While Michelle Obama was in the White House, she kept her look more or less consistent, wearing cardigans and elegant midi-length skirts with her hair either styled into sleek, romanic curls or updos for formal events. However, since leaving her official role as First Lady in 2016, she’s been able to have a bit more fun. Case in point: Her most recent appearance at the 2019 Essence Festival on Saturday.
For a sit-down interview with Gayle King, in which she spoke about everything from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to self-worth to her memoir, Obama arrived in a sparkly midnight blue jumpsuit with super-curly hair accented with some blonde ombré highlights.
The new look, which came courtesy of her go-to hairstylist Yene Damtew, had the internet into full-on meltdown mode, especially since Obama first debuted the look with a simple tweet.
And once she hit that EssenceFest stage, the excitement grew from there.
While Obama has experimented with highlights in the past, this is the most dramatic hair-color change we’ve seen on her in a while. But this isn’t the first time she’s rocked hair with this particular texture: Earlier this year, she wore voluminous curls on Essence ‘s December/January 2019 cover.
While we don’t know yet whether these blonde curls are Obama’s natural hair texture or the result of extensions, we do know that Obama is known to wear her hair naturally when she’s away from the public eye, largely in order to keep it healthy. “If you were to catch her relaxing at home, there’s a higher possibility that you’ll see her hair natural,” Damtew told Refinery29 back in November. “We try to go back and forth between naturally curly and straight styles to keep her hair in its healthiest state.”
Regardless if this is Obama’s natural hair or not, it’s a look we sure hope she keeps around for longer than just one night.
We’ve reached out to Obama’s stylist, Yene Damtew, for more information and will update this story once we hear back.