Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Special Feature: Tenin Baba Ndanani

I got a pleasant surprise on Thursday morning.  Singer/songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and producer Tenin Baba Ndanani responded to my email I had sent back a few months ago. I stared at her name for about 10 seconds and then it hit me!

Tenin comes from a Nigerian background but born and raised in the United States.  She's creating a musical experience unique to her taste, she got a soulful gospel flair and says "the upcoming EP is R&B-soul with an acoustic hip-hop flair".

NAME: Tenin Babe Ndanani

LOCATION:  New Jersey

WHAT IS YOUR HAIR REGIMEN? I wash my hair twice a month (once a week during the summer).  I trim my ends every 4 months.  After I wash my hair, I moisture and cornrow my hair to soften and keep it neat in between styles.

DESCRIPTION OF YOUR NATURAL HAIR:  My hair is 100% natural! I happily stopped getting relaxers when I was a sophomore in high school.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU USE ON YOUR HAIR? I am fairly low maintenance and really try to keep my hair products to a minimum.  I wash with Pantene shampoo and conditioner, moisturize my scalp with my own olive oil/tea tree oil blend.  I use Luster's Pink lotion to hydrate my ends, during the winter months I use regular ol' grease on my scalp.

DO YOU WEAR EXTENSIONS? Yeesss! I love weave LoL My "go-to" weave style is a fluffy afro, usually a half wig.  I prefer half wigs because I like to let my scalp breathe at night.  There isn't a particular brand I use because I have had success with everything from synthetic to human hair, Indian remy to yarn.  My lengths vary but they are usually longer than 14".  I have to have "big" or statement hair.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET YOUR HAIR DONE?  I don't, I do my hair myself.  I am a control freak LoL All my pictures are styles I have done myself; braids, sew-ins and all.  Sometimes I get my mother to trim my ends or braid my hair when I am not motivated to do it.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU USE IN YOUR HAIR, IF ANY:  I have a philosophy:  weaves do not need all of the products your real hair needs.  I found that putting products on my weave just weighed it down.  I will spray a bit of oil sheen to keep it from looking dull.
Tenin speaks!  THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY GROOMED HAIR:  Properly groomed hair is everything!  Whether you hair is natural or relaxed keeping your scalp moisturized, hair hydrated and ends trimmed are imperative.  Understand that healthy hair comes from the inside out.  Eating nutrient rich foods that have Omega 3 fatty acids will really help improve your hair (nails and skin).

Our hair is precious and fragile.  Sometimes we (Black/African women) man handle our hair because it is coarse but this really the type of hair that requires the most TLC.  BE gentle with your hair and commit to learning what feeds it.  Value your edges! (your hair line) Once your edges go, it takes a long time for them to grow back.  Protect it!

Last year, Tenin landed the lead role for the movie, T U C H T: A Damn-Near-True Story. I found a clip on her performance.  2 words:  gifted + fabulous!  Watch this clip.  Although Tenin has a very busy schedule with her performances and acting, she makes time speak to students about self respect, purpose, personal empowerment and respond to bloggers like myself *blush*  Tenin is the founder of ENCORE Kids.  She saw the need to help her youngest family members prepare for acting and modeling auditions and started it in 2009.   Encore Kids is an innovative "edu-tainment" (education & entertainment) arts enrichment company that hosts programs and classes for schools, organizations, churches and summer camps throughout New Jersey & New York.

Tenin is a sweet and well rounded individual.  Despite her busy schedule she manages to squeeze in time for little things that take her away from the mic, lights and camera.  Check out Tenin's website here, join the mailing list, read her blog and buy her music on iTunes and AmazonMP3. For more information on ENCORE kids, visit the site here.

Thank you Tenin!


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