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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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    IMAGE BY: @JULZJONES


    During the transition from summer to autumn, the color of the leaves aren’t the only things changing. For most people, it’s back to a more regular schedule for work, kids are in school, and time is precious and at a premium. 

    But you still need to look good, right? So another area of change can be your hair.

    Trends come and go, but sometimes it’s comforting to go back to something tried and true. Or try something that is new for you. Plus, it just feels amazing to do a different style for a while. Here are few options for curly hair to try for the fall, all of which can be done on every hair type.


    Headwraps
    IMAGE BY: @CEE_NEE

    People wear headwraps or headscarves for a variety of reasons: hair loss, protecting a style, one of those I-don’t-feel-like-styling-my-hair days, cultural traditions, or just because they want to. Whatever category you’re in, headwraps are endlessly versatile and can be dressed up or down.

    Short and Sweet
    IMAGE BY: @AVIELLEAMOR

    There is no feeling like making the decision to cut your hair—short—and just reveling in the amazing image looking back at you in the mirror. Yes, it’ll be getting cold soon, but going short will erase a ton of time in your morning ritual, plus you’ll have an excuse to buy a bunch of new earrings and experiment with makeup (if that’s your thing). There are lots of types of cuts you can discuss with a stylist, and you can even add color if you want to make it pop more.

    Braids
    IMAGE BY: @FRESHLENGTHS

    Braids are one of those highly adaptable styles with endless options, not just two big braids which are sometimes referred to as Dutch braids. The braiding pattern can be thick, thin, swirl, gathered up into a bun on top of your head or at the nap of your neck. There are an infinite number of designs to choose from.

    Box braids
    IMAGE BY: @HEYGORJESS

    The cool thing about box braids is that you can choose how you want to wear them day to day without a stylist. Choose the thickness and length that you want, and then the sky’s the limit: buns, ponytails, bob style. You can even add some color (or many colors).

    Big Bun
    IMAGE BY: @JULZJONES

    When you have big hair, a quick and classy style is a bun. Especially on days where your hair doesn’t want to cooperate with you (and we’ve all had those days). Bunning can be planned, where you know where every tuck and pin will be. Or it can be more organic, where you don’t know quite know exactly how it’ll turn out, but in the end, you have a bun and it looks great.

    What have been your favorite styles to wear at the start of fall? Tell us in the comments below!

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    INARTICLEprince-akachi-780383-unsplash
    PHOTO -- PRINCE AKACHI


    Most of us know at least one person, often a child, who has eyelashes that are so long and beautiful, we can’t help but to secretly envy them.

    We get that it’s the result of their DNA; the problem is, no matter how hard we try to achieve lashes that come even close to theirs, shy of getting a pair of faux lashes which can get pretty pricey, we fail. Miserably.

    Here’s the scoop on eyelashes:

    Yes, the natural length and curl that you have largely depend on genetics. Something else to keep in mind is eyelashes go through growth phases just like the hair on our head does—they grow, they fall out, and it takes approximately 1-6 months for them to grow back in.

    Whether you want longer lashes than Mother Nature gave you or you’re in the process of waiting for some of yours to grow back, there are products—some of which are pretty affordable—that you can put on your eyelashes in order to give them the “Oomph” they need to reach new heights relatively-speaking.

    If you’re thinking about doing a little eyelash product shopping this weekend, whether online or off, here are some excellent products to try.

    Under $100

    Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($80.00)

    We know what you’re probably thinking—What in the world?! Almost $100 for eyelash cream? We hear you, but a part of why this is the case is because it’s the first eyelash serum on the market to be eco-certified, which means that you can trust that it’s truly organic. It’s drug- and gluten-free, made up of silicone, mineral oils, and GMOs, and some women find it to be the miracle cure for their lashes. If you want to treat yourself, try it at least once!

    Talika ‘Lipocils’ Legendary Eyelash Conditioning Gel ($45.00)

    Yeah, this one’s a little on the pricey side too but look at it this way: If you purchased some of what’s in it separately—apple extract, nettle extract, horse chestnut extract, St. John’s Wort extract, etc.—it could easily cost you more than this bottle! Plus, it’s the kind of product that gets pretty impressive reviews for conditioning and yes, lengthening lashes over time.

    Under $30

    Fusion Beauty Lash Enhancing Treatment Mascara ($28.00)

    Two-in-one products are always a winner in our book. This treatment is a lengthener and mascara in one! That means your lashes will appear long and strong as they receive nourishing ingredients that will help facilitate growth. What technically makes this happen? Sympeptide. It’s an amino acid that stimulates keratin, the protein that all of our hair is made up of, eyelashes included.

    Organys Lash & Brow Growth Serum ($19.99)

    Mascara fatigue. There is such a thing. It’s when you frequently use mascara without moisturizing your eyelashes and they end up becoming dry and brittle. When that happens, they can end up breaking off. Yep, eyelashes can experience breakage too! Get this color- and fragrance-free serum to stimulate lash growth. It’s loaded with amino acids; ones that, according to the manufacturer, if they don’t give you results after 60 days, you can get a full refund! YES!

    Under $10


    No. 7 Lash Impact Lash Serum ($7.99)

    Next time you’re on a Target run, pick up a tube of this. It’s hypoallergenic, affordable and has gotten rave reviews for providing some pretty impressive results. It's recommended that you apply this serum every night for eight weeks consecutively, not intermittently.

    Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Serum ($7.97)

    One of the best brands to give you more bang for your buck, across the board, is Rimmel. Their products are pretty high quality and long-lasting. We recommend this particular serum because it’s a clear gel that’s not only lightweight but shapes and separates really well, too. This one is an excellent multi-tasker because you can use it on your eyebrows. Plus, you can find it at Walgreens or Walmart, which makes picking up a tube or two super convenient.
    DIY

    Cedarwood and Lavender DIY Serum (under $25 for the essential oils)

    We won’t lie to you, essential oils aren’t cheap. But if you get a couple of bottles of these serums, and use them sparingly, they can be used for all sorts of cool things. They'll easily last you a couple of months. As far as your eyelashes go, a couple of drops of each oil mixed with castor oil will coat, soothe, and stimulate your eyelashes’ follicles. Plus, the scent is amazing!

    La Tourangelle Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($10 on Amazon)

    Olive oil ain’t just for cookin’! Beauty-wise, the properties in it will moisturize your skin and slow down the aging process. Also, the vitamin E in it will soften your lashes and heal any damage that may have happened to your hair follicles. If you dip a disposable mascara wand into some organic olive oil and apply it to your lashes every night, you should notice a difference in fullness and length in less than two weeks.

    If you want longer lashes, it’s not only about what you put on them. It’s about what you put inside of yourself! Foods that are scientifically proven to create length and volume include beans (iron, protein); spinach (omega-3 oils and magnesium); blueberries (vitamins A, B, and E); avocados (vitamin B) and Greek yogurt (vitamin D). All of these will have you well on your way to having great skin, healthy hair, and much longer eyelashes!

    Which of these will you try? Tell me today!

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    In the game of castor oils, there can only be one winner. As the battle begins to grow healthy hair, choosing the right oil for you will be essential to avoid a night that is dark and full of terrors. There are so many different options that you may feel like you know nothing (Jon Snow). But in reality, picking between Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) and pure castor oil is like picking which one of the Stark siblings is your favorite. While each oil has its own personality like the Starks, the different journey it takes to go from castor bean to a bottle of oil determines the variation in color but not necessarily in the amazing benefits.

    Continue!>>>


    To win the game of oils, you have to understand what ricinoleic acid — the active ingredient in castor — does for the hair. If moisture and healthy hair growth is the goal, then either JBCO or pure castor oil will work for your hair. While there is no scientific proof that JBCO or any type of castor oil will make your hair follicles thicker in diameter, the anti-inflammatory fatty acids found in the oil kick-start blood circulation, which definitely help to create a healthy scalp and promote more hair growth. Applying the castor oil that is best for you is also great for thinning spots in the hair and even growing your eyebrows.

    The way each of the Stark children has gone through his or her own difficult journeys to get back to Winterfell help us decide which one is our favorite. The scientific process that JBCO and pure castor oil go through before they get to our hair should help decide which one is best for you. Both of the oils come from the castor bean but they are each processed differently and that’s what gives them their names and color. JBCO is made by roasting the beans and using heat to extract the oil. This often results in ashes from the ground and burnt beans that give JBCO the color and smell we experience on local pharmacy shelves. Pure castor oil varies in color but in its cold-pressed, original form, it is pale yellow. Filtration to lower the iodine content results in a white castor oil that can also be purchased. While pure castor oil is slightly acidic, the processing of JBCO makes it more alkaline. Both oils are similar in price and availability. If the oils are hard to find where you live, Amazon has a whole range of castor products that can be shipped to you.

    Because the foundational base of both JBCO and pure castor oil is the castor bean, the oil that wins will ultimately be the oil that works best for you. Now your watch begins. Because castor is heavier than other essential oils, trying out JBCO or pure castor oil and monitoring the reaction will determine who wins the game of oils. The age-old hair growth method has proven itself a go-to technique for healthy hair growth and ample hydration. Remember that when you play the game of oils, you moisturize or you learn.

    There are so many healthy hair benefits from using castor oil. The benefits for hair growth are undeniable. Thinning hair is just one of the magical ways the oil can be used. It is also great for mending split ends, hair breakage, and dryness. You can also use the oil on your skin to tackle tough wrinkles. Read more here about the reasons it’s a magical product.

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    Many curlies who are transitioning have concerns about how much their hair is growing or not growing. This growth is extremely important, as is evidenced by those who keep natural hair journals and do weekly length checks; but don’t stress about length. If you take care of your curls, they will grow! Curlies who have done a big chop may be even more impatient as they attempt to get used to wearing a short style. As a result, Virgin Hair Fertilizer has gained popularity among naturals who are in the midst of a transition or dealing with hair loss.

    Keep in mind that the rate at which a person’s hair grows and its thickness are generally a result of genetics, assuming that the hair is healthy; so there are no guaranteed methods to stimulating hair growth. But that doesn’t mean that hair fertilizer may not have benefits for some curlies. Is it worth the money and does it actually work? If so, what should you know before trying this product?

    Continue!>>>
    What is it?
    Hair fertilizer is typically used as a scalp moisturizer, meant to be applied directly to the scalp to encourage hair growth. When you open a box of Virgin Hair Fertilizer, you’ll find a tube of somewhat thick hair cream. Some say it reminds them of petroleum jelly (probably because that’s one of its main ingredients), only it’s a little “lighter” than Vaseline.

    It has a strong odor of menthol, peppermint oil, and other herbs, but if you leave it in overnight, the smell is better by morning. The peppermint oil is the most likely culprit in the reported “tingly” feeling on the scalp some curlies say they feel when using it. The use of peppermint essential oil can have some major benefits for the hair and scalp.

    The other active ingredients include lanolin, a popular cosmetic moisturizing ingredient found on the skin of sheep, and “fragrance.” According to Dr. Kari Williams, petroleum jelly can "provide a temporary shine or give the appearance that flakes have disappeared, but in reality the grease can clog hair follicles, accumulate on the scalp, and plaster flakes to the scalp, only making the existing scalp condition worse."

    Will it work?
    There have been some very mixed reviews as to whether or not this product does what it claims to do. Some of our CurlTalk curlies swear by it while other curlies say they can’t really tell a difference for one reason or another; either their hair grows nicely in the first place or they’re wearing a sew-in while transitioning and will have to wait a couple of months. It is worth noting that some reviewers on Amazon indicated troubling side effects and possible allergic reactions, resulting in hair loss.

    Like many products, it appears that this is another try-it-for-yourself-and-see product because the curly community's results are wide and varied. If your scalp has been sensitive in the past, this may not be a product worth trying for you. Those who do use the product recommend that you should purchase the product with the red cap only, as the yellow cap is considered to be a “knock-off.”

    How do I use it?
    Since Virgin Hair Fertilizer is meant to stimulate hair growth and condition the scalp, you’ll want to massage it into your hair, roots, and scalp daily. You can even apply it if you’re protecting your hair with a sew-in during transitioning.

    Where can I find it?
    The company that makes Virgin Hair Fertilizer is based in Nigeria, but the product is available atWalmart and online at retailers such as Amazon.

    Have you tried Virgin Hair Fertilizer with positive results? If you haven't tried it, are you willing to try it for yourself and see if it works for you?

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    getty

    By Victoria Uwumarogie via MadameNoire

    I saw its heart beat.

    That’s something I tend to say to myself during quiet moments when I feel myself on the fringes of sadness; during those moments where I’ve been sent a picture of my friend’s baby, or I’ve heard about yet another celebrity announcing their pregnancy. I try to maintain a sense of positivity and not feel like my emotions are being slightly rocked as I attempt to be happy for others, but it’s tough if I’m being honest. I remind myself that I, at one point, was supposed to be a mother, too. It did happen. I was pregnant with my first child. I know because I saw its heart beat.

    Continue>>>
    I tend to have to remind myself of how real that pregnancy was because it was a miracle in the first place, and because of how quickly it fell apart.

    After months of pretty terrible menstrual cycles, abdominal pains, and failed attempts at conceiving, I started 2018 by going getting an array of checkups. After visiting with my gynecologist and being ordered to undergo an ultrasound, I was told that I had a uterine fibroid. It is a submucosal one in my uterine lining that slightly bulges out, despite, according to my previous doctor, it being small. I was told that there was a chance that the fibroid could be affecting my ability to get pregnant by being in the way, and that I would need to try and conceive sooner than later due the likelihood of growth.

    After some serious thought and discussion with my husband and parents, I decided to schedule a myomectomy for early April to have it removed. As I prepared for the surgery, including getting ready for a pre-surgical appointment in March, I realized that my period was late. I assumed it was being a drag, per the usual, and just wanted it to come and go already so it wouldn’t interfere with my procedure. When 35 days passed with no sign of it since my last start date, it finally crossed my mind that I could be pregnant. I didn’t believe it though.

    I took three different tests, and it was confirmed. Me, who had tried ovulation tests, sitting around with my legs above my head and all sorts of vitamins and nutrients to get pregnant just months before, was finally pregnant at a time when I thought nothing of it. My doctor canceled my surgery, told me I was six weeks, and said our baby would be here around Thanksgiving. My husband and I were over the moon, and the only people we told were our parents. Everyone else would find out on Mother’s Day, a couple days after I would hit 12 weeks.

    But then the complications started. I noticed a few weeks after my appointment that I was lightly bleeding and was so scared. I was able to get an emergency ultrasound around seven weeks and was trying to prepare myself for the worst. However, immediately after the ultrasound began, I saw the little person growing within me. “There they are!” the tech said to me as tears ran down my face. Our baby was there, heart beating, looking like my dream come true. I thanked God through my stressed out tears and was told by my doctor that bleeding is common in the first trimester, but that I should probably take it easy for a bit. No sex or exercise.

    But the complications continued, unfortunately. Two weeks later, the bleeding increased heavily. I was encouraged to go to the emergency room, and after a plethora of tests, scans and questions, and waiting in a freakishly cold room, I was told our baby had no heartbeat. At what was close to 10 weeks, the baby measured at right about nine. It had just died days earlier. A day later, after another emergency appointment at a better medical center, it was confirmed. I recall screaming in both hospitals.

    The months that followed were pretty terrible. I chose to have a natural miscarriage, but because I found out about the baby’s death so soon after it happened, I bled every day from late March until July (when I was finally told to take a pill or prep for a D&C). And what made it worse was that I couldn’t even begin to try and move forward emotionally until the bleeding stopped. But even when it did, I was still, and still am, a mess. When my period comes, it’s like PTSD. It’s longer and more uncomfortable than before, and a reminder that yet another month has gone by without conceiving again. I was told by my doctor that since I was able to get pregnant before without removing my fibroid, that it might be good to try again without messing with it. She didn’t blame the fibroid, which grew a little in size during those nine weeks, for the miscarriage. She also didn’t blame my exercise habits or anything else I could have done. “This thing just happens sometimes,” she told me, whilst my girlfriends, all pregnant around the same time as me just months ahead, successfully gave birth. How could this thing “just happen” to me? But in my grief and questions, I realized that it, in fact, it had not just happened to me alone.

    According to statistics, early pregnancy loss affects about 10 to 15 out of 100 pregnancies. And while most miscarriages do occur in the first trimester, one to five out of 100 happen during the second trimester. And over the months, while I dealt with my grief, which is ongoing, I found that more and more notable women were talking about their own: Gabrielle Union, Eudoxie Bridges, Lil Mo, Monique Samuels. Even more interesting, the women in my life had dealt with such a loss, too, and there were countless stories on the Internet to find some connection to. And while it’s becoming more of a sad occurrence for women, there is hope, particularly when it comes to testing options to prevent future miscarriages.

    “Pregnancy loss is one of the most tragic events in people’s lives. We hope that advancements in modern technology and increased awareness will help reduce the number of infant deaths and miscarriages,” said John Zhang, M.D., the New York-based doctor and founder of the New Hope Fertility Center. “In reality, research alone hasn’t made much progress in addressing these issues, and there is a lot more effort needed. We know that miscarriage and infancy loss is frequently related to abnormal pregnancy conditions, often associated with unfavorable genetic factors. While we can’t remediate many issues, new tests like Carrier Screening, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS/PGS) and Preimplantation Diagnosis can help lessen the likelihood of genetic disease and improve embryo implantation, reducing the likelihood of miscarriage. As a fertility specialist, there are, in fact, some things we can do to help minimize pregnancy loss. As a researcher, new technologies like nuclear transfer and CRISPR might be a good way to solving these issues more permanently, on the genetic level.”

    Continue reading at MadameNoire.com

    Read my miscarriage story,HERE

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    Humans and roses are involved in an enduring love affair. We love to use rose water, especially, in beauty products, perfumes, and even in cooking — mainly in Middle Eastern recipes. Rose water is made by steeping or steam-distilling rose petals in water in order to isolate the plant’s essential oils. Rose water is a natural but gentle astringent that can soothe irritated skin and scalp. It naturally conditions and moisturizers because it is rich in flavonoids and vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E. The sugars in the rose petals add to the rose water’s calming effects.

    Rose water has been said to stabilize hair’s pH balance because its pH is similar to that of hair. Some say it can aid in repairing hair’s damaged porosity. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and with its natural antiseptic properties, it can reduce or lessen dandruff caused by fungal infections. Some even believe it promotes hair growth. It is thought to have stimulating properties.

    Read On!>>>


    How to incorporate rose water into your hair care regimen
    Rose water can be used in shampoos, conditioners, or just in a spray bottle or spritzer. It is completely up to you because there are several ways to benefit from the amazing water. We'll tell you about some great ways to get rose water into your hair care regimen, but first let’s show you an easy way to make it.

    ROSE WATER RECIPE
    -1 cup of firmly packed rose petals
    -2 cups of distilled water

    -Choose roses that are free from chemicals and pesticides, so try a farmer’s market or a florist but ask if they are free of pesticides. If you are not sure if they are grown organically, then rinse the petals in cool water. If harvesting from your own garden, pick them first thing in the morning when covered with morning dew. Make sure to wash them of dirt and bugs.

    Remove rose petals and place in a glass bowl. Boil two cups of distilled water and pour water over rose petals. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Use cheesecloth or cotton gauze to strain the mixture into another glass bowl and then transfer it into glass bottles using a clean funnel. Store in the fridge and the rose water will last a week.

    SHAMPOO
    This is probably the simplest way to use rose water in your hair care regimen. You can dilute your regular shampoo with rose water and wash as normal.

    AFTER-SHAMPOO RINSE
    Take one cup of rose water and use as a final rinse (just like a tea rinse) and do not rinse out. It will condition, add shine, and leave an amazing scent on your hair.

    ROSE WATER TREATMENT FOR DAMAGED HAIR
    -1 cup of rose water
    -Few drops of jojoba oil
    -1 capsule of vitamin E

    Mix ingredients together and apply to wet hair and scalp. Massage for at least 10 minutes and then shampoo and style as usual.

    Do you use rose water for your hair? Share you experiences in the comments area, below. And learn about the healing power of another flower, blue malva, here.

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    The minimalism mantra of today is "less is more," and nothing showcases this more than the popular short, curly texture haircuts this year that are bold and beautiful. Just like that hot and short text from your man, a hot and short curly cut has an instantaneous "sizzle" effect. Scroll down to see the hottest short cuts of 2018 that give you all the motivation you need to go for the big chop.

    Read On!>>>

    Super Tapered Curl

    This is a strong taper curly haircut showcasing the length and the texture on top. It's perfect for 4C texture because it's very manageable at this length.

    Key Tip: For lasting definition twist it and then rod it. I do this specifically with 4C textures because it can be challenging to create definition. So in order to create a very defined look, twist it and then a rodding it for a double curly effect.

    Wavy Flo-Hawk

    This is a blowout with loose curls brushed out with a wave motion technique with a bristled brush. The shaved sides give a deliberate edge to the style. Women rock this look to show that bad girl side and express some sense of level up edgy about themselves. The lower you go on the sides, the more edginess you bring out.

    Key Tip: Be sure to use a leave-in conditioner certain and a thermal protectant. Anytime you wear a blowout, heat protectant is essential.

    Super Flowy Taper

    At Salon PK we debuted this look a year ago, and when celebrity singer Kelis recently lit up our timelines with this exact look, it was proof that it's still a hit in 2018! This curly haircut is designed to be incredibly soft to allow for the fullness of the natural curls to blossom, with enough length to show the loop of the curls on the side. The top is done with multiple rod sizes, to get that organic look.

    Key Tip: Sometimes you see rod sets with one uniformed rod arrangement, but if you want an editorialized look with individuality to the hair, you can use different size rods to create a nice natural look that doesn't look like a rod set. The rose gold full progression is what I call a "dreamsickle" ;)
    Low Key Fade & Lunar Part


    This is for the free-spirited girl that is low maintenance but still wants to push the envelope. This style is a soft fading going inward like a subtle mohawk – with a dynamic lunar part design. It's meant to bring out the edgy to the highest extent. This is for the lady that wants her hair to be the main focal point when she walks in the room. She doesn't want her hair to just be done, she wants it to be "too lit!"

    Key Tip: Use a curl defining product like curl pudding, along with a sponge which is a must to go around the curls on the top.

    Curls Around the World

    Who runs the world? Curls! This is a cute, soft and dainty look ideal for Type 3 hair. It's not overly defined and has the same length of curls all around. The desired effect is a soft frame for texture flow without the rigidness. Hairstylists often talk about what to do, but it's also just as important to know "what not to do." When the curls are poppin', you don't want to take away from them. To fade it out or cut it would be to take away from the "natural" beauty of this look.

    Key Tip: This look requires lots of hydration and moisture because the focus is all about the curl definition. It's a wet & go for those with higher curl definition.

    Twist Sauce

    These twists are achieved by adding texture on texture with detail for Type 4 hair, creating a beautiful spiral and light spring array. This look is single twisted and then rodded, creating a dimension of definition and a swell. It's perfect for the person who wants to play with the shaping, but doesn't want to commit to the maintenance. You can place bobby pins on the side in different colors, to accessorize and sauce it up it in a cute unique way.

    Key Tip: Make certain you have an edge control product that has staying power and isn't too greasy.
    Classic Spiral

    Our Salon PK stylist Lauren @hautehairbylauren created these spirals on tiny rods to give the effect of natural curls because they're so tight and small. They're well defined and will last a long time. Bright colors like this blonde are celebratory of being natural - unapologetically.

    Key Tip: Keep essential oils on the hair and use a satin bonnet at night to help the curls stay.
    Press & Curl Remix

    This is the style I came into this spring season with. It's a distinctly, ambiguous hybrid of a press and curls. I love to create this style when I have a blowout that has ran its course. During this time the texture of the hair is coming back, but it's not overly frizzy, so it can be utilized to resurrect a new look. You can allow the newly formed texture to serve as a pre-stretch for twists or bantu knots. Believe it or not, there's new life at the end of a blowout.

    Key Tip: After you've worn out your slay with your hair pressed, twist the hair that's reverted to your natural curl pattern that night, and then take it out in the morning.

    Are you planning a short cut? 

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  • 10/19/18--09:12: Way Too Cold
  • way too cold... and if you look closely you can see the cord to my traveling heating pad, waiting to warm my situation! 
    Shirt: Loft
    Pants: Zara
    Hurr: Day 2 flat-twist out on damp hair. 



    Jacket: Leather one is from Zara (a year ago)
    Hoodie: Loft (this season)
    Jeans: Asos 
    Hurr: Day 1 flat twist-out on damp hair.  I made 7 or 8 flat twists with Ouidad's Featherlight Styling Cream.  I let it dry fully, then took them down, fluffed and pinned to the side!  This style gives me the volume I naturally lack, and I love that I look like Prince and the whole Revolution.  My hair has gotten so long so fast... when I used to want long, healthy hair, it was a struggle, now that I don't, it flourishes.  So funny how that works!  I  think about chopping it off every other day!  I still henna once a month (out of necessity for the gray hair takeover), but rarely get time to deep condition.  I heat style (professionally) half the year.  I've been rocking with the same Ouidad curl cream for more than a year now, and it got me through even the most humid summers.  To keep the definition on day 3, 4 and 5, I just leave my hair out in the shower and let the steam hit it... again, this is something I never used to do because I was such a perfectionist, wanted every curl, 'just so'.  But this 'don't care attitude', lol, the curls and definition just get doper by the day!  The key is what I do on day 1-- style damp hair (75% dry) with about a nickle-size amount of curl cream for each flat twist (6-8).  

    What's the one odd item you never leave home without?! 

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    Wigs are big business, and a great way to alter your style without altering your hair. They are also a protective style, as your own hair is protected under the wig from daily manipulation and breakage. It is also the perfect way to see if you like a particular style before fully committing to it. Now, there are a range of prices when it comes to wigs, and while some prefer high-end, there are some rather great ones that are reasonable. How much you choose to spend on one is completely up to the wearer, and typically is dependent upon how often it will be worn.

    Continue!>>>


    Wearing a wig requires more than just buying one and wearing it. You have to figure out how to wear it. Unless you are bald or have a short afro, you have to figure out what to do with your hair under the wig. There's a lot more to it than just brushing your hair back, because simply gathering hair under the wig can cause breakage. Hair needs to be protected under the wig, and that requires planning, and a proper regimen for maintenance. Here are the best ways to wear your hair while under a wig.

    Braids
    Having hair in braids (your own hair) is one of the three ideal ways to wear your hair under the wig. While not at flat as other styles, it allows for hair to be protected, and makes it easier for some women to maintain. It also allows for easier access to the scalp for cleansing and moisturizing. Simply place hair in small braids to minimize lumps or bumps under the wig.

    Cornrows
    This is the most common style to wear your hair under the wig, and allows for a flatter surface than braided hair. It does however leave only limited access to the scalp, but the hair is protected and less likely to be bulky or lumpy under the wig. Simply divide hair into small rows from front to back, and braid down the length of your head.

    Twists or flat twists
    These are the easiest styles to wear under a wig, but they are also the least popular. While easy to create, they will frizz and tangle faster than braids and cornrows. Just remember to make them small so they will not leave lumps under the wig.

    Things to remember when wearing a wig
    -Wear a silk wig liner - The cap protects the hair from the wig and keeps your hair in place while wearing the wig.
    -Moisturize and allow your scalp to get air - Wearing a wig does not mean your hair is completely protected and therefore allowed to be neglected. It must be moisturized prior to wearing a wig. -Remember to moisturize before going to bed if your hair feels dry and never sleep with a wig.
    -Never place a wig on a wet head - Placing a wig on top of wet hair is just asking to create a breeding ground for bacteria. Hair should always be completely dry before wearing a wig.
    -Clean and condition your hair and scalp regularly - Hair and scalp needs regularly cleansing to remove the excess sebum and even dirt. Sweat and moisturizers can be build up and need to be removed. Take down the twists, braids, or cornrows to shampoo, deep conditioner, moisturize, and redo a fresh set of braids, twists, or cornrows. This will ensure your hair and scalp stay clean and moisturized so your hair does not because brittle and break.

    Watch


    How do you care for your hair while wearing a wig? Share your favorite tips and tricks with us in the comments below!

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  • 10/22/18--10:35: How to Stay Forever Young!

  • by Julia Austin via MadameNoire.com

    Nobody can stay physically young forever (unless you know of some witchcraft we don’t). Sure, there are things you can do to look a bit younger. But eventually, age catches up with us all. A fifty-year-old may find ways to look 39 but if you’re lucky enough to turn 85, well, you’re just going to look old then. And that’s okay! What matters is how you feel. Mindset is a powerful thing. There is really no reason for us to age on the inside. We learn important life lessons and we become more mature, but handling life in a responsible manner and becoming boring and serious don’t have to go hand in hand. If you can stay mentally young forever, then I’d say that you win the game of life. Here are tips for staying mentally young forever.

    Don’t take yourself too seriously
    Really try to find the humor in colonoscopies, the need for squatty potties, and your prescription medication cabinet that is nearly as full as the pharmacy itself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Very few things in life have to be serious, if we don’t let them be.

    Never stop dreaming
    Never stop dreaming, and pursuing your dreams. Don’t get caught up in the statistics and the probability of certain dreams coming true. Seeing the merit in chasing dreams, and actively doing so, keeps you young.

    Don’t care what your age “should” look like
    Do away with any ideas about what someone your age should look like, dress like, act like, or do. Those ideas only limit you and they are created by frightened people. Act every day as if those ideas don’t exist.

    Do something that scares you regularly
    Do something daily or weekly that scares you. That could be doing standup comedy, skydiving, getting a piercing, river rafting, or skinny dipping.

    Continue, HERE!


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    A deep conditioner is a staple product in a curly girl's product lineup. We use so many products and techniques that a deep conditioning session can help to rejuvenate our curls and bring them back to life. While searching for a deep conditioner, it is best to look at the ingredients. Some curlies are protein sensitive, which means that an overload of protein can strip the hair of moisture and make the hair stiff. On the other hand, if you are not protein sensitive and do use protein treatments, it is important to alternate between using protein and protein-free treatments so that you do not experience a protein overload. Here are 10 protein-free deep conditioners to help you find your balance.

    Continue!>>>


    10 Protein-free Deep Conditioners


    Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment
    This deep conditioning treatment has shea butter and cocoa butter and will leave your curls moisturized and shiny. This conditioner also comes in three fragrance options, including fragrance-free. This is a great option for curlies who are sensitive to scents.

    Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
    If your curls are burned out from too much summer sun, try a deep treatment with this product to see if your curls come back to life. The Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment will rejuvenate your curls and give them the moisture they need. This treatment includes aloe, herbs, and butters for bouncy curls.

    Great for: Rejuvenating damaged curls

    As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
    The intensive conditioner will not only moisturize your hair but will also strengthen your curls. This will help with manageability, which is a great way to prep for your styling session.

    Great for: Manageability when styling

    Bee Mine Bee-U-Ti-Ful Deep Conditioner
    The cupuacu butter in this product maintains moisture and helps with elasticity. This product also provides protection from the sun.

    Great for: Spending time outside

    Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
    This deep conditioner has a good amount of slip, which is great for detangling. It will leave your hair free of tangles and moisturized. A little goes a long way with this conditioner.

    Great for: Detangling

    Karen's Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment
    Looking for a pre-shampoo treatment? Try the Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment. It can help strengthen and moisturize your hair before you even shampoo!

    Great for: Pre-pooing


    OBIA Natural Hair Care Babassu Deep Conditioner
    Babassu oil is formulated in this deep conditioner to help repair and strengthen the hair. The conditioner has good slip for detangling and has a mild scent for curlies who do not like overwhelmingly fragrant products.

    Great for: Repairing and detangling

    MYHoneyChild Honey Hair Mask
    This hair mask includes honey, which will help with moisture. Are you experiencing a dry and irritated scalp? The honey can also help soothe the scalp.

    Great for: Soothing dry scalp

    EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner
    If you are experiencing dry and brittle hair, try this conditioner. It includes jojoba, monoi, and coconut oil to help repair and moisturize the hair. This product also smells great!

    Great for: Moisturizing brittle hair

    SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
    This masque is another good option if you are experiencing a dry and irritated scalp. Plantain enzymes are included to help soothe the scalp. If you are experiencing product buildup or just want to detox your hair, this is a good choice.

    Great for: Detoxing hair and scalp

    Protein Ingredients
    Not sure what to look for on your product label?
    CurlyNikki provided this list of protein in her Identifying Proteins & Humectants in Hair Products article:


  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed casein



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed collagen



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed hair keratin



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed rice protein



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed silk



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein



  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids



  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen



  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin



  • Hydrolyzed keratin



  • Hydrolyzed oat flour



  • Hydrolyzed silk



  • Hydrolyzed silk protein



  • Hydrolyzed soy protein



  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein



  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein



  • Keratin



  • Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen



  • TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen



  • TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein

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    Developed in India over 3,000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda for short, is one of the world's oldest holistic i.e. whole-body, healing systems. The foundation of Ayurveda is that health and wellness depend on the intricate balance between the spirit, mind, and body and its principal objective is to promote good health, not to fight disease. Ayurvedic medicine gives us a lot of great options for hair. Henna is perhaps the most well-known ayurvedic herb used in haircare but there are many others including amla, brahmin and turmeric — the benefits of which we will take a closer look
    at below.

    Continue!>>>


    What Is Turmeric?
    As spices go, turmeric is one of the most important spices in Indian dishes. It is also one of the most studied herbs in science. Scientifically called Curcuma longa, turmeric is a root in the same plant family as ginger. The dried root of the turmeric plant is ground to produce the distinctive yellow turmeric powder.

    The Benefits of Turmeric for Hair
    The benefits of turmeric for hair come down to two things:

    -Its ability to combat hair loss
    -Its ability to promote hair growth

    Turmeric’s ability to combat hair loss comes from curcumin, a natural compound that has been and continues to be widely studied. Curcumin is believed to be effective in halting to the overproduction of dihydrotestosterone most commonly known as DHT. DHT is a hormone responsible for hair loss in men and women by restricting hair growth from the follicles.

    Turmeric’s ability to create a healthy environment for hair growth stems from its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Hair thrives when the scalp is healthy, and turmeric can help you achieve a healthy scalp by combating dandruff and dry, itchy scalp conditions. As Ayurveda expert Shadoh Punnapuzha says, “The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities that it contains can help soothe the scalp and get rid of dandruff,”

    How to Use Turmeric
    You may choose to use turmeric topically or add the spice to your meals, smoothies, and teas. Mix equal parts turmeric and olive oil to eliminate dandruff and improve scalp health. Apply the mixture to your scalp and leave on for about 30 minutes. Cleanse and condition and style hair afterwards as normal. Light hair may be stained by turmeric but that should fade during the washing and conditioning process.

    Turmeric Tea
    1 teaspoon of ground turmeric 4 cups of water 1 teaspoon of raw honey or fresh lemon juice or grated ginger

    Turn on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Put the turmeric into the boiling water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Take mixture off the heat and strain the liquid. Add honey or lemon juice or grated ginger before consumption.

    Turmeric Smoothie
    For the carrot juice 2 cups of carrots 1 ½ cups of filtered water

    For the smoothie 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced 1 cup of fresh pineapple ½ tablespoon peeled fresh ginger ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric ½ cup carrot juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup of almond milk, unsweetened

    Make the carrot juice by adding carrots and the filtered water to a high-speed blender. Keep blending until you get a pureed and smooth mixture. Add more water if required.

    Strain and set aside the pulp for smoothies or baked goods. Transfer the carrot juice to a mason jar.

    Add the smoothie ingredients to the blender and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add more carrot juice or almond milk if required. Scrape down the seeds as and when needed. Taste and adjust the flavors as required.

    You can be creative with the use of turmeric in your meal preparations. So if you haven’t yet, why not give it a try? Turmeric-containing, topical hair products such as My Honey Child’s Type 4 Hair Creme are also worth a try if you’re struggling with scalp issues like dandruff and irritation.

    Let me know if you’ve tried turmeric and noticed any benefits for your hair.


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    Any woman can experience thinning, breaking, or balding edges. It is not just women who are relaxed, wear weave, or are older. There are numerous reasons why your hairline can thin. Hair loss is not confined to men; women actually make up 40% of Americans suffering from hair loss, according to American Hair Loss. Thinning edges can be upsetting and embarrassing, and many of us are haunted by pictures of super models with bare edges. So it is no wonder so many women are desperate for answers.

    Continue!>>>
    The Causes of Thinning Edges
    Prevention attributes the main causes of hair loss to pregnancy, postpartum, drastic weight loss, stress, hereditary, hypothyroidism, chronic illnesses like lupus, iron deficiency anemia, hormone imbalances like polycystic ovarian syndrome, scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and excessive tight styling.

    Many women, whether natural or relaxed, are experiencing thinning edges due to excessive styling and/or bad styling habits. First off, do not feel like you are alone. This can happen to anyone and may happen regardless of doing everything right. Sometimes we see the problem occurring before it gets too bad and we curtail whatever the problem is.

    Do not make the problem worse!
    I must start off with this because I know this can be an embarrassing situation to find yourself in - everyone can see when you have thinning edges if you do not cover it up. Well, covering it up may worsen the thinning, so forget the embarrassment and concentrate on regrowing your edges rather than hiding the problem. You are not the first person with this problem and unfortunately you will not be the last.

    Start:
    Scalp massages
    Scalp massages stimulate the skin and encourage the blood vessels to increase blood flow and boost circulation to the scalp and hair follicles. This increased circulation brings more nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles and may aid in hair growth. Which oils to use is less important than the actual act of massaging, and this can be done without oil, as the purpose is to encourage circulation.

    Scalp stimulating oils and treatments
    Rubbing the thinning areas with oil or oil mixture treatments can also aid in re-growing hair in those areas. These treatments will reduce the damage on your edges by repairing the follicles and encourage hair growth. According to Livestrong, rubbing your scalp with vitamin E is a great way to stimulate growth.

    There are other ways to repair your edges with essential oil, carrier oils, and protein treatments. "Try a light protein treatment mixed with moisturizer and massage it into your scalp to stimulate the growth," says celebrity hairstylist and SheaMoisture Beauty Ambassador Diane C. Bailey. "The SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque is great. You can warm it up a little bit and massage it into your scalp. Also, black castor oil is an emollient that coats the hair and scalp and it has vitamin E which helps to replenish the skin."

    Use healthy or natural products around or near your hairline
    Try and keep facial cleansers, moisturizers and makeup away from your hairline, as they may cause more damage to the fragile area you are trying to regrow hair. Some acne treatments advise not applying the product to your hairline so check the back of the bottle.

    Take hair supplements (consult a physician)
    At the very least a daily multi-vitamin will aid in hair growth, but many swear by taking hair, skin, and nail vitamins or biotin. There is no supplement that will give you instant hair growth but many have claimed hair vitamins or biotin will encourage hair growth. Wondering if biotin and castor oil really work? Read what Sister Scientist has to say. Always consult your primary care physician before trying a new supplement and increase your water intake to combat a potential increase in acne.

    Sleeping on a satin pillowcase
    Start sleeping on a satin pillowcase instead of a cotton one because the cotton pillowcase will absorb the natural oils and moisture right out of your hair. The friction between your hair and cotton pillowcase can lead to breakage. Your edges need those oils and moisture when they are thinning, so pamper them with the right nighttime treatments.

    Stop:

    Wearing tight and/or protective styles
    It very well may have been these styles like braids,weaves or even tight ponytails that caused this problem. Of course we want our style to last (especially if we spent a ton of money on the installation), but the tighter the style, the more tension you are applying to your scalp and those fragile edges cannot tolerate it. Face the facts: you know when the style is too tight and often overlook it when trying to regrow your edges.

    Using glues, adhesives, or wig caps
    These glues, adhesives, and wig caps are not allowing your scalp to breathe, and yes it needs air! Some women are even experiencing allergic reactions to the glues and adhesives, which do not always appear immediately. If you are trying to regrow your edges, I suggest you steer clear of them.

    Wearing tight satin caps with non-satin borders
    If your satin bonnet or cap is too tight or is not satin around the edge you are doing more harm than good. Just sleep on the satin pillowcase or wear the satin bonnet inside out to keep your edges from rubbing against thread from the bonnet. Bonnets or caps that are too tight around your edges are not a good idea either for obvious reasons.

    No brushes, no edge control
    Back away from the brush, gels for your edges, or accentuating baby hair. Keep the baby hair for your baby and leave your edges alone.

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    We’ve all had an itch that takes a while to go way and our scalps are no different. After noticing your fingers constantly making their way to your head, your mother, an aunt, or grandmother may have commented, “Oh, that means your hair is growing!”

    Well, it’s true that your hair was growing, but an itchy scalp is not a sign of hair growth. Itchiness can actually signify that your scalp is not at its healthiest, which can negatively impact hair growth. Whether it lasts days or weeks, the cause of an itchy scalp can usually be tracked down. You just have to put on your detective hat to figure it out.

    Continue!>>>


    Causes of an itchy scalp
    A common cause of itchy scalp is seborrheic dermatitis, aka, dandruff, says Kathryn Schwarzenberger, MD, professor of dermatology at Oregon Health and Science University.

    “Often, people complain that their scalp is dry, when in reality, it is actually inflamed,” Schwarzenberger says.

    Other culprits for itchy scalp include psoriasis, allergy to hair dyes or products, fungal infections, and even head lice.

    “Scalp itch can also be a cause of an underlying condition, including diabetes mellitus, liver and kidney disease, as well as some types of cancer,” Schwarzenberger adds.

    First line of defense
    If you don’t already have a skin condition diagnosed by a dermatologist or trichologist, trying different hair products and natural remedies is a good starting point.

    One of the most effective initial treatments for itchy scalp is a thorough shampoo scrub to remove loose and scaly skin says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C, founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. After trying that, a popular natural remedy to try is tea tree oil.

    “What’s great about tea tree oil is that it provides antioxidant benefits and is antimicrobial, which means it has the ability to fight bacteria, viruses and fungus,” Axe says.

    When the itch doesn’t go away
    If experimenting with different products and natural remedies don’t solve the issue, you can try an over-the-counter medicated shampoo.

    “There are many good products available, with active ingredients that include selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione and ketoconazole,” Schwarzenberger says. “Tar shampoos may treat seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis, but some dislike the smell. But people with white hair should avoid using tar shampoos, as it can cause hair to yellow.”

    If you’ve found that allergy is the problem, particularly if is there is an associated rash around the neck and or face, Schwarzenberger says to try fragrance-free or “low allergen” hair products. Topical steroids are also an option, but require a prescription.

    “You should see your dermatologist if your scalp does not improve with use of medication shampoo or if it is associated with hair loss or skin lesions in the scalp or surrounding skin,” Schwarzenberger says.

    Have you dealt with an itchy scalp?

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    source:Newsmax

    by Charise Frazier via MadameNoire

    Oh Halloween.  A fun holiday where you’re usually allowed to creatively express yourself without any restrictions. Except of course if you want to dress up as a Black entertainer, or historical figure.

    On Tuesday, NBC News host Megyn Kelly held a roundtable discussion where she literally seemed shocked that a university put a mandate on its students to refrain from dressing up in offensive costumes this year. Some of the warned against costumes included dressing up as a nun and a cowboy, just to name a few.

    Continue!>>>
    But when dressing up as a Native American was mentioned, Kelly began to meltdown. “You can’t dress up as a Native American, that’s apparently been some rule for a long time,” she said. “It’s like, isn’t the whole purpose of Halloween, to dress up and pretend you’re something other than yourself?”

    This is when I knew the topic of dressing up as a Black person would be challenged next.


    After her guest, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboorff, mentioned that racist costumes deserve to be called out, Kelly went full rogue.

    "But what is racist because truly you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on Blackface for Halloween, or a Black person who puts on white face for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character,” she said.

    Soboroff, Melissa Rivers and even Jenna Bush, did their best to explain to Kelly why Blackface shouldn’t be stomached, but Kelly wasn’t done.

    Kelly then brought up Real Housewives of New York cast member Luann de Lesseps, who dressed up in Blackface as Diana Ross for Halloween last year as her shining example of when people overreact.


    De Lesseps has since apologized for her costume and denied using any material to make her skin darker–so this example is somewhat null and void and honestly I don’t see any semblance of Diana Ross when I look at that photo.

    But what does exist are numerous photos of white college students dressing up as gang members and entertainers putting on their latest and greatest “thug” impersonation. It’s rare to see those same students honoring the rich legacy of Black people, to dress up as W.E.B. Du Bois or Ida B. Wells, or anyone who has contributed to American history as a Black person.

    “I can’t believe the number of people we’re offending just by being normal people,” Kelly said at the close.

    As far as Blackface is concerned and the historical context of why it’s offensive, the National Museum of African American History & Culture has a great exhibit which explains how the medium propelled negative stereotypes of Black life and culture. Kelly girl, please visit the museum or click the link. With all the technology that exists to educate and alleviate ignorance, it pains me that I still have to do this work for you.

    To put it plain, when you lather up your white skin with Black or brown paint, you’re making a mockery of my struggle as a Black person living in present day America, and you damn sure are offending my ancestors. It’s no longer sufficient for Black people to know their history if other citizens who do not identify as Black refuse to take part in the same education.

    Continue reading, HERE!

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    Sheryll Donerson via xonecole.com

    I moved to Vietnam in April 2014 from South Korea to teach English.

    After living in Korea for two years, and adopting a Korean skin care routine, my skin was pretty flawless. But after my move, my skin rebelled, and I had one of the worst breakouts I'd ever had. Enter my new issues with hyperpigmentation.

    Continue!>>>


    It started off with a few pimples that I could keep under control, but by the next year, I had a full-blown acne problem. A combination of the terrible pollution in Ho Chi Minh City mixed with the hot, humid climate left the skin around my chin, cheeks, and jawline a hot mess.

    I finally managed to tame the breakout, but I was left with nasty post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH for short. It made me self-conscious and I hated going outside without makeup. My skin felt smooth, but looked as if I was a 16-year-old hormonal teenager. No ma'am!


    One of my friends introduced me to the world of AHAs, or Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, and my life has forever been changed. AHAs work by gently exfoliating the top layer skin to remove dead skin cells. As a result, using AHAs reveal healthy, younger looking skin, free of PIH.

    There are three types of AHAs that I gravitate towards: glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. Glycolic acid is the most common type of AHA. Its molecules are smaller than other AHAs, which is why people typically see faster results using glycolic acid, but it's also more irritating than other types of AHAs. If you have sensitive skin, lactic acid is a better option since it's much more gentle than glycolic. But by far my favorite AHA is mandelic acid. Derived from bitter almonds, mandelic acid is just as effective as glycolic acid, but causes significantly less redness, flakiness, and dry skin. Mandelic acid is also a better choice for Black women as it doesn't cause additional skin discoloration like glycolic acid can.

    Armed with my newfound education in AHAs and all that they can do, I incorporated them into my modified Korean skincare routine, and slowly but surely, saw impressive results. After about three months, my skin was completely acne and PIH free! My skin currently looks the best it's ever had, and I'm constantly getting compliments on my glowy skin. It's a far cry from where I was at the beginning of the year!


    My nighttime skincare routine goes something like this:

    **Note, I only apply AHAs at night as they make your skin sensitive to the sun!**

    Step One:

    Remove makeup and sunscreen with an oil based cleanser. I love the Illi Total Aging Care Cleansing oil, but you can also use any basic oil like olive oil or argan oil. I personally do not use coconut oil as it's slightly comedogenic and causes me to break out.

    Step Two:

    Cleanse skin again using a gentle foaming cleanser. One of my all time Korean beauty favorites is the su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. It's so popular, it was discontinued for a while to allow for the company to restock. Next, follow up with a toner. I am obsessed with Son and Park's Beauty Water, an all in one cleaner, toner, and hydrating treatment.

    Step Three:

    Use an AHA serum/treatment. I like to apply it with my hands instead of a cotton pad as it doesn't waste product. AHA serums are typically a bit expensive, and I like to save money! Gently press the product into your skin and wait between 20 to 30 minutes before moving on to your next skincare step. Why the waiting period? AHAs work at a lower pH, typically less than 4. Applying a moisturizer directly after your AHA treatment increases the pH of your skin, which renders the active ingredients in your treatment useless. So the waiting period is necessary to allow the AHAs to work their exfoliating magic! I also apply my AHA serum as a spot treatment, to help speed up the healing process of any existing breakouts. While I wait for the AHA to do its thing, I usually get my clothes and lunch ready for the next day. My current favorite is the Vivant Skincare 8% 3-in-1 Mandelic Acid Serum. Paula's Choice is also another great option to find affordable and effective AHA treatment serums.

    Step Four:

    Apply a hydrating toner or serum. In Korean skincare, most toners are for hydration, not for cleansing. I love theWhamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner. I have oily skin, but my skin feels pretty dry after applying my AHA treatment, so I make sure to hydrate my skin a ton at night. If you really want to indulge, use a sheet mask for this step. Beautibi is sheet mask heaven!

    Step Five:

    Apply your moisturizer or facial oil (or if you're like me, both!), and BOOM! You are finished for the night. I'm currently loving the Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial oil, and the Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask. I mix them together for the ultimate hydrating boost.In the morning, make sure to apply a sunscreen after your moisturizer, and before you apply primer or makeup. As I mentioned earlier, AHAs make your skin photosensitive, so wearing sunscreen during the day is non-negotiable. Don't make the mistake of investing in expensive AHA treatments only to not use sunscreen! My favorite sunscreen is the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. It's perfect for oily skinned women, and wears under makeup like magic.


    Following this routine, I managed to get rid of my PIH. Now, my skin is bright, clear, smooth and soft. I rarely have breakouts, and my skin is even toned.

    Continue reading, HERE!

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    IMAGE:@HALFRICANBEAUTE


    Type 4c hair, in all its glory and beauty, can admittedly present a bit of a learning curve to naturals who are still learning about their hair. It may take a while to fully understand what their hair needs to thrive, and how it may need a little extra love and care to keep it in its healthiest state. While stretching natural hair is a popular method of styling, it can be added to a regular 4c hair care regimen to make haircare easier and more efficient.

    Continue!>>>


    Why Do 4c’s Benefit From This Method?
    Type 4c naturals have the most tightly coiled hair, and that combined with up to 70 percent shrinkage and difficulty retaining moisture can create the perfect recipe for damage and breakage. The tight curl pattern of the hair makes it difficult for oils and sebum to travel down from the scalp to moisturize the entire hair strand. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living your best life and rocking a beautiful 4c wash and go. Shrinkage is a sign of healthy, thoroughly moisturized hair; but for those 4c’s who have difficulty controlling knots and tangles, wash and go’s are just not practical for an everyday regimen--that is where stretching comes in.

    Stretched 4c hair is less likely to curl in on itself and makes it easier for those natural oils (and added moisturizing products) to travel down the hair strands and retain the moisture, warding off some excessive breakage and dryness. Using heatless methods to stretch can also help you avoid frequent use of heat (and irreversible heat damage) and retain as much length as possible.

    Shavonnie Scott Wilson, professional New Jersey hairstylist and fellow 4c natural, says that although she likes to wear wigs, she prefers to keep her 8-year-old daughter Cecelia’s 4c hair in cute stretched styles. “Specifically in the summertime, I don’t change her styles much, so it’s easier to maintain braided and twisted styles. And her hair is detangled and protected” she says. Her go-to methods of stretching are banding, braiding, and twist-outs.

    Stretching Methods

    Some popular methods to stretch natural curls, waves, and coils include:

    Braid-outs/Twist-outs


    The classic braid-out/twist out. On thoroughly moisturized and detangled hair (usually water, a styling cream, and an oil), simply section hair off in sections and twist or braid the hair. Then, take the twists/braids down when they are dry. Check out Halfrican Beaute’s simple tutorial for type 4 hair. Get the Flaxseed and Black Castor Oil Eco Styling Gel she uses here.

    African Threading


    African threading is done by sectioning the hair off and wrapping thread around each section. This method is good to keep the natural curl pattern while still elongating the hair.

    Bantu Knots


    Bantu knots are accomplished by sectioning off hair as desired and twisting the hair while wrapping it into a small knot. Some people twirl the hair around their finger while others actually twist two pieces of hair together.

    In addition to aiding in hair maintenance, the ability to stretch type 4 hair presents naturals with several different styling options to switch it up and keep things new and fresh. Type 4c coilies can easily transition between a soft, fluffy afro with maximum shrinkage to a super defined twist out or blown out style. If your coils seem to be dry and knotted regularly and you don’t wear stretched styles, give one of these methods a try.

    Do you stretch your hair? If so, what’s your favorite method? Go ahead and comment down below.

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    ATLANTA, GA – MAY 31: Marlo Hampton attends 2018 BMI Know Them Now Experience at Buckhead Theatre on May 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)


    Marlo Hampton, like so many of us, is on a journey to be her most fit and fabulous self. While she’s always looked healthy (and expensive in her designer clothes), she’s kicking things up a notch.

    The 42-year-old RHOA star has teamed up with Kory Phillips, the celebrity trainer who has been whipping famous faces like Reginae Carter, Kashdoll, Toya Wright and Riley Burruss into shape. He shared that she has been working with him as of late, and with the help of a unique diet, she sees a “noticeable difference” in her body.

    Continue!>>>


    He said she “has been training about 3-4 times a week, intermittent fasting for 16 hours a day AND eating a high protein diet, mid/low carbs & low fats; not to mention wine daily & occasional fried food meals 😡. HOWEVER,In less than 30 days, she’s made a noticeable difference on the scale, in her face, her arms & her DEFINITELY some definition in her midsection.”


    Intermittent fasting, by the way, is a pretty popular way of regulating how you eat. Through this style of consuming food, you pinpoint a certain time of day that you will eat, and the rest of the time, you will go without. So for example, Hampton could have the green light to eat between noon and 7 or 8 p.m., but after that, she is fasting and not munching on small snacks. It helps you avoid incessant snacking and late-night eating, which can increase one’s risk for obesity.

    So while Hampton is eating at a more restricted time, and not eating for the majority of the day, when she does eat, she’s providing herself with balance (I see that wine and fried food mixed in with low carbs and high protein).

    But before you start pushing yourself to do the same fast, it should be noted that Hampton also does a treatment, a non-invasive one, that helps her get rid of stubborn fat deposits around her back and stomach. It’s called an “ultrasound cavitation.” Good diet and exercise might be doing her body good, but the extra help plays a part as well. Either way though, she looks pretty great. Agreed?

    Continue reading, HERE!

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    IMAGE BY ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/BHOFACK2


    How often is coconut oil referred to as the end-all, fix-all to your problems? The natural oil is known for having numerous health benefits. Beyond revitalizing your skin and hair, it is a superfood that has strong medicinal properties. Despite coconut oil's benefits for the curly hair of many, the magical oil has also proven to be damaging to others, depending on the texture and porosity of your hair. In other words, there are pros and cons to incorporating coconut oil to your regimen.

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    Pro: Coconut oil can encourage hair growth and thickness
    Coconut oil can hydrate, nourish, and clean the scalp by removing buildup. Applying a small amount after your wash day allows the oil to penetrate the hair shaft, seeping deeply into the follicles. This strengthens the hair as a whole, promoting growth, fullness, and density. Sounds great, right? If your hair type is on the drier, coarse side, it will do the exact opposite.

    Con: Coconut oil can promote protein buildup
    Although coconut oil cleanses the scalp, it can also cause a protein buildup by restricting moisture on dry or coarse hair. This will block the needed moisture and cause your strands to dry out. The end result? Split ends and hair breakage.

    Pro: Coconut oil can tame your curls
    If you have frizzy hair, adding a little bit of coconut oil is sure to tame your curls. Applying a small amount before you unravel your twist-out will reduce unruly strands. Depending on your hair porosity, it can keep your curls under control.

    Con: Too much Coconut oil can be bad for your hair
    Typically we naturals never follow the “dime size” instructions given to us on the back of a conditioner bottle. Truth is, we use the old-fashioned guestimate — trial and error — regard to how much of a product will suffice for our hair. In the case of coconut oil, oversaturating your hair is counterproductive. Because it is a heavier oil, it will weigh down your curls if you use too much.

    Before you succumb to the coconut oil craze, it is vital that you know your hair porosity. Dry or coarse hair will reject coconut oil, possibly resulting in brittleness and/or breakage. Fine or medium hair will absorb it, increasing growth and density. If you find that the superfood is doing more damage than good, use it for its other benefits like healthy skin, teeth, and diet. If you need a hair oil substitute, peppermint, jojoba, argan, and castor oil are great options.

    What has your experience been with coconut oil? Has it restored or destroyed your hair?

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    source GETTY IMAGES


    by Shelli R Warren via xonecole.com

    A wise person once said, "Adulthood is about surviving childhood."

    If you stop and really let that sink in, it will make you want to heal from any mistakes your parents made; it'll also make you want to be super-careful in the decisions you make with your own kids, for the sake of their own (future) adulthood.

    As for me, I don't have children, so I'm working on Column A. Although I grew up in a house where apologies were in abundance, I also heard it a ton because mistakes (i.e. poor choices) were made over and over (and over and over and over) again. So much to the point that I didn't realize that if someone says, "I'm sorry", (please catch this) there should be a change in their behavior that follows.

    Because I'm just now really getting this, it's taken me years—decades actually—to learn how to truly forgive someone (please do that; your health and sanity depend on it), and to know what I should require (yes require) of someone who apologizes. Because, as I often tell couples in my marriage life coaching sessions, "If you want to free yourself and be in a good spiritual space, forgive. But in order for a relationship to heal, one person needs to forgive while the other needs to repent."

    And if someone is truly remorseful, they are going to do the following five things:

    ​They Will Offer An Apology



    You might've read this point and thought, "duh" but not so fast. I don't know about you, but there have been all sorts of situations—both personally as well as professionally—when someone has harmed or offended me and I had to coax an apology out of them.

    I don't mean I had to explain why I was hurt (sometimes that is required). I mean that once we were both on the same page about the "offense", there were explanations and justifications but no "I'm sorry"—or sounded something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way but…" (which comes off as them trying to become the victim in the situation).

    When someone gets that what they did was either wrong or that it hurt you (because those two things are not always one and the same), if they value you and the relationship, they'll acknowledge it without you having to "force" them to. Their humility will supersede their pride. "I'm sorry" will flow out of them.

    So will my next point.

    A wise person once said, "Adulthood is about surviving childhood."

    If you stop and really let that sink in, it will make you want to heal from any mistakes your parents made; it'll also make you want to be super-careful in the decisions you make with your own kids, for the sake of their own (future) adulthood.

    As for me, I don't have children, so I'm working on Column A. Although I grew up in a house where apologies were in abundance, I also heard it a ton because mistakes (i.e. poor choices) were made over and over (and over and over and over) again. So much to the point that I didn't realize that if someone says, "I'm sorry", (please catch this) there should be a change in their behavior that follows.

    Because I'm just now really getting this, it's taken me years—decades actually—to learn how to truly forgive someone (please do that; your health and sanity depend on it), and to know what I should require (yes require) of someone who apologizes. Because, as I often tell couples in my marriage life coaching sessions, "If you want to free yourself and be in a good spiritual space, forgive. But in order for a relationship to heal, one person needs to forgive while the other needs to repent."

    And if someone is truly remorseful, they are going to do the following five things:

    They Will Express What They Regret Doing


    This is what I call a "Shellie-ism" but personally, I don't trust people who claim that they don't live with regrets. I actually wonder if the individuals who boldly say that know what the word literally means—"to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.)".
    To be remorseful is to have "deep and painful regret for wrongdoing", and if you are bragging about living without it, I can't help but wonder how healthy your relationships are.

    All of us are human, all of us have done something that has "wronged" another individual. Hopefully, we feel sorrow or painful regret about that fact. That said, when someone is truly sorry for something they did to you, not only are you going to get an "I'm sorry" (or "I apologize") but it's going to follow with their reasons behind what they are sorry for.

    For instance, if you told one of your girls something super-private and she tells someone else, not only is she going to apologize but she's going to follow up with something along the lines of "…for betraying your trust".

    Why? It's simple really. An apology doesn't mean much unless the person who's doing it is clear on what they are sorry for in the first place. That's the only way they can be clear on what they did and how to avoid doing it again.


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