‘We are going to have to save ourselves,’ Black community fights deadly COVID vaccine conspiracy theories

Andrew M. Santos

Name a COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theory circulating on social media, and hairstylist Katrina Randolph has heard it. So every time a client slides into her chair, she snips away at fears and misconceptions.

No, the vaccine isn’t an effort to sterilize Black people. It can’t alter your DNA. It won’t implant a microchip to track your movements. And no, people of color are not being used as guinea pigs.

Randolph has put herself on the front lines of the Black community’s fight against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, part of a network of barbershops and beauty salons working with Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, who runs the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The Health In-Reach and Research Initiative – or HAIR – used to focus on educating people about chronic diseases such as diabetes and colon cancer, Thomas says.

Now, it’s taking

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This Black Woman Created Her Own Brand Of Hair Fragrances

Andrew M. Santos

Alexia P. Hammonds had a love for perfume from a young age. So when it came time for her to come up with an idea for a company, she wanted to combine her love of fitness and fragrance that complemented her active lifestyle. After becoming the first Black woman to craft her own fragrance in Grasse, France, known for perfume manufacturers, she created a brand that brought both worlds together.

Hammonds’ Eat. Sweat. Undress. is a hair fragrance collection and lifestyle brand designed for active women made with special oils to condition their hair and leave a beautiful scent. It’s based, she says, on her knowledge of creating her own products from a young age and a fascination with the perfume industry.

“I mixed fragrance oils into bath and body products. I’ve been obsessed with fine fragrances all of my life. My mother, a perfume snob herself, noticed my love

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How Black Salons Are Coping With COVID-19

Andrew M. Santos
Photo credit: MIRANDA BARNES
Photo credit: MIRANDA BARNES

From ELLE

The natural instinct is to hug. But Shirley Paul, a salon regular in her forties, offers her stylist, Ursula Stephen, a hesitant elbow bump instead. “It’s my COVID hug,” Stephen says through a protective mask bearing her initials, “US,” of the now socially acceptable greeting. “I miss hugging people,” Paul says. It’s mid-June, and three months have passed since Ursula Stephen The Salon, a seven-year-old beauty mecca located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was last open. Stephen—best known as the celebrity stylist to Rihanna, Zendaya, and Serena—suspended business on March 21, when most of New York City was ordered to stay at home, save for essential workers. What qualifies as “essential” is something Stephen has thought a lot about since then. “The one thing white girls were stressed about was mostly their hair color,” she says. “Well, a brown girl, we need everything.

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16 Brands Black Beauty Experts Always Keep in Their Kits

Andrew M. Santos

August is National Black Business Month, and while we love celebrating our favorite Black artists and Black-owned beauty brands all 365 days of the year, we felt it was an especially opportune time to shine a spotlight on some of the beauty industry’s best artistic talent and the Black-owned businesses and products they love, consistently use, and recommend to friends, family, A-list clients, and, of course, you!

Below, we asked leading hairstylists and makeup artists (who regularly work with the glamorous likes of Tracee Ellis Ross, Naomi Campbell, Gabrielle Union, Laverne Cox, and so many more) which Black-owned brands and formulas we’d regularly find tucked into their product kits, showers, and high-standard beauty regimens. Keep scrolling! Our panel of experts are sharing 16 Black-owned beauty brands you can support this month in honor of National Black Business Month and always.

AJ Crimson Beauty

AJ Crimson Beauty Dual Skin Creme Foundation

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