how a person chose to wear their hair. You were free to be yourself.

  61. I think that some of you are putting ourselves on some ind f natural hair pedestal and it’s really annoying. Another case hing another black woman. At least Tyra took a step in the right direction. After 25 years of wearing relaxers, I let mine go days ago and did the BC. I didn’t do it to be a part of some kind of natural hair elititst group. I did it because it was the right decision for me. Tyra can wear her hair however she wants-it’s her hair. She does a lot to give back to the community. Judge her by her merits, not her hair.

  62. I think that some of you are putting ourselves on some kind of natural hair pedestal and it’s really annoying. Another case of black women bashing other black women. At least Tyra took a step in the right direction. After 25 years of wearing relaxers, I let mine go days ago and did the BC. I didn’t do it to be a part of some kind of natural hair elititst group. I did it because it was the right decision for me. Tyra can wear her hair however she wants-it’s her hair. She does a lot to give back to the community. Judge her by her merits, not her hair.

  63. Stop the jealousy ladies. Tyra showed her real hair strand by strand. She has the right to wear a perm is she chooses. Bottom line it is still her hair. Many are just upset because they thought for sure she was bald headed and was hoping to see that. But she showed she wore weaves as a choice, not because she needs to and the haters are burning up over that. Go Tyra. They are fuming, but congratulations.

  64. I wasn’t disappointed, nor surprised that Tyra had a perm. I like what she’s done and I respect her as a businesswoman, but I don’t expect much from her. I’m sorry, I just don’t.

    We’ve seen a product of how shallow her depth is in past shows (namely the episode where she proudly donned cornrows in talking about the good hair, bad hair issue. And even though I’m natural, I see no problem with her having a perm. In the end it’s a personal preference, so do what you do.

    Yes, Tyra does have a platform to talk abot a lot of things, but she will only go so far to the left. In the end the “Natural Hair Day,” was a ploy to get viewers and it worked.

  65. HoneyBrown1976 says:

    I, for one, am sick of the hair wars. Women should have the choice to do whatever the hell they want to their hair. It doesn’t make one less black because they use relaxers. Give me a break!

    As for the natural nazis (I dread using that word; but, it’s hard not to), you can’t claim natural when you flat-iron or press your hair to achieve the same look you hate on relaxed heads.

    Peace

  66. Ok I just don’t get it. To me her “real” hair looked the same it always does, just shorter with less volume. So what was the big deal for her to show her “real” hair? To prove she isn’t bald? That if she wanted she could walk around with her “real” hair but chooses not to? How sad for those bald women who don’t have that choice and wear weaves & wigs. Who cares Tyra if you are going to go back to wearing a weave and wig? What does it matter what is underneath? The end result of her real styled hair is the same as her fake styled hair.

    She is an entertainer who rose to fame on her beauty and fashion, and she has to keep it up. So, I don’t care if she rocks a fro underneath or not. As a model you are “art” and that is always changing…so must she. She’ll rock a green fro or green straight hair because it is fashionable. That is her lifestyle and choices.

    I think Tyra is gorgeous but as a talk show host, awful. I didn’t watch the episode and when I saw on the internet the results I thought they had an old picture of her. I mean I combed (pun intended, we are talking hair, right?) the internet for her in natural hair. I too thought “real” hair meant her hair unprocessed. I was extremely disappointed and then wondered why.

    I am not a Tyra fan, I agree with the other posts that most of her shows fall too short to be innovative, informative, or inspiring. I mean if she didn’t have a diversity of “real” hair then what was the point?

    I applaud the women above who appear to others as elitist natural voices. I am tired of the compromising voices in the middle. I wear my hair natural because although I believe hair is just “hair”, the world doesn’t believe that for black American women. Our hair is just “hair” if it is manageable and conforming. I wear it natural because I grew up being told there was such a thing as good hair. Even a standard for good “kinky-coily” hair. And I’ve been through various transitions of natural hair…texturized so it ain’t soo nappy, and now Bella I rock my big, extremely thick natural hair and finally LOVE it. Abd Bella, I absolutely loved and found inspirational your 8/26 post on the idea that there is a “nappy hierarchy”. Keep it up I agree that there is a void and you are filling it!

    *Hmm so much for what was supposed to be a quick response.

  67. Tyra has some serious deep seated hair issues, for real. That’s why she had such a problem with Yaya on America’s Next Top Model, the sista with the gorgeous head of full natural hair. I think she even said something about how her natural hair doesn’t make her real, or something of that nature to try to put Yaya down.

  68. The discussion on here is interesting. Keep it going!

  69. Kwana aka OrangeStar616 says:

    I’m jive tired of the hair wars as well *sigh* still doesn’t change the fact Tyra is one ditsy brawd, not only as pertains to this topic, but in general, and one need not be a hater to discern such, brain cells will suffice.

    Another word I wish would die = hater…….folk really extra overly misuse the term.

  70. When people claim that Black women on the African continent do not have the same issues surrounding hair as Black women in the West, it really makes me raise an eyebrow. It’s simply not true. I don’t think there’s as much dialogue about it but weaves, wigs and relaxers are just as big a business there as it is here. There is still the idea that straight and long is better. African women are not immune to or above these issues. Sure, some African women do make the choice to wear their hair naturally (no weaves and no relaxers) and more traditional cultures still do traditional natural styles. But in many cases, the trends and styles of the West are emulated heavily because they represent what is modern and chic. Of all my female relatives, I can count on one hand who wears their hair naturally–usually my much older aunties.

    As for the show, I didn’t see it. I don’t watch the Tyra show with any regularity and I’m sorry it was a disappointment to you. I wouldn’t have expected anything more. Like others have said, Tyra tries to tackle complex issues but doesn’t seem to have what it takes to do them justice. She gets in, gets overwhelmed, does a haphazard job and leaves it at that. But it doesn’t bother me much because I take it as entertainment and nothing more. Not as educational at all. Same with Oprah or any other show.

  71. Kels, if she really had a problem with Yaya, she could have 1) not kept her til top 2 or 2) not put her on the show at all.

    Also, the only argument she had with Yaya had to do with Kente cloth, not her natural hair(which, she also could have braided up and put a weave on top of, if she wanted to).

  72. Afrobuttafly says:

    I can understand the expectation of Tyra’s “real hair” being “natural”..but it almost feels like some ppl think she is obligated to go natural. And she is not. She never promised to show her natural hair…she was simply going to go without the ever present wigs/weaves she normally wears. I too was disappointed, but at the end of the day Tyra is a grown woman that chooses to relax her hair and she has that right. Why do ppl think in this chemical straightening minded society someone is just going to embrace their kinks and curls and that of others all of a sudden? Relaxed hair is the norm…so why expect anything less from Tyra Banks? I WISH it would have been about embracing our naps and showcased natural ladies of various lengths but she was certainly under no obligation to do that. Maybe one day she will, maybe not. At least she took 1 step. WE, the women online, the various hair blogs and sites are the ones that push natural hair. WE accept our hair and take it upon ourselves to be educated about it. WE dis-spell myths about black hair that are as old as they are false. WE are only a small part of society. WE can only hope more people will catch on.

  73. Afrobuttafly says:

    Oh and if she kept declaring how she was not bald it is probably because some people assume that a woman that wears weaves and wigs all the time simply MUST be bald underneath. SMH I have heard this many times in my life.

  74. I didn’t watch the show but after reading the comments I’m kind of confused why people thought she was going to be natural as well. I heard radio ads and other discussions about it and just thought that she was taking the weave out and encouraging women to go without the weave. Some of the comments on the page (e.g., it’s just hair) remind me of how and why this is an issue for women of color. I’m natural and have been for close to 10 years and understand (but then DONT understand) people who say it’s just hair. I guess because I sit on the side of the fence of people who don’t feel like it’s JUST HAIR perhaps. My hair is not WHO I am but it is PART of who I am and in my life, learning to love it has a direct correlation with learning to love me for me.

  75. NaturalGurl says:

    Totally disagree with this post. I have been natural for five years and as much as I love my hair, I do not for one second think that everyone else, famous or otherwise has to have natural hair too. I feel that many in the black community have hair issues, but just because Tyra has her own show and is rich and famous, I do not expect her to overnight become some natural hair guru. People forget that this natural hair thing is not only about changing your hairstyle, but your mindset. Not everyone has reached that point. The products that are actually good for our hair like oyin, kinky curly and the like are still very much an internet/forum/blog phenomenon and have not reached the mainstream, unfortunately. Cowashing and not trimming every second and actually letting water touch our heads often are still not widely accepted practices, outside of the hair blog, forum, youtube vids world. We still have a long way to go and placing such high expectations on someone who: a) probably doesn’t know better and b)has not reached the same place in their respective hair journey is kinda unfair. Money and celebrity doesn’t mean that co-washing and plopping are on your radar.

  76. Serisously, LAY OFF OF TYRA. I thought that the natural hair community was all about positivity, community and support. It is afterall the TYRA BANKS show and this show was specifically about HER hair. Tyra’s hair is relaxed, so ofcourse when she shows her hair, it’s gonna be relaxed. I’m glad that as black women, we have a variaty of ways to wear our hair. Tyra’s reppin for HER choice. So just because she’s a fellow black woman, she has to wear her hair in the same way that you and I may deem to? That would be really sad. Most of us here, at one point prolly had relaxed hair, so lets not fake the funk. As your life progresses, your values and priority’s change. We didn’t always see our hair, in the exact same way that we do now. People are at diferrent places, at different times in their life. Give Tyra some space to be a human being. Lets support the fact that she did show us her NATURAL hair, relaxed or not. And about her hair being wet, that was done becuase if she’d of come out with it straight and dry, the haters would have been saying that she flat ironed it before she came out so it’s look more “sily” or some smack like that…. The poor lady was trying to be as “raw” as possible, and still can’t get out of the hater’s cross hairs. Tyra relaxes her hair, good for her. It doesn’t change my view of her and I’m proud of her for putting herself outthere. Can we please get ouf of this “them (chemically altered) vs. us (non-chemiclly altered) mentality”? She’s a beautiful black women that wasn’t sporten, Yaki, Kannekalon or Remi and for that she makes me proud!

    She’s an ally, not an enemy so lets not feel so threatened…

  77. meant to say: ‘silky’….

  78. Why are some of you surprised and angered by Tyra’s revelation? She said she was going to wear her “real” hair, not her “natural” hair. Real to me means not a weave, wig, extensions, tracks, what have you. I certainly wasn’t expecting Tyra to unveil a kinky mass of curls-not naturally anyway…

  79. why does everyone keep saying natural textured sistas are haters of chemically processed sistas? we’re not trying to turn the world natural; but if you want to present a topic, execute it. her hair is very beautiful- natural,no, but beautiful. im saying, black women have come a long way in our acceptance of natural hair, so for another black women to proclaim natural hair day without her natural texture is a waste of opportunity. am i really all that upset…ladies please, it’s never that serious. But i dont like wasting my time on half researched and presented topics. and yes, hair is just hair, and skin is just skin… and if everybody could only think like that their would be no need for blogs like this, no hard feelings if someone calls you a ni**er, or any purpose for civil rights laws. but the WORLD is very shallow, and those who search for knowledge and depth are disappointed when a presenter isn’t dedicated to presenting the subject at its full anticipation. its not about hating ladies; think deeper.

  80. Tyra said REAL hair day not NATURAL hair day, it’s as simple as that.
    Tyra’s show isn’t only geared towards black women, the REAL hair topic lends itself better to a wider audience.

    While I don’t relax my hair I do dye it, so I guess I am not natural either.

    While you may be natural and prefer natural hair, that doesn’t mean that everyone else do as you seem fit. That’s just like people who are relaxed feel that naturals should be as well.

    It is just hair and getting a relaxer doesn’t mean that you are unknowingly, trying to be white, or ashamed of their race/ethnicity/heritage.

    Relaxed hair may be better suited to their lifestyle. There are pros and cons to being natural or relaxed.

  81. I have natural hair and thanks Tyra for affirming it isn’t “real.” Here we go again. It’s not about hating on Tyra; it’s about our hair and beauty standards becoming an oddity…Tired of it!

    And don’t get me started on the Caster Semenya: bottom line–who determines if we look feminine and what does that mean? I don’t recall gender testing on other women of “non color”. It’s the old “Amazon” stereotype again… Short hair black woman with no make up must be a “man” or look like one…Why is our style under scrutiny more than other groups…. Just my 2 cents and my opinion is solid and not open to argument. Thanks for letting me vent!

  82. It saddens me, but I understand why Tyra’s put on a pedestal. That’s what too many black folks do with black celebrities…and it has a lot to do with being starved for validation in mainstream society. Never mind the fact that certain TV shows are targeted to certain audiences…for a lot of black folks the simple FACT of being on TV is an elevation. Black folks basically deify these people and then spend thousands of words castigating them when they prove to be less-than-godlike.

    I had to distance myself from mainstream media for my own sanity. They would have me believe that, as a dark-skinned nappy-headed natural black woman, I’m undeserving of love or any other attention given to other races/types of women. I see Tyra for what she is: an entrepreneur trying to make a ratings buck. Her wearing her real hair (regardless of its texture) means NOTHING to me because I’m going to keep on being me REGARDLESS.

    I do not need Tyra or any other celebrity to be natural (or real, or whatever) in order to validate my existence and my choices. I do not need Tyra or any other celebrity to do ANYTHING to validate my existence and my choices. Why is it still so hard for black people to let go of this need for a messiah/savior? Would Tyra’s wearing her natural hair really have done ANYTHING significant to change black women’s minds about their own natural hair? As deep as this sh** is?

    C’mon people…there’s nothing to see here…move along…

  83. I think we’re suffering from an incredible case of projection when it comes to Tyra. Like you said, we assumed real meant natural. We’re chastising her for relaxing her hair (like we did just a few months/years ago and) like the majority of black women in this country do. We may have wanted to claim her “for our side” really badly, but Tyra can only be Tyra.

    If she gets to the point in her life–like those of us that are natural–where she decides she wants to go natural, more power to her. In the meantime, she gave you what she promised—she took the weave off and showed you her own hair. Personally, I thought her hair looked fabulous. And honestly, if I had an Oscar to take care of mine and I had her length, I’m not sure I would have bc’ed.

  84. I think she looks beautiful. Whether relaxed or straight. I don’t think our beauty or pride should be characterized by a hairstyle. Whether natural or not, it really shouldn’t define us. Though, I think she would look really cool with natural hair too. Either way, I’m just very happy she got rid of the weave cuz her own hair has its own fabulousity. Go Tyra!

  85. WOW. What I am continuing to notice is the common thread throughout most of these comments is the belief the “MY black is beautiful” and I do not mean that in a good way.

    I am sure most of you were appalled at the apparent racism during this past presidential, right? Well you are now participating in that SAME racism towards women who share the same race, origin, and nationality as you do just because their PERSONAL choice to do hair differently.

    The argument can be made that mainstream media “teaches and shows” that “Kinky/Nappy” hair isn’t beautiful among other things and that those who relax their hair have bought into that same belief.

    It is high time to stop placing blame and start educating ourselves and other young women and children that no matter what your physical appearance may be in comparison to what’s placed in front of you or what others may say, you ARE beautiful. Taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually should be priced above all.

    After reading so many comments most are criticizing and wedging an even bigger gap between women instead of offering insight on how to maintain a healthy fabulous head of hair.

    Instead of spending so much time berating those who don’t share the same opinions and beliefs about natural OR relaxed hair; why not use this discussion as a springboard to educate others on how to take care of your hair no matter what state it’s in.
    1.How to properly moisturize to prevent breakage
    2.What ingredients in products that may potentially be harmful vs. helpful
    3.ETC….

    India Arie said it best…”I am NOT my hair.”

  86. Natural Hair Product Researcher says:

    Just wanted to point out that while Tyra owns her show she does not own the network her show is on. Therefore, the network probably shoots down many of her ideas as being too ethnic, so she compromises and gives a watered down version.

    She is still breaking down barriers and starting dialogues even if it’s happening with a fisher-price hammer.

    That said, I do agree with Evilangelfish.

  87. As a black woman, what really makes me want to crawl out of my skin and be ashamed of my “blackness” is when I see the persistent and omnipresent division that occurs between black people. The need to constantly put each other down for various reasons…. from skin color to hair, money to religion. It seems black people refuse to find ways to come together rather than separate.

    I won’t even speak to what Tyra did on her show directly, because it did nothing but show us how many black people must find the negative. Whats even more sad is that if she had been natural, there would have been even more blogs speaking out against her because of how bad she looks because she does not have relaxed hair. Or, it would have been about how she has that “good hair” or has “too nappy” hair and so on…. don’t people get tired of this nonsense?
    Do you all get tired of making YOUR black the right black? perhaps, we as black people, need to simply educate our children (and ourselves) and let each person make a decisions on what is right and suitable for themselves. That way, we will not have to continue negatively stereotyping ourselves with lies that this person has self-hatred because of this and that person is a militant because of that.

    Having the world be natural would not make all black people sing kumbaya and hold hands, as we insist on finding ways to may ourselves feel better by putting somebody else down. I would venture to say that it would not make ANYTHING better. what happens when one black person’s natural hair lacks kink…. she can’t even make an afro to be an afro bella, now what do we do? Back to division.

    Educate those around, get off your high horse and lead the way sans being condescending. allow your fellow black sister and brother to know the joys of being natural without making it seem like they are a misguided fool for not being like you… Let them know that you enjoy your unprocessed hair and you think that they would as well, but if they do not want to go that route, it’s ok! And likewise, let them know that wearing your hair unprocessed is a decision that you are happy with and it does not make you unkempt, militant, or any more or less attractive then they are.

    The state of your hair does not make you a saint ( or sinner) it does not make you nicer, improve your personality, or turn you into something you are not.

    So if you really want me to be more conscious and embrace being black…. please stop embarrassing me by continually using physical and other trivial things to separate us.

  88. Ladies,

    Each of have different kink in our hair. They go from loose and curly to medium and curly to tight and curly, etc. We all have to embrace our kinks what ever it may be. Some fall in spirals and some don’t, some are tight to the head some is not. So I agree with above. Let embrace each other and help to educate each other on what products are good and bad and let our sisters decide what substitution best suits them.

    Let’s embrace your kink and manage it the way you see fit.

    However, educate yourself as to what is out there for our hair and how you want to show your locks.

    Bless

  89. As long as there is no weave or extensions or whatever, her hair is good.

    It looks good.

    She probably washed it, but all the same, in the end, it’s her real hair though.

    So, what’s the beef?

  90. While I respect your opinion on Tyra I am so tired of the natural vs. relaxed hair debate in the black community. Don’t we have other topics to focus on as opposed to who is more “real” due to relaxed or natural hair. What about those with alopecia? Do you expect them to say, “If I had hair I would be…” to determine their level of self love, or if they need to be programmed? Is makeup “natural” for our skin? Hair color is not natural and if I eat processed non home grown food am I natural. I really am tired of black women not being able to stand together without being cackling, catty and self righteous, no one in the public eye is going to live to please everyone. Let’s work on things which are of our own control, health, hypertension, diabetes, over weight issues which are destroying blacks far more than what’s on our head.
    Peace and blessings x

  91. Why are we so superficial, why are we as black people so hung up on hair texture.

    Real doesn’t mean natural so why be disappointed….If someone decides to perm, blow dry natural hair, get their hair hot pressed, wear it bald, short, medium, long braided twisted, locked, permed, wig or no wig whatever however why is it a problem or us …

    Lets get real up in here who doesn’t wear makeup, or perfume, or designer wear, it’s a matter of choice…who cares how Tyra wears her hair. I for one don’t!

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  93. Im sad about it too. I did my big chop about a month before her other hair show. I guess i was hoping that Tyra going real would somehow help me to stay real. She sooo didnt go real. But im staying real. Im loving my hair!!!! one day maybe Tyra will love hers too. May all natural haired sisters hold up torch for Tyra to one day see the light.

  94. I’m looking at the top photo in the article, and I must say that Tyra’s hair looks as if it has been thinned out from wearing massive weaves and extensions. Her hair doesn’t even look healthy at all. It almost appears plastered to her head. And what type of image is she portraying to young black women, who look up to her, and can’t realistically fashion themselves after her. What about the young women who do wear their own natural hair, no chemicals, what are they to think when they see that photo above or Tyra with slicked down, obviously permed/relaxed hair?
    And while she claimed in the beginning to want to show her natural hair, she failed flat, by doing what countless others in the media have been doing for years and that is feeding into the belief that straight, fine, Caucasian looking hair is more attractive than kinky/curly/nappy hair.
    I mean seriously, why did she have to have her hair wet of all people? Again, wet hair and sex appeal go hand in hand, in the media. Just turn your TV on and look at the countless shampoo ads with white women and others flinging straight wet hair all around. Why couldn’t Tyra show how her hair looks, without it being blowdried straight, and slicked down with gel and water.

    But even with all that said, I wasn’t even surprised that Tyra took the easy safe route. Ever since the Tyra Banks show has started she has come across as nothing more than a fast talking, self absorbed, hypocrite. Sorry but I had to call it like I see it.

  95. glad i came back to look for your response to the show as i was anxious on twitter!

    yes i agree with you that i thought she would come out with her ‘natural’ hair…not chemically processed and i tweeted tyra that.

    again, i echo your sentiments in that she’s just opening up the important conversation that needs to be had on mainstream tv. i guess we’ll see what chris rock does.

    by her comments i’m not sure if she really believes the negativity about natural course,kinky, or curly hair or was she just addressing the stereotypes? *sigh* she had a girl stand up and show off her ‘natural hair (that was really sans a relaxer)’.. she told her she was brave for walking out the house like that…???? hmmmmm tyra? but i still love her for trying!

  96. trobinson60newtonatural says:

    I missed the episode but I am just starting to grow out my relaxer. Through prayer and self inventory I have finally come to a place where I truly love myself. I am shedding all those things I thought I needed. I refuse to damage the beautiful hair God has blessed me with anymore. I researched how to transition and I am not 2 months in. I did not go for the automatic cut off, I am growing it out. My husband loves it (of course, its less expensive to keep up) but most important I love it. Thanks Bella

  97. I don’t think Tyra cares if Black women were upset by this show. Look at her in-studio audience, it’s at least 90% White. That’s the demographic she’s aiming for.

    She’s trying to be the mini-Oprah.

    So basically this was for the benefit of White women. And what would you expect if the show wasn’t for us?

  98. I seriously think you should get over yourself. Your problem with Tyra is that she adheres to “others’” standards of beauty when it comes to her hair. Would you prefer, then, that she adhere to your standards of beauty? Black comes in all shades–nobody is more African than another based on their skin color. Similarly, Tyra should feel comfortable to showcase her style in any manner without someone judging that she isn’t natural enough. I’m assuming with your criticism, you use all natural products and would never color your hair, right? And you have dreadlocks, too, right? Because if you were to trim your hair into a style or use products in it, that doesn’t fit my standards of natural.

  99. I think people misunderstood Tyra. I think she was saying that she was not going to wear weave. She showed her real hair. So everyone who are mad get a life!!!!

  100. There are a lot of rude people on this board…anyway…I feel like people get way too concerned about what other people are doing to their hair and clearly many plain just don’t listen. The woman said REAL hair…she didn’t say NATURAL hair…she didn’t say varieties of natural black women’s hair…she didn’t say squat about this show being about black women lol matter of fact. Why assume she’s going to do all of these things?? The whole point was to show that not everyone that wears a weave is necessarily bald-headed that may be why she kept repeating that she wasn’t bald hmmmm. Also, so many think Tyra’s so dumb so this so that…since you’re so much smarter surely you have the business savvy to start your own show and be the change you wish to see in the world.

  101. Retro Diva says:

    I didn’t get a chance to watch the episode just a few clips. I’m surprised by your disappointment. Real hair is just that real hair. She grew it, its hers. Real and natural are different. I have been natural over seven years and I love it. It works for me. Not all sistas with a relaxer are sellouts. Relaxing is a choice just like going natural. I think its a shame that there is this divide between the natural and relaxed sistas. Tyra’s hair was wet from the shower. This only further proved that the hair was hers. She got it cut right before the show. The wet look was not to create the illusion of lenghth. She already had length to begin with. We have got to move on from this. Its getting to be as bad as the light skin/dark skin feud.

  102. I don’t understand all of the hate/disappointment. Although I’m not a fan of Tyra and all the hype surrounding the show drove me crazy, how was she supposed to show her “natural” hair? Anyone who has ever had a perm knows it takes a long time to go back to natural (short of cutting all of your hair off and starting from square one). At the end of the day, it is our responsibility as parents/future parents, role models, etc. to teach our children that people come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. And what a person chooses to do with their hair is personal and should we really question it? I wear a relaxer and sometimes I wear weaves. I’ve also had braids and natural hair. I’ve liked every style for various reasons and I’ve never felt the need to explain my choices to anyone. Let’s love ourselves and each other no matter how we choose to wear our hair. There are so many more important issues to focus on.

  103. You people with natural hair are always so angry with the world. So what if Tyra has a perm or if I perm my hair? What’s the big deal? Whether you like it or not, you DO put chemicals in your hair. Just because your hair isnt straight doesnt mean it’s chemical free. And by the way, if you wear makeup, there’s chemicals on your FACE. If you wear clothes, there are chemicals in those too. Relax, natural folks. Your hair is kinky…so what. Don’t flatter yourselves…

  104. To some degree, I see both sides. I am a young, NATURAL sistah now lol and while my hair looked more “desirable” while relaxed, it has reached the desirable level of health and beauty now without chemicals.Tyra’s segment did deceive a lot of women, in particular, of all races. I think we assumed her to wear a fro or something, but instead Tyra tried to promote beauty w/o fake hair. It was counterproductive, but it’s great to see her in a more natural hair color without barbie looks. She’s starting to embrace her heritage, physically.

    I do commend her for the few times she wore natural hair on TOP MODEL-corn rows once or twice, and a curly, frizzy fro from the season with Eva Pigford.

  105. strawberryriddick says:

    While it was disappointing that she didn’t show her natural hair, you must remember that it probably wasn’t easy for her to go like that. Like many women, she’s a length-lover that feels the need to cling to fake, woven-in hair, and she’s probably comfortable doing that…almost like a security blanket. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t think she should have used her natural hair (that would have been lovely), but this was her real hair…the hair she’s insecurely hiding from the world, and she showed it to everyone. That counts for something in my book.

  106. OMFG!!! r ppl 4real?! what makes “treated” hair any different from natuarl hair? its all REAL hair rite?! if its growing from ur head u have the rite 2 do w\ it whatever the heck it is u wanna do w\ it, & nobody has that rite 2 judge u in any negative sence regardless of whatever that chose maybe. so 4 all u ppl out there (especially if it came from the mouth of a black woman) u need 2 get off of tyra’s case just cause her hair wasn’t “natural”. maybe u should all take a second 2 stop slinging insults & go look in the mirror & learn 2 love urselves (kinky hair n all), cause CLEARLY she does.

    p.s. & yes i am a YOUNG black woman & i’ve had both treated & natural hair & its given me no less or more trouble than anyone else’s hair in either state, but i love it either way regardless of what others have said, r saying & will continue 2 say because its MY hair.

    p.s.s. & ALL HAIR (NO MATTER ITS STATE) IS GOOD, BEAUTIFUL HAIR!!! u just have 2 take the time 2 learn what 2 do w\ it, thats all.

  107. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would think Tyra would sport her natural, kinky hair. I took it as she was gonna wear her relaxed hair without any weave. Ya’ll know better to think that Tyra was gonna rock some kinks, lol.

  108. I’ve been a Mortician for 32 years and what I’m about to say may shock many of you who seem to have a hard time letting go of that Sodium Hydroxide Relaxer Chemical that you just want to see as just another hairstyles. Unfortunately its alot more disturbing than another choice of hairstyle. Underneath every Black Woman with relaxer scalp who I’ve examine had an excess of green slimy smelly substance underneath their scalp and all over their brains…The Black women with natural hair on the other hand did not contain that green substance. I was quite disturb by this experience that I went natural 32 years back and been natural ever since. So dont always assume a person who is natural is trying to control your choice, sometime it can be that they may know something you may not and may want to help you not put you down.

  109. I mean you all do realize that to have her natural hair she would have had to shave her head or go through a long, stressful grow-out process? I myself have relaxed hair simply because it’s easier – for going to school on my own in a foreign country and day-to-day care. I honestly do not see what’s so wrong with it. People with naturally straight hair use methods in order to make it curly. I would cry every morning getting my hair done as a child. Honestly, I would stay natural if it was just easier to care for and deal with. Tyra has worn weave for as long as anybody can remember and she is now embracing the hair that is naturally growing out of her head, relaxed or not. So seriously, grow up and leave Tyra alone. (From a sixteen year old girl) As for you, Mortician, I’ll take you seriously when you improve the consistency of your grammar and spelling.

  110. My thoughts are that she said real hair, and I see that her hair is not that neon orange color that she usually sports. Also? It looks more like she wears it flat ironed than permed, in which case it is natural hair, just not nappy hair. Somehow we who wear our natural hair flat-ironed have been made out to be the bald-headed stepchildren of the natural hair community. It’s a shame, really.

  111. I don’t believe Tyra had the right to “feel responsible” to show women her “real hair”. No one cares. We all, model or not have to fake it, whether its makeup or heels, plastic surgery, contacts, lashes, weaves, wigs, bleachers, tanners, waxing, shaving, tweezing, body flattering clothes Etc. We all fake it to some level and we all know it. If she was going to go all out then she should have kept her true hair texture. I understand it may be impossible because she can’t wait till her relaxed hair grows out and “real” might mean hair that grows from scalp treated or not. But why the wet hair?? She had this planned, she has stylist. Why not dry? Well let me tell u my hair is curly but not coarse. My hair looks better wet, it looks straighter, tamed, healthier and longer. Your hair is still chemically enhanced Tyra so why make such a public announcement and not fully deliver? You cant at least go dry(unstyled)?

    Personally I see that Tyra is very vain and self loathing. Everything she does, she wants the world to know it. She wants praise for everything she does. And I believe this roots from deep down insecurities. And that’s fine. But don’t feel responsible for us. Don’t use others as an excuse to self loath to the world. That’s exactly how oprah has become to. A god mentality. Its vain. She would have never stepped out naturally without saying one word about it. She’s gotta make it a grand entrance for herself. I admired her before. She’s accomplished soo much. But its hard to admire someone who tries hard to show people she’s “normal” and “humble” like kim k as well. A truly humble person doesn’t need to show it and broadcast it. You just know and for that their respected. When you have to try hard to prove then your clearly not. I’m just saying I became annoyed of her. A good talk show host let’s the interviewed have the floor. Not try and outshine them.

  112. Happynatural says:

    Whoa, we should just all live and let live. That being said, I can’t help but wonder what that green slimey substance adhering to the scalp and brain is, ewwww. How long until it dissapates once you cease
    Ca(OH)2, calcium hydroxide? Whats the half life?

  113. I feel it is among the much sizeable information to me. That i’m thankful examining ones write-up. Although choose to record about some rudimentary issues, It taste is wonderful, this articles is in fact great : D. Perfect process, all the best

  114. When i was watching the episodes about real hair she did clarify that her is real but NOT natural. Also on follow up episodes she did show girls with all different textures of “real” hair. From natural to chemically assisted hair, and the different ways it can be styled. I think Tyra showing her real hair was a huge step for her in the business she is in. Long flowing hair is idealized and for her she has been wearing weaves a very long time to the point it became her comfort zone. Letting go of that weave was the first step of accepting her real length and might eventually lead to her accepting her natural length. I personally think she looks better with less to no weave at all.
    As for her hair being slicked back dripping with water during her real hair revealing, I think it was like that to show that there were no “tracks” from weave in her hair so people wouldn’t question her it.
    Over all I think what Tyra did was the first step in helping other young black women show their real length, and then eventually come accustomed to showing their natural hair.
    I have been natural for 1.5 months now and I absoolutely love and enjoy my hair’s diversity.

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