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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    The green stuff that is wheat germ oil. This stuff is awesome and what I mean by awesome is awesome! If you have not used or thought about using wheat germ oil, well then I’m going to need you to rethink that.

    Though wheat germ oil is great for salads because of its nutty taste, it’s also excellent for hair because it is a ceramide oil. Ceramide oils work by creating a sort of protective barrier around the hair shaft which in turn holds in moisture and protein all while also protecting the hair from heat damage and UV rays (so it works as a sunscreen for your hair) and in doing so, helps to “repair” or prevent further damage to the cuticle layers of your hair.

    You can use wheat germ oil a few times a week to keep your hair soft and supple. But don’t just take my word for it, try this hair magic moisturizer our for yourself!

    Read On!>>>

    In a 8 oz bottle combine:
    2 tablespoons of wheat germ oil (this is the brand i use)
    1 tablespoons of hemp seed oil (also a ceramide oil; optional)*
    2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons of organic aloe vera juice (not gel)
    1 teaspoon of glycerin
    4 tablespoons of your favorite leave-in conditioner
    1/4 teaspoon of silk amino acids; adjust amount as needed (adds incredible slip and shine)
    *if you do use the hemp and wheat germ oil, use only one (1) tablespoon of EACH.
    Mix well and apply to hair, damp hair being best, being sure to store any left overs in the fridge for no more than three to four weeks. Using this moisturizer you’ll notice looser roots and more supple hair and again, you don’t have to use it everyday which makes this even more better!

    Why wheat germ oil?
    Wheat germ oil is an unrefined oil that is obtained from the germ of the wheat kernel. It is the richest source of Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. It also has a high content of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is rich in protein and lecithin. It is very popular for external application due to its beneficial effects on the skin.

    Obtained from the embryo or kernel of the wheat grain, wheat germ oil is a light yellow, fat soluble natural oil. As it is an unrefined oil, it has a thick consistency and a strong aroma. Although the germ of the wheat forms only 3% of the weight of the wheat grain, the wheat germ benefits stem from the fact that it contains almost 25% of the total proteins, vitamins and minerals of the wheat grain. It is a very sensitive oil that tends to degrade if not stored with care. It should be kept away from high temperatures as if exposed to extreme temperatures, it may turn rancid. However, if kept properly, the shelf life of wheat germ oil can be extend up to a few months. It is used to make delicious salad dressings and is also added to freshly cooked pasta. source

    Why silk amino acids?
    Hydrolyzed from pure silk fibers, silk amino acids have a lower molecular weight than silk protein powders and are penetrating and moisturizing to skin and hair. source

    What say you? Are you wheat germ oil fan? Do you use this powerhouse oil often? What does your mix consist of?

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    The almond is a drupe (not a 'nut' by definition) which calls the Middle East and South Asia home. During ancient times, this beauty miracle started making its way along the Mediterranean through Africa, Europe, and eventually the United States. Now it's in many of our hair and beauty products.

    Sweet Almond Oil is one of the best oils for use on your hair--it helps damaged and dull hair become shinier & stronger. Almond Oil is an all natural substance high in vitamins A, B, D and E, magnesium, zinc, potassium as well as healthy fats. All hair types will benefit from this awesome oil.

    Read On!>>>

    1. Perfect for Sealing Moisture
    Sweet Almond Oil is extremely nourishing to not only the lengths of the hair but the roots as well. Almond oil is lighter than many other helpful oils, which makes it an excellent natural resource for leave-in protection. Because Almond Oil is lighter, it is also an excellent option for finer hair that gets weighed down very easily. Also because of it's weight, almond oil a perfect base for other helpful essential oils that may further moisturize the scalp, helping to fight off dandruff.

    2. Adds Sheen 
    Sweet almond oil contains a high concentration of proteins and vitamins A, B and E, all of which help add shine to dull, dry hair. Additionally, fatty acids omega 9, 6 and 3 help to reflect damaging UV rays and protect hair from the sun. This helps prevent the dullness that comes from hair that is very dry. It also forms a thin, oily layer on the hair which protects it from further damage and strengthens existing hair. Applying the almond oil also gives the hair a lustrous, healthy and attractive appearance and is therefore great for people with dull hair. If you want more shiny hair it is definitely worth giving almond oil a try.

    3. Increases Circulation to the Scalp
    The massaging of sweet almond oil into the scalp may help stimulate hair growth and may help to reduce hair loss. Moisturizing the scalp with sweet almond oil provides hair with strengthening vitamins and magnesium at the root of hair, which can aid against excessive breakage as well as increase blood circulation to the scalp to promote hair growth. You can massage almond oil onto the scalp the nights before you are ready to wash your hair the following day. Sleep with a satin bonnet so your pillow does not become oily. Do this consistently every time you wash for the best results.

    4. Promotes Strength 
    Sweet almond oil contains vitamin A, B and E in addition to omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that help keep hair strong and healthy, preventing against breakage. Sweet almond oil’s natural moisture-sealing properties help to replenish hair and also fight against split ends by holding moisture in hair for longer periods of time. Almond Oil is a great sealant on wet hair over stylers and can also be used on day 2 hair and beyond, concentrating on the ends, to help hold in moisture in and further protect the fragile length.

    Bonus: It's a Great Skincare Ingredient!

    Almond oil contains essential vitamins for skin health and beauty including vitamins A, E, and D. It also contains healthy fats which are important for keeping the skin supple and well hydrated. Because of this, many cosmetic companies use almond oil in their products as the primary ingredient. To gain even more beneficial effects with almond oil for the face you can also mix it with other substances such as honey or other vegetable oils but almond oil on its own will also work extremely well.

    1. Makes Skin Softer
    Almond oil massage helps to reduce dark circles under eyes, remove dead skin cells, and improves the texture of your facial skin. Another benefit of taking almond oil facial massage before bed is that the solution is actually very relaxing. Almond oil is a pure and natural substance with no chemicals.

    The most common benefit of almond oil for face is that it can be used as daily moisturizer. It not only softens up rough or dry skin, but almond oil also creates protective layer on the face.

    How to Use:
    Apply this moisturizer daily for smoother and softer skin. The best time to use almond oil for facial massage is right before bedtime. It ensures that the oil will stay long enough so that it can perform its functions well.

    2. Reduces Under Eye Circles
    There are many products out there that claim to help with under eye dark circles. But if you are looking for a more natural solution, almond oil is always a good choice. You can simply apply the oil in the dark areas before bed, so you can let it work while you are asleep. For optimum results, you need to perform this treatment everyday for several weeks. This treatment will not only help the under eye dark circles fade, but it also can help to reduce dark eyelids and crow’s feet.

    How to use: 
    Wet your hands with warm water, and then massage the oil to all areas of your face.  You can even apply makeup after the oil is fully absorbed.

    3. Prevents Aging
    Almond oil also reduces sunburn effects on face, prevents aging, and gets rid of wrinkles. You can almost say that this oil is an all-in-one natural substance for your facial treatments.

    How to Use:
    You can do almond oil face massages as often as nightly. Massage a couple of drops onto face and in a circular motion. Be very gentle with your skin.

    4. Use as a Facial Scrub
    Almond oil is an excellent carrier for salt and sugar, so you can use it as the carrier oil for your facial scrub. In general, the salt or sugar works by removing dirt and rough or dead skin cells from the face. Use salt if your skin is more oily prone or sugar if your skin is more dry. The almond oil works by immediately moisturize the scrubbed skin. A mix of almond oil with sugar is also effective to soften the lips.

    How to Use:
    Apply this treatment once or twice a week for best results. Please remember that such solution is not recommended for people with sensitive skin or acne problems. Wash your face thoroughly by using warm water after applying this facial scrub.

    5. Use as a Daily Cleanser
    People with acne problems or sensitive skin are not suggested to use almond oil for facial scrub, but they can use the oil as facial cleanser. The good thing is that you don’t need to mix it with anything. Apply almond oil directly to your facial skin and leave it for several minutes.

    Almond oil facial cleanser removes dirt as effectively as the facial scrub. Basically, the cleanser will open pores, which will help to force dead skin cells and dirt to come out to the surface. As you wash your face, the dirt will also go away. It also makes a gentle eye makeup remover as well.

    How to Use:
    Apply a generous amount of almond oil on dry skin, massage it in and then splash a little bit of water, continuing to massage. Rinse away everything with cool water and pat dry gently with a towel.

    This article was originally published on October 2014 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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    Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
    I was a long term transitioner. I first began with stretching my relaxers out and then I stopped getting relaxers completely and began my transitioning process. I chose to transition because I wasn't sure the big chop was for me. I was most comfortable with the process of long term transitioning and this allowed me to learn my hair.

    When did you cut all your relaxer off? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
    I received a trim every time I went to the salon and my last trim in the summer of 2014. That is when I "guesstimate" was the last of my relaxed hair. So I had been transitioning since 2013. I was so excited when I got to see my hair in its natural state without the dead ends of my relaxed hair.

    How did family and friends react to me going natural?
    My family and friends were kind of shocked when I told them I was going natural. They didn't believe that I would follow through but now by looking at my hair I sure did prove them wrong. I remember my sister would laugh sometimes when I would try to mimic styles that I learned from YouTube. However, as my family started to see the changes in my hair they began to support me and my decision. It just had to grow on them, just as it had to on me.

    What was your transition routine (products included)?
    Carol's Daughter transitioning kit was my holy grail. I used this faithfully on wash day! I bought two boxes of it and it lasted me a while.

    What was your staple hair style during the transition?
    Flat twists were my staple hair style during the time. I would try out other styles like bantu knots and flexi-rods but flat twists were the style I knew how to do best.

    How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
    I moisturized using the L.O.C. method and made sure that I deep conditioned every week. I would use water, olive oil, and Elasta QP's Olive oil and Mango butter moisturizer (this stuff smells delicious).

    Why did you choose to go natural?
    Going to college was the ultimate reason I went natural. I was going to be away from my parents and away from my hair dresser. To others it may seem like it is hard maintenance but it is easier maintenance for me and lighter on my pockets. I am thankful that I went natural it was one of the best decision's I've ever made.


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    Jewellianna (JeweJewe Bee) writes:

    Hello CN community!

    I want to share my straightening routine which shows how I take my natural hair from super curly to bone straight. In this video, I show how I blow dry, flat iron, and silk wrap my natural hair; plus, I give tips (as well as things to avoid) when trying to get natural hair on straight FLEEK! Enjoy!


     CN Says:
    It's cold out hurr, so I've been rocking a blow-out myself.  I'll be sharing my routine soon!  xoxo

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    by Kanisha Parks of

    Braids are one of the most popular protective styles in the natural hair community. I personally have been wearing braids for years to retain length and to abstain from over-manipulating my hair.
    If you’ve never done your own braids and would like to learn, just remember that practice makes perfect. You might not get it on the first try but don’t give up! Trust me, the money you keep in your pocket from doing your own hair is well worth the effort.

    Read On!>>>

    1. Traditional Box Braids

    You’ll Need: 12-15 packs of Kanekalon/Braiding Hair

    Time to Install: 4-6 hours

    If you’ve never done your own box braids, you may think it’s harder than it actually is. Learning how to do them just takes a little time and patience, but once you have the technique down, you’ll be able to manipulate your hair into many different styles.

    Check out this easy and informative tutorial from ForeverCryssy:

    2. Crochet Havana Mambo Twists

    You’ll Need: 6-7 Packs of Crochet Havana Mambo Twists

    Time to Install: 2-4 hours

    Now this is just one of the many amazing ways to style and wear crochet braids, but what’s great about pretty much any crochet braid style is that your braiding pattern underneath doesn’t have to perfect. Even though I can easily install individual braids, creating tight, clean cornrows has never come easy for me. But if you feel like you just need to have flawless braids underneath and can’t do them yourself, you can also get someone else to assist you in the process.

    iMadameJay shows how this style can be worn two ways: twisted or unraveled, just like a twistout. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Plus, you can add hair jewelry to your twists to spice this look up even more.

    3. Ghana Cornrows

You’ll Need: 3 packs of braiding hair

    Time to Install: 2-4 hours

    These braids are a fun way to switch up your styling. If you like protective styling without the long-term commitment, Ghana braids are great for changing your look for just a couple of weeks so you won’t start missing your curls too much. Plus, they only take a few hours to install, which is always a plus. However, the technique is more suitable for an intermediate/advanced braider, so prepare for a learning curve if you’re doing them yourself for the first time.

    You can see in this video by J’adoreMyCurls that this style relies heavily on creating the perfect part, so keep that in mind when you begin.

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    photo credit: FingerComber

    by Kavuli of Good Hair Diaries

    Hey folks! I've decided to use a full sew-in weave as a protective style for a while. I am very happy with my decision to do this, but I thought I should go into serious detail regarding the maintenance of my hair underneath. Out of sight, out of mind does NOT apply when it comes to your hair. Let me state that this is how I CHOOSE TO TAKE CARE OF MY HAIR during the weave process. Take what you will from it and tweak what you need to. Let's get started...

    Read On!>>>

    Before You Install the Weave:
    1. Wash and deep condition the hair with your choice of gentle and quality products.
    2. Moisturize the length of the hair using the L.O.C. Method.
    3. Air dry
    4. Take the weave that you are going to install and wash it. I clarify and deep condition the hair the same way I would my own hair. Go in the same direction as the cuticle and don't tangle the hair. I may or may not use heat during the conditioning process. ( It's crazy how much hair dye comes out of the weave when you wash it.) If you are using virgin hair, this process may or may not be necessary. 
    5. Be sure to wash the weave in warm water and rinse the conditioner out in cold water. This will help the weave to be very soft when it dries. 
    6. Let the weave air dry.

    After You Install the Weave: 
    1. Get a spray bottle or an applicator bottle with the narrow nozzle. Fill it up with your favorite liquid moisturizer. S-curl is awesome to use, but if you don't have that then you can always dilute your favorite cheapie conditioner with water, add glycerine and natural oils. 
    2. Lift up each track and spray or squeeze your moisturizer on the braids. This is time consuming, but completely necessary and it feels good. 
    3. Get another applicator bottle and fill it with your favorite oil to seal the moisturizer in the hair. Be sure to get the oil on your hair and scalp and not the weave. 
    4. Use the tips of your fingers to massage everything in. It will feel great! 
    5. Style as usual and cover with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet for bed.  Maintaining extensions is time consuming and requires a lot of patience. Cleansing and washing your hair properly is imperative to maintaining optimal hair health. Next, you'll find the steps I take to clean my hair with a sew-in weave.

    Be sure to Wash Your Real Hair Underneath AND the Weave
    1. Start by combing through the hair with a wide tooth comb to remove all tangles. If you are wearing a curly weave, then I would use my fingers to detangle. Start from the ends to the roots.
    2. Fill a spray bottle up with diluted shampoo and spray the scalp and hair. Use the method of spraying in between each track to get as close as possible to the scalp. Proceed by spraying the rest of the weave.
    3. Rinse the shampoo out of the hair using warm water and a wide tooth comb. Make sure that you rinse the scalp thoroughly and removing all of the soap from the scalp.
    4. Apply your favorite conditioner the same way you applied the shampoo, but let the conditioner sit on the hair for a while. * I am crazy about keeping my weave soft and smooth, and one of the ways I do that is with a good conditioner. Your weave will thank you!*
    5. Rinse the conditioner out and let your hair air dry. DO NOT APPLY any oils to the hair weave, and do try to limit your use of a heated appliance.
    6. Hair should be washed weekly!

    Caring for Your Real Hair

    I am obsessive about keeping my hair under the weave healthy and strong. There is no point of wearing a protective style if your refuse to care for your hair. 

    Moisturize - I am obsessive about keeping my hair moisturized underneath a sew-in weave. My go to choice of moisturizer is a braid spray. I will use a braid spray or moisturizer generously on the hair every other day. This takes care of my scalp as well, and it ensures that I won't have dry/brittle hair when I remove the braids.

    Oiling - My scalp can get very dry under a weave and it isn't uncommon for me to experience a few flakes. Oiling my scalp nightly is something I try to do faithfully. Purchasing a bottle with a thin nozzle, or a spray bottle and filling it with your favorite oil will do the trick. Apply this this oil liberally to the natural hair only. You don't want to get your sew-in weave greasy as this will ruin the quality of hair.

    Washing - The natural hair and weave hair must be washed weekly no matter what. Healthy hair grows out of a clean and healthy scalp. Being in a weave is no excuse to not wash the hair. I am careful to use a sulfate-free shampoo during this time.

    Deep Conditioning - After shampooing the hair and weave, I apply a deep conditioner on both the weave hair and my exposed hair and sit under a hooded dryer for at least 30 minutes. The natural hair and weave love this process, and it also helps to keep the hair moist.

    Protect Your Hairline - I protect my hairline by massaging castor oil into it every single night and while styling, if I remember. Weaves and braids can wreak havoc on the hairline if you are not careful. Take the necessary precaution by massaging and applying castor oil as often as possible. Also, during installation, make sure the braids aren't too taught.

      Have you used a sew-in weave as a protective style?  How do you care for your hair under the weave?

      This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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       by Jascmeen of

      Bought a synthetic wig and wanna make it look dope as hell?  Like, make it look not 'cheap'? Interested in learning how to protect and nourish your real hair while rocking wigs?  Welp, we got answers!

      Read On!>>>

      Start by coating your fingertips in coconut oil and finger combing downward. It’s really important to use as little oil as possible. Since this hair is synthetic it doesn’t respond well to a lot of product. Take it easy and use a tiny bit at a time.

      I do a few passes all the way through before I start combing and stopping just short of the ends. You don’t want to over fluff because again, synthetic hair doesn’t have the snapback of human hair. Once you over fluff, you’re in dangerous territory.

      I like to leave the nape of the neck alone for the most part. The nape area is where synthetic wigs can really get nasty. They get tangled, matted, and its best to leave this area alone so it’ll be easier to finger comb it over time.

      I leave out a very small perimeter to make it easier to blend. When I use this as a protective style, I braid my entire head in chunky “Bye Felicia” braids and moisturize them nightly. I’ll also part out my leave-out, braid it into three or so tiny braids with a bit of conditioner, and take them out in the morning. Doing the leave-out in this sort of mini braid-out gives me some excellent blending.

      In this video I blended without a braid out just to give you a better idea of the texture. Check it out!

      Here’s a link to the wig! It’s available on Amazon but you can find it in your local Beauty Supply as well.

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    1. 01/21/16--01:00: 4 weeks straight #Literally

    2. I stay hittin' the #EasyButton...

      ...'cause it's way too cold and my current mood is, 'Nah'.

      As long as I'm light handed and only apply the Ultra Sheen every few days, I'm golden-- like it's not greasy at all, just damn luxurious.  Let's see how long we can push it... #GreaseKnots#ForTheWin 

      In short, every night, I--

      1. finger detangle gently and create 8-12 bantu knots, securing each with a bobby pin
      2. I apply a teeny bit of Ultra Sheen grease (the blue one) per section before knotting, focusing on the ends
      3. Sleep on a satin pillow case
      4. Release in the a.m. and luxuriate all day
      5. Repeat

      If I don't feel like re-knotting (or have no where to go the next day), I make one or two big bantu knots (on the top of my head), tie my edges down with a satin scarf, and release in the a.m. to rock a high, messy bun.  #EasyButton

      In other news- The District of Snow-lumbia...

      Not a snow day, tho, just a late start day.  So we #RoofTopped it for a sec.  

      Later Gators,

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      Hola Chicas!
      For those of you that are new to CN, Fierce Friday is a way to celebrate our natural hair, displaying our dopest styles and best hair days... for inspiration and motivation. Wanna be featured? All you have to do is upload your favorite pics to Instagram with the tags #FierceFriday and #CurlyNikki. Be sure to share a brief description of the style, where you were headed, why you felt amazing, etc.!

      The Fro is officially free! @lpshare

      I don't mind the cold as long as my hair is good. @tamarashaniece

      Nothing can dim the light that shines from within @amia_renee

      A week post flexis ... Clips & bobby-pins do the trick when I'm too lazy to actually wash my hair anybody else dread wash day in the winter? @vecoya

      #earlier Dreaming of warmer places. Take me to the Maldives please. @hello_curly

      Bangs make my face look so round but I'm liking my Shirley Temple curls. @curiouscannibal

      High #puff #naturalhair using @modiehaircare moisturising creme @discoveringnatural

      Bridal Extravaganza here I come…..@iamkayfitz

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      by Sabrina Perkins of

      Using shampoo is a debatable subject in the natural hair community. When co-washing came onto the scene, hearing that someone still shampoos her hair was a slap in the face to the natural hair Gods.

      The fact of the matter is, depending on one’s natural hair care regimen and the products that are used, shampoo may still need to be utilized as opposed to just co-washing. With that being said, how do you actually know when to co-wash vs. when to shampoo? Here are a few tips to guide you:

      Read On!>>>

      When to Shampoo

      Build Up
      One obvious sign that it is time to put down the conditioner and pick up your shampoo bottle is when you’re experiencing a lot of build up on your scalp. Cleansing the scalp is extremely important in order to ensure that the pores of the scalp are not clogged and that all dead skin, excess oil and product is gone to allow the scalp to breathe.

      While there are conditioners with cleansing agents strong enough to clean the hair, most of the time women are just using whatever conditioner they have laying around instead of an actual cleansing conditioner.

      If you’ve straightened your hair recently, or plan on straightening your hair in the future, chances are you’ll be using a heat protectant. Since most heat protectants contain a form of silicon in them to coat and protect the strands, it will need to be shampooed out before attempting a new style.

      The reason why silicones need to be shampooed out is because they coat the hair with a “film” which prevents moisture from entering the strands and causing frizz. Since our strands need moisture in order to maintain its health, the silicon will need to be completely stripped from the hair so that moisture will be able to penetrate again.

      When to Co-Wash

      In Between Cleanses
      Technically, you can co-wash whenever you want if your hair isn’t in need of a deep cleaning. For example, if you just shampooed your hair last week and you don’t feel as though it’s dirty enough to have to shampoo again, you can do a co-wash.

      The good thing with co-washes is the fact that you’re able to cleanse the scalp without losing out on moisture or stripping the nutrients that the hair needs in order to stay healthy. You can co-wash as often as you’d like, but remember that the scalp will need an overall cleanse at least once a month.


      Active Lifestyle
      If you live a very active lifestyle, you will need to cleanse your scalp more often than others. Assuming that your schedule allows it, someone who is physically active in terms of fitness and/or sports should cleanse their hair at least once a week.

      Many women who sport wash & gos during their active lifestyles opt to co-wash during the week and shampoo at the end of the week, so depending on your preferences you’ll be able to gauge when you should co-wash vs. when you should shampoo.

      Whether or not you shampoo or co-wash is completely up to you and what your hair prefers. While shampoo is a great way to fully cleanse the hair and scalp, keep in mind that there are alternative options if your hair does not respond well to it. The primary goal of both methods is to clean the scalp and hair, so be sure to pay attention to the way your hair and scalp responds to both and develop your regimen accordingly.

      CN Says:
      I went through a period where I only co-washed and my scalp didn't really like it.  Cleansing with a low sulfate shampoo once a month is the perfect compromise.  Happy hair, happy scalp.  I love Giovanni's 50/50 shampoo and their Tea Tree one as well. 

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      by Emilia Obiekea of

      Beginning your natural hair journey can feel both liberating and daunting. My advice?  Keep your regimen simple and the amount of products minimal. This will help you to figure out what works for you and makes getting the hang of caring for your hair much easier. Simplicity is the best foundation for beginners.

      Read On!>>>
      A simple natural hair care regimen to start with: 

      1.  Wash and Condition (once a week or biweekly)

      You will need
      • Pre-shampoo treatment aka Pre-poo. This is a method of preconditioning the hair prior to cleansing. It helps to remove tangles, shed hairs and lubricate the strands. This can be done 30 mins before washing your hair. Many prefer to do this step for a few hrs or overnight. I like to use penetrating oils. A common one is unrefined coconut oil.
      • A shampoo, cleansing conditioner or both. Alternate to figure out which works best for you and when it is most useful to use them. Generally cleansing conditioners are great if you do not have very dirty hair. If there is build up it is always a good idea to use a sulfate-free shampoo.
      • Rinse out conditioner, deep conditioner or both.
      • Protein treatment (optional): Begin with a light protein treatment when needed. Always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.
      • Detangling tools such as a shower comb.
      2.  Moisturize, Style and Seal (nightly or every few days).

      You will need
      • A leave in conditioner aka moisturizer. Can be a cream or liquid. Depends on your preference and density of your hair. Finer strands tend to work well with liquid leave ins. More textured hair usually maintains moisture best with a creamy leave in.
      • Hair oil, butter or both. Use the LOC or LCO method.
      • Heat protectant (optional): If you plan to blow dry, flat iron or use any type of direct heat styling tool.
      • Detangling tools like seamless combs, detangling brushes etc...
      If you haven't found products that work well for you check out my favs here.

      Do's & Don'ts for Natural Hair Care:
      • Do keep tabs on which products work and don't work. No need to go broke trying new items. This will help you to see what actually works for your hair and what doesn't. It is always the best way to see trends in the products you tend to like best and which to avoid. This was super helpful to me during my 3+ years transitioning my hair from relaxed to natural.
      • Don't buy every new product that comes along. You don't want to be a product junkie. It is easy to rush to buy the latest greatest things. Get trial sizes, travel sets or a regular 8 oz bottle to try. Don't rush out for the liter sizes of any product you have never used before. Trial and error can be both time consuming and costly but this will help you not to break the bank. Be sure to set a monthly budget.
      • Do use heat protectants when using heat tools. Applying direct heat to your hair is very damaging and requires a silicone based heat protectant to create a barrier between the heat and your hair. Direct heat is applied by hand held blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, etc... 
      • Don't comb dry hair. This usually can cause unnecessary breakage. It is much easier to comb hair when it is dampened or full of conditioner.
      • Do wear protective or low manipulation styles. Some of my favs are buns, flexi-rod sets, twist outs and braid outs.
      • Don't avoid regular trims. This makes it harder to retain length because it give split ends more time to travel up the length of your hair. Even just dusting the ends of your hair regularly makes a big difference in your overall hair health.
      • Do embrace your natural hair texture and pattern. Don't become upset because your hair doesn't look how you originally thought it should. Your hair will flourish with time. Enjoy the journey at each stage. Rock that hair!
      Hopefully these tips are most helpful to you!

      Veteran Naturals - what's your advice to beginners? 
      Beginners - what are you struggling with? 

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      been doing life with him since 2001 #DrDaddy

      Hola Chicas,

      Yesterday someone wrote in asking me how I created success, found purpose and love, and things of that nature.  Specifically, she wanted advice on getting a man. A good one.  THE ONE.  Now, usually, I don't do this but uh, Imma go 'head and share the secret to finding love... 

      Read On!>>>
      ***LOVE YO' DAMN SELF.***

      It really is that simple.  And before you curse me out or call it cliche, or 'cute', hear me out  (I promise I'll keep it short).

      If, for you, love looks like dude saying nice things to you, doing sweet things for you, loving you unconditionally, spending time with you and listening to you, then incorporate some of those things in your life right now, like STAT.  Think good things about yourself, #TreatYoSelf, spend time with your self (seriously- stop texting and cut the TV off), love yourself unconditionally (most of us say we do, but our thoughts stay talking back). Also, give love, attention, respect and time to the people around you--'cause you receive what you send out. 

      That's how it works.  You just forgot.  You can't have something and want something at the same time.  Two different frequencies.  You'll only realize love by being it.

      So be what you want to see.  Love yourself, unconditionally, right here, right now. Respect yourself and your time. Be the love you are.  And just like a mirror can't help but reflect that fleek-ass rod set, your circumstances, your world, can't help but reflect that love back to you with positive, meaningful interactions and relationships.  It happens fast, too.  Make loving and honoring yourself your number one purpose in life, and everything else will fall into place.

      Later Gators,

      p.s.  remember, that 'dude' is actually just the permission slip you give yourself, that allows you torelax your mindlong enough to experience your default state of love and joy. Choosing to wait for him (or that tax refund, or that promotion, or that 'perfect weight'), before you allow yourself to feel happy and loved, is a CHOICE. You are happy and loved now, you just haven't realized it yet.  You can feel feel happy and loved NOW.  And when you do, happy and loving circumstances will show the hell up-- they can't help but to.  

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      by Sabrina Perkins of

      We've discussed the amazing benefits of sweet potatoes for our bodies and hair. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E while containing iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, niacin and magnesium. This beauty food is a go-to for hair loss but as sweet as it is, it has some competition for being an asset to our tresses especially for hair loss and restoring graying hair.

      Read On!>>>

      So what can be just as beneficial, if not better for our hair than sweet potatoes? Regular potatoes! We simply call them white potatoes (because of the flesh), but that simple little potato that usually goes great with a juicy steak can also be beneficial to your hair.

      White potatoes are loaded (pun intended) with phosphorus, iron, calcium, fibers, potassium, proteins and Vitamins A, B and C, resulting in stronger hair growth and lessened shedding or thinning. And as if that's not enough, the peels are great for staving off gray hair! Who knew such a simple vegetable could be so beneficial? While it may seem a bit unconventional to use potato as a hair treatment, you may want to read up on the benefits you’ll reap from doing so.

      Why potatoes, tho? What are the benefits? 
      Not only do potatoes taste good and remove dark circles from under your eyes, but they also have been known to promote hair growth and darken your gray hairs. Although it is not a permanent treatment, potato skins can add some much needed luster to your hair while also masking those grays. The starches in the vegetable act as a natural colorant, and have been used as a dye alternative for fabrics for centuries. With that being said, it has also shown to be very effective in darkening gray hair when used consistently.

      The tools to get the job done:
      -Potato skins from about 6 potatoes (the more skins you use the stronger the solution will be)
      -A pot of boiling water (1 qt should be fine but you can adjust this according to your hair length and thickness)
      -Essential oil (optional)
      -Mesh strainer/ cheese cloth
      -Clean bowl

      Add peels to the pot and allow them to boil for at least 25 minutes. Turn off the pot and let it steep for an additional 15 minutes. Using your strainer/cloth, strain the liquid into your clean bowl and discard the peels. Add a couple of drops of your favorite oil if you’d like, and let the rinse cool down to room temperature before using.

      Now, follow these steps: 
      1. Shampoo, condition and detangle your hair as usual.
      2. Part your hair into as many sections you need (4-6 depending on your thickness and length)
      3. Pour enough rinse over the section so that it is completely coated. Be sure to work the rinse into your scalp as well for some good scalp stimulation.
      4. Rinse out with cold water, or you can leave it in your hair and blot the hair dry with an old t-shirt or towel.
      5. Style as usual

      Depending on how many grays you have and how dark you want them to be, you’ll have to repeat the rinse process a few times for good coverage.

      Would you try a potato skin rinse?! 


      CN Says:
      I'm graying rapidly.  Like the shit's escalated in the last year and I may be somewhere at like 25%.  I even have a few along the hairline that are very disrespectful when I haven't henna'ed in a while... like, now.  But I'll tell you what I ain't got time for. A new rinse.  haha!  I'm doing good just remembering to pre-poo... and do a tea rinse.  But seriously, I'd consider trying it on an ambitious day.  Maybe.  Probably not, tho.  What about you?! 

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      by Vashti Patrick-Joseph of 

      One of the complaints I hear all the time is “my hair is so dry!” A few days ago, while in CVS two young ladies walked up to me and said, “what do you put in your hair? It looks so healthy and soft. Mine is so dry”. Right there in the hair care aisle, we chatted about natural hair & dryness.

      Today I’m sharing some of the things we talked about. Here are 5 reasons why your natural hair may be dry.

      Read On!>>>

      1) You're doing it wrong... 
      Depending on your hair’s porosity, some of us will need to moisturize more often than others. If your hair is colored, you will also need to moisturize more often.

      No matter how often you moisturize, if you’re not doing it properly you will still have dry hair. There are a various layering methods that are used, the most popular of which are the LOC (created by BlackOnyx77) method or the LCO method. I’ve even heard of the LOCS method.

      Despite the method you choose, always remember the basics. Water based products (the ones providing the moisture) should always be followed by oil/butter based products which seal in or prevent the moisture from escaping quickly. Remember to pay extra attention to your ends.

      2) You forgot to deep treat... 
      Deep conditioning is a step that I never skip in my hair routine. I can safely say that my hair’s ability to retain moisture partly comes from deep conditioning. When you deep condition, you replenish your hair’s moisture and you improve its elasticity and overall health.

      The frequency and type of deep conditioner you use is ultimately up to you. I try to deep condition at least every 10 days or whenever I wash my hair. If deep conditioning is not part of your regimen and you’re having issues with dryness, you should add this step immediately.

      3) Build-up (from products and co-washing)
      So you’re deep conditioning regularly but you still experience dryness. What gives!?

      Well, it is highly possible that you may have product build up on your hair and scalp. As naturals, we often use products rich in oils and butters in an effort keep our hair moisturized. These very products can build up on your hair, and over time affect its ability to take in moisture.  What can you do about it? You will need to clarify/detox your hair.  I detox my hair about every 6 weeks or so using either Bentonite Clay, Rhassoul Clay or a Bobeam Shampoo Bar. Clarifying basically strips your hair of any and all product and gives you a clean slate to work with.

      4) Snip, Snip. 
      We all know that the ends are the oldest part of our hair and consequently the driest. If your ends are dry, it could mean that you aren’t moisturizing enough (or properly), but it could also mean that it’s time for a trim. I can always tell when I need a trim, my hair doesn’t retain moisture as well, my styles don’t look as great and my hair just generally isn’t at its best.

      Please do not hold on to old, dry ends for the sake of length. Please believe me when I tell that a proper trim will breathe new life into your hair. Not only will your hair retain moisture better, your hair will look better.

      Since my hair cut at the beginning of the year, I have committed to getting scheduled trims every 3 months, partly because I like to keep my hair shaped. The frequency of your trim depends on the state of your ends, but if you’re struggling with dry hair and you haven’t had a trim in a minute, this may be the solution to your problems.

      5) Weather Conditions (and environmental factors)
      Here in Dallas, we experience some extremely hot temperatures during the summer months. Even if it’s officially fall, we are still experiencing warm weather (I’m not mad about that). I have personally experienced my hair being “fried” because of the heat. Similarly, as the winter weather approaches, the colder temperatures can cause your hair to be extremely dry.

      Moisturizing your hair properly, deep conditioning as well as tucking/protecting your ends can make a huge difference in how dry your hair gets. In the fall/winter, protective styling is particularly popular among naturals because it’s a great way keeps your hair tucked away.

      BONUS: Another environmental factor that can cause dryness is hard water. If you have hard water installing a shower filter is a quick, easy, effective fix.

      How do you prevent dry natural hair? How do you keep your situation moist?

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    3. 01/25/16--07:48: CurlyNikki's #AskAway Monday

    4. Hola Chicas,

      Every Monday morning, I'll be live from the rooftop (except today, 'cause it's 3 degrees below Chicago and under hella snow)--

      --taking your most burning questions!  If you've got hurr (or whatever and what have you) questions, ask below!

      I'll do my best to get to them all!

      Later Gators,

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      Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
      I have always liked short hair, but I alternate from short to long and from to curly to straight.

      Had you always embraced your texture?
      No, I wasn’t completely comfortable with wearing my natural hair until about 12 years ago. I have a nice natural curl pattern, so I’m not certain why I was reluctant to wear my hair natural. I think I was addicted to what society dictates as “nice” or “beautiful” hair.

      READ MORE>>

      How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
      Everyone responded positively to my hair. Their responses gave me more confidence to wear my natural hair.

      Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
      My hair is very thick and long.

      What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
      I would have to say having blond streaks in my hair. I loved it, but everyone else absolutely hated it!

      What’s your biggest hair related regret?
      I don’t really have one. I’ve always been rather experimental with my hair, as it relates to styles. I enjoy variety.

      What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets! 
      At the moment, I’ve just colored my hair red. I typically will only do highlights, but this time I wanted to be bold and daring so I went for it! I love it. It’s my favorite color thus far. I have many hair product favorites. At the moment I would have to say Miss Jessie has the most hydrating products for my curls. Her hair pudding is to die for.

      What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
      I love BIG hair. The bigger, wider and higher the better. My hair inspiration comes from my love of two era’s – the 60’s and the 70’s. I am OBSESSED with Diana Ross, and no one does big like her.

      Who is your curl crush?
      I would have to say a woman who goes by Mo Knows Hair.  She has the best curls – ever!

      How do you maintain your hair at night?
      I sleep with a silk hair bonnet.

      How do you maintain healthy length?
      I make sure to keep my hair hydrated, especially with having hair color, to prevent hair breakage. Also, it’s seldom I place heat on my hair.

      What's the best thing about being natural?
      It’s low maintenance. I just shake and go! A bonus, men love my hair. They’re constantly complimenting me on it!

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      by Shelli of Hairscapades
      I did it! On Saturday, I decided to venture into the world of heavy duty protein and do my first ApHogee Two-Step Protein Treatment. Read on to find out if there will a second ;) .

      My Process:

      I was nervous because I read things like, “Don’t touch your hair once the treatment hardens, or it’ll break right off,” and I thought, “Well how am I gonna rinse this mess out if I can’t touch it?!” But, I then I saw that warning tempered with the advice that you just can’t agitate the hair and should be very careful when it’s in a dried state. I watched a couple of videos, read a few reviews and finally opted on following Chicoro’s technique, for the most part. In Grow It!, she provides some steps for doing a heavy duty treatment, which requires heat to harden it and bind the protein to the hair. The step that was most important for me was that she recommends to place the hair in twists throughout the process whereas all the other reviews and videos I watched were with loose, sectioned hair.

      So, here is what I did:

      Read On!!>>>
      Pre Poo and Cleanse:
      • Pre-pooed and finger detangled with Vatika oil/EVOO mix, placing hair into 6 twists total (slept in pre-poo overnight).
      • Washed hair in twists with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Moisture Retention and Ion Curl Solution shampoos diluted in water and applied with a dye applicator bottle (I used the SM because of the moisture it offers and the Ion as it has sulfates and would help clarify the hair for the protein treatment).
      Spray on the Treatment:
      • Poured ApHogee into a spray bottle for ease of application and added 4 drops of lavender essential oil to help mask the smell.
      • Untwisted one twist at a time, saturating each section with treatment, squishing it through the hair and retwisting. Repeated until all 6 twists were treated.
      • Secured twists on top of my head into a high pontytail with a stocking.
      Dry, Re-Wet and Rinse:
      • Dried under medium heat, high air flow. I started under my bonnet dryer, but became nervous as the bonnet was resting on my hair and I thought, “What will happen if it dries stuck to my hair when I try to remove it?!” So, I finished the job with a hand held blow dryer. Most of my hair remained stationary. But the ends of two twists were moving when I directed the hair dryer at them. So, I gently cupped them in my hand and directed the air towards them. (10-15 min.)
      • Re-wet twists by spritzing twists with water from the spray bottle. This removed the hardness from the hair prior to rinsing.
      • Rinsed in sink using warm water from the faucet first, then using the sprayer to finish the job. (Approx. 8 min.)
      Moisturize and Deep Condition:
      • Untwisted one twist at a time, saturating each section with ApHogee Balancing Moisturizer, squishing it through the hair and retwisting. Repeated until all twists were treated. (Left in hair for about 5 min.)
      • Rinsed Balancing Moisturizer in sink under warm water.
      • Mixed deep conditoner: Darcy Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner, approx. 1 tsp honey, EVOO and hazelnut oil.
      • Untwisted one twist at a time, saturating each section with deep conditioner, squishing it through the hair and retwisting. Repeated until all twists were treated and secured twists at crown with jaw clip.
      Finishing Touches:
      • Donned plastic cap and sat under bonnet dryer with medium heat (1 hour), then cooled (15 min.).
      • Hopped in the shower to finger detangle, twist by released twist adding extra conditioner (Aussie Moist) as needed. Followed finger detangle with wide-tooth shower comb and re-twisted each section.
      • Rinsed with cold water under tub faucet.
      • Applied modified kimmaytube leave-in (2 tbsp KCKT, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice, 2 tsp of jojoba oil) to each twist and re-twisted for a modified WnG.
      Note: I taped several steps in the process and am working on editing the videos into one to post later this week.

      My Review and Results

      I went into this like it was a henna treatment. In other words, I knew that it would be messy, so I was prepared. I took out all of my supplies, donned my bleached up, black henna tee, put towels on my couch (thanks for the warning Sham ;) ) and had the dryer set-up and ready to go! I knew that this stuff would stink … I read, “rancid trash,” “butt,” “animal feces” during my research … I liken it to toe jam or belly button lint. Umm hmm … yeah, not pleasant. So, I tried to ameliorate the smell a bit with the lavender oil. It still stunk, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected.

      However, it was very sticky and dripped everywhere, even with using a spray bottle. I had it all over my arms, face and neck. And, when I rinsed, it got in my eyes and that was NOT pleasant!! But, it didn’t blind me. When it came to drying the product in my hair, it went okay, but I do wish that I had a hard bonnet dryer as it would have made it easier.

      In regard to the results, my hair immediately felt heavier and harder after rinsing the protein treatment. It’s too early for me to determine if my breakage is eliminated as I did see a strand or two that were broken after the final rinse. But my hair definitely feels stronger and very elastic. It felt GREAT, very spring and lush. I also haven’t experience any dryness yet, which I’m sure is due to the good deep conditioning that I gave my hair after the treatment and the kimmaytube leave-in. I also sealed the last 6 inches or so of my hair with my JBCO/EVOO mix before putting it into 5 twists for bed last night. It felt good Sunday and I’ll keep an eye on my lost hair and the moisture level over the upcoming week.

      Initial Conclusions:
      As of Sunday night, I’m definitely thinking that I’ll be incorporating a heavy duty protein treatment into my regimen as a pro-active and preventative measure. For now, I’m thinking once every 6-8 weeks or so. But, I’ll pay attention to my hair and if it seems that it’s not necessary, I’ll stretch it.

      Have/do you use the ApHogee Two Step Treatment? If so, how did/do you like it? What’s your process? If you use a different intense protein treatment, which one do you use? Why do you prefer it?

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      By Neisha of

      Moisturizing is essential, especially for Type 4 natural hair.  Many naturals have spent lots of money (and time searching for) moisturizing products that may not have (or may have) worked. Did you know that your kitchen is loaded down with ingredients that can be used to nourish, moisturize and grow your hair long and strong? Below, find some easy, DIY recipes for homemade moisturizers:

      Read On!>>>
      1.  Coconut Curl Moisturizing Conditioner
      -1 cup purified water
      -½ cup aloe juice
      -1 tbsp melted coconut oil
      -3 tbsp lime juice
      -5 vitamin E capsules (just pop with a needle and then squeeze into your mixture)
      – 2 tbsp glycerin
      – 2 tbsp of your favorite essential oils
      Simply mix all the ingredients together, store an a spray bottle and you’re good to go! Spritz as needed for added moisture.

      2. Whipped Shea Butter + Grapeseed Oil
      – ½ cup unrefined shea butter
      – ¼ cup aloe vera gel
      – 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
      – 1 tsp pure honey
      Melt the shea butter slightly in a pot on the stove or by warming over a hot water bath. Do this until the butter is soft but not completely melted. Whip the butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the grapeseed oil and honey to the shea butter. Whip again. Finally add the aloe vera gel. Whip all the ingredients together on low speed. Cover the mixture and store in a dry cool place.

      3. Curly Aloe Refresher 
      – ¼ cup water
      – 2 tbsp aloe vera juice
      – 2 tbsp glycerin
      – 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
      – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      – few drops essential oil (your favorite)
      Pour the water, aloe vera juice, glycerin, coconut oil, olive oil, and essential oil into a spray bottle (or spritz bottle). Shake the bottle slightly, but not too hard, until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Store the bottle in a refrigerator.

      4. Whipped Shea Leave-In Conditioner 
      – ½ cup unrefined shea butter
      – ½ cup leave-in conditioner
      – ¼ cup jojoba oil
      – few drops of essential oil (your favorite)
      Melt the shea butter slightly in a pot on the stove or by warming over a hot water bath. Do this until the butter is soft but not completely melted. Whip the butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the oils to the shea butter. Whip again. Finally add the leave-in conditioner. Whip all the ingredients together on low speed. Cover the mixture and store in a dry cool place.

      5. Gentle Glycerin Detangler
      – ¼ cup glycerin
      – 1 cup distilled water
      – 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential Oil
      Stir together glycerin with distilled water. Then add in your favorite essential oils. Keep the mixture in a spray bottle for easy detangling, and voila!

      What's your favorite DIY moisturizer? Share below!

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      by Naila Carter of

      I went on a cross country road trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco. “What to do with my hair?” was my first question! I wanted to have different options for my hair that were fun and sexy! As a beauty blogger, I wanted to film my trip and that meant being cute everyday!

      Here are 3 easy ways to style your hair while traveling in a car across the country! In 10 minutes or less make a full transformation in the bathroom with minimal products! Oh, and yes, these are ways of switching up your style that don't involve braids!

      Read On!>>>

      1. The Curly Ponytail
      CurlyPonyA low ponytail is a easy way to look elegant on-the-go. I used wefts of Haute Kinky Hair for extra volume. I gave face with my hair pulled back and my baby hair laid. Boom: Sexy! This style was my favorite!

      Products Needed:
      -Castor Oil
      -Eco Gel & a Brush
      -Curly Human Hair Extensions (Optional)

      2. The Snow Bunny Wig

      If you have a wig handy, BRING IT!
      Wigs are easy to apply!
      Wigs are undetectable under a hat!

      I have a human hair lace-front wig from Double Leaf Wigs that gave me snow bunny life! Perfect for the Rocky Mountains in Denver and Lake Tahoe! All I needed was my knit hat!

      3. The Top Knot Bun.
      IMG_4739 (1)

      Another way to rock your natural tresses is to incorporate a cute top- knot. Your hair is gathered, out of the way and ready for any adventure!

      Products Needed:
      -Donut Bun
      -Bobby Pins
      -Castor Oil /Eco- Gel
      I completed my 7 day road trip and emerged with all of my edges in tact! These styles were gentle and easily interchangeable. Everyday I stepped out of the bathroom like Superman did out of a phone booth; fabulous!

      How do you rock your natural hair on road trips?!

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      Liv writes:

      Hello CurlyNikki community!  I wanted to share how I lost 10 pounds, maintained it for over a year, gained muscle, and trimmed my waist down simply by living a healthy lifestyle! With motivation, determination and discipline anything is possible!


      Have you lost some poundage, the healthy way? Share below!

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