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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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  • 05/12/16--16:04: Resurrection Age.

  • BIRTHDAY COUNTDOWN. 

    #AllTheWayUp #Tminus14Hours #Level33 #RESPECKMyDay#AllTreeOfYall

    Continue for hair deets!>>>
    I did a perm rod set on an old blow-out using a little bit of Oyin's Hair Dew on each piece before rolling (no water added).  I rolled using the twist and roll method  (to achieve a bantu knot-out look) on orange and beige rods (25 total) and let it set over night. Fluff, fluff, fluff, Red lippie, cerave moisturizer, out the door, in these DC streets!  #LunchDateWithDrDaddy

    Later Gators, 
    Nik

    p.s. FYI- if you choose to use Oyin's Hair Dew for a dry set, be extra light handed 'cause the situation can get greasy real quick.  I'm still enjoying Jane Carter's Twist-Out Foam for dry and damp sets, but I was fresh out.  

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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    While news has spread as of late of Nas on his pursuit as a venture capitalist, it seems that he’s expanding to other avenues as well. His latest venture is executive producer of upcoming film The Land. But while Nas serving as executive producer might be exciting news, what’s more exciting is who’s featured in the film and the music soundtrack. Erykah Badu and Michael K. Williams of The Wire will star in the new film scheduled to hit theaters on July 29th.

    Continue!>>>
    The Land is a skate film based in Cleveland that follows the lives of amateur skaters looking to turn their passion into a full-time career. The Land, first premiered back in January at Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The opening scene forces one of the main characters to develop the answer to one very important question, “What are you good at?” It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves atleast once in our lives. But what started as a hobby with friends in inner city Cleveland might prove to bethese young boys escape from a dwindling environment. While soundtracks haven’t been the most exciting selling point for movies lately, this film might change that with its promising roster. The movie soundtrack is expected will original music from the likes of Kanye West, Jeremih, Pusha T, Nosaj Thing as well as Erykah Badu and Nas. Although Erykah Badu appears to have a pretty limited role in the film, the trailer might be enough to peak your interest to see the final product. It is directed by newcomer, Steven Caple Jr. Watch the trailer and let us know your thoughts in the comment section.


    **********************

    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    Rihanna has announced a new college scholarship foundation to assist future students who plan to continue their college education in the United States. The scholarship program will target citizens or natives of several places including Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and her hometown Barbados.

    Continue!>>>


    According to its website, the Clara Lionel Foundation is an initiative that works to improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts, & culture. “The day of my graduation is when I found out I had gained the scholarship,” says college freshman Gianni Beltrez. Beltrez is a current freshman at Hofstra University in New York studying journalism. “I wanna be bigger. I wanna do it, not only for myself but for my mother, for my family. Make something out of myself.” Rihanna launched the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 in honor of her grandparents. She too, realized a dream to become a singer at a young age, part of her inspiration to give back. “Every child has something that they aspire to be. That’s why for me, arts & culture, it might not literally be putting someone on stage, but giving them the outlet to do something they might love. Keep them focused on positive things.” The scholarship specifies the following: applicants must be residents of the listed countries, eligible to study in the US, accepted to an accredited four year college/university and a first time college student with fewer than 12 college credits. The scholarships will range from $5,000-$50,000 and a renewable. The scholarship renewal terms are contingent upon students maintaining a cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

    The next application deadline for freshmen entering the 2016-2017 academic years is June 10, 2016. You can find out more information and apply for the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program here.



    **********************
    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    by Jascmeen of JascmeenBush.com

    Naturals are born DIYers. We take the time to learn our hair and give it the absolute best care possible. Whether it’s to get an annual trim or just a little pampering, sometimes a trip to the salon is warranted— just make sure that you’re trusting your hair to an expert. Here are five tips to getting the salon experience you deserve.

    Continue!>>>
    1. Do Your Research
    This goes without saying but keep in mind, a referral isn’t enough. Whether it's a stylist or a natural hair salon, check out their website, Yelp reviews, and social media presence across all platforms. Look for people getting the service you’re interested in. Take your time and weigh your options.

    2. Ask Away
    Now that you’ve got a few options, prepare a list of questions. Be extremely direct. Instead of “Hi, I’m interested in some info on crochet braids,” go for “Hi, I’m looking to get shoulder length crochet braids set with medium-sized perm rods. I have 4c ear-length natural hair. Can you provide a price list and an estimate on how long the service will take?”

    Ask as many questions as you can. Not only will you know what you’re getting into but you’ll also be able to get even more information on the stylist’s ability and knowledge. You can’t ask too many questions. Politely let your expectations be known.

    3. Go for the Expert
    If you’ve narrowed it down to more than one stylist or natural hair salon and can’t seem to decide, choose the one who specializes in your desired style. If you go to any salon website you’ll see a long list of services that can offer. Sure, a lengthy list is impressive but a salon that focuses solely on natural hair, braids, or whatever you’re looking to get will only increase the chances that you’ll be in the hands of an expert.

    4. Be Prepared
    Before your appointment get a clear understanding of prices, keep in mind there may be upcharges on longer hair, braid size, etc. Be sure to ask how your stylist expects you to arrive. Showing up without detangling could end with your stylist adding on an additional fee for combing out your locs. Know what you’re getting into before you get hit with a hefty bill.

    Bring pictures and explain what it is about the hair you like. Instead of saying, “I love Taren Guy’s hair,” be more specific and say, “I love Taren’s volume, the size of her curl, and this slightly asymmetrical cut.”

    5. Take Notes
    So you cashed out on the most epic twist out, Bantu knots, or flexi rod set, now what? Pay attention to the products used and technique so that you can recreate your style at home. What really makes a trip to the salon worth it isn’t the ambiance or even the end result, it’s the knowledge you get firsthand from an expert.

    I recently got a trim and shape at DevaCurl. Not only was the stylist able to correct my hair, but I learned so much about products and proper application that it forever changed how I treat my hair. Check out the vlog below:

    Have you found your natural hair salon yet?

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    Hola Chicas,

    I'm giving away 6 Conditioning Baskets(worth ~$90 each) this month (May 2016) to question askers and answerers!

    If you see a curly-in-need who has asked a question under a post, answer it! If you are a curly who has a question that needs an answer, ask it! Not under this post, on all the posts! 

    The first three baskets will go to the three curlies with the highest number of posts this month (5/1-5/31, comments from previous months don't count) and the next three will go to three randomly selected commenters.  Past winners are eligible!

    Which posts/articles count for the contest? All of them!  Good luck!

    *contest ends May 31st, 2016 at 5pm EST*

    *Please only post comments that spark conversation and further discussion. Free products are EVERYTHING but this is really about strengthening our community and helping other naturals!*

    *US citizens only
     
    Later Gators,
    Nik

    Click for last month's winners!>>>>

    CONGRATS!!! #WinnerWinnerChickenDinner 

    Lola

    Brendee

    TNDRHRT

    Nikia

    KaraG

    Lauren 

    email me ASAP at nikki@curlynikki.com using 'April winner' in the subject line!

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  • 05/13/16--09:24: (V)ICE

  • If you wasn't knowing, I have exactly one vice...


    So, would y'all hold me down if I ran off on the plug?  #‎FreeNikki‬ #ItWasSooooSparkly ‪#‎NawIGaveItBack‬ ‪#‎OrangeAintMyNewBlack‬ ‪#‎ThatRingTho‬ ‪#‎SheMine‬

    Thanks, as always to Diamonds Direct of Richmond.  I'll share pics from the shoot soon!

    Off to celebrate my burfday!
    Nik

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    IG: MyNaturalSistas

    by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

    Better, faster, stronger. 


    Kanye's lyrics are the soundtrack to our hair! We all want longer, stronger, healthier hair. Despite what you've been told, it is possible to grow long, healthy, natural hair. So what's the secret? Do you need herbs and spices? A special miracle oil? The juices and berries Prince Akeem used in Coming to America?





    While there are no shortcuts to long hair, you can encourage growth. 


    Castor oil is a natural remedy for thickening hair. Rub your scalp with a small amount of Jamaican Black Castor Oil before bed. Rich in fatty acids, castor oil circulates blood to the scalp to make hair longer, stronger, and shinier. You can also use a tiny amount on your eyebrows and lashes to keep them looking luxurious. 


    Massage your scalp for 2-5 minutes before  shampooing to increase circulation to your follicles. Use natural oils like coconut, olive, almond, or jojoba  and move your fingers in a circular motion to gently massage your scalp. 


    A daily multivitamin can help to increase hair growth. Look for one that contains biotin, an essential nutrient for strength in hair and nails. Get 2.5 mg to improve your keratin structure, says dermatologist Dr. Richard Scher. 



    While you can't speed into long hair, healthy habits will keep it growing. 


                                                  ***********************************
                                        
    Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.


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    IG: Carruthbeauty

    by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

    Nothing ruins a fab twist out faster than split ends.

    If your hair is dry, brittle, and breaking, you've probably got damage. Over styling, bi-weekly blowouts, and a number of other factors can wreak havoc on our strands. From rocking too tight braids to using too much heat, damage shows itself in split ends and dull, dry hair.

    Continue >>>


    Luckily, you can reverse the effects of damage--with things you've already got in your kitchen.

    Bring you hair back to health with deep conditioning.
    If you've got an avocado handy, skip the guac and help your hair. Avocados are full of vitamins, minerals, and natural oils to keep your hair shining. Mash a ripe one with a little of your favorite oil to make a mask, and leave it on for 20 minutes after you wash your hair.

    Try a hot oil treatment.
    Instead of drizzling it over your salad, heat up 1/2 cup of olive oil. Massage into wet hair and cover with a shower cap and a towel. Netflix and chill for 45 minutes, and then wash it out. Olive oil's antioxidants and vitamin E help to seal the cuticle and heal damaged hair.

    Sweeten things up.
    Honey isn't just for your tea. A natural humectant, honey attracts moisture and feeds your follicles to encourage growth. Mix 1/4 cup of honey with 3 tablespoons of warm coconut oi and apply it to damp hair. Let it sit for 20 minutes, and wash out.

    Healing your hair can be as easy as opening your kitchen cabinets.
    Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

                                                 ***********************************
                                        


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    IG: __lipstickncurlss__

    by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

    Finding the right relationship is hard. It needs to be easygoing and convenient. There needs to be honesty and trust. And, good communication is an absolute must.

    Your relationship with your stylist is an important one.

    Entrusting your natural hair to someone else can be a tough task. Choosing the right salon and stylist will not only help your look, but also help your hair stay healthy. Besides your spouse, this is one of the most long lasting relationships you can have. So how do you find The One?

    Continue >>>


    Ask friends to hook you up.
    Where do your girls go? If you've got a friend whose braids are the bomb, ask her for her stylist's info. Sometimes the best way to find a good stylist is through word of mouth. Don't be afraid to ask that girl on the train where she got her twists done--but be sure to get her name so you can tell the stylist who recommended you.

    Flirt.
    Set up a consultation with your potential stylist. You can get a feel for the salon and her style just by visiting. Does she take your appointment on time? Is she knowledgeable about your texture and curl pattern? Talk about the products you currently use and your hair goals. You're going to be spending a lot of time together, so make sure your personalities mesh well.

    Consider your options--date around.
    See a few stylists--up to 3--before making a decision. Compare and check social media. Does the stylist have an Instagram? Look at examples of styles she's done. Is the salon on Yelp? Check the reviews for complaints about wait times and prices.

    Know what you want out of the relationship, and choosing the right stylist will be easy.

                                                  ***********************************
                                        


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  • 05/16/16--12:00: CurlyNikki in Cuba

  • Hola Chicas,

    Story time--

    Continue!>>>
    So back in November, after driving down Embassy Row on our way to our favorite restaurant, Dr. Daddy noticed what he thought was the Cuban Flag. He said it looked like the Puerto Rican flag, but that he was pretty sure it wasn’t. It turned out that it was the newly opened Cuban Embassy and in that moment we decided Cuba would be our December 2015 destination. About a week later I found myself standing outside the imposing gates with nothing but our 3 passports in hand, hoping to be let in. I had called for about a week with no response, so finally, on a whim, while Gia was at school and Dr. Daddy was in class, I Uber'ed over to the Embassy to knock on the door. When I told the driver where we were headed he was like, ‘that’s interesting. Do you have an appointment?’ I was like, ‘nope, couldn’t get through’. He was hella skeptical so while it seemed as if he was being nice waiting for me (it was raining) in case I didn’t get in, I think in fact he was curious if I’d be successful. So I jumped out of the black Suburban, dressed in all black everything, full of hope.. I walked up to the imposing gates (which are a good distance from the front door) and rang the buzzer. Nothing. For like 5 minutes. I couldn’t see any movement, no sign of life at all, but uh, my brain doesn't compute the word ‘no’, so there I stood.  A couple of guys across the street looked on. 5 more minutes go by and I see the other gate open, the one for the garage, a car pulls out. I flag it down but they wave me off and said,'ring the bell again'. 10 more minutes go by.  Losing hope, I hop back in the Suburban and just before we pull off, the driver says,‘I think I saw someone look out the door’. So I jumped back out. Rang the bell again. Nothing. Just then, a UPS truck pulls up, she jumps out and since she has natural hair, we're instantly homies. We chat for a bit. 2 minutes later a woman appears at the front door, walks down to the gate, greets the natural haired UPS lady and lets her in. Not me tho, she looked at me and said,'just a moment'. I yell behind her, ‘I’d like to speak to someone in the press departme---!’ Door slams. 5 more minutes and a smiling woman appears and opens the gates for me! I walked in and said 'hi...I'm Nikki.'

    Next I can only assume she started what must have been a lengthy investigation into me, my intentions (curly cultural missions!), my husband and Curlynikki.com ‘cause every few days, I'd get a barrage of questions and requests for documents and such. For some reason I assumed that this wouldn't be that big a deal. Well, I was wrong. But I stayed messaging her too, checking up on the status of our situation.  That's one reason I'm successful at this life thing-- persistence and consistency.  Her response, every single time was basically, ‘be patient, I got this. But be patient, tho.’

    In the mean time, Gma got her wings, so we shelved our annual international New Year's trip. Brazil happened in March (‘cause we sheleved our annual international New Year's trip). Then the Obamas slid on down to Havana. I was like, 'cool'. Then Kanye Kardashian went and I was like ‘hold the hell up’! But that same week, Havana approved our visas!!!!!! Which was awesome, but they were also like 'you've got to go now, like, RIGHT NOW'.  So here we are, chartering a flight out of Miami.

    So there you have it folks, next time you want in to a closed society...just knock on the door.  #HardKnocks #ButSmileTho

    If you have the time, stay tuned and I'll share more from our epic trip to Havana… whenever I can find a wifi connection.

    Later Gators,
    Nik

    P.S. We figured now's as good a time as any for Boogie to go international, besides I’m still interviewing countries #incaseoftrump #incaseofclintontoo


    The Views:




    Princess Views

     

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    By Keshia White of GlobalCoutureBlog.net

    Oh, detangling! [sigh] I have such a love, hate relationship with this step of caring for my hair. It’s an essential part of maintaining healthy hair, but it can also be one of the toughest and most time-consuming parts, especially when you have kinky, afro-textured hair like I do. Here are four tips that have helped me to shave a huge amount of time off of my detangling process.

    Read More >>>


    Tip #1: Wear hairstyles that keep your hair stretched, such as braid-outs, twist-outs, roller sets, etc.

    These types of hairstyles keep your hair from getting tangled, when compared to wash and go styles. This is because they help keep the hair strands separated, while preventing them from matting together because the hair is stretched out.

    Tip #2: Wash your hair in sections and gently smooth the shampoo down the strands.

    Washing all of your hair at once can definitely be a recipe for tangles. Sectioning the hair helps you to focus on distinct areas as you go. It’s best to only scrub your scalp with the pads of your fingers or carefully with a wide-tooth comb if you need a little extra cleansing. I usually do this with four sections and I use sectioning clips to hold each in place. When washing, apply your shampoo near the roots and put your fingers in right at the scalp and rub gently. This will create all the lather that you need. Then, to clean the strands, gently smooth the lather down the hair. Washing this way helps to prevent tangles and knots.

    Tip #3: Deep condition WITHOUT detangling your hair.

    This is something that I learned from going to the salon to get my hair done. I noticed how easy it was to comb through my hair after getting a deep conditioning treatment under a steamer. I also noticed that the beautician applied the deep conditioner with her hands thoroughly without coming it through before I sat under the steamer. This works to make detangling easier because shampoo (even if it’s sulfate-free) removes moisture from your hair. Moisturized hair is easier to manipulate and handle than hair that is not moisturized. I don’t own a steamer, so to create this same effect at home, I apply conditioner thoroughly in sections with my hands, after washing my hair. Then, I put on a shower cap and sit under a hooded dryer on warm for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a hooded dryer, you can wrap a big, thick towel around the shower cap and let that settle in for about 45 minutes to an hour.

    Tip #4: Detangle on damp hair with a wide tooth comb and a smoothing comb.

    After rinsing my conditioner out, I apply leave-in conditioner section by section and gently detangle from the ends working my way up the the roots with a wide tooth comb. After using that comb, I do the same with a detangling comb, which has teeth that are more narrow than the teeth in the wide tooth comb (an example is the purple comb pictured above). This helps the strands to be smooth in preparation for hair styling and setting.

    What are some things that you do to help make detangling easier? Please share in the comments section below!

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    by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

    Pat, pat, pat. Scratch, scratch. Lemme just stick that bobby pin right...there.

    You've been scratching your head trying to figure it out. Why is your scalp so dry?

    Read More >>>

    When the seasons change, our hair can, too. Drier air in winter and sweltering temps in summer can dry out your scalp. Each day, the skin on your head is making room for more new cells, causing the old cells to slough off and leave you with itchiness and flakes.

    Although your hair might flake, don't confuse a dry scalp and dandruff. Dandruff is caused by an overproduction in natural oil (sebum). It shows itself in white, oily flakes, ruining your favorite black tee. The root of dandruff is a fungus called malassezia. We've all got it, but some women are more affected than others. Hormones, stress, illness, and genes can play a factor in how malassezia affects your hair.

    "African-American women don't have dandruff because they don't wash their hair," says Dr. Jeaneen Chappell, a researcher and resident in dermatology at St. Louis University School of Medicine. "African-American hair is drier and doesn't produce as much oil as other races."

    A dry scalp can be caused by eczema, dry weather, water temperature, and using products containing alcohol. A dry scalp means you aren't producing enough sebum to keep your scalp moisturized.

    You can combat dry scalp with these tips.

    1. Change your diet.
    Keep your skin and scalp moisturized by upping your water intake. Sugary foods and spices can irritate your scalp--limit these foods and see if there's improvement. Alcohol and salt can play a role, too.

    2. Try oils.
    Natural, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, diluted tea tree oil can soothe an itchy, dry scalp. Jojoba oil is similar to natural sebum, and can also help to hydrate your scalp and increase shine. Coconut oil, a household staple, can also be used to lightly moisturize your scalp.

    3. An apple a day keeps dry scalp away.
    Apple cider vinegar helps to keep hair and scalp healthy and moisturized. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle to bring back hair's pH level and shine.


    Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.


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    By Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    Aside from being an easy way to switch up your style, wigs have the tendency to be utilized the most when you’re not in the mood to do your hair. Using wigs as a way to leave your house looking more presentable and neglecting to care for your own hair is something that many women fall victim to and, as a result, their hair winds up suffering the most. 

    Just recently we have been hearing more about black women suffering fromhair loss because of wearing too-tight hairstyles, but neglectfulness of our own tresses while wearing extensions and wigs are also to blame. 



    The process of keeping your hair healthy underneath your wig is not a difficult one, but it is definitely necessary, especially if you’re wearing wigs as a protective style. Here are a few tips on how to care for your natural hair while wearing wigs:

    Wash Your Hair Regularly
    This may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your own hair and scalp clean while wearing wigs is very important. Since your scalp is covered for the majority of the day, there’s a chance that sweat has been accumulating, which can cause an unpleasant smell. Co-wash your hair weekly in order to rid the scalp of any sweat and dead skin that has started to build up even if you choose not to wash with shampoo that often. 

    Moisturize, Moisturize, & Moisture Some More!
    Wig capscan suck the moisture right out of your hair, so remembering to moisturize the hair multiple times per week is very important. Once you finally get home, take thewig cap off, lightly spritz your hair with some water or a liquid leave-in and pat it into the hair. Don’t wet the hair too much; just spritz enough water to replenish some moisture into your strands. Make sure to NEVER place a wig on damp or wet hair!

    Detangle and braid up the hair
    If your hair is long enough to get tangled, you need to make sure it is detangled and braided down before applying your wig cap. Not only does this reduce the look of bumps under your wig, but it will prevent the hair from becoming matted from the friction against the wig cap. 

    Massage & Care For Your Scalp
    Neglecting your scalp while wearing a wig is the worst thing you can do. Dry scalp and severe dandruff are two side effects of regular wig-wearing that is the easiest to contract. Apply anti-fungal oils such as tea treemixed with carrier oils for scalp massages. 


    This helps to keep the scalp stimulated and keep nutrients to get to your hair for healthy hair growth. These recipes also keep your scalp healthy and deter any harmful bacteriafrom growing on your scalp

    Let your hair and scalp breathe
    Although you more than likely take the wig off at the end of the day, it is important to have a few days where you don’t wear the wig at all. Your scalp and hair strands need oxygen to thrive and keeping them tucked away underneath a wig and wig cap can cause the scalp to smell sour.   

    Do you rock wigs regularly Naturals?
    Sabrina


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    By Mike Orie of TheConsciousTip.com

    We were all brought here to fulfill our calling, but for some, that feeling is a lot more apparent than others.

    Continue Reading >>>


    At just 8 years old, Nina Iliza survived a Rwandan genocide. She would escape her hometown of violence, but at the expense of losing her mother, a memory that still lingers vividly in the back of her mind. “I lost my brother and mother in the same night, both my grandparents on another night, and uncle’s and aunt’s along the way,” says Nina. It’s a feeling that no one should ever have to deal with, but it is in fact her reality. Somehow she survived, but her life would never be the same. “I’m not sure though if I can say I overcame it as much as I survived it. Sometimes I feel like I am still overcoming the hardships.” This was her life at 8 years old.

    Although her life would never quit be the same, she would learn of her family in the states who would take her in. Yet an unsettling feeling remained, things she could never quite vocalize publicly. “My aunt adopted me and 2 of my cousins so it was a very blended family-very fast. I never vocalized any pain I felt about my mother. I would just hide and cry in my pillow until I felt like I was ok to go back to the world. I would think that there is no way I could still be in so much pain about it-I would syke myself out to help stop from crying so much. Now as an adult I have done a much better job at healing through it, but as a child who never talked about it, it was pretty rough. I would have to say that was the most difficult part about growing up not having my birth mother, a lack of strength to acknowledge/face my loss.” But in time, things would change and she would find the strength.

    In 2010, she would return home. A place that robbed her of her childhood back in 1994, would take on a new meaning nearly 16 years later. “I visited Rwanda again for the first time in 2010. It was by far the most emotional roller coaster I have ever been on. On one hand I’m back home, and everything is so new and beautiful. But on the other hand, I lost my family in this place.” But as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Her story is a true testament of this, and somehow what stood before her reinforced it. “I sat on the rooftop and told myself out loud that when I come back – I’ll be coming back to make this place a little better than I would leave it. I would come back and not mourn my mother, but honor her.” This would birth the idea of Heart Of A Thousand Hills a passion project that would combine her love for Rwanda and making a difference in people’s lives.



    A Heart of A Thousand Hills is Nina’s non-profit. Founded in 2014, its mission is to provide essential school supplies and uniforms for vulnerable children in Rwanda to support their educational pursuit. You know, the simple things that you and I probably take for granted. Nina wants to make that a necessity for her people, our people. I’ve seen lots of infomercials about “saving Africa.” I find myself stuck somewhere between not trusting the organization and not believing that this was in fact the reality for some of my African brothers and sisters. But in Nina’s case, there’s no changing the channel. There’s only the mute button or turning up the volume. She chooses to listen, digest the message and speak up. But after a second trip to Rwanda, providing school supplies for over 30 students, she realized that she wanted to do more. Nina would develop this crazy idea to build a school in Rwanda. It doesn’t quite qualify for Forbes 30 Under 30, but it’s a feeling that no award or accolade could ever amount to. The feeling you get when you’re doing something that outlives your existence and carries on your legacy.

    Nina is attempting to do something amazing, but she needs our help. By August 2016, she is aiming to raise $15,000 in order to build a school, provide materials for art programming and implementing a mural on the school.

    “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours, no such thing, no such thing.”

    And while I know this, and J Cole knows this, for some it’s a difficult thing to see. “It is important for us to spread art and positivity to our youth in Rwanda in order to encourage youth to be aware of goodness within themselves and in turn, be able to see the beauty of their environment.” There’s beauty in the struggle, and it’s important that these kids see it.

    You can support the Heart of A Thousand Hills fundraiser by donating to their GoFundMe. At the time I am writing this article, they have reached $1,148 of their $15,000 goal. For more information on her non-profit, click here.


    Building Hope Project in Rwanda from the simple good on Vimeo.

    ***********************************

    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    As of now, we've been here for less than 24 hours and one experience sums up our whole entire situation --

    Continue!»


    A hummingbird flitted past me while Gia and I were walking along the path behind our condo to the beach.  He lingered for a while and even let us get super familiar before disappearing from sight. In life I've only seen a mocking jay a hummingbird once, and it was for seconds. He hung out so long WE eventually had to move on. It felt serendipitous and surreal. The joy in Boogie's eye as she watched the teeny bird hover and move on from flower to flower sent me right to that inner kingdom.

    Those pure and spontaneous good feels that crop up--love.

    Speaking of which, as it turns out Cuban people love Americans- as if they can tell the difference between the heart of the people and the policies of the government. Folks are super friendly and helpful. They're happy to see you and proud of their country. Sometimes I wonder do we do the same. Do we love the Kenyans that were killed in the latest terrorist attacks as much as ‘we are Paris’? Do you hurt for the Palestinians as much as the victims of 911? Do we want to end the embargo as much as we wanted to bring back our girls? 

    As an African American from Ferguson, MO, I feel like I have a responsibility to empathize with those that are oppressed, excluded or disadvantaged, no matter where they are all over the world. This is why I can recognize the humanity in the Muslim family in India, the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Cubans surviving the harsh reality of embargo. 

    One thing is clear- the human condition is universal. Neither time, space, nor government can keep people apart.

    At any rate, there's more to come. We had to charge up today for tomorrow and what's forthcoming-- what better place than the beach.

    After a delicious and colorful breakfast prepared in our home by our hosts, and a surprise trip to the 'nicest beach in Havana' by our homie and favorite driver Dayner Alvarez, here we sit taking in an unspoiled, mostly empty beach which I’m pretty sure is heaven on earth. This is our only beach day and it was supposed to rain, but it's sunny, so....

    Later Gators,
    Nik



    Livin'

    Lookit at what was sitting on our coffee table!
    They know my heart. It must have been time for a revisit!



     

     

     

     
    Gia- “Mommy, what does this thing do?”
    #FoundThisArtifactInA1956ChevyInCuba


     

     
    This is Dayner Alvarez-- hardest working man in the taxi business.


     

     
    We called her 'momma'.
    She saw me and Gia leaving the beach with a struggly situation and intervened.
    Braided her up quick, so now all I have to do is 1 head.


     



    P.S. We walked a mile for this WiFi. #HardWork #Dedication #BePatientTho #NoLimitSolidiersIRL


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    By Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    Beauty Boxes are the new “it thing” when it comes to how women discover and try out new makeup and beauty products. Mass retailers, such as Walmart and Target, have jumped on the beauty box bandwagon with the release of their box subscription services. However, like in most things related to makeup and beauty, Black women often find that they are overlooked in the beauty box department.

    The products that are included in the boxes of most major retailers usually don’t work or look good on darker skin tones and those with natural or textured hair. If you’ve had no luck with the other beauty boxes out there, here are 5 of the best beauty box subscription services that cater to Black women.

    Continue Reading >>>




    CurlKit has been arriving at doorsteps and in mail boxes since 2011. A monthly subscription to CurlKit will run you about $25 (includes shipping) and you can expect to receive a mix of samples and full-size products that are perfect for all natural hair textures.

    If you’re a Black woman, then you most certainly know of or have read Essence magazine. The editors of this popular magazine have now developed a unique beauty box subscription service that is sure to be as popular as the magazine itself.


    A subscription to the Essence Beauty Box is $15 and you’ll receive 5 products, ranging from hair and makeup to fragrances and skincare. The best thing about the Essence Beauty Box is that every package will include a product from an independently Black-owned brand.

    A photo posted by #ONYXBOX #BEAUTY4BROWNGIRLS (@weareonyx) on


    Onyx is a beauty box subscription service that is dedicated to serving Black women. Although created for Black women, Onyx now has a large multicultural following. The Onyx beauty box is shipped monthly and you can expect to receive 4-6 full-size trendy, boutique quality beauty products. A basic monthly membership is $25 and each box contains over $70 in products.

    A photo posted by COCOTIQUE (@cocotique) on

    This deluxe beauty box subscription service is focused on providing beauty products to women of color and women from all ethnic backgrounds. Cocotique also promotes healthy lifestyles by providing health and lifestyle related products in each shipment. A monthly subscription to Cocotique is $20 and shipping is free.

    A photo posted by @curlbox on

    Curlbox is a beauty box service that delivers hand-picked natural hair care products each month. A subscription to Curlbox is $20 per month and you’ll get at least 4 sample size products from both well-known and up-and-coming natural haircare brands.

    They all seem amazing and while I've only tried the ONXY Beauty Box I'm eager to see how the others fare.

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  • 05/18/16--18:07: The View from Havana


  • Got the last two internet cards in a 5 mile radius so I can share a few pics.
    Love y'all, talk soon!







































    See more from our trip!


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    A photo posted by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on

    By Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    Gabrielle Union is lovely, beautiful and a social media darling as she graciously shares her life with us in Instagram. Whether she's taking funny family pics or showing us how much she loves her hubby's hair, she's letting us know just what she's up to with that winning smile and cute dimples.

    Her latest shots have been of her newest hairstyle that will be making a big splash this summer as the 'it' natural hairstyle for vacations and summer outings. Ghana braids are often called invisible cornrows or even banana braids, they are very similar to cornrows and an African braided style.

    Continue Reading >>>


    "The history goes back to none other than Africa and gained momentum around 500 B.C. According to essayist As Peters for Culturally Situated Design Tools, "Hieroglyphs and sculptures dating back thousands of years illustrate the attention Africans have paid to their hair. Braids were etched into the back of the head of the majestic sphinx." This hairstyle survived the Middle Passage and made its way to Western civilization."Naturallycurly.com

    Becoming increasing popular, this style is ideal for naturals (or relaxed women) for a temporary protective style that lasts up to 2 to 3 weeks with proper maintenance and satin or silk scarves and pillowcases for sleeping. No need for cleansing the hair while rocking Ghana braids, one can opt for using dry shampoo and making sure to keep the scalp moist and use natural products.

    While the style has been popular for awhile, seeing Gabrielle rock them as we enter into summer is just what many women needed who where looking for the perfect style this vacation-season. This can even be installed by yourself so check out the video below and the products we suggest as great assets when rocking this summer style fave.


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    By Tiffani G. of MyMommyVents.com

    Warm weather is on its way! It's time for barbecues, beaches, and bold summer styles. Pull those sundresses out and grab those cute wedges, girl. Your summer body may not be ready, but your hair will always be on point with these hot styles.

    Continue Reading >>>
    Crochet braids are a great way to give your hair a break.

    A photo posted by 💚 Bernadette Kirby 💙 (@bernadette_kirby) on

    Throw back! Cornrows are always in style.

    A photo posted by trisha (@lovetrishh) on


    Get the style without the commitment. Give faux locs a try.



    Play with color!



    Try Havana twists.

    A photo posted by Protective Natural Hair Styles (@protectivestyles) on


                        ***********************************
                                        
    Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.


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  • 05/20/16--07:00: The Benefits Of Marley Hair

  • By Tiffani G. of MyMommyVents.com
    Is this love, is this love, that I'm feeling?

    From Instagram to your own block, women are rocking natural styles. Braids, twists, and even faux dreadlocks are setting the scene for summer. No matter the style, Marley hair can help you achieve the look.

    Continue!

    Protective styles give your hair a break from daily styling and manipulating. Whether you choose chunky twists or delicate crochet braids, Marley hair is a great choice for your summer style. Low maintenance and lightweight, the texture of Marley hair mimics natural hair for a style that's all your own.

    Marley hair is:

    Versataile:

    IG: afropunkie

    You can wear your Marley hair in so many ways. From elegant up dos to high buns, there are tons of ways to style your new 'do.

    Workout friendly:

    IG: pl_cakes

    Throw your Marley hair into a ponytail or a high bun and namaste. You'll be able to sweat through an hour of Zumba without running your hair. To keep things fresh, spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water on your scalp.


    Protective:

    IG: els__w

    Under this fierce style, you're letting your hair rest. Take some time away from heat, weaves, and wash n' gos. Be sure to keep your tresses moisturized with a rich oil.

    Will you be rocking Marley hair?



                            ***********************************
                                        
    Tiffani Greenway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.



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