The Village: Behind Every Issa Rae Is a Felicia Leatherwood Slaying Her Natural Tresses

If you have eyes and working salivary glands, chances are you’ve drooled over Issa Rae’s many natural hairstyles, in everything from Insecure to CoverGirl ads. “With Issa, she just lets me create,” says the self-proclaimed natural-hair whisperer herself: Felicia Leatherwood.

“She just, she’s like my beautiful black Barbie because she sits there and she trusts me; she just kinda lets me do my thing,” Leatherwood adds.

She is the owner of the magical hands that slay that black Barbie’s hair more often than not. This hairstylist to the stars as well as the everyday black girl has the magic touch when it comes to kinky curls and bouncy coils.


It’s probably why queens like Ava DuVernay, Lena Waithe, Uzo Aduba, Nicole Ari Parker and Skai Jackson trust her with their crowns. Leatherwood can lay edges, twist up tresses and give you a classy, natural-hair look that will have all eyes on you, but she also nourishes and treats your hair so that it can be as glorious and regal as her celebrity clients.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. The same is true for the lifting up of our favorite celebrities. So here at The Root, we’ve decided that we want to get to know the amazing people in “the villages” of our faves. From Beyoncé’s backup dancer to Solange’s musical director to Jidenna’s DJ, our video series The Village will allow you to get to know the people behind the people. Get to know Leatherwood and her #BlackGirlMagic fingers in the above clip. 

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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This is wonderful. Thank you.