Black Girl Fly: Embrace Purpose + Build Wealth

Shalita Grant | Natural Hair Journey

December 04, 2023 Tenisha & Tashaunda Season 6 Episode 11
Shalita Grant | Natural Hair Journey
Black Girl Fly: Embrace Purpose + Build Wealth
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Black Girl Fly: Embrace Purpose + Build Wealth
Shalita Grant | Natural Hair Journey
Dec 04, 2023 Season 6 Episode 11
Tenisha & Tashaunda

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode of BGF, Ava and Tashaunda interview Shalita Grant, a Tony-nominated actress and the founder and CEO of Four Naturals Hair. They delve into her journey in the entertainment industry and the challenges she encountered due to her natural hair. Shalita explains how she harnessed her experiences to develop a groundbreaking natural hair treatment. The conversation also addresses societal pressures on black women to conform to hair expectations. Additionally, the hosts engage with Shonda, an entrepreneur who underscores the significance of learning, overcoming imposter syndrome, and practicing responsible financial management on her journey.


CONNECT WITH SHALITA:
Email: shalita@fournaturalshair.com
Instagram: @fournaturalshair
Website: www.fournaturalshair.com


CONNECT WITH US
Website: www.blackgirlflyofficial.com
Email: hello@podcast2impact.com
Instagram:  @blackgirlflyofficial

0:40 Introducing Shalita
1:37 Shalita’s Hair Journey
8:29 History of Hair Discrimination
10:06 Actress Career
13:57 Hair Challenges 
17:13 Hair Solutions
26:39 Entrepreneurship Advice
37:55 Final Thoughts



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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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In this episode of BGF, Ava and Tashaunda interview Shalita Grant, a Tony-nominated actress and the founder and CEO of Four Naturals Hair. They delve into her journey in the entertainment industry and the challenges she encountered due to her natural hair. Shalita explains how she harnessed her experiences to develop a groundbreaking natural hair treatment. The conversation also addresses societal pressures on black women to conform to hair expectations. Additionally, the hosts engage with Shonda, an entrepreneur who underscores the significance of learning, overcoming imposter syndrome, and practicing responsible financial management on her journey.


CONNECT WITH SHALITA:
Email: shalita@fournaturalshair.com
Instagram: @fournaturalshair
Website: www.fournaturalshair.com


CONNECT WITH US
Website: www.blackgirlflyofficial.com
Email: hello@podcast2impact.com
Instagram:  @blackgirlflyofficial

0:40 Introducing Shalita
1:37 Shalita’s Hair Journey
8:29 History of Hair Discrimination
10:06 Actress Career
13:57 Hair Challenges 
17:13 Hair Solutions
26:39 Entrepreneurship Advice
37:55 Final Thoughts



BGF Products here

Join Robinhood with my link and we'll both pick our free stock

I'm using Acorns and I love how easy it is to save and invest for my future. Join me and you'll get a free $5 investment!

Click here to receive Southwest Rapid Rewards

Click here to learn more about Gusto Payroll

Mortgage Connects, an MGIC Podcast

AVWeek
Weekly news on IT/AV, supply chain, UC, & more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

The Unlocking Growth Show
The show where we unlock the secrets to scaling your...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

All Business. No Boundaries.
Welcome to All Business. No Boundaries, a collection of supply chain stories by DHL...

Listen on:

FranchiseU!
FranchiseU! is for those in, or considering, careers within the world of franchising.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the Show.

11;51;40;14 | 11;52;05;06 | But welcome back to another episode of Black Girl Fly on Your Girl. Ava Williams. And I'm Not a Dixon. And today we have another fabulous guest with us. We are so very excited to introduce you to our new friend, but I'm just going to hand it over to her so she can go ahead and introduce her. So what should the people know about you?
 |  | 
11;52;05;16 | 11;52;35;27 | Hi, I'm Shirley, too. Grant. I'm Tony. Nominated actress and founder and CEO of For Natural Care and the creator of the Patent pending for Naturals treatment, which unleashes the power of plants to conquer complex and chronic type for hair problems. I love that. So lead a group of people, if you do not know her, look her up. And we're so, so very excited to have you because there are a couple of different conversations that I want to have.
 |  | 
11;52;35;27 | 11;53;01;04 | But you're a business owner. You're an actress. You're a black woman. Like, you're so many things. And I think many of the folks in our audience are also so many things. We carry so many identities with us, so super excited to touch on a number of the intersections of those items. But I think the first part, like the first question I want to open up with is like, how did you get here?
 |  | 
11;53;01;04 | 11;53;33;20 | And you can interpret that question however you want, always starting with the philosophical card. So I love it. I love it. How did I get here? I'll start with where you started actually, it's the intersection of all my identities. So as a black woman I have typical type for hair, but I have this atypical career that required the use of my hair, and it was a diabolical eye.
 |  | 
11;53;33;21 | 11;54;08;15 | We had a diabolical intersection that for me, I just also another part of my identity is that I believe in healing. And so I took that really horrible situation and I healed that situation for myself and also for others. And there was a lot of illumination from the wreckage that helped me identify what the core problems were. Yeah, So, so get into that for the audience.
 |  | 
11;54;08;15 | 11;54;34;13 | Can you tell us about like what happened? So so you were acting and what happened? How did how did this transpire? Yeah. So let's start with my black woman said first. Okay. So, so I have like typical type for and when I say type four, I'm specifically speaking to the strand shaping. This isn't, you know, the porosity, the density, nothing but the strand shape.
 |  | 
11;54;34;21 | 11;54;59;13 | And because I have this specific strand shape, I have a certain list of experiences that we all share that my hair wasn't very manageable, my hair would switch up like it would like I would have a product and it would work great and then like to use later. It was a completely different result. Also, if I looked at a heat tool, I was heat damaged straight.
 |  | 
11;54;59;20 | 11;55;27;01 | So from there I graduated Juilliard and I had an audition where I thought, okay, I should like flatter my hair and like, get into this character. I got a callback, didn't get the job, and I rinsed out my hair and my hair was damaged straight in place. And this was after seven years of being natural. And so that hair devastation, you know that, Oh, I have several.
 |  | 
11;55;27;01 | 11;55;54;06 | Right. And what people don't realize, though, is seven, but that's a lot like seven years down the drain. Maybe she's still lit up. So. So, yeah, that was heartbreaking. But then the acting, right? So now I'm on a Broadway show and you know, from that heat damaged situation to that Broadway show was about a year to give or take.
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11;55;54;14 | 11;56;19;06 | And for that entire time, I was struggling with that one day. So I was using conditioners and I was trying this. And because seven years, you don't want to give that up, right? So you do everything to try to save it. And so eventually I'm like, All right, just cut it and do the creamy crack. So I had this like Bob, right, Like Bob situation at the beginning of the Broadway show.
 |  | 
11;56;19;16 | 11;56;42;05 | But the nature of my hair was that by the end of that Broadway show. Yeah, yeah, no, it was time to go to Hollywood, baby. And me in Hollywood, I got a real education on black hair and Hollywood. Now, I was going to say with that, I hear so many things about black hair. I hear there's no stylist who can do black hair.
 |  | 
11;56;42;05 | 11;57;11;01 | I mean, is that what you experienced? Absolutely. So the truth is, when you're on that side of the hair chart, no matter what class you're in, no matter how much money you have or access to people you have, your options are limited to hiding it, balding or going into locks. Right. So it's it's not there. There isn't some hair guru to no matter who Beyoncé, Rihanna, whatever.
 |  | 
11;57;11;05 | 11;57;40;26 | I've worked with those stylists and they were styling my wigs. They weren't actually driving my hair. So for me it was it doesn't matter. This is your set of circumstances. So the experience that I had on set, while egregious, I'm definitely not the only black actress, and it's reflective of the average black woman's experience from Salon chair to salon chair.
 |  | 
11;57;41;19 | 11;58;07;11 | Yeah. I mean, I can agree I'm not as if I'm not an actress, but you know how many people I've gone through and the best but the people who are the most talented in my life, I had to, like, work my schedule around. And they knew they were great. They knew that, you know, there's there's limited options. And so I'd say, you know, even just being not in that area, I definitely agree and say I've had some similar experiences.
 |  | 
11;58;07;13 | 11;58;41;00 | Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And that's what I was going to say, like ethnic tension. And I think we both shared some hair defining moments that we had on the show and I mean it. I feel like all of us, if you're a black woman, you had some type of hair defining moment. And even though like our hair and our, you know, normal people's lives is not directly tied to our jobs, I think we've all had some job related experiences where, you know, for me it was the expectation is you wear this low bun and it's tied back really tight and you don't wear your natural hair.
 |  | 
11;58;41;00 | 11;59;00;26 | You don't wear those curls in an audition to share. You're a star on off. Yeah. So, I mean, I've always worked in this very professional environment, so I was I've been natural for probably about seven years. And actually I'm locked now. But before that I was in that dry rock afro and get some lot of things with it.
 |  | 
11;59;01;00 | 11;59;29;22 | But I wore a wig to work like inside of me. I wore wigs for years and one time my wig fell off at work. These are in it like we we are we normal people are carrying this to it is and I think it's so interesting like it is not a requirement of our jobs technically, but it really does feel like that societally.
 |  | 
11;59;29;22 | 11;59;54;29 | It is a part of our job, like how we're able to wear our hair. And so I'm just like, I just love your story in like, oh, you're illuminating some breakthrough for us. So tell us about the upside. Yes. What do you do from there? Yeah. Okay. So so hold on real fast, though, about that feeling, right? That feeling is reinforced by seeing other people being punished.
 |  | 
11;59;55;08 | 12;00;25;15 | So, you know, we have the Crown Act and they're like trying to address it. But whenever people say it's just hair, that is an erasure of how assimilation is practiced on people. So from the beginning of the colonial history of this country, care has been a preoccupation of the oppressor. So for the Native Americans, be assimilation schools. Part of being in school was boys had to get their hair cut.
 |  | 
12;00;25;26 | 12;00;52;12 | Yeah. When you look at the period of the Chinese exclusion, the period before in San Francisco, one of the hate crimes that were committed against Chinese men were that their cues for that long rat tail was cut. And so for black people, the way that we get that feeling is our dress codes from schools and seeing people punished for having locks or having braids.
 |  | 
12;00;52;19 | 12;01;19;13 | Every black woman you know who's ever worked in the service industry knows that the day she shows up with braids could be her last day of work. So, yes, we are controlled and confined by these, you know, feelings, but also like it's practiced all around us. There are these unsaid expectations of us with our hair and from our own family member.
 |  | 
12;01;19;13 | 12;01;54;14 | Sometimes we get that like that pressure to conform. So the other side, the other side came like this came with a lot of pain. I do this show, NCIS New Orleans. Let's talk about Ponytail. Oh, baby. I was not famous for my stunt voice or like, my chemistry. I was famous for this ever changing ponytail. So every episode I had a different style of ponytail and sometimes a different scalp construction completely within the episode.
 |  | 
12;01;54;14 | 12;02;25;12 | Right. But, you know, while we could laugh about it now, people weren't understanding was I was chasing damage season two. I had traction alopecia from my soul in extension ponytail Hale, Season three. I lost the hair along my hairline from wearing the ponytail. That was really just a wig and my hairline as Lee Bo. So when I was in my hiatus between three and four, I went to Aveda and I took off my hair hat.
 |  | 
12;02;25;12 | 12;02;49;17 | That's what I called my wigs at the time, and I thought my hair had head neck. I had different hair hats for different scenarios. You know, the look in hair hat, you know. And so I take off my hair hat in the back and I look at my hairline and I had an inch and a half of hair, you know, And it was in that moment that I realized I have to quit my job because of my hair.
 |  | 
12;02;50;10 | 12;03;15;26 | So I quit. I quit the show. And one of my biggest fears was that I was never going to work again. And I left that show in the spring of 2018. By December of 2018, I was wrapping up the second recurring arc that I had booked. So in January of 2019 I was like, All right, well, you work began, but both of those characters are still in wigs.
 |  | 
12;03;15;26 | 12;03;39;09 | So if you had another series regular job, you're going to have the same experience because the wear and tear of that job on my hair, my hair couldn't handle it. So I actually went into trauma therapy after leaving that show. And one of the things that I learned from trauma therapy and so trauma therapy is different from talk therapy in that it's so matic, it's the body.
 |  | 
12;03;39;14 | 12;04;09;26 | So this guy something something Van Der Beek is the the father of the somatic therapy movement. And what he noticed in his like, trials as a doctor was that PTSD patients, it wasn't just the story. There was a physicality to this emotion. Right. And so when he discovered, like, I can help them regulate their bodies, they were able to regulate their post-traumatic stress responses.
 |  | 
12;04;10;04 | 12;04;39;25 | And so when you regulate, part of that process is a body awareness. So in the beginning of these sessions, you don't even talk about the traumatic event. You talk about what you're feeling physically when the feeling of shame happens, they pause and they say, What are you feeling and where? And so it's like the burning in your throat pit, in my stomach that my shoulders feel like they're like really tight and stretched.
 |  | 
12;04;40;02 | 12;05;11;27 | And so with that body awareness, then comes these tools to help regulate the body. So when you go into that flight or flight, that extreme stress mode, your vision, that's one of the first things that gets affected. You get very narrow. And so one of the first things that you can do to flip your lid literally is that you look up, you look up and you look around and you would not believe how empowering just that one thing is when your body is in this stress mode, right?
 |  | 
12;05;12;03 | 12;05;42;13 | So that's just like sort of the brass tacks. But for me, in 2019, I was like, let me analyze my life for this hair friction. Where in my life is my hair? This random limitation, this like area of friction, So the gym, sweat and dealing with hygiene when you're wearing a wig and you're sweating. I had a lover tell me that my hair smelled like glue after the gym.
 |  | 
12;05;42;27 | 12;06;09;09 | That's. That's a boner killer, right? Like that. How do you even respond now? You're like, you're wrong, but you ain't right either. You know what I mean? Why are you not? Dammit, You are right, you know? And so, like, sex, like when you're in a wig or, you know, like, it's just like, do you, Paul? Do you not do you touch do you not like shit?
 |  | 
12;06;09;09 | 12;06;33;22 | Right. Going to the beach. It's like I work in it. A lot of what I do that will require some appointments, right? Friendship, the weather, you know, humidity. I remember I spent all day like I did this really cool hairstyle on my hair and I got outside and I was in New York City and I was walking and those first, like two blocks, I was good.
 |  | 
12;06;34;07 | 12;07;01;20 | But then like by block six, I didn't feel my hair on my face. No more people got blocked. Well, I was starting to look in a play glass and I should be like, This looks like shit, right? Yeah, I have to find all of these areas. And I was like, All right, like I have curl definition issues, I have moisture retention issues, I have all of these problems.
 |  | 
12;07;01;23 | 12;07;23;06 | And I know what the cosmetology board says about hair because I come from a hair background. My grandma has owned a hair salon since before I was born. My first career was Shampoo Girl and boy. Was I ornery. Like I would let that hose go on a non tipper so fast I just let it slip on you. Not the right career for me.
 |  | 
12;07;25;07 | 12;07;54;03 | So I knew what we knew about hair and that was virtually nothing. We know about extensions wigs. We know about the magic of lending your hair into something else, but we don't know about how to drive the hair on our heads. So I look to cosmetic chemistry. That is the study of hair for hair products. And when I was reading these journals and things, I realized like, wow, so much of our hair care regimens are full of rituals.
 |  | 
12;07;54;11 | 12;08;24;03 | We sit with the egg, avocado, mayonnaise, shea moisture, whatever, and you sit with it for like 13 days and you're like, there is no way my hair is not going to be different. After I rinse this out and you rinse it out and you have protein, right? Yeah. So like that is using ingredients that don't have a high cationic or positive electrical charge to attach to your dead or negatively charged hair.
 |  | 
12;08;24;09 | 12;08;50;05 | So I was like, Oh my God. Then I learned about porosity. And so I thought, okay, I know that it is a very raced belief that I require some chemical intervention in order for me to have healing on my hair. So I know that I am not alien to this earth. There are plants made for this human hair to heal these maladies.
 |  | 
12;08;50;10 | 12;09;26;13 | So I started looking toward nonwhite but successful hair cultures. How did I define success length, retention, shine hair that's resilient or strong and so I looked at India, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Greece, and I adopted the Indian view or the I your Vedic view of, you know, solving human hair maladies, which is the belief that there are practices, but plants that were designed to heal human maladies at their root cause, not just the symptoms.
 |  | 
12;09;26;22 | 12;09;49;28 | And so I looked at the practices. What are they using? They were using henna, they were using all these other, you know, your baby plants. But it was the henna that stuck out to me because what I learned about what I read about henna was that it had the ability to attach to your hair strand. Okay? It also when every time you use it, it it builds, right?
 |  | 
12;09;49;28 | 12;10;10;02 | But not the buildup that makes the hair gray, the kind of build up that makes the hair heavy, that makes the hair curl stronger, that makes the hair shinier. So I thought, All right, genius, you're no Elon Musk. So let's go out there and see if there are some black women that had this idea, too, and failed. So I did this anti research.
 |  | 
12;10;10;05 | 12;10;36;02 | And what I noticed were three things. They used a henna that was bastardized that was made for dyeing, right? So 30 minute henna, whatever they contain chemical, metallic, salt, very dry. Then they would use Hannelore Sonia, the plant that's been dry pulverized into a powder with just water. So that was also a problem because the people of India don't even do that unless they're men.
 |  | 
12;10;36;08 | 12;11;00;04 | When you see Indian older Indian men with orange beards, they just treated it with henna and water, right? So in India they use all these other humectants or either Vedic plants with their henna mud mask. And then the third thing was they didn't did condition after. So when I took those like boundaries, I created my first treatment. And what did I see?
 |  | 
12;11;00;13 | 12;11;29;08 | Well, I had the black girl trust issues. I was like, okay, all right. I mean, my hair, it do look different. And I got some curl definition that you might change on me. Like this might not go well. By my third treatment, my hair was undeniably different. And so in 2019 it was in a poll class actually, that I was like, Hey, I need to make this business.
 |  | 
12;11;29;17 | 12;11;55;16 | Because what did I experience while I was pulling in wigs, right? And you go upside down after you killing the baby. Oh, Cassie. Yes. You know, I don't I'm looking at you do. So it's like I would go outside and be like, Fuck it, Whatever. It's all good. You got it. You got it. After that third treatment, there was nothing and the hair kept going.
 |  | 
12;11;55;25 | 12;12;17;10 | And now I feel like this is the sensuality I was looking for. This is the movement, this is it. And there was another black woman in the class with braids. And I thought I used to get that feeling with the braids, too. But there was also that undercurrent of, Yeah, but how are you going to feel without them?
 |  | 
12;12;17;18 | 12;12;46;25 | Yeah. And I thought, every black woman needs to feel the freedom, the sensuality. Like I was. I would feel different, you know, before. But I actually felt special because my hair was perfectly tight for, you know, there was no changing it. There was no chance for embarrassment where my hair would have a different reaction from what I was actually going for.
 |  | 
12;12;47;07 | 12;13;13;10 | So the other side you said about the ponytail. So since starting this business, I had a product testing phase. So, you know, I talk about the imposter syndrome, right? And for black women, like even though we're super educated, we love education. Like my whole journey is one of just being a learner, right? And applying what I was learning while we still have that, who do you think you are?
 |  | 
12;13;13;22 | 12;13;48;15 | And that can just dead end you, right? Yes, I know. Well, for me it was like it was a mission. Like I didn't have space for. Who do you think you are? Like when it made me pause, I looked in the mirror and I was like, okay, so learn. Just learn. So I went through a product testing phase where I took 9 to 11 women, give or take, somewhere in there was years ago, but they did 7 to 9 treatments for free.
 |  | 
12;13;48;26 | 12;14;13;21 | And in that product testing phase, that's where I gained a lot of my confidence for the treatment because I saw down to the porosity, I could determine what the experience would be in the hair and by what treatment they would get X benefit because that's the the treatment is that it's progressive. So every treatment literally builds on the last.
 |  | 
12;14;14;00 | 12;14;35;01 | And so it's and product testing open the hair spa closed the hair spot due to the pandemic. And in 2022 I went direct to consumer so the ponytail my hero shot is one of my product testers. She was a police officer and she was uniformed and they had to wear their hair in a low ponytail for the head cap.
 |  | 
12;14;35;08 | 12;15;03;18 | Now she would wear a wig and put that hair in a ponytail. Why? Because actually putting her real hair in a ponytail, it was time consuming. It was in consistent. And by the end of her shift, it was completely dried out post-treatment. She has the easiest hair of the life ponytails just happen. You just pull it back or you add your water and you get a slick, sleek ponytail, you know?
 |  | 
12;15;04;09 | 12;15;29;20 | So you talk about that transition to starting it as a business. Did you when you started this journey, did you think you're going in that direction of turning this into a business when I started this journey, I was trying to solve my black actress problem. Yeah, I am good at what I do, but one of the largest jobs I had devolved because of my hair.
 |  | 
12;15;30;01 | 12;15;57;04 | So for me, this was an actress problem I just need to solve my hair issue and I don't have to worry about that in my career anymore. But like I said, when I was side by side with another black woman, I was like, Nah, this feels wrong at this point because it's actually easy. I took what we normally do and just tried to apply and applied.
 |  | 
12;15;57;04 | 12;16;20;11 | Not tried, but applied science to it so that it was effective. Right? And so because I knew she was capable of doing it too, like when she comes out of her braids, one of the issues with protected styles is the question becomes how protective is it when you take it down, Right. Because you got handfuls of your hair in your head, Right.
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12;16;21;00 | 12;16;51;06 | Okay. So like, you know, for her it was like, yo, I know that it could actually be like, so Joe, when you come out of those braids, right? Like, so yeah, it became a mission when I started looking around, knowing that no one else had solved it. Yeah, I think that's so inspiring. I feel like I knew I might have been an entrepreneur one day, but I didn't actually know how to be an entrepreneur, so I didn't know how I was going to work out.
 |  | 
12;16;51;06 | 12;17;18;27 | But I think it's exactly like you said, like this thing just lands on you and you have this passion to solve it. And sometimes at least for me, the way that I needed to solve it was in the way that I needed to solve it. And that required me to do it on my own right. And so I think that a lot of our folks that listen are business owners and are interested in opportunity entrepreneurship.
 |  | 
12;17;18;27 | 12;17;41;16 | And so I think that's a really important arc to this story is like sometimes it's just a random thing. You, you know, you're on Airbnb or you're doing that or you're doing something that's driven really from this like passion place a problem that you were trying to solve for yourself that may be of benefit to others. And so I think that's that's a really inspirational arc of this story.
 |  | 
12;17;42;16 | 12;18;10;26 | And I'm just curious if there like if there any challenges because it wasn't your original intention, right, to become a business owner like what were those early challenges and how did you get over that? I know you mentioned one of them was the imposter syndrome, but what other kind of things that you experience? Oh, well, I think I think one of the things that I've learned so far is that the entrepreneurial journey is a spiritual one, right?
 |  | 
12;18;11;06 | 12;18;46;06 | It is you growing. It's a growth journey. Like if you focus on the results right away, you're going to quit right? But the people that stick it out there, they have a growth mindset. And so to to do this kind of work, you have to be open to to learning and doing things you've never done before. And for me, I had a lot of limiting self beliefs around like being successful, doing something other than acting.
 |  | 
12;18;46;11 | 12;19;14;26 | Why? Because I am the child of children. My mother was 18 and my dad was 17 when they had me. And I always say children make terrible parents. And so they were. And my mother ended up, you know, getting caught up. And she's a felon, a convicted felon, and she went to prison. And when she came out, even before she came out, she had a very get rich, quick mindset.
 |  | 
12;19;15;05 | 12;19;40;01 | And so when she got out and is now barred from a lot of like different employment, she had to become an entrepreneur. And she did all kinds of careers. Right. And as a child of someone living like that, it was really chaotic. I went to six different elementary schools. I went to two different high schools like I there was just a lot of instability for me.
 |  | 
12;19;40;07 | 12;20;10;21 | And as a very young girl, I looked at my mother who had kids young, and I looked at my grandmother who had kids young. And aside from the felony, I thought my grandmother is successful because she's only done one thing. She's a salon owner and she has to buy because she's only doing one thing. Wow. And so I had no clue how that was a limiting self-belief until I became an entrepreneur.
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12;20;10;29 | 12;20;34;23 | And part of that, Who do you think you are was historical because that voice is coming from a place of, you know, what it's like to be a multi-hyphenate and a black woman without some lineage, right? So for me it was like, All right, you can do more than one thing. And every day I had to kind of prove that to myself.
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12;20;36;25 | 12;21;06;13 | And so what advice would you give others? So you touched on a lot of things, but like that, that self-limiting. How do you even identify that? How did you know? When did you realize that that was a self-limiting thought? Yeah. So going back to somatic therapy, right, you have to become the best listener to yourself. You know, a lot of I come from a family that believes in venting, like as a religion, right?
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12;21;06;13 | 12;21;48;29 | Like they believe they have a God given right to call you up and tell you about their shit. You know, and and keep you on foot forever. And so it was a change, a cultural shift for me that it's my responsibility to listen to myself. So I call it catching thoughts. And so whenever I would be in like this, whenever I would be procrastinating or feeling some kind of like pain about being unworthy or not doing something, I would catch the literal sentences, you know, like that.
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12;21;48;29 | 12;22;15;17 | I was thinking and I would write them down often, right? Because the thing that I learned from other modalities of therapy is that you can't fight thoughts with thoughts. You have to fight thoughts with the pen because they're ethereal. Right. And they're also feel they are emotional. So if you don't write that down, there's there's a high chance that you'll forget.
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12;22;15;27 | 12;22;41;06 | And what you forget, like it can fuck you in the end. So I would write it down, like in my notes that I struggle with morning anxiety. I had a mom that would like scream us awake, and so when I would wake up, I would have all of these anxiety thoughts. And one of the things that I would do is I took a week and wrote down all the thoughts and then go to therapy, talk about the thoughts, right.
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12;22;41;06 | 12;23;02;24 | Where does this come from? Whatever. So I was doing the same thing as an entrepreneur when I was, you know, procrastinating on sending an email or something like that. It would be like I would catch it like you don't like I didn't believe that this was possible and why. And I would literally ask, like, why isn't this possible?
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12;23;02;24 | 12;23;24;05 | And it's like, because you can only do one thing and then I know it goes good. Oh, you can only do like, oh, just oh, much. That is a dummy shit I've ever heard. I start, like, you know, like. So that's how I would do it. I, you have to be that dedicated listener and you are not your thoughts.
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12;23;24;05 | 12;23;53;10 | So when I would have the thought, I'd be like, okay, tell me more. And they'd be like, And do it right. Stop it. I think you need to add another hyphenate. You need to be an entrepreneurship coach because I'm like, This is so healing. To hear you talk about, well, I'm going to say this, so I'm going to say, I don't even think you notice like you've given so many gems and this like catching your thoughts.
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12;23;53;10 | 12;24;27;00 | I wrote that down. I'm taking that with me. That's why everybody just wants to make this journey like all sexy and all this stuff. But like, this is the real. You are sharing the journeys over here. Yeah, it's. There's nothing sexy about it. I mean, I think that that's one of the things, too, because I come from, you know, like that kind of system mentality, like, you know, let's like, it's not a dig on on them, but it's a, it's, it's the truth that the women if they thought right.
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12;24;27;07 | 12;24;51;12 | And so I had a high sensitivity already to that kind of get rich let's get to the money and these people on IG man like I'll tell you a story I was at the Bronner Brothers Convention, the beauty brunch, and there was a woman that stood up to ask a question and this is a good example of how I am.
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12;24;51;12 | 12;25;20;25 | And my bride, she stood up and she was like, I raised $500,000 and I was like, You fucking bragger. It's just like, why? I was like, Shut up and listen. And she was at $300,000 and I have this new weird option that opens up the wigs really fast. My question was a non question. It was like, how do I get more money?
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12;25;21;00 | 12;25;45;15 | Because I don't I only have a prototype and I haven't sold yet. And I was like, ding, ding, ding. That's why you didn't raise money in the beginning. Because one of the first things that I learned when I started in 2019 was that raising money is your first acknowledgment of failure business failure. I didn't have revenue or capital to get me from point A to point B, so I have to raise it.
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12;25;45;21 | 12;26;14;22 | And so for me it was like I'm going to bootstrap so that I can learn as much as I can learn about my product, about my customer base. So if when I get to that point where I'm ready to scale up and I don't have it to do, then at least I can like have some proof. And so what I recognized from her story was and I said this to myself, I was like, Yeah, but I bet if I go to your Instagram, you're posing in front of some Ferrari or you bought a house or you're going on these Bali vacations or whatever.
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12;26;14;28 | 12;26;55;02 | So you're basically like, I'm sitting with thousands of units like ready to go out, right? And I didn't spend $500,000, right? So what did you do with the money? Why aren't you selling? You've raised 500,000, but you don't have a business yet. You've just met a bunch of dummies that sell. So for me, I don't believe that you can rock a Birkin and build a business unless you had Birkin money to begin with, right?
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12;26;55;11 | 12;27;21;13 | Like, it takes a lot of capital, a lot of the revenue that you generate, especially in those first everywhere you look, anywhere legitimate, they say 3 to 5. And now they they pump it out 5 to 7 before businesses turn a profit. So you have to think twice like the salon. Like I see this on Instagram, the salon owner that comes in with a Louis Vuitton bag, but the air conditioning doesn't work.
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12;27;21;26 | 12;27;49;15 | It's like, where are you putting the money? And it's not sexy. It's not sexy to pay for advertising. It's not sexy to pay for your insurance, but you have to do it if you want to be successful financially in the future. Yeah, that's sounded. I'm like, I hope you all are listening, folks. So is your MBA one of the seven that you all that you need to know by now?
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12;27;49;15 | 12;28;08;12 | I really appreciate all the gems and I feel like I can literally, like continue to ask you one more million questions. I want people to be able to digest all that we shared. And so I don't want to take that chance, you know, like I don't want to I don't even want to open up another set of words on that one.
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12;28;08;21 | 12;28;16;03 | But I'm curious, do you have any closing questions to Shonda? I mean, I don't I think you share so much. I'm like, I need to listen to this real quick.
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12;28;18;27 | 12;28;45;11 | Oh, my God. No. But we I mean, this has been a true true, true, a true pleasure. You have such a wealth of knowledge and experience. And I so appreciate your perspective and how you're even I mean, like the healing, the spirituality, like all of the things go together in one. It just, like, is so refreshing to, I think, be reminded of that.
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12;28;45;11 | 12;29;07;26 | It's all interconnected. And so we're back to this intersectionality piece that we kind of opened with. And so love, love, love, all of that. And curious if you have any final thoughts, any anything that you would share to someone maybe who yourself ten years ago? Like what what things do you wish that you would have known at that time or any advice you would impart there?
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12;29;08;03 | 12;29;34;05 | Yeah, just that. I mean, I adopted the growth mindset. I've always been curious, but I, you know, valued what everybody else values, which is like results like instant. And so what I would tell myself and what I would tell anybody who's listening is it's it takes time and it's okay that it takes time. Now, that is so awesome.
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12;29;35;16 | 12;30;03;02 | So be patient, y'all. Yeah. We won't always want to be patient, you know? But cool at all. Yeah. Yeah. I think that for sure, in this, in this podcast, we're now on season six and you can hear that kind of arc even, I guess just see it's true, but it's worth it, right? Like now you can say like six seasons, right?
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12;30;03;15 | 12;30;47;22 | And you can't say that in season one until you get to season six. So just keep going. Exact click. Exactly That's been Jim Go back and socially to where it came. Do people find you? Yeah just head on over to W WW dot or f0. You are naturals as in all of us hair dot com head over to the education page and learn what I know right and then follow us that for naturals hair on Instagram and TikTok Awesome so I'm going there right now just so we all know I got my natural hair out now so I'm going now.
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12;30;47;27 | 12;30;56;18 | Yes. Love it. So until next time, I'm your girl, Ava marie, and I'm shot of Dixon. And we are black girl Flag.

Introducing Shalita
Shalita’s Hair Journey
History of Hair Discrimination
Actress Career
Hair Challenges
Hair Solutions
(Cont.) Hair Solutions
Entrepreneurship Advice
Final Thoughts