Donna’s Salon Utopia – Last Updated in 2010

Robbin Melton Making Hair Hot

I must share with you all about this wonderful product that I got from my friend/research participant Robbin Melton who is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a “cocoawhip” as she calls it and it is shea butter with cocoa butter added. It is absolutely wonderful! I highly recommend that you get some and you contact her at: The shea butter has been a lifesaver to me. She whips it up within a day and sends it out to you really fast! She is great! She has also been an extremely valuable research participant for my politics of black hair online study.

I got a chance to strut my stuff (thanks to my former terrific professor Mr. Frajkor) at a National Ethnic Media Council of Canada function at the Cypriot Community Centre in Toronto with the shea in my hair. This picture I am including is not how I looked that night, however as you can see – the product really can improve the health of your hair.
I also wore Robbin’s product when I went to my niece Oshun’s Christmas Concert. My Mom said “this is the best I’ve ever seen your hair :-).” Well, so far, Robbin’s product is getting rave reviews and my mother’s opinion means the world to me. She is an extremely wise woman.
Also what you may notice from the picture is that from my declaration of going with dreads from my last posting…my hair is not locked :-(. I just keep finding it too hard and I have decided to give up. People who think having beautiful locks are easy really do not know! I do not even know because I have not been able to achieve them. My hair has been natural since 1993, 2011 makes 18 years – my hair is now an official virgin adult from chemicals :-). I’m alright with that. Things are good :-).
So many blessings to all of you beautiful people for the New Year. As my new friend Sarah says, may you have 1001 blessings as they say in Nepal apparently.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Hairdo!

Hello everyone,

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. I have been wanting to do something different with my hair for a long time. I get really tired of wearing it in a bun or tying it up in a conservative fashion. Perhaps it is the fact that I am reaching 40 in two years that makes me think of doing something more hip and easier to deal with. I have been thinking of locks for a long time and I found the thin ones did not look good on me, just like a thin body does not particularly look good on me either. I’m reading an amazing book called The Fat Studies Reader that I saw a fellow thesis group colleague with in Dr. Lance McCready’s circle at OISE/University of Toronto.

So…I thought about going back to the woman Charmaine who did my hair back in August. Then I thought of calling another woman named Charmaine who comes to your home. Then I thought, I spent years and years doing my own hair in my 20s and 30s…why stop now? It seems to be working, actually I know it is working. I wish I had a picture to share with all of you of when I cut off all of my hair back in about 2004. It was the idea of a very nice man I was dating, however I was not happy with the results and if I just knew better how to take care of my natural hair – it would not have happened.

With that said, I recommend the same books many black hair naturalists recommend for hair care…Pamela Ferrell and Lonnice Brittenum Bonner are great. These two I truly think are the best. There are many, many more I could suggest and that will be coming in future. Just give me some more time. I’m still working on my research on black hair politics.

Well…I have started big plaits that I am hoping at the moment will lock. I hope I stick to it. Sometimes I get scared because locking is so permanent. I actually find it easier to stick with my PhD program than locking my hair and I really admire people who do it. I see some really beautiful locks all over Toronto. It is quite the beautiful sight. Sisters and brothers of all colours, persuasions and religions rocking the bounded twists. Wow! You all inspire me. Well…here is my contribution to the “royal bed head.” May I have the faith to wear my hair like a crown – Gloria Wade Gayles.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Politics of Black Hair Online Course Book

Hello everyone,

Soon…The Politics of Black Hair Online Course Book will be published through I’m really looking forward to this work. It is a compilation of discussions that have been on-going over a 7-week period of time from July 19th to August 29th. The discussions have been part of my research on the politics of black hair in education. I will be doing a discourse analysis of the research as part of my dissertation work. Here is a sneak peak at the cover of the book.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Hiatus

Hello everyone!

I am on a brief hiatus from this blog until the online politics of black hair course finishes up at the end of August.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I can barely believe it. I went to a hairdresser for the first time in five years. Thank you Jill Andrew for having the BITE ME! Festival because I swear it was the inciting incident to my personal drama with my hair.

I washed my hair on Friday and my hair was becoming quite dry because I was washing it too often. Charmaine told me I should only wash it every two weeks, which makes sense. Even Caucasian Jamie (my former student with the most beautiful hair!) told me that you should not wash your hair too often because it takes out the natural oils. Charmaine said the same thing!

My best hairdresser so far in my life has been my younger sister Lisa. Charmaine is a very loving and lovely person. You really do need to have a loving heart to be a hairdresser. It’s interesting because my sister is a Scorpio and Charmaine is also a Scorpio. My former fiancé is a Scorpio and he has terrific hair. Scorpio have good hair from my experience. Plus, they tend to be very loving people – just do not cross them! Their hearts are so big they cannot take it so I know from experience they will cut you off so they no longer need to feel pain. I actually admire this method. I’m just a stupid Leo :-).

Charmaine is a wonderful hairdresser. Wow…finally…I’m back on the track of starting locks again. So, I guess, yes…what I changed the title of my book to in 2006 about hair What Happened to the Afro? is turning out to be completely appropriate. I sent a copy to a hopeful supervisor at OISE, Dr. Lance McCready and I know the book is good. He will discover faster than he thought that I do know how to write. Not that I am taking myself too seriously – it’s just that there are many things I am NOT good at – such as organizing huge events like Jill Andrew is so good at. I can write – this I have known since God Bless her soul, Mrs. Chen my former teacher told me since I was 7. I have trusted her opinion ever since. Does the woman even know what a powerful effect she has had on me?

OK…back to my hair. It looks great. The five-year break from hairdressers have done it some good. I needed that. I’m getting old (yet, still young in the grand scheme of things – actually very young). The reason why I mention this is because when it comes to my hair, I needed to get some help to make it look its best. I used to know a lot about hair maintenance (I still know some), however Charmaine really gave me a refresher course in just 120 minutes and less. She should teach! She’s good.

My online black hair course starts on Monday, so this was another inciting incident for my professional drama. Going to Charmaine was like paying to be reminded of the kind of issues that will be coming up for my course. It was like training and I thank you from the bottom of my heart Charmaine. You are truly a wonderful person.

If you would be interested in Charmaine’s work, please contact her at: She is also extremely affordable.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dealing With Leaner Economic Times

Well, I sent my funding package confirmation to OISE/University of Toronto today. I am extremely grateful to be receiving funding, although this will cause a significant setback in my finances compared to previous years. The positive side is that I have the strong potential to get out of this degree relatively debt-free, if not completely debt-free. When I did my undergraduate degree at Carleton, I had a scholarship from the school, as well as a scholarship that my Dad had paid into. By time I graduated, I was $12,000 in debt. I was lucky though and I found work, so I was able to pay back the loan system of Ontario within the six-month grace period.

When I did my graduate degree at Concordia in Montréal, I ended up being $23,000 in debt. I was extremely fortunate to have a great common-law boyfriend at the time who helped me to pay off a lot of that debt. If you are reading this – I thank you to this day! At least I no longer have that sitting on my head. So, I guess I really should not complain because the goal ultimately is to make good money with this PhD, not to be in a ton of debt because of it.

My mother was also very supportive when I told her about my economic loss because she said “It’s not like you’re not working towards something – you’re not sitting around.” That was extremely kind of her and I appreciated the fact that she could acknowledge that I was already working hard with this degree, and also in fact loving every moment of it.

I am pushing really hard to try to get my committee together. I do not want to push so hard that I end up shooting myself in the foot. I guess it’s just that especially since my dissertation is an extension of my master’s research, I have written a book on the politics of black hair, plus been following the development of the topic over the 10, almost 11 years since I graduated from my master’s – I’m rearing to go! I do not feel in the lost state that some other students may be in at various schools all over the world who enter a PhD program and do not know really what they want to do. Plus, I will be 38 in August and I have maturity on my side. I am the oldest person in the intake of my cohort.

So…the journey continues. Despite these comments – I feel very happy. It is quite unlike the depressive state I was in when I started my graduate degree at Concordia. I guess being in Toronto and living close to family, friends and coworkers really helps with that. When I went to Montréal, if it were not for the two lovely souls I knew from Ottawa who I lived with – I really did not know a lot of people when I first went there. Toronto is a great city and I really hope it recovers well from all of this chaos that has gone on because of G20. God Bless Toronto – we really need it right now! God Bless the World – we all need it all of the time!

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