Leona Lewis holds a very important place in my life. I moved to London three years ago from Canada so, for me, Leona was the winner of my very first X Factor. This is very important. I voted for her. As did most of Britain. How could you not? Her voice is nothing short of astounding. However, with every text I sent in I was, in my heart, voting for her curls too.
For those of you who don’t know who Leona Lewis is, let me fill you in. She grew up in Hackney, East London, a child of an interracial marriage, and at 14 she won a place at London’s famous performing arts college, the Brit School. However, Leona never found fame at the Brit School and after leaving she went into temping and waitressing. By 19 she was already thinking of giving up her dream. Thinking it was her last chance, Leona auditioned for the X Factor singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow which scored her a place on the live shows. Leona went on to win the 2006 X Factor. Since winning the X factor she has gone on to be phenomenally successful.
For me, Leona demonstrates exactly why it is so brilliant having curls: VERSATILITY. From her amazing tight coils, to softened big curls to full bodied waves to, yes, poker straight. Long curly hair can do anything.
For her curliest looks, Leona’s hair relies on:
- fuzz-busting, firm-hold products to keep curls smooth;
- moisturising creams and mousses on wet hair followed by diffusing or air drying – without fingering the curls – to help achieve a well defined look.
For the more romantic curls we see here, try:
- separating damp hair into sections
- braiding each section of hair, with a moisturising cream on your fingers
- letting it air dry and then carefully unravelling the braids, gently separating the pieces for a tousled look.
To create these large ringlets:
- use a medium barrel curling iron to give texture
- apply a moisturising non oil-based heat protectant product on damp or dry hair
- set the iron to a medium heat – watch the heat, it can damage
- take sections of hair around the face and wrap the hair around the barrel (careful not to wrap the ends – heat can be far too damaging to the ends of curly hair, causing it to split and break)
- slide the hair off the barrel and separate the curls gently to create a softer look.
There are a couple ways to get the bombshell look she has here.
One way is to blowdry your hair straight and then re-curl with a extra large barrel curling iron. However, that is a lot of heat, so the easiest and least damaging way to achieve this look is a roller set. To do a roller set:
- separate wet hair into 12-15 sections
- ensuring the hair is still wet, apply an anti-frizz serum and a heat protectant to each section, and roll the hair into a large roller, ensuring that the roots of you hair are taut – the longer your hair is, the larger the roller should be
- dry hair under a hooded dryer for 45 minutes or until the hair is COMPLETELY dry
- remove rollers and finger style using a large barrel curling iron to add more curl if necessary.
The final crucial (X)factor to Leona’s beautiful hair is a healthy bod. Leona’s a strict vegetarian, who doesn’t drink or do drugs which goes a long way to keeping her hair in good shape. So adding plenty of fruit and veg to your diet and drinking plenty of water can help you achieve the CURL X Factor too!