I’ve personally anticipated the release of this volume for about a year now and I’m happy to see that photographer Michael July was able to publish such a wonderful display of people and hair that we all love so much. Kudos to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that helped this project come to fruition.
The event itself was great and quickly filled up with fros and natural hair of many different varieties. I can’t tell you how special it is to see a room packed with beautiful natural hair…I got chills! DJ Spinna provided the tunes while Smart Water, Palm Breweries and Bed-Vyne provided beverages to attendees. Luckily for me, I also scored a gift bag which was sponsored by Ouidad, Eden Body Works, and Karen’s Body Beautiful. All in all, it was a great time!
Books were sold at the event (got mine!) and is available for purchase at certain book stores. For more information visit the Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair Facebook page. And do yourself a favor and have this mega-volume of fros as a part of your home’s decor. It’s great!
As a brand, Mount Gay Rum is interested in learning what makes the modern man tick and today I hope to shed a little light on my experiences as a developing professional in hopes that any of you out there might find some inspiration from my own challenges and triumphs.
To begin, I have to go all the way back to middle school when I was crazy obsessed in the performing arts. Initially, I started off playing percussion in band but made my way to plays and chorus as the years went on, leaving my marching days behind (band geek alert!). Anyway, I saw all this to tell you that my ambition was to be a shining star on Broadway or the small screen, even though I was relatively insecure about my developing talent. There really was no way that I could see myself entering the real world of academia or being the lawyer or doctor that others thought I was smart enough to be.
As I lived for those last school periods to rehearse and perform, a new course in psychology was being offered on campus and I thought that I may as well give it a try as I was always interested in what made people tick, so to speak. It also didn’t help that I had also been perpetually obsessed with the films “Psycho” and “Silence of the Lambs” for as long as I could remember, but I digress.
My psychology teacher, and I say this in love, was one of the nuttiest people I had ever met and you know what, I lover her for it. Her approach was genuine and fluid which fit right in with my more creative and artistic sensibilities. It was then that I fell in love with psychology.
I found myself more and more interested in the human mind as I entered college and officially declared my major. I found my undergraduate years to be pretty much a breeze (well, except for a statistics course or two), and I knew that I had chosen the right thing. But, little did I know that you needed more than a bachelor’s degree if you wanted to delve into the realm of traditional counseling or therapy. A chance encounter with a staff member at a school I was visiting led me to look into Teachers College in New York City, the place I now call home.
First things first, I had to take a huge risk and relocate to NYC with no contacts except for an on campus job that I was starting. And trust me, this sort of risk-taking was very foreign to me, but something told me that I was making the right choice, even though inside I was pretty nervous about what lied ahead.
I have a lot of fondness for my education and training at TC and I certainly worked hard for it. Training to be a psychotherapist is HARD work, and most of it on the emotional end. There was certainly more than one occasion in which I wanted to quit, but somehow I stayed put and finished my program (pats self on the back).
Today, I work in the mental health field and I can’t really see myself doing anything else. I find myself immersed in my work, obsessed with providing good treatment and services to clients in hopes that I can help someone heal or find strategies to help them get more out of life.
So what has been my personal key to success? Well, it’s actually one of the things that scares me the most and that’s simply taking risks. I had to take that first risk to enroll in that psychology course that changed my career trajectory dramatically. I took the risk to listen to the advice of a stranger which led me to grad school in one of the best counseling programs in the nation. I took the risk to tough it out when I didn’t think I was able to make it through. After all that, I came to relish my career with honor and try to serve with integrity. And in my work I find there is always a time and a place for new opportunities and challenges. I guess it doesn’t hurt to take risks sometimes, now does it?
Every great story begins with a time and a place. For Mount Gay Rum, that time is 1703 and that place is Barbados, the birthplace of rum. Introducing Mount Gay Black Barrel, a double matured rum from the inventors of rum. First matured in toasted whiskey barrels then finished in deeply charred bourbon barrels, Mount Gay Black Barrel balances full-bodied character with subtle aromas. Learn more at www.facebook.com/mountgayrum
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mount Gay Distilleries via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mount Gay Distilleries.
Shea butter, oh shea butter. For many years of my life, the wonders of natural shea butter have alluded me but now that I have experienced what awesome an ingredient shea is, I have become a little obsessed.
Do you remember in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding how windex was the go-to fix for pretty much everything? Well, that’s basically what shea butter has become for me. I now have a pretty hefty supply, thanks in part, to Abe of Love Shea who passed on his newly launched shea butter mix for me to try.
Let me say that Love Shea’s Shea Butter Cream is pretty solid. The formula is basic, super creamy and works for pretty much anything. The scent is also light and inoffensive which makes it great for guys and girls as well as all these other cool things in the list below. Having it around the house has helped me indulge in my shea butter-takeover and inspired me to create this list of the many uses of shea. Have you tried any of these?
Got a small nick when shaving? Use a dab to help clot the cut.
Cuticle oil to help smooth dry nail beds
Creaky door? Use shea in place of WD40!
Hair styling pomade
Dress shoe polish
Wood furniture polish
Beard/grooming mold to help facial hair stay in place
Foot cream for cracked/dry skin
Stretch mark cream
Nightly under eye cream
After sun skin treatment
And as a bonus, if you want to give Love Shea’s Shea Butter Cream a shot for yourself, head over to their site and purchase using the discount code MANEMAN. You’ll get 10% off of your order and you’ll be supporting a new business. Not too shabby, eh?
Almost everyone knows that women in the natural hair community are, in a sense, fighting an uphill battle for acceptance of their hair. While mainstream media has certainly made strides in showcasing natural hairstyles, there’s still a lot of work to be done, even for guys with naturally curly hair. And, unfortunately, I am personally familiar with a lack of acceptance for my fro. So, what’s the question I hate most?
“What are you going to do with your hair?”
Often times, I’m not quite sure how to respond to that question, and I have lost count how many times I’ve been asked it over the past few years. I’ve heard every form of that question like, “When are you going to braid it?” or “Are you trying to grow locs?” But while I’m able to keep my composure on the outside (at least I think so), my internal monologue says something like, “Oh, my hair isn’t “done” enough for you?!”
I take great pride in my mane and how I take care of it. Psychologically, I’ve gotten over the need for it to look perfectly defined and have started to embrace the “messiness” that is my fro. Unfortunately, there’s still this expectation that my fro, as it stands, is not a complete or good look. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with it and I guess that’s what matters most, right?
Disclosure: The products listed were provided courtesy of Shea Moisture for the purpose of this review.
When I found out a few months ago that Shea Moisture was going to release a new hair care line for men, I almost lost my mind. I’ve been a huge fan of their body products and Shea Moisture has definitely gotten me through some brisk New York Winters. But, today is all about their hair care line for men and I’m very excited to share my thoughts and reactions with you. Read on!
Three Butters Utility Shampoo: I’m never one to put too much stock into shampoos as I often find that they strip my hair and sensitive scalp of my natural oils and leave me feeling dry. That being said, the Three Butters Shampoo does a really good job of balancing cleansing and moisturizing both. The shampoo is very creamy (and smells really nice I might add) and has a rich lather that doesn’t make you feel like you’re stripping you hair of anything. That has been my experience at least. To be honest, it also helps me start the detangling process as I think it has some good slip that helps my fingers battle through my thick mane of kinks and coils.
Three Butters Utility Gel Mousse: I found the gel mousse to be very effective at giving girl definition and major shine (not like greasy fried chicken shine, but just normal shine, ya know?). It also has the rich, earthy and masculine smell that the whole line up has which is a definite bonus. I don’t have any major negatives to note here except that the gel gave my hair a bit of a crunchy feeling but that’s probably due to my heavy hand in application as well as it being tailored to “wavy, curly hair”. That’s clearly not my hair type, but hey it was worth a shot. As far as a styler goes, I have to say that the Three Butters Styling Smoothie really stole my heart over this gel.
Three Butters Styling Smoothie: I like to call this one the man’s answer to Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. This is, by far, one of the best hair products I have used since growing my fro. Seriously guys, I can not get enough. It’s rich and creamy but also has a light enough weight so that it doesn’t weigh your hair down. The Three Butters Styling Smoothie is, simply put, a miracle product! Whether I use it on dry hair to shape the fro on day two or use it on wet hair right out of the shower, this stuff performs well. It always gives me good curl definition and soft hair. It also smells manly enough so no need to worry about bright or sweet floral scents here. Also, let me take a moment to just read off the first five ingredients: “Deionized water, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, and Mango Seed Butter”. After that, the barrage of stellar ingredients continues. If you don’t buy anything else from this line…TRY THIS!
Three Butters Styling Pomade: Rich in smell and texture, the styling pomade is a great shea based pomade to help me tame frizzies and revitalize a style after using something like the Three Butters Styling Smoothie the day before. It works fine on its own too, but I really prefer something that helps give me a bit of definition along with moisture and shine. This would be a great product for guys looking for all natural wave pomades at a reasonable price or someone looking to add nourishment and shine to their locs or twists. Did I mention it smells good!?
Three Butters Utility Scalp Conditioner: The line up also comes with a Utility Scalp Conditioner made for bald men. Clearly, I do not fall into the category (and don’t intend to) so I think I’m going to have to pass this one along to a friend pretty soon. But what I can tell you is that it smells pretty damn good too.
Overall Impression: I feel like I’ve been waiting a few years to say this, but I’m really glad that Shea Moisture finally developed a hair care line for men. Too often am I faced with the reality of products that 1) have not so stellar ingredients and 2) are made for women and make no qualms about the fact. I won’t front, women’s hair care products have given me a lot of good hair days and lots of comments, but at the same time it’s also nice to have a company recognize that men have specific hair care needs too. All in all, this entire line smells GREAT, looks GREAT, and is priced GREAT. I feel pretty good using this stuff and some of the line will definitely stay in my personal rotation.
I’ve got an itch…a serious one and it’s driving me crazy! You see, every Winter I try to grow out my beard at least once. I don’t know what it is…maybe I have a hidden desire to be a lumberjack, who knows? What I do know is, my face itches like crazy!
Several of you out there may know what I’m talking about. If you do, you understand how annoying new stubble can be. If you’ve never grown a beard, beware! You’re likely to have a serious itch, especially for the first couple of days/a week.
But there is some good news! While there’s no one size fits all cure to the “beard itchies” as I call them, I’ve found three things that make me feel much better in the growing out phase:
1. Moisture, moisture, moisture. During the first couple of days of your grow out process you may want to consider being overzealous about keeping your mug nice and moisturized. It certainly has helped me a bit. Plus, you should be doing anyway, right?!
2. Exfoliation is key. Using a daily exfoliant, like my personal favorite Shea Moisture Argan Oil Scrub, will help with moisture as well as lifting up beard hairs, limiting tangles and knots which is especially crucial for guys with curlier hair textures.
3. Comb it. Everyday. Just like the mane on top of your head. You won’t regret it.
If you’re going to don a beard, prepare yourself for the discomfort that will come with your protruding stubble. Be smart and continue to moisturize diligently and exfoliate regularly to ease the discomfort. And if you have a thick or long beard, you may to even consider conditioning it. And yes, I’m totally serious.
Every new year is filled with fresh starts and I wanted to give myself, and my fro, basically a new start too. I’d been thinking about it for a while and realized that I needed some sort of change, it just took me a little while to figure out what it was.
Needless to say, this change is a bit of a gut check for me as I’ve gotten very used to my hair at a certain length, but I’m glad for the change. Lately my hair has really been getting on my nerves with all the detangling and such so I headed to the barber for a little fro maintenance.
Honestly, the cut is shorter than I initially wanted (from about 4.5-5 inches to 1.5 inches, roughly) but I’m relatively pleased with where my length is at the moment. I find a little reassurance knowing that my hair grows pretty quickly and that the barber was very impressed with the condition of my hair (I must be doing something right!). To be fair, I’m in a bit of shock as I’ve basically traveled back three years in time in under an hour, but I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this change affects how I feel and treat my hair in the coming months. Until next time!
Here are a few select photos from the Shea Moisture event I recently hosted on December 14. We had a great time and I’d like to say thank you again to the Shea Moisture team and everyone who came out. I had a great time! Make sure to visit Facebook.com/manemanblog for more photos!
Now that a few weeks have passed and I’m starting to grow back my goatee, I have had some time to reflect on my first year participating in Movember. To be honest, I was surprised by how off-balance I felt when my facial hair had gone away. Maybe facial hair isn’t just facial hair after all?
I started Movember 1st with a completely bare face and immediately felt that I had regressed a good 10-15 years. I turned into a bashful teenager again and found myself counting down the days until my stache made a come back. These days, I’m feeling a bit more like my usual self, but shaving off my stache and goatee taught me how facial hair, for guys, really is a symbol of adult/manhood. I remember being younger, looking at my father and thinking, what will I look like when I grow a moustache? Will I be cool then? Will I look “old”? It’s funny how big a difference a little razor blade and shaving cream can make.
The goatee is slowly making its way back (woo hoo!) and I’m starting to feel like a grown man again, thankfully. I have to say that Movember was an enlightening experience as it made me more conscious about health issues affecting men around the world. It also gave me impetus to continue to monitor my health as I get older as well the other guys in my life. So, I guess Movember serves it’s purpose after all, huh? Plus, the Mo Gala was pretty fun too!
Movember fundraises year round for men’s health issues and you can visit their U.S. page here for more information. Finally, check out this video from Movember CEO & Co-Founder Adam Garone as he wraps up another successful Movember campaign.
Happy Monday all! This past month I have been raising money for men’s health initiatives through the Movember campaign. Thanks to everyone for your donations. To date, MANE MAN has raised $255 surpassing my goal of $200! This past Saturday the month of fundraising concluded with the infamous Mo Gala at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom. Having never been to a Mo Gala before I was a bit nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect. It turns out that the gala is as hilariously entertaining as the official Movember videos seem. There were lots of costumes (Freddie Mercury and Frida Kahlo were among my favorites) and I had a great time even though I had to scold a few mo’s after their uninvited petting of the fro.
On the other hand, I met some fun people and danced to mostly 80’s music for the majority of the night. I got the pleasure of meeting Movember Founder Adam Garone, who incidentally complimented my stache! I even convinced a friend of mine to slip my MANE MAN card in his pocket but that’s neither here nor there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get good photos of the costumes but I must tell you, if you get the opportunity to go, you should give it a go at least once. Plus, it’s for a good cause! It is a bit of a circus but only in the best way possible. I definitely think I’ll be back next year! Check out some pics below!