Tell us your name and where you are from?
My name is Isadora Mendez. I am the youngest of three girls, the only one who was named by my mother. She named me after Isadora Duncan who is known for creating/popularizing modern dance though I’m not much of a dancer (I’m aight….I got the ill two step! lol). My father was in the army, so my sisters & I are considered “army brats.” My mother is Dominican, & my father is Puerto Rican, but I was born in Germany. I went from Germany to Texas at 1 1/2 or 2 years old, from Texas to Florida at 7, and Florida to New York at 11. When people ask where I’m from though I usually just say New York. Although I feel very proud & fortunate to have had the opportunity to experienced life elsewhere, sometimes I feel as if I was supposed to have been born & raised here. New York is definitely home.
What do you do? Is there a resistance or compatibility with your hair in your field of work?
I am a singer/songwriter who has been pursing music since I was a very young girl. I think that fact that I have so much hair is what gets people’s heads turning, so it definitely doesn’t hurt my line of work.
Describe your hair? What is your regimen?
For the past 8 years I’ve been rocking my signature fro & just letting my hair grow out.
It took years for me to truly know my hair & get into the perfect routine. I didn’t figure it out till I was about 20 years old. From then on I not only figured out the perfect routine, but I also learned how to do many different styles, & which styles looked best on me. For the past decade, I’ve been using Pantene Pro V shampoo & conditioner. I LOVE Pantene! I’ve tried it all, and it’s in my opinion the greatest! They should totally just endorse me & make me the new face of the brand lol! For real though! When I comb through my hair it has to be wet & filled with conditioner. It might sound crazy, but it usually takes 30-45 minutes to completely comb through my hair. I only wash my hair once a week & for the first 4-5 days after washing it I usually leave it out in a fro. I sleep with it out too which means by the 4th or 5th day, it’s usually way too nappy &/or matted for me to wear it out. That’s when I do my signature up-dos for the rest of the week. The up-dos I usually do are either a tight bun (high, low or to the side depending on how I’m feeling lol) a french roll, & what I like to call the crown which is basically the hair twisted tight all around the outer edge of the scalp. When I want to prolong my out & curly hair days or if I just feel like having braids, I braid my hair any random way just after washing it while it’s easy to manage. Unfortunately, I have yet to master braiding onto the scalp, but knowing how to braid regularly is better than nothing. Once every 2-3 weeks I usually put a good deep conditioner in my hair after washing it & either braid it or put it in 2-4 buns until I rinse it out. The deep conditioner that I’ve been using lately & like a lot is Organics Hair Mayonnaise. The jar says to rinse it after 10 minutes, but to be honest; I sometimes leave it in overnight. I’m not suggesting that to anyone though, I’m just saying! As far as styling products, all I ever really use is grease. I prefer thick grease that’s not too thick. My personal favorite that I’ve been using for years now is Hollywood Beauty’s Super Gro which is fortified with vitamins & great herbs like golden seal, chamomile, cherry bark, sage, & burdock root. It smells SO good too. Another one that I really like is Kuza’s 100% Indian Hemp which also smells delightful! All of the products I’ve mentioned can be found at your local pharmacy.
What is your best hair advice?
If I had to give hair advice to any one, I’d just say practice makes perfect. Work with your hair patiently no matter how frustrated you may get, or how long it may seem to take until you have an idea of what works best for you. Weather its one product or another, 5 different products or no product at all, wigs, weaves, processed or natural, just do you. Also, when I say do you I really mean DO YOU! Please please please don’t let anyone’s opinion of your hair break down the way you want your hair to look. If you’re happy with the way it looks, then that’s all that matters I can’t tell you how many times people have dissed me over the years strangers, friends & family included.
What is the strangest comment, request or hair story?
I always get the “Is that your real hair?” question, & sometimes even when I say it is, people will say “No it’s not!” or “You don’t have to lie to me girl!” It’s hilarious! However, I have two crazy stories that I’d like to share. One afternoon in 2004 I was rocking my curly fro alone on the A train. I was in one of the two seaters when this older white woman sits next to me. All of a sudden she turns to me & says, “Oh my goodness you have nice hair, but you know what you should really go on the Maury show!” I smiled & said a confused thank you & then asked her why she felt like I should go on Maury. So then she says, “Yeah I was watching just yesterday & they had a girl on there with hair just like yours, & they gave her a makeover. When she came back out her hair was straight & shiny & just BEAUTIFUL! You should go on the show for your hair!” I was like,”Ummmmmm my hair is beautiful the way it is miss!” She quickly replies, “No it’s really not! It’s too big, it’s very dry & it really needs to be tamed!” At that point she was really loud & the people around on the train were all listening & gasping in shock. At that time in my life I was nowhere near the firecracker that I am now, so instead of cursing her out, & putting her in her place, I was just like, “Look lady, my hair is fine the way it is, & I don’t know what makes you think straight is any better than curly, but somebody lied to you. As a matter of fact I didn’t ask you for your opinion anyway so seriously if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe next time you should keep it to yourself!” In the moment I felt like YEA I sure told her! & then 20 minutes later I thought of a million other things I could’ve/should’ve probably said but hadn’t thought of.
In 2006 I was at work leaning against a shelf one day when a middle aged white man came to the right side of me & asked if my hair was real. When I said yes, he then asked if he could touch it & I said sure. I’m totally used to both of those questions, so it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I know people are curious, & people are raised differently so what may seem rude to one person, may be perfectly normal to another. It was what happened next that made me feel like a zoo animal. As he was stroking the right side of my hair, he excitedly called over his wife to cop a feel. He was like “Oh my God honey come here you HAVE to feel this!” So without asking if I mind or asking me anything at all, she comes over to my left & begins to stroke my hair. She smiles as says, “Wow! This is amazing! What hair you have! Billy come check this hair out!” Their son who was probably about 20 years old, then steps in front of me & begins petting the top of my hair & says, “Oh my goodness it’s so soft!” Mind you, his parents are still going at it on the sides. It was so crazy, & it all happened so fast. It was so insane I seriously felt like I was getting Punk’ed. I’ve always been a nice person, and some would argue that at times I’m a little too nice. Needless to say this was one of those too nice moments. Instead of slapping the 6 hands off of my head & giving them all a piece of my mind, I just stayed calm & said, “Ok ooooook thank you.” as I walked away.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
My style of dress has been considered “different” from the time I was in junior high school. I began to experiment with wearing the things I wanted to wear rather than the things society said I was supposed to. I’ve always loved to wear baggy pants & men’s clothing in general, but I also switch it up with tight jeans, skirts & dresses. I love being a woman & being able to look masculine one day & feminine the next. From when I was a freshman in high school to now I’ve always had a strong passion & love for shopping in thrift shops. I love finding amazing pieces for incredibly low prices. Sometimes its designer stuff sometimes it’s vintage & sometimes it’s neither or both. It doesn’t matter, if it’s gorgeous & I love it, I feel very happy excited & proud to have found it.
When it comes to your style who, what or where does your inspiration come from?
Style inspiration for me comes from all over the place whether it be TV, videos, movies, magazines, or photos. I’m inspired by the style of men & women past & present & especially different cultures all over the world.
Do you have a blog/website?
My website & blog are both long overdue, but at the moment are both still non-existent. However, if anyone would like to contact me I can be reached through my Facebook page, just search for Isadora Mendez.
What makes you an Urban Bush Babe?
I am an Urban Bush Babe because I wear what I want & rock my hair how I want without giving a f#%k what anybody has to say about it!
Thank you all so much for reading, & mucho mucho thanks to the gorgeous creators of UBB Cipriana & Nikisha for creating this incredible site for women like me, & also for giving me the opportunity to share with all of you! Peace, love & hair grease!!!!