A few years back, I had the pleasure of speaking to a lovely lady, Ms. Felicia Leatherwood. For those of you who don’t know her, she is a natural hair stylist who enjoys her job. She hosts several workshops across the West Coast and other regions within the USA to provide people with the knowledge of “loving your hair.”
Most people who know Felicia know her as Jill Scott’s hair stylist but this lovely lady goes far beyond Miss Scott’s head. Her talent and advice are so reputable and useful. She has recently launched the Detangler Brush, which makes detangling tightly coiled hair a breeze! You can check out her site here.
Listen to the full interview in the video above or you can read the transcription below. I tried my best to transcribe everything she said verbatim, but if I missed anything you still have the video (which has more information) to reference. She is lovely, ladies!!! Enjoy the interview and be inspired!
Disclaimer: I do not sound this bad normally, I was just super nervous and young!
NH: Nearly Hair
FL: Felicia Leatherwood
NH: Can you tell me a little about yourself Ms. Felicia Leatherwood and what you do?
FL: I am known as the natural hair specialist for the natural celebrity styles. I specialize in natural hair and natural hair styles, all things natural, products and the makings of it. I have been doing hair since I was about 11 years old. I started doing hair in my neighborhood, and then I didn’t get into the industry until I was about 27, 28. I taught myself how to do hair and it was my way of making money. I always encourage a lot of the young girls to do their hair. It is the best way to sustain your living because you are away from your parents when you are in college.
NH: How would you best explain transitioning and what styles do you recommend? Changing what you’ve done.
FL: For me, it’s not always about doing a BC [big chop], you don’t always have to resort to that. I come up with a style that helps women transition without cutting off all their hair. The styles are natural looking and help women see themselves in a natural way without cutting off their hair. Whether they are transitioning or not transitioning I give them hair styles so they can see their hair naturally. The word transitioning means changing what you have already done and going with a new routine. There is a difference between those transitioning and those trying stuff (there are those who just wear their hair straight). Transition means actually making a change and transferring over versus playing with your hair.
NH: I understand that you are a natural hair specialist, what made you interested in taking up such a task?
FL: When I went to cosmetology school and they were teaching us how to press hair, I never really liked pressing hair or getting my hair pressed. It hurt, it burned, it was uncomfortable. As a hair stylist coming out of cosmetology school, I never really liked the smoke going into my body. So as a stylist standing over somebody, anything you do, you are going to breathe it first before the client. So for, me I really didn’t care for smelling burnt hair, smoky hair. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have clients that go between straightening their hair with a flat iron and natural styles. If I’m not perming their hair they are getting it blown out and flat iron with a ceramic iron, then they would go right back to their fro.
NH: How do you feel about product junkies? Do you believe in having just one staple product?
FL: In the workshop, I always tell them to find three products and styles that really work for them. It’s okay if you go out and try other things, you will always have those three other things that will be faithful to you. My three top things that I like are Jane Carter Solution, Carol’s Daughter, and Karen’s Body’s Beautiful with her sweet ambrosia and her lavender vanilla jojoba oil. Those are really my top three staples. When it comes to PJ if you have the finances to be a PJ that’s great. If you don’t you should make a hair budget, so that if you know there is a product you want, put it on a list; make a list of products you want to try, and when you get your money you can try them. If you have a bunch of products that don’t work for you, get a bunch of friends together and swap products so they don’t go to waste.
NH: I am a natural myself, but sometimes I struggle with my hair because I feel that there isn’t much you can do with a TWA, I know there are probably plenty of ladies that feel this way, what advice would you give to ladies like me?
FL: Accessorize. You can wear really cute feather head bands..you can wrap your hair and condition it well underneath, and then there is this style method: after you wash and condition your hair, you take a dry towel and go around your head in small circles clockwise around the whole head, and what you will see are curly balls forming. Instead of having a fro picked out you can have texture with the towel. Sometimes people start locking their hair that way…
NH: What is your overall view on hair? Do you think natural is the way?
FL: I feel that people have choice, but I think we have to check in with ourselves and see how we feel about ourselves instead of our hair. How we feel about ourselves will determine how we feel about our hair. If you don’t feel like you’re good enough you are going to try to cover up your natural hair, if you don’t feel beautiful than you are going to make it about your hair inside your mind instead of on your head.
NH: In workshops have you ever had someone try to deny your logic on hair?
FL: Not necessarily at the workshops but there are articles online that people might read and disagree. But if I explain myself really well or have a personal conversation, then we get clear and they understand. I don’t know everything but I do know what I know. If they ask something and I don’t know how to answer it, what I do is go get the information and get your email address and come back with that extra information.
NH: If someone is trying to contact you for a hair appointment or a workshop set up, what is the best way to contact you?
FL: My email Itslovingyourhaircare@gmail.com and the FB fan page is https://www.facebook.com/LovingYourHair/ I post a lot of advice there. People can ask me questions there all day long.
If you want to hear the extra questions and info on Jill Scott listen to the audio! =)
Audio can be found at the top of this article.