Brainstem STROKE

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My Family has suffered a loss.  My sister’s ex husband and father to her 3 children under 14 years old passed away last week.  He was 35 years young and other than suffering from migraines from time to time, he was healthy.  He worked out all the time so we NEVER saw this coming.

I normally wouldn’t post something this personal but, I feel it is my duty to raise awareness. You see my Brother-in-law suffered what we now know to be a Hemorrhagic Brain stem Stoke that was caused by a burst in a  blood vessel that pooled in the base of his brain and brain stem. The pooling of the blood ultimately interrupted the flow of blood to his brain and caused pressure to build up in his brain stem.

As a family, we are baffled. Don’t get me wrong, we have faith that God has the final say. we just want to educate ourselves and know how to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Over the past weeks I’ve found myself wondering if there were any signs.

According to NYU’s Department of Medicine, there are many risk factors and other medical conditions that can lead to hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. You can check them out here.

Of all the conditions and risk factors, and there almost 30, only two of them are related to my brother-in-law. The first being that he was a black man and the second being that he suffered from migraines. I know so many people that suffer from these dreaded headaches, including myself, and it scares me. If you’re not familiar with symptoms of an Aura or other symptoms attached to migraines, you can take a look here

Symptoms of a brain stem stroke can come on very strong and they are severe. You can have difficulty breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speaking. With similarities to strokes in other parts of the brain there can be weakness or paralysis of your limbs and/or face, hearing and vision problems, balance issues with tingling sensation, vertigo (a feeling of spinning when you’re not moving), Locked-in syndrome (occurs when only the eyes are able to move), and coma.

All of these symptoms are very serious, as with most illnesses, early detection and treatment is key.  Brain tissue without blood flow dries quickly so if someone you know, including yourself, have any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. I truly believe if my brother in law would have sought medical attention when his symptoms first appeared, he would still be here.

On a positive note, my family’s bond has gotten even stronger and individually our faith has gotten stronger. I’m thankful for that and i’m also thankful for the research of this post because it made me dig deeper into the information the doctors gave us and I now have a much clearer understanding.

Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Have you ever experienced an aura? I’d love to open up dialogue on the topic of this silent killer.

Be Blessed,

M.Shanelle

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Healthy Hair 4 Life – Why Is My Hair Falling Out?!?!?!!!!!

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Hello Beautiful!!

If the title made you click this post because its your situation, because it’s something you are currently dealing with, I need you to take a moment and just try to breathe and relax.  I know it’s easier said than done but I need you to know that it is much easier to get to the root of the problem in a calm state of mind. Try not to add stress to your situation.

Speaking of Stress, did you know that Chronic Stress can affect your:

  • Immune System
  • Circulation
  • Nervous System, and
  • Decrease the body’s ability to absorb nutrients?

Not only is stress is a silent killer but it can also be the cause of your hair loss.  If stress is your problem, do all you can to avoid it or make a conscience effort to relax. Try meditating, yoga, kick boxing, or even something fun like dancing or having great sex. Maybe you can learn or reacquaint yourself with a hobby like reading, sewing, knitting or crocheting, or having great sex. Whatever you do make sure its something you like and that it’s effortless.

In my previous post, I mentioned the effects of medication being a contributor to hair loss and breakage. This is called Diffused Hair Loss.

Did you know that antidepressants are the #1 medication causing hair loss?

Medications used to treat High Blood Pressure, Thyroid and Heart disease as well as Diabetes are also known to stunt hair growth and deplete the blood of much-needed nutrients that contribute to healthy hair.  Water Pills (diuretics) are also a known culprit.

If you have been prescribed medications to treat these illnesses or similar do not stop taking these medications, because doing so would be far worse than hair loss. I’m mentioning these reasons because I believe it is possible to add the things that your body is being deprived of to your diet to try to add balance and reduce the effects of some of the medications.  Consult with your Dr. and see if they have any recommendations and seeing a Nutritionist to evaluate your diet and eating habits could also be  beneficial.

One of the most common reasons and the easiest to avoid for Breakage and Thinning is IMPROPER HAIR CARE. We all do it or have done it.  Once you start to lose your hair most people want to then take notice. The reality of it is when our hair is full and has length to it we need to nurture it and properly care for it.  We also need to teach our children better hair care techniques and then they will be able to do that with their children. Knowledge is power and in this case Knowledge equates Healthy Hair.

To break the cycle here are some tips on things to avoid for healthier hair:

  • Dry, damaged and brittle hair from over-processing relaxers, color & other chemicals
  • Sleeping on cotton pillowcases. Satin, silk or any other NON ABSORBENT material. Eastern cultures believe that sleeping on these materials can also minimize wrinkles.
  • Excessive and improper use of heat styling tools
  • Not taking notice to worn or ragged combs and brushes
  • Excessive tension with Braids and Weaves
  • Not thoroughly combing through the hair daily when wearing ponytails and buns
  • Excessive use of protein gel
  • Lack of proper cleansing and conditioning
  • Lack of moisture
  • Having a hairstylist that cares more about the style than the health of your hair
  • Patronizing unlicensed, uneducated beauticians and under educated, lazy Licensed Cosmetologists that are more passionate about the money in your pocket than your hairhair.

I hope this post was helpful and as always, don’t hesitate to ask questions.  You just might inspire the next post.

Peace and blessings,

M. Shanelle

Holiday Sweepstakes!!!! You DON’T Want to MISS This!!!

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Win a Beautifully Bobbed Ready Set Glam Unit

($340 Value)

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Click Here and follow the prompts to enter to win. (**Rules and restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Images shown are for descriptive purposes only. Color not included.)

Be READY for CHRISTMAS & NEW YEARS. Click the link, follow the directions and enter to WIN!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sharing is Caring!!

Reblog, repost, share it on Facebook and Instagram, tweet it. The more you do the more entries you have.

Contest ends December 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Healthy Hair 4 Life Introduction

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Hello Beautiful!!

When I was in the salon I and my fellow stylists prided ourselves on our ability to grow and maintain the length and density of our clients hair.  Our expertise and professionalism played a huge part in our success but one thing I don’t think some clients could grasp is the importance of disclosing any and all medications, dietary supplements, and changes in eating habits.

Why do I need to disclose such personal information to my hairstylist?

This information is important for various reasons. Some of these reasons are:

  • Medications, supplements, and the foods we eat enter our blood stream and either add  to or deplete our blood of nourishing essentials that are needed for healthy hair growth
  • Certain medications deplete the body of and/or prohibit the body’s ability to absorb certain key nutrients like POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, IRON, CALCIUM, etc.
  • When foods are omitted from diets because of religious or health reasons and the missed nutrients are not replaced (eg. the iron in red meat).

I totally understand if a client is uncomfortable disclosing certain issues that they may be dealing with.  They may be embarrassed or they may not feel close enough to their stylist to disclose this information. In this case, it is very unfortunate because as hair stylists we sometimes have to automatically take on the role of an unconventional therapist or life coach. In my own experience, there were time that my clients sometimes shared things with me that they shared with no one else, including their spouses.

That, in itself, holds a lot of responsibility and as a veteran in the business I recommend to any stylist that may be reading this to not be a gossip monger when it comes to your clients situations. Keep their secrets in confidence. Your INTEGRITY is on the line. Also, stay educated and informed on what foods, herbs, vitamins, medicines, etc have effects on or benefit the hair and scalp.  You will be a better stylist and be considered and authority on healthy hair which is far more important than the latest hairstyle

To clients, my advice to you is to have realistic desires when it comes to your hair and most importantly, be up front with your stylist.  If that’s not something you are comfortable with you need to either 1) figure out how to establish a connection with your stylist or 2) you are in the wrong chair.

It may sound strange, but the relationship between the stylist and client is almost like one of a couple.  There has to be Trust, Communication, and Honesty. Without those 3 key elements when a serious matter comes along it may get rocky. No matter how professional you keep it, clients desire compassion as well as professionalism.

I am so excited about this Series on HEALTHY HAIR 4 LIFE. This series will discuss a lot of issues I came across over the last 20 years in the hair salon.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask.  Your question may inspire more research and posts. Next weeks topic will be on Underlying Health Conditions that are causing Hair Loss.

Peace and Blessings,

M. Shanelle

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Ready Set Glam Unit – Dare 2 B a Diva

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Ready Set Glam Units are…

…Nothing like your grandmas old wig.DSC_2257

DSC_2262 They are created with Human Hair,

Styled in today’s hottest looksDSC_2264

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Ready Set Glam Units are created just for you.  Today’s Woman on the Go!

Who has 3-6 hours to spend in a salon just to have that LUXURIOUS HAIR you just had to have installed?  Our units are not only made with precision and expert construction, they’re made with quality hair.  The unit shown is 9 months old.

The owner of this unit sends it in to be maintained, cleansed, restyled every 2-4 weeks. She has a back up so she’s always flawless and her units can go through the conditioning process and have any necessary repairs done to the foundation without the need to rush.

UNIT SPECIFICATIONS: Dare 2 B a Diva

(3) 3.5 oz bundles – (1) 14″, (1) 16″, (1) 18″ bundles You choose how you would like your bang (china, side feather, side swoop, center or side part) This unit comes with a custom made closure or can be made into a u-part unit. For an additional fee a lace or silk base closure and coloring services can be added. (see Item library and add desired closure and/or extension color service to your cart) Upon completion of sale the Hair Concierge will contact you within 24 hours for measurements and style specifics including extension color services

I’ll be posting tips on caring for your units in between maintenance as well as tutorials on how to properly cleanse your units at home.

Subscribe to stay in the know.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  I’m more than happy to help if I can.

Peace and Blessings,

M. Shanelle

PS  Learn more about The Hair Concierge HERE or visit my website.

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Day 4 of 7: 10 Brutally Honest Facts About me

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Hello Beautiful!!!

I am so behind in my posts.  The weekend came and I was so busy with my ‘mini-me’s’ band competition and I had an emergency wig creation I had to have done and delivered in 24 hours.  With that being said, I’ll get started…

1. I HATE working under pressure!!!!     Don’t get me wrong, I am very much capable working under pressure.  I’ve done hair shows, and styled bridal parties and guests for weddings, as well as tamed a diva or two preparing for their proms and never had a complaint. I feel like I’ve paid my dues and I refuse to work under stress and pressure. I create my wigs because of a passion burning within me, because it’s what I LOVE doing. What I did this weekend took me to a place I no longer desire to be in.  From this point on, I’m sticking to my 3-5 Day minimum turn around.

2. I am MOST CREATIVE/PRODUCTIVE at WIG MAKING after everyone in my household has gone to bed.     I find myself being most creative and productive once everyone has gone to bed.  I love creating in solitude.

3. If MY ENERGY is not POSITIVE I can not create my wigs. A lot of my clients suffer from issues with their hair like diffused hair loss, alopecia, and hair loss due to chemotherapy.  They already have so much going on in their lives and I refuse to add any negative energy I may have going on with me to their units. My units are created with love…with passion…to be a tool to boost self-esteem. So, if I’m feeling crappy I step away and work on me.

4. I HATE UGLY!!!!     UGLY is such a HARSH word to use when describing the way a person looks. Now I do believe a person can have an UGLY soul, an UGLY spirit, yes they can be UGLY on the INSIDE. Those things are a choice. Our perception of the way someone looks to us is not their choice, it’s not their truth.  A good friend once said, “If you stare at anything too long you’ll find something wrong”.  How about we point out what’s beautiful the next time we’re in the presence of an UGLY SEEKER and contradict their negativity.

Now for some FUN STUFF…

5. I consider myself a REFORMED CLUTZ.     When I was a kid you could have called me Schleprock.  Every time I turned around I was falling and/or breaking a bone.  I had broken both of my arms(on separate occasions) before I graduated elementary school. The first one my brother and I were trying to be Superman and Wonder Woman, jumping off of the top of the couch…smh (bad ass kids). The second time I was swinging on the same clothes line pole my grandmother told me day in and day out not to swing from. Well I learned that day!!!! I mean even as an adult I’ve fallen in public places.  My funniest story to hear my husband tell is when we were at the movies and I insisted on getting the refreshments this time.  So as I’m walking in the dark movie theater with my large popcorn and other refreshments, my husband decides to shine his cell phone light right at me and I miss the next step and he says all he saw was popcorn flying in the air. My stomach still hurts from laughing at that memory. I’m reformed because I haven’t fallen in a very long time. (Fingers Crossed!!!)

6. I LOVE LONG BATHS.     My ritual is Avon Vanilla Bubble Bath added to water so hot it almost burns ( I know it’s horrible for my already dry skin), burning my lavender and vanilla candles from Yankee Candle Co., and my tablet.  Depending on my mood I’ll either be perusing social media (which i’m trying to stop doing at while I’m relaxing), listening to one of my playlists on Spotify, or catching up on my list on Netflix (my latest obsession is American Horror Story). I sit and soak sometimes up to two hours. Don’t judge me, its how I unwind.

7. I WISH I COULD SING.     If I could SING I wouldn’t necessarily want to be a powerhouse like Jennifer Hudson or Mariah Carey. If I could sing I would want to have a voice like Jill Scott or Anita Wilson ( a gospel soul singer). If I could sing I could want a voice that can not only hit some notes but I would want a stage presence that would be so captivating that you could feel the soul of what it is I’m singing. I LOVE  raspy singers.  If I could sing give me the soul of Lalah Hathaway, Anthony Hamilton, or Lyfe Jennings. I LOVE all these singers.

8. I want to BECOME an EVENT PLANNER.     Not so much for weddings, maybe for a birthday party here or there. I want to plan large events like FESTIVALS, EMPOWERMENT and NETWORKING events. FUNDRAISERS, HAIR and FASHION shows. I want to plan events with PURPOSE. Events that create a space for GROWTH. That’s a fact that I haven’t spoken. Well, there it is. It’s in the atmosphere and it’s been claimed by me. The only thing left to do is put one foot in front of the other and walk in it.

9. I am a REALITY TV JUNKIE!!!!     From RHOA, to LHHA, LHHNY, LHHH, COUPLES THERAPY, ATLANTA EXES, HOLLYWOOD EXES, R&B DIVAS ATLANTA/LA, & Ms. Diana’s Dancing Doll’s on BRING IT! Yeah, I know it’s a lot but at least I don’t watch ALL OF THEM!!!

10. I LOVE going to the GUN RANGE!!!     My husband took me to the range for the first time last year and I’ve been hooked ever since. I could use some practice with our SHOTGUN and RIFLE, but I was a PERFECT SHOT with the 9MM

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So, there you have it. 10 Facts about me. Some were fun, some were not so fun but they are all me. Fellow Bloggers, I’d love to check out your fun facts. Leave me a link in the comments section as well as any feedback.  Did I overshare?  Let’s talk.

I’d love to connect across social media

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This post is Day 4 of 7 of the Feel Good Blogging challenge Series created by Alex Beadon

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Day 3 of 7: A Healthier Way to EXTEND the LIFE of your WEAVE

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This post is SPECIFICALLY for the ladies that don’t have the time or the funds to have their weave taken down and redone.

Often times when a client would come in the salon to have their weave tighten I turned them away or convinced them to remove the weave because the method I knew of (which was to braid the hair that has slipped out of the perimeter of the weave, re-braid it, and PULL the weave to be SEWN onto the new braid) would do more harm than good.

DO NOT ALLOW THIS PROCESS TO BE DONE!!!! YOU ARE KILLING YOUR EDGES!!!!

If you have had your weave in longer than 8 weeks you are mistreating your natural hair. You have turned a PROTECTIVE STYLE into a DAMAGING ONE.

The following steps are the only way I suggest adding a week or two to your weave.

In these photos you can see my fine hair has slid back (for two reasons…One, I don’t wear my weaves longer than 4 weeks so my braids are not done in a way that will make it last longer.  I find this to be healthier for my fine hair. Two, because the braids are this way when I shampoo my hair it tends to slide back so what you see is more slippage than growth)

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I recommend saving remnants of hair that is the same color/texture of the hair you are wearing. Starting from the base of the grow out (closest to the existing weft), measure across your slippage/new growth. cut what you need.

Place the remnant onto the slippage/new growth and sew directly onto your hair using either the whip stitch or the knot method.

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Continue to layer and sew remnants onto your slippage/new growth until you have reached the end of your leave out.

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Proceed to style your weave as you normally would.

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THIS METHOD WILL ONLY LAST YOU UNTIL THE NEXT SHAMPOO BECAUSE IT WILL ALSO BEGIN TO SLIDE.  THIS METHOD SHOULD NOT BE DONE IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH SEWING HAIR INTO YOUR OWN HAIR. ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR STYLIST BEFORE TRYING ANY NEW OPTIONS WITH YOUR HAIR.

Peace and Blessings Beautiful!!!

M.Shanelle

PS. There are so many methods out there for extending the life of your weave. My main concern for my readers is to have all the information they need to have healthy hair and hairline while wearing extensions.  So, i’d love to hear about the methods other professionals have used to solve this dilemma. Please add them in the comments section.

This post is Day 3 of 7 of the Feel Good Blogging challenge Series created by Alex Beadon

M.Shanelle is a Licensed Cosmetologist in the State of California with over 20 years experience.  Any information received on this blog pertaining to hair is a professional opinion based on that experience.

All Photos are provided courtesy of The Hair Concierge