I just saw Pauletta Washington on the tv program "Good Works" on yesterday. She is Denzel Washington's wife. I was very impressed with her credentials and her interview, but her hair screamed "cheap wig!"
I noticed Michelle Obama on the cover of "Good Housekeeping" magazine. Her hair screamed "I am getting shorter and shorter!"
If I had to gamble, I am willing to bet that both of these ladies have Type 4/tightly coiled hair. There has not been enough research and development on maintaining the health of this type of hair. This type of hair is not considered the "model hair" type.
I even tried researching African websites for answers to tightly coiled hair. They have been dealing with their tightly coiled hair longer than Black American women, but they are still trying to figure it out too!
The challenge is that the tighter the hair is naturally coiled, then the bandwidth between the natural texture and a completely straight texture is very wide. Just like hair color -- jumping from Black/Brunette to Blonde in one step is not a long-term healthy move. It can be done safely, but hair has to be constantly nurtured to avoid breakage in the long run.
So if you have tightly coiled hair and you use a chemical relaxer, then it will weaken the coils if completed too often, which will cause breakage. However, celebrities need styling control.
Black female celebrities that seem to have the greatest control of their hair include comedienne Monique and entertainer Janet Jackson.
The best tips for tightly coiled/kinky hair:
1) use sulfate-free shampoos such as Pureology,
2) use conditioners tailored to the weather you are going to be in,
3) consider investing in synthetic lace front wigs that do not require adhesive to hold it such as the brand "It's a Wig" which has a very natural look. You can get up to two weeks use out of it and then get another one. This brand costs around $40 to $80 a piece, but for camera and spotlights -- it can be worth it to avoid so many chemicals and heat to the natural hair. Please see my other articles for how to cut the lace front wigs.