Mar 22, 2019

Air Drying & Diffusing Curly, Natural Hair Wash 'N Go Style to add Volume + Length Check

Remember back in the day when every natural hair bloggers was obsessed with doing length checks? When I was at the height of my hair blogging days (read: back when I used to be a vlogger for NaturallyCurly.com), I never really got into doing length checks. I remember debating if I should hop onto that wave (it seemed like standard natural hair content folks wanted to consume), but always felt so many of us were consumed (in an unhealthy way) with growth and yearning for our hair to reach that magical "BSL" (bra strap length) that I doubt many enjoyed the journey transitioning to natural hair and all the stages of growth.

If you went natural before 2012, think back and try to remember how many times you enjoyed the process of transitioning, doing a big chop, learning the quirks of your kinks or curls... how many can you recall? When I think about it I am flooded with memories of being a product junkie on a never-ending search to find the magic cocktail of products that would ultimately make my hair look like something other than what it actually was. So many moments of frustration, sprinkled with a few highs of nailing a style and feeling the f*ck out of myself. It all makes me chuckle now, but there was such a huge disconnect between learning to love and accept my natural, natural hair... not just idolizing some "perfect twist-out." I'm seriously a whole grown ass woman and JUST mastered a wash 'n go. Just fell DEEP in love with my natural hair in its natural state, with minimal manipulation. I'm talking about a REAL wash 'n go where you wash your hair, maybe add 1-2 products tops, shake and go!

I hope this doesn't sound like I pulled out my megaphone and high horse... but every time I rock a wash 'n go nowadays it blows my mind how adamant I was that this style was NOT for me. Never. Ever. I'd spent a lifetime not knowing my natural hair, spent all of 2 seconds with it and determined what "didn't work." Life is funny and time (and age) is a blessing.

Anyways, last month as I was getting ready in Vegas and admiring my curls, I felt inspired to film a quick video showing how I air dry my hair and use a diffuser to add volume! What makes all of this even better? The fact I've been getting curly haircuts by Alexis @ Coven Salon in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle. Alexis is a dope chick, the co-owner of the salon and my go-to person for curly haircuts and hair color. Also - when your stylist has healthy, beautifully cut and colored curls and edges that are thriving, you trust her!

Don't know what a "curly hair cut" is? I'm sure the concept of a cutting curly hair while in its curly state has existed as long as people have had curly hair... but in terms of what's relevant to our generation, the curly haircut was coined by DevaCurl and the DevaChan salon in 1994!

What works for me may not work for you. With that said, this is what has been working for me and giving me SOLID results each time:

1) Wetting hair in shower and using a bit of Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner. to detangle/refresh curls. It has the perfect amount of thickness and slip, and my hair soaks this stuff up!

2) I usually finger detangle and if necessary use my shower comb to rake through my hair while it's under running water. This is also when I choose where I'd like my part to be (I usually rock bangs, but still choose a side to part my hair on for bangs to dry correctly). Getting the base "shape" for my hair while I'm still in the shower, with freshly detangled hair, under running water with SOAKING WET HAIR is the key for me.

3) When I get out of the shower I typically have wet hair (not soaking - I do a light wring on it) and then apply whatever product I'd like to it. Right now I'm mainly using only 1 product - DevaCurl's Super Stretch! I rake it through my hair and it's pretty amazing. If my hair is feeling a little dry (I just got fresh balayage color), I'll follow-up with a bit of Camille Rose Naturals Herbal Tea Seal & Soften. A little goes a long way.

4) Turn on a good playlist and shake, shake SHAKE my hair

5) I suggest waiting for your hair to be at least 75% dry (if not more) before using your diffuser. I extend my hair from the root, but do not disrupt the curls. I make sure the heat of the diffuser is hitting my roots and volume/lift is added at the roots.

If all of that still has your spinning, eyes rolling or you just prefer a visual, check out the video below! Also - for everyone who has said a Wash 'N Go style isn't for them... I urge you to give it another try!


Mar 20, 2019

Dinner with Strangers: #KUOWCuriosity Club


Many thanks to KUOW's Community Engagement Producer Kristin Leong and the KUOW Staff for editing my story! To read the edited version on their site click here. Below is my original, unedited story documenting my #KUOWCuriosity Club Pop-Up experience.
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“Do you think we’re living in a post-racial society?”

As soon as the question left his mouth, my head instinctively swerved around and I chuckled while letting out a resounding “No!” When I applied to be part of KUOW’s Curiosity Club last Fall, I jumped at the chance to be part of a diverse group of thinkers living in Seattle. As I sat at the dinner table searching the faces of the other cohort guests; most shared my same look of bewilderment. In my desire to be part of the curiosity club community, I overlooked the idea that space would truly be made for all perspectives, and admittedly didn’t expect a question like this to be asked. I couldn’t figure out if my KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up cohort member was asking this to be provocative or if he actually thought the answer would be yes, but I didn’t hide my shock and surprise at this being asked in a non-rhetorical way. Never one to bite my tongue, I told him (and the group) that we could look at the current leadership in our country and strained race dynamics playing out every hour of every day, to answer this question.

As a black woman working in media/tech in Seattle (and living in this country), conversations about race are ever present in my life and not something I shy away from. Exploring race during a dinner party with strangers was inside my wheelhouse, yet I didn’t expect to have this question posed to the group… and definitely not from a fellow person of color (PoC). I guess you can say this was one of the key moments that stood out during the inaugural curiosity club pop-up dinner and sparked curiosity within me - I couldn’t help but wonder if he actually believed we lived in a post-racial society? And if he didn’t believe this, why ask what could be considered such an unproductive question?

20 minutes into our KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up, I realized I live in a bubble. Despite having friends from various racial and cultural backgrounds, the majority of our beliefs are homogenous. I’d entered the dinner thinking highly of just how open-minded and opinionated I was, but quickly realized I found the “post-racial” question so jarring because it represented an opinion drastically different than that which I typically surround myself with. Deepening our conversation around race, I was delighted to hear KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy (she produced one of the stories we discussed) share that she’d handed over portions of the reporting of her story on 18 year old Millionaire Lavish (a black youth who detailed why he carried a gun) to a PoC man whom she felt would be able to better connect with Millionaire in a way she couldn’t and provide him comfort while sharing his story. Despite the piece not being one of my favorites of the night (I think there is a disproportionate amount of stories detailing the struggles of black youth, and not enough highlighting their resilience and accomplishments), sitting next to Patricia and hearing how she used her self-awareness, empathy and compassion to share Millionaire’s story warmed my heart. It should also be noted that she remained in touch with Millionaire and took a vested interest in him beyond just using him for a story. Compassion is where empathy meets action and we need more reporters like Patricia.

Created with the purpose of bringing together a group of strangers around surprising stories and great food, the KUOW Curiosity Club Pop-Up cohort had 1-night to see if we could transform ourselves from strangers into a community. KUOW’s Community Engagement Producer Kristin Leong did the work to bring us together, led the discussions and made space for everyone to share their stories... but ultimately taking the leap from strangers to community was up to us. 10 cohort members arrived as curious strangers with open minds, ready to be vulnerable and share our stories, but would we leave as friends? I’m happy to report back that not only did I hit off with a few cohort members and exchange info, but Dy and I got together a few days later for brunch! It wasn’t the biggest surprise for me that I hit it off with the only other black cohort member (which really shines a deeper light on the necessity of connection and community for PoC’s in Seattle). Dy and I realized we shared similar interests and knew mutual people, so it was a bit of a surprise we hadn’t met already… but I do credit the Curiosity Club for bringing us together and us for making the effort to get together afterwards. A wonderful reminder that you can lead someone to water, but you can’t make them drink… or more plainly, KUOW can create a great environment to meet new, diverse people, but it’s up to you to do the work to forge a deeper connection.

As I venture back into the streets of Seattle, forever changed by my Curiosity Club Pop-Up experience, I carry the stories of my cohort and feel inspired to expand the circle of people I’m around, diversify the perspectives I expose myself to and continue stepping outside of my comfort zone with the events I attend.

If you’re curious about how you, too, can channel the energy of the Curiosity Club, I challenge you to do the following:

  1.  Make eye contact with and say hello to everyone you encounter in a day. What did you notice? How did it feel?
  2. When is the last time you went to an event or class outside of comfort zone? In the next week, pick a class or event to attend and set the intention to connect with and exchange info with at least 1 person there. The next step? Make (and keep) plans to hangout!
  3. Create your own curiosity club! Invite 3 people to dinner and ask them to each bring a curious friend! Put a variety of topics and questions into a bowl and have everyone pick a question during dinner to get the conversation going.

Feb 19, 2019

I want a seat at the table... #MTYRETREATCONTEST 2019

 Photo by MTY Retreat Photographers // Antonio Diaz and Moni & Adri Photography


I couldn't ignore the nagging feeling that my original #MTYRETREATCONTEST entry wasn't the best I could bring, so I sat with the questions a bit longer and filmed everything again.

The #MTYRETREATCONTEST is my opportunity to dive head first into excellence and learn and share with the best, sit at the table and leave equipped to build more seats for others. This is my master class in bringing excellence together and leaving people better than they came. This is like my version of grad school lol...

It's a big deal to be given a seat at the table for the @mtyretreat and I'm asking @myleik to invest her coin and her time into me! She only brings her best and I'm ready to match that excellence. Also, I'm the life of the party and a whole lot of fun lol... someone who can have a seat at the table and dance on it too (but like, not really because I know how to have nice things πŸ˜‚) I hope these videos resonate with you all in some way ❤


Taking notes and creating an outline helped me think more deeply about each question and organize my thoughts. It was definitely a good challenge being forced to edit myself down to a 59 sec sound bite for each of the 3 videos.



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Curious about what the MTY Retreat is all about? Check out these great posts from the inaugural retreat in 2018!

Between the Lines: Top 10 nuggets from the 2018 MTY Retreat
Myleik Teele's MyTaughtYou (MYT) Inaugural Retreat 


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Also, for the sake of perspective and growth, here's my original #MTYRETREATCONTEST submission:


Feb 15, 2019

Just The Tip*: Snowpocalypse Babies Will Be Here in November 2019, Mike's First Time Masturbating and Working for the Weekend

This week Mike and Ishea touch on "the tip" of how they survived #Snowpocalypse2019 and why they won't be having a Snowmageddon baby dropping in November, Mike's first time masturbating and questions if anyone loves their job or if we're all just "working for the weekend".

Feb 8, 2019

Just The Tip*: Snowpocalypse, Staying Humble and Cardi B

This week Mike and Ishea touch on "the tip" of staying humble, prepping for Snowpacalypse 2019 in Seattle and the trashiest site Mike happened upon while researching Cardi B. 



Feb 1, 2019

Just The Tip*: A micro-sized podcast (because sometimes size matters)



In a world of diminishing attention-span, Just The Tip* is a micro-sized podcast that entertains without holding you hostage. Join hosts Ishea and Mike each week for their often humorous, always millennial take on "the tip" of what is happening in culture. Each episode is never more than 15 minutes because let's be honest... sometimes size really does matter.






Jan 7, 2019

Trouble Don't Last Always

"Trouble don't last always, b*tch." - Amber Wagner 
(IG: @jstlbby)

This is my personal mantra and mood for all of 2019. It's a reminder that life is full of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, highs and lows... and the only constant in life is change. For me it means there will be a lot of seasons and my focus should never become too consumed on the discomfort of change, but rather channel my energy on enjoying the journey... because regardless of what's happening, the journey will be constant. I want to become my own star player this year and take more time to love myself more deeply, exercise grace and patience in the midst of trials and tribulations, and allow myself to celebrate the milestones and achievements, big and small.

My nail art continues to be an outlet for self-expression and my way of adding a bit more fun into my daily routine. For more information about my nail artist, Peka Grayson, check out her recent feature on King 5 Evening (I got to be her hand model).



A post shared by Amber Wagner (@jstlbby) on



And for the real icing on the cake... my amazing manicure





Peka Grayson is still the best nail artist in Seattle



I first sang the praises of my nail artist and friend, Peka Grayson, back in January 2017 hailing her the best nail artist in Seattle. 2 years later and I'm so excited to see her getting recognized for the exceptional work she does - she was recently featured on King 5 Evening! Icing on the cake? I got to be in the studio with her as a hand model! Check out the video and full post on their site. Kudos to Elle Meny at King 5 Evening for covering the story!

Peka has been my nail artist since 2016 and is someone whose talent I continue to scream about from the rooftops! She's currently accepting new clients (which is rare), so be sure to check out her IG page (@ImpekableNails) for more information.




Jan 2, 2019

Recap: TLC's "90 Day FiancΓ©" - Season 6 Episode 8

Isn't it funny how you start a post and then forget to hit "publish" lol... well, that's what happened to this episode of the podcast! Super (duper) crazy late, but enjoy!






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