Houston Naturals: Tell me your natural hair story? Are you all natural or still transitioning?
Leola Anifowoshe: I have actually been natural for 4 months physically, but mentally about 2 years. My journey began with my 3 daughters at first. Then I decided you have to practice what you preach so I decided to let it go. I stayed semi relaxed because I distribute Nzuri elixir and wanted to show the full length of my hair through my hair growth journey. Then I really just gave in and said I will just have to stretch out my curl to show my length if asked. I did not do the big chop but I do roller sets to achieve the look and texture I like. The Nzuri grows my hair so quickly, in one year I expect my natural hair to be 12" long.
HN: What are your favorite products for your natural hair or your staples for maintaining healthy hair?
LA: Nzuri elixir (nutrition for the inside which is often either overlooked or underestimated), I don't necessarily have favorite products but I do have favorite systems. I am really big on keeping my hair healthy and treating it almost like a person. I use personification a lot with dealing with my hair. I will ask her if she is thirsty and give her plenty to drink to keep it moisturized. So, I suppose my favorite system is ensuring my hair is well fed with Nzuri and well moisturized with a very good moisturizing conditioner (read labels to ensure no alcohol is involved), and conditioned. Moisture is the key. I also insist on scalp massages.
HN:. How do you retain and maintain your length?
LA: By keeping the ends on. There is a myth that Black hair doesn't grow like other's hair but the truth is our hair grows quiet nicely and can achieve great lengths (as can be witnessed by Asha Mandela the Guinness book record holder of the longest locs in the world - 19 feet long), if we learn to manage our hair with a regimen of moisture, conditioning and keeping those ends from breaking off. Also, I use the right comb and do not brush our hair.
HN:. What inspired you to create the Natural Hair Showcase and how long have you been working on this project ?
LA: Well we have a charity that donates shoes to local children in need so the hair showcases are just one of the fundraisers we do through our charity We started with a healthy hair showcase last Spring and an editor who wrote about the show mistakenly wrote Houstons' 1st natural hair showcase (when it was actually supposed to be written as Houston's 1st Healthy Hair Showcase). Well, to say the least, quiet a few naturalista's showed up for the "natural" hair showcase and I promised them we would do one for them this Winter and voila here we are!
HN:. What can we expect to see and learn at the Nzuri Natural Hair Health & Beauty Show?
LA: OMG Sis, where do I start? What you will see first and foremost is a lot of beautiful women with good hearts who have found their rhythm in their natural hair and lifestyles. You will also see a lot of sisters who have questions and need answers to what to do with their transitioning hair. You will find free workshops and classes on how to style, manage and grow our hair; 2 incredibly Hawte fashion shows, the nations' first beauty pageant for natural hair little girls the Little Miss "Happy" Headed pageant; Sistah Girls (our group of Natural Hair Queens - who work along with me to make this show and this vision a reality); products that will make your hair easier to manage, a natural stylist showcase of top Houston stylist showcasing their work, Felicia Leatherwood, Jill Scott's stylist teaching her workshop on Loving Your Hair and lots of samples and goodies. Oh, and before I 4get last but certainly not least a panel discussion entitled
"Why is our natural hair so foreign to us...Getting to the root of the problem". and so much more...
HN:.What do you love most about being natural?
LA:My Spiritual connection to the Source. My femininity, my power, my natural beauty! It's like a revelation or a weight lifted off of you! It's extraordinary. But most importantly, the message I am sending to my 3 daughters on loving yourself!
HN: Where can my readers go to find out more about you and your products?