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Meet The Disruptor Empowering Women on Good Hair Day, Yalmikia Edmonds

Don’t you wish every day was a good hair day? Yalmikia has been transforming lives and inspiring women and young girls to embrace their power and be the best versions of themselves. As a certified Hair Loss Practitioner, Yalmikia’s unique approach to hair restoration goes beyond physical transformation. She is a motivational and inspirational speaker, educator, and advocate for empowering individuals through their hair journey. Her passion for helping others shines through in every interaction, whether it’s with her hair clients or the women she crosses paths with. We celebrate Good Hair Day every year on March 26th. The day is dedicated to making women feel gorgeous and empowered on Good Hair Day. With that being said it is important that society realizes that healthy hair is good hair. Good hair is not specific to one hair texture. Disrupshion got a chance to educate ourselves and hope our readers learn and take advantage of the haircare gems Edmond's drops in this unique interview. 

 Sarodj Bertin

Interview: Diamond Johnson

Editor In Chief: Angel Neal

Photographer: Courtesy of Yalmika Edmonds

What sets Yalmikia apart is her ability to connect with people on a deeper level. She understands that hair loss can have a profound impact on one’s self-esteem and overall well-being. Through her expertise and compassionate approach, Yalmikia not only restores hair but also instills confidence, hope, and a renewed sense of self.

What inspired you to start Levonye Professionals and begin your journey as a hair loss practitioner and advocate for empowering women through their hair journeys? I have worked as a licensed cosmetologist for more than 20 years. Initially, I began to feel bored with styling hair because it became repetitive. However, I started having clients who were experiencing hair loss, and I didn't want to turn them away without a solution. However, I was determined to take action and make a difference. So, I researched and returned to school to provide hair restoration services. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my time, and the universe provided an opportunity to do so. That's how I became a solution to the pain point of hair loss, and everything fell into place after that. 

How do societal perceptions of “good hair” impact individuals dealing with hair loss, particularly within the African American community? 

Everyone's situation is different. In my experience, society expects hair to be sleek and perfect, but that ideal doesn't always work for everyone. Many of my clients have alopecia, and they struggle with this expectation because their hair is no longer straight and European-looking. I've had to teach them to accept their natural hair texture instead of trying to fit into a mold that doesn't work for them. Thankfully, more people are embracing their natural hair and moving away from the false narrative that African Americans need to look a certain way. It's a positive change that I'm happy to see. 

Can you share a story demonstrating the transformative power of embracing one’s unique beauty through their hair journey? 

I have a client who suffers from alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. She has no hair on her head, but after I provided her with a hair replacement service, her family and husband noticed a change in her appearance and attitude. They were so impressed that her husband personally thanked me and even gave me a tip. I never imagined that hair loss could have such a profound impact on someone's life, but this experience made me realize that women who suffer from hair loss often become isolated and lose their confidence. By helping them regain their self-love, self-awareness, and identity, women can reclaim the power they lost when they first experienced hair loss.

In various interviews, you talk about general hair loss and alopecia. How do you approach treating hair loss caused by conditions like psoriasis, and what advice do you have for individuals dealing with this challenging condition? 

Psoriasis is a skin condition that can affect your whole body, not just your scalp. When clients with psoriasis come to me, I assess the severity of their condition to determine how to serve them best. While I am not a dermatologist and cannot treat psoriasis directly, I can offer alternative solutions to reduce the yeast buildup contributing to psoriasis. Additionally, I may suggest that clients consider wearing a wig or cranial prosthetic, depending on the severity of their psoriasis. 

How do you create a safe and supportive environment for your clients to discuss their hair challenges, especially regarding sensitive topics such as hair loss? 

We provide confidential consultations and ensure privacy for our clients as they often come to us with sensitive topics. We aim to create an intimate setting where they can feel safe and not worry about people watching or seeing their pain points. It's common for clients to start crying in such situations, so we have designed our rooms to offer doors and forms to ensure their privacy. We have a separate unit where clients can come in and try on our medical wigs to see if they are interested in our services. We partner with different organizations that send their patients to us for our services, so we always strive to provide a peaceful environment and play relaxing music to make our clients feel welcome and comfortable. We understand that clients experiencing alopecia may feel anxious about sharing their stories, so we want to create a setting where they can feel at peace and share their stories comfortably. 

What advice would you give someone struggling with hair loss and feeling discouraged about their appearance? 

Trust your instincts. Accept the situation you are in and try to understand it. Alopecia can be unpredictable, and hair loss can happen suddenly. However, it can also grow back depending on the root cause. Acceptance is the first step towards finding a solution. The next step is to join a community where people can relate to your experience. Be patient because it is a new thing for you. Spend some time learning about the type of alopecia you have. Understanding your condition will help you cope with overwhelming emotions.

 Sarodj Bertin

Your advocacy work is genuinely inspiring to so many individuals. How do you envision the future of hair restoration and empowerment evolving, particularly for women and young girls? 

I am a part of the future. What I provide is rare, and most people are unaware of it. My competitors, such as The Hair Club for Men and Bosley, are not providing what consumers want. My services deal with the problem emotionally, mentally, and physically. My practice provides clients with knowledge and information to help them understand what they are experiencing, which is missing in this business lane for alopecia. I see a future where more women, especially African American women, can receive a solid, concrete solution to their pain points instead of just putting a band-aid over the problem. My services and products provide the solutions and knowledge to help women go out into the world and show up for their community, families, and themselves. This can build up the community for African American women, who sometimes can be mean because they don't have the freedom that others do who don't have alopecia. I volunteer at cosmetology schools to educate students about alopecia so they can be aware of the information and help the next person who walks through the doors whenever they work in the future. 

"My services deal with the problem emotionally, mentally, and physically. "

What do you hope individuals take away from their interactions with you and the Levonye Professionals team? 

I strive to inspire people to be their true, authentic selves, to feel good and appreciate who they are, and to operate from a place of knowing, not just belief. My goal is to leave a lasting impression that helps people know who they are, no matter what they are going through. Whether it's alopecia or any other challenge, my message is to trust yourself and stay true to who you are. Don't allow any condition to limit you. 

How do you stay updated with the latest advancements in hair restoration, and are there any upcoming techniques or treatments you’re particularly excited about? 

As someone who attends trade shows frequently, I always look for the next new thing. Even when I'm not attending trade shows, I make it a point to learn from other experts in the field. Recently, I hosted a non-surgical hair replacement expert from Atlanta who taught us about the latest technology and techniques. I'm constantly reading and educating myself because the industry is always changing. Trade shows are my primary source of information because they bring people worldwide who share new technologies and products that have yet to be available in the US. Much of the information I've learned from trade shows has helped me build my business. No upcoming technologies or techniques are coming up at the moment; however, I stay on top of the latest trends and treatments to offer my clients the best possible hair restoration services.

On your website, you have a section dedicated to affirmations. Why was this important for you to have on your site, and do you have a favorite affirmation for yourself? 

Words of affirmation have always been important to me. I have used them my whole life without even realizing it. When I became an adult, I realized that I had spoken my entire life into existence. This realization was inspiring, and I knew I wanted to incorporate affirmations into my business. All of my products have affirmations. It is essential to be mindful of our words as they can manifest into reality, good or bad. Affirmations are helpful for women with alopecia who may have created false narratives about themselves. Even if you do not feel your affirmations, they can manifest if you continue to say and believe in them. My favorite affirmation is "Everything is working out for my greater good." 

As a professional hairstylist specializing in the care of black hair, can you provide any recommendations for selecting the appropriate hair products? 

When it comes to finding the right hair products, the texture of your hair and its type are crucial factors to consider. Knowing your hair texture and type will help you avoid using products that may not be suitable for you. To determine your hair texture, you must identify whether it is fine, medium, or coarse. Additionally, it would be best if you determined your hair type, which can be straight, wavy, or curly. Once you have identified your hair texture and type, choosing the right hair products that align with your needs will be easier. However, it is essential to be cautious when selecting hair products because many don't deliver on their promises. Therefore, it is vital to read product labels carefully and research the product before purchasing. Remember, less is more when it comes to hair products. Find a product that works for you and stick with it. Embrace your hair, and remember to treat it with love.

We all know that when your hair looks good, you feel good too – a reason why so many women treat themselves to a new hairstyle when they’re not feeling great. A good hair day can leave you feeling ready for anything, helping you to take on the world. By dedicating a day to good hair, everyone gets the chance to celebrate themselves.

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