Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood

Celebrity hairstylist and brand owner Felicia Leatherwood cemented herself as a curly hair expert through her long resume styling top celebrities like Jill Scott, Ava DuVernay, Lenny Kravitz, Teyonah Parris, and now Issa Rae. Aside from creating top-notch red carpet looks, Leatherwood designed her signature detangling brush following a pact of curly girls whose crowns appreciated the flexible but linear movement of the brush. She earned her spot as a top creator in the hair care industry. 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Natural Hair Stylist Felicia Leatherwood speaks on a panel during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Earlier, she spoke with NaturallyCurly, stating that the natural hair community motivates her intent in styling coily hair. She said her constructed dos are derived from nostalgic Black hair moments and ancient Africa. NaturallyCurly awarded Leatherwood’s highly recognized detangling hairbrush during the 2020 Best of Best Beauty Awards.

Since then, she gained over 123,000 followers stunning her consumers with her game-changing technology. During Women’s History Month, NaturallyCurly recognizes Leatherwood for her leadership and impact on the natural hair community. 

Coming Up As A Celebrity Hairstylist 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
Image Source: @msayles

Leatherwood’s introduction to hair started as a young child. She treated hairstyling as a side hustle and turned it into a stepping tool as a top Hollywood hair expert. The Zoe Report says the LA native grew up with her hardworking father and frequently ill mother. Leatherwood’s escapism in her creativity turned into a lucrative career. Though she loved hair care, Leatherwood grew up when natural hair wasn’t celebrated.

She stepped out in faith and created beauty trends for the upcoming years. After leaving her corporate Warner Bros job, she pivoted to being a full-time natural hairstylist. The former executive channeled her natural beauty in a world where trends shifted into an “acceptable” look. During her 30s, Leatherwood unlocked her destiny by enrolling in beauty school. Though she had critics, she confidently stood tall for her creativity and passion for hair care.

During the early 2000s, Leatherwood met mega, neo-soul phenomenon Jill Scott. The Rnb singer and Leatherwood built a relationship with natural hair, and Scott’s audience paid attention to her voice and crisp tresses. Leatherwood credits Scott for transforming her career, gaining recognition from blogs, and noticing fans focused on her work. 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
Image Source: @mr_dadams

Leatherwood’s career soared when she became the lead stylist for the hit TV show Insecure. She and Issa Rae connected at the “Black Women in Hollywood” event. They had a telepathic connection on set. While Rae trusted in Leatherwood’s creativity, Leatherwood knew when or when not to converse with the star, said The Zoe Report. The hairstylist revealed she produced more than 300 hairstyles on set following the past seven seasons. Their bond led Leatherwood to style Rae’s hair for her intimate wedding.

Leatherwood’s Long-Term Haircare Tips For Maintaining Strong Natural Tresses 

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Natural Hair Stylist Felicia Leatherwood poses for a picture backstage during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Hair loss can be a touchy subject for women. Leatherwood spoke with NaturallyCurly and stated our crowns are the most vulnerable when wet—meaning our hair is prone to breakage during showering. She said hair shedding is normal, but hair loss is not. She advised those dealing with hair loss to pay attention to dietary conditions and consider more protein intake.

Leatherwood offers webinars for those with textured hair and encourages holistic approaches for great scalp health. She confessed to BET that she advises her A-List clients to drink water for healthy tresses regardless of their hair type. Leatherwood advocates for a consistent hair care regimen. She recommends following the routine for three months to a year to see results. Leatherwood said to repair any damage and create styles that last before the big chop.

Then, as the hair grows, trim the ends every 3-4 months to retain their length. Type 3-4a curlies should deep condition the hair every two weeks to nourish the strands and reverse any damage. Lastly, Leatherwood believes switching up hairstyles aids in healthy hair—only if the hair is properly treated. Type 3 hair should keep protective styles in for two months, but for coily textures, she believes keeping styles in for 4-6 weeks since the texture is prone to dryness and breakage. 

How Hair Bristles Created A Journey/Step in Innovating The Hair Care Industry  

Laying The Roots: Felicia Leatherwood
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 03: Felicia Leatherwood attends the 2024 Hollywood Beauty Awards at Taglyan Complex on March 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Image Source: @gettyimages

Leatherwood uses natural hair as a vessel to combat stereotypical misconceptions of it being “difficult” to maintain. As a 4C natural, she told NaturallyCurly that styling coily hair with improper tools made it difficult to expose their scalp and “get air for exfoliation.”  She challenged naturalistas to learn their texture without overconsuming “new launches” and trendy products, The Zoe Reports confirms. Leatherwood credits her dedication to studying natural hair as a stepping stool to her business.

The hair expert created “Brush With The Best” detangling brush during a time when hair tools negated textured hair. The brush’s form is built with flexible bristles and is only “bonded on three sides” allowing all hair types to glide through without any shags or rips. After the brush’s success, Leatherwood invented Texture Tools—a line of flaxseed heated bonnets used as a deep conditioning agent. The cap is microwaveable and designed as a sealant for moisturizing hair. The hair expert continues to expand her enterprise, offering microfiber towels and shower tools—a step in reinvigorating her brand. 

Leatherwood continues her journey as a hair giant in the industry. Her innovation through media and blank encourages young entrepreneurs to strive for respect and greatness throughout the hair care community. CURLDAZE’s founder, Robyn Atwater is another hair CEO who found her niche through the media and natural hair.

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