*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
L: My name is Leaira. Born and raised in Georgia (a true Georgia Peach). I am a tall growing woman and a rising senior in college majoring in Communication and Media Studies with a double minor in Sociology and Women Studies. I am also a trained dancer and a cultural arts intern.
How long have you been natural?
L: I have been natural for 4 years and 4 months to date; it has transformed my life and opened many unforeseeable opportunities for me. Deciding to transition was one of the greatest things I have done for my development and growth as a woman. I absolutely love everything about the natural hair community. Receiving positive compliments from men and women really brightens my day.
How and why did you transition into natural hair?
L: Transitioning was an easy decision for me. The way the natural hair community has evolved over the years was nothing compared to the place it was a few years ago. I wasn’t aware of the beauty and confidence one could attain from being natural; I simply did it because I was told it was healthier for my hair and I did just that, transitioned. I walked into a hair salon, met a natural hair specialist and I transitioned with her. Four years later and I’m still scheduling hair appointments. She is the ABSOLUTE BEST! Our relationship has flourished beyond just a client and stylist; we have developed an inseparable bond.
What are your must-have products for shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair?
L: I have been through Pantene for Relaxed/Natural hair to Biosilk and other miscellaneous products that were unfulfilling and insufficient for my hair growth and healthiness, so my hair stylist recommended the fairly new natural product line by Avlon called Keracare. I use their Cleansing Cream and Leave In Conditioner to clean my scalp and hair from residue, which leaves my hair feeling clean and soft.
For styling I shingle my hair in parts starting from the back to the front with the Defining Custard for Curls & Coils, along with the Twist & Define Cream for silky shiny twists & twist outs. Afterwards, I use a spray bottle with water only and style my hair into Bantu Knot Twists. The next morning I wake up and use a wide tooth comb, detangling with the Butter Cream Everyday Moisturizer. Depending on how dry it is or how much volume I want, I use a diffuser to achieve a big and wild look.
What is your signature hairstyle?
L: My signature hairstyle is definitely Bantu Knot Twist outs, and recently I have a new profound interest in roller sets. As time progresses they get better. I love everything about them, except for the long hours under the hair dryer. Other than that, the curls are undeniably beautiful.
Did going natural affect your style choices at all?
L: Not at all, the selection of items I wear are ultimately dependent upon the state my hair is in. Becoming natural is something I should have ALWAYS been. There was no accustoming process necessary. Once I became natural I inhaled any by-product of it.
Your style is boho chic. What’s your advice for selecting pieces to add that bohemian flair into a wardrobe?
L: The best advice I could give would be to have patience first when shopping for items. I have a saying that helps me get through the tedious process: “If I don’t love it, don’t buy it.” Liking it is not enough. From there, select pieces that compliment your body type and show off your best assets without over doing it. Go for items that make you feel confident and look exhilarating. The items you must have to complete a bohemian look: earth tone necklaces and bamboo bracelets, long skirts, and cowboy boots.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
L: Yes. I am currently working on a personal blog, but until then you can find me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Natural_Guru, Tumblr: http://dancerdrapedinpearls.tumblr.com/, and Instagram: natural_guru.