Celebrity hairstylist on working with Issa Rae, Lenny Kravitz

Nobody knows how to celebrate natural hair quite like Felicia Leatherwood.

The celebrity stylist’s client list includes the likes of Issa Rae, Lenny Kravitz, Ava DuVernay, “And Just Like That” star Nicole Ari Parker and Skai Jackson, and her signature styles are all about playing up texture and curl.

With over 26 years of experience, the LA native tells Page Six Style she’s always “loved” working with natural locks, and that “it just so happened that I gained a lot of recognition with celebrities until they became my clientele.”

She’s best known for her work with Rae, which began nearly a decade ago. In addition to styling the actress, writer and producer’s strands for red carpets and press appearances, Leatherwood also served as the lead hairstylist on Rae’s Emmy-winning series “Insecure,” which ended its five-year run in December 2021.

“She literally is amazing,” Leatherwood says of Rae. “She just loves to create, and that’s where the magic comes in. Whenever you have someone that lets you do you and create, that’s when you can really do amazing things.”

Continued the hair pro, “Her texture is 4B, which means she’s a curly/coily girl. When you put water on it, it just melts nicely. Her hair is easy — I can look at her hair and do what I want.”

Felicia Leatherwood
In addition to her work with celebs, Leatherwood is famous for her cult detangling brush.
Teal Moss

In terms of specific styles, Leatherwood says the “Awkward Black Girl” star “loves cornrows” and likes her edges “snatched up.”

Her looks for “Insecure,” on the other hand, were always created “in coordination with the script.”

“The hair tells a story … so it’s really about the script, and then after that comes the wardrobe. You see the wardrobe and see what she’s going to wear, and the hairstyle becomes a part of it,” the stylist says.

And a day spent collaborating with Kravitz guarantees good conversation.

“When Lenny’s in my chair, we talk about music, of course, and food,” she says.

“When I’m working with Issa and Lenny, I know I am gonna have a good day. You have to understand, I’m a hair nerd. So working with them is about cultivating a hairstyle. I’ve been with both of them for so long now, [they’re] like my family.”

Creating natural hair for over 25 years Leatherwood has witnessed a lot of shady business including theft.

“Of course that happens but not with my clients but other hairdressers. My detangler hair brush tends to go missing but it is okay and My Black is Beautiful Golden Milk Collection always goes missing but it is a great product so I always keep plenty on deck.”