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Articles on this Page
- 07/13/18--13:50: _Nikki's on Dr. OZ T...
- 07/16/18--07:44: _Find Out If You Won...
- 07/16/18--07:59: _This Filmmaker Requ...
- 07/16/18--08:15: _ How Long Will Wome...
- 07/17/18--06:32: _True Story: The One...
- 07/17/18--07:44: _6 SPF Must-Haves Th...
- 07/17/18--09:03: _Tell It Tuesday: Na...
- 07/18/18--09:20: _Lusaka July, Zambia...
- 07/18/18--09:21: _BET’s Docu-Series V...
- 07/18/18--09:22: _Facing a Challenge?...
- 07/19/18--04:52: _True Story: My Moth...
- 07/19/18--05:14: _Is Letting Your Man...
- 07/19/18--05:44: _ The Real Reason It...
- 07/20/18--07:27: _This Refinery 29 Mi...
- 07/20/18--07:48: _Anyone Buying a Lau...
- 07/20/18--07:50: _Starve the Negativi...
- 07/23/18--07:38: _Length Retention Ti...
- 07/23/18--08:17: _The Problem With Ma...
- 07/23/18--08:18: _Singer Leela James ...
- 07/24/18--06:46: _Hairstylist & YouTu...
- 07/16/18--07:44: Find Out If You Won a 'Blessed' Key Chain by WriteNowFaithDesigns!
- 07/17/18--06:32: True Story: The One Time I Disobeyed My Mom She Kicked Me Out
- 07/17/18--07:44: 6 SPF Must-Haves That Ensure Your Black Won't Crack This Summer
- 07/17/18--09:03: Tell It Tuesday: Naomi Campbell & the Secret to Staying Lit
- 07/18/18--09:21: BET’s Docu-Series VIXEN Explores the Rise & Fall of the Video Model
- 07/19/18--05:14: Is Letting Your Man Style Your Hair the Ultimate Sign of Love?
- 07/20/18--07:50: Starve the Negativity by Focusing on Your Perfection: #BeHerNow
- 07/23/18--08:17: The Problem With Making Other Couples Your Relationship Goals
- 07/23/18--08:18: Singer Leela James is a Naturally Glam Diva
|Dr. Jen Caudle, Nikki, Dr. OZ & Guest|
|Photo via Dr. Jen Caudle's IG Page|
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|Sens Dessus Dessous Cast|
Matamba Kombila is not your average filmmaker. While most directors have the primary focus of creating stories to engage their audience, she takes it a step further with goals to impact her cast through a hair challenge aimed to build true self-esteem. Who in the world does something like that?
Matamba did that.
|Matamba (right) on set|
Through her short film series, Sens Dessus Dessous (Upside Down), Matamba tells a story which reveals that the hearing impaired are no different that anyone else and that they should be seen and regarded with the dignity and respect they deserve, as well as have access to better education, quality job training and employment equality. It is her hope that doors of unity will be opened, that the bridge of isolation will be closed and that the stigma placed on such differences will one day be erased.
Matamba incorporated some interesting regulations into her project that, in and of itself, is a pretty bold story that also needs to be told. All of her talent was required to either wear their hair natural or they had to wear headwraps that reflected the beauty and richness of African culture. Now that's all good, a beautiful thing indeed, but you know how we black women are about our hair! So, demanding we let go of the styles we believe fit us the most, especially on film where we will be seen by tons of people, could be a problem in the making. But Matamba approached her talented crew with such amazing grace and some really amazing things happened...
See, many women in the region have been struggling with issues of natural hair. No different than here in the good ol’ USA, the “supposed” superiority of western culture had its evil way and the brainwashing tactics intended to redefine the beauty standards from colonization still exist today. Euro-influenced styles and textures are deemed as best, and weaves, wigs and relaxer kits saturate the market. No stranger to the ups and downs of her own hair struggle- as a child, Matamba was proud to don a short trimmed fro and the occasional braids, but as a teen she switched over to perms and color that eventually made her hair fall out- now she wants to encourage young women to overcome the temptation to conform to standards that cause them to permanently abandon and develop disdain for their own unique beauty.
Knowing that her target audience (teens and tweens) are a very captive audience, she vowed to only represent natural hair in her film series. But while actors are accustomed to making drastic changes in appearance for a role, she was actually working with a lot of students. So she kindly schooled them on the dangers of hair processing and long term possibilities of hair loss. More importantly, she pointed them to the true beauty that lay beneath their relaxers, wigs and weaves. Sister Matamba was preaching the truth!
Didn't take much else for her crew to give real hair a try and they actually loved how they looked! And those who were hesitant to change on the spot, were pleased with the regalness the headwraps brought about. For most, au naturale became a permanent way of life and that's only the beginning! Hopefully, her film will do the same to change the way we look at natural hair.
I heard a song called Medicine by Queen Naija on the radio the other day and immediately thought, “Oh, we’re still doing this.” Each generation hopes that the one behind it gets all that we got wrong right. I really enjoy watching young girls being so sure of themselves these days and I foolishly thought that they had found the formula and were done taking mess from men but the song confirmed that they are out here still discovering that not all men do right and will treat you like an option and not a priority if you let them. In the song, Queen Naija laments about her man ignoring her lately, seeing calls from “just friends” and him coming in at 6 in the morning. She is frustrated because she has been faithful and says she knows what she has to do and turns the tables and gives him a taste of his own medicine...
“How would you like it if I do the things you do
Put you on do not disturb and entertain these dudes
I’ma ride him crazy and you’ll never have a clue
Give another guy everything that belongs to you
I’ma call up Brian, I’ma FaceTime Ryan
I’ma text Lorenzo and I’ma leave you cryin’
Don’t get it twisted I can play this game too
How would you like it if I did the same to you, same to you yeah?”
|Ciara in 'Like a Boy' video|
|Beyonce in 'If I Were a Boy' video|
“Get out of my house! You think you grown?!
After seven long years of high school (it’s a Dutch/Caribbean island thing), I had less than a month before leaving for college. I could practically smell the jet fuel and salted peanuts! However, what was supposed to be a summer of fun parties and sappy goodbyes became known as the summer my mom kicked me out.
My older sister was visiting for the first time since leaving about three-ish years earlier. We were excited, we were grown-ish, and we were ready to have the best summer ever. Because my sister’s birthday fell after school let out, she never got to treat her classmates. It didn’t help that we were also often away on holiday so she couldn’t even invite her friends over. Our parents weren’t down for swapping birthdays (yup, I even offered to trade dates with her) or celebrate a month early. This year was going to be different because she and her friends were not tied to the school holiday calendar or parents with ridiculous curfews. As a soon-to-be 21-year-old, she was ready to celebrate in style: clubbing with the girls!
Her demands were simple: a banging dress, a cute squad, a jumpin’ club, and wheels. Anything with four tires and a running engine would do. Since she’d spent the past year saving up cash, she didn’t need our parents' help or permission -- or so we thought.
I was eighteen; old enough to go clubbing, but not old enough to stay out without my mother’s permission. My sister needed -- not just wanted -- me to go with her because she didn’t have a drivers’ license.
Roadblock. Our mom, the devout church lady, was not having it. Clubbing was for whores and she didn’t think I was responsible enough for a rental. No biggie, we would just ask our dad. What good is divorce if you can’t pit your parents against each other? I mean, no one likes to play bad cop.
As expected, my dad said “yes.” Technically, he said “I don’t see why not. I’m down if your mom is down.” The half consent was good enough for us! We rushed over to the car rental and secured our wheels for the weekend. Worst case scenario, we ask for forgiveness after our parents finished squabbling with each other.
Saturday night arrived and we got ready for an epic night out. We planned to leave while our mom was away doing church lady things.
My sister wasn’t surprised or disappointed when I choose not to actually enter the club; I was the good girl, the obedient child, the one focused on books instead of boys. The club wasn’t my scene. I just wanted to gift my sister a perfect birthday by being her chauffeur. Once she and her friends hopped out the minivan, I found some free parking and went straight to sleep.
As agreed, at two in the morning, I pulled up to the club’s entrance where my sister and her friends were waiting. We dropped everyone home and made it back to our mom’s house around five thirty. We arrived together. We left together. No one got sloppy drunk or into any fights. My sister also got some awesome photos. All in all, it seemed like a successful night to me.
“Get out of my house! You think you grown?! Well, then go live with Roberto or whoever you got that ride from!” my mother screamed.
Record break. Our mom was livid. Talk about super awkward because our younger sister and her friend who was sleeping over had to sit through the entire tongue lashing.
It was time to enact plan B. When we were able to get a word in, we told her that we had permission from our dad to rent the car and go. Monkeywrench: our dad totally did a 180 and told our mom that he did not and left us hanging. We were expecting them to squabble it out while we caught up on sleep.
My sister was expecting me to beg for forgiveness while she searched for somewhere to stay, because it was unlikely that I would actually leave the house. Plot twist. I called my mom’s bluff, told my sister to pack her ish, and we peeled out with the minivan. This was was actually a dramatically triumphant moment for me. Teenage me could be described as “servile” or “obedient to a fault.” However, I was done after eighteen years of “try harder, do better.” I was broken. I knew we weren’t in the wrong. I didn’t even go inside the nightclub and I made everyone wear their seatbelt.
I -- the child who only got spanked once; who was on the honor roll and had perfect attendance several times -- was being kicked out for one night of partying. I mean, sure full permission would have been ideal, but we had at least one adult co-sign the night’s events. I was eighteen!
With 14 days before my student flight to the Netherlands was set to take off, my sister and I spent the rest of her ‘baller vacation’ money on a hotel. We didn’t tell our mom where we were. I don’t even know why we allowed our dad and his treacherous butt to visit us, but we did.
Two days before my flight, I scheduled a meeting with my mom. I’d spent the last twelve days praying and reflecting -- yes, I really was that child. The meeting was civilized, no cursing but also no real resolution. We didn't speak for about three months after moving to Europe. It took about six months of semi-regular calls for us to re-establish our roles and boundaries. The calls were informal family therapy sessions.
My lesson? No matter what you do, you can’t please everyone. Just because someone seems like an authority figure doesn’t mean you should obey them blindly. When you believe in something, you must stick to your guns no matter the consequences.
Over all, my mom kicking me out after one night of clubbing was the best thing to happen to me because it taught me to stand up for myself. My mom is actually very good at raising younger children. However, young adults require more autonomy; you have to accept that it's okay for people to have different lifestyle preferences. The problem with my mom is that she wanted us to make zero mistakes, she's learning that we can do things differently and not be wrong.
About 6-12 months after the incident, our relationship improved because we don’t obey out of fear; we communicate, negotiate, and -- most importantly -- agree to disagree. We repeated the cycle when my sisters and I got married and had kids. My mom is a trooper and very willing to grow. When we hit a rough patch I don't dispare because I'm confident we can come to a positive resolution.
By Kandice Guice
Contrary to popular belief, SPF products are a vital summer essential for melanin folks too.
Although darker skin tones are less susceptible to sunburn, they are still at risk of damaging skin effects without the proper protection. These effects include dryness, skin irritation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Such exposure may also result in more serious effects like skin cancer. Incorporating beauty products and sunscreen into your regular routine drastically lowers the risk of skin damage from excessive sun exposure. Here's a rundown of my SPF product bible for summer:
Ms. Campbell has made a lot of positive changes since her glory days though. She removed herself from the spotlight for a while, got sober and even reached back to help director Lee Daniels and designer Marc Jacobs to get sober too. And while in anger management (a requirement for hitting folks with cell phones!), she took the initiative to realize her issues, which is the only way these programs actually work.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."Naomi's wisdom hooked Ruth up to the T! When the fly guy came chasing, she schooled Ruth on how to do things right. In the end, Ruth got her man without having to get got, Naomi got her land back AND a grandbaby that was part of lineage of Jesus Christ! Naomi had a moment of darkness, but Ruth saw she was still LIT!
|Cleo Clementine & Natasha Van Der Moss|
The event is a spin-off of the glamorous Durban July where socialites indulge in fashion, luxury and style. The 3rd annual Lusaka July event was successfully held this past weekend at Lusaka Polo Club. Over the years, the event has grown to become a “must attend” for A-Listers, socialites and corporates in the region, with its unique combination of fashion, entertainment and a live polo match! The theme this year was Colony of Wealth, designed to encourage attendees to express the richness and diversity of African fashion and imagine themselves as royalty through their outfits.
Singer Cleo Clementine aka 'the ice queen' shows us how to rock faux fur in July!
|Guest with model Fred Jacksons|
Cassey Malaika |
Cassey is truly the Queen of Hearts!
Maps Maponyane& Mr. Mulenga II|
Royal to a T.
|Mukuni Mulundika (center) and these two beauties did not come to play!|
Boity is the true definition of a Queen!
Natasha Van Der Moss|
Natasha shows us how to strike a serious pose!
What do you think about the fashions from the Gala? Do you have a favorite look?
The series aired in three parts and exposed the rise and fall of the video modeling world. It opens by detailing how curvier girls of black and brown shades were ushered in as rappers’ leading ladies during hip hop’s heyday of multi-million dollar productions to accompany and promote their music to the masses. Where singers could rely on their voices and choreography, record executives honed in on exotic features and hour glass frames to make their sells. The marketing plan was to showcase the opulence of the rags to riches - with male viewers envious of their favorite rapper’s arm candy and female viewers desiring to be the leading ladies of the wealthy. What execs didn’t anticipate was just how famous these leading ladies would become.
Models would bounce from video to video, often making just as much or even more than the rap stars. Why? Because, they were the main attraction. Rita Acosta boasted that she was paid as much as $10,000 per video. Imagine, three videos for a year at that rate and that equates to the average starting salary of a full-time job. Models were treated like gold on set with their own trailers, wardrobe stylists and more.
|Former Video Model Melyssa Ford covers KING Magazine|
If you think about it, this was no different than a white actress or model on the cover of Cosmopolitan where they were given multi-page spreads and interviews to give readers and fans an opportunity to get to know them better. This led to models becoming brands, selling calendars and merchandise and even hosting gigs.
However, things began to change when Internet streaming availability impacted money from record sales. Video budgets were cut from millions to low thousands, leaving record companies unable to afford movie-like theatrics and the actors that came with it. Southern rap was beginning to boom where strip culture was thriving and as Melyssa Ford put it,
“Casting directors realized they could get a regular girl from the strip club who aesthetically looked just like me, for a lot less money who was willing to do a lot more for the job and to become famous...even wearing close to nothing or nothing at all.”Even former backup dancer Shane Johnson explained in an interview this past Spring that she hung up her dancing shoes after the emergence of video models, specifically strippers with Shane saying,
“The South had something to say during Hip Hop’s peak in the late 90s and early 2000s, and we weren’t down for that so I let it go.”Video models were phased out and vixens were born. BET helped none with the creation of late night music videos rivaling soft porn showcased in UNCUT and the fallout from Nelly’s Tip Drill visual.
According to many of the earlier pioneers who turned a video cameo into other opportunities, there was always a certain level of misogyny in the lyrics and of course they’d get hit on, but they insist the artist and co were respectful and only did what was allowed to do. Melyssa Ford proclaims, “I was the QUEEN of no. I have a man to go home to and I’m here to do a job.” But, Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine "Superhead" Steffans changed that perception for not just the women, but also gave rappers who were once deemed respectful a gateway to being pigs.
If she were a man, the backlash wouldn’t have existed. Her being a black woman counted against her with black women shaming her and black men publicly denouncing her.
There’s no difference in Karrine Steffans turning her alleged sexcapades with wealthy rappers and the lifestyle it afforded her into a book and empire than Kris Jenner spearheading Kim Kardashian and co’s careers from Kim’s sextape - anyone who thinks otherwise lacks sense.
|Amber Rose Annual SlutWalk|
Smile. Breathe. Relax your shoulders. Silently give thanks for and send love to whatever it is you’re currently growing through. It’s only happening to remind you of your true Self, of your inner Power, of your ‘I Am.’
At any one time you may think you’re desiring a resolution to a conflict, a new car, a new home, a new relationship, but at the root of all of these little desires is your primal need to remember, know and BE what you really are. IT puts you through certain experiences to bring you Home!
Your job is to keep turning to your ‘I Am,’ the loving awareness, the inner Presence, and feeling that all is well. That’s actually the automatic response to turning within and sensing the silence of Presence— IT feels good, IT feels like general well-being, perfection— even when circumstances suggest otherwise. IT’s a felt sign, the first sign, that your blessing is HERE, even though you can’t see it yet.
When everything works out, as it always does, your #faith in Presence will be stronger. This is not blind-faith, this is felt-faith. Joel Goldsmith likened it to being in a pool, unable to swim and declaring, ‘I have faith!’ while having on water wings and rocking an inner tube of course you KNOW you’re not gonna drown. That’s the kind of faith I’m talking about. Cultivate, that. Be that. So you can finally be HER! #BeHerNow
I love you all so much and intend that you can appreciate whatever is challenging you right now. It’s truly all okay, everything is great. Feel IT and walk in IT knowing that you’ve already won. It’s done.
P.S. **the real blessing is freedom from circumstances.
The freedom to know you’re okay, no matter what. And when you truly know that all is ‘okay,’ circumstances start reflecting back to you that way. Take your power back. -Nikki Walton
It has been about 10 years since the relationship that I once had with my mother transitioned into the crumbled shell that it is today. Today, the status of this non-relationship is not a bother to me, and I know that many people wouldn't understand that.
|Dan & Wendy|
Before this video I'd seen Wendy and Dan in passing. Every now and then they'd pop up on the side of my computer screen in a sponsored video, smiling like they'd just cashed a check. I even wondered if they were a real couple. Now I know. Dan Hennessey & Wendy Joseph are indeed a real couple who have been together for over 10 years (now engaged), with tons of youtube followers who tag along to see their escapades in places like Paris, Costa Rica or even the kitchen as the two chef it up. Wendy has also been known to post videos on her hair routine, which brings me to this video in which Dan attempts to get all up in her voluminous tresses to style her hair in a bun. I could count the number of times a man who wasn't a hair stylist has done my hair. One. My husband. So it made me wonder, is letting your man in your hair the ultimate sign of closeness?
|Pat McGrath & Kylie Jenner|
Chances are, a lot of you have never heard the name Pat McGrath, the British-born makeup artist born to a single mother of Jamaican decent, who grew up loving makeup and got her start in the 80's with designers John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. Since then, she's worked just about every major fashion show in every major market, with every major photographer for every major magazine before starting her own makeup line, Pat McGrath Labs, in 2015, following her mom's advice. Today, her line is sold at PatMcGrathLabs.com, Sephora.com and its stores, and will be expanding to even more stores and will soon include merch and apparel with the 60 million dollar investment deal she just secured with a New York-based investment firm. Everything said, her company has just been valued at 1 billion dollars.
Perhaps a better question would be, what don't we know about Kylie, so famous that we don't have to say her last name. We know more than we probably care to know. The youngest daughter in the infamous Kardashian-Jenner klan, whose dad is former Olympian Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn, has been making headlines since she was a teen. First by dating an older rapper by the name of Tyga who was a neighbor and father to Blac China's son, then by getting lip injections, and who knows what other plastic surgery, to showing almost as much skin on instagram as her older sister Kim, a tactic that has rewarded her with 111 million followers, to recently having a baby with rapper Travis Scott, to perhaps her biggest achievement to date, her estimated 900 million dollar cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, for which she earned a recent Forbes magazine cover. A few highlights from the company include selling more than $630 million worth of makeup since it was founded in 2016 and selling 19 million worth of makeup in a limited edition 'drop' in 24 hours. Mama owns 100 percent of the company, now estimated at 900 million.
"It has always been my dream to create an iconic beauty brand that goes beyond the usual limitations, that lives outside the parameters of what is expected. I am thrilled to be working with the unique and expert team at Eurazeo Brands."
|Ms. Lauryn Hill Courtesy Photo via TheMiamiTimes|
I was in fifth grade when Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation was released. I don’t think I could overstate what that album meant to me. It changed the game for me (I would learn later, so many other young, Black women.)
A year later, during a family reunion—where we ended up in Vegas— I saw that Lauryn Hill was performing there, the day after we would have already left. I stood there on the strip, staring at that illuminated marquee, somehow knowing that I was missing something magical, some once in a lifetime event. As you know, Lauryn Hill is still performing her classic album. But if I wanted to hear what I fell in love with, the best chance of that would have been in 1999.
|Lauryn Hill performs at Festival Pier, July 13, 2018 in Philly|
Fans, disappointed by the set, hopped on Twitter to share their grievances.
As a fan of Lauryn’s music, who will always regard The Miseducation as genius work, I have one thing to say to these people who bought tickets to this show, arrived to the venue on time, waited for an hour and sat through a terrible set. It’s the same thing my momma used to say to me after I defied her repeated warnings. “Maybe now you’ll learn.”
It would be different if this was the first time Lauryn had pulled something like this. But this has been her modus operandi for years now. In fact, showing up only an hour late, is an improvement. After one particular bad showing, Hill offered an explanation for her tardiness.
“I don't show up late to shows because I don’t care. And I have nothing but Love and respect for my fans. The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others.”This was just an excerpt from her explanation written in 2016.
If y’all still buying tickets to her shows after that, it’s on you. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” And Lauryn not only showed us, then she told y’all she’s not going to be on time.
For the people who are still buying tickets, expecting anything else…I have no choice but to assume you enjoy being gaslit.
Going to a Lauryn Hill concert with expectations of professionalism and general decency is like dating a man who said he wasn’t ready for a relationship, expecting to get a ring. It’s like marrying T.I. and expecting fidelity. Hanging out with Snoop Dogg and expecting sobriety. Conversing with Kanye West and expecting him to honor the ancestors.
In the words of Drake, “You knew what it was when you signed up.”
At this point, I’m convinced folks are purchasing Lauryn Hill tickets just so they can complain about how terrible the show was. Or maybe they’re doing it as some form of community service, given Hill’s infamous tax issues. If that’s the case, then, perhaps, the disappointment is easier to take on the chin. But at the end of the day, you have no one to blame but yourself if you leave a Lauryn Hill concert pissed and she leaves paid.
To Do: In every moment, find the current of Joy and flow with that. It’s always there. Make it your number one priority to feel that innate well-being and then, carry on. Like, don’t do shit until you’re connected with That and watch how life unfolds! #IAmLovingAwareness #IAmLove
|Tasha and Ghost of Power|
|Barack and Michelle|
Leela James always remains consistent for the culture. Whether she’s giving us soulful hits or wearing her natural crown and glory, both are equally amazing. We recently chatted with the former R&B Divas star to get the scoop on her hair care tips, mommy duties, and the next phase of her career. Check out our latest Naturally Glam feature with the one and only Leela James!
|Leela & Tank|
Popular YouTube vlogger Funky Dineva recently compared your vocals to Aretha Franklin’s. How does that make you feel since R&B music doesn’t get a whole lot of attention as it used to?
Honestly, it’s an honor. She’s one of the greatest to ever do it. To be mentioned in the same sentence as her is like “Wow!” It’s a compliment.
What are your feelings about reality TV? Would you do it again?
Yeah! I absolutely would if it was the right situation for me. It is what you make it. Of course, it’s entertainment, but it’s also a reflection of who you are.
You’re one of few celebrities who has not had a PR catastrophe, or an influx of unfavorable things being said about you. How do you stay so grounded?
I just try to keep it 100 and be real. I was raised more so on “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I believe in karma, too. So, I don’t trip when people treat me bad. Karma takes care of it. If you rock on my bad side, you’ll see karma takes care of you.
Your hair has always been the epitome of #hair goals, especially in terms of growth and healthiness. Tell us about your natural hair journey.
For a long time now, like the last seven years, I’ve been natural. I didn’t do a big chop. I just wore braids while I transitioned, and it became “a look.” Although, I wasn’t trying to be trendy—I just don’t like dealing with my hair and braids worked for me.
On your natural hair journey, did you ever get frustrated with your hair and want to relax it?
Not at all. If I needed to straighten it, I’d get it pressed. Relaxer is so harsh on the hair. I had my hair colored and the addition of those chemicals always seemed like it was too much.
What are some of your favorite products?
I like a little bit of everything. But lately, I use a lot of Crème of Nature, Dr. Miracle’s, and the natural stuff like mayonnaise, carrot oil, and black castor oil.
Leela, is there anything you’d like to add or clarify at this time?
I’m working on new music coming out very soon. And I’m here!
Congratulations to Leelah on her recent nuptials! Follow her on Instagram @leelajamesofficial.
|Silk press by Janay Mickles|
There is something so satisfying about witnessing shiny, flawless, bouncy, and flowy silk press results! As the resident at-home hair stylist to my three sisters and mother, it is a technique I’ve tried and failed a countless amount of times. We’ve purchased multiple flat irons—Chi, FHI, and the cheapie ones you get at the beauty supply store (seriously, don’t ever buy those). The same goes for the 15 blow dryers we have in the closet, all purchased in the name of securing silky sleek hair but only resulting in a disappointing, frizzy mess within minutes. And those are just the tools, let’s not even get started on the products . . .
From 4c natural hair to relaxed hair, Janay can do it all and never shies away from a challenge. In fact, she capitalizes on any and every opportunity to show just how skilled she truly is at straightening hair. Janay says she started doing hair at a young age but says she actually learned how to straighten natural hair by just practicing on herself!
“Around high school is when I started straightening my own hair and at that time everyone was using loads of oil to achieve the look. I was more into the lightweight look and I knew there had to be a way to achieve it on my hair without going to a salon. So I would practice using different products on my hair and seeing the results. I soon found out that the secret was little to no product!”Needless to say, she’s learned a lot since then and reveals that now, the hardest part about doing hair is,
“When people’s expectations are too high. For example, they'll want their hair to come out super silky like my videos but they aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing at home. That could be neglecting their hair or just not deep conditioning it enough or keeping up with trims. But the best part is seeing the smile on their face at the end.”Unlike some at-home stylists, Janay uses her environment to her advantage and feels it only helps her business. “I am always professional and cater to my client’s needs. I keep my place super clean and I think the clients and I enjoy the intimacy of it just being us.”
When it comes to securing the perfect results every single time, Janay always uses her Babyliss Pro flat iron but for her it’s not just all about the tools.
“The most important thing would have to be starting off on super clean hair, she says. You can do everything else correct but if you have an ounce of old product in your hair, it will ruin the style. Also, over the years, I've learned it’s all in your blow dry: that's what will make the press last. Last but not least, use little to no product. The only thing I use in most of my presses is heat protectant.”So what’s next for Janay Mickles?
“I would love to be in a salon suite in the near future and come out with a product line as well as a flat iron.”Spoken like a true boss! Keep up with Janay on YouTubeand Instagram!