Style & Beauty

Chaka Khan Is 'Not Trying To Hear What A Man Has To Say' About Her Wigs

She's got a new line of wigs and lots of advice about changing up your look and standing in your power.

Gone are the days when women hide the truth of their extensions, weaves and wigs. Women like Ericka Dotson, the founder of Indique Virgin Hair Extensions, are taking the taboo out of hair styling and encouraging others to rock whatever they wear on their heads with pride.

And who better to help Dotson spread this message of self-expression through big, bold and beautiful hair than one of the biggest names with one of the biggest manes in the entertainment world?

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would be partnering with my favorite hair icon, the one, and only Chaka Khan,” Dotson said in a statement announcing a new line with the superstar. “This is a major moment in the hair extension industry, and I’m thrilled to offer the Chaka experience to everyone who loves Indique.”

Chaka Khan in Chaka by Indique. 
Chaka Khan in Chaka by Indique. 

Khan and her personal stylist, manager and “spiritual son,” George Robert Fuller, collaborated on two i-Khan-ic wigs for the Chaka by Indique collection, which launches online and in Indique boutiques Tuesday. Khan’s hair is almost as famous as her voice, and now women everywhere can rock it with the same class and confidence as the Queen of Funk herself.

But that kind of confidence doesn’t happen overnight, even with a fabulous hairpiece. Khan and Fuller know that beauty is more than scalp deep, and they have their own advice on how women can get confident in wearing, doing and being whatever they want.

Chaka Khan with longtime manager and stylist George Robert Fuller.
Chaka Khan with longtime manager and stylist George Robert Fuller.

Where did you get your confidence? Is it your hair?

Khan: I’ve had big hair for the majority of my life. To me, my hair is power. Like Samson and Delilah. I truly believe that.

What advice would you give to a woman who doesn’t feel confident enough to wear one of these pieces or try something new or wear their hair big like you?

Khan: My advice I would give to any person who wants to do anything with their personal style that would enhance their power and beauty and strength is just to do what you want. Do whatever you want. And be fearless about it. Even if it’s a wig, it’s yours, it’s you! What they gonna do about it? Words are cheap, if they want to say something, let ’em talk. Because chances are if they’re talking, they want you. They want to be you.

Why do you think there was such a stigma or taboo around weaves, wigs and extensions?

Fuller: Because of men. We’re in the year of the woman. Women are embracing what they want and less of what a man wants them to have. A lot of men would say, “I want it natural, I want this, I want that…” But women are embracing what they want now. Pop culture changes everything. When musicians like Chaka and the new current people, when they’re doing something, then everybody jumps on the bandwagon.

“Black women are golden. We are the template for beauty.”

- Chaka Khan

What response would you give to someone who says wearing weaves, wigs or extensions is “fake”?

Khan: I’m not trying to hear what a man is trying to say. Men do so many things to enhance their own appearance. I’m very secure, I feel good. I like me, I like where I’m at right now.

What do you think is the future for black beauty and hair care?

Fuller: I think we’re moving into a space where the beauty, the influence of black women is going to be recognized. In America, we are held to American Eurocentric standards of beauty, and I think black women are now saying, “I’m tired of that.” And owning the fact that you’re actually really beautiful. Black women are beautiful just like they are, and I think the world is just now being able to really see and recognize that.

Khan: I travel all over the world. The minute black women step outside of America, we’re golden. We. Are. Golden. I’ve lived in Europe for many years, and the men always ask me, “Why is it that black women try so hard to look like the white women? You are beautiful!” We are the template for beauty.

Interview answers have been edited and condensed for length.