We’ve seen Taraji P. Henson rock her fair share of hair cuts, styles and colors. But her latest switch-up might just be our favorite one yet. And while she’s used to experimenting with wigs, her fresh cut is 100 percent her own, natural hair. “Absolutely, it’s real!” Henson’s longtime stylist Tym Wallace confirmed to Refinery29.
The Empire actress is embracing her natural texture, sporting a curly cropped cut with a short buzz around the side and back. “It’s been a minute. She’s been busy AF!!! 👀💇🏾💋💋💋,” Henson captioned her Instagram photo that debuted her hot new look.
Although we’re just discovering her new hairdo now, the actress actually got the cut last month after wrapping her new movie, Proud Mary.
RELATED PHOTOS: UPDATED! Celeb Hair Makeovers: Better Before or After?
“She was just like, ‘I want to cut my hair,'” Wallace told Refinery29. “She already had an undercut, and it was growing in. She was loving how her curls looked, and was like, ‘If we’re gonna cut it, we’re gonna cut it all.’ She’s like, ‘I trust you.'”
After doing a lot of damage to her hair when she was younger by chemically straightening it, the star previously told PeopleStyle she’s all about embracing her natural texture now. “I feel like relaxing my hair for 26 years really damaged it. But it’s natural now—and I love it,” Henson told us. “For Empire I use wigs. I keep my hair braided in lots of teeny cornrows, so the wigs fit on my head. When I take them out, I’ll sit under a steamer while I deep-condition my hair.”
So when Wallace made the dramatic change last month, the star instantly fell in love. “She felt so free and liberated,” he said. “Two or three days later, we went ahead and colored it.”
And get excited for even more. The celebrity hairstylist revealed since the first cut and color, they’ve switched up her hair even more — but he isn’t quite sure when Henson will be ready to debut that change anytime soon. “At the right time,” Wallace said. “That won’t be for a while.”
What do you think about Taraji’s big hair change? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.