It’s been a few weeks since Michelle Obama was spotted wearing what appeared to be her natural curls during a family vacation in late June, and the grainy paparazzi photos left admirers of the former First Lady wanting more. And at Essence‘s annual Essence Fest in New Orleans on Saturday night, she gave us exactly that — and then some. Instead of the smooth, dark-brown waves we’ve come to know and love on Obama, she debuted a look we may just love even more: shoulder-length curls with blonde ombré highlights.
Obama walked onstage at Essence Fest to a huge ovation, sitting down with Gayle King to discuss her best-selling book, Becoming, as well as family, health, and racism. And while the audience was clinging to her every word, they also couldn’t take their eyes off her new hairstyle, created by Yene Damtew. Her layered curls reached from mid-face to just past her shoulders; dark brown at the roots, it grows lighter through the length, culminating in golden-blonde ends. (And that navy blue sequin jumpsuit? Wow.)
Obama shared a couple of photos to Instagram of her amazing Essence Fest experience, writing in the caption of one of her posts, “What a great night here in New Orleans celebrating 25 years of#EssenceFest and #BlackGirlMagic. Thanks to @GayleKing for sitting down with me to talk about all things #IAmBecoming, relationships and just how hard it is as women to put ourselves first.” With these pictures being the first time many people are seeing this new look, the reaction to her hair has been understandably enthusiastic. Read full Allure