My Brazilian Keratin Hair Treatment 

***PLEASE NOTE, I CAN NO LONGER WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT STUDIO EBONY DUE TO PERSONAL REASONS. MY STYLIST INDIA IS WORKING INDEPENDENTLY AND CAN BE REACHED USING WEIXIN. YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOMED TO FORM YOUR OWN OPINION AND GO TO STUDIO EBONY. I AM IN NO WAY SLAMMING HER BUSINESS. THIS POST IS HIGHLIGHTING INDIA’S WORK. THANK YOU****
The hardest part about living in China as a black woman or a woman with curly hair is what do we do with our hair. Many of the Chinese salons have no clue what to do with Afro textured hair or curly hair. Caucasian friend’s also complain that they can’t get a decent hair color or cut at many Chinese salons. So expats are at a huge disadvantage.  Many of the smaller cities like Hangzhou and Nanchang don’t have expat salons. So where is a Laowai to go???  To the Mecca Shanghai if you live in south China. Other big cities like Beijing, Hong Kong , Shenzhen and Guangzhou also have expats salons.  So my advice if you are a foreigner looking to move to China move in at lease 1-2 hours fast train ride away from a mega Chinese city.

When I lived in Nanchang, I was about 3-4 hours away from Shanghai. So I did my best and tried to care for my hair the best that I could. I am a natural meaning that I do not put chemicals in my hair. I have been a natural for 5 years. It has been a challenge. It especially is a challenge in China. Due to the water and lack of quality products my hair wasn’t looking too pretty.  Also many people mistaked me for a man. So, I wigged it but I never really felt authentic. I was always paranoid that someone would snatch my wig off my hair. Finally I just got braids. I think braids suit me but I noticed some hair loss also I felt fake too. My friend Yllen and Lele already received the keratin treatments and raved about it.

I missed having straight hair. I haven’t had staight hair for 6-7 years. I mostly wore braids in my hair for 2 years prior to embracing my natural Afro textured hair. My hair hates relaxers. My hair would always break off and would look dry and brittle. It never grew past chin length.

Honestly some naturals have beautiful curl patterns and have moisturized locks. That isn’t true for me. My hair was dry and frizzy.  I tried all the methods too. To no avail. The amount of time and the type of products were not available in China or were but very expensive. So after I saw the wonderful results of Lele, I decided that I had to get it done.

I made the trek from Hangzhou Dong to Shanghai Hongqiao station. It was about a 45 minute trip. Then I I took the 10 line to South Shaanxi exit. I had to follow the signs for 1 line go outside and then enter the 1 station to find exit 4. I know very confusing!! Shout out to my girl Yllen that stayed on the phone with my lost arse even though she was busy at work. I have zero sense of direction. I need a Gps chip to be installed in my brain!!

So I finally found Studio Ebony, it is in an apartment complex. If you want to go there email me and I will have Yllen give you directions. I was 15 minute late for my appointment.  I met India , who is also an American expat like me. In fact she is a fellow New Yorker. A Brooklyn girl! It was so nice to hear her slight New York accent. I don’t meet many New York expats.

India in an awesome stylist. She is very knowledgeable in her trade and extremely professional. In fact during every phase of The Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT) she explained each part of the process. This was a first with me. Even in the USA, I never had a stylist do that. India has about 20 years experience. She worked in a salon in Manhattan.

 

Phase One

India examined my hair and damage level. I have not really have taken care of my hair since coming to China.  I kinda ignored Bathsheba( my hair) and hid her.  Due to the thickness of my hair I had to pay more because it would take more time and product. This I am use to that , I take after The McDowells we have thick heads of hair!

India washed my hair with sulfate free shampoo. Then she blew it out with a hairdryer and a brush. I am amazed when I see stylist do that. It was longer than I thought!

 I

Phase Two

Then she put the keratin in my hair. Keratin is an amino acid and is not a chemical like a relaxer. So it is an all natural  protein. I sat with the keratin in my hair for a bit. She  rinsed my hair and blew it out.  I noticed that my hair texture was looser but Afro textured India explained that high heat is required to seal in the keratin and make the hair straight. Omg I was so overwhelmed when I saw how long and straight my hair was! I had to hold  back the tears. I kept repeating “Is this my hair? Is this my hair?” The length and the straightness was never acheived like that with a relaxer. I felt my scalp!!!! I was able to run my fingers through my hair. to a black girl this is such any amazing experience. Oh and the length. I have never seen it.

India explained that due to hair damage and split ends she would have to cut. She told me that she was planning to do an elongated bob. She only took and inch and a half off.  I was so scared my hair would be very short. I had so much shrinkage that I had no clue to my hair’s true length.

Phase Three

 

After the cut India applied another part of the Keratin treatment that would add shine and strengthen my hair. It smelled really good. India told the keratin product  line  she used was called Sweet Hair. I sat with the product on my hair then it was rinsed. My curl pattern was even looser it was maybe a 3b/c.  That front was even straighter. It was so easy and quick for her to blowout my hair. Then she did the final flatiron. Wow the shine and it felt so soft. I could barely recognize myself. It was the first time since coming to China that I felt beautiful. the Chinese men that saw me reaffirmed that. I got hey baby looks and not what is that looks. The best the was the wind blew my hair and it went back into place.  At home I was in front of the mirror and did the “white girl” hair flip and singing “I Feel Pretty” from Westside Story.

  

  

Upkeep

Everytime I wash my hair I have to use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. I also have to blowout on high heat and use a flatiron. Since Oreo ate the cord to the flatiron that I bought from the U.S. I bought one from Studio Ebony it is from Japan and it was the same one India used on me. For naturals using high heat was a big no no but with the keratin process it is essential to unlock the straightening agent. Also with a keratin the more you get it the straighter it becomes. So I am a convert and love my hair,

  

If you are in the vicinity of Shanghai I strongly recommend coming Studio Ebony. So if you live in Zheijiang, Jiansu , Jiangxi, or Anhui province it is well worth the trip on the fast train. Ask for India she is the best. She specializes in all hair types.

http://www.studio-ebony.com

Here is India’s weixin

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Yellow Fever: The Pros and the Cons

  

Do you find yourself doing double takes at every Asian that walks by. Do you have fantasy relationships to a variety of Kpop or KDrama stars. Do you know all about their personal lives than you do your own?  Do you know what the acronyms AP , AMBW, and AMFW stand for? Was Bruce Lee your first true love crush? Do use the word Oppa on a daily basis. Have you moved to an Asian country to find your true love or are you considering it. Do you find yourself hanging out in Chinatown a lot. Can you catch flies with a pair of chopsticks? Does your heart melt and your knees go weak when a cute Asian guys smile at you?If you answered yes to most of these questions then congrats you have Yellow Fever. This affliction is both a curse and a blessing.

  

Asian men can make great boyfriends. They carry your purse, they are loving and very shy.  They are family orientated and will do anything to preserve the family unit. This means an obsession with work but in their culture bringing money in is the way to show love. Sometimes they can be aloof and never express their feelings. Everything is about face. Western and Eastern thoughts often clash. Our societies are wired differently. This being said if you love Asian men you have to know and respect the difference and not expect them to Asian on the outside and Western on the inside.  Now ABCs, CBCs and BBCs as well as Asian born overseas are a different case. 

Many men and women who admire Asians have preconceived notions and stereotypes about Asians. Yes there are cultural norms that do shape their mindset but remember each person is their own distinct person meaning assholeness knows no color. 

  

I think many people that have Yellow Fever live in a fantasy world. Our expectations are unrealistic. Like my goal of going to South Korea and winning the heart of Rain and being his dog’s mama. Or finding my Asian Prince whose love for me is so great that defies his family and follows his heart. In reality this is a rarity. I have 5 friends that do have successful marriages and relationships with Asian men. Please remember it is not the rule, you might not find your AsianPrince maybe he may come in a different package than what you want.

The biggest con about having yellow fever is that you put blinders on and miss chances of meeting quality men from other races. I think this problem hits close to home. The only men that kickstart my heart are Asians.  Recently I can only look at Chinese men ( I do live here and find their features the most attractive) I have seriously thought what if my soulmate isn’t Asian, will my fetish blind me from finding a loving heart? I am equally attracted feature wise and personality wise to white guys. In fact my first girl crush was  all the members of Duran Duran. I remember seeing that video and thinking thinking they were so cute. Growing up in school I had crushes on white guys. My first Asian crush was Dustin Nyguen. When I first saw him on 21Jump Street,  my jawed dropped. He was the second cutest guy on the show( no one can beat out Johnny Depp)

  

I am at the point now where I pondering. I think I need to look into the heart of a man. Love is colorblind after all. I really have to evaluate is my love of Asian men more harmful to my love life.  Honestly not many Chinese men approach me nor show interest to me. Except on Momo(social dating app) but anything with boobs and a hole would attract them. So am I narking up the wrong tree?

So yeah Asian boys will always make me turn my head but I will be forever alone if so don’t open myself to other options. When I was younger I was more open minded about who I dated.  If you were kind and made me laugh I went out with them. As I grew older I became more selective. Though in my younger years I only dated white men with a sprinkle of Latino and Asian to add flavoring. I only went out with 3 black guys so maybe I need to open myself up to different types of people. 

  

I am not sure if this is a means of me giving up on a dream or what. I know Physical attraction is very important but so is a beautiful heart. Is this a preference or am I in fact a closet racist. These questions weigh heavy on my heart. I have been thinking about it when I speak  to The Brits ( my favorite foreign crew) who all suffer from the same affliction.  They all feel it is a preference only and I am over analyzing this. 

The only difference they can date with more ease than I can. Women though themselves at white guys in China. So in their case Yellow Fever is a Pro not a con. My case though it is hard to date, few men in China find my type of beauty appealing. My AMFW friends also don’t have as many issues with their yellow fever there are Chinese men who love white women. With black women or fat women sometimes it can be a con. It is not impossible nothing is impossible but it is a lot of hardworking and you have to be on the top of your game at every moment.

So for me I don’t know if I will get some bumblebee love or not. What I do know is that I am going to open up my mind and heart and let opportunities come to me. I suggest that to all people that have Yellow Fever don’t limit yourself.  Though if I stay in China the odds of me finding Chinese boyfriend will increase. 

  

Hello, My Name is Amber and I am Kdrama Addict

  

Yes, I admit it I have a guilty obsession with K dramas. I watch more K dramas than American TV. It began innocently enough about 6 years ago. I was dating a half Korean half white guy. I was having some serious issues with my teaching job back home. I decided that I wanted to relocate to South Korea. He suggested that I watch Korean dramas and it would familiarize me with the language and the culture.

  

Well I listened to him and discovered Drama Fever. I don’t remember what my first drama was. I just remember the innocence quality and purity of the drama. The acting was superb and I really got emotionally involved with the characters. Also the men are so handsome!! I already had a thing for Asian guys this took it to a new level.  Soon I was having Dramathons and staying up all night.

  

To me Kdramaland is an escape my reality. A reality that was and still is a bit harsh. When things get bad I just snuggle up with a good Kdrama and live in an alternate reality. I already live in my head in a speacial place that I won’t allow anyone else to enter. Maybe it is a fantasy because reality bites sometimes and can be mundane.

   

 

So yeah I escape to my Oppas(even though I am their noona or in some cases their Adjumma(sp) ) fantasize and drool over their beauty and their sweet smiles, their jealous possessive natures,  their quick tempers, their impulsiveness, and their penetrating eyes. The women are spunky, naive, innocent and kind. Some are bitchy and evil but those are usually the second leads. 

Then there are wise, funny grandmas and Grandpas that usually die in the middle of the series. If there is an old person in a drama I try not to get too emotionally involved with them because I know they will die. One of my favorite grandpas was in “The King of High School”

  

In Dramaland there are chaebol families, conglomerates with letters of the alphabets as their company names, schemingm second leads that are obsessed with the main leads, misunderstandings, cellphones ringing at  inopportune times, someone gets cancers, someone collapses, scheming parents, overbearing parents, walking through traffic, the infamous airport scene, the self sacrificing lover, gender benders ,upbeat opportunistic leading ladies and in some cases time travel.

I have watched a 20 episode drama in one day forgoing leaving the house and watching it on my phone because it is more portable and I can take my dramas on the go. I have to use my VPN to access the dramas because the sites I use don’t have liscenses in China. I actually downloaded two drama apps on my phone for Viki and for Drama Fever. I tend to prefer dramas from Viki. The viewer comments are hysterical. There are some dramas that aren’t offered on Drama Fever but are offered on Viki and vice versa.

  

  

List of my favorite dramas( in no order)

1. Rooftop Prince- a time traveling fantasy. The supporting roles are hysterical

2. Queen Inhyun Man- another time travel

3. To the Beautiful You-Gender Bender

4. Heartstrings-A beautiful  love story set with two musicians. 

5. My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox- This funny drama is a love story though the male lead fears getting eaten by his girlfriend. “Oppa buy me meat”

6. My Princess- Every girl’s dream is to be Cinderella. Well in this drama a women discovers she last in line of the former Korean monarchy and is reinstated.

7. High School Love On- The title sucks. A guardian angel comes to earth and must live as a human because she saves a human life. I love the chemistry between the leads. I really thought the second lead was cute

8. Bride of the Century- look a likes, vengeful ghost

9. Master’s Sun- “I see dead people”

10. Kill Me, Heal Me- Multiple personalities this is my favorite drama with Ji Sung. The leads are amazing actors.

11. Coffee Prince- gender bender tomboy love story. Oh and coffee.

12. My Love from Another Star- Sexy alien love. You are my destiny.

13. Secret aka Secret Love- Can love be spawned from revenge? A gritty story of love, self  sacrifice, betrayal, revenge and renewal. The second leads are among the evilest I have seen up to date. I actually was going to give up on this drama on episode 5 because it was so heart wrenching to watch how the female lead was emotionally and physically abused. I am glad I stuck with it.

14. Sungkyunwan Scandal-gender bender Joseon era drama

15.  Flower Boy Ramen Shop- Noona love story. If I found a high schooler that hot Muhaha!

16. Gu Family Book- A supernatural drama set in Joseon era. Papa Gunimo is freaking sexy as hell. Yummy.

17. Full House- forced to live together housemates .My Oppa Rain is in it. I love Rain.

18 Personal Taste- this hidden gem stars Lee Minho who is mistaken as gay. It is hilarious

19. The Moon Embraces the Sun- historical drama set in Joseon era

20. Playful Kiss- this girl worked hard to make the boy fall in love with her. She broke through his shell.

21.Dating Not Marriage- this is a funny one. Love comes whether you are ready or Not

22. Lie to Me- a pretend fake couple falls in love

  

In the recent years I have been incorporating some Taiwanese dramas in my drama obsession. My purpose was to help me learn Chinese. I don’t think this  is working because I am too busy  drooling over the male leads. The only thing I hate is the voice dubbing. I hate that many Chinese dramas use voice dubbing actors because they think the voice best fits the characters, well they are very wrong!! The female dubbing voices are freaking  annoying!!! 

  

Taiwanese/chinese dramas

1. Absolute Boyfriend- the perfect boyfriend that happens to be an android. Jiro Wang is in this movie and he is just so sexy

2 . Just You- this is my favorite all time drama. Puff Guo is so cute and adorable in this drama . Aaron Yan ( so sexy) plays her OCD stickler uptight boss. Polar opposites fall in love.

3. Love Around- Can the son of a gansta find love? This stars Annie Chen and George Hsu.  George Hsu is actually an American. He is a New Yorker. I wonder if fate were different could I have met him on the streets and now be Mrs. Hsu.

4. Substitute Princess- This one is kinda walking on the line of being immoral. A man’s fiancé is injured in an accident and a man finds a look a like for her. She is an ugly duckling that is transformed into swan due to plastic surgery. The creepy factor is when falls in love with the substitute.

5. Waking up Love- I really liked this remake. Roy Qiu(handsome) was in this. Selfish, heartless chaebol loses his memory and finds his hidden self and true love.

6. Fall in Love With Me- Chaebol takes on a new persona and his kinder gentler sides wins the heart of the lead actress. But when love starts with a lie can it be forgiven.

So my dramas help me for a time to live in a happy bubble. Just like life Dramaland doesn’t always have happy endings. I though prefer happy endings. I believe in true love. I hope to find true love in this life time. If not I have my alternate reality to console me. Onward to my next drama maybe one day I can have a starring role in a real life love story albeit the dying grandma and cancer.

  

My First Movie in China



I have been living in China for over 2 years and I have not been to a movie theater yet. I know very strange right?  It has been about 2.5 years since I saw A movie and that was back in the US!  Basically the only reason that I never went to the movies here is that no one asked me to go to the movies. They would talk to me about seeing the newest Western and Chinese movies. but never included me in any plans. It is awkward to invite yourself to a movie.





So when my bestest Chinese male friend asked me to see Cinderella, I was so stoked!!’ Finally someone thought of me first, I was literally ready to cry. Sadly my buddy LiBoe is moving to Fuzhou. So I we will have a long distance friendship.

A Chinese movie theater is a bit different than an American movie theater. Everything is in Chinese so unless you know the language and read Chinese you are lost. I am always lost here in China. 

In China there is a app for everything that has discounts and there was one for getting tickets. I don’t know if Liboe used it or not because I was busy taking photos of everything. 



After the tickets were bought the ticket clerk pointed to a seating chart and asked us where we would like to sit. WTF hold up wait a minute!!! Yes they have seating charts and you pick where you want to sit and you get a ticket for that exact seat! This I find very weird.  In the US it is totally different you buy a ticket and you choose where you want to sit. Simple. If you come in late you are out of luck and have to sit in the front row. When I told LiBoe this he thought it was strange. I still can’t get over this. I had to sit next to someone and there were tons of empty seats.



I had to get popcorn and me being the fool asked Liboe where was the butter. He was like there is no butter it was stirred in the popcorn. I was trying to explain the buttery goodness of movie theater popcorn but he looked at me like I had 3 heads. 

We took the elevator up to our movie theater. While watching the previews , I tasted the popcorn. It was sweet!!!! No no, I feel so wronged!!!! I want my buttery salty popcorn and Milk Duds.  The best part of a movie is the popcorn.  China you have wronged me again.



The movie was ok good sound. I preferred  the “Ever After” version starring Drew Barrymore over this one. If there was only a sword fight. true to China people were taking pictures of the movie screen and on Weixin during the movie. There was no message to turn your cellphones on mute and someone’s cell was ringing!

All in all, I am so glad that I popped my Chinese movie theater cherry, though it took 2 bloody years. Next time I need to take the initiative and invite my friends out more often.