Talk about a hair-raising look! Oprah Winfrey models a giant afro wig on the September 2013 cover of O, The Oprah Magazine -- and the TV titan's hefty headpiece weighed a whopping 3 1/2 pounds! "I wish I could say it was all mine. In fact, though, it's borrowed. And it feels like carrying around an extra head," Winfrey reveals. "My own hair is shorter, not quite so spherical, and a lot lighter. But that doesn't mean it never gives me grief. When it comes to hair, I'm in the same boat as most every other woman."
According to the Mississippi native, "The way we feel about our hair is universal: We love it when it looks great, we can't stand it when it looks not so great, and we all want it to tell the world something about us."
Winfrey's wig was transported to the New York City photo shoot on June 1 in Bubble Wrap and a custom-made, bright pink travel box. "The Butler" star's longtime hair guru, Andre Walker, says "it wasn't easy" finding such an eye-catching look. "I finally decided I'd have to make one myself. Two days later I was on the set of "The Voice," talking to the stylist there, Kim Kimble. When I told her about my predicament, she said she had created a wig I could borrow," he recalls. "Saved me a good bit of time!"
The former talk show host's BFF, Gayle King, thought the wig was a hoot. "Can someone put on the soundtrack to 'The Lion King?'" she cracked. The magazine's creative director, Adam Glassman, was mesmerized, telling Winfrey, "Your hair looks like Chaka Khan and Diana Ross combined."
In her monthly "What I Know for Sure" column, Winfrey reflects on her past looks and says she's grown to love her natural hairstyle. "For almost 30 years, I've had the luxury of a hairdresser, Andre Walker, who loves all kinds of hair textures and adores experimenting," she writes. "Hence this month's cover; we call the wig I'm wearing Wild Thang!"
"During the 'Oprah' show years, we used wigs intermittently to give my hair a break from the daily grind of styling," she remembers. "Had Andre not had the foresight to do this, I probably wouldn't have a single strand left today -- an unthinkable state of affairs for a girl with my -- no pun intended -- roots."
Winfrey also admits she "used to be so particular" about how her hair looked. "Now, as is the case in many other areas of my life, I've relaxed. No more bad hair days -- just days when I might need a headband," she jokes. "Because as much as I enjoyed hanging out with Wild Thang, I know for sure that your true crowning glory comes not from what's on your head but from what's in your heart."
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