Where Did My Eyebrows Go?: 3 Tips For Dealing with Thinning Brows

I never leave the house without my eyebrows on (*Jazmine Sullivan singing voice*).

Why did no one tell me to that I might want to leave my naturally thick eyebrows alone because they would practically stop growing after I turned 30?  I blame my mother. As long as I have been alive, she has had no eyebrows. I would, and still do (since I live at home and her makeup dresser is in "my room"), watch her draw on her eyebrows. I never questioned why she had no eyebrows, until one day I woke and noticed my eyebrows were thinning and barely growing in. Ever heard that saying, "if you pluck one gray hair, two more will come to its funeral (at the location of the the plucking)? Why can't my eyebrow hairs do that?

I wish I could jump in a time machine and travel back 15 years ago and stop my younger self from allowing random women from plucking and waxing my eyebrows. Now I am filling in my thinning eyebrows with eyebrow powder every morning, so that I do not look like a big head alien. I already have a big forehead. The last thing I need is to bring more attention to that area between my eyes and my hairline.

What causes this thinning? According to my "Googles," eyebrow hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, including over-plucking or waxing (which can cause follicle damage or infection), excessive weight-loss, stress, vitamin deficiency, and aging.

To combat the thinning, I have done a couple things. First, I cut down on my monthly eyebrow maintenance. I quit waxing my eyebrows around 2008, after some woman in some random nail or hair salon left me with pencil thin, uneven eyebrows. I transitioned over to Indian eyebrow threading after hearing about how great and mostly painless it was from several friends. Eyebrow threading is an ancient hair removal technique which uses a twisting thread to pull hair from the root. I love it because they remove each hair individually, which decreases chances of over-plucking. The threaders always ask whether you want to clean up or fully reshape your eyebrows. However, after noticing that I could barely see my eyebrows, even without a fresh threading, I had to change my brow maintenance from every three weeks to every three months. Ugh!

Second, I started using eyebrow powder after a threader in Santa Barbara suggested I use it to get a fuller brow. She used the Smashbox Tech Trio on me and I instantly fell in love with the way my brows looked. Immediately, I headed to Sephora and bought a box. I used it until they discontinued it and replaced it with Smashbox Ultra Eyebrow Tech Shaping Powder, which I currently use in Dark Brown.

Third, I have been applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which is multipurpose oil that I have been using for years to regrow my edges and moisturize my locs. But, recently I found out that it is also good for stimulating eyebrow growth (it is stated as a possible use on the box). I wipe it on my eyebrows before bed after I wash my face. I honestly haven't been applying as consistently as I oughta, but I definitely recommend other eyebrow hair loss sufferers try it out.

The Life Detox: Learning to Let Go of "Them" and Get the Love and Happiness I Deserve

Sometimes you gotta let people go: fake friends, toxic folks, energy-sucks,  drama-full family members, fuck boys, former loves, friends with (few) benefits.

Sometimes you gotta let things go: phone numbers of former love interests, clothes that haven't fit in 3+ years, overstretched hair elastics, broken electronics, worn out shoes, not safe for work or grandma's eyes sexy pictures of your former bae.

Sometimes you gotta let energies go: long-held hurts, emotional scars, old ideas, grudges, bad habits, doubts, insecurities, drama.

As much as I have grown personally and professionally this past year of my life, I have realized that I still have a lot of things that I need to figure out. One of the things I need to figure out in 2017 is how to let go of people who cause me nothing but unnecessary stress and heartache and whose presence in my life do not benefit me or give me the love and appreciation I want and need.

But I have a hard time letting go of the select people that I let into my heart. I am very protective of my heart and my personal space, so when I let people in, I hold onto them fiercely. I love hard. Even when these people I love show me how easily they have let me go, I hold on. I continue to care. I check in. I wish happy birthdays. I extend congratulations and well wishes. And, I rarely get anything back but hurt feelings.

To deal with my "letting go" problem, I have decided that I need a detox---a life detox.

There are some people whose phone numbers I delete and re-add and then delete again that I need to  keep deleted. Some Facebook friends I unfriend and re-friend that I need to unfriend and keep it that way. 

LET. THEM. GO....Close my eyes and inhale.... and then exhale them all out. 

In order to Grow. to Evolve. to Change. to Heal. to be Happy. to be Sane. to be Healthy.

I Refuse to Accept Less Than What I Bring to the Table

Dating in your 30s is frustrating as fuck!?! Why, as a straight, educated, black woman in my 30s, am I expected to accept less from a man than what I bring to the table?

Storytime!

I met a guy on OkCupid. Let's call him Jean. Jean is dark, tall(er than me), attractive, 30-something black man. On the dating site, he seemed nice, thoughtful, and truly interested in getting to know me and dating (with the intention of developing a romantic relationship). Jean didn’t seem crazy and most importantly did not display any fuck boy tendencies. He was attentive and communicative without being thirsty or overbearing. So, when h

e asked for my number, I gave it to him and we began to get to know each other offsite, in the "real world". 

However, as we talked more, I noticed a few things that irked me about 

Jean

Number One! He didn’t go to college. 

I understand that a college education is not the only measure of success and drive, but I did not get a feeling that he was on a career path. An electrician is on a career path because that type of work requires training, skill building, and certification (and they get paid well for the time and effort they put into their craft). Jean seemed more on a job path. And, again I know that not everyone has the freedom, drive, or resources to forgo a paying job to pursue their dream career. I myself am not working in dream career, but I am on the path. I am building networks and developing applicable skills for my dream career. But, again I know everyone's journey is different, some people's paths are short, some people's path are long, and some people's paths are crooked.  Thus, in an effort to keep an open mind, I pushed aside my feelings about his lack of a college degree. The important thing was he was employed and was able to support himself.

Number Two! He is Catholic and it is important to him. 

Religion is a touchy subject (along with politics). Somehow, we got on the subject of him being Catholic. I informed him that I was also Catholic. Jean thought this was great because he assumed that we would have no religion or faith-based issues. I immediately disagreed.  Being born and raised Catholic does not play an important role in my life. I am more spiritual than religious. I believe in God and in living a life that is as moral and caring as possible.  I disagree with the Catholic Church on several major issues, such as abortion, homosexuality, priests being men only,  to name a few. Because I am not religious, I am weary of men who place religion high on their relationship priority list-- you know, the type of men who state that they are looking for a "Godly woman". I don't know what that means and I really don't want to know. But, in the case of Jean, he seemed to be okay with my views on religion, and he even shared a few of my views on the Catholic Church. 

Then, it happened. The deal breaker! He asked me what I was looking for in a man. 

I told him. I am looking for a man who is educated, career driven, and open-minded, loves traveling, eating good food, drinking strong drinks, and trying new things. Most importantly, I am looking for a man who is interested in building a relationship based on friendship, love, laughs, communication, and respect. 

His response: Do you think that you are expecting too much??? 

What in the entire FUCK!!! I told him: No, I know what I need to be happy in a relationship. I am not expecting less from a man than what I bring to the table. 

After I said this, Jean continued to press me about my relationship needs. He said that he is looking for a woman who is nice, respectful, family-oriented, and educated. Jean told me that I am expecting too much that may put stress on a relationship. I was flabbergasted and a bit annoyed. 

My list is not long. This is not a

"What Chilli Wants"

list. (Remember that show where Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC fame was looking for a husband but he had to fulfill a long checklist of requirements, including not smoking, not drinking, not eating pork, not having more than two baby mamas, and being fine with a six pack and a big penis.) 

I am not looking for a man that fits 50 things on a must-have list. I am looking for love and happiness in a relationship, not contentment. I would rather be single than be in a relationship in which I am expected to lower my standards and push aside my wants, my desires, and my needs all in the name of having a man. 

I do not need a man. I want a life partner who is also my best friend, lover, protector, co-parent, cheerleader, and ride-or-die. I am willing to comprise on my preferences on height, race, age, body type, income, musical taste, and family background. 

But, I am not willing to accept less than what I need, want, and deserve.

With all that said, I end with this message to the all the "Jean's" out there:

Boy Bye!

Lemme Get This Off My Chest: Don't Mansplain My Feminism

Ladies, has this ever happened to you? You comment on a friend's post and a (male) stranger thinks that it is okay to mansplain to you about why YOUR decision to do or not so something is wrong. 

Check out the video below to find out what I had to get off my chest: 

Lemme Get This Off My Chest: I Got The Right To Be MAD

"You got the light, count it all joy

You got the right to be mad

But when you carry it alone you find it only getting in the way

They say you gotta let it go

Now tell em why you mad son

Cause doing it all ain’t enough

Cause everyone all in my cup

Cause such and such still owe me bucks

So I got the right to get bucked

But I try not to let it build up

I’m too high, I’m too better, too much

So I let it go, let it go, let it go

I ran into this girl, she said, Why you always blaming?

Why you can’t just face it? Be mad, be mad, be mad

Why you always gotta be so mad? Be mad, be mad, be mad

Why you always talking s**t, always be complaining?

Why you always gotta be, why you always gotta be so mad?

Be mad, be mad, be mad

I got a lot to be mad about

, Be mad, be mad, be mad"

---Mad by Solange (featuring Lil Wayne)

#BlackGirlMovement National Conference, April 7-9

I am in New York City this weekend to attend the first Black Girl Movement National Conference. I am so excited about attending this event/this special moment in history. As a black girl, I feel that issues I have faced in my lifetime are not often addressed. I am extremely proud of my alma mater Columbia University for developing and sponsoring this much-needed meeting on the state of black girls past, present, and in the future. 

If you are interested in checking out this black girl magical moment, click

here

for more details or check it out on livestream

here

.  

Black Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.

Hope

After Pandora's box was opened and all the ills of the world were released, what was left was Hope. When I bought this tshirt 8 years ago, I had hope for a better America. The America Martin dreamed of. The America my mother told me she immigrated to in hopes of bettering her life. The America that cut their colonial ties with Britain to insure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for its citizens. And as I end my 

‪#‎

29daysofblackness

 blog series, I still hold on to that hope.