Known to many as the “Hair Whisperer,” Felicia Leatherwood has made a career of giving hair advice to women who prefer to wear their hair in its natural, textured state. She also specializes in helping women transition their hairstyles and grow healthier hair. A hairdresser for more than 15 years with a notable client list that includes singer and actress Jill Scott, Leatherwood was constantly inundated with hundreds of questions from women struggling with natural hair concerns—which gave her an idea: “I figured that I should fill a room with women who wanted to understand and know more about their own texture of hair,” she says. “And at that time, the natural hair community was growing into something amazing, so the Natural Hair Workshops became a widespread success.”
Her audience includes consumers, stylists and salon owners, and her workshops cover a range of topics, from product recommendations and styling demonstrations to exercise and diet. Brands often book Leatherwood to provide her education at one of their workshops featuring their products. More information about her workshops can be found at felicialeatherwood.com. Here, Leatherwood explains the different types of hair textures and shares some product tips.
Hair comes in many different textures and every one’s needs are different. According to Leatherwood, it all comes down to products and the Code of Textures. There are four different types of hair texture:
Those textures are then broken down by thickness, looseness and porosity of the hair. Straight hair tends to be on the oily side, so go light on styling products to prevent buildup and avoid applying near the scalp, where excess sebum is produced. Wavy hair works best with lighter products such as mousses that enhance curls but don’t weigh them down. For curly hair, you can use a gel product or a cream that offers moisture and curl definition. And kinky hair types need the most moisture, try to use rich creams and butters.