Self Care Is Not Selfish.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been taught that our bodies have this amazing ability to heal itself. The only way it can be done is by proper nutrition, exercise, moderate in habits and being mindful. That's a lot to take in for a kid but as I got older and seeing the wisdom behind it, I really started to appreciate this gift of life even more!

It's 2017 and I've lost a total of three family members to cancer and numerous family members who have diabetes, high blood pressure and other  chronic illness.   I don't want to become another "statistic" because life is too busy to take care of myself.

I'm learning through this journey called life, that it's predictably unpredictable and I  can't control things. However, I can do my part when it comes to preventative measures. These preventative measures include adopting new eating habits, regular massages, facials and communication with close friends. Also, by me sharing this new lifestyle with you, it helps to reinforce the commitment that I've made.

Looking at life through the eyes of a child is like putting on brand new pair of glasses. We as adults tend to overcomplicate things. Children are simple and straight to the point. They actually enjoy stopping to smell the roses. I encourage you to do the same. Join me as I continue down  #thebasics  road. Slow down and enjoy the little things in life, for the little things are the big things

-MD

Will Your Hair Prevent You From Receiving A Job Or An Education?

Will Your Hair Prevent You From Receiving A Job Or An Education?

Once again hair has been a hot topic in both the national and international press. No, it's  NOT about Kylie Jenner and her new hair color. Instead its about how your hair style can prevent you from getting a job or from receiving a well deserved education. 

On Thursday September 15th, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit that was  presented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a company who later terminated Ms. Jones for not complying with their policy. Catastrophe Management Solutions requires that employees be dressed and groomed " in a manner that projects a professional and business like image". When Ms. Jones decided not to remove her locks, the company than withdrew it's offer and she was terminated for not complying. This ruling allows employers to legally band hair styles such as locks. This could be the start to something even bigger in the future.

In my mind, I'm questioning what it actually means to "project a professional and business like image"? Perhaps it means that  my hair should be  poker board straight. You know, when I turn my head left and right, my hair moves with me type of thing! I wonder if the objection would've been the same if Ms. Jones had worn her hair in an afro or an intricately  braided style, or even  twists?

This same issue is happening to school age children, and yes even here in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. This past July, parents and students of Butler Traditional High School in Louisville were informed of the new dress code policies. Students were no longer allowed to wear their hairstyles that were considered "extreme, distracting or attention-getting. The policy went on to state that "No dreadlocks, cornrolls(not my spelling), twists, mohawks, no jewelry worn in the hair. No braids will be allowed on males".  To be fair, the student handbook has now been updated.

It's been my personal experience that what is different always seems to draw attention and at times will be distracting. Of course, I'm speaking from experience. As a woman who loves hair and fashion, I'm constantly changing my look. I get the usual questions like, 'how are you able to  do so many different things with you hair'? Or, "the entire time I was sitting behind you I was so distracted by how beautiful your braids were!" There are some things that just can't be helped. It's legitimately in my DNA to have this love and passion for my  textured hair in whatever way it may come in.  Braids, locs, twist or even short cropped cuts on women wasn't something that  just recently came onto the scene.  It's always been apart of our beautiful and rich culture.

Yes, I can identify with the students at Butler High School  and in Pretoria, South Africa because I too was told that in order to fully participate in my cosmetology major, I would need to remove my braids. This was back in 2002. I'd just started my first few months of beauty school. My hair at the time was in braids, as it had been for the summer. When I asked why I had to do this, it was brought to my attention that it would allow me to fully participate with in my clinical.  As cosmetology students it was required we spend 300 hours practicing on each other.  My instructor  was basically telling me that I'll fail the course if I didn't comply and remove my braids so that my hair could be shampooed! As a 17 year old student, it left a major impression as you can still see is with me to this day! I remember going to the salon having my glorious afro relaxed in order to complete school. I had so many emotions going through my head at that time. Anger, sadness, confusion just to name a few.  

What has all of this taught me? In 2016 Afro textured hair is still and I'm assume will always be a topic for discussion and misunderstanding. It's unfortunate that our  beautiful crown of hair can prevent us from getting the job or education of a lifetime. As always we have to be twice as good, work twice as hard and be  twice as smart. 

-MD

 

 

The Journey Of Me, My Hair And Loving Myself.

The Journey Of Me, My Hair And Loving Myself.

There are moments when I'm extremely reflective and I do believe this to be  one of those days. Perhaps it's because I'll soon be turning 32 at the end of this month.

During my early teens up until my my mid twenties,  wearing natural hair was not the norm by any means. In fact while in middle school my hair was often braided and of course there were the kids who would tease and poke fun at me because of how my hair was. In fact one of those names they gave me was Medusa.  At the time, I didn't realize that I was being bullied, I just knew how it made me feel. It made me feel that once again I needed to conform to what everyone else was doing in order to fit in. 

Fast forward to 2002 when I started cosmetology school and of course still rocking my natural hair (for the moment at least, In another blog I'll share what happened.) .  Once again, this was NOT THE NORM but what would this 17 year girl do? For those of you that me know,  already know that first I questioned and of course went in the complete opposite direction.. I knew right then and there I wanted to my focus to be on textured hair. During those years I had to learn how to work with what was mine No weave, braids, no nothing, just au naturel. For those ladies out there who love weaves know how addictive they can become. You become this other person, and this inner diva comes out and you instantly feel glamorous. I decided, that I would  go without the added hair for awhile and learn how to manage my own hair underneath. Let's just say it was rough and there were times that I didn't even like what I saw looking back me in the mirror. I didn't feel pretty at all! Thankfully, I had  amazing parents who helped me to really understand  the value of inner beauty. In a world that's so caught up on the what's on the outside of the package, I needed to learn how develop the 'secret person of the heart'.  That trait is indestructible and last forever.  

Now at the age of 31 going on 32, I've finally welcomed this journey into my life and fully embrace it. I LOVE myself. I LOVE my hair. I LOVE this journey.

-MD

Bronner Brothers International Hair Show 2016

Just last weekend my husband and I attended the Bronner Brother's Hair Show in Atlanta, Ga. It's officially been 4 years since the last time I attended the show. There have been  so many  positive changes for the good and I'm so happy that we were able to be apart of that!

This year the focus of course was on natural hair in all it's faboulous glory.. Some of my favorite classes were by Simone Hylton of Natural Trendsetters and also Christina Carsillo of Harmony Haarmony Hair Studio. First, let't talk about a few "golden nuggets" that were discovered last weekend that I MUST share with you! In the summer and winter seasons, I always recommend clients to give their hair a break.

This would be by putting your hair up into a protective style or using techniques that require less styling. You would be surprised how much your beautiful tresses would flourish and love you even more. Here's something to remember. Just because, you decide to put your into a protective style ( i.e. braids, weaves, etc) that DOESN'T mean that you can forget about your hair underneath. You still must keep your hair and scalp clean, a long with it staying very nourished.

For those of you who've had the opportunity to sit in my chair for a cut, will know that depending on your curl pattern I will sometimes cut your hair wet or dry. There are various reasons that I do this. The main reason is that I love to see how your hair naturally lives and reacts to products. After taking a Deva Cut inspired class Christina Carsillo does all of her cuts dry!  Her clients are a lot like mine. Curl patterns ranging from wavy to tightly afro.  I'm now inspired to step outside of my "comfort zone" and try new  hair cutting techniques. 

Last but not least, I want to talk a little bit about my new salon tools that will change your look and yes, you'll thank me for it. I happened to run into the owners and creators of Wrap-A-Loc. It's a revolutionary hair styling tool and technique that creates tight spiral curls on all types on all hair textures. The tool can be worn in the hair as a style when with water or setting lotion. Your locs will be the best styled in the room. The next new tool that is by Design Essential. It's called STS Smoothing System. This system is proven to temporarily straighten and smooth frizzy, multi-textured, naturally curly, transitioning and chemically treated hair. It allows me to enhance your natural curls or simply calm down the frizz. The best part is that it's so versatile

So, there you have it. Some of the highlights from my short trip to ATL! I look forward to answering your questions and helping you achieve your ultimate hair goals.

-MD