Friday, August 16, 2019

I Am Not My Hair: Police Me Not

Courtesy of Project Embrace
Back to school season has arrived. As if its not enough fulfilling school lists and figthing crowds for uniforms arent enough to keep parents busy, they must now also contend with what hairstyles violate school dress codes. For many people of color living and working in predominantly white spaces, its not difficult to imagine being told that the way your natural hair grows violates a school or place of business dress code or policy of professionalism. Furthermore, what perpetuates this narrative is the lack of afro textured hair in mainstream media and marketing. While there is a rise in women of status appearing in advertisements rocking their natural hair, there are still deficits in women sporting natural hair on large and very public platforms.
Whispering Roots Hair Care

For those of African descent, hairstyles associated with ethnic identity have often been singled out and targeted for discrimination. Across the United States, discrimination on the basis of hair is fleeting topic of discussion. California and New York are among the first to ban discrimination on the basis of hair. The New York City Commission of Human Rights states that the same law that prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, or religion applies to hair, which is ultimately an extension and intrinsic part of black identity. People across the country have reported various bouts of discrimination regarding their natural hairstyles and are often forced to cut it off or change it to "meet" codes of dress and/or professionalism.

For black people, hair is symbolic and a huge stance against the violation of civil rights. It is the rebellion whiteness and for a long time a stance against assimilation. In the event that you are
worried about your child's hair violating existing dress codes, it is suggested that you stand to break boundaries and change the perception, one coil at a time.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Watch WHAT You Allow In Your Head: Wood Combs and Natural Hair




Whispering Roots Hair Care Products
If you ask any black woman about their hair care experience while growing up, the stories you are bound to hear will be seemingly one of pain and torture. From pressing combs to ponytail holders there isn't a shortage of the horror that came from a typical moment of hair combing. Some of those pain inducing treasures are sitting in our bathroom cabinets right now....I'm not talking about barettes are harsh chemicals, im talking about plastic combs. You just flashed back to a time it felt like you were being stabbed, scratched and violated by a plastic comb in your hair.

Plastic combs are known to dig into the scalp and if you have thick (high density), dry (low porosity) hair then you know how torturous plastic combs are to the scalp and how damaging they can be to your natural tresses. Plastic combs are easy to produce, economical and durable compared to other (earlier) combs, such as wooden combs. Convenience and mass production made plastic combs the primary tool for separating hair follicles.

Wooden combs, however, are absolute must-haves for natural, thick and curly hair. Sandalwood combs are perfect for maintaining and encouraging the growth of natural hair. Using a sandalwood comb in your crown has a few benefits you may want to make note of.

Whispering Roots Hair Oil
Sandalwood combs don't produce static as often found in plastic/rubber based combs. This prevents hair breakage and helps detangle the hair. In addition the teeth of the comb massages the scalp as opposed to digging and scratching. This helps stimulate the scalp by increasing blood flow and encouraging nutrient deposits to the roots.The natural wooden fibers of the teeth of the comb helps condition the scalp distributing the natural oils from the roots down the hair to its ends. This helps minimze dandruff production. Using a wooden comb in your natural hair will give you that beautiful and healthy mane that you have been working so hard to maintain.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Black Hair Don't Care: How to Manage Your Low Porosity, High Density Hair


Source: Youtube
The growth of the natural hair care business is booming! More women are returning to their roots, while caring for their roots. >Insert boisterous laughter here> No? Ok, bad joke aside, according to a research by Mintel, more black women in the United States of America are gravitating towards natural hair care products and this has seen an increase in the sale of hair styling products, which jumped to 26.8 percent between 2013 and 2015, reaching a value of $946 million which represents more than 16 percent of the overall hair industry. Black women are moving away from chemical based products, this change in lifestyle has created the boom in natural hair care product sales. 

While business is booming, there are a massive number of women that find it difficult to manage natural hair. Deciding to go natural involves a process almost as rigorous as the FBI hiring process. After finally taking the leap of faith to just do it, because why not, do the most liberating, socially rebellious thing as wearing the hair God gave the lady must:


*determine the type of hair they have (like seriously, what does the c in 4c hair even stand for?)


*identify if its low, medium or high porosity and density (My hair is poros? What is that? Is it bad? Is this why my hair is thick?)


*search high and low for the right hair care products (is there a medium search button for hair care products? i'm on product 8 bazillion and 5, i'd like to scale this back)


*research "growing hands" stlyists (Is this stylist a renowned edge whisperer?)


*develop an intense daily and weekly regiment to ensure healthy manageable hair (Why does my hair feel drier than the desert, I've moisturized daily?)



Whispering Roots Hair and Scalp Moisturizer
So, while getting back to the root of all is on a steady rise, choosing to properly care for your natural hair is not easy requires tenacity and werewithal. While there are several places to start, understanding your hair type can be the most difficult one to start with. No worries, we will provide a cliffsnotes version, a cheat sheet if you will to putting the pieces of your hair puzzle together. 

You've finally did the big chop and are now standing in the mirror envisioning yourself in the middle of the beauty supply with what seems to be miles and aisles of products. Where do you begin? How do you decide? Before you jet out the door, do a simple search on your hair type based on its porosity and density. Porosity is your hair's ability to absorb moisture/water. Low porosity hair is resistant to moisture and if tested (clean hair only) will float in a bowl of water. This hair type finds difficutly in getting water in and keeping it there. High porosity hair absorbs moisture greatly. This leads to frizzy hair. Choose products that are water soluble if you have low porosity hair as this aid in the reduction of build up and are rich in moisture. For high porosity hair choose products that protein rich and lightweight to avoid heavy hair. 


If you have ever heard an elder in your family say, "That baby sure has some thick hair" then you have an idea of what hair density is. It simply refers to the thickness of your hair. This is not be confused with the hair strand, but rather the thickness of your hair in any given section of your head. Thick hair bearers (high density hair) should use products that are heavier. However, beware if you are low porosity and high density as thicker products may block /seal the small folicle openings before moisture has a chance to penetrate. So always moisturize before sealing with heavier products. Low density hair should use leave-in conditioners that promises appearance of fuller hair. 


Now that you have had your science lesson on hair, lets discuss the economics of hair care products...in other words, let us examine how what supply of products your hair will demand. Low porosity hair should look for products with water and either coconut, sunflower, grapeseed, or argan oil in the first six ingredients. Jojoba, jamaican black castor oil, almond oil and shea butter will also work for sealing the moisture in. Adding heat to your regiment also helps hold moisture in. High porosity hair should seek products with avocado oil or high protein conditioners to help control the frizz. In addition to these products, creating a diy at home conditioner using any combination of these products that may work for you: honey, mayo, avocado, olive oil, and a banana. 

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

REBEKAH LAUR'EN ANNOUNCES THE RE-RELEASE OF HER MEDITATIVE SOUL, HEAD BOPPING SELF REFLECTIVE ALBUM TITLED "SOBER": Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC Release: May 7, 2019. For Immediate Release  

Rebekah Laur'en announces the re-release of her first album SOBER. 
First released in September of 2016, Rebekah Laur'en, after experiencing heartbreaks from ex lovers, friends, and even family, she wrote an album exposing her pain and sharing her process of healing. 

Rebekah Laur'en has reproduced and recreated the album, SOBER showcasing her original compositions and production. This re-release is a representation of the full development of belief in self. Rebekah Laur'en states:  "I didn't believe in myself when I first released the album back in 2016 which is why I asked another producer to produce the first project and although the producer was talented and amazing, it was not my sound  but through out time I've come into a different place with myself personally and professionally as a musician and as a person which reflects much of my growth and healing." 

Rebekah Laur'en recorded most of the album in her studio in VA. She kept some of the original songs that were collaborations with other producers such as, New York City Producer, LonzCity who produced the song "Dicentra" and Producer, Z. Gates who worked on tracks like "Escape" and "Confessions". 

SOBER is composed of 11 Tracks, each being it's own song while yet sticking to the solid story line. From the textures to the colorful sounds of her own unique touch to her music, you can't help but get lost in the flow of her music, lyrically and rhythmically. 

Rebekah Laur'en hopes that this album does for others what her music did for her in hard times and leading them to the process of healing. This is just the start for her as she is also journeying into her own indie label Sound Proof 4. With Sound Proof 4, Rebekah is recruiting artists healers who also bring about social awareness and a spiritual, mental and physical sense of liberation.

Rebekah will begin a  tour in the fall!  To keep up with dates, cities and locations go check her website: www.rlmusik.com and follow her instagram where she will be making constant updates: r.l_music. 

SOBER releases May 27th and will only be available on Bandcamp.com until June 1st, after June 1st SOBER will be available on all music streaming platforms. 

For an Exclusive peek into the album, SOBER, join Rebekah at the SOBER, album release party presented by Honey-Coated NightLyfe.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Monday, September 25, 2017

Self-Care Isnt Feminism its Existentialism: Reclaiming My Time Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 


(September 25, 2017)
WASHINGTON, DC- Poet and Author, Jeanette MsNightLyfe Ferrell in collaboration with Fast Pencil Publishing is releasing Reclaiming My Time: A Practical Gide to Self-Care on Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, and SweetToothMedia.com on September 25, 2017.

We live in a time where being a woman is minimized to objects of hypersexualization and the symbol of misogyny. To be a woman of color in an era of heightened racism and disregard is in and of itself a political statement. It is in this time that as women must attend to the need of caring for self.

In Reclaiming My Time: A Practical Guide To Self-Care, the author addresses the hard topic of self-love and applying that love to the care of women, particularly women of color. Within Reclaiming My Time: A Practical Guide To Self-Care, proper self care is defined and even in the busiest of times lends tools that can be used by any woman. Written using 'I am every woman' humor in a nuturing but firm tone, Reclaiming My Time: A Practical Guide To Self-Care,is what women have been waiting for.

Published by Fast Pencil Publishing. Digital and In print. ISBN-13: 978-1499903430 

For more information, to schedule interviews, book study and more visit www.SweetToothMedia.com 



"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Friday, April 15, 2016

Be Your Family or Friends Keeper: Dealing With Mental Health

I have spoke on this particular subject once before (I Will End The Mental Illness Stigma) but it covered a broad range of mental illness and given resources for help. This time around I want to focus on a personal level. This time I want to give some helpful tips on how to help a person dealing with mental illness. The awesome organization NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a free 12 session educational program designed for families, friends, or significant others to learn how to live with someone who suffers from mental illness. It helps those individuals improve the coping and problem-solving techniques when dealing directly with their affected loved one. To check out your local NAMI location just visit their website at www.nami.org.

Many families deal with mental illness especially within the African-American community that they either choose not to address it or don't know the signs. What they dont realize is that your mental health ultimately affects your physical health. Studies have shown poor emotional health can weaken  your immune system (familydoctor.org), which is why African-Americans lead when it comes to high blood pressure. So if you love someone who deals with mental illness help them, help you, help them...I'll explain. I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with bipolar, so whenever I know she is doing good, I worry less. When things are in a disarray I'm usually the anxious one and its usually her that calms me down. If she's ok I'm ok, see simple. Now every case may not be the same as ours, by all means we are not the best example of a best friend relationship, but even with the illness we make it work because we have both recognized and are treating our illness. Maybe you are not sure of the signs well here are a few:

1. Withdrawl-from family and no interest doing any activities
2. Nervousness- Constant suspiciousness of even those who are close to you, always feeling nervous.
3. Sleep and appetite changes- sleeping way more than usual or not getting any sleep at all. Either not eating enough or overeating.
4. Mood changes: When their emotions are to the extreme (extreme anger, extreme sadness etc)
5. Thoughts of suicide- If you or someone you know have had these thoughts or have attempted suicide there is help. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

I try to talk to my mom sometimes, and no lie its a challenge. I think its because she knows that mental illness is present with me she just doesn't know how to respond because dealing with someone with a mental illness is very very unpredictable. That is why I strongly encourage my readers to seek out every resource possible. Until then here are a few tips that I find helpful:

1. Let them talk- Sometimes all they want to know is that they have what is called a "safety spot". Where they come to someone and they know there will be no judgement, or will not get scolded. Do what you can to gain that person's trust.

2. Some things are going to sound repetitive: Be patient because a lot of things that people with anxiety deal with is worrying about the same thing until a solution is found, and then they begin to worry if the solution will work. Be reassuring with them and sometimes you may have to repeat yourself but it makes communication much easier. Just remain calm ad cool and your energy will pass along to those who are ill.

3. Don't remind them of their illness- You want to do whatever you can to avoid it, simply because they may not even be thinking about it. That is why its so important to spend time with the person with the illness, gaining trust. Do things that will distract them from focusing on their illness. Find a spot that gives them peace and serenity and go there often. Mine is the lake in Hermann Park in Houston,TX. Water soothes me and they also have the Japanese Garden which is so beautiful and peaceful, places like that.

4. Don't you change- You can be yourself around the person. You're close to them for a reason so dont treat them as if they have the illness, remember DO NOT remind them that they are ill. Remain positive and optimistic around them and this also helps eases the illness.

5. Congratulate them when they are doing well- Let them know that you see any changes that they have made. Remind them to always stay on their treatment or if they haven't started treatment encourage them to get help. Be available if they choose to go get treatment, no one wants to feel as if they are alone in getting help. Be open to any and all suggestions that the doctors or counselors may give and follow through.

Remember you can play a major part in helping a person with mental illness.


www.psychiatry.org 
http://www.calmclinic.com
http://www.webmd.com
www.nami.org.


Peace And Blessings
Swagg P
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Will Not Include A Performance From Beyonce

"You will not be able to stay at home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised"

Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was a great African-American soul, jazz, poet, and "bluesologist" singer who created the poem and song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". As he complimented these powerful words alongside the beat or congas and bongo drums this message originally was a slogan among the 1960's  Black Power movement. It's lyrics focused on several TV shows, advertising slogans and icons of the entertainment and news coverage as examples of what "the revolution will not" be. His music also influenced the Hip-Hop and the Neo-Soul genres with his ability to both sing and rap in his songs such as in his album Pieces of a Man and also Winter in America. Which leads me to ask, will you be too caught up in the latest car commercial or anticipating the latest album from your favorite artist to realize when the revolution will be?

I've learned as a student of Communications I've learned the nuances of the underlining tools that the media tends to use when wanting the public to not focus on the bigger issues at hand. It seems these days with the power of social media a simple tweet between celebrities can distract millions from some of the world's most important issues. Now you are at the line in which you ask "Well are the celebrities really responsible for making people more socially conscious?", well I believe that will always be a question where we would have to agree to disagree. I however don't feel they are obligated but more so to be more thoughtful of how this could the shoes could be on the other foot. However one can hope and pray. Now I am not saying be so socially conscious to where you have to make everything in life a conspiracy theory, however don't let the wool go down too far over your eyes. Let's take for example the following current events: you have Beyonce stupendous Superbowl performance followed the very great performance given by Kendrick Lamar (which both are now on the Grammy winning list). Both performances were filled with racially conscious messages which me personally was expected from Kendrick from the gate he has made what I would say "consciously sound" music, but out steps Bey? Beyonce has become one of the world's biggest entertainers of our time, her music has always been universal, so her stepping into what may say in her "Alabama/Louisiana/Houston" roots kinda took me aback. I mean you have little girls of all races wanting to be her and here she was featuring her daughter Blue in her video with what a little formation of the future Destiny's Child. Then having a lineup of dancers with their afros and their Black Panther meets Michael Jackson 2010 SuperBowl influenced uniforms to shut down the halftime show (despite the almost fall that no one really caught because Beyonce is always on beat), and some of us our sitting like "Where did this come from?". By some of us I mean about 12 black people and ALLLLL of White America. Personally after a discussion with a few of my colleagues we can all agree WE WERE ALL HERE FOR IT! Now were we necessarily here for the extended promo she did at the end nah, we has a race were on a high and then BOOM by the way here is my tour. Its feels like well dang Bey can you let me black and proud and breathe this moment of Black Excellence that just took place at the most watched and paid for event EVER before you go the pockets? Now we can all agree hats off and kudos to that FABULOUS PR team, talk about the best eff'n timing on earth, however as I was watching I just wanted the moment to just last a but longer before something else was to grab our attention, hence the "distraction" tactic often used in the media and is a definitely a tool used in promotions.

Now by all means I'm now Beyonce hater but neither am I apart of the Beyhive. I am also not yet another lost soul, or coon, or sell out, or a Raven Simone as I have seen on FaceBook and Twitter whenever you say anything at all negative about Beyonce. I am black woman that realizes that it takes more than a song to fix what has been going on for at least over 100 years now. How that we have so much work and construction within our own community before we can fight any other battle. We openly and blatantly destroy our own community on a daily, whether its our black on black crime for materialistic things. When we pass up our black owned businesses because they don't have the labels of mainstream media that we feel we need to have to be accepted into society. I honestly didn't realize that society had a dress code hence the fact that your have so many different fashion designers everywhere. Maybe just maybe would it hurt to employ a black lawn service, or go support that young brother or sister trying to make a name for themselves in the fashion world. Can we not let the few bad business dealings that you have had within our community change your entire outview because wouldn't that be categorizing, which is a stigma we have been trying for years to break. I admit you have those whose antics set us back a few centuries however that is not the representative for our community, but unfortunately you have more and more souls selling to the highest bidder but that's another blog. I would just prefer and again this is just my preference to let local African-American trend more often. Beyonce has set and broken so many records and have many accolades behind her name. However what about the local man operating after school buildings out of his pocket just to offer sheild the youth from the drug infested environment they have to live in. The teacher that comes in early and stays late to ensure that her students get the most information possible in a low funded school. This is just a vision that I would like to see Let these words reside with you in love and hope, and not fault and hate.

                         





Peace And Blessings
Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"