Leona Lewis began to straighten her hair at the age of 20 after she was signed to her first record label. She shares this fact in an essay written on Glamour.com about the reason she decided to embrace her natural textures after several years under the flatiron.
Initially, Leona Lewis was new to the industry and was influenced by the many beautiful women in the media who all had straight hair.
“Gradually I started wearing my hair straight too, especially on photo shoots, where a lot of stylists didn’t know what to do with my curly hair” she said. She also admits to feeling more “polished” and got comfortable straightening her hair for years.
The notion that Leona Lewis had to straighten her hair is a direct result of the influence of media representation on women of color. It definitely showcases the importance of having more women of color embracing their natural textures in public spaces.
Recently, about a year and half ago, Leona Lewis began to experience different symptoms of feeling sick, having chronic fatigue and pains in her neck and her throat. All of these symptoms eventually led Leona to seek a professional diagnosis that guided her to the discovery of her having the autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto disease occurs when the immune system fights against the bodies tissues and can lead to hypothyroidism. Symptons can include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, depression, slowed heart rate and more.
It was at this moment that Leona Lewis knew that she had to slow down and really evaluate ways in which she can reduce the toxins in her body through a change of diet and the usage of natural hair and skin care products. She also stopped straightening her hair and embraced her curly hair.
Now, Leona Lewis can inspire other women and young girls to embrace their curls and look into a more holistic approach to the body, beauty and hair.