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Shakunda Murphy

May 30, 2019 | Your Story
Yodit Solomon

Who I am and what “I do.”

         

I am love. I’ve been told my whole life. People identify me as a mother, a friend, and a daughter. If that doesn’t describe ‘love’ I don’t know what does! Now, what do I do? I’m a retail manager for MAC Cosmetics. I’ve been gone 20+ years managing people. It’s probably one of the most fulfilling things to do: watching my employees grow, seeing them learn and helping them become the best versions of themselves. Retail at its core should be helping others. I feel like it’s more than just sales. If you do it right, retail is the business of helping people. My favorite part of my job is using my creative ability to make living art. It’s as simple as putting on a lipstick; changing someone’s whole mood by giving them a new look.

My personality.

My personality is open, I want to learn, and I like to be challenged. I’m very accepting because I believe it’s about where you’re going, not where you’ve been. I love to laugh because it’s important to choose happiness in this world we live in. I see so much beauty and joy in the world from being around my children to helping customers at work. As a mother, I definitely have old school wisdom. My intuition and ability to give love to others comes from being a pillar of nourishment. I’m also a giver; I volunteer in my community and urge my children to do so as well.

The season I'm in.

I’m in the season of ownership. Coming for everything I’ve worked for and having it in my grasp. The season of owning: my house, my car, my beauty. I’m owning up to the fact that I am a Black woman, I am passionate. It’s a blessing that was given to me at birth and I’m happy to have it. Seeing so much cultural appropriation has reminded me how lucky I am that I don’t have to imitate.

My real hair.

I stopped getting relaxers because I got a really bad burn chemical burn at the top of my head. When the hair grew back it was thin and fragile. As more people started to go natural, everyone talked about protective styles to give your hair a break. When I would go to try these looks, I never felt like they matched my hair type. Going natural wasn’t a hard decision for me though, while I didn’t always like interacting with my thick 4C hair, I knew I couldn’t get relaxers anymore. Finding hair products and understanding what was best for my hair journey helped me become a naturalista over time.

When I was introduced to Heat Free Hair

My husband watched me struggle with the battle of finding styles to protect my hair for the winter months. Braids were heavy and would cause my hair to break. I wanted to try a sew in but I didn’t like any of the hair types. He did more research and found Heat Free Hair, a company that sells hair wefts for all hair types. What won me over was that it was black-owned. I felt like I was understood by the person who was selling it to me because they looked just like me. When I looked on Heat Free’s Instagram, they showed representation of body shapes, skin tones, and age! Then once I learned that they make wigs for cancer patients as well, I was in love. The service, the attention to detail, the genuine care that went into this business made me a fan and I didn’t mind trying it out.

I used to think...

         

Even though natural hair is being normalized everywhere, when I was coming up in the professional world, Black women in charge always had a weave, short haircuts, or relaxers. I used to think that my hair wasn’t acceptable in the workplace. I didn’t think I could be a professional and have naturally styled hair. Heat Free Hair has allowed me to maintain the integrity of my natural hair, and still be versatile with my hairstyles. I’ve always been in places where I stuck out, so I’ve never wanted to fit in, but now Heat Free helps me to stick out at work too.

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