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Ask Felicia Leatherwood: Natural Hair Diet #FeliciaFriday

healthy eating

 

Natural Hair Diet 

by Felicia Leatherwood

Whenever we hear the word diet, we automatically think of constraint or limitation, but consider this…the word DIET meaning qualities, composition and a effect of good health.  Well have you ever thought about what goes in your body producing good results in your hair?  Healthy hair starts on the inside.
Like your skin, your hair needs nutrition from the inside out.  If your diet is deficient in hair friendly foods, or your digestion is not efficient, all of the creams, butters, moisturizers and hair treatments in the world won’t be effective at maintaining the longevity and health of your hair.  SO if you want a healthy shining crown, start by taking a hard look at what you eat, how you eat and when you eat.
What to Eat for Healthy Hair
Instead of focusing on specific nutrients or strict quantities of food in your diet, It’s recommended that you stick to wholesome, natural foods as the best and most palatable way to delivering a variety of nutrients to your hair.  The key is to eat foods that are whole,natural, organic and fresh!
Here’s your grocery list…
Dark Leafy greens, beets, summer squashes, broccoli, carrots and white daikon radish, and fresh green herbs such as cilantro, mint and basil are excellent choices for getting a rich supply of nutrients to your hair.  Be sure to add hair friendly spices such as cumin and tumeric to your vegetable dishes.  Spices help transport the nutrients from other foods you eat to the cells and tissues of the body.  Vary the vegetables you eat from day to day.  Vegetables contain vitamin A and C, folic acid and magnesium, all wonderful for a healthy hair life.
Whole grains and smaller legumes also offer nourishment to your hair without overtaxing your digestive system.  Grains contain fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Vary the grains you eat(Oatmeal, organic corn, polenta, rice are good grains to eat), beans, vegetables, herbs and spices like Rosemary(rosemary promotes hair growth by stimulating blood circulation)on vegetables or chicken, offering a cocktail of nutrients for your hair!
Protein is also a major part of good healthy hair and diet.  Proteins like fish, chicken or coconut or flax seed oil if you are vegan are vital to hair, because they are high in Omega 3’s, Iron and Amino Acids.  All needed to grow hair and produce natural oils from the scalp.
Include nuts in your daily diet.  Soak 8-10 almonds in hot water, blanch and eat with breakfast every morning.  Soaked walnuts are also good for hair health and color.  Soak nuts before eating them so that they do not tax your digestive system and flow out of you easily, leaving the good nutrients behind.
Next you need to know when to eat
A balanced nutritional diet is definitely key to promoting good healthy hair and longevity.  But knowing when to eat is equally vital in order to give your body the ability to convert the foods you eat into a form that your hair can assimilate and use to stay healthy and strong.
Eat the heaviest foods in your diet in the middle of the day, that’s when you body can really go to work digesting everything properly!  You want to eat lighter at breakfast and dinner.  Breakfast kick-starts your body when you wake up and by dinner you are winding down for the night, so you want to keep things light.
Be sure to always cook your meals in a positive frame of mind.  Everything is connected, so you never want to cook angry, stressed out or anxious because the negative energy imparts into the foods you are putting into your body and you don’t want the negative effects to show up in your hair or anywhere else for that matter!
Remember, your meal times are your time to take a minute to yourself, so you never want to multi-task while eating.  Do not work, talk on the phone or spend time in cyber space, i.e. be on the computer, while putting food in your mouth.  You always want to be in a calm, stress-free zone, while digesting your foods.  Do not eat on the go either, as you drive, walk or shop.  Be sure to give each meal your undivided attention.  You will see a big difference in the benefits of your hair!
Lastly, WATER is the Best thing you can ever digest!  I repeat drink WATER!  It’s a fact that if you get anywhere from 6-8 glasses of water per day, you will see healthier, skin, nails and hair!  DO your best to make sure you are getting the proper amounts of water each day and watch the difference it will make in your life!
Be kind to your mind, body and hair!
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Ask Felicia: Are We Over The Natural Hair Scene? #FeliciaFriday

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Written By Felicia Leatherwood

I’ve been talking to several naturalist’s and bloggers and some of them are wondering what’s next for the natural hair movement?  After all it rose up so strong and proud, so some are wondering where do we go from here?
I have to be honest, when I stepped on the hairstylist scene back in 2000, natural hair was more of a trend and it wasn’t as creative as it is now.  There where more men rocking cornrows and coil out’s than women because the women were still in the “feeling sexy with a weave” state of mind, but we adored our black men with their braids and flat twist and afros.  We thought that when Allen Iverson hit the court, he was the finest thing out there and every woman who found him sexy wanted to braid his hair!
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Fast forward 14years later and there is a whole community of natural hair wearers, but this time it came with a twist…not only did the women show up to say “We are not going to allow any type of product of chemical to touch our hair,” we also showed up to empower, support, send love and occasionally criticize each other!  We showed up with attitude, flare, chicness and style.
So now that most of the naturalistas have the hang of what works for their hair and they have been to all of the meet-up and chats and now have a ton of samples to choose from as well as tutorials on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, women are asking what next?
Where do we go from here?  Well I believe some of us will be one with our natural hair and some of us won’t!   As things calm down and the smoke of excitement clears and everyone goes back to their mutual corners to look for the next best thing.  I think we will see the beauty in it all!  We will see women that just want to grow their hair no matter what they use, some women will still be product junkies, some will go back to wigs and weaves or relaxers and some will not care either way.  But mostly, I think where we are headed next is a feeling place that can’t be duplicated or taken away…something called confidence!  Out of everything the natural hair community  gave us, it was a sense of PRIDE and CONFIDENCE that we gravitated to more than anything!

 

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Ask Felicia: Have We Fallen For The Okie- Doke As It Pertains To Our Hair #FeliciaFriday

Written By: Felicia Leatherwood

People tend to make a lot of assumptions about why people go natural and most of those assumptions are based on their own beliefs about why everyone should be natural.  And along with those assumption comes a great deal of judgment about how others choose to maintain their hair.  But is that fair?  Who are we to judge someone’s choice to be straight, or wavy, or curly or kinky or relaxed!?!  Have we gotten off track with the meaning of the whole “I’m Natural” movement?

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 Personally, I’ve always believed that the choice to go natural was about freedom and self-love.   But after talking to lots of women about how they feel about their hair and reading numerous negative comments all over social networking, I’ve come to the conclusion that the way we feel about other people’s choices in hairstyles are generally a reflection of our own insecurities.

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 Many of us may grew up with negative stigmas implanted in our brains about our hair through constant verbal negative repetition, and even if our mothers didn’t say we had tight or tough hair, it was implied by the look on her face whenever she came with the jar of Blue Magic and the pressing comb!  Maybe we went to school with bullies who called us “nappy headed” or felt that we didn’t get that boyfriend because of our hair texture or type!    But that is not the case for everyone.  Not everyone grows up hearing that their hair is nappy, tough, rough and bad.   So, could it be that some of us want to march against the injustice of how others treat their hair because of our own negative self-perception?  Soooo many reason for us to be angry and judge what natural hair should or shouldn’t mean to others.

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 When the natural hair community first came out strong, it felt like a very pride-filled time, but as the days, weeks and years are flying by, there is an air of disharmony and mean-spiritedness!  What is happening to our strength and our confidence?  Why are we the only ones getting into debates every time one of us changes our hair; even creating forums to have other people decide what we should do with our natural hair and if it is appropriate for public view?  The negative chatter I have seen throughout social networking feels judgmental and sad.  People are throwing their opinions around like there is a shortage of negative gossip in the world; expressing opinions about women who are straight hair wearers to the children of celebrities who are barely able to walk!   Somehow, we seem to be losing our way.  So, let’s remove some of the emotional layers and get to the heart of why some of us feel it’s OK to attack one another because of how we choose to wear our hair.

 What can be done?  How can we bring the positive, loving, supportive community that once existed, back to it’s powerful place of strength, unity and Love?

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#FeliciaFriday- Me and My Big Chop!

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Written By Felicia Leatherwood

So I finally did the Big Chop and not because my hair had any type of chemical on it or was damaged in any way, but mostly because it was time!  It was time for me to release a lot of unwanted negativity and slow moving energy.  Don’t know if any of yall can relate, but sometimes you just have to release and let go.
18677_258357050796_676515796_4846130_7275713_nI found myself starting to become…what I call “hair obsessed.”  I started changing my hair a lot and still not being satisfied with any one hairstyle.  I started feeling restless and that’s when I discovered that my issue was deeper than my hair, and it was more about what was going on, on the inside, instead of the outside.   So, what did I do?  I chopped it!  I chopped it to get back to myself.  I lessened what I was making the issue be about and found out that I was thriving for so much more than the perfect hairstyle.  I was thriving for perfectionism and security.  Bad combination…you can’t be a perfectionist and feel security, if you’re always trying to find fault.  So now that I’ve finally gotten down to the nitty-gritty of it, I’m able to get freedom and love myself from a different place.  I absolutely Love my new look and my beautiful hair, no matter long or short.


This look has gained me more confidence, security and I don’t think about being so perfect, cause I am loved just the way I am!

Sometimes we gotta take inventory and make sure that the very thing we need to change is our attitude or frame of mind and not always our hairstyle!

 

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Felicia Leatherwood’s Favorite Natural Hair-Care Products

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Written By : Felicia Leatherwood

I am constantly being asked which products work best on what hair types or what are some of my favorite hair care products to use. So, here is my list for all of you product junkies out there and “naturals in the know”.

My favorite Shampoos:
-Activilong Paris – Natural Touch Shampooing Conditioner with Hibiscus & Aloe Vera
-Philip B African Shea Butter Conditioning Shampoo for all hair types with Vitamin  B5 and 16 Plant Extracts
-Hydratherma SLS Free Moisture Plus Hair Cleanser
My favorite Co-wash Products:
-Eden Body Works Cleansing Co-Wash
-As I Am Coconut Co-wash
My favorite Conditioners:
-LRC Mega Bounce & Body Potion Conditioner
-Activilong Natural Touch Hibiscus Aloe Vera Masque-Soin Conditioner
-Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner
-tgin – Thank God I’m Natural – Honey Miracle Hair Mask
-Shea Moisture Anti-Breakage Masque for fine and thin hair
My favorite Protein Conditioners:
-Aphogee Protein Repair
-Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment
My favorite Leave Ins:
Kinky Curly – Knot Today Leave-in
Alikay Naturals – Lemongrass Leave-In
Koils by Nature – SheaAloe Leave-In
My favorite Styling Moisturizers:
-III Sisters of Nature Natural Curling Gelo
-Entwine Butter Creme Hydrator
-Eden Body Works Coconut Shea All Natural Curl Defining Creme
-Natural Splendor Curl Conditioning Cream
-Lotta Body Coconut/Shea Oil Moisturize Me Curl & Style Milk
My favorite Curl Refresher for Wash n’ Go’s:
-Alikay Naturals Wake Me Up Daily Curl Refresher
-LRC Shake n’ Go Detangler & Curl Refresher
-Beautiful Textures Curl Definer Mousse
My favorite Blow Out Heat Protectors:
-LRC Leave-In Condish with Bling Serum
-Eden Body Works All Natural Styling Elixir Coconut Shea Line
-Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Balm to maintain your blow out
-Koils By Nature – Shea Aloe Leave-In/Heat Protectant
My favorite Edge Control:
Hick Edge Control
Ubora Hold Gel
Sof n’ Free’s Nothing But Mold & Hold Wax
My favorite Scalp and Hair Oils:
Natures Blessings
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Coconut Oil
Jojoba Oil
Argan Oil
Carrot Oil
 I hope this list helps a lot of people seeking to try new products and also discover what your hair likes to what your hair loves!
Enjoy a few of my favorite products!

 

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Ask Felicia Leatherwood: Your 5 Favorite Moisture Methods

natural hair needs water

 

Written By Felicia Leatherwood

One of the biggest most important and detrimental questions I get almost everyday, is “How can I get more moisture in my hair?”

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Well there are some wonderful ways to get more moisture in your hair.  Moisture is a naturalistas biggest concern with every changing season.  It seems as if our hair can never get enough moisture and we all know that when the hair is dry the shaft becomes brittle and splits!  So I’m going to help you get started with figuring out the best moisture method for you.
 TGIN Butter Cream
Let’s start with a list of some of my favorite store bought moisturizers…
LRC – Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake n’ Go detangler and moisturizer
Alikay Naturals – Wake Up & Go Spray
TGIN(Thank God I’m Natural)Moisture Butter
Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In Moisturizer
Lotta Body’s Moisture Me Curl & Style Milk

Now let us go through a couple of quick ways to get moisture.  One of the best ways to open up your hair cuticles and get the moisture right down in there is to steam your hair.  Steaming really helps the shingles of your hair strand open up and when you have the perfect moisturizing conditioner, your hair becomes butter in your hands!
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Now if you don’t have a steamer, you can always put your favorite conditioner on your hair along with a plastic bag and wrap a steamed warm towel around your hair to create the same effect.  You may have to reheat the towel after 5min. and re-apply. Treatment time 20min.
The next best way to get moisture in your hair and it will probably last you longer, AND works great for type 4’s kinky curly hair is to moisturize over night.
Here is your night time regimen for moisture.
What you will need for your night time moisture;
1) 8oz spray bottle
2) plastic cap
3) extra virgin olive oil
4) Deep conditioner i.e. Wen or LRC’s Potion
5) H20
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Start by putting 2oz. or 4tablespoons of conditioner in a 8oz. spray bottle, then put 2teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in the spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle up with H20 aka water!  Shake vigorously and spray on hair, saturating the whole head.  Then place the plastic bag on head securely.  Next you will put a towel down over your pillow, incase your bag leeks the over night conditioner.  Do this method at least 3-5 nights for 1 week, unless you feel you need to repeat for more nights than a week and it’s not uncomfortable for you to get some rest.
The next day when you wake up, your hair should feel and look great and you can either wake-up & go or rinse out & style your hair the way you want!
If you have a question regarding this regimen, you can right to me on Instagram on Fridays for #FeliciaFriday where I answer all of your hair questions on @naturamagazine.com

 

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#FeliciaFriday: Are DIY’s Killing The Salon Game?

 

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Written: By Felicia Leatherwood

I see a lot of really great video’s on the internet these days, and you can choose from learning how to weave to learning how to braid and trim your own hair.  So I can’t help but to think about how it’s affecting the salon’s around the world and how much business they have lost as a result of it!

 

Sure I’m surviving well, but that because I really enjoy being apart of the Natural Hair community in a more personal way.  Therefore I have been able to keep up with the times and get involved in assisting with the DIY movement.  But some of my colleagues are concerned about this and have a lot to say.

 

So I wanted to write this post to show the other side of the coin about the growing DIY’s that are popping up everywhere.

 

First let me start by saying that I absolutely advocate learning your hair and at least knowing how to do 2-3 hairstyles on yourself is definitely empowering incase you ever have to put yourself together and don’t have time to get to the hair salon.  I’ve even learned some tips from the “How To’s” on the Internet and have found them very helpful.  But I think the disconnect comes in, when some of the blog sites and video channel suggest that women never go to that hair salon and state that the salons are a rip off and you will save yourself money and time by not bothering to go to the salon.

 

I say “to each her own when it comes to going to the salon.”  I don’t know about you, but I believe that we all have a friend or two that should never do their own hair!

There will always be that one person who follows the DIY directions wrong and make mistakes that sets their hair back to when they first started going natural!

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Pro’s & Con’s:

 

Pro – DIY’s are great for inspiration, but if you have a good hairstylist, they can never take the place of that person.

Pro – DIY’s when done properly make you feel proud of yourself, when they come out correctly, BUT wait…  when done WRONG, our feelings can get a little hurt!

Speaking as a Natural Hairstylist and Educator, I receive lots of emails and messages saying how their DIY went wrong and trying to understand why it didn’t work.

Everyone is not DIY capable and that;s not a terrible thing,  that exposes you as one who should seek the help of a professional.

 

Pro – You will save yourself some money if done properly!

Pro – You can become a Internet sensation after creating and editing your DIY hairstyles!

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Con – Not following the DIY instructions.

Con – Following a vlogger/blogger that doesn’t have your hair texture!

Con – Destroying your hair with excessive ingredients, dyes, heat, tension on hair, poor trims, creams, butters, oils, etc.

Con – Confusing yourself by following too many instructions and websites, thus resulting in frustration and wrong information about your hair.

 

Unfortunately if you’ve ever had a bad experience at the salon, it can turn you off forever!  But bad hairstylists are like bad relationships…when one doesn’t workout, get back on the horse and just remain open to finding the ONE!

 

Here are a few tips on finding a great hairstylist…

First be sure to always set up a consultation appt. before booking your service!  Consultation appt. are very important, because if you don’t vibe with the technician or care for the space they work in, you can save yourself some irritation by going to meet with the stylist first beforehand.

 

Second, when meeting with the hairstylist be sure to ask questions that are important to the health of your hair.  Ask questions about products, treatments and prices and check for honesty, resurrance, and good customer service(which includes- attitude) while conducting your interview,

 

It really does help if you have some good friends or people that you trust the opinion of to refer you to some good hairstylist.

 

But let’s face it…we can’t do everything ourselves, so when you are ready to seek the advice of a licensed professional, the right hairstylist will be there for you!

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Ask Felicia Leatherwood: How To Be Your Own Hair Crush #FeliciaFriday

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Written By Felicia Leatherwood
I noticed that a lot of women, when they sit in my chair to get their hair done, seem to to very focused on having someone else’s hair and I’ve often times wondered, what is it that makes us not love our own hair???
It seems that our self esteem and confidence are all wrapped up in what our hair texture is or how long our hair grows.  While trying to understand some of the emails I receive about why women don’t love their hair so much and are always wishing for someone else’s hair, I am constantly puzzled about the dialog that women have grown up with as it relates to their hair.
Conversations about our hair start at an early age and continue in the work place.  Women have heard that they have “bad hair,”  rough hair, tough hair, unruly, not good enough hair or Nappy, which is the other N-word, as I like to call it!  All of these are negatives and it doesn’t make anyone want to accept their God-given beautiful hair!
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Now I do understand that at times our hair can get a little moody and change courses or there may be a combination of different textures on one head, or you may even feel like your curl pattern is too tight or dry and breaks off.  But usually these are all situations that can be remedied with a little patient and some good hair products and is not always necessarily the hairs fault.  The hair has not committed a wrongful act of violence against you!  Chances are you need to look within and not blame the hair.  You have to embrace your own beauty and not covet another woman’s hair to the point of feeling like you are meant to suffer with your own texture or grade.
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I hear it time and time again, women all over the world are constantly comparing themselves to other women’s beauty with regards to skin, weight and hair!
If I had one wish to give my fellow sisters around the world, it would be for them to love every inch of their being and understand the essence of their beauty does not lie within the cuticles of their natural hair, but within the hearts of each and every one of us!  The essence of who we are comes from within, not without!  We are beautifully made, without flaw to our hair, skin or anything else, because each woman is unique in her own body and has her own style.
If you find yourself still having a hard time accepting your own natural hair texture and length, here are a few tips on how to love your hair more…
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First identify why it is you don’t seem to like your own hair.  Is it too dry or damaged or are you not seeing enough length over a course of time? Could it be that you are even bored with your current style?  Determine the things that bug you most about your hair.
Once you have done some soul searching about what the main problem is, then it’s time to go to work to fix it!
If the problem is dryness, then you need products that will give you more moisture and you may even need to change your regimen.  I suggest looking for products that have a bit of oil ingredients and less alcohol in them.  If you feel that your hair is damaged beyond belief, then I suggest you seek the help of a good professional for deep conditioning and or steam treatments to bring your hair back to life.
If the problem is length and you’ve tried all of the hair vitamins, growth serums and regimen solutions to grow hair and nothing seems to have worked, than you know what you have to do…love, accept and be more than OK with the hair you do have and find ways to love it more.  Styling your hair differently and maybe even adding a little color or hair accessories will help a great deal!
If you are bored with your hair or find yourself in a style rut, be adventurous by going through the internet and checking out Youtube, just be sure to follow women that have your simular hair texture!  Be willing to play with your natural hair and have fun in the process.
Lastly, book a photo shoot for yourself and have your make-up done to go along with the hairstyle that you have chosen.  Once you get your pictures back, be sure to place a photo of yourself somewhere where you can see it and adore your own unique beauty.  Take selfie pictures and be sure to find everything you love about the photo and nothing you hate!  That’s when you become you own “Hair Crush!”
Just remember, it’s OK to admire the beauty of another, just be careful not to deem the light on your own beauty and be sure to alway be grateful for the hair that you have been given!
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Felica Friday: Ten Natural Hair Commandments

Posted By : Malia

Written By: Felicia Leatherwood

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1. Thou shall not ever curse thou own hair or anyone elses.

2. Thou shall be more mindful of what’s going in the body as well as on the hair.

3. Thou shall not label any hair as “good” or “bad”. If it grows out your scalp then it’s all good.

4. Thou shall consistently nourish and feed the hair with healthy hair products.

5. Thou shall recognize that a texturizer IS a chemical relaxer and NO Lye IS a lie.

6. Thou shall treat the hair and the body as a Temple.

7. Thou shall always have patience with their Kinky Curly hair.

8. Thou shall never use silicones or parabens in their hair.

9. Thou shall wrap thy hair up to protect while sleeping.

10. Thou shall ALWAYS rock thy natural hair with confidence. Love Your Hair With Natural Care.