The countdown to season three of HBO’s Insecure continues and we have questions: Are Molly and Dro still in a nebulous relationship? Will Issa get her life on track after being car-less, homeless, and possibly job-less? In anticipation of what this season has to offer in the lives of our favorite elder millennials, we got the tea on the woman behind our other favorite character on the show, Issa’s hair.
The past two seasons have given us some of the best natural hairstyles for type 4 hair, on and off screen. The woman responsible for Issa’s perfectly coiffed hair is none other than veteran stylist Felicia Leatherwood. We caught up with her mid press tour to get details on how she began, her favorite products, and what we can expect to see from Issa’s hair this upcoming season.
ESSENCE: How did you get your start in hair?
Felicia Leatherwood: Like most of us, our mothers didn’t know what to do with our hair. So, I think that was the main thing. It was just like, okay what do I do with it? My mom doesn’t know, so what do I do? Also, I stepped out of the entertainment production side of things. Hair was a hobby for me that I always just kind of knew how to do from childhood, and one of my first celebrity clients was Jill Scott. I worked with Jill for about four or five years, and then went on from there to do a whole host of other people.
What inspired your holistic approach to hair care?
Because my passion is for you to have healthy hair, not just pretty hair. A lot of people have scalp issues and they don’t know why alopecia and eczema are very common. Like dandruff, and a lot of people don’t talk about those issues, they feel ashamed of them. So I made it my business to understand why you’re having that issue, and it became a situation where as I started to heal from things in my body I realized that it had a lot to do with hair and skin. What happens on the inside of the body definitely happens on the outside of the body.
When you have clients who are as big Issa Rae, do you have a hard time getting them to comply with your hair advice?
Issa is great and does exactly what she’s supposed to do as it relates to her hair because she sees the results, and she knows I’m about the business of hair so she takes it seriously.
Okay, so… Insecure. What can we expect to see happen with Issa’s hair this season?
We have so many hairstyles. One of the things that people don’t tend to realize is that they think I plan these hairstyles ahead of time. I don’t. Issa trusts me and she gives me the freedom to just create in the moment. So I had such an amazing freedom to just do my own thing.
So a lot of the hairstyles you’ve seen in season one, season two, and now season three coming out are hairstyles that I kind of just came up with on the fly. And because Issa’s so beautiful, they just work. Her shrinkage is fabulous. Nobody’s hair shrinks better than Issa Rae’s hair. I can stretch it, and I don’t even have to blow it out to stretch it. I just know the right products to use now. My whole thing is taking care of her edges. It’s all about how do we protect your edges so they don’t get abused.
That’s something I’m very strict about, not to take the hair through a lot of abuse. So you’re gonna see some fabulous styles to represent the natural hair community. I want women to feel good about being natural, or going natural, or even thinking about going natural. And so I try to do that whenever it comes to Issa Rae’s hair.”
What are your favorite hair products?
Curls Blueberry Bliss line, because it works mainly on curly hair which is considered texture three, but it also works on texture 4 like 4A and 4B. Aunt Jackie’s has this flaxseed gel that’s amazing for wash-and-go styles. Eden Bodyworks is great for kinky and coily hair.