Hair has been a part of the identity of Black Americans from the moment that we were free enough to make our own decisions. The inventions created by iconic women, such as Madam CJ Walker made styling of hair, a pivotal point of womanhood, manhood, end of cultural status. Celebrity hair stylist, author, and motivational speaker Johnny Wright is in a long line of innovation, pride, and excellence.
Johnny Wright is a native of Chicago and was taught how to do hair within the family. His grandmother started doing hair at 13 years old and continued doing hair until her 90’s. Bragging that Johnny could pull her hair into a clean ponytail at the age of 2, she knew his gift was going to reveal itself one day.
Johnny wouldn’t be the first male in his family to be a hairdresser. His uncles did hair and owned salons. However, Johnny was hesitant to take that step into the craft because he didn’t want his sexuality to become the topic of conversation. It wouldn’t be until his mothers’ new stylist gave his an understanding that would empower his dream. After telling her that he did not wanna do hair because he didn’t want people to think that he was gay, she told him “They’re going to think that anyway, but at least let them think that with you having fat pockets.“
Johnny took heed to the advice and began styling every woman, classmate, and girl that would sit in his chair. His father would eventually build out a salon for Johnny in the basement of their home and that’s where the magic began. From that moment on, Johnny was on the trajectory to become one of the most iconic hairstylists in the world.
Check out his interview To hear more about this story and more and learn how Johnny landed the role of doing the hair of Michelle Obama.