Ask Toi: What do you think of Meek Mill saying women need to take wigs off in 2019?

A reader wanted to know my thoughts so here we go:

Meh. A man telling a woman about hair is neither here nor there to be honest. Meek can have any opinion he wants. He has a right to voice that opinion but Meek isn’t a hair dresser or someone of an authority of hair so I saw what he said and kept scrolling. I don’t follow him and he doesn’t influence me one way nor another. It doesn’t mean I don’t like his music.  I do like his music but as a fan of music I don’t allow celebrities that I don’t feel have authority on a topic to speak into my life-like that.

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Who knows why he said it? It could be a dig on his past love Nicki.  It could be encouragement for women to embrace natural hair or healthy hair. Either way what he said didn’t give me life. As a woman who is natural and has had a perm and a weave at points in my life, my hair will be whatever I choose. I am grateful for being diverse and it is what it is. He like many other men state they don’t want a lot of things and still gravitate towards them so when he stop messing with women with wings and weaves than maybe I will take what he says into consideration.

End of the day any woman who is with him should be of concern to him.  I know folks gonna email me with the “even if I was dating” comments. Listen what’s best for you. I never allowed folks that I was dating to dictate to me how my hair was worn. I cut my hair off when I dated my (boyfriend) husband back in the day and he hates short hair. He is still here so end of day preference shouldn’t dictate a person but you can consider them if you are at least married to them. But hair advice from men who don’t know a lick of hair and would smash someone with wig in hand if their ass was big enough, can have a seat!

That’s my thoughts on that one…..

Ladies do you!

Meet India Green of Naturally Indy; Urban Glow Cosmetics

I had the elite pleasure of meeting this super star of self-care and natural care guru when my oldest had her pining ceremony for Girl Scouts. Her poise and beauty intrigued me and I knew I had to bring her to my ToiTime followers.  Urban Glow Cosmetics is a unisex handmade natural skin care to enhance that natural glow. So what does a college student, a budding entrepreneur, and altogether natural beauty have to teach us?

Let’s meet CEO and founder of Urban Glow Cosmetics, India and find out……

I wanted to know what made this Junior college student majoring in Media Studies and Production Major with a certificate in Event Leadership and entrepreneur want to make her start? Why natural care products?

I have always had a passion for natural products, since I went completely natural in regards to my hair. The more I learned about my hair’s health, I realized that your hair is a reflection of your overall health and using chemically based skin care has no benefits to your skin, hair or body! I want my hair and skin to reflect my lifestyle and I saw a hole in the market and decided that I would fill it. As many “natural” skincare companies as you may see, believe it or not some contain unnatural ingredients or are just too expensive. Urban Glow Cosmetics targets college students especially with our affordable products and are easily accessible. Outside of college campuses, we aim to restore self-care practices in the lives of both women and men. 

When I was in college especially one that didn’t cater to the needs of African-American students, the only real stores were on campus or our local Wal-mart.  Often times the disconnect on what we needed and what was available was slim pickings. I would find that often times as a student back in the early 2000 before I realized anything about natural hair care or skin products, students would just wait for a break or find a student on campus that would be kitchen chemists or hair dressers. I am glad that India realizes the market here for Temple students and beyond.

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I know with anything in life nothing comes easy.  I wanted to know one of the lessons that she has learned along the way trying to bridge this gap.

Patience is truly a virtue! There were times when I felt that I was moving too slow compared to others and their businesses and that caused me to fail on my first ever batch of masks. I rushed and didn’t use all the ingredients I knew I should have caused them all to mold over before I could even began selling. That taught me to not compare myself to others, but to use others’ success to motivate me! I learned to trust my own process. 

That’s a word. I know we all can take a lesson out of India’s book and apply that lesson across the board. Comparing yourself to someone else will always make you feel less adequate. Run your own race. Take pride in what you do. It will all come together in time. Easier to say and so much harder to do. So trust the process and keep the course.

I am still VERY new at business owning so I am still tackling my time management! Since I am the president of Campus Curlz Temple University chapter, an active member of the AmeriCorps Next Steps national  volunteering organization, and I work it has been difficult. I schedule days where I do specific tasks only and it definitely takes discipline. I have days scheduled where I only work on Urban Glow orders and other days where I only do Campus Curlz related work, volunteer, and so on. There have been plenty of times when I have been overwhelmed, but I know I have to just get better with discipline. I love all that I do, so I know I will make it work for me. My friends and family are very supportive of what I do so I can still bond with them while working on my brand. 

Having support as you complete  your goals is important. India’s schedule of being a student and a business owner seems overwhelming but what I do know is that when you are determined you can make anything work. So what’s stopping you?  Only you know the answers. Even in temporary failure as India had with her first set of masks, her ability to refocus instead of giving up is key.

Nothing worth having is going to just fall in your lap. Even if the idea does, it takes work to maintain. So I wanted to know from India, what sacrifices she has experienced this far in her own journey?

I have had to sacrifice a lot since launching Urban Glow Cosmetics, but one major sacrifice I’ve made thus far would be my “free time”. I have sat out on family events, social events, sleep, etc. just to make sure I am doing what is needed for Urban Glow Cosmetics. I used to feel upset about it, but the more time I spend working on my craft the less it feel like a sacrifice for me. 

 Could you make this type of sacrifice for your dream? Think about it. If you had to miss out on some events, or time with your family members, could you? I know I could and have in the past. Sometimes we have to let those around us know that we love them but this comes first. 

Everyone who reads ToiTime knows at this point how much I am a champion of self-care. It’s important to take time out for yourself while you serve or even times before you can serve someone else. With that in mind I wanted to know how does self-care coincide with Urban Glow Cosmetics?

Self-care is the basis of my business! Self-care is a term people think they know, but it consists of so much more! Urban Glow Cosmetics serves as the physical part of self-care, but I want to expand this and give people the opportunity to reclaim the word, understand what it means, and have them incorporate it into their everyday lifestyle naturally. 

As we are only a mere days into the New Year, what was the one thing that you felt you missed in 2018?

If i’m understanding the question correctly, one thing I feel like I missed out on was promoting myself at events. I was offered a spot at multiple vending events and I didn’t have confidence in myself at the time and I passed up those opportunities. 

We all have been there before. There is a time to say no. No when you feel like you are being pressed in the wrong direction. No when you feel like you are being used. However no can backfire. Thinking you haven’t done enough to be invited to the table can be just as damaging as being pressed too thin. If you are being brought to the table and its nothing that takes away from you in any way, consider your No to a Yes. You are just as worthy. IF you find that those at the table seem more polished, use it as a way to fine tune your skills sets. Ask questions of those seasoned. As a blogger I have had many times when I didn’t even attend. I was like I need more years under me. However after striking away fear, I found that I had just as much to offer as my fellow bloggers when attending. India get to the table, and smile with pride-you got it!

What does the future look for India and Urban Glow Cosmetics?

My plans and goals for Urban Glow Cosmetics is to develop into more than just a natural skin care company. I want to have several events, conferences, and retreats focusing on self-care, self-love, and the empowerment of women. My brand “Naturally Indy” will expand globally, so not only will I provide physical products but self-care goes deeper than the physical and I want to help women on their journeys mentally, emotionally, and physically through my events, conferences, retreats, etc. My ultimate end goal that will combine my field of study (Media Studies and Production) and my passion projects will be have my own TV Show that talks about numerous topics to help and motivate women. 

Girl you better say that! Speak it and work towards it, I know that this is just the beginning.

What is your message for women? For the Community? For Yourself?

“ It is okay to be selfish with you. It is important to take care of you. Be sure that you’re on the top of the list of people who you care for and take care of. “

To Myself: “ Stop waiting to turn into some perfect version of yourself and start enjoying being who you are in the present. Everything else will align.”

To my Community: “ Help each other! There are so many ways  to help your people, your friends, and your family. Do your part because support goes a long way!” 

india products

Men natural care products are for you too. Trust me skin of all kind can benefit from natural skin care products and is necessary for all. Also ladies, makeup can be that much more flawless when the skin underneath is just as “beat” without it. In 2019, do yourself a favor and treat your skin just as well as you do with the products that you put on top of it. With that in mind here’s how you can bring these affordable products to your home.  Also watch out for more, 2019 new products are dropping. Don’t miss out:

Urban Glow Cosmetics

If you will be in Philadelphia Pa area on February 2, 2019 join India and fellow other entrepreneurs at the Boss Babe Link Up. This event is a ticket paid event and will include food and a chance to be around other goal oriented women. You can find the information below:

Boss Babe Link Up

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And for those who claim they are too busy for self-care, lets end that talk in 2019. There are a thousand ways you can self-care.  For my busy on the go college students, moms, women and men who are always on the go get ahold of the masks as they are “to-go” sized and travel friendly. That means there is no reason you can’t afford them this year or grab and go either! Go and grab it and let’s flood this entrepreneur with love with our support as well as we can support her with our dollars too!

Follow India at her social media handles below:

Instagram

Campuscurlz Temple University

Natural is not a Phase

If you look around in the African-American community you see so many embracing themselves for the first time.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not a phase for most.  This is the time to really embrace yourself in all of your flaws and especially when you’re Black or minority and there are limited amounts of things you can see in print, film, etc.  The time for making moves for you is now.

One of the things that I have always hated which is sad in itself to write is that I never wanted to find out my natural state of my hair.  Let me break it down because I am not alone in this at all.  On Saturday I did the most bravest thing ever and that was to cut the relaxer out of my hair and see what the natural state of my hair was.  To some, this is no big deal but I have had a relaxer in my hair since I was about 4 or 5 years old.  I was always told that my hair was “nappy.”  Now phrases like kinky and thick is being celebrated.  The conversation of what is good and bad hair is always going on in the Black community.  I know that since having my first daughter I have always told her that healthy hair is the best hair. I didn’t want to get caught up in her “kinky” hair being less than others because I knew that was what I was being taught from a little girl.  My twin when we were younger had that “grease and water hair.”  Her hair type was always the type that my mom could easily mange and mine wasn’t do to it being coarse, nappy or untamable without the aid of a relaxer.  With a relaxer my tresses became like my sister in the sense I could do more styles with it.

As I became an adult before kids I was in a salon every 2 weeks  getting it done and every 4 weeks I was getting my regiment of “creamy crack.”  By the way creamy crack is relaxer so it became normal.  I learned how to take care of my hair with a relaxer. I knew what I could and what I couldn’t do.  So fast forward to Saturday, my decision to cut the relaxer out has been months in the making.  This wasn’t just a new me thing.  It had to do with the fact that until I made my decision I put a weave in my hair in December.  I wanted to do the “big chop” in January but I got cold feet.  So back to Saturday I was thinking of all of the pros and cons. The cons had more to do with the stigma of natural hair.  Since I have been relaxing my hair all my life I knew  I would have to chop most of my hair.  So the stigma came from appearing bald-headed, or looking like a man.  I have had short hair several times including the months before I put the weave in I had cut my hair.  My hair grows back fast so when I took the weave out this time I really under normal circumstances could have just relaxed it and it would have been in a bob style.

I go to the salon of my choice here in Philadelphia and I tell them I am ready for the “big chop.”  My hands are sweating, my heart is beating fast, and I feel like I am going to throw up.  I thought about my daughters.  One has the same kinky hair that I do the other has thick curly hair.  How would I want them to respond about themselves?  My hair is my glory but I can be who I need to be without relaxed tresses.  As I was being washed it felt weird not being based for the relaxer.  I kept looking around.  I finally was washed and the cutting began.  I kept taking deep breaths as the hair was falling on the floor.  My hair dresser is telling me that she has to cut some more and I am thinking here I go, bald is going to be my expected end.  However she tries to show me my hair after just the cut but I refuse.  I just know what I want my hair to be.  Can my hair be healthy with a relaxer yes, it has been at times.  However I just don’t want chemicals in my hair.  I want to embrace this for me and for my daughters.

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So the cut is done she styles me and reveals that I actually have wash and go hair.  I am looking at her like she has 3 eye balls.  Like who has some wash and curl hair?  But she reveals it and I am super happy.  One its super convenient since I do work out at least 3 days a week.  I love it.  I love the look.  It’s what I wanted and for the first time in years I don’t have to wait 24 hours for my hair style to grow on me.   I also am learning that team natural doesn’t mean team don’t comb or do anything to your hair.  Your hair needs to be treated well with regular washes, moisturizer, and love just like relaxed hair.  And no I don’t mean the same methods.  I mean at the end of the day relaxed or natural if you don’t take care of it, it won’t look or be much of anything.  You can’t be lazy in taking care of yourself whether or not you can afford to go to the hair dresser or not.  Taking pride in your hair is the number way to take care of your hair in either phase.

So as I get home I don’t have nerves of what my family or husband will think.  Not one.  I walked in like any other day hungry and ready to eat.  I was at the salon for quite some time. I post the pic on Facebook not looking for validation.  I was happy and I was okay with the world seeing my happiness.  I wasn’t looking for approval from my parents and siblings either.  I like and love it and that is what is important.  I am determined to eat right, look tight, and be happy and that means putting my needs to the top of the list.  I am loving the skin I am in not because I am team natural but because I am embracing and finding ways to create the happiness that isn’t always there.  Life sucks but I refuse to look bad and feel bad in this life.

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I am not a pro in this natural hair thing. I do not pretend to be.  I do know how I felt the moments leading up to my big chop as well as how I felt afterward.  I do know that it’s not easy to transition.  I am well aware as I learn my hair.  I have to dispel the thoughts that have come back to my mind already.

 

I am not advocating team natural over relaxed hair.  I refuse to get into a debate over it. There are pros and cons to both processes.  What I am advocating is being strong and confident like we teach our daughters.  What makes you look and feel the strongest go with that.  This day and age everything is destined to kill our vibe, time for women and men to find ways to be happy and healthy from the inside out.  I choose to be happy, fierce and strong in my own skin…..

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