Four women, four different curl patterns.


Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Andre Walker is many things: an award-winning hairstylist, a hair-care entrepreneur, and an author. But according to Oprah Winfrey — his main client of 30 years — he’s simply “the best.”

Andre Walker is many things: an award-winning hairstylist, a hair-care entrepreneur, and an author. But according to Oprah Winfrey — his main client of 30 years — he's simply "the best."

OPRAH, YA'LL!!! Just had to say it one more time for the seats in the back.

Ruven Afanador

In between creating iconic hair looks for the world’s most influential woman, Andre also created the first hair typing system as a way for people to better understand and care for different natural hair textures.

In between creating iconic hair looks for the world's most influential woman, Andre also created the first hair typing system as a way for people to better understand and care for different natural hair textures.

Andre first debuted this system in his book Andre Talks Hair! in 1998, because as a hair professional, he noticed others were treating all black hair the same and he wanted a more methodical, comprehensive way of differentiating textures and curl patterns “People have added to the system since then because they feel that there are textures that aren’t included, such as 3C, 3D, 4C, and 4D, which is fine,” Andre told us. “I only created a basic system to help people better identify their hair textures.”

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

So we asked Andre and fellow pro stylist Jèan Selassie Frèdèric to make over four different textured naturalistas, while educating them on their beautiful curls in the process.

So we asked Andre and fellow pro stylist Jèan Selassie Frèdèric to make over four different textured naturalistas, while educating them on their beautiful curls in the process.

Each makeover took place at the gorgeous Damien West Salon in Manhattan. The space was super intimate and upscale, but also really warm and welcoming. Basically, we all tried to move in, but were very kindly turned down.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Throughout Andre's career, he would mix a little bit of gel with a little oil and some moisturizer — basically mixing customized “cocktails” — to create a desired look. There were no products on the market that did exactly what he wanted, so he teamed up with Dianne Hudson (executive producer at The Oprah Winfrey Show) to create the Andre Walker Gold System. “Each of the three leave-in stylers in my Gold System collection — Beautiful Curls, Beautiful Kinks, and Get It Straight — are the result of a mix of ingredients designed to deliver hold, moisture and definition to a wide range of hair types,” Andre told us. “I did all the work for you, so you no longer need to cocktail products. Just apply one styling product and you'll get the look you desire.”

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

First up was Sierra. She was mostly concerned with avoiding split ends and double-strand knots, preserving her natural curl pattern in humid climates, and retaining length.

First up was Sierra. She was mostly concerned with avoiding split ends and double-strand knots, preserving her natural curl pattern in humid climates, and retaining length.

Andre decided her main issue was dryness, which is a common concern for all naturals.

Taylor Miler / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The first step to combating dryness is a thorough cleansing, which will help moisturizing products penetrate your scalp and hair. You’ll know you’re getting all that buildup gunk off when your shampoo starts to lather into thick, foamy suds.

The first step to combating dryness is a thorough cleansing, which will help moisturizing products penetrate your scalp and hair. You'll know you're getting all that buildup gunk off when your shampoo starts to lather into thick, foamy suds.

Sierra's usual routine consisted of co-washing once a week and conditioning every two days. While co-washing is a great way to refresh curls, only shampooing can truly remove product buildup, debris, and sebum. Andre told Sierra to swap her routine co-wash cleanser for a gentle paraben- and sulfate-free shampoo, like Andre Walker Hair's Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo. After washing her hair, Jean applied Andre Walker Hair's TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner for added softness, hydration, and strength.

Get Andre Walker Hair Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo for $9.99.
Get Andre Walker Hair TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner for $15.99.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Air drying’s cool, but it takes forever. Using a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment minimizes frizz and helps to maintain volume, giving curls an air-dried look in a fraction of the time.

Air drying's cool, but it takes forever. Using a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment minimizes frizz and helps to maintain volume, giving curls an air-dried look in a fraction of the time.

Setting your blow dryer and diffuser on a low-speed cool temperature will help preserve the curl pattern and lay down the hair cuticle. A hot setting would dry out the hair, making it less smooth. To finish off the look, Andre applied a small amount of Quench-Essential Oil (Q-oil) to give Sierra's mane some serious shine and extra nourishment, and help it stay manageable in the coming days.

Get Andre Walker Hair Quench-Essential Oil at $15.99.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Zaaayum!!! Sierra’s curls are now living their best lives and we’re here for it.

Zaaayum!!! Sierra's curls are now living their best lives and we're here for it.

“I was a tad concerned because I'd never had my hair this short, but it honestly ended up being the best thing that could have happened for it!” Sierra told us. “It so much easier to maintain now. I don't have to spend as much time detangling because my ends are healthy. My confidence is high because I know my curls are finally poppin!”

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Laticia was next. Her biggest hair-care concerns were color-damaged, dry ends and an overall lack of curl definition.

Laticia was next. Her biggest hair-care concerns were color-damaged, dry ends and an overall lack of curl definition.

“Whenever I style my hair, it looks frizzy unless I use a ton of styling products; but even then it could be more defined,” she told us. “When I had longer hair it was easier for me to define my curls, and I'd love to learn how to do that with my short hair.”

Taylor Miller / Jenny Change / BuzzFeed

If you’re planning to trim or cut coily, shrinkage-prone hair, make sure it’s blown out beforehand to ensure manageability.

If you're planning to trim or cut coily, shrinkage-prone hair, make sure it's blown out beforehand to ensure manageability.

When blowing out your hair, you want to have a good grip on the ends so the roots are stretched straight. Then direct the heat near the root section, about one or two inches away. This is a healthier but admittedly more difficult alternative to using a comb attachment. But blowing out your own hair is possible with time and plenty of practice.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Say it with me: OBSESSEDDDD! Laticia’s cropped ‘do is perfection.

Say it with me: OBSESSEDDDD! Laticia's cropped 'do is perfection.

Laticia was all the way here for her new 'do. “I love a tapered look so the cut definitely boosted my confidence!” she told us. “I’m also excited to see how it grows out.”

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

That brings us to Alanna, a lover of twist extensions who hadn’t had a trim in “forever.” She also had some heat damage and loss of curl pattern from getting her hair blown straight every now and then.

That brings us to Alanna, a lover of twist extensions who hadn't had a trim in "forever." She also had some heat damage and loss of curl pattern from getting her hair blown straight every now and then.

Like most naturals, Alanna had a couple different hair types. Andre spotted 3B curls around her perimeter and a more coily 4A in her lower crown toward the back of her head.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Use your fingers (no combs or brushes!) when separating each twist. The less you separate, the more curl definition you’ll get. The more you separate, the bigger and fuller your hair gets.

Use your fingers (no combs or brushes!) when separating each twist. The less you separate, the more curl definition you'll get. The more you separate, the bigger and fuller your hair gets.

For Alanna, Andre separated all over, but focused mostly on the top to compliment her face shape.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Alanna’s new curls are serving some serious definition and we can’t look away. HALP!

Alanna's new curls are serving some serious definition and we can't look away. HALP!

“I felt so intensely fly walking to work after getting my hair done,” Alanna told us. “Like what Tracee Ellis Ross must feel like every day, having a bouncy halo of curls up top…and Diana Ross as her mom!” She also felt like Andre had given her great advice on how to re-create some version of her twist-out at home.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Last and not least was Natelege, whose biggest concerns were keeping her thick, shoulder-length hair detangled and stretched in a healthy way and removing damaged ends. She and Andre decided on a silk press because she’d been dying to switch up her look.

Last and not least was Natelege, whose biggest concerns were keeping her thick, shoulder-length hair detangled and stretched in a healthy way and removing damaged ends. She and Andre decided on a silk press because she'd been dying to switch up her look.

The ideal candidate for hair straightening is someone whose hair is in great condition and doesn't have any heat damage. As for frequency, it's best to only straighten it about once a month or less because doing it on a regular basis will definitely cause heat damage. Your hair would eventually become permanently straightened and you'd lose your curl pattern. If you're cool with that, then you can straighten it as often as you want — just make sure to get regular reconstructing and conditioning treatments.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Natelege wanted to maintain her length, so Andre slightly trimmed her damaged ends to give her hair some shape. You don’t have to trim all your split ends at once, although this is recommended, as long as you regularly snip them away as your hair grows.

Natelege wanted to maintain her length, so Andre slightly trimmed her damaged ends to give her hair some shape. You don't have to trim all your split ends at once, although this is recommended, as long as you regularly snip them away as your hair grows.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

After all of the hair was curled and set, Andre carefully removed each roller, applied a bit of Q-oil, and vigorously brushed it through Natelege’s tresses.

After all of the hair was curled and set, Andre carefully removed each roller, applied a bit of Q-oil, and vigorously brushed it through Natelege's tresses.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Big hair and we absolutely DO care! Natelege’s gorgeous mane is laid and serving ~bawdy~ for days.

Big hair and we absolutely DO care! Natelege's gorgeous mane is laid and serving ~bawdy~ for days.

“I was nervous about the cut, but after the appointment my hair felt soft, full, and had so much body,” Natelege told us. “And the roundness of my 'fro has come back, so I’ve been really happy about it.”

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

HERE’S TO MORE HEALTHY AND HAPPY HAIR FOR ALL IN 2018!!!

HERE'S TO MORE HEALTHY AND HAPPY HAIR FOR ALL IN 2018!!!

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed