Well y'all, I don't know what you're thinkin' but personally, I'm totally trippin' that we're just a few weeks away from it officially being the summer season. As I was looking at my hair the other day, I said to myself, "How about we give you some extra special attention this year, so that I don't have to do any damage control come fall?". Because, even though I actually write on hair care quite a bit, sometimes a sistah doesn't feel like being proactive. I'm getting better at it, though.
Anyway, if you are like me and you don't want to be pissed off on Labor Day because, all you did, all summer long, was wrap your hair up in a scarf or rock a turban, only to discover a dry matted mess weeks later, I've got some things that you can do to prep your hair (and maintain it) for the summer season. Don't worry. Everything here is cheap and easy yet super effective.
Are you ready to get your hair into great summer shape?
Make Some Coconut Milk Shampoo
Something that I recommend you try this season is making your own shampoo. Not only is it (typically) cheaper than commercial brands, but you're able to know exactly what is going into your tresses. A recipe that's very easy to make, consists of only three ingredients. All you need is coconut milk, castile soap and your favorite essential oil(s).
Coconut milk is great because the antibacterial properties in it will help to cleanse your scalp while removing any bacteria that may be on it. Coconut milk is also packed with nutrients like protein (our hair is made up of mostly protein), iron (something that many of us, as Black women, tend to be deficient in) and magnesium (it promotes follicle hair growth) that help to strengthen our hair. As a bonus, coconut milk is mad moisturizing too.
Castile soap removes product build-up without stripping your hair of the natural oils that it needs. Essential oils smell great and come with all sorts of benefits, depending on which one you decide to go with. For a fresh and summery scent, I recommend orange oil. It moisturizes your hair, plus it also can smooth your strands so that they look less frizzy too.
For a simple coconut milk shampoo recipe, check out Wellness Mama's here.
Dust Your Ends
If one of the things that you're committed to this year is length retention, I am totally with you. Because of this, you probably want to keep shears as far away from your head as possible. But if you don't at least dust your ends, not only could you end up with split ends that will only result in long-term hair damage, but you could prevent your natural hair from holding any real shape as well. If you don't trust a professional to trim your hair—again, I feel you because some stylists don't know the difference between cutting and trimming—you can always take matters into your own hands. Literally. Dusting your ends is about taking no more than around ½" (on average) off of the ends of your hair. All you need is a good pair of shears, a video tutorial and a lot of patience.
Check out some naturalistas and how they dust their ends here, here and here.
Apply a Leave-in Conditioner
Hopefully, deep conditioning your locks is already a part of your hair routine. But because the sun can be particularly harsh during the summer season, it's important to apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair too. Not only will it add some extra moisture to your hair, it can also make detangling and styling so much easier in between washes (especially if you'd prefer not to wet your hair every day). If you decide to go the commercial brand route, make sure that the first ingredient on the label is water. Or, if you want, you can make some of your own.
Kinky Curly Yaki totally has your back in this department with the article "14 Homemade Leave-In Conditioner Recipes".
Use a DIY Anti-Frizz Serum
When it comes to my natural hair texture, probably the two top things that get on my nerves about summer is 1) the massive amount of shrinkage that it causes and 2) how frizzy my hair can sometimes become. As far as shrinkage goes, we'll tackle that in the next point. On the frizz tip, something that can help to tame your mane is to create your own anti-frizz hair serum. One of the best recipes I've seen in a hot minute consists of avocado oil (it's extremely moisturizing), argan oil (it nourishes your scalp, fights dandruff and helps to prevent brittle ends) and geranium oil (it's antibacterial, balances the production of serum and helps to keep hair strands smooth). If you apply a little to your hair on a daily basis, you'll notice more curls and less frizz.
For the complete anti-frizz serum recipe, click here.
Define Your Curls with Bentonite Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar
Yeah, I already know. There are definitely a billion hair hacks out here. But if there's one that I promise you is pretty close to mind-blowing, it's the bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar hair mask. The benefits of bentonite clay, frankly, deserves a write-up of its own but some of the main point is it's the kind of clay that draws out toxins, helps to heal psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, removes product build-up on the hair and scalp, conditions and moisturizes and definitely brings the best out of your natural curl definition. Know what else it does? It helps to elongate your hair so that shrinkage isn't as much of an issue. As far as apple cider vinegar goes, it's a one of a kind type of hair clarifier. The combo will have your hair feeling mad soft and with bouncy curls that you didn't know you had; whether you've got 3 or 4 type hair.
An easy recipe: Pull out a non-metal bowl (metal can affect the potency of the clay, not in a good way either) and pour 1/3 cup of bentonite clay into it. Then add about four tablespoons of distilled water (maybe a bit more; the objective is for the mixture to have a thick yogurt-like consistency). To that, add four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and maybe some sweet almond oil (to lock extra moisture into your hair). Mix everything with a non-metal spoon and immediately apply the mask to clean and damp hair (make sure your locs are wet enough to show your curl pattern). Apply the mask, cover your head up with a plastic bag and let it sit on your hair for 30 minutes. Then get into the shower to rinse it all out (it's kind of a mess if you go the sink route) and follow it up with your favorite hair conditioner. Allow your hair to air dry and sis, you're totally good to go. (If you want to see some final results, check out this video, this one or this one.)
Invest in Some Anti-Humidity Hair Products
You would think that, since humidity is all about moisture, that it being in the air that it would work for, not against, our hair…right? Yeah, naw.
While it's kind of a science class, the bottom line is our hair is made up of tiny tubes of keratin (protein). What humidity does is manipulate those tubes which causes our hair cuticles to swell, resulting in frizz.
One way you can reduce how much this happens to your own hair is to coat your hair with anti-humidity hair products on a daily basis.
If you'd like to do this, Naturally Curly totally has your back. Check out "20 Humidity-Proof Products to Fight Frizz".
Create Some Sunscreen for Your Locs
Don't get it twisted. We might be full of melanin, but Black women need sunscreen too; this includes when it comes to our hair. UV rays have a tendency to do a real number on tresses. For one thing, they produce free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress that can weaken our hair's natural structure. Extreme sun exposure can also strip our natural hair color and give us dry and brittle strands too. That's why some hair sunscreen is another effective way to get and keep your hair summertime ready.
Naturally Curly has your back on this one too. Check out "6 DIY Sunscreen Recipes to Protect Your Hair".
Drink More Water
One of the big mistakes that a lot of us make when it comes to caring for our hair is we're far more preoccupied with what we put on our hair that we forget to pay attention to what we put into it from the inside out. Your hair is definitely not going to survive the summer season if you don't make sure to stay hydrated all throughout the day. Not only do you need water to replenish the fluids you lost from sweating, but since each strand is made up of roughly 25 percent of water, you can see why your hair especially needs it too. If you're averaging eight glasses of water before summer, up that to around 10 as summertime eases its way on in.
Not a water fan? Get what you need by drinking some infused water instead. You can get some awesome recipes here.
Get a Hair Oil for the Swimming Pool
Chlorine and salt water can wreak real havoc on hair, especially ours since our tresses tend to lean more towards being on the drier side of the hair spectrum anyway. If you'd prefer to not rock a swimming cap, something that you can do to give your hair some of the extra moisture that it needs is to apply a thin coat of oil before taking a swim.
Jojoba oil moisturizes. Grapeseed combats frizz. Lemongrass has antifungal and antiviral properties. My recommendation is to put two tablespoons of each into a plastic bottle, heat them up in the microwave for 15 seconds and add the oil to your hair. The combo will feel great and your tresses will be all set.
Keep a Hair Spritz Handy
On the super hot days when you want to give your natural hair a bit of a moisture-rich pick-me-up, why not go with an all-natural hair spritz? All you need is a small plastic spray bottle, some rosewater and a couple of other ingredients. You can keep the bottle in your bag and lightly mist your hair whenever you get the urge. Your scalp will instantly feel refreshed and your curls will instantly feel hydrated. It's a wonderful summertime treat for your hair from its roots right down to its ends.
A cool recipe: Fill your bottle halfway with rosewater (it'll stabilize your hair's pH balance). Then add a tablespoon of sweet almond oil, a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin (when combined with oil and water, it can reduce hair breakage) and 5-7 drops of lavender essential (it cleanses the scalp while stimulating hair growth in the process). Make sure to shake well before every use. Then spritz your hair and that's it. Your hair will totally be summer set!
Do you have a beauty, wellness or self-care find that you've tried recently and want to share your experience? Join the xoTribe members community to connect with other beauty lovers and share your wins with the tribe.
Featured image by Shutterstock
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Unapologetically, Chlöe: The R&B Star On Finding Love, Self-Acceptance & Boldly Using Her Voice
On set inside of a mid-city Los Angeles studio, it’s all eyes on Chlöe. She slightly shifts her body against a dark backdrop amidst camera clicks and whirs, giving a seductive pout here, and piercing eye contact there. Her chocolate locs are adorned with a few jewels that she requested to spice up the look, and on her shoulders rests a jeweled piece that she asked to be turned around to better showcase her neck (“I feel a bit old,” she said of the original direction). Her shapely figure is tucked into a strapless bodysuit with a deep v-neck that complements her décolletage.
Though subtle, her quiet wardrobe directives give the air of a woman who’s been here before, and certainly knows what she’s doing. At 24 years young, she’s a “Bossy” chick in training— one who’s politely unapologetic and learning the power of her own voice.
“I'm hesitant sometimes to truly speak my mind and speak up for myself and what I believe,” she later confessed to me a couple of weeks after the photoshoot. “It's always scary for me, but now I'm realizing that I have to, in order to gain respect as a Black woman— a young Black woman— who's still navigating who she is. And you know, I'm realizing that closed mouths don't get fed. And if I keep my mouth shut just because I'm afraid of what people's opinions of me will be or turn into, then that's not any way to live.”
For Chlöe, the journey into womanhood is about embracing who she is, without succumbing to the perceptions of what others think of her. From the waist up she’s everything you’d imagine. A gorgeous goddess with the kind of sex appeal that some work hard to embrace but fail to exude. But unbeknownst to anyone not on set, her bottom half is covered by a white robe, surprising coming from the girl who boasts “'Cause my booty so big, Lord, have mercy” on her first hit single “Have Mercy.”
But that’s the beauty of Chlöe. There’s more to her than meets the eye. More than what a few sensual photos sprinkled throughout an Instagram feed could ever tell you. Just like the photo-framing illusion of her portrayed from the waist up, what we know about the songstress is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more beneath the surface.
Some hours later Chlöe leans back in a high chair as her locs are transformed from a formal updo to a seemingly Basquiat-inspired one. It’s pure art, and at her request, no wigs are a part of the day’s ensemble. She’s fully embracing her natural hair, a decision that wasn’t always a socially accepted one.
In the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, (Mableton, to be exact) Chlöe began to explore the foundation of her self-image. At an early age she and her younger sister, Halle, demonstrated a vocal prowess and knack for being in front of the camera that caught their parents’ attention. Soon after, they were sent on a parade of local talent shows and auditions, and eventually broke into the digital space with song covers on YouTube.
It was during these early years that Chlöe first learned that the entertainment industry could be unforgiving to those who didn’t fit a particular beauty standard. Despite the then three-year-old snagging a role as the younger version of Beyoncé’s character, Lilly, in Fighting Temptations, casting agents requested that her natural locs be exchanged for more Eurocentric tresses. Ironic, considering that growing up Chlöe saw her hair as no different than that of her peers. “I remember specifically in pre-K we had to do self-portraits and I drew myself with a regular straight ponytail, like how I would put my locs in a ponytail,” she says. “I just never saw myself any different.”
Chlöe would also learn the true meaning of a phrase that would later become an affirmation posted on her bedroom mirror: “Don’t Let the World Dim Your Light.” After attempting to wear wigs to fit in, the Bailey sisters instead chose to rock their locs with pride, which undoubtedly cost them casting roles. Yet they would have the last laugh when making headlines as the “Teen Dreadlocked Duo” who landed a million-dollar contract with Parkwood Entertainment, and the coveted opportunity to be groomed under the tutelage of a world-renowned superstar.
Credit: Derek Blanks
While that could be the end of a beautiful fairytale of self-empowerment, the reality is that it’s just the beginning of the story of her evolution. For most girls, the transition into womanhood takes place in the comfort of their own worlds, often limited to the number of people they allow to have access to them. But for Chlöe, it’s happening in front of millions of critiquing eyes just waiting for an opportunity to either uplift or dissect her through unwarranted commentary.
Many in her position wouldn’t be able to take that kind of pressure. But Chlöe is handling it with grace. “I feel like all of us as humans, we have the right to interpret things how we want,” she says. “I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
Chlöe isn’t the first artist to receive criticism for her carnal content, and she certainly won’t be the last. In 2010, Ciara writhed and rode her way to banishment on BET when the then 24-year-old released her video for “Ride.” In 2006, 25-year-old Beyoncé received backlash for “Déjà Vu."
"I put art out into the world and it's up for interpretation. I'm learning that not everyone is going to always like me and that it's okay.”
So much so that over 5,000 fans signed an online petition demanding that her label re-shoot the video because it was “too sexual.” Even 27-year-old Janet didn’t escape critical headlines when she shed her image of innocence for a more risqué appearance with the 1993 release of janet.
It’s almost as if public reproach is a rite of passage for young Black women R&B singers on the road to stardom. Good girls seemingly “go bad” whenever they embrace the depths of their femininity, and fans only like you on top figuratively. But Chlöe has learned not to bow down to other people’s opinions, but to boss up and control the narrative. As the saying goes, well-behaved women seldom make history. If sex appeal is her weapon, she wields it well.
On set, Chlöe exudes the energy of Aphrodite in an apple red, off-shoulder dress with a sexy high split. In between shots, she mouths the lyrics to Yebba’s “Boomerang” as it echoes throughout the space in steady repetition at my recommendation. The hour grows late, yet Chlöe is heating things up as eyes stare in deep mesmerization of the girl on fire.
Credit: Derek Blanks
Through music, she explores the depths of her being, a journey that seems to be, at its foundation, rooted in self-discovery. Whereas their debut album The Kids Are Alright (2018) boasts a young Chloe x Halle empowering their generation to embrace who they are while finding their place in the world, their second album Ungodly Hour (2020) shows the Bailey sisters shedding the veil of innocence for a more unapologetic bravado.
What fans looked forward to seeing is who Chlöe shows herself to be on her debut solo album In Pieces. In an interview with PEOPLE, she confesses that releasing her first project without her sister was “scary.” "It was a moment of self-doubt where I was like, 'Can I do this without my sister?’”
Chlöe has never been shy about sharing her insecurities or her vulnerabilities, all of which are laced throughout the 14-track album. “I want people to have fun when they listen to it and to just realize that they're not alone and it's okay to be vulnerable and raw and open because none of us are perfect; we're all far from it. And I think it's healing when we all admit to that instead of putting up a facade.”
The gift of time has given the self-professed “big lover girl” more encounters with romance and heartbreak. Love songs once sung for their beautiful riffs and melodies become more than just abstract lyrics and are replaced by real-life experiences, which she tells me is definitely in the music.
In her single “Pray It Away,” for example, she contemplates going to God for healing instead of going at her ex-lover for revenge for his infidelities. “With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable,” she says. “I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
Has Chlöe been in love? That still remains to be said. Of course, she’s been linked to a few potential baes, but dating in the digital age isn’t as easy as a double tap or drop of a heart-eyes emoji. It requires a level of trust and vulnerability that’s hard to earn, and easy to mishandle. To let her guard down means to potentially set herself up for disappointment. “It’s difficult dating right now, honestly, because you really have to kind of keep your guard up and pay attention to who's really there for you. And you know, I'm such an affectionate person and I love hard.
"So when I meet the one person that I really, really am into, it's hard for me to see any others and I get attached pretty easily. And you know, I don't know, it's…it's a scary thing.”
Credit: Derek Blanks
“With anything dealing with art, I am completely vulnerable. I'm completely myself, I'm completely open and transparent. So it's pretty much all of me and who I am right now.”
While broken hearts yield good music (queue Adele), what’s in Chlöe’s prayer is the desire to be happy. What does that look like? Well, she’s still figuring that out herself. “Honestly, I'm the type of person who I don't truly learn unless I experience it. So it's like I can view and watch my parents and watch the loving relationships that I see in my life and be like, ‘Oh, I want that. I would love to have that.’ But then I also have to experience [love] on my own and see what my flaws or my faults might be or see what my good things about myself are. I feel like it's really all about self-reflection. And even though our base is our family and that's our foundation, we are still our own individuals and we have to find out specifically the things about ourselves that may be different from what we saw from our parents when we were growing up.”
Her ideal beau, she tells me, is someone she can feel safe to be her fun, goofy self with, but who also gives her the space to be the boss chick chasing her dreams. A man who understands that just because the world compliments her doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear those words from his lips or feel it in his touch. A bonus if he shows up on set after a long hard day of work with vegan cinnamon rolls. You know, the basic necessities. “I like whoever I'm with to constantly tell me they love me and that I look beautiful because I do the same. I am a very mushy person, and if I see something or you look good, I will never shy away from saying it out loud. And I want whoever I'm with to do the same, be very vocal. Tell me that you love me. Tell me what you love about me because I'm doing the same for you because that's just the person I am.”
Until she meets her match she’s married to the game, and for now, that seems to be perfect matrimony.
Credit: Derek Blanks
On stage at the 2021 American Music Awards, Chlöe solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. It was a full-circle moment. In 2012, bright-eyed and baby-faced Chloe and Halle would walk onto the set of The Ellen Degeneres Show and blow the audience away as they bellowed out their future mentor’s song. Ellen would present the sisters with tickets to attend the AMAs, assuring them that they would be back and had a promising future. Nine years later, Chlöe descends from the sky cloaked in a snow-white cape and matching midriff-baring bodysuit for her debut performance. It’s the first time she’s graced the stage of the very award show that she was once an audience member of.
As she shakes and shimmies and boom kack kacks out her eight counts, it’s clear that she’s in her element. Just like her VMA performance a couple of months prior, and the many more stages she’ll continue to grace, she brings an energy that has earned her comparisons to the beloved Queen Bey herself. An honorable statement, considering few R&B songstresses are getting accolades for their entertainment capabilities. It’s on these very stages, in front of hundreds of astonished eyes and millions more glued to their televisions at home, that she tells me she feels most sexy. Powerful, even.
But off stage, it’s a different story.
It’s more than just the commentary about her image and media-flamed rumors that get to her. Mentally, she’s in competition with herself. The desire to be the best burns at the back of her mind with every performance, every production, and every time she steps into the booth. Before, she could share the weight of this burden with her sister. Being a part of a duo meant she could turn to Halle for quiet confirmation and encouragement without a word being exchanged. But lately stepping on the stage means stepping out on her own. And despite being a breathtaking, five-time Grammy-nominated star, Chlöe doesn’t escape the reality that sometimes we can be our own worst critics.
Over the last year, she’s been coming to terms with who she is on her own while overcoming the fear of failing to become who she’s destined to be. While the world waits to see how Chlöe wins, the real triumph is in every day that she chooses herself and continues to walk in her purpose. “I don't really have anything all figured out, honestly. But what I try to do, a lot of prayer. I talk to God more and I just try to do things that calm my mind down and just breathe.”
To whom much is given, much will be required. She’s been chosen to walk this path for a reason. Once she fully embraces that everything she’s meant to be is already inside of her, she’ll be an unstoppable force. “My grandma, Elizabeth, she just passed away and my middle name is her [first] name. So I feel like I truly have a responsibility to live up to her legacy that she's left on this earth. I hope I can do that.”
There’s no doubt that she will. With a role in The Fighting Temptations at three years old, a million-dollar record deal, a main role on five seasons of Grown-ish, five Grammy nominations, a number one solo record in Urban and Rhythmic Radio, a debut solo album, and starring roles in recently released movies Praise Thisand Swarm (just to name a few), Chlöe’s certainly already made her mark, and she’s just getting started.
Photographer & Creative Director: Derek Blanks
Executive Producer: Necole Kane
Co-Executive Producer: EJ Jamele
Producer: Erica Turnbull
Digitech: Chris Keller
DP: Alex Nikishin
Gaffer: Simeon Mihaylov
Photo Assistant: Chris Paschal
2nd Photo Assistant: Tyler Umprey
Features Editor: Kiah McBride
Special Projects: Tyeal Howell
Hair: Malcolm Marquez
Makeup: Yolonda Frederick
Fashion Styling: Ashley Sean Thomas
For More: Cover Story: Issa Rae Comes Full Circle