Winfred's Hair salon

Winfred's Hair Salon

Hairstylist Winfred Cook, who has owned and operated Winfred's salon in San Francisco's Fillmore district for more than 30 years, believes that all hair is good hair - especially if it's healthy. Cook is perhaps best known for changing Angela Davis' iconic Afro into a soft, curly style called the wet look in 1976. Over the years, Cook, who hails from St. Louis, has groomed the locks of well-known women, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and jazz singer Nancy Wilson.

Q: In your opinion, why do black women prefer long hair?

A: We're living in a Western culture, so straight hair dominates. That might be the reason why so many black women wear weaves and attachments - to compete with that kind of straight hair. Women get weaves for various reasons. Some people get weaves for adornment, just to enhance an existing hairstyle, which I prefer. But when you put it on your head and pretend that you have long hair, well, I have a problem with that. We've used the term (straight hair) for good hair, deeming our (natural) hair bad.

Someone Important

Q:You flew to Los Angeles to style Condoleezza Rice's hair for the NAACP Image Awards. She has been criticized for her helmet-like hairstyle. What was her hair like?

A: It was average, normal hair, fairly thick. After I did it, it was much softer in appearance. I thought it was a little stiff at first, because she kind of maintained it herself, being a black woman in that political arena where there's not a lot of help for that kind of hair care on the road. She carried a curling iron. When I did it for the awards, without really changing the style that much, you could tell the difference.

Over the years, Winfred has become one of the most successful and influential African-American hair stylists in the country. He has worked with a broad and diverse group of clients that has included political activist Angela Davis, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and singer Nancy Wilson, to name a few. He opened "Winfred's Hair Salon" in San Francisco in 1973 and launched a weekly column, "Ask Winfred", for the SF Sun Reporter Newspaper, giving hair advice, philosophy and techniques.

Q: In your opinion, why do black women prefer long hair?

A: We're living in a Western culture, so straight hair dominates. That might be the reason why so many black women wear weaves and attachments - to compete with that kind of straight hair. Women get weaves for various reasons. Some people get weaves for adornment, just to enhance an existing hairstyle, which I prefer. But when you put it on your head and pretend that you have long hair, well, I have a problem with that. We've used the term (straight hair) for good hair, deeming our (natural) hair bad.

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Words with Winfred Cook

Q: You are known in the community for your short, chemically enhanced curly hairstyle called the Winset. Is that an alternative to the weave?

A: It's an alternative to straightening your hair. It's a softer look for natural hair that you can wash and wear. You can swim or exercise with it. Short hair, basically, with a good haircut will endure. ... As it grows out, it tends to blend with hair - it gets curlier or tighter, and you just replenish it when you can't get it to cooperate anymore. For a standard wet look, I charge $120.

Q:In "Good Hair," Chris Rock introduces the term "weave sex" and the premise is that you do not put your hands in a black woman's hair - ever. Is this fact or fiction?

A: That is kind of an unspoken truth. When black women get their hair done, it needs to be protected, so to speak. It's not like naturally straight or kinky hair where you don't have to maintain it. When you change it and then style it, there is something you have to keep up, hence the unspoken rule that you don't touch their hair. My hairstyles are touchable, for the most part, because I don't do weaves. When I do a haircut, it doesn't go out of whack because it is touched or windblown or because it may encounter other stresses. It all goes back to the cut.

Q: What do you think of first lady Michelle Obama's hair, and why do you think that she hasn't opted for a weave?

A: She doesn't need a weave. I think she is a good representative for black hair care. Her hair is always soft and pretty and always nice, and she must have a hairdresser right there on the spot. I like her recent haircut. She has a perm, and she has it done, I'm sure, on a regular basis.

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Hairstylist Winfred Cook, who has owned and operated Winfred's salon in San Francisco's Fillmore district for more than 30 years, believes that all hair is good hair - especially if it's healthy. Cook is perhaps best known for changing Angela Davis' iconic Afro into a soft, curly style called the wet look in 1976. Over the years, Cook, who hails from St. Louis, has groomed the locks of well-known women, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and jazz singer Nancy Wilson.

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Faucibus imperdiet erat, ut lacinia nibh rutrum eu. Vivamus volutpat varius pulvinar. Phasellus ullamcorper posuere sem, eu elementum nulla laoreet in. Donec viverra.

Winfred Cook's Novles

Winfred Cook is not only a innovator for African American Hair Stylist but also made a stamp in the literature business.

Uncle Otto

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In a literary market crowed with "Fast Food," Winfred Cook's debut novel Uncle Otto is like "literary Soul Food." Cook distinctively writes with a very fresh, strong and unique voice that is reminiscent of Ernest Gaines and Jamaica Kincaid. Uncle Otto is a very brave undertaking whose path even seasoned writers may have been reluctant to journey

Winfred Cook's first of four novels, Uncle Otto, and the only one published thus far, began as a short story. It tells the story of Otto Green's family's dramatic flight from the raw racism of the Jim Crow South to the booming streets of St. Louis in pre-World War I America through the raucous heights of Prohibition. Otto succumbs to the draw of the streets and is lured into the dangerous world of bootleg alcohol at the height of Prohibition. After several close calls and a traumatic rude awakening, Otto backs away from his life of debauchery, thievery and vice. Just as he finds his way, in the prime of his life, Otto is struck down by a schizophrenic lover

WayFarers

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The majestically beautiful Hawthorne Manor, a sprawling plantation, in post civil war Tennessee sets the stage for this amazing story of love, hate, and redemption. When Jeremiah Hawthorne, the master of Hawthorne Manor, is murdered late one night on his way home by highwaymen, it sets into motion this complex and absorbing saga. The grief, loss and betrayal that Jerry Hawthorne, the Massa's young son, experienced. And Daniel, the slave playmate who was given to Jerry when they both were toddles, and of how their extraordinary bond, in spite of their predestine paths; will endure the turbulent sometimes violent ravages of time. When Hawthorne Manor is dismantled and all the slaves and their families are ripped apart, and put into wagons, including Jerry's beloved Beulah, his Nana and wet nurse, and Daniel her son, the two closest people to him in the world. How in his blind rage, the twelve year old tries to fight off the slavers in an attempt to free them. And Daniel's sense of betrayal and lost, as misconstrued blame floods his mind as he and the others, shackled to wagons like chattel are being taken to auction. How he blankly stares with tears streaming down his face as the wagons creak and wobble along the dirt road, taking him away from the only home he has ever known.

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