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Your hair is your crown.

Your hair your crown...and glory.

Hair fact: Everyone's hair grows one quarter of an inch per month.

In last week's blog I mentioned that our skin is one of the first things you see when you look in the mirror, your hair is immediately after!

My hair obsession.

Sooo I am OBSESSED WITH HAIR! If you follow me on social media then you know I change my hair often! my appearance is one of the ways that I express my creativity. At one point I used to do my hair every single day, when I actually had the time to do. I was doing not only my hair, but also my families and friends hair. So I almost in enrolled in hair school. I was serious about it too. But at this point when I was considering getting my hair license I had already had my Bachelor's and Master's degrees so there was no federal funding for me. If I wanted to get my hair license I would have to pay out of pocket. Therefore I decided to just use my hair skills for my benefit only!

In my day I have been guilty of putting more emphasis on my hairstyles versus my hair care, I think we a might be guilty of this.

I decided to interview 20 year hair veteran Shantel Tatayana about what healthy hair looks like and how to maintain it, debunk hair myths about "good hair", hair care techniques, and more!

What initially drew you to a career in hair styling/ cosmetology?

It started as a rebellion against my mother! I was accepted into Carver Center for the Arts and Technology when I was 13/14. And she wanted me to go there business I wanted to go there for dance. I kind of always knew that was going to be my path, I was always doing something to my doll's hair! One day my dolls would have braids, then curls, a hair cut the next day. Once I started at Carver I fell in love with the industry. I fell in love with everything about just knowing about hair. Knowing the dynamics, the chemistry, the styling, color, all of it. So it turned out to be something that I love and can't imagine doing anything else!

What are a few things people should know about hair care?

First thing that I would tell anyone about hair care is to take inventory of what's going on with your hair personally, most of us have a community where we check in with others about their hair what they're doing. You have to keep in mind that everyone's hair is different, everyone's diet is different, everyone's overall health is different. So you definitely need to keep in mind that haircare is personalized to you. Your hair type, your health, your specific issues. Everyone's hair care journey is different.

What does healthy hair look like and how can one achieve it?

So healthy hair to me is hair that has good moisture retention. Moisture retention has a lot to do with your overall hair health. There are certain things your hair will not be able to do if your hair doesn't have the right amount of moisture content and if your hair is not strong. Keep in mind that healthy hair sheds you worry when it comes out in clumps, or when you start seeing bald spots. You also worry when it doesn't shed at all, because that means that something is going on.

Also healthy hair is only as healthy as your scalp!

How do we get and maintain hydrated, moisturized hair? Any particular products?

So moisture, for the most part comes from the beginning of your hair care. So the shampoos, the conditioners, the leave-in's. Those are where you're going to get 99% of your moisture from. It's not just as basic as putting water on your hair.

The shampoo that I swear by in the salon, as far as moisture, is the KeraCare hydrating shampoo, the sulfate free version. It is amazing! On everyone. Whether you are coarse and coily or fine and straight, it works on everyone. Then after using a shampoo you need a very moisture rich conditioner. What I am using right now in the salon is the Biolage ultra hydrating conditioner, it's light and doesn't weigh your hair down. As for leave in conditioner It's a 10! leave in conditioner spray, it's cream based, light, only needs 2-3 sprays for the whole head. It allows you to detangle and lock in any moisture that you put in during the shampoo and conditioning process. It also serves as a heat protectant.

You have to follow up with a weekly treatment, for your specific hair needs.

How important is diet on your hair growth?

It is super important, we can do anything to our hair topically, but when you are getting into the whole premise of hair health and making sure that it grows properly you definitely want to pay attention to your diet. If you're not eating fruits and vegetables on the regular basis but you're expecting your hair to grow, it won't happen.

What are foods to eat or avoid for boosting hair growth?

Fruits and vegetables that are rich in folic acid, foods that are rich in Vitamins A, D, and E. your vitamin intake is really important! If you are not taking mutli-vitamins i suggest you do so, it can be any type of multi-vitamin from One-a-day to womens formula, any daily vitman that gives you everything. You want to make sure your body is getting all of the vitamins. If you are on medications always consult your doctor before taking certain vitamins.

How effective are hair, skin , nails vitamins?

You have to read the content of what you're taking. Make sure that the vitamins are plant based, or found in nature; and not created in a lab. Many of these popular and celebrity/influencer endorsed vitamins were created in a lab. They mimic the natural properties of the vitamins, but they are nothing like them. So when you consume those your body becomes dependent on them and you run the risk of losing hair if you do not continue taking them. Always do your research, read the label, it well let you know if it's synthetic.

Hair fact: Getting you hair trimmed does not hinder hair growth.

Is there such a a thing as “good hair or bad hair”?

The whole premise of good hair versus bad hair, it really has a direct tie to slavery, just how we interact as a community/culture. Often people will refer to wash and go hair as that good hair. Then look at thicker coarser hair with disgust, calling it nappy. To me there's no such thing as good or bad hair. It's very opinion based. I don't like to use those terms, I cringe when other people use those terms. Good hair to me is is your hair healthy? Are you able to get the styles you want? Bad hair to me is damaged hair, something that we need to work with and create a game plan for, that bad hair to me. And even then it not bad hair it just needs a little loving.

What are some common misconceptions about natural hair and hair growth?

-The biggest misconception about natural hair is that natural hair automatically equates to healthy hair. Natural hair can be damaged if you're not combing it or getting routine maintenance like trims.

-Not everyone can go natural.

-Natural hair does not equal low maintenance.

What are a few things people should know about weaves, wigs, braids, and other protective styles?

They are perfect for putting your hair away for a nice while. Keep in mind they are costly investments. But it is worth it for the amount of time you will have them in. Wigs and weaves are not low maintenance! Make sure you are getting them re-tightened, washed, conditioned, etc. Micro-links do require maintenance every 2-3 weeks, you do have to get them tightened, washed/conditioned, and dried properly. If you do not dry your weaves, wigs, and other extensions properly, and the best way to do so is with a hooded dryer, then you run the risk of your hair having mold. Weaves and braids should only be in for about 3 months. Try not to get them as often, because they do put tension on your hair. Just like with anything else, if you pull on it long enough it will break, so sometimes you need to take a break from protective styles.

What are your go-to hair products?

-KeraCare Lather shampoo

-It's a Ten leave in conditioner

-Paul Mitchell heat protecting serum

-The Chi brand (I love their holding and shine spray!)

-Scalp oils (I make my own scalp oils and it called "RST", which stands for Relieving Scalp Tension.)

To create an everyday classic look what items would you suggest everyone have?

To achieve a smooth silky look, after setting your hair with a good shampoo and conditoner, your blow dryer makes all the difference. You want a really good blow dryer, the one that I use it Red by Kiss it's their tourmaline ceramic blow dryer, it comes with a comb attachment and it's cost effective! It gets your hair as straight as possible with out causing heat damage. You want a really good flat iron. If you have fine/medium hair I suggest nothing above 400 degrees. If you have more coarse/medium hair I suggest no more than 425 degrees. In very rare cases, you can increase it to 450 degrees, but I do not suggest using 450 degrees at home, that's when you run the risk of heat damage. For a pulled back look, you can use these same items, but also use edge control!

In selecting and edge control you want to make sure you find and use something that gives you a really good hold but it also natural. The edge control that I use is the Shine and Jam by Ampro. It's normally in a yellow or purple container. Also you want a good, flexible hold spray. My personal favorite is the Chi Deep Brilliance it also has olive oil and monoi oil, so it's going to give you that sheen but also the flexible hold where it will hold your hair in place with out the hard, crunchy texture.

My hair tip: When I wear a slick down or slick back style I used edge control and leave in conditioner and set it with a silk scarf for at least 30 mins or more.

Tell us about the Shan signature silk out. 

It's a silk press/blow out fusion, it takes some techniques from both. I'm very keen on not using a lot of heat. With a traditional silk press you sit under the dryer to get all the moisture out of your hair, then you get blow dried, then you get flat ironed then you get wrapped and sat back under the dryer. Not only is that time consuming but also unnecessary heat. I really like the movement that a blow-out gives. It's a very moisture rich shampoo and conditioner, I focus on the heat protecting within the blow-out adding in the silk press it just makes it bouncier and smoother.

Any advice for someone looking to start a career or business in hairstyling/beauty/cosmetics etc?

Don't get stuck on time periods. Do not let social media pressure you into thinking you will be an overnight success. Don't be discouraged by the oversaturation, this is a billion dollar industry. Get your license, you NEED your license. You need an accreditation, you need your state behind you. You risk being sued, fined, and much more. There are classes and stores that you have access to by having your license.

Find your niche, work your niche, but always be willing to learn. Be open to change.

Don't take any short cuts!

Tell me more about your recent ventures. 

I am venturing into education, it will be coming down the line very soon, so stay tuned.

Also, I was selected to be a hair stylist at New York Fashion Week, of course due to COVID it was postponed, so I will be apart of next years event in September 2021!

Thank you so much again to Shantel, be sure to watch snippets of our interview on Instagram!

Be sure to follow Shantel for more tips on hair care, education on the hair industry, and to book your next appointment.

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