While I was in LA last weekend, a great natural hair event was taking place across the pond in the UK: Felicia Leatherwood’s Loving Your Hair with Natural Care Workshop! Hundreds of ladies across the US have had the wonderful opportunity to take part in these inspirational and educational workshops, but this was the first time that Felicia had taken it overseas. Miss Lukwesa of the UK curly site, Gidore, did a phenomenal post on the workshop and I asked if I could share it with you all. And here you are, a check in with our British sisters!
Now you have to admit that the first thing you notice about a fellow curly is how good her locks look, followed by her curl type, then “Do I ask what she uses?” So that’s what was going down as we all gathered outside the Gem Bar in London waiting for the doors to open.
Inside, there were a number of booths showcasing brands such as Karen’s Body Beautiful, Shea Butter Cottage, AliKay Naturals and Adornement. The audience was warmed up with live music. Then came the highlight of the night.
Felicia welcomes the audience to the workshop
Felicia Leatherwood hit us with her indisputable knowledge and experience. The advice, product referrals, funny personal anecdotes and questions from the audience came thick and fast.
It’s all about a 6-step process: Shampoo, Condition, Deep Condition, Leave-In/Moisturise, Styling, Oil Scalp and finally Misting. Who would have thought that you start with applying shampoo directly to your scalp on dry hair, then add water, then work outwards along your hair shaft.
With every step came the products to use to achieve the best results for your hair. Jane Carter Solution, Curls, Komaza Care, Oyin Handmade… to name but a few.
Felicia picks the Viviscal winner
Invaluable insight from the best in the business! To round off this session, she hit us with a Test, well actually it was more of a game to check on our knowledge and what we’d learnt.
Finally, the chance to meet and chat with Felicia, as well as the rare opportunity to have your scalp scanned to check out your follicle state of health.
Scalp Zoomed in 1000X - Alopecia!
Angel Smith - Clean Bill of Health
Eavesdropping on some of the hair stories being told in the queue was fascinating as was listening-in as they sat in the hot seat under the scanner.
“Cut out the fatty food”, “Don’t pull your hair so tight – You’re damaging your hairline”, “Too much grease on your scalp”, “Dry scalp”, “You’re dehydrated, drink more water”, “Too much build-up”, “Your scalp’s not getting enough oxygen” – There was nothing you could hide from The Lady!
Now this was the most revealing and touching part of the day. What I heard and saw made me realise that Felicia doesn’t just do and talk hair, she is a counselling service as well. Clicking away with my camera, I felt as if I was intruding in some very personal moments.
Precious Moments with Felicia
In the space of 2 minutes self-esteem, self-doubt, confusion and many other issues all came bubbling out. A number of times I witnessed eyes glazing as tears threatened just below the surface… Camera down, much too personal to capture! It was like being taken into the care of your Mum or best friend who knew exactly just how much you were hurting. The relief and smiles as they left the seat for the next attendee was wonderful to see.
There was the much-anticipated goody-bag: Kinky-Curly, Jane Carter Solution, Shea Butter Cottage, AliKay Naturals. Although it was nice to have several sachets of Sof’n’Free Conditioning Treatments, upon checking out the ingredients list I was suprised to see Mineral Oil as the SECOND ingredient. Sadly, I won’t be using this particular product.
Give-Away time brought much excitement, shrieks, screams and laughter. Most coveted Prize of the night… two Huetiful Steamers – Envy was all around!
So to round-off, the best pieces of advice from the night were (and goodness, there were so many to choose from)…
1. It’s all about how you feel about yourself. Felicia gets a lot of compliments about her hair and she doesn’t have any!
2. Condition, condition, moisturise, moisturise.
3. Co-Washing isn’t good for everyone.
4. Leave-In Conditioners are your best friend.
5. Make sure you use PURE oils. Check the ingredients. Ask the manufacturer.
6. Use Listerine, yes you read right, Listerine, to get rid of the that mildew odour in locks and braids (wish I’d known that 15 years ago!)
7. Colour – Use a specially formulated colour shampoo & conditioner. They’re more conditioning as colour dries your hair. Very Important!
8. Cider vinegar is a good trick to use to get rid of build-up. But rinse it out. Eau de vinegre is not a good fragrance !
9. Start with your diet. Water, water, water.
10. Trimming your hair? Go easy on your crown, it grows slower.
11. Get your hands on some Castor Oil to help hair growth along and help those fragile edges.
12. Losing your edges/hairline starts as a baby. Parents, ease up pulling your kids hair into tight plaits or bantu knots.
13. Creams are better in the winter, gel-based products in the summer to define and hold.
14. Transitioning with a mix of natural and relaxed hair. Use Curly sets with Flexirods or Curlformers.
15. Protein Treatments are not for everyone. Best for damage control, chemical, relaxers, stressed hair, shedding, colour, or breakage in natural hair.
16. Sort out your stress levels. Get rid of the man and kids for the day.
17. High Blood pressure and particular medication can mess with your hair.
18. Heat protect (creams) before blow-drying. Blow-dry once every two weeks.
19. Get over wanting long hair. Not everyone will get it.
20. Menopause & Pregnancy hairloss? Use a topical treatment called Ovation Cell Therapy (in a 3-pack), pricey, but Felicia swears by it!
21. Weaves: You don’t know what issues are going on underneath. Don’t be too quick too judge!
21. And finally…universal consensus on the day…”Come On Shea Moisture, the UK is waiting”. Give Gidore a call!
So there you have it: a wonderful wrap-up of a wonderful workshop! Be sure to keep your eye on the Loving Your Hair Workshop website to make sure you catch it when it comes to your neck of the woods! I personally have yet to experience it, but i absolutely can’t wait! Have you attended one of the workshops? What was your experience?