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Felicia Leatherwood is a natural hair educator and celebrity stylist who has worked with a plethora of A-list celebrities, including Kim Coles, Jill Scott, Tomiko Fraser, and Cedric The Entertainer, just to name a few. Her workshops, Loving Your Hair With Natural Care, teach women around the globe to work with their natural hair textures. Read on and find out how she got started in the business, what products she recommends, and her top tips to keep your natural hair looking fabulous.
How long have you been natural? Did you transition or have you never relaxed at all?
I’ve relaxed my hair maybe twice in my life. Most of my life I’ve been natural. My mom didn’t put a relaxer on me as a kid. I didn’t get a relaxer until I was 22 years old or something.
They call it a relaxer but it was never relaxing to me. It always burned and my scalp was sensitive. I just don’t think my scalp was made for a relaxer. I would either wear braids or Senegalese twists or silky dreads or bantu knots.
How long have you had the cut that you have now and what made you decide to take the leap?
I’ve had the baldhead Caesar look for about three years now. I’m really proud of this cut because it’s brought out a sense of pride and confidence. All you have is face, so you have to pay attention to so many other things that you love about yourself.
What do you use on your hair to keep it looking fabulous?
I use Shea Radiance or the EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea line to do my co-washes. I also enjoy products by Bobeam. They have a wonderful medley shea moisturizer with shea butter, cocoa butter, and almond oil. It melts so nicely and smells great in your head.
How did you become a celebrity stylist? Is that something you always wanted to do?
I had no idea I was going to become a celebrity hair stylist. I just ended up working as a natural hair stylist at a salon that was celebrity based. Nobody was really specializing in natural hair. So whenever a celebrity was going on vacation and wanted braids they would come to me.
Then people started finding out I did a lot of different [natural] styles. I met Jill [Scott] in 2002, so I’ve been working with her for a while. I’ve also worked with Dr. Dre, Will Smith, Arsenio Hall, etc. I’m just doing what I love.
Tell us more about your workshops, Loving Your Hair With Natural Care.
As I was travelling around the world I saw women lost about their hair’s needs and just trying to figure it out. I thought to myself that I would love to start teaching classes on hair. Then I kind of forgot about it.
And one day, about four years ago, I woke up and thought, you know, I think it’s time for me to start teaching those classes and they can be more about natural hair.
I had no idea there was a whole natural hair movement going on. I just wanted to teach women how to work with their own hair texture. And now I love it. It’s my passion to go and teach around the world.
Any tips or advice for the everyday natural who wants to keep his or her hair looking its best?
The main thing you can do is develop a regimen. Do the same thing the same way so that you can get the same results. You stick with that and you’ll see a difference.
Something I think is very important is getting water inside your body. That’s huge. The hair grows best when you have water inside of it. So drink some water. Now.
Originally published 11/11/13 on NappyHeadedBlackGirl.com.