Shea Moisture? WTF?!

And when he get on, he leave yo’ ass for a white girl…

The natural hair community was up in arms yesterday after a commercial was released for the popular hair care brand SheaMoisture. In its efforts to promote inclusion and diversify its client base, the brand released this ad campaign.

For the sake of being “inclusive” this ad was designed to promote their products to those who are traditionally seen as outsiders of the natural hair community.  Unfortunately, while doing so they managed to exclude the very demographic that made them who they are today-Black women.

There were no kinky, coily naturalistas to be found for the first :57 seconds of the vid. They were thrown in for the last three seconds, at a fake attempt for this ad to pass some diversity quota.  None to be found in a video that particularly addressed the concept of hair hate, something that the kinky crew is all too familiar with.

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t necessarily blame Shea Moisture for wanting to expand. It would be bad business for them not to. Women who are not of color also wish to consume products with more natural ingredients and they have the right to do so. The problem is that in trying to cater to another brand, they left their loyal fan base out of the entire conversation. Had it not been for Shea Moisture’s loyal black consumers, the brand would not have seen the success it does today.

In my opinion, what is more hurtful about this betrayal is that black women already face misrepresentation in media and advertising, and the one brand we could always rely on to represent us essentially sold out in the name of the almighty dollar. This speaks to a larger issue we are all too familiar with, because it seems as black people we literally can’t have anything of our own without it being stolen or appropriated.  For so long, we have been excluded and told that our hair, our bodies, and our beauty practices do not fit society’s ideals of beauty.  No one preached about inclusion then.  So we created our own outlets and products to enhance and celebrate our beauty, only to turn around and have one of our own pander to the very same people who excluded us, all in the name of inclusion.  Not cool at all.

SheaMoisture issued the following apology:

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SheaMoisture messed up, and they know it. Let’s see how they get themselves out of this debacle.

29 Things I Know for Sure

I celebrated my 29th birthday in early January.  There’s no exaggeration when I say that this birthday in particular was one of THEE BEST EVER! My friends and family really came together to help me celebrate another year of life.  As I look forward with excitement about ending my 20’s with a bang (because I plan to do all the things this year), I must look back and take a moment to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned over the years..

29 Things I Know For Sure

  1. Adulting aint easy-  Because paying rent, bills, working, cooking, cleaning and basically taking care of yourself while doing things you don’t always want to do isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Childhood is much easier.
  2. …but I value my freedom: because being able to control my destiny and decide who I want to be in life is liberating AF.
  3. My parents are human too.  I spent a large part of my 20’s living at home with my parents.  While I experienced the many growing pains that come with trying to be grown while still living in my momma’s house, I got to see a more human side of my parents, mainly because I was able to now look at certain situations from a more adult perspective. They’re not perfect, they’re flawed and make mistakes just like you.
  4. Don’t take everything so personal. Everything that happens doesn’t warrant some dramatic reaction. Sometimes when people behave a certain way, ITS NOT EVEN ABOUT YOU!
  5. Sleep is important.  You’re not in college anymore, so pulling all nighters and trying to function though your day on two hours of sleep is ridiculous and extremely unhealthy.  Go to bed and get some sleep, your body will thank you.
  6. Pay attention to your health.  Eat healthy. Get into a regular exercise regimen. Rest your body. Drink lots of water.
  7. Pay attention to your finances. Having a great job while not being a good steward of your finances is not cute.  Save for those rainy days because unexpected torrential downpours will happen.  Pay your bills on time, and protect your credit.  Invest in your future with 401K’s, stocks, bonds, etc.
  8. Embrace your sexuality. If you’re straight, gay, bi, questioning, whatever…be who you are and practice what makes you feel comfortable and fulfilled, no matter what society has to say.  You are free to sleep with whomever, whenever, however you want.  And guess what…it doesn’t make you a hoe either. As long as what you’re doing is consentual and you’re using protection, do you boo.  It’s no one else’s business!
  9. You make plans…God laughs at them.  Just know that his plans are always better than anything you could ever imagine.
  10. Travel.  Because the world is so much bigger than your hometown. Get out there and see some world.
  11. You will change.  Life experiences will create room for spiritual and emotional maturity.  There’s no fun in living life without growth.
  12. Investment fashion pieces are KEY to a great wardrobe. Forever 21 can only get you so far.  When you can afford to do so, spend a little more on some quality clothing staples that will last for years and create a variety of polished looks.
  13. Social media is a highlight reel. Stop with the self comparisons. People see the glamorous but have no idea of what’s really going on behind the scenes.
  14. Life is chess, not checkers. Always make sure your next move is your absolute best move, whether it involves your finances, career, love, your health, etc. Always put yourself in the best position to thrive.
  15. It’s absolutely ok to look up at this age with no spouse or kids.  Your life isn’t incomplete. Just live.
  16. No is a complete sentence. That simple.  Someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, simply decline with a no.  Fun fact: you don’t owe people explanations for things either.
  17. Self-Care is paramount.  Figure out what you need to do to recharge and get centered.  Do a few yoga poses, go on a social media fast, take a bubble bath.
  18. Forgive yourself.  Life is about making mistakes.  Give yourself the opportunity to learn from the lesson and move forward.  Punishing yourself does nothing for your spirit.
  19. Heartbreak is inevitable. Never let it stop you from experiencing love again.
  20. Value your friendships.  I’m blessed to have an awesome circle of sisters.  I literally don’t know where I’d be without them. The day to day stressors of adulthood make it difficult to maintain and cultivate friendships, but with some intention and planning, you can find time to spend with your girls (or boys).
  21. Always trust your instincts.  You know that sinking feeling in your stomach that tells you something’s wrong? Your intuition never steers you wrong. Listen to that voice.
  22. You are not for everyone. There will always be one or two people who just won’t like you.  So what?
  23. Stay in your lane.  You are here to run your own race in life, at your own pace. You are not in competition with anyone.  Things will happen for you when they are destined to.
  24. Read.  Compile a reading list, get your hands on the latest New York Times best seller.  Learning comes from reading.
  25. Live everyday as if it’s your last.  We never know if it will be.
  26. Never be afraid to leave behind what no longer suits you. The dead-end job, the toxic relationship. Anything that pulls from your spirit needs to go.
  27. Enjoy dating.  Get out there.  Meet people and have fun. These experiences will lead you to the one you want.
  28. You won’t know it all.  You don’t always have the answers, Sway.  And it’s quite alright.
  29. Life is just beginning. You are far from old at this age.   I no longer have fears about ending my 20’s and approaching my 30’s.  This is the age where you’re still young enough to have fun but you learn to cut the BS, because you know better.

 

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Celebrating the big 2-9 with my girls. I reserved a massive hotel suite and had a PJ party with games, food and lots of champagne.  Great times!

 

-Jaye

Out and About: The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

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Imagine having a picnic with your crew on a lush green lawn with the New York City skyline as a backdrop, surrounded by a crowd of people dressed to the nines, with great music and free flowing champagne. Oh, all while watching a polo match and counting how many times you hear the name Nacho Figueras.  Well, that was my situation this past Saturday as I attended the Ninth Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held in Liberty State Park, New Jersey. For many, the polo classic serves as an unofficial kick off for summer. This was my first time and to sum it up, the afternoon was absolutely AMAZING. I had a blast!

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I’ll admit that I knew very little about polo before this event (I low key still know very little). All I knew was that it involved people on horses and throwing a ball around. But it was cool to experience for the first time. At halftime, the crowd was able to “stomp the divots” Pretty Woman style. During the match, the horses tear up the ground pretty badly and their hooves leave holes in the ground. In the polo tradition of stomping the divots, spectators are invited on the field during halftime to socialize with the crowd and patch up or “stomp” on a divot or hole made in the ground. Doing this makes the ground flat enough to continue playing. This part was fun b/c I was able to people watch and really take in the scene. By then, I was in need of some more champagne so I made my way to the bar.

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Stomping divots

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The homies…Dougie and Ashlyn

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Ashlyn looking fabulous and striking a pose, but what else is new? (Outfit details – Dress: Asos, Shoes: Cole Haan, Flower: Randomly found in her home)

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The homie Douglas looking extra dapper. Men’s fashion is important too.

 

My absolute favorite part of the event was the fashion. Literally everyone came dressed to kill. Dapper men came dressed in their finest linen and seersucker suits and hats, while the ladies wore fancy sundresses, rompers, and pantsuits in spring colors and florals. Ladies accented their outfits with large floppy hats, fascinators and sunglasses.  The closest thing I can compare it to is the Kentucky Derby, but with a cool and modern twist.

As for me, I chose to wear a Rachel by Rachel Roy black floral dress with a small midriff cutout. I saw the dress on Macys.com and went on a wild goose chase to find it a few days before the event. I was so happy I did because the dress was perfect (so perfect that you will see me wear this again and again this summer so don’t judge me 😊😊😊).  I had the perfect coral strappy heels to go with for picture taking, and changed into flats for the long walk to and from the ferry.  Ladies, bring flats because you will be doing a lot of walking from the shuttle or ferry to the grounds. I put my hair up into a marley bun to avoid the frizz with the humidity.

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After the match, the event quickly transitioned into a nice little turn up. People continued to pop bottles, eat food, and be social. My friends and I walked around to find bottle art photo ops. As the day progresses, some people collect as many bottles as they can to create their own bottle art. It’s actually kinda cool. There were also a lot of really cute oversized lawn games to play like Jenga and Checkers. I spent the rest of the day drinking, taking pics and living in the moment. We decided to leave just in time as it started to rain and there was a mob of people trying to get on the ferry back to NYC.

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Line Sisterly love with Keerah

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Lauren came by to say hello and take some pics.

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Rosè Art

Here are some tips to maximize your #vcpoloclassic experience:

1) Arrive to the ferry/shuttle point early. You can only access the event via shuttle from Jersey City or ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. The check in lines move pretty quickly but are still long. The earlier you get there the better.

2) Pack a picnic basket and blanket because…duh…it’s a picnic. There are a variety of food trucks available on site but the lines are long and the prices are out of control. We went grocery shopping for the event the night before and kept costs pretty cheap because….

3) You just might splurge on alcohol. Glasses were about $25 a pop and a bottle is over $100. Upon check in, you’re given a wristband with five tabs on it to purchase five champagne glasses or one whole bottle. Oh, and don’t even try to sneak alcohol in. I’d hate for you to be upset when your bottle of Henny is confiscated during the extensive bag checks.

4) Have fun with your outfit. This event is about fashion and expressing your own polo style. Hats, fascinators, seersucker, suspenders, bow ties, linen, eyelet, flowers and the like are all encouraged. Wear your Sunday best and show out.

5) Ladies, bring flats. The walk to the event grounds is long. Wedges are a perfect shoe to stomp divots in.

6) Wear sunscreen! This is really an important summer tip – Period.  This event is entirely outdoors and those UV rays are intense.  Contrary to popular belief, black folk can get sunburned.  Ask me because I know; my chest, arms and back were so badly burned out there. #jesuspleasebeacoolshowerandaloeveragel

Simply put, the day was absolutely beautiful! My friends and I already agreed that this will be a summer tradition and we’re already excited about next year.

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Let’s talk. Did you attend the Polo Classic this year? Have you always wanted to go? Let me know in the comments section below.

-Jaye

Hesitation

 

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hes·i·ta·tion ˌhezəˈtāSH(ə)n/ noun 1. the act of hesitating; a delay due to uncertainty of mind or fear: 2. a state of doubt or uncertainty. 3. a halting or faltering in speech.

Stop hesitating. You have the answers because the tools you need are deep within. You are well equipped. You are capable. You are intelligent and can eloquently display that intelligence. Believe in yourself. How can others believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself first?

You got this!

You are in a position to learn and grow. You are in a position to control your own destiny (career, and otherwise). You can create endless opportunities for yourself by just being you and showing your skills. And by learning.

Speak up!

Stop being quiet. How else are you going to show others what you’re made of? No one will ever know your greatness if you sit on the sidelines and go back and forth about getting ready to get in the game. Life seldom works that way. Make mistakes. Lots of them. Even if it seems scary.  Speak up.

Stop doubting yourself.

Stop hesitating.

-Jaye

 

My Straight Hair and visit to H2 Salon

For the last year or so, I’ve been on a serious hair growth challenge. I’ve been wearing crochet braids, twists and other protective styles for extended periods of time, while keeping my hair moisturized and trimming every three to four months.

I’m not about that kitchen beautician life like that, so I go see the professionals for the complicated stuff. I was long overdue for my quarterly trim and treatment so I decided to schedule another visit to H2 Salon in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn.

This was my third visit to H2, and I was again satisfied by the results. I had been searching high and low for a good natural hair salon that would help me keep my hair in tip top shape without having to spend my entire Saturday waiting in a shop. I’ve been to a lot of places and I’m super picky when it comes to my hair and nail salons. I’d heard really great things about H2 and decided to check them out after one of my coworkers came to work one day with her hair laid for the gods!

I had a 2pm appointment with Lorraine. The shop is right on the corner, but from first glance its difficult to spot. You ring the bell and get buzzed in. I walked into the waiting area, checked in, and the young woman at the front desk took my jacket and escorted me to the stylist chair. She then offered me a glass of tea, water or coffee. She handed me the glass of water I asked for while Lorraine looked over my hair and we discussed what style I wanted. I wasn’t worried though, Lorraine hooked me up for my birthday ‘do so I trusted that she would have me looking fabulous when I left the salon.

Lorraine walked me over to the sink and washed, detangled and conditioned my hair. She sat me under the dryer for about 20 mins to deep condition then rinsed me out. I forget what shampoo she used but it smelled divine. I know for sure they use Design Essentials and Devachan products, which is a win for me. I’ve been to expensive salons that used cheap products and wasn’t pleased. She then blew my hair out, and I was so amazed at how soft my hair felt. My hair usually feels like hay when I blow it out on my own. I asked her for advice on what to use when blowing out my hair at home and she recommended that I use a blow out cream and heat protectant. After that, she flat ironed the mess out of my hair. It was bone straight after a single pass. My hair definitely had grown from the Senegalese twists I had just taken out but I definitely needed a trim which was the next step. Lorraine cut all the dead ends off, and I was still able to retain my length. Thank God for NON scizzor-happy stylists. She then went back in with the flat iron and gave me some gorgeous, sultry curls. I looked in the mirror and gave myself the yassss bish face!

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My hair was soooooo soft, bouncy and shiny.  I thanked her, paid for my service and walked out feeling brand new! I’m due back there in August and it will be too humid out to straighten at that time, so maybe I’ll try another style. My hair looked amazing and I was out of there in two hours.  My style has held up for about a week now despite the fact that it’s been cold and rainy for the last week and a half.  I plan to wash my hair sometime between today and tomorrow, and I’m sure it will revert back.  There is literally only one con about this salon – they only take cash. But the pro’s definitely outweigh this.

As for my hair, I’m definitely seeing a lot of growth.  I’ll take advantage of the lack of humidity and wear my twistouts before the summer comes, then I’ll be on to my next protective style.

Definitely check out H2 and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

H2 Salon

473 Tompkins Avenue

Brooklyn, New York  11216

(718) 230-4225

IG: @h2salonBrooklyn

– Jaye

 

 

Chapter 28

The night of my celebratory birthday dinner, I sat at a table at one of the trendiest restaurants in New York City surrounded by my closest girlfriends singing “Happy Birthday” to me in my honor.  Slightly inebriated, I shared with them my hopes for a successful and happy 28th year of life filled of financial abundance, happiness, success, love, self-improvement and multiple opportunites to slay the game (those weren’t my exact words but you catch my drift).  At that moment, it finally began to sink in, I was turning 28 and this new chapter would be a significant and life-altering one.

I turned the big 2-8 in early January.  Those who are close to me know that my birthday celebration is always a big to-do.  I treat the day as if it were my own personal national holiday (well, because it is).  But for some reason, the weeks leading up to this day were full of emotion, self-doubt, questions about my self-worth, and reflection.  One morning I woke up in tears and literally asked myself this question:

What the hell am I doing with my life?

Don’t get me wrong.  For a young, single black woman I’m not doing too bad.  But by nature, I’m overly ambitious.  It’s just the Capricorn in me.

My birthday is always a time for me to look back on my life and the previous year, and set goals for what I want to accomplish in the future.  I’m finally rising from the ashes of what some call the Quarter-Life Crisis.  I am much more self-aware, and I’m continuing to learn and appreciate who I am.  Through this process of self-discovery, I’ve been having a lot of come to Jesus talks with myself and admitting some honest truths.  Some of these truths hurt like hell, but are absolutely necessary to face so that I can grow into the woman I am destined to become.

Although I don’t feel like it, I’m really a full fledged adult, and with that comes the time for me to put on my big girl panties and make some grown ass woman decisions.  A few years ago many of the choices I made were based on what was in front of me at the time.  I think I was too “in the moment”, and rarely stopped to think about the future, because the belief of “always having time” would serve as a cushion for when I fucked up.  Well now I realize that I was completely wrong and all the time I thought I had has come and gone.  Now is the time to move through life with purpose, especially since now I know what that purpose is. Everything that no longer works for me in life must go. It’s a lot, a whole lot.  Years of bad habits, patterns, thoughts and beliefs, pain, anger, grudges. It all has to go so that I can make room for the many blessings to come my way.  Trying to make sense of everything while undergoing these changes has already proven to be an arduous and painful process, but it’s for my own good.  I’ll be a better woman for it in the end.

I have a feeling that Chapter 28 will be the year of the “Glow-Up”.  I always read and hear about the metamorphosis that one must go through in life to become a better person.  That is definitely my current experience.  It was something I was once deathly afraid of, that I am slowly starting to embrace.  Where I once felt unsure, I now walk in faith.  Let’s just see what this new chapter will bring my way.

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-Jaye

Wash Day! Yay!

Happy Sunday!

So Winter decided to finally grace us with her presence! Yesterday was a serious snow day for us in the NYC area thanks to Snowstorm Jonas.  Thank you for the 26 inches of the powdery white stuff. (eyeroll)

Today is clean up day for some, but it’s wash day for me.  I’ve been wearing my hair straightened for the past two weeks, and even though I think I can extend my style for a few more days my hair would definitely appreciate the TLC. Here’s what I’m using, in order, and how I’m using it.

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  1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Shampoo: This is a new product that I just recently added to the stash. It’s considered to be a clarifying shampoo but definitely has moisturizing properties.  I grab it when my hair has some extra gunk in it or if I just want to start off with a clean slate.  It definitely clarifies without stripping my hair.
  2. Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner: OMG this stuff is the bomb.com! It’s a mainstay in my hair arsenal and a cult favorite for many naturalistas.  I use this as a rinse out conditioner after washing and it helps to restore moisture.  But it’s real claim to fame is it’s detangling properties.  This stuff literally melts your tangles away, so detangling your hair in the shower with this conditioner makes everything super easy.
  3. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque: Words can’t even begin to express how much I love this deep conditioner.  First of all it smells heavenly.  And second, it makes my hair feel like butta baby! After washing, I apply this masque to my hair, cover it with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes. **HINT** For extra deep conditioning, make sure you sit underneath a dryer or steamer.  The heat allows for a deeper penetration into your strands.
  4. Denman D3 Styling Brush: I received my Denman brush in a swag bag from the Curlfest picnic I attended this past August. So you could imagine my excitement when I opened it.  While I prefer a wide tooth comb, this brush is slowly becoming my favorite tool as it gently detangles and helps to clump curls together…if you care about that kind of thing.
  5. Butterfly clip: An ol’ faithful tool that has been part of my hair regimen since my relaxer days.  It’s function is simple.  They’re super easy to use and they keep my hair separated.  Once I rinse out my hair masque, I section my hair and proceed to styling.
  6. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk: I use this styling milk as a moisturizer.  It’s inexpensive, easy to find, smells good and does the job every time.  It’s one of my favorite leave ins. Can you tell that I’m a Shea Moisture fan?
  7. Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Jelly: This is another sample product I received in the swag bag from Curlfest. This jelly is a little sticky but gives a nice light hold and provides moisture to the hair.  I tried this a few weeks ago with a twistout and didn’t have to twist all week.  I know the longevity of that twistout had to do with this product.  I think I’m going to grab a full sized bottle when I run out of the sample size.
  8. Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade: A pomade enriched with humectants and yummy moisturizing goodness.  I use this on top of the styling milk and jelly for extra hold and shine, and to seal in moisture.  Sometimes I use it for take down with twist outs and braid outs.

What is your wash day regimen?  What are some of your favorite products?  Let me know in the comments section.

-Jaye

Naptural 85: Co-Wash and Detangle in 25 Mins

A while back, I was home binge watching YouTube videos and I came across this video by Naptural85.  She demonstrated how she co-washes, detangles, and seals moisture into her hair in just under 25 mins.  Now I’ll admit, when I saw the video I was a bit skeptical.

 

It usually takes me about 20 mins to just detangle my hair.  In an effort to streamline my natural hair regimen, I decided to give this a shot.

So glad I did! I saturated my hair with the As I am Coconut Cowash and coconut oil and went to work in the shower.  The results were fantastic.  I ended up with clean, freshly moisturized hair. I was in a rush and couldn’t stop and take pics.  This was a while back and I’m currently in braids so maybe I can provide an update later on.  I’m a believer!

Do you cowash your natural hair?  What products/methods do you use?

-Jaye

Where have you been??

Yes, I know, I’ve been MIA.  And I’m wrong as hell for that.

The truth is…life just got in the way. Summer came and went.  Did a little bit of traveling and a lot of turning up.  Lots of boozy brunches, day parties, barbecues, block parties and other random adventures (I took some pics, too). Along with it came some serious self reflection time.  I’ll share my conclusions for future posts.  But the Fall is in full swing now.  I’m back at work and trying to get on my professional grind.  Things are starting to get a little crazy again so I’m working on trying to balance both.

With all of that said, I’m back.  Can’t wait to get back into writing and sharing.

-Jaye

If a Man Wants You, Then and Now…

Little known fact: I’ve always wanted to become a writer.  I started a blog back in 2011, but grad school was top priority back then, leaving me with very little time to focus on my side passion.  That stops here.  I’m much busier now than I was back then, and I’m trying to do all I can so that I remain consistent.  

But anyway, I was randomly scrolling through my Facebook profile and came across a link I posted back from my old blog.  I laughed a bit while reading this post, primarily because it focused on some interesting aspects of dating and relationships.  I knew better at 23, but still somehow managed to get caught up in some pure bullshit when it came to matters of the heart in the years to follow.  I read the post now at 27 and…damn, if only I knew then what I know now.  You have to experience the lesson first hand to really be able to understand it, I suppose.   Continue reading