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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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    Jasmine aka CurlyGaisha 
    Winter is upon us and already you may have noticed that your curls are feeling the chill. No worries! CurlyGaisha has got you with this easy and affordable DIY protein treatment that is sure to bring bounce, pep and step to your limp curls! Check out her video and let us know in the comment section how this treatment worked for you!





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  • 12/08/17--08:05: You are JOY, being human!

  • Today, you will remember what’s important. You will remember that you have a choice.

    Continue!>>>


    Look at you, you’re already smiling! 😊You’re so damn gorgeous when you’re being yourSELF! Your energy is changing. You’re starting to feel a gentle, go(o)d feeling, ‘joy’— it started as a warmth in your chest as that smile spread across your face, but now it’s unfurling, it’s radiating brilliantly throughout that body. You can even feel a little tingle in those hands as they cradle the phone. Now your shoulders are relaxing, and you notice you’re sitting (or standing) up straighter, more confidently— you’re feeling, remembering, embodying your power. And with every breath you take, your body becomes more and more alive. It’s teeming with life! It’s as if the air is enriched with JOY. And as you inhale through your heart, you feel so go(o)d you can barely contain it. In fact you can’t contain it and you shouldn’t! You’re smiling bigger now! 😊😃😆You want to share this joy, this uncaused bliss with everyone you meet today! You want to light their candle too! That is your purpose. To do everything you can to support and express and maintain these go(o)d feels by sharing it with others in your own unique way. And the more you live from this powerful awareness and give of these go(o)d feels to the checkout lady, the stranger on the subway, your petty coworker, your children, or your passion project, the more you receive. These go(o)d feels begin appearing in the world as the ‘stuff’, ‘the added things’ you think you want and need. And then one day, shit flips and you laugh— you aren’t just aware of the joy, you are joy, aware of itself! You always have been and always will be. Your only ‘job’ is to stay woke. Stay present. Stay consciously aware of joy and everything will fall into place.

    You’re getting this. I love you.

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    Anita Hill
    By Veronica Wells

    These past few months have been consumed with talk of sexual harassment. For the rest of his life, at least in the public space, Harvey Weinstein will be this generation's poster child for sexual assault and harassment. Even though he was far from the first or last man to use his power to intimidate women, he's the one who opened up the floor for everyone else to be exposed. And since his downfall, we've seen men like Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Louis C.K., Russell Simmons (and I'm sure more to come) meet similar fates.

    Most women, the group who have been the most affected and impacted by sexual assault, from the beginning of humanity, recognize that this reckoning is long overdue. Finally, the nation is having very real and uncomfortable conversations. And while I think that a majority of people understand the necessary ramifications behind sexual assault and harassment: firings, oustings, loss in income, being exposed, etc.; I've learned that not everyone gets it.

    Continue

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    IndigoStyle Vintage in BK
    By Erickka Sy Savané, Styled by Dani G.

    I'm a vintage girl. Always have been. There's something about finding gently-used gems that no one else will have at a fraction of the retail price that turns me on. So when Sheryl Roberts- a woman I've known for years on the commercial and TV circuit, she's shot a zillion TV commercials and ads so perhaps you've seen her face- opened a vintage boutique in Bedsty, Brooklyn, I knew one day I'd make the trip there. Well, it's the holidays so no better time than now to find holiday inspiration!  Here are a few fun looks that my bff/stylist Dani G., and I, put together. Hope you like!

    Continue


    Indigostyle Vintage owner Sheryl Roberts
    Indigostyle Vintage was a Pop Up Shop for 4 years before Sheryl opened the boutique located at 401 Tompkins Ave. in Brooklyn, last April. She loves fashion and believes that it shouldn't have to cost a fortune. Amen to that!


    If you love "fur" and leopard, this coat ($125) is your holiday show stopper! We belted it and paired it with these leather boots I got on sale at Macy's recently for just $29.99. You'll look and feel so good walking into that holiday party that you may not want to take this coat off! And why should you? Just wear something light underneath.


    This 80's Cosby Show-inspired multi-colored fuzzy coat will bring color to those drab winter days ($125). The knitted clutch keeps the color poppin' ($50), as do the aqua skirt ($60), the peach sweatshirt, ($50), and the white leather boots (size 9) that complete this look ($50).

    Jeffrey Campbell ($150 left) & Karl Lagerfield ($100 right)

    Can we just take a moment to salivate over these shoes! Maybe, they're not the most practical, but when it comes to making a statement, these babies will do it every time! Watch out Santa, mama is coming through! 


    If you want something that feels festive, girly, and shows off a little leg, pair a short skirt like this gold one from American Apparel ($35), and a colorful jacket like this pink floral bolero jacket ($70), and throw on some black leather ankle boots like these ($50).


    This skirt was so cute we had to do it twice! This time for a sportier look we added my own black leggings (after all, it's winter right?! Grab some from Old Navy), a black puffer vest ($65), Longchamp leopard heels ($75), this Blackbird Dillinger graffiti cross body purse ($195-$375), and this black Kangol hat ($35). 

    We hope you enjoyed these looks! Everything displayed in this post is available to buy (except for the leopard coat, which I believe got SOLD!). Thanks Sheryl, for allowing us to play in your boutique  and we'll be back for some more inspiration in the Spring! In the meantime, Happy Holiday Everyone!

    What will you be rocking this holiday season?


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  • 12/08/17--10:04: Do Men Feel Entitled To Sex?

  • By Veronica Wells

    A couple of months ago, I was interviewing three women about sex over the age of 50, for my websiteNoSugarNoCream. During the conversation, the youngest woman in the group explained that she was so thankful that when she’s not in the mood, her husband doesn’t cop an attitude. She said, “A man can be very mean when he can’t get what he wants.” For some reason, the words and the sentiment behind the words stuck with me. There were nods and grunts of agreement from the other two women, and it made me wonder, was this something other women had experienced as well?

    The responses were sparse because it’s a sensitive and intimate topic, women don’t want their man to look bad, they don’t want their sex lives to become a case study. I get it. But there were a brave few who decided to share, anonymously of course.

    First, I started with a friend named Yvonne. Yvonne is single at the moment but has been in more than a few non-committed or loosely defined relationships. So I asked her if the men from her past ever copped an attitude when she refused sex.

    She said, one man, Peter*, used her unwillingness to have sex as a way to attack her character.
    “He said I wasn’t affectionate enough and he resented the fact that I wouldn’t send him pictures of myself. He would use my lack of emotion/not being sexual with him when he demanded as an excuse for him to ignore me. He would say sh*t like ‘he’s a man” and he isn’t going to beg me to be a woman for him because other women would do it at the drop of a dime.”
    I should note that while Peter made all types of requests from Yvonne, she couldn’t even get him to return a text message. She concluded that this man viewed her as a toy.

    The women of “The Real,” addressed this topic on their show one day and said that the men in their lives had been known to get a little attitude but nothing like what Yvonne described.

    I’m not here to play relationship hierarchy. But the women who were in more committed, defined relationships had different experiences. One woman, Shanice, who had been with her man, the father of her children for over ten years, spoke about how her mental state affects her desire for sex for extended periods of time and how her man responds to that.
    “I often put off having sex because my moods are so inconsistent. I'm bipolar manic, (and untreated because I refuse to take meds, but that's another story), so it can take the smallest thing to just turn me off and not want to have sex for long periods of time, or it can be opposite and I want it a lot. However, Kareem* has never acted out against it, or done catty things. He has a very mild temper and just goes with the flow. However, when it does begin to bother him that I won't have sex with him he speaks out on it. He just makes comments about how he has needs too. Or he’ll say something like, ‘Who knows when I'll have sex again.’ So I'll feel bad and give up the booty within 48 hours. There are also times where I promise it, and then say, ‘Oh I'm tired. Etc.’ It makes me feel like crap at times, but sometimes I don't care. He just takes his frustrations to sleep. I don't have any experience where he has been cruel, or made threats about getting it elsewhere.”
    This state of sleep theme came up more than once in my little focus group. I spoke to a man, about one of his married male friends. I should note that while this man is an excellent father, he’s a serial cheater. He told our mutual friend that when his wife refuses sex, he sleeps peacefully because he knows he has options, options he’ll act on. I don’t issue that as a cautionary tale. I’m willing to bet that even if his wife never rejected him, he would still be out here. It’s just interesting to note that he’s not pressed.

    Another married woman, Karen, who’s been with her husband for 13 years said that while her husband never does or says anything cruel to her, she can tell that he gets a little “crunchy.”
    “If it's been a while, say like a week or two, he gets irritable. Sex in general, for us, takes off the edge. Without it, we both get crunchy. After we connect, issues seem to calm down. He's never gotten mad though if I say no, and there are definitely times when I'm just not in the mood. If I'm not, sometimes I'll go ahead anyway- because once we get started, I’m good- but I don't always give in.”
    Like Shanice, Karen spoke more about the pressure women feel when they’re not in the mood...at all, but also want to satisfy their husbands.
    “I have never really felt the need to have sex after having my two babies, but did because I know that he'd been waiting and he was clear about his excitement once the doctor gave us the go ahead. (The recommended time for sex after childbirth is four-six weeks.) I didn't want to make him keep waiting, and I also wondered if I'd ever 'feel' like it after a baby. I didn't want to become one of those women who has the baby and they lose their sex drive altogether. Now did he 'pressure' me? Maybe a little because he wasn't necessarily asking me how I really felt. But never has my husband acted like I have no choice, or treated me mean when I've said no."
    Obviously my sample size was particularly small, still the relationships that had weathered some "life," who had experienced the real, messy, practical elements of the real world understood that life can affect their partner's sex drive. And while they weren't always happy about it, their partner's refusal didn't warrant cruelty.


    Do you think men in committed relationships have more realistic expectations about how life can influence sexual desire for their partners?


    Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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    Today, there’s only one choice that matters. You have to stay conscious enough to choose your ‘go(o)d vibe’ over your ‘shook vibe’, regardless of circumstances.

    Can you stand firm in your go(o)d feels—unbothered, unshook, smiling and at peace? Or are you gonna seemingly give ‘them’, the power to upset you again, to knock you off balance?

    Continue!>>>


    Don’t let their mood, their energy, bring you down. Don’t let your vibe depend on their vibe. It has nothing to do with you. Mind YOUR business. Don’t dip.

    You have to do something different if you want to see something different, and it will feel unnatural until it doesn’t. You are not a victim. You are waking up to your power. I love you

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  • 12/10/17--16:13: How to Instantly Level Up.

  • The instant you consciously choose to shift from feeling like yourself to feeling like yourSELF, your whole life trajectory changes. You level up.

    Let’s do it together, right now. Notice your breath. In. Out. Nice! Smile, 😊 BIGGER 😆 Now, listen for the silence. Keep smiling. Don’t think about it, just listen. Cock that left ear and listen for the silence that’s under all the thoughts. Listen like you’re listening to see if you hear the baby stirring in the other room. Listen like it’s after 1am and you’re waiting to see when Bae is gonna try to creep in after a night out. Listen to the silence and the space that allows all the other noises to be. Listen for the silence, listen to the space— it’s in you and all around you. That’s where the joy is. And you’re feeling it now— subtly, in your chest as you stay aware of your smile. You feel the peace, the joy in the silence as you breathe in and out. It’s getting stronger. You’re breathing in the joy. You feel the joy as the silence. That joy you’re feeling right now, it’s always here! It’s you. This is HER. You’re being HER, now.

    Continue!>>>


    And when you’re being HER, you ‘die to your past’ (your thoughts were the only thing keeping it alive, anyway) and your future, once predictable, is now teeming with endless possibilities. You notice that you’re thinking her empowering thoughts, feeling her feels, living her confidence. If you stay here longer you’ll be taking her actions— responding to her life situations. And if you make being HER (aka feeling go(o)d)) a habit, the ‘out there’, will begin reflecting HER beliefs, her world, back to you. You are now living HER life, your true potential. You are being fully yourSELF for the first time. Welcome home.

    Smile, girl. You’re getting this. Smile. Shift. Stay. Like nothing else matters.

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    Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Hair & Body Bundle

    Happy Monday Ladies!

    Are you ready to find out the two winners of the Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Hair & Body Bundle?!?!


    Allison

    Congrats Winners! You have 1 week to claim your prize. Please email nikki@curlynikki.com with your full name and address using Taitu's Botanicals Winner in the subject line. Enjoy the products, and stay tuned because we'll be announcing another giveaway tomorrow!!! 

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    By Cia Edwards

    And they lived happily ever after…

    Or maybe they didn’t. As soon as our hormones kick in, we tend to gravitate to the notion that we have to find our “soul mate.” Or even the idea that there is someone out there who matches our personality and characteristics perfectly, which make them our perfect match.

    However, how many of us who are in exclusive relationships can really say we’ve met our soulmate? And for the percentage of us who think we have met our “soul mates,” how many of us can say that they are 100% perfect in every aspect of their being?

    Continue


    Coming from a biblical standpoint, there is nowhere in the Bible that states that God has made us a soul mate that we must be with. Before you stick a pitchfork in my mouth, and start shouting Adam and Eve, let’s go back and dissect that story briefly.

    God created Eve because He stated that, man should not live alone. NOT that man has to have a perfect match! However there are multiple places in the Bible that states that God’s love is sufficient for us.

    Song of Solomon 3:4 - “I have found the one whom my soul loves.” <- - - - - (not soul mate!)

    Granted, there are many scriptures that do highlight the concept of our souls loving another but it doesn’t always have a romantic connotation to the meaning.

    So do “Soul Mates” exist in the Bible? No, you’re welcome.

    Now that we have the biblical piece set aside let’s go into the reasons as to why you should probably stop searching for your “happy ever after” to marry.


    1. Searching for your soul mate can possibly inhibit you from truly understanding to love yourself first. 

    Though we may try to be the best versions of ourselves, if we are focused on something else we cannot possibly be giving ourselves 100%. Try to remember a time where you have lost your phone, you’ve done the very best while being thorough and retracing your steps to find where it was last seen. You’re giving it your all to find that iPhone you cherish so much, then you give up and figure that you’ll never find it. What happens to your emotions? You get really upset, you may start to wallow and temporarily you may even be disappointed in yourself because you tried your best to find your beloved. Now let’s apply this to your search for your soul mate. You go on a couple dates, reassuring yourself that he or she is the “one.” Then when they reveal to you that they still live at home with their parents and aren’t really sure of what they want to do with their career, you start to fall perhaps into a minor sad state where your hopes were so high to match your already established career. This is the very reason why when you’re on your search for your soul mate it can really be draining and deplete the energy needed to be the best you!

    2. You may have a person that matches you perfectly, but they may be permanently friend zoned.

    You ask a person to describe their soul mate their responses typically go something like this, “He connects with me on all levels, he’s my perfect match.” Or “She is like the missing half of me, it’s like she looks into my soul.” Well my friends, what you have described may be a disaster because those qualities don’t indicate any source of individuality. If you describe your soul mate as your “twin” or other half you could also be describing a friend. Most of our friendships exists because they immediately connect with us and sometimes act as our twins. So please be aware that your perfect match doesn’t always have to be your next Husband or Wife! Sometimes the people who we feel the most connected to is there just to serve a specific purpose, not to give you your next 24 karat ring! #FACTS




    3. Life is not meant to be a fairy tale where as soon as a problem arises it’s fixed and the end stays happy forever.

    If you truly believe finding a soul mate will make your life the next fairy tale, please pinch yourself…twice. When was the last time you had a fight with your best friend? Did you not end up in an argument probably a few months down the line? If you truly believe finding the perfect guy will solve the repetitive pattern you’ve had with relationship qualms, you’re wrong. Fairy tales are meant to be just that, Fairy-Enchanted Tale-Myth.

    Arguments will come, and so will solutions! There is no Prince Charming or Princess Tiana in the world that will substitute the lessons learned from trials.

    4. With 7.5 billion people in the world how will you connect with them all on your tedious “search.”


    Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat does in fact help us connect with different people from all walks of the earth but there is no way we can possibly connect with them all! Some may say, “God will most likely put my soul mate in my vicinity.” Well, I may say something like, “So you’re gonna go out with every female in Brooklyn?” Most likely the answer is no. There are way too many people out there who are similar to us, that may even be our counterpart doppelganger. This does not change the fact that the entire nation is populated with over 7 billion potential “soul mates” that you would have to sift through to “find” yours. So stop looking, because if someone is meant for you, trust me, you won’t have to search.

    5. You may pass on great opportunities with connections if you’re too fixated on your soul mate.


    It’s simple. If you’re too focused on not dating that girl because she doesn’t have the same ethnic background as you, or that guy because he’s a janitor and not a lawyer, then you are limiting yourself! These people you may pass by, could be your next ticket to a billion dollar idea, but it won’t be your billion dollar idea because you refused to date or even network with them. Don’t ever be too fixated on finding your “soul mate.” They don’t really exist.


    So do you still believe soul mates exist? Let’s chat. Leave me a comment below.
    My name is Felicia, but almost everyone refers to me as Cia E. I love all things hair and can be considered a hairaholic. I dabble in hair styling and makeup unprofessionally from time to time. I'm a full time therapist and a full time enthusiast. I hope you enjoy the information I provide as you travel along this journey I call LIFE! Follow my blog at Nearly Hair.

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    Photo via nbcnews.com
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    Like many, I have been following the Roy Moore vs. Doug Jones Senate race in Alabama. One minute, Democrat Doug Jones is ‘leading’ in polls in this state that Dems haven’t carried since 1992. Then two seconds later, Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple teenage girls when he was a grown ass man in his 30’s, starts looking like a shoe-in. How can this be? Well, we have to thank Conservative white women for that. Recent polls show that over 60% of white women support Roy Moore. These are the same women who threw their full support behind the Head P*ssy Grabber in Chief, Donald Trump. I’m looking at these women voting against themselves- in fact, one of the women who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16, is a Republican who actually voted for Trump, and recently acknowledged that his support of Moore is disappointing- wondering if they got dropped on their heads when they were babies. Why are they voting like this?

    For the answer, I go straight to white women. Since I only know a hand-full, and none of them voted for Trump (at least, not openly), I have to ask my white female liberal friends. What follows is white female Liberal's take on the voting logic of Conservative white women... 

    So I turn to Facebook to reach out to Anne who lives in LA, and is originally from Boulder, Colorado. Anne has two bi-racial daughters, and her sister has bi-racial kids as well. When asked to explain the voting logic of Conservative white women Anne said,
    “Great question my friend! I am so far removed from anyone that would think like this. My guess is that it’s a brainwashed Southern thing.”
    So my next question is how did she grow up? She says that her family was very liberal.
    “We celebrated different cultures and ways of life and freedom to be. My mother was Quaker and my father came from a Christian background, but won’t touch religion with a 10-foot-pole. He’s more of a Spiritual poet.”
    It would explain Anne and her sister’s open-mindedness. Very interesting. But I still need to find out why white women keep voting for Pedophiles!

    I reach out to Nancy* from a mommy group I belong to here in Jersey City. This group mixes women from all types of different backgrounds, and a lot of them are politically active. Though Nancy says she can’t say 100 percent, she goes straight for what we might consider the obvious.

    “I think it all circles back to racism, but some not even intentional, meaning they aren't even aware that they are being racist. So you have your flat out racists who hear the dog-whistle comments and are totally thinking that THESE guys get it. They are going to make sure that they keep out those Mexicans and stop giving money to those welfare babies. Then there's this big portion- and I know this because I see people I knew in high school that really don't understand- who don't view themselves as racists. They do however completely suffer from white privilege. They are white, middle class, have never lived in an urban area, they love their black friends and co-workers (see, they have black friends so they aren't racist wink-wink), they are, however, finding it harder to stay middle class. There aren't as many jobs, their pay isn't increasing, they are struggling to keep up with the Jones's. All their lives they've voted Conservative. Their parents were in unions, they go to church, they've worked hard and have reaped the rewards. They haven't faced the same obstacles P.O.C. have. So they, in their bubble, don't understand how you didn't just work hard and get ahead. If you aren't, you’re just not trying hard enough. It's a formula that's always worked for them. Except now, it's not. They haven't yet put together that the Republican party isn't looking out for them. That it's their policies that have failed them. They are still thinking that if they stay with a Conservative party that the cream will rise to the top.”
    She also points to Conservative “Christian” values.
    “Good women are docile and support their men no matter what. Men can't control their impulses when women of ill repute tempt them. All bullshit, but I've heard this nonsense. Unless it’s happened to them, they think that a lot of women ask for it. It’s a complete disconnect from reality, but their bubble is safe.”
    She concludes by saying that she believes a lot of Christian white women will go down with the ship. 

    Photo via The Atlantic
    This idea that white Conservative white women have that they are somehow being 'protected' is echoed by Ang*, another mom from the mommy group. Ang says that she’s been trying to figure out why women in her demographic vote for nasty predators, but her guess is fear. 
    “Its fear of losing a way of life that they understand even though it may not serve them best, fear of losing the protection and support of their spouses who are voting for the embodiment of evil because that evil preserves their supremacy.”
    She goes on to compare it to a woman staying in an abusive relationship.
    “Maybe they hope that by throwing others under the bus they will be spared the same fate. White women are caught in this place between privileged and oppressed, andit’s easier to pretend that we are on the side of power than under the boot.”
    She then turns the question around to ask me if I know anyone who has voted against themselves?

    My answer is no. I don’t know any black women who supported Trump, and I hope that none I know would vote for a Roy Moore, however, I know people who still support Bill Cosby, though more than 50 women have accused him of some form of sexual assault. I know black women still flock to R. Kelly concerts though it’s well-known that he’s had sexual relations with minors, making him a Pedophile. There’s also Clarence Thomas. We could also do better, and hopefully as more women continue to come forward with their stories of assault (#metoo), we will stop supporting those who don't support us. Clearly, there is work to do, though this is not about comparing. As it relates to the Senate race taking place tomorrow in Alabama, it's anyone's guess what the outcome will be. But it will be a telling sign as to what direction women, at least Conservative and white, are heading.

    Do you think Conservative white women will turn the page anytime soon? 
    Erickka Sy Savané is a wife, mom, and managing editor of CurlyNikki.com. Based in Jersey, City, NJ, her work has appeared in Essence.com,Ebony.comMadamenoire.com and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram orErickkaSySavane.com

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    The "Holiday"& "Langston" Candle
    It's another Tuesday, another chance to win day!

    Wouldn't it be nice to fill your home with the scent of Billie Holiday or Langston Hughes? Imagine the inspiration it could bring...Well, all you have to do is tell us what you love about your work- whether you're in school, a stay-at-home mom, a social worker, teacher, blogger, or starting your own business- it's all good, just inspire us with what makes it so great! In return, we're giving away 4 candles from the amazing Harlem Candle Company! Good Luck!

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    Holiday 

    Billie Holiday started singing in nightclubs in Harlem in the 1930’s, and the world stopped and listened. Completely enthralled, her admirers nicknamed her “Lady Day” and worshipped every note that came from her lips. Billie wore signature white gardenias in her shiny black hair and had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing that is still evident today. The Holiday candle is inspired by Billie’s favorite perfume, Emeraude, an aromatic green blend of fresh Winter spruce, pine needles, mint-infused eucalyptus, fir balsam and spicy cedarwood developing into a feminine heart of ethereal blue hyacinth. Strong and full-bodied, yet fragile and dreamy… just like Lady Day. Sets a beautiful mood for holiday time and all year round.

    Langston 
    Jazz poet, playwright and storyteller of life Langston Hughes loved the energy of the street and all its characters. And what impassioned him most were the sidewalks of Harlem, an overflowing source of inspiration for his vibrant tales. He was the spin-doctor of the Harlem Renaissance, the man who saw the unified future of art, culture and social expression through multicolored lenses.

    The Langston candle celebrates his unwavering optimism and his creative vision with an accord reflecting some of the strong symbols in his life… the worn vintage leather of his favorite armchair, aromatic tobacco laced with a hint of clove and vanilla from the pipes of neighborhood men wafting through his open window, and the sweet ambery incense that recalls his many visits to churches in Mexico.

    Tell us what you like about your work in the comment section below and 4 lucky winners will be given either a Langston or Holiday candle from HarlemCandleCompany.com! They have THE BEST candles so by all means, check them out! Winners will be announced on Monday, December 18th! Good Luck! 

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    YoGurlJoJo 
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    So the other day, we ran out of deodorant. My 8-year-old, who loves youtube says, 'let's make some ourselves!' At first I'm all, is she crazy? Why do that when I can just buy it? Then she finds this video, and it all began to make so much sense. Regular deodorants have aluminum in them, which are known to cause disease, plus they cost more in the long run than getting these ingredients that you probably already have in your home. Think about it, let's keep that money and stay healthy! 

    Thanks JoJo


    Will you try it?



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    By Nikki Igbo

    On my mother’s side of the family tree, we can trace certain roots back to the 16th century. The lineage leads to a collection of nobles and landed gentry who had the power and resources to literally own people. Other than the discovery that Barack Obama and I share a common ancestor, I can’t say I’m thrilled with these revelations. As if anyone cares how these people relate to me. As if anyone would classify me as White or European because of it.

    I wanted to know about the people who gave me my Black identity so I decided to test my DNA.


    Continue
    When I first learned of Black celebs like Danny Glover and Forest Whitaker being able to trace their lineage back to their specific African origins, I wanted to learn my truth as well but I thought I’d have to get rich first and/or rob a bank. Luckily DNA testing has advanced considerably in capability and affordability. Taking advantage of today’s brave new world, I recently received my results.

    Turns out that my African ancestry accounts for 85% of my heritage. I’m 53% Nigerian and 13% Senegalese with some Bantu, Beninese and Togolese ties. Learning this about myself left me with some great emotional highs but also a few misgivings. After chatting with a fellow friend and writer, Afropunk editorialist Erin White, I found I wasn’t alone.

    PRO: Pride and joy in knowing.

    “The results made me want to purchase all sorts of things with the Cameroonian flag on it,” Erin said of her initial reaction to her 30% Cameroonian, 19% Beninese/Togolese, 17% Ivorian/Ghanaian heritage. I knew exactly what she was saying. I felt as if I’d gained entrance to an exclusive, elite membership—as if I’d learned I was heir to a great kingdom. And still that doesn’t quite describe my happiness. I am connected to Nigeria in marriage, motherhood and within my own blood. To think that the life I’ve built indicates that I somehow already knew brings me to tears every time I think about it.

    PRO: Seeing myself with new eyes.

    I am Nigerian. That feeling I got after I read 'Things Fall Apart' in third grade. My infatuation with egusi soup and jollof rice. My deep appreciation for language and storytelling. My obsession with entrepreneurship. The way strong family and community means everything to me. The way my rare periaucular sinuses match my husband, my in-laws and a whole lot of people in Afikpo. Yeah, that’s straight up Naija. My husband always told me to say “I’m Nigerian” whenever anyone asked my background. Until the test, I always felt the need to explain why I claimed to be Nigerian. “I’m from California, I’m African-American married to a Nigerian man, yadda.” I felt like I was perpetrating if I didn’t. These days I’m just waiting for the next person to ask me. I wonder how it will feel to say it then.

    PRO: The question mark ends with me. 

    I know. My sons will know and the rest of the world will know. My book is already in the works.

    ***

    CON: The adjustment of owning a newly-discovered heritage.

    “I felt a slight uneasiness over the implication of the presence of Whiteness in my DNA," Erin confided. “It’s still not totally clear to me what context these White people were ‘involved’ with my family, outside of being from two of my great grand-parents. Were these consensual interracial relationships near the turn of the 20th century? Doubtful.”

    That troubled me somewhat as well. 

    CON: The need to know more.

    I put off taking the test for a pretty lengthy amount of time because I wondered if I would be satisfied with simply knowing my ethnic makeup only. Before the test, I wondered about the language and dialect my ancestors spoke, the clothing they wore, the songs they sang, the recipes they loved, the way they braided or wrapped their hair, the witty little sayings and proverbs they passed down to each other.

    Erin noted, “Getting the results of your DNA test will likely lead to more questions, and that can be a lot of fun, but to get real answers, it can cost a lot of money, too.”

    For now, it’s enough for me to know this puzzle piece. I have a strong identity in being African-American. Nigerian-American. I don’t know how long it will take for me to get used to saying it, to get comfortable inside this marriage of histories...what I’ve gained in the knowledge, and the baggage I’ve lost.

    Have you gotten your DNA tested? If so, what were your feelings?
    Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

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    By Jashia Wadehra

    It’s that time of year! The grocery shopping never ends and neither do the school bake sales, friendsgivings, secret Santa’s or gift exchanges.

    As a kid, I️ LOVED bringing my friends treats for every holiday and my birthday. And when money was tight and the $0.99 store was within walking distance, I️ learned to be resourceful. I’d start by hoarding my mom’s Trader Joe or other pretty grocery store bags post her shopping excursions. Then I’d make my way to the dollar store and pick up some standard thin glossy ribbon.

    This DIY craft project is perfect to do with the your kids during the holiday season, or even for various holiday events! This year I intend on making a handful and filling them with travel-sized toiletries for a local shelter- get creative! 



    How To:
    What you'll need: brown paper bag, ribbon, scissors, hole puncher!

    Step 1: 
    If you’re doing this project with your kids, perhaps whip out the safety scissors. I’d cut out two pieces of the bag in the shape of a stocking and proceed to hole punch around the perimeter of both pieces. The size of the stocking is entirely up to how much you intend on stuffing it with! 



    Step 2: 
    String your desired ribbon through and create little handles at the top. There you have it, adorable DIY reused Christmas treat stockings! Feel free to loop through with multiple colored ribbons for extra festiveness! 



    Step 3: 
    I️ love to stuff them with these vegan chocolate coconut truffles (recipe here!) or some little knick knacks for my nieces and nephews. If we’re being honest here, I️ have used them as adult party favors and they’re still a hit sooooooo, I’m just sayin.



    Do you do any arts and crafts with your kids for the holidays ? Share your projects with me in the comments !
    Jashima Wadehra is a writer, dancer, entrepreneur, and lover of people based in NYC.  She can be found blogging at overpriced coffee shops or on a plane heading to a new place to write about.  Follow her on instagram at @TheChatterboxlifeEnthusiast and check out her new blog TheChatterBoxLifeEnthusiast.com

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    Photo via appforhealth.com
    By Winnie Gaturu

    It's holiday time, and you know what that means, LOTS OF FOOD! And it's not just ordinary food, it's the delicacies that make your mouth water just by the mention of their names. That's why most Americans end up gaining a pound or two during the festive period. Although this doesn't seem like much, most people don’t shed off the weight gained during the festive period. The pounds gradually keep piling up year-after-year. You don't have to fall for that trap any more. You can still enjoy all the delicious food without adding any extra pounds. Here's what you need to do.

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    Photo flickr.com
    Limit your Alcohol intake
    Alcohol and weight management don't go well together. First of all, alcoholic drinks are full of calories which we often ignore. This means that alcohol has its own share of calories you should look out for. Secondly, alcohol lowers your self-control when it comes to eating. You might find yourself going for seconds and thirds when you're intoxicated. So stay away from alcohol or limit your alcohol intake during the holidays.

    Focus on having fun
    There's much more to holidays than food. It is time to catch up with friends and family and have some fun. This holiday season, focus on having fun instead of directing all your energy on food. Dance, talk, laugh and move around. Make sure you have a great time. Engaging yourself in many activities will automatically make you eat less food while also burning some calories. Simply enjoy yourself and have a great time.



    Stay away from the food

    Seriously! Stay away from the food especially at holiday parties. Your proximity to it makes it easier to binge eat. It's always safe to stay as far as possible from the kitchen or the table where the food is. To make this more manageable, ensure that you don't attend a holiday party while hungry. Always eat some food or a nutritious snack to make it easier for you to manage your eating habits. You can also drink a glass of water beforehand just to fill up your stomach a bit.

    Balance in the proteins and fiber

    Holiday meals are full of carbs which translates to a lot of calories. With this in mind, you should make a conscious decision to eat more protein and fiber rich foods. Good sources of protein include poultry, legumes, fish and red meat. You can get fiber from legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. For every serving of carbs you eat, ensure you eat a serving or two of proteins and fiber. Eating proteins automatically reduces the amount of calories you eat by increasing the levels of appetite-reducing hormones to reduce appetite and also increases your metabolism. On the other hand, fiber induces fullness thus making you eat less.

    Pick a smaller plate

    Always pick a small plate whenever possible especially at a buffet. This means that you'll need less food to fill your plate hence making you eat less. Choosing a smaller plate makes it easier to control your portions easily. You'll be able to enjoy your meal without overindulging yourself with the calories. If you can't find a smaller plate, use your best judgement to estimate food portions that are appropriate for you.



    Manage your stress levels
    Holidays can be really stressful, especially if you're organizing and hosting parties. You have to find a way to keep those stress levels down. Research has shown that stress prompts the increase of a hormone called cortisol in the body. Cortisol has been linked to triggering high appetite and cravings which lead to overeating and weight gain. Some of the things you can do to control your stress levels include deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise.

    Make your own food

    If you want to control the calories during the holiday season, make your own food as often as you can. Although it might be more convenient to buy boxed mashed potatoes and other processed holiday foods, they contain unhealthy fats and excess sugar. These are definitely not good for you if your aim is weight management. Instead of the boxed food, focus on making your own meals from scratch so that you can control the ingredients and stay on top of your weight.

    Following these tips will help you avoid gaining extra pounds during the holidays. However, it is normal to slip up once or twice. The important thing is not to give up and get back on track even after you let your guard down.


    What do you do to help you control your weight during the holidays?
     https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
    Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

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    By Kanisha Parks

    Self-care is a topic that is becoming increasingly popular throughout social media, and I’m all the way here for it. As black women, self-care is something we often put on the backburner, if we even make time for it at all. We’re caregivers and caretakers—strong, hard-working, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends. We’re out here grinding, trying to build something we can be proud of. Some of us wear so many hats, it’s a wonder we ever get any sleep, let alone find the time to give even a few minutes to ourselves.



    As a single woman, self-care is no less important than it would be if you were in a relationship. This is the time for you—getting to know you, improving you, accepting and loving yourself for who you are and all that you have to offer. When you don’t have a significant other or children to care for, it may seem you should have more time to embrace self-care but that isn’t necessarily the case. We all have responsibilities, some greater than others, and someone or something is constantly beckoning for our attention (even social media!).


    But as you endeavor to be your best self, it starts with you. Aside from the immediate gratification, self-care has several benefits that affect your life as a whole:


    1. Self-care helps reinforce your self-esteem. 
    As a single woman, you have to take care of yourself. I mean, who else is going to do it? But what’s more is, before getting involved in a relationship, it’s important to have a firm foundation of self. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine only serves to reinforce your self-esteem, making you less likely to pursue a relationship for the wrong reasons—such as, validation. Self-care is a way of reminding yourself that you are important, you are enough, and you deserve to be treated as such. Ultimately, you’ll be less likely to settle for anything other than being treated like the Queen you are!

    Alex Elle, a writer and self-care advocate, shares: 
    “Sometimes it feels easier to let others do our hard work for us. But at the end of the day, learning how to lean into our self-love, stand tall in our self-care, and understand that we too are capable of loving ourselves just as hard as an outsider may, we have to show up. We have to do the work and become self-aware. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when we don’t want to. No one can love you like you can. Outside love validation feels good, it’s needed sometimes. But that internal self-acceptance matters. Learning how to love yourself when no one is looking or there to say “good job” is necessary as you journey through life. Don’t let the fear of facing your truth stop you from showing up for yourself in the way you deserve.”
    2. You’ll be better equipped to handle your relationships. 
    Outside of romantic relationships, we all have multiple relationships in our lives with our families, friends, and those we work with. Even though self-care is first and foremost for you, the act of caring for yourself (or not taking care of yourself) directly affects those around you. “Putting yourself first" is a concept that we’ve been taught to deem as selfish, when it’s actually an act that shows you’re considerate of your relationships. You will be less irritable, stressed, short, and sarcastic when you’ve had time to reflect, release, and regroup. That’s what self-care does for you.


    3. When you try multiple forms of self-care, you’ll know what appeals to you. There are so many self-care practices. In fact, TinyBuddha.comhas a list of 45 practices for the mind, body, and soul. It could be something as simple as taking a relaxing bath instead of a quick shower, cloud-watching, praying, or writing. Self-care is all about being intentional when life is constantly beckoning for your attention to do something else.


    So spend time with you. Make self-care a habit, not a chore. Discover new practices that make you feel loved, refreshed, and at peace. Know yourself, love yourself, and cherish self-care in your singlehood.


    Do you take time for self-care?

    Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at kanishaparks@gmail.com 

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    Sundial Founder Richelieu Dennis 
    By Erickka Sy Savané

    It was a festive evening at Ginny’s Supper Club, the intimate downstairs lounge at Red Rooster in Harlem last week. I was there tagging along with my girl Sid, who gets invited everywhere, and honestly, anytime I can get away from an evening of doing homework with the kids is cause to get lit! Everyone else, however, was there to celebrate the merger between Sundial, the parent company that owns Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, Madame C.J. Walker and nyako, with Unilever, a multinational company that generated over 50 billion in sales last year. Although the amount of the merger was not made public, one can guess from the fact that Sundial is expected to turn over an estimated $240 million this year, that it ain’t too shabby. Sundial founder Richelieu Dennis will continue as CEO and executive chairman for the company that he started in 1991 with his mom and longtime friend, Nyema Tubman, all Liberians unable to return to the country once Civil War broke. Here are some highlights from the evening, along with the deets on the 100 million that Sundial plans to give black women!

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    After a few drinks and some mixing and mingling with familiar and unfamiliar faces, Michaela Angela Davis, image activist and longtime consultant to the company, gets on the mic to introduce the man of honor, simply known as Rich. For anyone who remembers Rich from his days of selling soap out of his car in Harlem, or when he owned Nubian Heritage bookstore on 125th street and 5th Ave, a source of pride in the community long before gentrification, you know he’s come a long way. Michaela compares Rich’s success to hip hop.

    “You started off on the street selling ounces of Shea, and now you’re in business!" she joked, saying that he was selling ounces of Shea when others were selling "other" things.

    Rich walks up with his mama in tow, and Michaela explains that she is the real star of the company. It’s easy to see why. She’s a sweet-looking petite older lady, round, and soft spoken when she does speak. But don’t let the calm demeanor fool you. Introducing her as the most incredible human being he knows, Rich told a helluva story about how she wasn’t the type of mom to dish out praises growing up. In fact, if he received all A’s on his report card she said nothing. But if he came home with a B that was his a$s straight. He learned the level of excellence that was expected in her house and today he wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Sundial Founders Rich Dennis, (mom) Mary Dennis and Nyema Tubman
    “If it wasn’t for that, the levels of excellence that we strive to have would not be here. So as I’ve lived my life and built this company with my college roommate, and co-founder Nyema, it’s been about excellence, thinking differently, caring about the people we care about deeply, and more than anything else, giving back to where we came from. This partnership allows us to do that. It gives us the infrastructure to do what we want to do."
    And what is that exactly? He plans to develop communities, with a focus on black female entrepreneurs.
    “Women of color are the backbone of our communities and the most under-served. This partnership allows us to impact women like my grandmother, single mothers like my mother, women from around the world who have an idea, but no resources. She may find it hard to get a loan from the bank, or she’s got a product that no one believes in. We want to take some of those obstacles out of her way.”
    It makes sense, coming from a man who is making a quarter of a billion dollars off of his grandmama’s recipes. It sounds even better coming from their website.


    Sofi Tucker

    Our Story
    Sofi Tucker started selling Shea Nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. By age 19, the widowed mother of four was selling Shea Butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations all over the countryside. Sofi Tucker was our Grandmother and SheaMoisture is her legacy.

    So he sat down with the people from Unilever and they figured out a way to help black women around the world to use their business model called 'community commerce' to invest in them and their ideas so they too can build billion dollar businesses. It started with Rich's own money, and with Unilever pitching in, reached 50 million. And while 50 was great, it didn't feel like enough, so they rose it to 100 million. One. Hundred. Million. Dollars. To. Help. Black. Women. Create. Businesses. Around. The. World.

    Obviously, he had to address people who say he’s selling out. To that he says the products aren’t going to change and because of how his business model is set up, he prefers the term ‘investing in.’

    Imagine all those black women with family recipes that have been there for generations. Everything from hair and body products, natural cures for aches and pains, food recipes...anybody perfect their Granny's mac & cheese? It's endless. And to think that black women are already the fasting growing group of entrepreneurs in this country! So the next question is how to apply, because we're definitely going to follow-up on this. We'll keep you posted with info. on our end, but also research it on your own to figure out how to get a piece of the pie!


    Michaela Angela Davis and Founder & CEO of Sundial Brands, Richelieu Dennis chat with Incoming EVP & COO of Unilever North America Personal Care Esi Eggleston Bracey about this groundbreaking purpose-driven partnership.

    Will you be taking advantage of Sundial's initiative to support black female entrepreneurs?

    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Railey aka 'Sweet'& Danica aka 'Squeeze' 
    Hi Ladies,

    We all know that Sunday Washday for many naturals can be a drag, but these little ladies handle it like champs, and remind us what it feels like to be a kid again! See how this mom uses Mielle Organics to help maintain, grow & revitalize Squeeze and Sweet's hair. Feel free to share, and subscribe to their Squeeze & Sweet's Learning Center youtube channel for more fun and educational videos!

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    Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Hair & Body Bundle
    Hola Mamacitas!

    We've got another fab giveaway! This week, we're asking you to tell us your favorite websites and why for a chance to win 2 Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Hair & Body Bundles!

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    Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Hair & Body Bundle
    Taitu's Botanicals Tea Tree & Lavender Bundle includes body cream, body wash, sugar scrub and hair and body oil. These products have a calming lavendar scent, are all natural, organic and vegan. Perfect for an at home spa day!

    Tell us your favorite websites and why in the comment section for a chance to win! 2 Winners will be announced next Monday, December 11th! Good Luck!!!

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    By Jashima Wadehra

    Fine lines and wrinkles ? I’m all too familiar.
    Thanks to hours in front of my laptop and years of atopic eczema and variations of chronic dermatitis, I, in my early 20’s, suffer from fine under eye lines and wrinkly lids. While I have yet to find a cure for this, I have found a home remedy that has decreased the depth, visibility and reoccurrence of my wrinkles!

    Tell your man or woman to get you some ROSES because baby, you’re going to need a bouquet!



    You heard me! Roses! You may have seen and tried rose water as a skin toner or aromatic setting spray but have you tried rose hip seed oil?

    Rose contains vitamin A which help promote new skin cells and tightening. I discovered this remedy when I was tired of applying immunosuppressants and steroids to my skin for the eczema and retinol for the wrinkles. The sun sensitivity, inflammation and redness were more unsightly than the root cause itself!

    Oils tend to find their way from our faces into our hair lines...I have found that rose hip seed absorbs without leaving a greasy residue unlike other oils, and it doesn't agitate my skin like coconut oil does.

    The best part is the scent is very subtle. It does not have an overwhelming rose scent at all.



    Here is one of my favorite brands Majestic Pure Rosehip Oil for Face, Nails, Hair and Skin, Pure & Natural, Cold Pressed Premium Rose Hip Seed Oil, 4 oz.

    Stay patient and persistent. Results for me started to show around day 10. This has been a constant part of my skincare routine for about 3 months!

    This won’t eradicate your lines, but it will definitely help! Ain’t nothing wrong with aging gracefully..... I’m just trying to, you know, put it on layaway?!

    Have you tried rose hip oil for wrinkles?


    Jashima Wadehra is a writer, dancer, entrepreneur, and lover of people based in NYC.  She can be found blogging at overpriced coffee shops or on a plane heading to a new place to write about.  Follow her on instagram at @TheChatterboxlifeEnthusiast and check out her new blog TheChatterBoxLifeEnthusiast.com

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