All shade isn’t created equal. Watching the Real Housewives Of Atlanta is a lesson in shade throwing– both good and bad. Over the years, we’ve witnessed many reads. Some have given birth to ubiquitous phrases, dances even… “Who gon’ check me boo” and “Close your legs to married men” come to mind. But lately, the shade on RHOA has teetered on the fine line between wit and so nasty and so rude.
It seems no topic is off-limits to the ladies and no season more than now is evidence of that. NeNe attacked Porsha’s post-pregancy body. Kenya Moore’s fertility problems continues to be a topic of discussion and the topic of hair is what it always is. The malicious intent of it all has reach unbearable levels on the series. It’s too catty. It just too much.
“I do believe certain things are off-limits,” said Kenya Moore during a candid chat. “You cannot change someone’s fertility. If they’re in fertile, they’re in fertile. You can’t change the fact that my mother didn’t want me when I was three-days old. Those things are cruel to talk about.”
She added, “Edges. You can grow your edges back.” I challenged her. Growing up, long, luscious locks were always the defining standard of beauty, especially for a Black girl. Previous to Kenya showing up to Marlo’s wig launch with a marching band and her edge control, Marlo had revealed her biggest insecurity is her thinning edges, which we rarely see because she covers them with various weaves and styles. It’s something that myself and plenty other women can emphasize with. Traction alopecia and other ailments that cause thinning edges are a sensitive topic. Is this not below the belt?
“I do understand the concern, but again, my products are, my whole line is focused on combating damage and growing your hair back,” she said. “So you’re proud of your own hair that’s growing out of your head. Whether that’s your edges. Whether that’s getting your hair healthy. That is what my whole line focuses on. The positivity in that. I’m not just giving you shampoo and conditioner, I have a whole line of products solely focused on getting your hair healthy and getting your hair to grow.”
Kenya Moore storming Marlo’s launch left a tart taste in a lot of women’s mouths. And to her defense, Marlo’s shade is pretty much always below the proverbial Gucci belt.
“I’ve never lied on anybody. I’ve never accused somebody doing something they didn’t do. I will just match that energy. It’s levels to it. You know what I mean? I could go on, but I just don’t go there. And a lot of people try to say that I do, but I’m like, show me an instance where I hit somebody below the belt.”
Well there was that one time when a blow horn and scepter was involved but…back to the hair care line.
“I developed products to help women grow their edges back so I wasn’t weaponizing it against [Marlo] because clearly those products were developed two, three years ago. It wasn’t shady to bring any product into her party that just happened to be the product I had on hand.”
Kenya Moore certainly understands controversial launch parties, seeing how her Haircare was met with shade upon its RHOA debut a few seasons ago. While her edges stunt at Marlo’s launch was petty, Kenya has also struggled with maintaining healthy hair.
“I was born with, with a certain kind of hair, which is thick and healthy. Yes. But as a model, Miss USA, and actress–getting your hair done by all these different people and going through color and all of those things, my hair was severely damaged and it broke off.” Kenya revealed she would pull at a strand and it would simply fall out. All of which led to her passion for haircare. “My grandmother used to always say, your hair is your crowning glory. So I always made sure I took care of my hair.”
There weren’t many products back in the 90s and early 2000s that were made to treat Black hair, which is why Kenya also loves the natural hair movement.
“But then, you got all of these different people with their hands in your hair, it damaged it to the point where I didn’t know what to do. I found my way when I, when I actually got a job on RHOA and I saw all of the other ladies like Kandi, whose businesses were flourishing and it motivated me to say, you know what? This is my opportunity. This is my platform, this is my opportunity.”
Kenya said she invested her money instead of splurging on Louboutins or Chanel bags. “I took money from my paycheck and I invested it in my own business. I paid chemists. I paid research people. I pay lawyers and this whole development team marketing to put together a small line that works to combat the damage that Black women, especially women of color, do to their hair on a daily basis.”
To keep the line budget-friendly, Kenya cut her profit margin to maintain the quality of her products.
“I could charge $30-$50 easily for all of my products because they are similar Moroccan Oil [for example]. If you looked at the ingredients, they are similar.”
It’s her way of giving back, on top of other endeavors that are close to her heart. “One of the reasons why I decided to be an ambassador for Baby Class because at my age I had to have IVS. Yeah. I would not have been able to get pregnant on my own,” she explained. “There’s so many families out there that are in the same position as I am, but they don’t have money to do a $2,000 treatment every time. And how often does it fail? More often than not. So I wanted to find a way to give back to the families that want to have children that can’t afford to do assisted reproduction. So I’m personally financing at least one family. I’m hoping it’ll end up being two. Kenya Moore Haircare allows me to help somebody else.”
Shop Kenya Moore Haircare, here.