Feisty U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has traded in her braided helmet hairstyle for a natural look. CultureMap first noticed her new 'do earlier this week, where she met with U.S Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, Mayor Annise Parker, County Judge Ed Emmett and other officials to discuss the Affordable Care Act.
For years (and years), Lee has opted for a rather dramatic updo with "halo braids" that never seemed to move or change. It was so stiff that we're betting it would remain still in a hurricane.
In 2012, Lee announced that she had undergone treatment for and successfully beaten breast cancer. In the process of chemotherapy, she lost her hair, but in public she continued to wear a braided wig. However, during an interview with KTRK Channel 13 last October, she shared a photo of her bald head during treatment and said she found not having hair freeing.
"There's nothing to take care of," Lee said.
The usually talkative Lee did not return numerous phone and email requests left with her staff asking for comment about her new hairstyle. But she's not the first notable African-American woman to opt for a more natural look.
After wearing wigs throughout much of the awards season last year, Viola Davis, who was nominated for Best Actress for her role in The Help, turned up at the Oscars in a natural curly hairstyle. She told Essence magazine she followed her husband's encouraging words to keep the wig at home and "step into the real her."
“I feel more powerful every day, more secure in who I am, and I’ve waited so long for that," Davis said. "It feels divine.”