We Gotta Root for Us - Psychology & Self Love in the Natural Hair Community feat. Genedor Beauty

Genedor Beauty Review

Since I began my own blogging and natural hair journey back in 2012, the community of women has grown exponentially and beyond my wildest dreams. And while there is still a lot of work to do, I choose to celebrate how far we've come because as Black women, we all we got.

Time and history has shown us that we can't rely on anyone but ourselves to celebrate and lift us up.

To be honest, that need to promote ourselves in a positive light is a major driving force behind why I continue to keep The Mane Objective going. From information to inspiration, we need us. This blog post is a tribute to our #BlackGirlMagic, in the form of a feature with a brand that I definitely consider a rising star - Genedor Beauty. 

What is Genedor Beauty?

Genedor Beauty is a new (as in just launched a few months ago new), Black Owned hair and skincare brand that hails from Frisco, Texas. The brainchild of Ketia Bradley, Genedor Beauty aims to take the marketplace by storm with specially crafted beauty products to meet the specific needs of Black women.

 In a few short moments, you'll see why I couldn't just "review" Genedor Beauty. Ketia is a part of the new entrepreneurial wave - Black women who are multi-passionate, driven, and determined to excel as a professional and entrepreneur. Knowing her background as a nurse and clinical psychologist, I could not resist discussing topics ranging from the psychology of natural hair to self care and mental health.

Genedor Beauty Review

If you just want to know about the products (ok, product junkie!), then let me do this for you - Genedor Beauty is legit fire. The Superfruit Antioxidant Shampoo detangles and cleanses, the Moisture Resuscitate Deep Conditioning Treatment is literally amazing, and I can't get enough of the Swirl Curls Gel Styler. The gummies are addictingly delicious (I have to make myself remember they're not candy), and I'm feeling good about the Even Tone Retinol Complex. Although I want to use it a bit longer to see how it improves my skin.

Wanna see everything in action? I've got a video for you! Check it out here:

But if you're ready to deep dive behind the scenes with owner Lekitia Bradley, keep reading for our Q&A!

Interview with Lekitia Bradley - Founder, Genedor Beauty

For those not familiar with Genedor Beauty, introduce yourself! Where do you and the Genedor Beauty brand hail from?

To be honest, Ketia is simply a semi-shy, down-home girl from the Mississippi Delta. I’m a mom of three very amazing children (Anthony, Tavoris, and Amaree).  When I look into their eyes, I’m constantly reminded that I don’t have the option of sitting back and watching my dreams pass by.  They’ve fueled a fire in me that empowers me to push myself beyond life’s limits.  Genedor Beauty hailed from one of those burning fires.
What profession were you in before you launched Genedor Beauty, and how did that inspire you to create the brand?

I launched Genedor Beauty in addition to maintaining my current careers. I say careers because I hold positions as a clinical psychologist, professor, and nurse of 18 years.  I love each role that I’ve played because they have allowed me to nurture, and educate clients mentally, as well as physically.  My desire has always been to treat the individual as a whole, including the mind, the body, and the soul. The fusion of my careers made this possible.

My love for the cosmetic industry stemmed from me working as nurse in the cosmetic surgery/medspa industry.  This industry is also where I gained my skincare, and product development experience.  The desire to create my own products was always there, but the timing never felt right.  After praying about it, I decided step out on faith and go for it.  My goal with Genedor is to not only build beauty, but to also help build self-esteem. 

Genedor Beauty Review
Wash & Go with Swirl Curls Gel Styler
How did you come up with the name Genedor Beauty?
Genedor is a combination of the first few letters of my mother’s name “Geneva” combined with the first few letters of a longtime friend, and business partner of mine mother’s name “Dorothy”. Unfortunately, Dorothy passed away a few years ago.  The name Genedor is extremely special to me because it honors these two strong, and beautiful women.
Natural Hair - Community, Psychology & Self Love  
From your perspective, how has the natural hair community evolved over the years?

I think the natural hair community has evolved immensely.  We have gone from having a deficit of products that spoke to the direct needs of our hair, to having several amazing brands that have made it their mission to understand naturally textured hair from every angle of the arena.  Because of this, we now have top quality products that have been chemically balanced with our hair’s best interest at heart.

Another great evolution in the natural hair world was that of YouTubers, Bloggers, and Vloggers.  I can’t begin to explain my love, and appreciation for these talented individuals. They have become brilliant educators within the natural hair communities across the world. When I began my natural hair journey…I knew nothing about styling my curls.  It was these gurus that taught me everything that I know.

It’s no longer uncommon to see a beautiful head of textured hair from business board rooms, all the way through to simple everyday life.  We’ve shown the world that natural hair is not a just a phase passing by.  It’s now an embraced way of life.

How has the history of how our hair has been perceived impacted Black women on a psychological level?
I personally think that at times, it has had a tendency to be psychologically crippling.  I say that because, the negative history behind our textured hair once left wounds so deep that many women allowed it to strip their confidence, and skew choices made in their lives. It’s as if society attempted to drill the words, “How dare you proudly step out into the world with your unattractive, unruly, and untamed hair!” These were the blistering words forcefully embedded into our mental psyche…so much so that many believed them as being true. The thought of being unaccepted…made it desirable for some to give in and conform to a European set standard of beauty.  Individuals (women in particular) were suffering from a society induced form of “Toxic Shame” which encouraged them to believe that the hair that they were born with (as it grew from their scalp) was never going to be good enough for the world they lived in.

I’ve learned to embrace all of my natural beauty for what it is…and it feels good!  It is my mission to help uplift, and empower other women to reach the same place in their lives. 
Genedor Beauty Review
A few days later... Swirl Curls puff for the win!
Let’s talk texture and skin color. Do you believe there is a texture hierarchy and colorism at work in the natural hair community – and how do these elements play a role in our journeys to self love and acceptance?
This is a highly sensitive topic for many, so I won’t take us so far into the deep end that we find it difficult to come up for air.  The answer is yes, I do believe that there is a texture hierarchy and colorism actively working within the natural hair community.  The problem goes back way deeper than hair alone.  It travels back to the history, and perception that we spoke of previously.  The European standard conditioned many to believe that true beauty was only seen in individuals possessing a certain set of physical characteristics. Anyone falling short of these characteristics were pretty much considered defective. The texture hierarchy, and colorism that is being seen in the natural hair community is a prime example that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to reframe the negative ideas of what beauty presents as. Until strides are made to replace these thoughts, there will continue to be an underrepresentation of darker skin complexions, and beautiful kinky textured hair.

As a follow up to the previous question, how do we address and work through these issues?
There is no magic antidote of resolution for these issues.  It will take conscious efforts on everyone’s part to correct them.  We must work diligently to break down the barriers that have been put in place.  In cases where inclusion is not taking place…we must begin creating our own paths to travel.  As a business owner within the natural hair community, it is a strong mission of mine to be inclusive of all skin tones, and hair types.  With the platform that I now have, I plan on using it to be a part of the change that I’d like to see.  Business owners have a choice as to who they contact to represent their brand. 

So much collective good has come out of the natural hair community. How do we ensure that it remains a positive space of acceptance and self love for Black women for the long term?
I wholeheartedly agree.  The natural hair community has been one of the most efficient places for textured hair individuals to find detailed information regarding caring for, and styling their hair. I can’t speak for other business owners, but black women will always be well represented in my brand.  My plan is to be an all-inclusive company celebrating every woman in a way that shows them they are very loved and appreciated. 

Genedor Beauty Review
More Swirl Curls love.
What are some practical ways Black women can exercise and practice self love?
As Black women, we need to be more open to celebrating our strengths, and place less focus on the things that we don’t have, or can’t control.  When we look to our strengths, it motivates, and inspires us to be the greatest versions of ourselves.  We also have to take note of the people that we choose to have around us.  Not everyone deserves a place in your life.  If an individual thrives on negativity, they are not ones that will bring positive energy, and love to your circle.  A solid support system should be built with people who have your best interest at heart.

As women, we are the most critical of ourselves.  If we idle down our inner critic, and forgive ourselves for not being perfect, we’d begin to feel more kindness, and love for who we are as individuals.

For the Product Junkies

Let’s talk products! If you HAD to choose, which Genedor Beauty product is your favorite and why?
I would have to say that there is a tie between my Super Fruit AntioxidantShampoo, and my Even Tone Retinol Complex.  I love all of my products, but these 2 are closest to my heart because they corrected issues that were problems for me.

My scalp would terribly itch, feel sore due to me scratching it, and my hair began to show signs of product buildup.  I was always on an active search for a shampoo that would cleanse my hair and scalp without stripping it of its natural moisture.  I also wanted my shampoo to offer some conditioning properties.  After months in the lab driving everyone crazy (lol)…I had a formula that satisfied everything that I was looking for in a shampoo.

The Even Tone Retinol Complex was created to help me get rid of post acne hyperpigmentation.  During a hormonal pregnancy with my daughter, my skin developed moderate acne.  After giving birth, my skin normalized, but I was left with dark spots.  I had an allergic reaction to the traditional “hydroquinone” based products that most dermatologists use to treat discoloration. Because of this, I set out to create my own hydroquinone-free treatment to clear up my skin. Again after driving everyone in my lab crazy! 

Speaking of the Even Tone Retinol Complex, can  you share with us how it works? Some of my followers are curious about the price point as a skincare product.
The Even Tone Retinol Complex was the first product that I decided to create.  It is also the one product that I put the most work, time, resources, and money into creating.  It has one of the highest percentages of Retinol that can be added to a product without the need for a prescription.  It also has very effective levels of powerful peptides, vitamins, antioxidants, and natural skin brighteners all housed in one of the best delivery systems that my team and I could scientifically find. The delivery systems aids in the ingredients deeply penetrating directly into the source of the skin’s problems. It then addresses these issues without causing irritation, or damage to the skin.  I always say that in this product, I mastered the art of creating a gentle powerhouse.  It actively lightens hyperpigmentation, decreases pore size, improves acne scarring, diminishes lines and wrinkles, and assists in smoothing uneven skin tone and texture.  Traditionally, it would take the use of several products to achieve what this product is designed to do alone. 

Genedor Beauty Review
So far so good with Even Tone Retinol. Unfiltered before & afters to come!
In creating this treatment, I consulted with chemists both inside, and outside of the United States.  The chemist who worked alongside me in creating this product, is one who has assisted in creating many of the top products that you find in medical spas, as well as in big department stores such as Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, QVC, etc.  

When creating this treatment, my initial thought was to only offer it to our Medspa clients.  The product was so successful in correcting some of the most difficult to treat skin concerns that I decided to offer it in my online store as well. If consumers were to research products similar to this one, they will find several products on the market with ingredient decks, and delivery systems less powerful than this one - that are way more expensive.  Some of them have Retinol as their only active ingredient, yet cost nearly $200.

(That's right girl - charge your worth! No sense in charging bargain basement prices for top shelf results!)

Genedor Beauty Review
Genedor doesn't have a leave-in (yet), but these #BlackOwned beauties pair perfectly with Swirl Curls.
Which Genedor Beauty products are your best sellers?
My best sellers are the Swirl Curls Gel Styler, Moisture Resuscitate DeepConditioning Treatment, Super Fruit Antioxidant Shampoo, and Healthy HairGummies.

Yasssss to the gummies! How did you come to include gummy vitamins in your lineup?
I knew that I wanted to include a way to nourish the hair, and body from the inside out, so I began researching ways to do this without the need to swallow huge capsules, and/or caplets. With these gummies, there's no traditional vitamin smell, and bad taste.  I tend to tell people that they’re vitamins so good, you won’t believe they’re not candy.

Genedor Beauty Review
Spotlight on the gummies!
The Healthy Hair Gummies and Healthy Choice MultivitaminGummies were created in a way that customers could add one or the other to their current regimen, or pair them together as a couple.

Any new products coming down the pipeline for Genedor?
Absolutely!  We have several more, hair, skin care, and body products going in the lab right now.

Any other exciting news about Genedor that you’d like to share?

We are currently in the process of getting our products into local stores so that they are easily accessible to all of our Genedor Beauties.  We will also be seeing a lot of you very soon in several upcoming hair, and skin care expos that we will be participating in.  In addition to the things that I’ve mentioned, we’re in the process of expanding our space which means employment opportunities will be available soon.  

I don't know about you - but for me, that last tidbit is the most exciting. I love seeing our brands grow to the point that we're able to hire and build. That's how we get free.

To learn more about Genedor Beauty, visit www.genedorbeauty.com. Don't forget to follow Genedor on Instagram @genedorbeauty and Like their Facebook page!

This blog post and video is sponsored by Genedor Beauty.


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