Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A "50 Shades of Grey" Prerequisite: Weave 101

This article is dedicated to all the Sisters out there who have a husband, fiance, or boyfriend who is trying to deal with their transitional stage of growing out of their relaxer. Typically, wigs are a great plan for the corporate meetings, but when you are inspired to spice up your romance like the bestseller "50 Shades of Grey" trilogy has been recognized to do, then you need some dependable hairstyles that are going to hold up until "everything does down." Smile.

So I have been asked this question alot lately: What do I do with my hair so that he doesn't have to ask what is going on with my hair? . . . my answer is 1) kinky twists for those whose job is okay with the cultural look or 2)a curly full head sew-in.

The kinky twists as shown on the model in black attire cost about $130 for the service. The hair costs about $15 total for about three packages. This look is probably the look that you are trying to achieve within the next two years with your own natural hair. This braided hairstyle should give you about 2 or 3 months of hair freedom and no salon visits.

If your job requires a more corporate european look, then a full sew-in with all your hair braided up would be best. The model in red attire would be an example of a full head curly look. Typically, leaving a little hair in the front out gives a more natural hairstyle, but it can become quite a chore to keep transitioning hair under control and blended with weaving hair. As far as curl pattern, the looser the pattern and the shorter the length, then the least amount of trouble it is. The full sew-in should be shampooed infrequently to prevent locking the braided hair. It can be shampooed every three to four weeks and removed within 2 months to 10 weeks.

Other issues to consider:

1)Those with an itchy scalp, should consider the kinky twists in order to shampoo more often.

2)If you want to learn your curl pattern and experiment with different curl care products, then leave a few rows of hair in the nape area loose for you to learn to maintain it while the longer hair covers it during the day.

3) Both of these styling recommendations fall into a "braider" service option. I recommend shampooing, conditioning, and straightening the hair prior to your braiding service so that the braider will pick up more of your hair in ratio to the extension hair. This will prevent hair loss from the extra weight of the extension hair especially when you go to shampoo it.

Sisters . . . Wishing you well . . . remember locks or SisterLocks are always a journey to consider about four months post relaxer.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Product Review: Silk Elements Straight Edges

Can you say straight edge HEAVEN????? My, My, My, My . . . this Silk Elements Straight Edges Edging gel had me at "hello!" No caking, No flaking, No buildup, and a friendly ingredient list including glycerin high on the list! Past due relaxer? no Problem! Non-greasy! Non-sticky! It is described as a fusion between a gel, pomade and wax.
Well after a day or so, the hold may disappear so remember the Luscious product by Bee Mine Products? You can use this Luscious cream moisturizer to reactivate the Edging Gel without re-applying the edging gel. You can thank one of my clients for assisting with this combination. I introduced both products to her, but never thought that one complemented the other. This may save a few more hairlines from being overprocessed with relaxer touch-ups!
Worried about price? Don't be! Sally's Beauty Supply sells the edging gel for about five US dollars. Now, the Bee Mine Products are more expensive. I retail the Bee Mine products in my salon, but you can also purchase online from Bee Mine Products.

The Comeback: The stove and Marcel Irons!

Ebony Magazine September 2012 edition showcases a photo shoot with a stylist using a marcel curling iron in hand. Halleujah! The flat irons are finally coming under fire! One of my clients mentioned that the Dr. Oz show had a dermatologist confirming the dangers of flat iron usage within the last few months.
Also, in this recent 2012 advertisement for professional ear protectors, the stove, pressing comb, and marcel irons are side by side of the ionic flat irons! Hello! Finally, my beauty industry colleagues are seeing the light!

By the way, would you pay $20.00 USD for these Mimi's Ear Shields?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Barber's Reflection of the Metrosexual Male

Introducing a guest author for this article that I met during the Democratic National Convention, this barber shop owner hails from the Fayetteville, NC area:

“just cut a little off and uh, fade out my neck back here, and uh, ooh chil’, can you clean up my eyebrows?”

I want to smile. I don’t. I’m a professional. I usually lean the chair back for women to perform this service. For him though, I won’t.

You see, I haven’t completely adjusted to this new new. In due time, I will. And it’s probably going to be when that one bill is due, and I don’t have much time.

I like the charismatic brother. I don’t defer the softer side of “gentle”man. I peep style and I’ve toy’ed with swag.

But I haven’t developed and I struggle with this new habit of shopping. Hopping from store to store, comparing jean fitment, and inquiring about the next shipment. Brothers trying on clothes together and buying “outfits” to compare in the mirror like instant models. I like pink, I dig neon (on an open sign) and I know some of these clothes cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Seeing pictures of Lebron and D-Wade standing with these tight-a clothes with their hair dyed, but still in their 20’s, makes me wonder. Are we letting things get out of hand? Brothers being dressed by a white man, two in France, one in Japan, two China-en, all foreign, including, the one in Switzerland? This new trend doesn’t blend on in with the way I would want this thing to tend to be. Or should we let it be? I thought we were trendsetters. Fabric-blend displayers. Tailored suits and Gators.

If I say no to a $75 shirt at the “trendiest” department store; does it mean I’m poor? But that shirt in my size is just too tight. I’m too grown; and it’s not right. These pants? The salesman, him has on a collared shirt, tittie-tight sweater, a skinny mustache and a baritone voice speaking softly, then remarks, “’dis hot together. You know these RedMonkey jeans cost $400 right? But if you goin out, put on these Prada “flats” and Honey, you is working it!” Really? Clearly? Ok. Because it’s being purchased. And it’s being sported. Yet, I think some men are allowing their own fashionado bravado to be grossly exploited. These small t-shirts with muscles popping out like fake boob jobs and jeans showing your tool? I mean on some men, it’s probably sexy. Some men and some women may even compliment them. Some men and some women, may even try to emulate them.

Because this is the newness. I call the men that buy all these clothes that don’t fit on their body OR in their closet, “Label Hoes.” They’ll wear anything that cost a lot and call it cool. Or call it hot. Im not sure if this is fashion. It just seems like designers took women and mens clothes, and combined them. And then convinced them. But I’m not going to join them. Not even with the naysayers when it comes to my own “whack ass” fashion.

It may sound like I am hating, I’m not.

Thus yes, I am a professional. So let me clean and sanitize my razor. Because I’m doing it to perform a service. I’m doing it because it’s his own added flavor. Nice shape up, clean taper. He’ll probably make a manicure appointment for some time later. Now let me do myself a favor and tend to my business while making it my business. After all, I’m not the fashion exterminator. I’m a little confused on this look of metro-sexual. A little amused at how often men stare at their reflection. Thus, I have to reflect on some. A man having a closet full of euro-cut is alright if that’s what he’d so choose. Not one drop of his manhood has he thought to loose. But where does he find the time to primp, parade, and peruse? And where in the world, does his wife put all of her shoes?

An excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Controversy and Question Marks” by Kevin Brooks via .brookShop.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hair Chalking Simplified

Hair chalking was announced in May 2012 as the exciting new trend since the feather extensions. Well now, it is simplified. Just rub your hair through the chalk case as pictured in the right top corner picture.
Color shows up best on lighter colored hair. It is temporary color to be rinse out with each shampoo.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Product Review: Gray Away As Seen on TV

My client brought me the "Gray Away" product to try, and I like it! You have to shake well and spray close to the roots for the darkest application, and hold the can away from the roots to get a lighter color. My client and I experimented with it before the shampoo process to see how it looked. Then we shampooed and styled and used the "Gray Away around the hairline and in the part area only. The spray is supposed to stay until the next shampoo.

Tool Review: Over the Cabinet Hook

I just picked up this "over the cabinet" hook for $4.00 USD on sale. It is perfect for holding my curling irons and any other cords. There is rubber backing on the hooks as to not damage your cabinetry. Also, the drawer can close just fine with the hook in place!
I love new organizing tools!!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SisterLocks has Hair care Products!

SisterLocks does have their own product line. Also, the SisterLock starter kit includes only Sisterlock products and literature. I am mentioning this because a new SisterLock client told me about her "Starter kit" received at her installation. It included another product line which included a jar of "grease."
For the record, the SisterLocks starter kit includes colored rubberbands, literature for the care of your Sisterlocks, Official SisterLocks starter shampoo, and a form to mail in for your SisterLocks birth certificate and other SisterLocks promotional items. If you receive anything in place of these items, then you are not receiving a professional SisterLocks experience.

February 2013 Update:  Applebaum Salon does sell Sisterlocks products.  2013 Calendar in stock as well as  Valentine's day chocolates.

Barbie Dolls with Soul

I could not resist sharing this photo. These Barbie dolls have soul! Thanks to Paradigm Beauty and Barber Magazine and Peluqueria Latino NuevaOnda for sharing. Enjoy!

Bee Mine Products Packaging Change

Both of these jar of Bee Mine Products Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizers have 8 ounces written on the packaging, but the size and shape of the jars have changed. So I decided to weigh each jar. Do you think that they weighed the same?

The results are "new packaging" weighs in at 10 ounces and "old packaging" weighs in at 10.25 ounces. The plastic or the label could be a factor in the weight difference, but it is no big deal to me! I believe International sales may have prompted the packaging change.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Product Line Introduction: Natty Mane

The Natty Mane company ( sent me some product samples to try. Isn't the packaging adorable?

So far, The ingredients look simple but familiar which means a lot pride was taken to formulate these products. Also, I have not tried all of the samples that they sent, but they seem compatible with other organic and natural haircare lines. The price points are about the same too! I fell in love with the decorative wrap and delivery of the sample products. I've tried their hair and scalp oil, and it did not seem too heavy nor too light - just right. I am looking forward to trying their shampoo and conditioner/mask. They do include Aloe Vera in some of the products in case some folks are allergic to aloe vera, but outside of that, they seem like an up and coming company worth keeping an eye on. Right now, the products are only available online at

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hair Salon Turnover in the South

According to the Washington Business Journal (March 13, 2008 issue), the Ratner Company sold a significant amount of "Hair Cuttery" salons in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to the Regis Corporation. I definitely saw a Hair Cuttery salon in operation in the Boston, MA area during my last trip out of town.

As far as the Charlotte, NC area is concerned, the Hair Cuttery salons turned into "Famous Hair" salons. However, Salon Cielo salons that were also owned by Ratner Company kept the same name, but they switched salon ownership to the Regis Corporation. So the Salon Cielo in Northlake Mall and in Southpark Mall are no longer affiliated with the national Salon Cielo and Spas. Other Salon Cielo salons owned by Ratner Company remain open in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.

On a separate note, the Carmen Carmen Prestige salons associated with some of the mall department stores are not connected to the highly recognized Carmen Carmen Salon and Spas. If you call Carmen Carmen Salon and Spa to ask about Carmen Carmen Prestige salons, they will quickly tell you that they are not connected.

Even some of the JCPenney stores have shutdown their hair salons. As one stylist told me . . . money used to flow like water . . . that is no longer the case.

Is it the "natural hair" and curly movement that is slowing down the hair salon industry in the South? Is it the unemployment rate that is slowing the demand for hair services in the South? Is it the beauty schools and the State Board regulations in the South? I don't know. Maybe the answers will be revealed in the future.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama: Six months later!

So it's almost six months ago that I posted an article discussing First Lady Michelle Obama's hair! I must say that she must have read that article because her hair looks like she is back on track!!!! Yay!

Pictured are the covers of Parenting magazine (August 2012) and Ladies' Home Journal (September 2012). Neither magazine give any "hair credits." However, it looks like based on the August cover; she received a nice, fresh haircut by the September cover.

After studying curl patterns (please see a separate article on this blog about curl pattern review), I have concluded that First Lady Michelle Obama has a type 4a or type 4b curl pattern. She is definitely NOT a type 4c.

As you know the Democratic National Convention is being hosted by Charlotte, NC during September 3rd - 7th. I have some hope that she will grace me with her presence while she is in vicinity of Applebaum Hair headquarters. Smile. If she does make it, I will let you all know!