Former first lady hairdresser says Michelle may go natural - FOX 32 News Chicago

Former first lady hairdresser says Michelle may go natural: EXCLUSIVE

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After all the encouraging comments about Robin Robinson's exercise-friendly hairstyle, we wanted to follow up on the call for a White House role model.

SEE: (UN)just Hair: Can we be fit and fashionable at the same time?

It can be especially powerful for young women to see the first lady embrace her natural curl as part of her focus on fitness. So, we asked the Chicago stylist who has done Michelle Obama's hair since she was in college.

"She's sort of on the conservative side, although as the first lady, now she's venturing off into things that are a little more styling so there's a possibility," Rahni Flowers says. "I think there's a strong possibility that she could do that."

SEE: Robin Robinson's blog: For my curlfriends!

Rahni Flowers is not the official White House hair stylist, but Michelle Obama was his regular client at Van Cleef Hair Studio from the time she was in college until she left for Washington, D.C. This hairdresser says he knows for sure.

"She has bigger and better things to deal with, but you know what? She's not one to back off from a challenge either now," Flowers says.

Michelle's bangs were heard around the world and her hairstyles garner high expectations; so much so that she's criticized most when she just pulls it back--just like some people dissed the ponytail on young Olympian Gabby Douglas.

The first lady might help people understand that textured hair won't stay straight when you sweat, and accept that it doesn't have to be straight to be "good" - since that's what's keeping too many women out of the gym.

"The whole idea is to become healthy and be able to exercise and have a nice hairstyle as well," U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin says.

Dr. Benjamin told FOX 32 that she will mention the idea of a work-out friendly hairstyle to Mrs. Obama, but it's a very personal decision and not one-size fits all. The first lady uses a chemical relaxer.

If Mrs. Obama were to wear her hair naturally curly, Rahni says she'd "actually have to grow all that relaxer out and cut it off."

"She could wear something short and natural," Rahni says. "Yes, she's an attractive woman, she styles, she could rock it! And again it gives self-esteem to those who never saw it in the way they looked."

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