When I had the opportunity to interview Shay Johnson in Miami, I didn’t quite know what to expect. In a way, it felt like I knew her. I distinctly remember her being a fiery cast member of VH1’s Flavor of Love 2 in 2006 as “Buckeey.”
She made another reality show appearance on the network’s Charm School and later entered the Love & Hip Hop franchise in 2012 on the Atlanta series. Now she’s one of the primary characters on Love & Hip Hop Miami, serving us new looks on a weekly basis. From bombshell blonde tresses and tousled body waves to lush lashes, Shay blows our minds on every episode. And, did I mention how inspiring her fitness game is?
Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Rocking blonde-dyed, Urban Beauty Hair bundles, she was beyond stunning, with an equally beautiful spirit to boot. There is, indeed, more to Shay than meets the eye on our television screens.
Read on to learn more about her latest endeavors, personal struggles, and her personal perspective on Black beauty.
HYPE HAIR: You have a lot of great projects going on right now. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to?
SHAY: Lately, I’ve been focused on TheHealthyHand.com, which is a company I helped create, based on my situation surrounded around fibroids. We provide fibroid relief pills and tea to suppress your symptoms. We also provide Detox Belly Fat Flush and Detox Flush. Both are to promote better health by removing the toxins out of your body and also reducing belly fat.
HH: What made you start The Healthy Hand, and why is it important to you?
SHAY: When I had fibroids, I was terrified of the surgery. This was the only option the doctors gave me, so I searched for additional options and came across a holistic doctor who provided herbs to help suppress my symptoms. At this point, my menstrual cycle was over 14 days. Once I started taking the herbs, my menstrual went down to 8 to 9 days. My pelvic pain became minimum, and my clots reduced. Based on my positive results, I figured other women needed to reduce their symptoms. This is how Thehealthyhand.com was created. We have been able to help hundreds of women reduce their symptoms for fibroids. I’m proud to have helped so many women.
HH: There have long been studies about relaxers being linked to fibroids. Given your personal experience, do you find yourself avoiding certain beauty treatments or foods to stay healthy?
SHAY: I have personally have not had a perm in over 15 years. I’ve definitely heard this was one of the many causes of fibroids, but I believe fibroids come from high estrogen intake.
HH: Most of us are used to seeing you on Love & Hip Hop Miami, where your look changes every episode. How do you take care of your natural hair and skin when you’re not filming and being a style chameleon?
SHAY: When I’m filming, I wear a lot of makeup and am constantly getting my hair done—which I absolutely love. But when I’m not filming, I don’t wear makeup. Most people are surprised to hear I have a face full of freckles, which I adore. Freckles run in my family. Some people have asked, “Are they fake?” No, they’re not. I wouldn’t even waste time trying to create fake freckles. This is just what God blessed me with, so I embrace them.
I’ve tried several products for my face, but I’ve noticed using natural black soap and water is the best thing for me. My face is too sensitive, so I don’t use too many products to clean my face, because if I do, I will break out. You have to find what’s best for you.
HH: What are some beauty tips you swear by?
SHAY: I use natural black soap for everything, especially on my face. I will suggest you wash off your makeup before bed, or you can cause future problems.
HH: What’s been your favorite hair look you’ve worn thus far?
SHAY: My reunion look. I was the best dressed—best hair, best makeup! Everybody was cute, but I killed it.
HH: Many of our favorite reality TV celebs have a large collection of hair and wig units. Have you amassed your own collection over the years?
SHAY: I have between 45 to 50 units.
HH: Black women are being celebrated for our Black Girl Magic and beauty more than ever before. How would you personally describe beauty?
SHAY: I believe beauty is what you make it. You only can define what makes you beautiful. Beauty, for me, comes from my focus and drive. My Black girl magic has helped other women to speak up and speak out by telling their stories, as I did on relationships, fibroids, and career goals. Everyone has a story, but by telling your story, you never know how many people you can help. I’ve used my platform to reach hundreds; but even if I reached one, that would have been self-gratifying for me.
HH: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
SHAY: Growth means so much more to me today than it ever did a few years back. I’ve learned so much over the years, mainly through my mistakes. I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned to push forward and accept my faults and all. In the future, you will continue to see me strive for success.
I’ll continue to push my products—Full Body Detox and Belly Fat Flush—on TheHealthyHand.com, but most importantly, I will continue to be a spokesperson for fibroids. I know my story has helped many women, and it will continue to help many more as long as I speak up and speak out. I’ve spoken at several different women empowerment events, schools, and conferences. I won’t stop.
Makeup by Sheceria Chambliss @_makeupbybarbee_ | Hair by Whitnee of The Glam Effect @iamglamm | Publicist Genise Johnson