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This Business Woman Knows How Hard It Is To Get Proper Haircare Being Latina —So She Opened Her Salon And Fixed It

I don’t know about you, but I have definitely dropped hundreds of dollars on haircuts and color treatments at boujee hair salons, in hopes of attaining a honey caramel ombré on my coarse, dark mane —courtesy of my Latina DNA. Most of them played out as horror stories. More often than not I’ve walked out of a salon with brittle, over-processed, damaged hair after too many hours with foils in it, because “Your hair is so thick! let’s wait a little longer.” After too many failed attempts that made my hair look orange rather than ‘caramel’, I gave up on coloring my locks with technicians who didn’t know how to work with hair like mine. That’s why when I heard that there’s a Chicana out there cutting and coloring hair of every texture; my damaged mane and I, almost booked a trip to Dallas.

The Latinx community is obsessed with beauty, yet the industry does not cater to our needs.

twitter @esmeerubio

We all know that the beauty industry has rarely catered to women of color. Which is a huge paradox if you think of it because, it’s common knowledge that there is an undeniable obsession with beauty amongst the Latinx community. A study in 2015 called Hispanic women “the foundation for beauty sales” because it found that beauty sales increased by 8 percent among Hispanics, while it dropped almost 2 percent among non-Hispanics. Likewise, skincare and hair care increased within the Hispanic community and dropped among non-Hispanics. 

The study also found that Hispanics were spending approximately $44 on a single product, while non-Hispanics were spending almost half that price for a similar product. These numbers make it pretty clear that we have the spending power —and the need for beauty is obviously there, so why are so few brands, technicians, and businesses betting on us?

Jessica saw a gap in the market and —thankfully for us— she decided to act on it.

instagram @jakethegreat_88

Jessica “Jake” Tafoya, is the entrepeneur behind The Mod + Body Labb, a  salon that takes care of the skin and hair of women of color in Dallas. And not only does she cater to every hair texture, length and color that walks through her doors, most importantly she builds upon what her Mexican family taught her by creating an atmosphere for other women of color to feel welcome and taken care of —hallelujah!

Tafoya dreamt of opening her own beauty business years before she actually took the leap of faith and opened it.

instagram @jakethegreat_88

The gap of time between dreaming about opening her business and actually opening it, is just one of the things she credits for helping her build a business worthy of her dreams. Tafoya also credits her Latinidad, taking pride in it and embracing it, is what helped her get to where she is now. 

“I embrace my Latinidad as my identity and additional fuel to give me the strength to overcome every failure and detour set on my path,” explains Tafoya in an interview with Forbes. “Through the close bond of my family, I have been able to remain challenged and fully determined to reach my goals. Our culture is one to celebrate and learn from as we carry certain characteristics that will help us flourish from both a personal and career perspective.” 

Jessica “Jake” Tafoya is now a full fledged businesswoman who empowers and celebrates beauty.

instagram @themodlabb

Jake now has three salons for skin and hair, offering a full-service beauty experience for women of color in Dallas, TX. “I saw a significant gap within the beauty industry and wanted to create an environment where we celebrate every hair texture and skin tone while empowering the multifaceted woman,” shares Tafoya. 

‘We strive to give our guests a place where they feel welcome and where their needs are understood and met. We encourage each one of our customers to strive for self love, to feel confident and love who they see beyond their reflection in the mirror.” 

At Mod Labb, you can get all done up with services that cater to your specific hair texture and skin tone.

instagram @lissluvshair

Mod Labb offers curl cuts and hair extensions in addition to all other hair services while the Body Labb is all about skincare and cosmetic services including brow shaping and makeup. “As part Native American and Latina, my hair texture and skin tone is unique. It had always been difficult to find a professional skilled enough to know how to cater to my long, coarse hair and olive skin,” shared Tafoya. “After a couple of years of experience under my belt, I decided to transform that gap into an opportunity and create my business.”

Tafoya doesn’t only cater to people of color, she makes sure to put her money were her mouth is, and employs only people of color, too. 

instagram @themodlabb

The Mod Labb started as a 400 square-foot space that she opened three years after graduating from hair school in 2010 with only two employees at just 25 years old. She later opened the Body Labb across the street and now she’s opening the Mod + Body Labb in Arlington in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not only does Tafoya cater to people with hair like hers, what’s more,100 percent of her staff is made up of people of color. This gesture is more profound than the average salon goer might realize when women of color continuously struggle to find adept stylists.

Visit The Modd Lab at 1316 West Davis Street and The Body Lab at 1319 West Davis Street, open everyday from 9am to 9pm.

The Animated Short “Hair Love” Is Officially An Oscar Nominee and the Internet Is Ecstatic

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The Animated Short “Hair Love” Is Officially An Oscar Nominee and the Internet Is Ecstatic

Sony Pictures

Internalized self-hatred within communities of color is real. Throughout Latinidad, and in areas with large Afro-Latinx populations especially, the term “good hair” is phrase that is used to promote white supremacy and further oppress people of black descent. Young Latinas are often pressured by their families to look a certain way in order to project an image of perfection. It takes positive representation and the celebration of black features to eradicate anti-blackness from the culture. 

On Wednesday, it was announced that the wildly popular animated short film, “Hair Love” was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, and the internet rejoiced. Issa Rae–who actually voices one of the characters in the film–announced the film’s nomination with a marked note of pride in her voice. After the movie’s nomination was announced, the film’s director, Matthew A. Cherry, posted a video of his team’s reaction to his Twitter account. 

The touching and adorable story of “Hair Love” follows the trials of a black father struggling to style his young daughter’s hair. The movie is a story of how self-love is accomplished through patience and attention.

The story begins with a little girl named Zuri who has dreams of having the perfect hairstyle when she visits her mother in the hospital. Struggling to do her hair herself, she recruits her father for help. Unfortunately, her father becomes quickly overwhelmed by not only the myriad of products and tools at his disposal but by the expertise and patience required to style black hair. 

Through the course of the movie, we see as Zuri’s father panics and struggle to become confident at handling his daughter’s hair. In the end, they both learn that love is expressed through both care and attention. 

Cherry has been truthful about why he wanted to tackle the issue of hair-care and self-acceptance among the African-American and black community.

“You know, media is so powerful,” Cherry told NPR. “And when you grow up and see magazine covers and TV shows and movies and you don’t see yourself represented, but you see every other type of hairstyle represented, you know, that can really affect your self-confidence” 

Interestingly enough, “Hair Love” was funded via a Kickstarter campaign. Initially, Cherry’s goal was to raise $75,000 for his passion project, but the campaign quickly gained a life of it’s own. The campaign went viral, and soon enough, celebrity champions like Jordan Peele and Gabrielle Union came on board as producers. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

For many people, “Hair Love”’s nomination has been a bright spot among the bleak roster of very white Oscar nominations.

As has become customary, film fans and movie critics have decried the Oscars for the lack of diversity among their 2020 nominees. Not only is there only one black performer among the 20 nominees for acting, but assumed shoe-in Jennifer Lopez was snubbed for a Best Supporting actress nom. To make matters worse, there were no female directors nominated at all for the second consecutive time.

Even Cherry himself has vocally criticized the nomination roster, blasting the Academy for snubbing both Eddie Murphy and Lupita N’Yongo (for their performances in “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Us”, respectively). He called the day “bittersweet” and expressed his wish for “more black folks and POC” to be nominated along side of him. 

But Cherry has not been immune to the excitement surrounding the nomination, actively expressing his pleasure on social media.

“It feels like a dream,” he Tweeted out after the nomination announcement. “Huge thanks to our great team, our Kickstarter backers and @SonyAnimation for believing in us.”

Of course, social media was over the moon at the announcement of “Hair Love”‘s Oscar nomination.

Not only is the story touching and brilliant, but hundreds of people feel invested after initially donated to the project via Kickstarter.

Some people admitted that the movie brought them to tears when they first watched it.

Same, girl. Same.

Issa Rae’s co-announcer John Chu admitted a teeny bit of bias for the film.

This move is just so gosh darn easy to root for.

This person pointed out that Rae herself looked more than a little happy when the nomination was announced.

Tweet 3: https://twitter.com/ElijahjWilson_/status/1216745262435139584?s=20

We all know where Issa stands when it comes to whom she roots for.

Some Kickstarter contributors were already calling themselves Oscar-nominated producers

https://twitter.com/TimothyDeLaG/status/1216716372111024128?s=20 Where’s the lie, though?

Watch “Hair Love” here:

Women Are Sharing All Of The Ways That They Healed Their Damaged Hair

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Women Are Sharing All Of The Ways That They Healed Their Damaged Hair

blessedwithkurls / Instagram

Split ends, dulled shine, lack of elasticity. These are just a few of the many many signs that your hair is damaged and just some that will undoubtedly send you into a spiral of panic when you’ve realized it has happened to you. The truth is, curbing and getting rid of these symptoms once they begin to crop up on your strands and ends can be hard to do. BUT not impossible. Here’s some great advice from women who have started at square one with damaged hair.

Try a good hair treatment.

“I started eating a lot of organ meat (mostly liver) and also more fish. I also use Oleplex step 3 treatment as a leave in on my ends after washing. Talking of washing; I only wash my hair twice a week, where before I would wash it every other day. Finally, I invested in better hair ties. I wear my hair in buns and braids a lot for work so I switched to the crease-free hair ties (they’re like stretchy ribbons) or silk/satin scunchies. I never blow dry, and don’t heat style my hair too often, but when I do, ALWAYS use a heat protector and the lowest heat setting you can get away with.” – NotYourMPDG100099

Sleep on silk.

“Silk pillow cases or a silk hair wrap at night are also great, and if you’re going to go the heartless curl method of styling, a silk hair wrap will keep it from getting roughed up at night. (Also good for “plopping” your hair, if you’re doing the curly girl method).” – NotYourMPDG100099

Splurge on Olaplex 

“I 1000% recommend Olaplex. For years, my hair wouldn’t grow past my shoulders because of breakage and split ends. After doing olaplex treatments 3x/week, I have hair that reaches mid back.” – brockielove

Start with your insides.

“B Vitamins, drink lots of coconut water (really does help!), and Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning mask here and there. I also rub argan oil on the ends after showering sometimes. My hair grows half an inch or more a month. I have color treated hair and hadn’t had a hair cut in 9 months. When I finally started getting split ends, I went in for a cut and a lighter toned bayalage. My hair stylist was amazed in the condition my hair was in and said to keep up whatever I was doing.” – sunny_deee

Eat veggies. 

“I went from eating the standard American diet to much much more veggies and I noticed a tangible difference in hair growth ever since. What really transformed my hair was to only use heat on it 3-5 times per year. This allowed me to go months and months without seeing a split end at all, meaning I could go almost half a year without a trim and my ends would be fine.” – prepamaddy

Cook up a concoction of your own.

“I have a mix of Castor, Grapeseed and Almond Oil in a bottle. I soak my hair in that mixture and sleep with it. Wash hair with clarifying shampoo in the morning, then condition and style as normal. I do this a couple times a month and it’s really helped my hair grow and repair itself. I use hair masks every so often too but nothing beats pure oil. My mum used to use Amla (gooseberry) oil on my hair as a child and my hair was down to my knees at one point, and so healthy! Try using different oils, it’s usually a trial and error situation until you find the mix that suits your hair and scalp.” – dictatemydew

Dust and trim.

“Ironically? Getting it cut. Taking off a few centimetres every few months had my hair MUCH healthier than when I’d put it off for 6-12 months at a time and needed to lose a few inches just to even out the split ends.” –lightningspree

Hair vitamins. 

“I took hair vitamins – a simple one purchased from a pharmacy. I also stopped using heat on my ends. This made the biggest difference. When my hair was drying I put argan oil on the ends. This combination was simple and my hair grew like crazy.” – trashtal

Clean your scalp, dust your ends.

‘You really cannot repair damage just grow it out , make it look better and damage hair less in the future. The below tips help achieve that.

  1. stop regular trims and dust only major split ends at home
  2. Brush hair constantly with brush that stimulates scalp ( I like wood bristles )
  3. Make sure scalp is VERY clean when washing, personally I use a clarifying shampoo every time I wash end never put products close to my scalp. I even add salt to my shampoo or do clay treatments on the scalp . The cleaner the scalp the healthier the hair IMO
  4. Do a treatment the night before washing every time you wash. If you want to save money just use coconut oil and some tingly essential oil to stimulate the scalp and then wash out in the morning. This for me really minimizes the damage of wash and styling day
  5. spray a scalp stimulator/scalp astringent when hair is damp ( I like BB tonic but you could make your own with essential oils) . This should be the only product to make contact with the scalp
  6. Do a protein treatment once a week again to save money you could use beer or an egg
  7. Take biotin if your skin can handle it ( mine can’t)
  8. braid or bun hair at night to avoid damage from pillow friction
  9. only use dry shampoo if you absolutely need it . It really clogs follicles on scalp
  10. eat more protein and drink more water also working out helps. If you are really serious you can increase blood flow by hanging your head upside down a couple times a day” –  sarahergo