Felicia Leatherwood Talks Natural Hair Love

February 05, 2011

By Katrice

If you haven't heard of Felicia Leatherwood, your natural hair is missing out on the kind of brilliance that doesn't come around often. She is a literal fountain of kinky curly expertise and committed to sharing it. More than a career, natural hair care for her is a calling. That's why the celebrity stylist behind some of Jill Scott's hottest looks founded the Loving Your Hair With Natural Care Workshop. Leatherwood believes that the state of our hair is a direct connection to how we feel about ourselves on the inside. And that realization has set her on the path to empowerment, by any means necessary. Look for her virtually and in a city near you.

What do you suggest stylists do to bring themselves up to speed with natural hair care so that women like me with afros can go to them and trust that they’ll have us covered?
I suggest the Loving Your Hair With Natural Care Workshop. They can come and learn a lot about natural hair and actually expand their knowledge beyond dealing with strictly straight hair. Many that do attend the workshops are already licensed and I’m really really hoping to get more. It would be great if we could push for cosmetology schools to teach more about natural hair. Until then, as a cosmetologist it's really good to be well-rounded and know all types of hair, especially natural hair if you're working on black people.  

When and where will your next Loving Your Hair With Natural Care Workshop be held?
I'm proud to say that I will be at Fro Fashion Week. Huetiful Steamer and I will be working together. I'm really excited to be working with Huetiful because I love the steamer … the steamer is amazing. It works! So, I'm excited to be talking on behalf of Huetiful in a one-hour workshop on the 19th of February at 4 p.m. And I'll be traveling, at least up to the summer, to different locations with the workshop and empowering women to love themselves beyond their hair.

If you could say something to women to give them a sound word as they embark upon being natural (after so many years of chemically straightened hair) what would it be?
Patience and love. This is a real important thing for me to say … this is a blessing to have this hair. It really means something bigger than what we know. It’s not about the hair, it’s about us loving ourselves and standing where we are, and empowering ourselves from that place. I really feel like the hair that we have, as people of color, was not an accident … it's a gift. If you could really understand how to be patient and learn about yourself through the process and the journey –- that's the important part of it. Be grateful for what you have. Everybody does not have the same type of 4a or 4b hair so love what you have and work with what you have. Kinky curly hair is so much fun when you can get creative with it. You've got to rock it with confidence.

How did you get started in natural hair care?
I've pretty much always been natural from a child. My mom started me because she didn't really know how to do it; And when she combed my hair, which is extreme 4b hair, I would cry because it hurt. So, instead of hurting me, which would hurt her –- my grandmother and my dad started doing my hair. And then when I was 9, I started doing my own hair. I'm so grateful to my mom because she didn't know how to do my hair, and it catapulted my career as a natural hair stylist. I just always liked natural hair and working with it. I like understanding it and manipulating it to be just as beautiful as any other type of hair. As a stylist, anything I’ve ever given to any client, I’ve put on myself first.

What is your product or products of the moment? Your “can’t live without” product?
I have my top three staples. I always suggest that women have those top three things they really like to work with. The first one is Shea Moisture company; They make awesome products … I love pretty much everything in their line. My second is Jane Carter Solutions; Jane Carter Solutions is amazing. I've also been working with Karen's Body Beautiful. And I'm actually going to say four instead of three. A few things from Carol's Daughter. I like their products that help you do dry twists outs. These are all type line products, there are no parabens, they're all natural and they work, which is a big deal, and they smell good.  

*Q’s from MVL followers:

MC: Is going to the salon and getting my hair flat-ironed every other week affecting my going natural process even though I havent relaxed my hair in about 8 months? 

Felicia: If you have two to different textures, and you're pressing and wearing the hair kinky curly styles it may not revert back when you want it to be kinky curly. You are risking not getting back the way it is in its natural state. Get a soft press and make sure when the hair is being blow dried that once the you get near the end of the hair the drier is on its cool setting. If you decide you want to go back to kinky curly styles and don't mind giving your hair time to revert, you may be able to get it back to its natural state.

PT: I'm torn on whether or not to use the "butters" (shea & cocoa). How does it work on the fro? 

Felicia: Shea butter is wonderful for natural hair. The interesting thing is that it's really meant to penetrate to keep the moisture out with straight hair, but for us it’s very beneficial. We can use it on both our hair and skin to keep them from drying out. Just make sure if you're using it on your hair that it’s whipped. It should be lighter and fluffier. 

Follow Felicia on Facebook on the Loving Your Hair With Natural Care fan page 
On twitter @LovingYourHair
And find her at www.lovingyourhairwithnaturalcare.com

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  1. Great interview, needed that boost of confidence that I can make my natural look hot!

  2. I loved this post! Being a newbie into the natural world (BC date Aug 8, 2010) it is nice to read others who affirm my decision thru their passion. Thanks Katrice for sharing!

  3. Gorgeous! Stopping by to leave a hug on your blog HUG! See you on twitter sweetie, Katherine ( Katie)

  4. Thanks everyone! She is a wealth of information about natural hair.

  5. My colleague had a bottle of this lotion, and I tried some. I was hooked. My hands were incredibly soft for days, and the scent, which I am not always a fan of, was subtle and nice. It was so wonderful that I immediately purchased several products to try.

    I am in love. I don't want to use anything else. The products are made with all natural ingredients. The lotions and the massage oils have been my favorite. The lotion is incredibly moisturizing, and it makes my skin feel luxurious. The massage oils are the same. I love the way they feel on my skin. I have also been enjoying the facial moisturizer.

    I am so glad to have discovered Karen's Body Beautiful, and I look forward to try more of the products in the future.

  6. Wow! You make me want to run right out and get it.


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