Rising Stars of Beauty: Oprah's Hairstylist Launches New Ethnic Hair Care Line
Oprah's hair stylist, Andre Walker is set to release a new hair care line this July and he dished to ESSENCE.com on his brand new collection. He also gave us tips on what ladies can do to keep their hair looking great even as the warm weather approaches.
ESSENCE.com: What makes The Gold Hair System hair care line unique?
Walker: I spent 18 months developing this line of Andre’s Favorite Gold System, and it was important for me to find the best quality ingredients to focus on performance. Women in Africa have been using Mongongo Oil for thousands of years for their skin and hair, so I wanted to use it specifically so African-American women in the US could reap the same amazing benefits.
ESSENCE.com: What did you see missing in the current product market that inspired you to start the line?
Walker: There were already a lot of products for natural kinky or curly hair, but the issue I always had when I used them was they were 1 of 2 things: had a lot of hold but at the same time they left the hair very crunchy and not moisturized, or they were overly moisturizing for the hair with no hold or shine. With my line and especially with the product Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee, women with natural kinky hair have the best of both worlds -- amazing hold and shine, along with hair that is not dry and is full of moisture without getting frizzy.
ESSENCE.com: What hair types and textures would you say these products are best suited for and why?
Walker: Kinky, curly, coarse and color-treated hair types. These types tend to be dry and frizzy if not properly conditioned and moisturized. My Gold System includes a shampoo and conditioner that deliver ultimate moisture to the hair (Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo and Ultimate Moisture TKO Total Keratin Obsession Conditioner). Then you choose between two leave-in styling creams. One is for styling kinky hair in its natural state (Beautiful Kinks Styling Creme Gelee), and I am very excited because the performance of this product on natural hair is amazing! Women I have tested it on want more now! And there is a second styling cream for curly hair and extensions, and also to be used for blowing all hair types straight, heat styling, etc. (Get It Straight Straightening Creme). It is a simple, complete system that allows women to get rid of all the various product combinations and clutter so many use on their hair.
ESSENCE.com: What advice would you have for someone with natural hair who wants to wear it straightened without a relaxer and without causing heat damage?
Walker: That is why I developed Andre’s Favorite Gold System Get It Straight Straightening Creme, which conditions and protects the hair when using heat tools. But always, for the most healthy hair, you want keep it clean, condition well, and handle gently. Heat is basically not great for the hair, but the right products work to protect and moisturize, allowing for more style options.
ESSENCE.com: With the hot summer weather kicking in, what should we be doing now to get our hair ready for vacation season?
Walker: If you haven't done the total big chop and still have some relaxed hair on the ends this is a good time to go ahead and cut them before the warm humid days set in. The straight texture of the relaxed hair becomes difficult to manage in humid weather.
The Andre Walker Gold System is now available exclusively online.