Daily Archives: February 15, 2012

An Anti-Valentine’s Day Love Story


by Weusi

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day … So here’s a little love story (sort of … but not really … but could be!?!).

This year has kept me busy! I’ve worked gigs with America’s Got Talent, BET Honors, NHL Classic, the Portlandia Premier, and a few hip hop shows. I’ve been traveling for the past couple of weeks, so I have not spent much time with Shelli. Despite all of this, I don’t really get down with Valentine’s Day or many holidays.  I’m anti commercialization of love. This is also part of the reason I’m often pushing against the formalized business institution of marriage.

But recently I’ve been reminded (not by Shelli) that I’m in a relationship now and it’s not about me. And I’ve been given all kinds of advice about gifts I could get Shelli. Some funny, some serious, some sexy … most were good. But these suggestions were from her friends. People that, although they are close to her … they aren’t me! So, I figured that I’d try to find her something really special. Like really special.

I thought that maybe I could find a really special comic book! Or maybe research and find a super secret hair care product with magical powers. I couldn’t find either … but I got her this when I came back from LA …

because we call each other sunshine … but, realized that this is kinda corny. So, I thought that this would be cute … it’s a picture of  me presenting her my heart …

But this image was even more corny …

Then I thought about it … I really don’t get down with this commercialized thing. But, I do support the ideal of love. And since it’s the day after Valentine’s Day, I figured I’d just give her the heirloom engagement ring that I’ve been hiding for so long! So yeah … we’re engaged now!

We thank you all for your support, well wishes, prayers and positive energy!

But that’s not the end of the story … it’s the start of something new and magical … and a story to be continued … forever!


Marsha’s Final GOC Update


Marsha (Sixth Wave) of Hairoly (aka 24 Hour Hair)

So, the last few months I was a member of the GOC on Hairscapades. The challenge started in August 2011, which was a spin off of the Kim Coles/Curly Nikki GOC that took place at the start of February 2011. I vowed to protect my hair more in order to have a healthier outcome. I also vowed to eat better and exercise more in order to lose only a few pounds.

I failed at exercising. However, I have continued to eat right, cheating from time to time. I am currently 121.5 lbs as of this morning, not the 118 lbs like I wanted to be.

Hair Regimen:

  • I still henna monthly.
  • I shampoo or co-wash my hair every 5-7 days.
  • I deep condition every wash day.
  • I steamed my hair with the steamer maybe twice since the start of the challenge.
  • I purchased a hooded soft bonnet drier and I actually prefer it over the steamer.
  • I pre-poo maybe every other wash day or when I have time to do so overnight.
  • I do more scalp massages more now than before, since my setback with my new found love,  rosewater and peppermint oil, sealing with jojoba oil and/or CD Some of Marguerite’s Magic.
  • I have learned that sticking with what works also increases the health and growth of my hair.
  • I have been doing more protective styles which includes, flexi rodsupdos and mini/microtwists without extensions.

I might not have reached the length that I would prefer, but I definitely feel like my hair has more fullness to it … Anyway, my healthy hair journey and GOC will always continue.


If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!


In His Eyes: Pierre Bennu


First, let’s all do our part to continue to keep dreams alive … not just during Black History Month, but every day so that the dreams of our youth, parents, grandparents become reality.

Ok … now, I know you know of Oyin Handmade. Well,  I love them … I mean, I LOVE them … like family. Well … in full disclosure … Jamyla is my cousin. But, since she’s my cousin, and because I write male perspective pieces, I interviewed her husband Pierre.


by Weusi

Q: So … what inspired Oyin Handmade to be birthed?
Necessity. Jamyla was into high quality handmade products, but we had our money tied up in other investments (like food and rent, lol). She started to make and experiment with natural bits and pieces until she got something she liked. It was just for our personal use or for gifts, until our friends began beating down our door for the stuff.

Q: What was it that led you to go all in? Your love for the products, your ladies love for it, the business, the creativity, the what?
We are partners in every sense of the word. We knew that we wanted to work together creatively and were in a phase where we just threw everything to the wall to see what stuck. Oyin stuck, in a big way.

Q: What’s a regular/average day for you?
For better or for worse, we don’t really have one. We try time and time again to build structure, but it seems that once we have mastered that structure, the circumstances change and we have to adjust. It keeps us sharp and makes us malleable.

Q: Is your wife Jamyla a product junkie? Was she ever?
Quiet as it’s kept, Jamyla is actually pretty low-maintenance. The closest she got to “product junky” status was after she combed out her locks and was re-learning her hair in its loose state. But, it was out of that process that she developed the first of the Oyin recipes and, from there, think about it: there’s now an entire line of products that she basically built just for her! lol. So yeah. It’s basically all Oyin everything around here. When she wants something different, she just makes it.

Q: Is she always in research and development mode?
In the past few years, the business has been growing so fast that she actually doesn’t get as much time to mix and create as she would like. We have tons of things that she’s made in the past and never released; and she has a wish list of things she wants to develop when she gets a chance. For example, we had an early prototype of Hair Dew knocking about for a couple of years before she was able to find the time, between mixing and making and moving and hiring, to solidify the recipe and make it public. I once made a companion soap to the “Cuppa Joe” called Cheesecake – it was creamy and had a “crust” made of ground loofah. I didn’t take good notes while I was building the fragrance and, as a result, I wasn’t able to repeat the recipe.

Q: How many products in your bathroom are part of the Oyin research and development project?
All of them.

Q: Do you ever get products tested on you? If so how often?
All the time. We all do. That’s part of being Oyin staff, lol.

Q: Does that ever become an issue? Has it ever been one? 
It’s a perk of the job. I don’t have much hair, but I have the most well-moisturized beard in America!

Q: Can you talk about the Oyin for men products?
Most of them are actually just our regular products, but double-listed in the “for men” category, which is kind of new. All our products are unisex, but most of our customers were/are women. What ended up happening is that men (boyfriends, son, husbands) would use up the products of the women closest to them … they weren’t buying it for themselves. Apparently, if you cross-list the same product in a category called “for men,” guys feel like they are now allowed to use it. It’s probably part of a larger systemic problem with Western concepts of manhood … blah blah blah. The one exception to this is a product that was formulated specifically for beards and close-cropped hair, Go Tea. The fellas seem to love it … but so do lots of ladies who rock short cuts. So again, we’re back to the Oyin philosophy that it’s about what you need, not who you are.

Q: What products do you use? Why?
I use whatever we have in the house: Honey Wash, Poo Bar, Burnt Sugar, Honey Hemp, AfterBath and Whipped Pudding; Go Tea and all the Juices to keep the beard juicy and “combable.” Hair Dew is new, so I always forget to mention it, but that’s in the rotation too. We use all of the above on the boys, plus Whipped Shea on the boys’ faces before they go outside in the winter. Occasionally, I’ll make a bath for J with the Fizzy Milk.

Q: Do you know what she uses in her hair? If you were walking down the beauty aisle, would you know what to pick up for her?
Yeah, I know an almost embarrassing amount about natural hair care to be a guy who keeps his hair cut off. Like I said, we don’t spend much time (if any) at the beauty store, but I would know to look for a detangling conditioner, a watery/spray moisturizer, a petroleum/mineral oil free sealant, something with a humectant ingredient (depending on the season and what she was doing with her hair) …etc.

Q: Have you ever dated a sister that had the “need” to wear headgear to bed? How did/would you deal with that? What’s your preference … bonnet, scarf, do rag, hat!?!
I’m an “all-in” kind of fella, man. If she comes with a do-rag, you love the do-rag. If she comes with a hat … you love the hat. If you love the woman, you love whatever she comes with. The fact that she’s coming to bed is way more important to me than what she’s wearing on her head. Your picky a$$ could be sleeping alone! Talking about, “Yeah! at least I ain’t with no woman in a do-rag!” lol!

Q: Can you talk about your book really quick and if there will be a sequel?
BS or Fertilizer (tough love for artists on the fence)” was actually published 10 years ago! Time flies. I’m actually compiling a collection of inspiration/affirmation for the new millenium, called Exittheapple. It should be out this summer or fall. J and I are also working on a joint project called Love Works … about how principles of business and principles of marriage can interrelate.

Q: Can you talk about how being creative and artistic has played a part in the business? Can you also talk about how it is infused in the culture of your family?
For us, the creative/artistic/family/business stuff is all the same. Our creativity influences everything about the way we do business. The business is a huge part of our family. Our family is a huge part of the business (you can often find the baby crawling on the conference table during our morning meetings and our pre-schooler considers all our Oyin employees his personal friends, lol). And everyone in our family is creative/artistic. It’s one huge continuum. We’re very lucky.

Q: And finally … are you looking forward to the new Batman movie? Can you get a day off and we can take “man day” and go see it?
Yes … lets make it happen!


I hope that you like this, because Pierre is really cool cat. He even made this great silent animation meditation loop just for you … watch it with your favorite motivational tune playing in the background.

via exittheapple

Shelli: Or check out my favorite!! Black Moses Barbie!!

The Bennus are really cool … but hey, you don’t have to believe me … you can check them out for yourself in a number of places like:


You can find Oyin products at www.oyinhandmade.com and other creative projects from the family at www.EXITTHEAPPLE.com.

Support good people making good stuff!

My Holy Grail Shower Cap: Terry-Lined


Tips and Tricks Number Seventeen

Now, I know that the steam from the shower is the friend of many a WnG type of gal. However, when you are rocking a TnC, a sleek bun, a smooth updo, a press and curl or what have you, humidity can feel more like the enemy and the shower cap your first line of defense! That’s not just me, right??

Well, unfortunately my first line of defense has failed me for most of my life. For years I searched for a shower cap that REALLY sealed out steam and water. My hair has always *POOFED* at the slightest hint of humidity (think Izzy’s Got the Frizzies, but not as cute!). And maybe I just don’t shower right, but my edges ALWAYS seem to get wet, even when I tie a scarf around them, wear a satin bonnet, don one or two plastic baggies and THEN add a shower cap with a thick headband around the edges to “seal” it. Are you frickin’ kidding me?!?

So, a few months ago, I shared a post by another blogger about shower caps (read it here). She had discovered a company, Celestial Soul, that sells shower “crowns” in sizes ranging from mini (for the TWA) to Extra Large (for the BAA). On that post, I talked about my personal struggles with shower caps always falling short. Up until that point, I’d had the most success with this $6.95 Betty Dain Fashionista shower cap that I found at Harmon for $6.95 (it’s also available at Sally’s and Amazon).

It was roomy enough for my banana clip bun or pineappled TnC and the two elastic bands seemed to provide a double barrier against shower steam. However, wet edges were still inevitable. Then, someone commented:

I have always had the exact same issue with shower caps. Fed up, I did some intense googling a couple months ago and finally came to the conclusion that I needed a terry lined cap … I found one at CVS for $4 and, believe it or not, that is the answer! It’s plenty big (I have a LOT of hair); I can even keep my hair clipped on top of my head. Somehow the terry cloth absorbs any moisture before it gets to your hairline. Try it! I promise, that’s the trick.

So, about a month or so ago, I finally got around to taking the advice and picked up the Betty Dain Socialite terry-lined shower cap shown far above (don’t you just love an animal print? Grrrrrr! ;)). The cap is lined in a soft, cream terry cloth material.

 O … M … G!!! Where have you been all of my life Socialite?!?! I finally found my holy grail shower cap!! I’ve been using this cap for over a month now and it has proven itself over and over again. I just pop this baby over my satin scarf and/or bonnet and it keeps my edges smooth and dry, even when I linger in the shower a little too long or accidentally allow the water to cascade down the nape of my neck!! The proof is in the pudding. I got my hair pressed this past Friday, haven’t used any heat since and my “do” is even sleeker than it was when it was first flat-ironed!

Final Tip:
Oh, and when my natural hair is a little too big to allow this cap to cover my edges, I figured out another way to utilize terry cloth to preserve my style. I just grab the Turbie Twist Hair Towel, secure it over my bonnet and then pop on the larger Fashionista shower cap! This combo works as well as the terry-lined cap to absorb the steam and water so that my edges stay dry and my style stays frizz free (well, you know, relatively speaking ;))!


Do you use a shower cap? If so, what kind works for you?