Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Please Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself...

Greetings All: 

I would like to take this opportunity on this day, Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 at 11:55pm, to re-introduce myself to you. 

I, Yendys Neferatum would like to publicly announce that I am an Afro-ologist©. An Afro-ologist© is one who cares for Afro-textured hair and or the multi-textures of black African hair that has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons and chemicals (by perming, relaxing, coloring and or straightening)  In past years, I have provided the service of applying plant-based hair colorant to several of my clients natural hair . I have also always informed them that by indulging in the coloring of their hair,  that action then created a non-natural state for their hair. I am not aware of whether or not my explanation of that fact was fully comprehended by my clients. Although, based on the above explanation of the title I have applied to my person today, in regards to my occupation; I am hereby stating that I have in fact been an Afro-ologist© since 1995.

Other titles by which I refer to myself would be a Master Loctician with over two decades of natural hair care experience; a Holistic Health Practitioner, a natural product formulation specialist and a Nile Valley Khametic Priestess (in training.) My natural hair and body care product line is called Ancient Blends, available online at www.cowrieshell.com. Over the years, I have gained my knowledge through self-study, as well as being a dedicated student of many healing modalities. I have been blessed to spend precious time studying with my honorable elders. To name a few; Dr. Llaila Afrika, Baaba Heru aka Ankh Ra Semajh, Queen Afua, HerbsWoman Sistah Tioma Allison, Dianna Pharr, Lester Loving and others. 

I also specializing in Natural Hair Care...Loc Initiation, Loc Maintenance, Braiding, Natural Hair Coloring, Herbal hair Treatments, Plant-based, Home-made Hair and Body Care Products, Holistic hair and Wellness Consultations or a combination. I have  been the sole proprietor  and operator of The Cowrie Shell Center, a natural hair care salon in Brooklyn, New York since 1992.

The Cowrie Shell Center has been a sanctuary for natural hair care, holistic living,  creative inspiration, as well as mind, body, spirit healing. Once one has spent time indulging in the services offered here, the experience is loving regarded as "The Yendys Experience, a soul touching experience."

It was recently been brought to my attention that many of you DID NOT know that I had been offering natural hair care services or even  provided holistic services for natural hair wearers. This fact has always been itemized on my business cards and many other forums along with the other services I provide.

 To my surprise, it seems as though there is a school of thought which does not recognize or place locked hair in the same category with 'natural' hair. 
So, I have been asking..."what is NATURAL HAIR?"

I have spoken to a few people about this, since I was puzzled and personally quite astonished. I have even searched 'Google' to gather some insight on this matter. "What is the difference between locs and natural hair?" 
It seems like this particular question has not quite made it to Google, at least... not yet!

I would be very interested to hear from you. 

"What do you think?"

 "Are locs not considered natural hair these days?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Natural Hair Alternative Movement... by Yendys Neferatum

The Natural Hair Alternative Movement
by  Yendys Neferatum
Queen Healer, Natural Hair Care Professional & Holistic Health Practitioner 

Natural: being in accordance with or determined by nature.
Alternative: a proposition or situation offering a choice between two or more things only one of which may be chosen. That which can be chosen instead. (Webster  Collegiate Dictionary)

The Natural Hair Alternative Movement features: 
Learning how to have healthy bodies to grow healthier hair, my expert hair and health Q&A sessions, healthy ways to transition to natural hair, practical family hair care, healthy natural hair care regimen and learning what makes my Ancient Blends natural hair care products different. 

Are you thinking about joining 'The Natural Hair Alternative Movement?' How can I assist you? Please leave me your comments.

Since 1996, I have been an advocate for those who have chosen to wear their hair in its natural, unaltered state. As a natural hair care professional since the early '90's, I have witnessed the rise of the curly, kinky, coily evolution first hand. As a child, born in Barbados, I wore natural hair throughout my childhood until I became a teenager. Then I experimented with relaxers. My mother did not authorized my use of relaxers. I took matters into my own hands at about age fifteen and succeeded at ruining my healthy, natural hair. Thank goodness for the natural hair alternative!

My family migrated to this country in 1976. Almost all of the  adults in my family wore an Afro. The elder women wore wigs or pressed their hair. I saw my father, uncles and other male friends of the family sport different sized Soul Train type Afros. My aunts wore Afros, Jody Watley style, halter, bell bottom pants and wrists filled to the elbows with beautiful, sterling silver bangles. Little girls wore their hair braided in cornrowed styles with a variety of beads intricately woven into the braids or  hanging on at the ends of their plaits. I remember my father taking much pride in picking out my Afro and spraying it down with Afro Sheen spray every morning before sending me off to school. 

Today, as I walk down the streets of Brooklyn, ride the buses and subways, look through magazines and even in the media there's no denying it, Afro hair is here! It almost feels like it did when I first arrived in America thirty-six years ago. these days, there is a strong resurgence of self acceptance re-emerging among a lot of people of African decent. I can't wait till the summer gets here...just to see our halos glowing in the hot summer sun!

Because I work with natural hair and speak on the topic everyday; I also recognize the great lack of knowledge as to what our hair needs. How to grow healthier hair and what products should be used on our hair. There are many unanswered questions and I would love to lend some clarity to the mis-education about how to properly care for our hair. A lot of women have been using relaxers for such a long time that they do not really recall the true nature or texture of their own hair. 

I would like to assist those who are in need of being educated about caring for they natural coils. I have twenty five years of experience and my own natural hair product line called Ancient Blends. 

We are the change we have be looking for!

For Natural Hair & Health Consultations / Natural Hair Care Appts: Email: yendysasis@yahoo.com
(Product info available at www.etsy.com/shop/yendysasis)

Yendys At Crowns For A cure Event/ Essence.com STREET STYLE

Cultural events like the African Film Festival and Brooklyn Museum's First Saturdays always draw the coolest creative types. These ladies are fashion rule makers and breakers, pushing the edge in mismatched prints and contrast colors. They simply wear what they feel without regard to the season's hottest trends, and we love them for it! Check out these artsy ladies here.

Read more: http://www.essence.com/2012/04/20/street-style-artsy-types/#ixzz1swNMTRin

Funky Fashion

Hairstylist Yendsy Nefer-Atum wears a Tribal Truth jacket with a top and skirt from Marshalls, and adornments by Studio of Ptah and Sistaphyre Kreations (on FaceBook)
So, Here I am in www.essence.com again...I'm very excited!

Ever-so-passionate about women’s empowerment, celebrity hairstylist Hadiiya Barbel is on a journey to use her love of hair to transform the lives of cancer survivors. Barbel hosted the Crowns and Cocktails event in New York City where guests were fitted with custom wigs to mask the hair loss that comes with cancer treatment. 

"I created ‘Crowns and Cocktails’ to celebrate these women and to give them a safe place to celebrate themselves," said Barbel. "After working with many cancer survivors and women suffering from alopecia who would always tell me that they just wanted to look normal, I wanted to show them their inner and outer queen — and every queen must have her own custom crown."

All the wigs that Barbel creates are donated to Crowns for a Cure, an organization that honors cancer survivors and raises cancer awareness. Check out the royal hairstyles we spotted at this gathering of New York City’s finest for a day of beauty, healing and sisterhood.

Read more: http://www.essence.com/2012/04/18/street-style-crowns-for-a-cure/#ixzz1swQJp31K


It's Friday, April 20th 2012... Lots of CELEBRATING TODAY, I HEAR...LOL 

This morning I'm feeling a buzz for another reason. About 8:30am I turned on my laptop as I walked toward the kitchen. I do the usual walked through my African adorned, bedstuy apartment every morning. I opened the curtains to welcome another day, inspect my many house plants, check my window box garden of herbs for any new growth. Then, I sat down on my couch in the living room. I checked my yahoo mail to see if I had any product orders to fill from my etsy.com/shop/yendysasis online store.Next, I opened my Face Book page; I saw an essence.com link in my news feed. I clicked on it because I was told that I might be in the next issue by one of their photographers (Hannan Selah) this past Sunday, April 15th at Hadiiyah Barbels 'Crowns For a Cure' Event at Alibi Hair Salon in Manhattan.

Copper Cool

Mixing a variety of sizes in the same metals and colors is a fun way to make a bold statement....www.essence.com

I unconsciously giggled in pure satisfaction  when I saw the actual image, I just really smiled hard from my insides out! I wanted to dance around in celebration. Honestly, after I posted, shared and re-posted my picture to all of the social media sites, I did get up off the couch, walked over to the full length mirror in my studio and started to have my own private party! I was Belly Dancing around in my space to Shakira's 'hips don't lie.'...lol. You can bet that I'll still be celebrating this weekend. I'm not sure how or where but, I will be enjoying this personal achievement. Hey, wherever I am, it will be a happy time!

 This is actually my second feature in their STREET STYLE: ECLECTIC COOL gallery. Since the 'Crowns For Cure' Event, I have been staying connected via FB and email with the other like minded people I met there; photographers, models and other hair stylists. As far as my personal involvement with that event; I was asked to create 100 of my natural hair and body sample product packs as give-aways for the event. I stayed up for twenty-four hours, making products, bottling, labeling, packaging, decorating the bags, counting items, including all of my contact info...making sure each bag had all four sample items inside. My hubby helped me also. He's my biggest fan...lol I'm very grateful for having him in my world.

Boho Bling  www.essence.com

Each guest received a gift bag containing some fabulous beauty products from SEPHORA, JANE CARTER, ROCKS For Life and yours truly ANCIENT BLENDS natural hair and body products. It was truly an honor for me to have been able to participate in such a worthy cause. I am all for helping women to live their most beautiful lives. Hair is a necessary essential for a lot of us and due to challenges such as cancer, alopecia etc have access to quality crowns make a huge difference. As Hadiiyah states, "my crowns are couture." I must say that Hadiiyah's crowns are the most realistic ones I have ever seen. I sometimes rock a 'fro from time to time. Folks are always wondering, how I manage to tuck my waist-length locs under a wig!...A girl can't share all of her secrets now can she?...hehehehe

Okay, so today I've spent the better part of the last seven hours promoting my self and my company The Cowrie Shell Center through the social networking forums. It surly  beats standing outside the subway stations handing out my business card...that's for sure. I'm looking forward to hearing from the folks who decide that they like my product samples and now wish to purchase some. They have all of my information. 

Now, on to my next projects....

Celebrating Earth Day and Mother's Day Gift Bags and getting ready for Memorial Day BAM Bazaar!!!
Credit: Hannan Saleh

Friday, April 6, 2012


So last week on Face Book, my friend Kelly Kello from Juice Hugger Cafe (in Brooklyn) announced my NEW waist bead collection "ADORE-RA" exclusively from my Etsy online store...www.etsy.com/shop/yendysasis!!!

I'm definitely excited about this! The inspiration for my waist beads is naturally the spirituality, sensuality and femininity of being a woman. I get super charged when Spring comes back to our side of the planet. My mind starts racing as I see bright daffodils peeking out, then the multi-colored tulips; the whole Spring-Time pallet of color just makes me want to have brilliant colors with me all the time.
I call my waist bead collection ADORE-RA... adoration for the return of the sun and adornment for our bodies; which is re-charged by the life supporting solar return. I started making my waist beads many, many years ago, just because I love creating beautiful unique gems for myself and other women. It's just that there's some much inspiration for doing different project, it seems not enough time in a day! So, sometimes its years before the cycle comes around again for a particular beading project . Me, I just go with the flow.
Here's some insight about the wearing of these beauties...Contrary to popular belief, waist beads can be worn by any woman of any size, and of any age. I've heard women say, 'oh no...my stomach is too big for that, I have to loose this fat on my stomach first.' Have you ever seen images of our beautiful sistahs on the continent? That's not necessarily the case; wearing waist beads may also inspire you (once you start to wear them) to strengthen and tone your mid-section. They will put you in touch with your divine feminine self so that you can rejoice in your woman-ness...all day long.

Here's more...

"The importance of representing femininity as well as the sexuality and sensuality of the woman….A lot of us women find it difficult just to embrace our feminine nature in general, so the beads can be worn to remind the self to embrace the feminine aspect of self and life and also for healing and releasing of emotional traumas around issues of sexual nature….For me just feeling them around my waist brings a smile to my face…I love to wear them…switch them up with different colors or different stones….when I’m out and I bring my awareness to them under my clothes it instantly brings a smile to my face as I focus on what they represent to me…reminds me that I’m always embraced fully with my sexual, sensual and feminine energy and feeling energized, lively and full of love.

Yes, Waist beads certainly have a very rich history. They have been worn for centuries and carry a vast tradition. I honestly believe that they inspire a sense of mystery and sensuality. I use semi-precious stones and rich vibrant colored beads to invoke healing. I'm divinely guided by the creative forces in the universe while I'm creating each piece. My work space is illuminated and charge with scented candles, music and living plants, sacred space is one of the ingredients used in the manifesting of my beading artistry.
Usually a consultation is necessary in order for me to custom design waist beads for a client, although, it is said that 'the stone (or in this case, waist beads) chooses its wearer.'
In some African countries, waist beads were worn to protect the person wearing it from negative energy. Ancient stories have been shared about how the balancing properties of the colored beads charged the healing energy of the stones. I use the burning of sage to cleanse the waist beads before I present them to a customer. I also rub special oils and herbal infusions onto my waist beads to purify and charge my waist beads. I use shells, gemstone, hand-made beads, brass, copper, sterling silver and a variety of pendants to adorn each of my waist beads.

African waist beads may have originated among the Yoruba tribes in Africa. Most of these tribes are now located in Nigeria. Although Ghana in Westrn Africa has certainly adopted the wearing of waist beads and is well known for them. They are symbols of feminity, and of wealth to the women of Ghana.

Going back to the Yoruba tribes, they see glass beads as of the Earth and the source of life. Some of their beliefs include that wearing the beads provides birth control as well as being a protection for pregnant women. These traditions exist today.

According to Yoruban women the beads increase their power of persuasion over men. They are certainly regarded as being associated with seduction and sensuality.

The bead production capital of the world now is Ghana. In Ghana there is a lot of the modern thought about waist beads prevailing. They are a beloved fashion item that enhances the figure and curves of a woman. There are some tribeswomen from the Asante tribe that wear them because they revere the traditional ideas of chastity, femininity and consider them indicators of status.