King: All right. You kicked off season five of your talk show by revealing your real hair.
Banks: Let’s talk about my hair right now.
I know it’s been a big mystery. And I was like it was an unsolved mystery, and I felt like I needed to solve this mystery.
Like I’ve worn weaves and wigs and pieces and clip-ons and clip-outs and clip-downs and around since I was 17, 18, and I wanted to show the real me. I wanted to show the raw me, and I just got out of the shower — beat the face first of course, you all — and then came out of here — on this stage, and this is me, you all. This is me.
King: How did that feel?
Banks: Oh my God, it felt so liberating. It felt so liberating. I have worn fake hair since I was 17 years old.
King: This — is this real?
Banks: Yes. This is me. You want to feel my scalp?
Banks: Yes? It’s a little kinky in the scalp. That’s like real black girl hair.
But — go — go in there. Yes. That’s — yes. It’s kinky. Exactly.
My natural hair texture is very kinky. You felt my real hair texture. This is straightened. This part is straightened. This part is not, inside.
But, I mean, hair for black women, we spend $9 billion a year on hair products — black women do. So growing up as a young girl and seeing images in the media where they’re saying that a certain type of hair is beautiful and yours isn’t is very difficult for a black woman — for black women and it’s a — it’s a long, political thing that we can do a whole show about.
But I felt it was my responsibility to show as much of my real hair as possible.