*Prepared for BGLH by Meosha Tall of 1MeNaturally
L: Hey my name is Leona (written Leigh Owner on social networking). Friends and family call me Leigh or Lele. I live in London, England but was born and raised in the city of Coventry. I’m a fashion retail concession manager, freelance fashion designer, recyclist and all-round creative.
What is the natural hair scene like in London?
L: It’s great where I live in the east of London. Many women in this part of the city have natural hair; it’s truly inspiring.
Why did you make the decision to go natural?
L: I’ve always loved natural hair. For me going back to natural was a question of when.
When and how did you transition into natural hair?
L: I woke up one day in January 2010, removed my weave, and cut off all of my relaxed hair. I had a slight Britney moment, but it felt great. I went to work the next day with a 1 inch Afro and a smile. A few weeks later I started my loc journey.
In what ways (if any) has going natural affected you?
L: It’s helped me to relax in my own skin and be comfortable with the way I look, which in turn has banished insecurities.
How would you describe your hair?
L: I would describe my hair as calm, light and silky.
What is your regimen?
L: I wash my hair roughly every 10 days, apply a hot oil treatment and wrap it. Every 2 – 3 months I retwist the new growth. I only use a few products on my hair. I use Olive and Clove Oil Therapy by Organics, Aloe gel and Olive Oil Shampoo. In terms of styling I often wear up-dos or headwraps.
How do you retain length and moisture in your hair?
L: I wrap my hair after washing, tie up loosely, steam and lightly oil my locs.
Tell us about your fabulous two toned yarn braids.
L: I started Yarn braiding my dreadlocks this year and my hair has grown tremendously. I love playing around with colour, volume and proportion. I usually leave them in for two months. Braiding them can take anywhere from a day to a week when I’m feeling lazy. The yarns can be washed and dried naturally, removed and reused without causing damage to the hair, but only acrylic yarn should be used when yarn braiding as natural fibers will cause damage.
What mistakes have you made with your hair that you’ve learned from?
L: Giving in to peer pressure in my early teens and relaxing my hair. It wasn’t right for me and I wasn’t happy with the results. I’m learning from my mistakes and for that, I am grateful.
What’s the best/most effective thing you do for your hair?
L: Nourish it inside and out, then let it be.
What would you like to see in London in terms of hair care?
L: I would really like to see more natural hair care salons.
Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?