21 Photos That Prove Chaka Khan Is Definitely A Hair Icon

Getty Images

And she's still slaying today! 

Nicole Marie Melton Mar, 23, 2017

Over the course of Chaka Khan’s storied career–from her funkdafied days with Rufus and Chaka Khan to her solo career as a pop/soul legend–she’s gone through many professional changes, but one thing has remained the same: Her gloriously bountiful shock of wild woman hair!

Here, we take a look back at the 2017 ESSENCE Fest performer’s most iconic mane moments since her earliest days an aspiring funk songstress.


1 of 21

In one of her early portrait sessions, Khan pulled her full natural hair back on the sides for a half up half down look.

2 of 21

In an early promotional shot, Chaka Khan flaunts her flirty side by adding girly ribbons to her fluffy, shoulder-length afro.

3 of 21 Allan Tannenbaum

As a up and coming singer, Chaka quickly made a voluminous mane part of her signature look.

4 of 21

Chaka hits the stage with Rufus in full super-sexy mode—low-slung leather pants, a feather halter and an enormous afro.

5 of 21 Getty Images

Chaka quickly became a chameleon, switching from her signature fro to a '70s-centric shag cut.

6 of 21

In a 1975 performance, Chaka Khan rocks a sexy boho look in long, bouncy waves and a skinny, feathered headband.

7 of 21 Getty Images

Wild-haired and ready to roar!

8 of 21 Getty Images

Gone with the wind fabulous and owning the stage.

9 of 21 Getty Images

When it's time to strike a pose, Chaka never fails!

10 of 21 Getty Images

In her element with larger than life hair!

11 of 21

During an appearance on the UK’s video show, Music Box, Chaka Khan sasses up her long, bodacious bushy ’do by pinning it up on the sides.

12 of 21

At a Grammys ceremony in the mid-Eighties, Chaka Khan turned heads with her over-the-top, fire engine red crimped hairdo.

13 of 21

By 1994, Chaka Khan had deepened her haircolor to a glossy, dark maroon shade. We love the tousled bangs and long, thick waves!

14 of 21

Chaka Khan showed up to the 2006 Women’s World Awards flaunting masses of rippling, plum-streaked ringlets.

15 of 21

At Elton John’s 2010 Academy Awards Viewing Party, Chaka Khan hit the red carpet looking hotter than ever in a super-curly, shoulder-length do.

16 of 21

Chaka Khan attended the 32nd Edition Of An Evening Of Stars in 2010 wearing her signature burgundy curls swept over one shoulder.

17 of 21

Khan arrived at the 40th Annual Fifi Awards showing off her newly slim figure and her bold, vivid waves.

18 of 21

At the Hollywood Bowl opening night event, Khan rocked a wet-n-wavy look in her trademark crimson hue.

Check out more of Chaka’s fierce hairstyles during her live appearance at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival! Get your tickets now!

19 of 21 Getty Images

Red locs paired with red lips—a win for days!

20 of 21

Chaka has spanned four decades of powerful singing and gorgeous natural hair.

21 of 21 Gary Gershoff

Today, the singer continues to rock her signature red hair, proving that her hair reign is still intact.