Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

Haircuts … Youth … SUPERDUDE … Wu-Tang Clan

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by Weusi

Ok …

So … now that the media hype about Penn State is over, I feel comfortable talking about this.

I know many of you have seen the pictures and videos of the results of the haircut party a few weeks ago.

I attended the gathering with Shelli even though I knew that it would be a long day.

While the hair party was ensuing, I was looking forward to making some inroads on a book and doing some paperwork. In fact, the reading was going well … but then, it happened. I heard a mother have to raise her voice at a kid. Uh-oh!

I instantly transformed from mild-mannered Weusi, into my alter ego … SUPERDUDE!

Now, SUPERDUDE’s super strength (and weakness) is that he always responds to the needs of his community. SUPERDUDE also thinks that there is nothing that he can’t do. Even transforming into Mr Mom! So …

Before she had to repeat the name, Weusi had closed his book and SUPERDUDE had swooped into action! He stood there in the doorway giving the, “YOU SHOULD CALM DOWN STRONG-ARM TESTOSTERONE STARE” (not to be confused with the, “YOU BETTER CHILL MOMMY STARE” or the “SIT YA ASS DOWN-DADDY STARE”).

Another one of SUPERDUDE’s strengths is the ability to transform the energy of a situation. SO …

When Mimi and Chloe show up on the deck with bored faces, again … SUPERDUDE swung in, closed his book, introduced them to his mild-mannered alias, Weusi, and started playing games. Then, when a 2-year-old instigates a slight skirmish in his pursuit to overcome a new friend on a scooter, a simple bass-toned request for them to, “STOP IT,” quickly diffused the situation. As the day went on, I became the “go to” guy for … everything. The kids even tried to ask me if they could do things that they had just told me they weren’t going to ask their mothers because they would say no!

This link with youth is a sensitive gift. The respectful innocence of youth is something to be handled responsibly. In this context, I’ve presented it in a way that paints it in a helpful light. But then, there are those that engage youth with ill-intent. The Jerry Sandusky thing is heart-wrenching. A man taking advantage of a child is not acceptable … no matter if they are a coach, a painter, a cashier or anyone! It just makes no sense … BUT “WU-TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN!”

I know some of you are like, “What the hell is he talking about!?!” … just stay with me …

I know that some of you may remember back in 1988 when O.D.B. of the Wu-Tang Clan crept on stage during the Grammy’s and stated “Wu-Tang is for the children.”

What you may not know is a little bit of the story behind the statement and what happened a week or two prior to the Grammy’s.

via MTV.com

Over this past weekend ODB was in the studio with the Wu group Twelve O’Clock, in Brooklyn, when they rushed to the aid of a four-year-old girl who had been hit by a car outside of the studio.

The child was trapped underneath the vehicle when Dirty and some of his friends lifted the car off of her. She was taken to the hospital and treated for first and second degree burns from the car’s engine.

Dirty visited the hospital to check on the girl’s condition, but the normally anything-but-low key ODB never identified himself to her family. However, they recognized him and alerted the media.

This moment in time is important and not just because it inspired Kanye West to bum rush the stage years later and share his outburst at the MTV awards …

More importantly, it created a dynamic that allowed people to see everyone, even rappers such as O.D.B., as people who are truly invested in helping the youth of our community.

So, if you meet someone and they are good with kids, don’t let negative thoughts take over and jump to Jerry Sandusky comparisons. Far too often our society works from a place of fear instead of acknowledging that more people are using the gifts they’ve been given in positive manners than negative. Think about it.

Some of us are a different class of beings. Yes … SUPERDUDES are real (this is a unisex term). We are just better with kids than others. We have the IT factor. But far too often we have to play the role of the enforcer and not the fun guy. If the dude is real … he can do both without compromising himself.

And … a male that isn’t afraid to interact with youth in front of women is a man who not only has enough courage to shrug off the often emasculating perception of doing such, but he is also a man who has fearlessly embraced his God-given gifts. For real … this is not about being good with youth. It’s about not being restricted by preconceived expectations. It’s about releasing our personal expectations and accepting what comes our way. It’s about re-evaluating those trait that have been traditionally used to identify what makes a man a man and those things that we see as valuable assets in our community.

So … as the air is cleared and all of the madness around Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky trial finally comes to an end, I just want people to remember not to judge a book by its cover. Nor should you judge a man or predict his moral compass by his profession. Good people are good all the time. We don’t just model positive behavior when people are watching us. We don’t just do positive things when people are looking. You can see it in our eyes. Trust the truth in a man or woman. The world has 1,000 times more positive people than negative.

And remember, STAY POSITIVE … “WU-TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN!”

SHiNE

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Hair Crush: Tameeka’s HairStory

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THAT’S RIGHT!! The #CurlWhisperer herself, aka Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses aka the woman who worked magic at this haircut party and this one … is back to share her very own HairStory!! 

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
A humble and blessed mother of three and wife, striving for the success, which I know is coming. Licensed Professional Master Celebrity stylist specializing in Natural Tresses for well over 15yrs.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I have been natural since 2000. I chose to go natural after having a Paul Brown relaxer put in my hair back in 1999 that just made me a slave to the Dominican salons. I never wanted my hair straight, I just wanted to tame it a bit. However, it destroyed all of the life out of my hair;(. After a year of straightening, I gave up.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually have done both, transition as well as the big chop, several times through the years. The first one was back in 2000. I slowly transitioned by trimming an inch and a half every 3-4 months. It took about 3 years to be completely natural. I was sooo stubborn at that time and did not want to loose my length *lol*. I had no patience for the other time, which was back in 2009. I had put a ” texturizer” type of gentle chemical in my hair back in 2007-2008, just to help tame it a bit because it was so dense. It looked great and everyone loved it. However, my hair changed shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2009. So, I just went to work one day and chopped it off! My husband, as well as others,  thought that I was nuts, but I looked cute! Lastly (I hope *lol* … ;)), my most recent big chop was just a few weeks ago, 18 months since the birth of my last child. My hair went whacky on me once again. The hormones loosened half of my head, literally one half side *smh*. And, of course I’m not happy with the dramatic difference in textures, so I decided to chop away once again and allow it to grow in a bit more uniform.

7/26/12: My most recent Big Chop.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
At first no one believed that it was my hair, because they were so used to me having bone straight hair. People couldn’t believe that all my curly tresses could straighten out as they did, so it shocked many. Everyone I ever met after going natural absolutely loves my wild hair. They either want it or state they wish that they had my tresses ;).

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
Wow. My biggest challenge was the pregnancy and the hormonal changes that ultimately affected my thick density and tightly coiled tresses. I have since big chopped twice, deep condition faithfully and have started back up on my prenatal vitamins to help promote faster hair growth, as well as add essential oils to my hair products and diet.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
It’s what I’ve been blessed with, it’s healthier, fun, sexy and, although many are natural, I definitely stand out in a crowd. I love that my hair has versatility with being natural. I’m not the same ol’ Plain Jane. My tresses have attitude and represents me as a fun, free-spirited person.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
Currently, I wash and go, whereas in the past, I was subjected to diffusing the hair due to my gradual transition. As far as product application, that still remains the same. Just thorough application of my product throughout hair to define my tresses, so I can get as many days as I can out of my wash n go prior to pulling it up some way.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I tend to play with lots of different things so that I may have good feedback for my clientele. I often use things they may have stumbled upon or suggest. I try just to see whether or not it may be useful for the next head of textured tresses that sits in my chair. As of now, I have Organix shampoo and conditioner and mask, Curlisto’s Natural Coils line, which is a cleanser, conditioner, leave-in, defining lotion and mask. I also have natural shea butter, rosemary essential oil and Vitamin E essential oil; I tend to add into other products sometimes. And lastly, Curlisto Unruly Paste and vegetable glycerin for shine.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
My go to style is either a pull back with a “full fluffy fluff,” a slick back tight bun or a soft twist sloppy bun, it all depends on the length at the time. Unfortunately, my go to styles are worn more often than I would like considering I’m a mother of three and a very busy women catering to everyone else’s hair. 😉


How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I trim my tresses about every 6-8 months, which is recommended. I have often provided myself with a trim, as well as see other stylist for maintenance. It would all depend on scheduling. I often have to fix/tweak my cuts/trims after someone else has done it ;(. As far as recommendations go, I would suggest that you really do your research on both the salon and the particular stylist. Keep in mind that what you read can be fabricated, so if you’ve read, as well as seen some photos and or heard from word of mouth, that’s generally the true testimony and should help make your decision easier. There are some very truly talented hair stylist.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
It just plain and simple makes it so much easier! No more 4 hour long tedious visits to the Dominican salon *smh*. I devote that time to my little ones. As far as work, I’m my own walking advertisement!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Chaka Kahn!!!!!!!

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)?
Hairscapades
The Curvealicious Chronicles
YouTube (various)
Naturallycurly.com
Napturallycurly.com

Also any sites that my clients refer me to; I have to stay in the loop.

Where can we find you online?
Website: www.jadedtresses.com
Facebook: Jaded Tresses
Twitter: @JadedTresses
Instagram: @ JadedTresses

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Don’t knock it until you have tried it. You were blessed with your tresses, embrace them.

Anything else that you’d like to add?
Healthy hair is the best hair and will provide you with the most versatility. So, take good care of your tresses and your tresses will be good to you!

Ladies Who Lunch

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I haven’t done an OOTD (Outfit of the Day) in a while … mostly because it’s a little hard to take the pics of myself in the mirror, but also because no outfit has really moved me too much lately. But, I came up with this look that I really liked. I’ve mentioned before that I love mixing patterns … I also enjoy being a style chameleon and wearing outfits that reflect different eras and influences.

Well, I’ve had this cropped cardigan and asymmetrical “tweed-look” skirt for years and never thought to put them together (at least, not as far as I can remember). So, when I pulled out the skirt today and looked up to see the cardi with the same exact dark taupe and dusty rose pink in a complementary geometric pattern … I thought, “How did I never think of this before?” I snagged a white and dark taupe tank, some pearls, a few gold and white accessories and these Vince Camuto peep-toes platforms and … voilà. Ladies Who Lunch ;)!

As to the hair. You can see that I was rocking the messy side-braided ponytail again, but this time I started it higher and braided the base more tightly.

And that’s that.

Okay, short poll time!! Aaaaaand … I’m letting you guys answer anonymously in the hopes that more of you will participate ;).