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Sandi-kaye Henry of The Shyphenk Salon: “Take the time to use words of affirmation on yourself”

Take the time to use words of affirmation on yourself. If that means leaving notes to yourself in jeans or jacket pocket, then do that. Imagine going in your jacket pocket to pull out a note that’s much needed at the time. Schedule time to pamper yourself with a visit to the hair salon and […]

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Take the time to use words of affirmation on yourself. If that means leaving notes to yourself in jeans or jacket pocket, then do that. Imagine going in your jacket pocket to pull out a note that’s much needed at the time. Schedule time to pamper yourself with a visit to the hair salon and or spa. We usually feel beautiful when we look our best. Constantly remind yourself that no one was created equally, we are all unique in our own way.


At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s well-being is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing.

As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandi-kaye Henry, a businesswoman, hair influencer and founder of The Shyphenk Salon.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

I migrated to United States when I was 10 from Jamaica. I was so much of an introvert, that I became antisocial, even to family. Having a concern parent, produced my first job in the beauty industry at the age of 15. My mother asked her beautician if I would help around the salon. I started off as a shampoo girl and slowly worked my way up in the company, to where I was conducting interviews for them. Doing hair was never my goal or dream, therefore I missed the opportunity to take the free cosmetology course my high school had to offer. It wasn’t until I graduated high school, someone offered to pay for me to take cosmetology classes. Of course, I took them up on the offer. That’s when I fell in love with the beauty/fashion industry. My goals and dreams started to take form. One of biggest goal was to work backstage New York Fashion Week. After an internship with The Daily front Row Magazine, I knew it was time to keep moving up the ladder. I secured my big break with CFDA Volunteer Program for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This was a highly competitive program; whose acceptance rate is lower than most Ivy League colleges. I gained much needed insight like what hairstylist keyed each show. With that knowledge, I met the great, T. Cooper. She gave me my first backstage gig, as a hairstylist with Pryer Moss. From there, I’ve worked with countless designers in which my work can be seen in: Vogue, Elle, WWD and Essence. All, these events took place while still working for my mother’s beautician. After 14 years with the company, I realized It was time build my own empire. I resigned with them in December 2017 and started my own successful business (Shyphenk, LLC) in January 2018.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been countless people, who had a hand in where I am today. From my mother getting me my first job, to my sister driving me to my interviews in NYC, to the recipients of countless emails I’ve sent, fill with queries of a novice. I am forever grateful for those who put themselves to the side to help me along the way when they didn’t have to.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

This first story is more of a live and learn, rather than humorous. A show I worked had a Forbes writer on deck. She approached me with questions about the intricacy of a style I did on Marianne Fonseca. She kept informing me not mention the brand name I used, because it wasn’t a paid sponsorship. Every time we started the interview over, I kept mentioning the brand name. For that reason, my interview never made Forbes. My takeaway was that opportunities can arise when I lease expect it. Don’t be so caught up in the moment, that I forget to apply directions given to me.

Now this story is a little more humorous. While keying at Style Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to meet Lala Anthony. She was getting ready to head out when I asked for a photo opt. I snaped away while we both gave the cute kissy face. After she left, I checked out our photo, only to realize the image I took was a big blur! I am usually the one teasing others for taking blurry photos.

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed

My career as an Instagram influencer took off when I decided to share my loc journey to the world. I wanted a platform to inspire others on the same journey as myself. To have success on Instagram you need a plan. Find your niche, be patient, stay true to yourself/audience, build connections, be consistent and set standards you can keep up with. Make sure to keep yourself grounded. Don’t ever think that you’ve gotten so big you can’t engage with your audience. Remember without them you wouldn’t have a platform.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

One of my strategies I used to build and engaged audience is by sharing my personal experience first-hand. By being in tune with my audience, I understood what my audience was looking for and I produce. I also always use hashtags relevant to my content. This helps to build a wider audience who aren’t already following me.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.

You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

It’s imperative to understand what you put in our body. Whatever we put on the inside; you will experience it outward. It’s a concept I feel we all struggle with and wonder why we aren’t operating at our best. Having a well balance diet can come from meal prepping. If I don’t plan my meals, I lack self-discipline and just eat things that are conveniently get my hands on. I can recall times when I ate a chic fil a chicken sandwich and felt overly stuffed and couldn’t function properly. This is why meal prep is important. You have more control over how your body feels. Another self-care routine I’ve adopted, was working out daily. I once over heared someone saying that their doctor recommended 100 sit up a day. I figured that doing 100 sit ups a day wasn’t as demanding as an hour-long workout. After a month of doing sit up every day, it became a part of my daily routine. It became so great I’ve added more routine that increased my work out to 30 mins a day. Knowing that I can easily go back to my 100 sit ups made this easy.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I’ve learned I had to forgive myself in order to set my mind free. Time is so valuable; we can get lost in our thoughts. The hardest routine is when I have to ask others for forgiveness to set my heart free. There have been times in my past when I was upset at someone and can’t recall why.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Take the time to use words of affirmation on yourself. If that means leaving notes to yourself in jeans or jacket pocket, then do that. Imagine going in your jacket pocket to pull out a note that’s much needed at the time. Schedule time to pamper yourself with a visit to the hair salon and or spa. We usually feel beautiful when we look our best. Constantly remind yourself that no one was created equally, we are all unique in our own way.

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

I can honestly say the bible had a significant impact on my life. It’s one thing that has kept me balance and well rounded. Growing up I would always see those who were elder, bibles filled with foot notes and highlighter. As I got older, I understood the significance behind it. Highlighting scriptures is a great bookmark for times of need, encouragement, study reference point or just important aspects to apply to my daily life.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

I went to highly recommend medical spa. Included in my session was a body scrub, wrap and massage. For my body scrub session, I was brought into a room that gave me a meat butcher/infirmary vibe. I couldn’t help but keep one eyes open the entire time. When it was time for my massage, I was taken into a room that was freezing. I asked my masseuse why the room was cold, and she proceeded to complain how her boss said it was too expensive to fix the heat. When my massage was done, I noticed the towels used on me where torn. I spoke with the owner of the spa, only to find out that the heat could have been adjusted in my room. Then followed by a grand tour of the facility. This was by far the worst spa experience I ever had.

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to start a program in each country I travel aboard, where anyone traveling to that country can donate their time or goods to give back. There are similar programs out there, but mostly for people who plan to stay for extensive time. It’s hard to find programs for people who want to donate their time for one day only.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I would love to have breakfast with Marsai Martin for breakfast, Barack Obama for lunch and with Rihanna dinner. Each have something very different to bring to the table. What we will talk about can be left to your imagination.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media

@hairlocsjourney

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!


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