Travel Diary & More: Dallas, TX

Hey y'all! I know it's been a minute but your girl has been doing the most! As many of you know I'm now Cantu's National Ambassador and with that comes tons of travel educating consumers about the brand and teaching along the way. This past weekend my girl Maria Antoinette ( Cantu's Global Hairstylist) and I took our talents to Dallas, TX!


We kicked off our trip with a fun day at the Texas State Fair. Let me just say, everything really is bigger in Texas! 


We were in town for not one but TWO events. The first one was the Sally Beauty Executive Influencer Summit. We had our Cantu booth set and couldn't wait to meet all the district managers, store managers, influencers and more. We played some really fun games and let me tell you Sally Beauty knows their stuff when it comes to Cantu! Everyone went away with a prize. We really enjoyed their feedback and learning what the consumers look for when coming into the stores! Fun times, like always.


They even held a brunch on Sunday and brought everyone together! I mean executives, influencers, name it. The brunch panel was more than amazing. I learned so much and literally took notes. Maria and I even shared our very own beauty obsessions. And wait, did someone say shopping?! If you follow me on Snapchat (MelissaChanel1) you saw that the Sally team took care of us. We shopped until we dropped and ended up shipping a box of goodies home. So look for the unboxing in a future post.


Whew. Next up, Bella Kinks! Yes, we were in town for not one, but two events! If you missed the Bella Kinks DFW Natural Hair Expo, then you missed out on a treat. From the dinner, to the bloggers lounge, the panels, and the shopping...O.M.G! Friday night we attended the welcome Royalty dinner where we danced, ate, and chatted with other bloggers and beauty business owners. Maria even tied our Gele's so we'd be in theme. My feet still hurt from dancing.


Saturday came and it was time for the blogger lounge. This was where we got to hang out and network with other fellow bloggers! Listen ladies, we're stronger together never forget that. It's always great to throw ideas off of other blogger friends and even partner with them for fun giveaways, events, and more. It was great to meet new bloggers, give advice, get advice, and catch up with my blogger boo's I hadn't seen in a while. We danced and danced and snapped pictures and danced some more, lol. Great times and tons of laughs.


Gosh we're at Sunday already huh?! This weekend flew by. Busy, but lots of fun. Maria and I left the Sally brunch relaxed for a few and it was time to head over to the expo for our workshop. Yes, we had our very own Cracking The Curly Code Workshop where we discussed and educated our audience on the Cantu brand, how to use different products, detangling, washing vs cowashing, I mean you name it, we discussed it. We're still getting messages on social media thanking us. It's always great when we can help someone else who may not know exactly how to use certain products or are looking for new hair care regimens!


Exploring Dallas was on our list so we decided to stay until Monday evening. We caught up with our girl Sumetra (Dallas Native) for lunch and she took us to some fun spots for photos.


I know, I know. That was a lot right? But I wouldn't have it any other way. I really enjoy helping other woman in any way that I can and it makes me even happier that I get to do it for a living.


 P.S. - Sending a huge S/o to Mazda and Drive Shop for hooking us up with the CX5! This car was a lifesaver as we drove from one end of Dallas to the next. The ride, the gas, and the navagation got us through the weekend! 

Until next time, 



Melissa Chanel

Am I Crazy


I know I've asked myself this question a time or two before. Am I mentally okay? This is a illness that isn't talked about much in the African American community. We often laugh it off or quickly change the subject when friends or family are talking about mental health issues and it's not okay. 

It's not okay because so many of our friends and/or family members may have serious mental issues that they're going through on a daily basis. They may need someone to talk to and need to feel comfortable coming to family and or friends for help. I remember just last week reading rapper Kid Cudi's Facebook message to his fans. He wrote about his depression and suicidal thoughts, but he used the word ashamed. Why? Why must one be ashamed to say they're getting help? Getting help is a good thing. Recognizing this is a problem you can't fix is a good thing. If you're reading this, NEVER be ashamed of getting help! I've never had a mental health problem, but I've grown up with people who have. I never thought to treat them different. I was happy that they were feeling better and made sure to tell them if they ever needed me I was only one call away. 

This does not need to be a secret. If someone came to you and told you they needed help would you know what to do? If not, I have some answers. 

I was able to meet up with Alicia Cobb, a local Charlotte Therapist last week to ask her a few questions. Let's jump right into it.


Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and background.

I recently relocated here from Los Angeles but grew up a military brat. Half of my childhood was spent on military bases and the other half in a small town in Tennessee with my grandmother. Fortunately for a very long time, I was sheltered from race because in the Army, your rank is what identifies you. For as long as I can remember however mental health was all around me in various settings. I aspired initially to be a nurse while attending Virginia Commonwealth University but it wasn’t until I started shadowing a Social Worker working at VCU Medical Center, that I totally changed gears and gravitated to human services. I discovered a profession where I could be a resource to people with long-term goals of some how helping my family as well. Howard University provided by Master of Social Work with a bonus prize of my first trip out of the United States to Haiti- where I learned a valuable lesson in the power of resilience. A large portion of my learning ground in therapy was split between working in New York, DC, Los Angeles and South Africa. A part of me wanted to be exposed to the largest cities with a fast paced environment to really get my feet wet. I am also a young adult fascinated with the idea of dream chasing. Currently, I reside in Charlotte and train clinicians in family therapy, teach part time in the School of Social Work at Simmons College and developing my private practice—Building Endurance.

What are a few ways we can do better in the African American community to help start the conversation and not feel ashamed?

Honestly, the best way to start the conversation without shaming and blaming each other, is to normalize mental health. One of my life goals is to decrease the stigma—it is okay for someone to be diagnosed with cancer, they usually elicit sympathy but for someone to develop voices or contract HIV unknowingly—they are viewed as the black sheep. Educating ourselves is also helpful in improving awareness amongst the African American community. Many mental health issues have a genetic component that people are totally unaware of, for example alcoholism and Schizophrenia. There is research that both can be identified in generational patterns within families. The third and most far-fetched idea is to just treat everyone with a healthy dose of empathy and respect. As we encounter each other, we have no idea what they are going through and I think it is more comfortable and easy for us to gossip or make fun of that person instead of showing some compassion and vulnerability by doing a basic check-in with them.

How does one know when they need help? 

We always have to be in tune with ourselves. I joke with my sorority sisters and friends constantly about the power in taking yourself out on a date and knowing your own likes and dislikes. There is so much to be gleaned in spending time alone and doing things in a mindful way. Identifying what foods agree or disagree with you, how your body responds with a certain level of activeness, learning what things create a sense of calmness and what stimulates you. You will be more aware of when you need help when things feel off. Some red flags to look out for include a change in routine, restlessness, sleeping too much or too little, a change in appetite, feeling anxious without being provoked, excessive thoughts of hurting yourself, unexplained tearfulness and a host of others. Now, in life, things happen and we have an adjustment period whether that is a move, beginning or ending of a relationship, the loss of someone etc. The importance of knowing when you need help is also knowing what you are like on your best days or your baseline of functioning.

How can friends/family help those that come to them asking for help? 

One of the greatest things a friend or family member can do when someone is asking for help is to listen. Hear the person out, keep an eye out for any talks about harming themselves or harming others because that may call for some reinforcement. Listening to the friend without judging or offering advice or ultimatums can go a long way. Another thing to do is ask what the friend needs. They usually can articulate whether they want you to help them make a decision or spend time with them or whatever other ways they like to be supported. If though, at anytime you feel the person is in danger or you feel you cannot manage the crises—definitely reach out to a mental health provider or emergency crises responder. Most cities provide a mental health service called Crises Mobile or Mobile Crises where a team addresses mental health concerns and if not 911 is a great option.

How do you treat someone that's having a breakdown right in front of you? 

First, remain calm. They are already agitated or panicking and it is not helpful to escalate with them. Secondly, grab a glass of water or Kleenex depending on what their breakdown looks like. It is also helpful to try to do some deep breathing techniques just to help them calm down. If you do not know any, speak slowly to them, remind them that you are there to comfort them, that they are in a safe space. You may even be able to ask if they can describe what they need to help calm them down. You do not want to make any sudden moves or agitate them further—you want to aim at deescalating them, or getting them back to a state of calmness to identify what is going on. Lastly, if it is an emergency that you cannot manage, try to alert someone to assist whether it is a medical or mental health professional.

 What is your website or phone number for those that may need your help? 

My website is and number is (980) 288-5486. I also offer training on de-escalation, the signs of vicarious trauma for helping professionals, and the importance of self-care.

Why do you think African Americans in particular, don't really deal with mental health as a serious issue?

I think it is easier to pretend something does not exist than it is to address what is occurring. As humans, we want things to be as close to if not perfect, and we are concerned with how other people view us. As powerful as social media is in our lives currently, it can also be detrimental to people who constantly compare where they are in life to where other people are or to where they hope to be. I believe that if we embraced the idea that we all go through things and are all a product of our experiences, we really could create a safer community for each other to lean on. 

Have you dealt with mental health issues or know of someone that needs help? Speak up. Don't be afraid or ashamed of what you or someone close to you is going through. 


Melissa Chanel

My Stretched Twist Out Process

We all have our methods of styling our natural hair, right? From late night mini twists to the chunky twist-and-pineapple method, we stick to what works. Well, I've finally found what works for me, and that's a single twist out on blown out hair. Whether I'm hanging out on the town or posting photos on social media, I'm always getting questions about my 'do. Sooo, I figured, why not create a blog showing you the process of my go-to style? Let's get started. 

First, I shampoo & condition my hair using Cantu's sulfate-free Cleansing Shampoo  & Hydrating Conditioner. Then, I part my clean hair into four sections and apply my Thermal Shield Heat Protectant to prep for the blow drying process. What we DON'T want is thermal damage! She is not our friend at all. I usually put a dime size amount of product into my hands and smooth it into my hair using the praying hands method. 

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Next, it's time to twist!

I like twisting with Cantu's Coconut Curling Cream because it gives me the definition I love and a soft hold. When I find a product I like, I stick with it! 

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Next comes moisture. So I just used my curl cream to help define my curls and add moisture to my hair, and now it's time to seal in that moisture. Where's my Smoothing Anti- Frizz Oil w/ Argon? Oh girl, here it is! I usually add a little bit to my hands and smooth it into my twist, and then it's time for bed. 

I find that I get the best definition when I leave my twists in overnight or wear my hair twisted for a full day. If I need to go out and about, I tie it up in a cute scarf, protect it with a hat, or throw on Stacey (remember her?!)

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The next morning, it's time for the take down. Again, I add a little more of Cantu's Anti-Frizz and start the process of taking my twists down. I usually split my unraveled twist twice, which causes a little frizz, which I don't mind at all. The bigger the hair, the better!  

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For my final step, I use my most prized possession (my pick). I start at the roots and pick out just a little. I don't want to disturb my definition too much, but I do want to get my hair to the height that I like.

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and VOILA! 

I'm ready to hit the town. I love my definition and I picked it out just enough. As the days go by, I preserve my style by retwisting in chunky twists at night and taking them down the next day. I don't add another cream product to my hair, only oil every two days. 

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Simple, right? This style's not hard at all, and trust me: if I can do it at home, you can, too. 


Use mild heat when blowing your hair out, never HIGH.

Make sure you're not using too much product..always remember that a little goes a long way!

The longer you leave your hair twisted, the better the definition. 

Tools: Blow dryer c/o Hot & Gold & my pick is from my local Sally Beauty.


Melissa Chanel

5 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Fall

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Fall is .....HERE! I really can't believe I'm typing this. Summer literally flew by and time has come for the leaves to change, pumpkin spice everything, moto jackets, hot cider, and sweater weather. This true spring/summer baby is not ready at all. I'll miss the beach, the burning of my legs because of my leather car seats, my flip flops, and outdoor picnics the most; however I'm excited to make fun memories this fall! Today, September 22, 2016, is the first day of fall y'all and I'm here to give you a few ways to celebrate. Ready? Okay. 

Upgrade Your Bedroom Decor

Out with the bright spring/summer colors and in with the warm cozy fall colors. Change up your bedding, bring in the oranges, browns, or fur by adding new pillows, a fresh comforter, or accent pieces. Create a bedroom space that's cozy and warm. I'm obsessing over this fuzzy pillow from Target. How cute would it look with some burnt orange and gold accents? 

Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Fall Festival  

Find a pumpkin patch in your area and make plans with friends or make it a date night. Most of them have hayrides, games, food, and more. It'll be so much fun finding cute pumpkins to decorate your home with. If that's not your thing you can always find a fall festival because every season is a celebration. I'm sure there will be great food, beer, art, and more. Make it a family affair! If you're in Charlotte, NC like me, here's a pumpkin patch in the area that's open Saturday. If you like beer I also found a Pumpkin Fest at Sycamore Brewing. They'll have a full menu of pumpkin beer and food. Sounds like Charlotte is the place to be this weekend to celebrate all things fall! 

Fall Trip to Bath and BodyWorks 

It's time! Who's ready to stock up on their favorite candles and wallflowers? I usually run to my local Bath and Bodyworks to grab a few of my favs before they sell out. It gets real when it's time for the fall scents to make an appearance. I think everyone is ready for their home to smell like vanilla, pumpkin spice anything, apple pie, and any other fall aroma you can think of, lol. I'm most excited to smell this new pumpkin cupcake scent that's featured on the front page. But this candle will always have my heart! 

Purchase your first Fall Closet Staple 

Fall means shopping, right?! Go through all your fall pieces and make a stay vs go pile. Head out for a weekend of fun with the girls and grab a few closet staples. Only pieces that can be worn multiple times and that will be a major upgrade to your closet. Don't go crazy because if you live in an area like Charlotte, you may still be wearing crop tops in December! Here's a quick list; a pair of oxfords, booties, a bomber jacket or a cute fall sweater. You know I can always find a reason to shop, lol! 

Treat yourself to a Fall Mani/Pedi 

Say goodbye to neon pink and orange and hello to the emerald green and burgundy. It's time to treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure this can either be at home or the salon, your pick. It's always fun to stock up on new nail colors and a lot of people find it relaxing when pampering themselves at home. I've been obsessing over this emerald green Essie polish and can't wait to try it at my next nail appointment. 

Well, I hope you're ready because I'm NOT! But I've found celebrating always helps me as the weather transitions. I'm looking forward to doing all things I listed about as well as adding a few more books to my fall reading list, taking a road trip to Asheville to see the beautiful leaves and explore the city at some point this fall, and maybe checking out Mecktoberfest this weekend.

How are you celebrating? I want to hear all about it. 


Melissa Chanel

More Love Less Hate

We can all agree that the Internet can be a rude place, right?! I catch myself randomly scrolling through social media and I see so many "internet trolls" being straight-up mean. Can you imagine posting a photo of yourself or friends on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and having someone totally rip you apart? I've seen it happen to my myself and my friends on a daily basis. I've never understood how someone could sit behind a computer or phone and say such harsh words to people. It's just not right. 


Can I share a quick story? A while back, one of my photos was reposted by the Curlbox Instagram account. Where I'd usually by excited for the extra exposure, all I can remember is how rude some of the young ladies were under my photo. Were they talking about my face? My lipstick? No. Was something in my teeth? No. - The ladies were talking about how dark my underarms were. One girl went so hard to say that I "needed to clean my underarms." Like. What? I thought I was having a poppin' hair day and these girls were crucifying me about my underarms. I remember thinking, is this what blogger life is like? That was my first time dealing with social bullying and it SUCKED! Luckily, I was able to brush it off. I was 20 + and very comfortable in my skin, but imagine all the younger children and teenagers that deal with it every single day?! 


This must STOP! I am so happy to be partnering with Dove to tell my story and encourage everyone on the internet to spread positivity. Remember the saying: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Let's practice what we preach. Because 52% of girls think that negativity they see online damages their confidence, so let's remember to use our words wisely. They have LOTS of power. 


I've already started spreading love, and you can join me! Head to your local Targetgrab three of your favorite Dove products, and get this super cute #SpeakBeautiful bracelet as well. It's super fashionable and a great reminder to spread love each and every day. I've been rocking my bracelet, it's a great way to remind myself to be positive and spread love, always. I even decided to stop by my local Target and grab a few for my friends. 


Choose Dove and support building self-esteem in 20 million girls by 2020. Let's join Dove and change the conversation online and make the internet and social media a more positive place for women and girls. After all, positivity is such a beautiful thing. 

 *2016 Dove Study, learn more on

Are you ready to get involved? Head over to Twitter now and participate in the #SpeakBeautiful effect for a chance to win your very own #SpeakBeautiful bracelet. Don't forget to "@" me in your tweet and use the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag in order to be considered. 

This post sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for your support and remember to #SpeakBeautiful! 


Melissa Chanel