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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kinks in the Workplace: Finding the Balance...



Writing this post has been on my mind for quite some time.  I've waited to see if my view on this topic would change over time but after years of feeling the same way, I think it's safe to say that I am 100% sure of how I feel.  Not to keep you guessing but I'm referring to wearing kinks and curls in the corporate workplace.  Before we move forward with my thoughts and feelings, I want you to understand that this is MY view on this topic.  But, I think this is a view that is commonly unfairly judged in the Natural Community.

For the majority of my career I have been in Hotel Sales.  Being in the Corporate Sales industry period is a very clean cut environment usually and you encounter a variety of different people.  Some people in Sales are lucky enough to not encounter clients face-to-face on a daily basis.  I am not one of those people unfortunately.  Meeting with clients face-to-face (some new, some old) daily is a core part of my job and probably one of the most important factors in consistently bringing in revenue to the hotel.  I say all this so that you can begin to understand a little about MY work environment.  In meeting with people daily, I encounter so many different types of clients and their different personalities.  Being great in Sales means that you should be able to adapt to each person and still successfully sell your product.  Educating the client on your product and gaining their undivided attention is key but quite hard when you're having to answer a million questions about your hair style.  Admittedly, hair/clothing/makeup may spark a quick personal conversation that allows for some walls and barriers to come down.  But there is nothing worse than being 10 minutes into your Sales Pitch and a client's first question is, "So, what all do you do to keep your hair like that?!".  People outside of our community are just naturally curious.  Shoot, our hair is freaking magical if I do say so myself.  I find myself staring at Naturals all the time wondering how they achieved a style.  So, I can't blame an older white woman with fairly limp hair for being inquisitive as well.  Her curiosity is not paying my bills though.  I can't afford for my hair to be the center of attention when I'm at work.  The rules and guidelines regarding Personal Appearance in the workplace many times are in place for this reason.  Yes, we have all seen those stories of Naturals being told their hair style was deemed "unprofessional" or "against the company's guidelines".  So many don't understand that not ALL styles are appropriate for every workplace.  Let me explain.  Don't try to pull the race card when you're asked to cut your newly installed butt-length Faux Locs.  Meanwhile, last week they just asked Billy to cut his hair that had gone an inch past his ear and the week before Becky was reprimanded for dying her hair a Greyish Blonde.  If this is not the type of strict work environment you wish to work in, YOU have that opportunity to leave.  Now there have been some instances where companies have crossed the line regarding what is appropriate and not but that is not what I'm addressing because we all know what is blatant racism.


Examples of styles that I wear to the office


Since going Natural, I have chosen to maintain very simple and neat hair styles.  No one had to sit  me down and tell me to do so, I knew what types of companies I worked for long before going Natural and I knew what type of attention I wanted to attract.  Being able to wear the biggest twist out was not a priority for me.  I was hired with a brush cut/fade by a middle aged white woman and two male owners in their late 50s.  Traditional and Conservative are two words that describe all of them VERY well. LOL.  I also work in an industry that is Traditional and Conservative.  You know what's not Traditional and Conservation?  A Fro that's 2-3 feet in diameter.  LMAO.  And when I say Fro, I mean Natural Hair that has been picked out to the Gawds.  ||Think Taren Guy||  Nobody is paying any attention to what you're pitching when you are rocking a style that simply defies gravity.  Some people choose to straighten their hair for work, wear buns, wear wigs or even weaves.  To shade and condemn them for wanting to maintain a certain look while at work is just not cool.  They are doing what they feel comfortable with.  The Natural Hair Community has quickly become a space where individuals feel the need to shame others who choose not do what everyone else is doing and this has to stop.  We jokingly call these people "Natural Hair Nazis" but the proper term is "Bully".  Let people live however they choose.


Examples of styles I wear to the office

One day, I won't be working for anyone but myself and that is the day I will be able to make my own rules and guidelines for personal appearance.  Until then, the styling of my hair is not more important than my job which provides the income for a number of workers to be able to support their family as well as my own.  Your purpose at your place of work 9 times out of 10 has nothing to do with your hair.  Relaxed, Texlaxed, Weaved up, Bunning, Wigging out, Kinky or Curly... We all have to find a healthy and respectable balance in the workplace.  I've found mine, how about you?
Monday, April 6, 2015

Products I'm Loving or Hating at the Moment





Over the years I have tried to steer clear of constantly ragging on products.  Why?  Well, some of these smaller businesses can really be affected by poor reviews and bad talk.   If I have a problem with the actual quality of the product or the customer service, I'm definitely going to speak up.  But, if it's just a matter of a product not working well for me then I usually choose not speak on it at all or simply state that it didn't work out for me and leave it at that.  Honestly, I don't come across many products that don't work for me because I've usually done the research prior to purchasing.  This is where Social Media really comes in handy because not only can I read reviews on products but I can visually see what type of hair that person has and determine if I should try the product or not.  Unfortunately, for my followers they don't get to see what didn't work for me and I can see how this might not be so helpful so I've decided to occasionally post about products that I'm LOVING but also products that I'm HATING.

LOVE:  ApHogee Curlific Leave-In Conditioner

I purchased this product at Sally's Beauty Supply store a couple of weeks ago after watching a video on MoKnowsHair blog/channel where she used the ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer on her ends and edges during a Wash and Go.  Initially I went to purchase that product but then saw this new new and decided to give the Curlific Leave-In a try.  I fell in love with this stuff on first use.  The product is a creamy spray in that my hair absorbs fairly quickly.  I concentrate on my ends and edges the most and have noticed that the spray really gives my curls a boost... Not that my coily curls really need to be any curlier! LOL.  With Wash and Go season here, this product will definitely be a staple in my regimen.  I've already decided to go back for the ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment and another bottle of this crack.  I may even pick up the ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer that I was 'suppose' to get initially.  Right now Sally's Beauty Supply is having a sale on all ApHogee products, Buy 2 Get 1 Free.  So, now would be a really good time to snatch some products up!

HATE:  Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Conditioner

Where do I even start with this?  Okay, so Shea Moisture and I have never had the best relationship.  For years, every single product I've tried in my hair has NOT worked for me at all.  The products just seem to sit on my hair not penetrate the way I like my products to.  The slip was always lacking and I just never understood why products with such great ingredients didn't work for me.  Either way, I've tended to stay far away from this brand.  Then they came out with this new Superfruit line that really caught my attention.  I decided to give the Masque a try and it was a huge hit.  For once, the product made me hair feel amazing!!  So, what's the next logical thing a product junky does?  I went and picked up another product from that same line figuring my hair would react similarly.  WRONG.  ABORT MISSION.  This Conditioner did not penetrate my hair at all and actually made my hair feel hard immediately after I applied it.  It felt so bad that I second guessed whether I had used a Leave-In Conditioner or something because it just did not feel right.  OMG, I can't even tell you how upset I was!!  My hair felt like a hard mess and detangling was not easy.  I attempted to continue with my Wash and Go routine but it was just an overall fail.  The Conditioner left my hair very frizzy and there was no amount of Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker Gel that would help.  Eventually, I just gave up and threw in the towel.  So, you millions of people who LOVE this brand can have it.  I'm done giving it chances, DONE!  Well not done with the entire brand because their Body Line is BOMB!! LOL...

Until next time...
XOXO MCS

Shoppe Owner


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