But, if you ever look really close, you'll see little details of West Africa in some of the hairstyles. Have you been able to experiment more with her look over the years as her hair grows? I know that you started uploading some hair tutorials on Instagram. There have been a lot of hairstyles over the past three seasons, but do you have any favorites? This board is a creative collage of each of her styles. So, why not embrace the shrinkage? [Laughs] Everybody asks about Issa's edges. Don't Shrink by Aunt Jackie's, the flaxseed gel, Alikay Naturals, she has this Shea Yogurt Hair Moisturizer. Everybody's talking about that satin bonnet, or what happens when you lose your headscarf, and all those different, you know, scenarios, when it comes to wrapping our hair, so there definitely was a conversation about her wearing the headscarf at night. I go on Pinterest a lot, I poke around on there. The relationship with their hairstylist is special for all women, but especially for those with natural hair. Yeah, we wanted to keep that real, because it's true. “Taking care of it, making sure it's healthy, making sure it's growing, getting the right products for her. A lot of the times you can come up with a good hairstyle by not thinking so hard about it and just playing around in the mirror. In terms of wash-and-gos, Don't Shrink by Aunt Jackie's, the flaxseed gel, is my favorite, and I love the leave-in by CURLS—the Blueberry Bliss leave-in, it's amazing, like right after you've shampooed your hair, before you style it.
We all just need to get out of our heads, so to speak, about what we think it's supposed to look like, and just make sure that we have the right products and pay attention to what the hair wants. Ahead, we chat with Leatherwood about natural hair representation and her favorite products for keeping curls moisturized and edges laid. I've been using Maui Moisture lately, the shampoo, because it's one of the things that I can find anywhere when I'm traveling on the road. Be grateful for all of the natural hair inspiration the show provides and worry about logistics later.
Beauty. And though, yes, the many different styles Rae's character cycles through every episode might not be realistic per se (Rae barely has enough money to pay rent, let alone get her hair done that often), it's television, people. It also helps that, when styling Rae for events and on Insecure, Leatherwood makes sure to not stray too far from how Rae might style her hair if she were doing it by herself. A lot of women will say, "My hair's too short, I can't do anything with it," and most of the time, you've just got to not think so hard about it. I take a little edge brush, and I just brush it down, and I'm good to go. Sometimes we overthink it. I really love the Bonita Afro Balm, it's a texture cream, where you can twist your hair up, and it's so moisturizing.

On Insecure, it seems like Issa's character has a new style in almost every scene. I think Insecure is the most prominent show—or the first show I can think of—where kinky natural hair is highlighted, and it's not a big deal. I mean, because a lot of women don't have that option of stretching out their hair, because there are so many different textures and some textures are tighter than others. Visit www.naturalhairqueen.net to learn the secret to healthy growth and long natural hair. Want more motivation for your natural kinks and curls? Do you also have any products you like to combat shrinkage? I want to basically dispel the myth of some of those challenges. Issa's Senegalese, and so I try to throwin parts of who she is. If the hair needs moisture, then give it that. Seriously, I have never seen a TWA styled so many ways.

“I try to keep everything kind of true to what she would do to herself, or how she would look, just day-to-day."

So, embracing the shrinkage is the key, because that's who you really, truly are. That's why you will see Issa with stretched out hair one day, and then shrunken hair the next, and it still looks beautiful.

A lot of women don't know, but if you shampoo your hair, condition your hair, do all your preparations one day, twist it up, wrap it up in a beautiful headscarf, then go back the next day and then de-twist it, it will stretch out for you, and you'll get that length you want.

I definitely can do a lot more with her hair now that it's a little bit longer, but at the same time, one of the great challenges I have working on the show, from the beginning, is coming up with hairstyles that women with short or medium length hair can wear.


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