All Of Your Red Carpet-Ready Natural Hair Questions Answered By Celebrity Stylist, Felicia Leatherwood

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#TeamBeautiful got the chance to escape to Miami to learn more about Beautiful Textures’ “Texture Manageability System” and on that trip, we were introduced to celebrity hairstylist, Felicia Leatherwood. Felicia has had her fabulous fingers in the tresses of actress, Nicole Ari Parker and musician, Jill Scott. Both of these beauties like rocking versatile hairstyles, but fully embrace the natural hair movement.

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Natural hair has become a heavily embraced way for many Black women to accept and love the hair that’s growing from their scalps, just the way it is. So when the celebrities are allowing their curls to coil free atop their heads, we know the trend is going to be a must-try for us average Josephines. So we just had to ask Felicia a few need-to-know things about how to get the perfect red carpet-inspired look with our natural tresses. She gave us some amazing tips. Check them out below.

HelloBeautiful: What is the easiest way to maintain natural hair, especially for celebrities on red carpet?

Felicia Leatherwood: Everybody’s so different. I don’t know that there’s an easy way. You have to know your hair. You have to know what your hair texture needs, so the right products for whatever texture you have would be the easiest way. And, you have to have a stylist like me [laughs]. You want to have a good stylist, really. That’ll be the easiest way to maintain on the red carpet is to have a good hairstylist.

HB: How do you help a celebrity or even some of your average clients maintain a look that’s authentically them when it’s natural hair?

FL: Honestly, it’s funny that you ask that because it’s a great question. They call me the “Hair Whisperer,”and part of that is you knowing the person’s hair. You knowing the look. You’re paying attention to their clothes. A lot of times, like when it comes to Jill Scott and Nicole Ari Parker will also let me know–I find out what they’re wearing and whatever they’re wearing, I create from there. I like to do what they call “natural hair sculptures,” like I love working on Tiana Parish because I get to sculpt her hair. She has, like, 16 inches of natural hair and I get to take it and mold it and shape it and make it do stuff and really it loves doing it. So, it just forms. It does its own thing. So, really it’s about finding what the look is gonna be and knowing the client so that you can fit them in the right look.

HB: Do you have tips for a woman who’s struggling to accept her natural hair?

FL: You just need a really good support group, which means the meetups are really important and going to a lot of events that support women with natural hair. So, that’s what you need. You need a team of people supporting you. You could go on YouTube and figure out how to style it in different ways, but really you need a friend you can hang out with and talk to on how to do your hair.

HB: How do you get the right natural up-do?

FL: The right natural up-do usually comes from being creative and knowing that the look you give the client is something that will fit their face. Basically, the best way to get the right natural up-do is really being creative and playing with the client’s hair. It goes right back to just knowing who you’re working with and their style and what looks good on them.

HB: What is one of Jill Scott’s signature looks you’re able to create and how would you tell someone to get that look?

FL: I don’t know that she has a signature look because anybody who knows Jill Scott knows she changes her hair a lot. So, signature wise, I can’t speak about that, but I know that there’s been some hairstyles that I’ve given her that have gotten a lot of great feedback. Pretty much that’s everything because she’s gorgeous and she’s a Barbie, at least for me. So, anything you do to Jill, she looks beautiful. She’s easy. She just wake up looking beautiful. We say, “I woke up like that?” Jill. She looks great all the time.

HB: What do you have to say about someone like Jill who has versatility in their hair because I’ve watched her go from natural to straight to braids to dreds… How do you maintain when you switch it so much?

FL: You really just have to have the right hairstylist. You have to have somebody that knows how to keep you healthy and go with whatever style you’re doing. But, it just has to be healthy. So, you want to make sure you got someone who’s got your hair’s back and that comes from really having a good hairstylist.

HB: What is your favorite natural protective hairstyle?

FL: Double strand twists, really, and then there’s a hairstyle being created on Nicole Ari Parker that I love and you can wear that for a week. Anywhere from 7-10 days, depending on how pretty you sleep and that’s just pretty much a Mohawk. It’s like a little twisted Mohawk with this Afro kinky hair that’s a lot of fun and it’s a great protective style.

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