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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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    Hola Chicas!

    This will officially be my first Thanksgiving without one (or two) Honey Baked Hams!  I've been vegan since May 2018 and I'm still going hard. Luckily, my parents are also plant based now (still!!!) and hubby is a flexitarian, so we're mostly on the same page! I don't do the kitchen, but I look forward to tasting one of these recipes on Thursday! 

    Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy








    If you're like me, this should do... especially if you've got some Beyond Burgers on deck, or some Chickenless Chicken Strips from Trader Joes. That, plus some cranberry sauce, and issa hella official Vegan Thanksgiving!!!


     For more recipes, check out this amazing list! And this article from xonecole!

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    "Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ― Kahlil Gibran

    Continue!>>>

    This Light is the real, unfading inner Beauty that can be felt in every moment as a subtle, but powerful current of joy. It's right where you are-- you just can't feel it because the mind is covering it up.

    On Sunday, Dec 2nd, join me for an intimate #BeHerNow pillow sesh, to uncover this Light, and unfold the blueprint for your best life!  Space is super limited so be sure to book your space ASAP!

    Love,
    Nik

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    Source: Gettyimages.com/PeopleImages / Getty

    via MadameNoire.com by Julia Austin

    Studies have found that couples who cohabitate before marriage are at a greater risk of divorce. I, personally, found these studies troubling. Or rather, I found the fact that people have flocked to them as proof that couples shouldn’t live together before marriage very troubling. It just isn’t practical or reasonable to state that living together before marriage wouldn’t give a couple some advantages. I’ll go so far as to say that not living together before marriage is dangerous (I’ll get to that later). It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with a partner—you don’t know what it’s like to live together until you live together. Some couples will say, “Well we practically live together.” No—you don’t. You always have your own place to escape to and the knowledge that you have that place. That changes everything. I’d like to dispute the dangerous belief that couples shouldn’t live together until marriage. Sure, couples who live together first are at higher risk of divorce, but I don’t think it has much to do with living together. Here are the actual probable causes.

    Continue!>>>

    The delay was a symptom of something else
    If you have a couple who lives together for many, many years before tying the knot, this begs the question: why did they wait so long to get married? The fact they cohabitated before marriage may not be the reason they divorce, but the fact that they delayed marriage in general for so long could be a symptom of an underlying issue.

    It was bound to come out eventually
    Whatever the trouble was delaying marriage in the first place is bound to come out eventually. Just because it comes in out marriage, doesn’t mean that living together prior is what caused the problem. But by living together for years, the couple who was perhaps already doomed was able to put off marriage for a while.


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    Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty


    I can’t even begin to explain how horrifying and damaging this is. Skin lightening through the use of cosmetic bleaching products is a multi-billion dollar industry in West Africa, which makes the Lagos launch no coincidence. This company is preying on people already engulfed in a decades-long barrage of pro-light skin marketing, and Blac Chyna has signed her soul on the dotted line. To make matters worse, neither the company nor the media mogul seem willing to own up to the reality of what they’re doing. Comments are disabled under Chyna’s promotional Instagram post, as well as under all posts on the brand’s main account.

    Continue!>>>


    How are people still getting away with things like this? Shifty marketing would have you believe that these products are harmless; that they’re merely skin care solutions meant to target issues like acne and hyperpigmentation. However, I’m calling major bs on that one. The brand claims that Chyna’s illuminating cream “brightens [and] lightens without bleaching skin out,” but the customer photos they use to promote show shocking before and afters. On this customer photo, the caption even boasts, “when you can pull off any skintone and still look handsome.” Hashtags like “#blackorwhite” expose the company’s true intentions, and their utter disregard for the self-hatred they’re peddling is as unapologetic and conspicuous as their brand name.

    Even if I did believe the products were designed solely to target dark spots and acne, the company is still blatantly dismissing the fact that Whitenicious is being used for skin bleaching. In one post featuring a client testimonial with particularly jarring before and after results, the brand gives a lazy disclaimer: “Whitenicious is for dark spot removal and unwanted hyperpigmentation, if used for other reasons by customers we can’t control that.” They can control it, but they’re choosing instead to capitalize off of a deeply engrained messaging system that profits off of colorism, insecurity, and self-hatred. The fact that Blac Chyna, a star with so much visibility and influence, would align herself with this messaging adds insult to injury.

    Continue!

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    You’ve probably seen promotions for hair growth vitamins, gummies, and even elixirs and might have wondered if these products can help you achieve your hair goals. Six experts were consulted to understand what professionals think about hair vitamins, whether or not they work, and what you should know before trying them.

    What do the experts think about hair vitamins?

    The experts agree that hair vitamins can promote hair health, including strengthening hair and reducing breakage, by addressing vitamin deficiencies. Several mentioned biotin as a helpful vitamin that can promote hair health by increasing elasticity and reducing dryness. William Yates, M.D., a hair loss specialist, says, “Vitamin supplements are effective if someone has a deficiency. Taking biotin or other vitamins typically found in ‘hair vitamins’ certainly won't hurt you because they are water soluble [meaning they are not stored in your body.]” He also noted that “A vitamin D deficiency can contribute to hair loss and you should definitely supplement at a dose recommended by your physician.”

    Deborah O’Donohue, a registered dietician, suggested taking vitamins that contain Iron, “as frequently thinning hair or hair loss [can be] a result of low Iron status” in addition to Biotin and Vitamin D.

    Addressing protein deficiencies can improve hair health as well. Robert Nettles, M.D., of Stop and reGrow, says that, “Separate from vitamins, the No. 1 factor we see in our clinic which causes thin and breaking hair in women is lack of protein.”

    Furthermore, Phoenyx Austin, M.D., a certified nutrition specialist and creator of Beauty Protein, emphasizes a protein-rich diet because “not getting ample protein in your diet will make it very difficult to grow healthy, stronger, and longer hair – even if you take hair vitamins!”

    Beyond addressing vitamin and protein deficiencies, Dr. Austin told us that your diet and exercise affect your hair health, as “how you look on the outside is a direct reflection of how healthy and nourished your body is on the inside.” How you treat your hair on a daily basis is also important according to Chidimma Kalu, M.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at City of Hope National Medical Center. She mentions that “Excessive heat styling and chemical processing are drying and damaging to the hair after long periods of time, leaving the ends of your hair susceptible to breakage.”

    Will hair vitamins help your hair grow faster?
    Unfortunately, the answer from most of the professionals is “no.” Licensed cosmetologist and trichologist Sophia Emmanuel Powell says, “Taking hair vitamins will not make your hair grow faster because each individual follicle on your head goes through a natural cycle of hair growth, resting and shedding. Hair grows about a half an inch a month. Taking hair vitamins can help enhance the strength and health of the hair, but there is nothing you can do to speed up the growth process."

    There are factors that can slow down hair growth, such as stress, poor nutrition, and diet. In this case, hair vitamins can help energize hair follicles so hair growth is not delayed. Dr. Kalu believes that the “majority of people who notice a significant, positive difference after starting a hair vitamin will have had some kind of scalp, skin, or nail issue beforehand. Those without vitamin deficiencies might notice a difference in the thickness of their hair, for example. That being said, many people will note absolutely no change at all.” Dr. Yates sums it up saying, “Realistically, vitamin supplements will not regrow your hair unless you have a deficiency.”

    What you should know before trying hair vitamins

    Powell tells her clients "not to expect fast hair growth because it is stressful and disappointing when they do not see the length they were expecting.” She cautions consumers to be wary of claims such as, “stop hair loss now” or get “longer hair in three months.” Instead, she says, “Look for studies or science-based materials that prove the ingredients do what they promise and keep in mind vitamins that work for one person may not work for another person.”

    Dr. Kalu advises consumers to consult their doctors before starting hair vitamins because “combining medications may result in dangerous side effects. Provided that there is no contraindication to trying these supplements, anyone who wants to try them can do so safely, see how the supplements affect them, and make sure to pay attention to potential side effects (e.g., allergic reactions, rash, worsening acne, headaches etc.).”

    Overall, the experts believe that while there is no miracle pill that can make your hair grow faster, taking hair vitamins can play an important role in your hair’s health.

    Have you taken hair vitamins? Share your experiences in the comments section below!

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    IMAGE BY ISTOCK/ALEJANDROPHOTOGRAPHY


    Whether you’re trying to grow your hair out, you don’t have a ton of time (or energy) to style your hair, or you’re simply the kind of woman who likes to switch things up, if there’s one thing you need to have in your possession, it’s a wig!

    Aside from the fact that they are uber-convenient, wigs are one of the best ways to protect your own hair from styling damage. Not only that, but the styling possibilities—cut, color ‘n all—are endless!

    Continue!>>>


    If you’ve never purchased a wig before, we won’t lie to you. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed because there are tons to choose from, including lace front wigs (wigs that make it possible for your scalp to show through), monofilament wigs (wigs that make it easier for your scalp and natural hair to “breathe”) and, one of our personal favorites, customized wigs.

    That’s why it’s a good idea to know your cap size, the style and hair type you’re after, and the kind of budget you’re working with before shopping for a wig. Also, make sure to visit a wig shop that has a reputation for great customer service — one that has professionals on hand to help you select a wig and show you how to put—and keep—it on.

    Once you find the wig of your dreams and you bring it back home, it’s understandable that you might be nervous about how to secure it on your own, while making it look natural, and feel as comfortable as possible.

    No worries. We’re more than happy to walk you through the steps of what you need to do in order to keep your wig snuggly in place.

    First, here are few things that you’ll need.

    Items every wig-owner should have in their possession

    DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE OR WIG GLUE
    If you’ve got a bald head or areas where hair is missing, you can keep your wig in place with the help of some double-sided tape or wig glue. If you get some that is top-quality, both are easy to apply and remove.

    CLIPS OR BOBBY PINS
    Some wigs automatically come with clips attached to the inside of them. But if yours doesn’t (and you’d prefer to not sew some metal clips in), all you need are some bobby pins. Make sure you use some that are close to the color of your natural hair and pin them to the perimeter of your braids (if you braided your hair beforehand) in a criss-cross pattern. That’s what will help to keep your wig intact (don’t forget to add a couple around the nape of your neck for added security!).

    BABY POWDER AND OIL
    If you plan on using a lot of hair product on your wig, and you want to avoid accumulating buildup, there’s a simple solution. Sprinkle a little bit of baby powder on your wig, then brush the powder through with a Denman brush. That will keep your wig from getting all “icky”.

    Something else that you should have on hand is a little almond or avocado oil for your hairline. Both oils are able to keep the friction of your wig from damaging your edges over time.

    AN OLD TOOTHBRUSH
    What if you want to create a few “baby hairs”? No problem. An old toothbrush and some non-alcoholic styling gel can help you to accomplish that. Just try to avoid laying down baby hairs every day. If you’re not careful, that can end up weakening them.

    A SATIN SCARF
    It’s not uncommon for some women to sleep with their wig on from time to time. If you do decide to do that, make sure to tie your “wig hair” up with a satin scarf. Not only will it help your wig to maintain its shape, it will also keep you from waking up to a matted mess in the morning.

    A WIG CAP
    If you want to be super-proactive about protecting your hair, while making sure your wig remains securely in place, you definitely need to invest in a wig cap. Make sure it’s made out of nylon material, that it matches the color of your scalp and that it’s not darker than your skin tone. For the most part, wig caps work well with any kind of wig (other than half-wigs or complete lace ones).

    Who needs a cap? Who needs some glue?
    Now that you know about the things you’ll need in order to feel more secure in your wig, you might be wondering when you should use a wig cap (or band) vs. some double-sided tape (or glue).

    IF YOU HAVE HAIR ON YOUR HEAD: PUT ON A WIG CAP OR BAND
    If you have hair on your head (no matter how long or short it may be), the best way to keep your wig secure, hands down, is with the help of a wig cap or a wig headband (which is a headband that literally goes around your head).

    We’ve already mentioned that a wig cap that’s made out of nylon is your best bet. But if you have long hair, you might prefer a mesh wig cap, simply because it can make it easier for you to “access” your head/hair while still keeping your wig in place.

    Why do some people prefer a wig band? It’s one way for your scalp to breathe easier (which will keep you cooler). Also, because a band puts less pressure on your head than a cap, you won’t have to worry as much about getting head sores or headaches.

    IF YOU DON’T HAVE HAIR ON YOUR HEAD: USE DOUBLE-SIDED TAPE OR GLUE
    What if you don’t have any hair on your head? No problem. You can still secure your wig on your head by doing the following:

    -Shampoo your scalp to remove any dirt or residue.

    -Apply some scalp protectant in order to protect your scalp from the residue of the tape or glue. Wait 20 minutes for the protectant to dry.

    -Apply the double-sided tape or glue to your scalp (particularly around the circumference of your head and top of your scalp).

    -If you use glue, allow it to dry long enough for it to have a putty-like texture.

    -Put the wig on your head and, with your hands, apply pressure on your wig so that it sticks to the tape or glue stuck to your scalp. Apply the same amount of pressure, all around for two minutes.

    -Style as usual.

    A FEW OTHER TIPS…
    If you’re worried about your wig “riding up” in the back, one thing you can do is add a long hair clip or comb to the back of your neck.

    If after having your wig for a while, it feels too loose on your head, adding some adjustable elastic bands to your wig may be the solution.

    On super windy days, if you’re worrying that your wig will fly away, bring along another accessory—a pair of sunglasses. Putting them on top of your head will provide additional “reinforcement”.

    For some additional head support, consider applying a silicone headband product like Ferdinand's Wigs Comfy Grip Band.

    Definitely the best way to ensure you have a secure wig with as few clips, pins, tape or glue as possible is to purchase a customized wig. To find a store in your area that makes one, go to your favorite search engine and put “customized wigs” along with your city and state in the search field.

    Do you wear wigs? What are some tips and tricks that you use to keep your wig secure? Share them with us in the comments below!

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    Source: Bravo / Getty

    via MadameNoire by Tanay Hudson

    Last week, the Real Housewives of Atlanta welcomed a new star, Shamari DeVoe of the R&B group Blaque and the wife of New Edition legend Ronnie DeVoe, and last night, another new cast member made her debut!

    Continue!>>>


    Businesswoman Tanya Sam will be stepping foot into the ‘RHOA’ world alongside Kandi Burrus, Nene Leakes, Porsha Williams, Eva Marcille and Cynthia Bailey. But who is Tanya Sam?

    Sam is the Director of Partnerships at TechSquare Labs, which is “a technology startup hub and venture capital fund,” according to her website. Sam is also the co-founder of BuiltxWomen, which helps female entrepreneurs start their businesses. She is also on the Board of Directors for Kate’s Club, an organization that helps children who have lost a parent or a sibling.

    With a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Toronto under her belt, she has practiced in some of the top oncology hospitals in the U.S.

    Sam, who is a Toronto native, is engaged to investor and entrepreneur Dr. Paul Judge.

    Sam seems to be excited about being a part of the cast and plans to stir things up a little.

    “It’s Tanya Time this season,” Sam told Page Six. “Get ready for a wild ride!”

    Sam, who has Ghanian and British roots, is ready to “expand the ‘Housewife’ image, stamp out her identity as a successful woman of color and owner/investor in successful multimillion-dollar enterprises” while “giving loyal fans a dose of Atlanta charm by way of Toronto.”

    Did you watch last night? What did you think?!

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    Last minute awesomeness— I’m heading to the cradle of civilization tomorrow to share the spirit of #BeHerNow at the Global Consciousness Summit 2018! If you are in Johannesburg, South Africa please join us for a mind-shifting experience. In addition to stimulating panels, there will be yoga, meditation and healing workshops. See you on Dec 1!

    Continue!>>>


    Thank you to everyone that signed up for my #STL ‘pillow sesh’ on Dec 2nd! Due to my last minute travel to Johannesburg, I have to reschedule. I’m sooooo sorry and have already fully refunded your tickets. I promise y’all will be the FIRST to be notified (personally, by me, before it’s announced) of the new date and time! I appreciate and love you all! 

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    By Devri

    The "Liquid, Oil, Cream Method" (also known as LOC method) for natural and curly hair has been proven time and time again to provide intense moisture and definition. In the winter time, many curlies lose moisture because of dry climatic conditions, so the LOC method is often used on wash days to provide and prolong healthy hydration to the curl. You may find that in winter your hair needs more products and a few extra steps to keep it moisturized. If this sounds like you, then follow this simple guide to the LOC method.

    Continue!>>>


    The LOC method, in order

    • Liquid
    • Oil
    • Cream

    Water is the ultimate form of moisture. It is all natural, easy to get access to, and your curls love it. During wash days we use it regardless, so the oil and cream components are a must.

    Oil can be chosen depending on which one your hair responds to best. Some curlies prefer jojoba oil because it absorbs well, and is great for those with sensitive scalp. Others might opt for olive oil because of its viscosity--thick, and heavy enough to produce great results on medium to high porosity hair. Coconut oil is also a great option because of its ability to penetrate the hair shaft and hold on to water and reduce protein loss.

    Creams are important because they moisturize and seal the oil and water to the hair shaft. But be cautious of the word 'cream'; the best option is to use a leave-in cream versus a curling/styling cream. They act differently, and a leave-in provides the sealing properties your curls need. Use a styling cream, gel, mousse, etc. afterward to lock the style into place for the day. Raw shea butter is also an effective option.

    Watch these tutorials
    For 3B/C hair:

    For Transitioning Hair

    For 4B/C Hair

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    Hola Chica!

    Due to the genetic hand I was dealt, my first few permanent teeth came in at some epically tragic angles. So way back in nineteen hundred and ninety-three, my parents took me straight to the orthodontist and I began the long and arduous journey that is metal braces, despite the fact that I only had like four adult teeth at the time. That’s how crooked they were -- an orthodontist thought it best to immediately place ‘emergency’ brackets on those four, while we awaited the arrival of the rest of my permanent teeth, adding brackets as we went! I’m talking six plus years! Luckily, they came off in time for me to slay prom, and my mostly straight and white teeth got me through college, graduate school, and into my first years of true adulting.

    Continue!>>>


    However, a couple of years ago, I vividly remember watching myself on HD TV (I HATE watching myself on TV) and noticing that my two front teeth were inching their way back to their original fierce poses and that my latest obsession - black tea - was definitely dulling my smile. I immediately started researching and decided to do a 2-year stint in invisible braces. They worked magnificently. My Ortho (and friend) recommended, in addition to actually wearing my retainer this time, using a whitening toothpaste to keep my situation blingy in between the professional whitening treatments he gives me once a year. I’d already been buying Colgate® Optic White® Platinum™ High Impact White® toothpaste, due to the “4 shades visibly whiter* (*when brushing twice daily for six weeks)” claim on the box because I hate whitening strips (they sting my gums) AND because I also hate the professional treatments (I get the ‘zingers’, painful stuff). Once he gave me the thumbs up, I continued using it and have been using it ever since. I just completed my final set of invisible braces trays, and we both agreed that my teeth were so white I could skip the professional treatment (yay!) and stick to my current routine. (which includes twice-a-day flossing with actual floss, in addition to my trusty water flosser!) So when Colgate® reached out for this partnership, it was like the perfect marriage! My routine is solid, thanks to Colgate® Optic White® Platinum™ High Impact White®, and so is my dental health.


    Later Gators,
    Nik

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    "IKYFL", would've been my actual response to you on Saturday morning, if you would've told me I'd be going all the way to South Africa on Tuesday... like, today. I love South Africa, I’ve been planning to go back, but the way these kids are set up, let’s just say it wasn’t on the immediate agenda.  I won’t bore you with the series of serendipitous events that led to me thumbing this message out to you, in the back of this Suburban, on my way to the airport... you wouldn't believe me anyway!  I’ll just say this-
    “Love itself is the actual form of God.” - Ramana Maharshi

    I have been practicing the presence of Love, walking in IT, and choosing to feel IT, offer IT, and receive IT, no matter what. And out of all of my spiritual practices, it has been the most deepening... the most fruitful, and the only one I regularly share with you on IG, on my #BeHerNow posts. So in the midst of this Love, and actively HER’ing, I met Dr. Habib Sadeghi of the Love Button Global Movement! The buttons are not only a symbolic representation, but a trigger, a physical reminder to BE and freely share the love that you are.

    As an ambassador for Love Button, I’ll be speaking at the Global Consciousness Summit 2018 and giving you VIP access to the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100. So stay tuned for great behind the scenes content and pics from the cradle of civilization!

    If you’re in Johannesburg, I hope to see you!

    I love you all!!!!
    Nikki

    “You are love itself... there is only love in action. In seeking, you discover that you are neither the body nor mind, and the love of the Self in you is for the Self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one.” 
    - Nisargadatta Maharaj


    About the Love Button Global Movement 
    Who We Are - a non-profit organization that promotes a culture of Loving

    What We Do - inspire our human family to act with Loving Kindness in our daily lives

    Programs & Activities - Love Button supports educational and humanitarian programs that empower individuals and uplift communities locally and globally.  Wear the Love Button to show you believe in Love and its power to transform our world.

    Join the Movement at www.LoveButton.org

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    A young Black student was reportedly asked to play down her self-esteem because she was making her white classmates jealous.

    Last Wednesday a woman named Jacquelyn Nietzsche shared a screenshot of an email that she received from her daughter Mariah’s teacher, begging her to address Mariah about her “misbehavior.”

    “First of all what the hell is wrong with my child?” Nietzsche wrote as the caption with a laughing emoji.

    Continue!>>>


    “I’m writing to you out of concern for an incident we had in class today with Mariah,” the email states. “During our free play time, Mariah was walking around the classroom yelling ‘I have Black girl magic’ to white female classmates.”

    “While we want Maria to feel empowered this made some of the other girls cry. I hope that you would be wiling to speak with her about this,” the email continued.

    Nietzche’s post now has over two-thousand likes and 7,000 shares. Comments are of course split on whether or not the teacher had any right to send such a message to a parent.

    “Mariah needs to keep on with her black girl magic! Extra tissues are indeed in order for white tears!,” one person named Deborah Caston wrote.

    “If white student was flaunting I have white girl magic…. it would have definitely been a different story … our community would’ve been screaming racism….we have to stop stooping to their level,” Solo Curt wrote.

    “Some of you don’t know what racist means. Had she called the white children names or said her race was superior to theirs, that would be racist. Black folks feeling this is racist..,” another comment wrote.

    A few even speculated on whether the post was made up for attention and likes.

    If this really went down in the classroom, a brief discussion on self-esteem and empowerment would probably have went a long way.

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    Source: LaylaBird / Getty


    We are currently amid a feminist uprising unlike any other. Now, more than ever, women are taking a stand and using their voices to speak out against any and all injustices that impact the female gender. In conjunction with this feminist uprising, there is a more significant presence of alpha females. These strong, take-charge women are successful, independent, and committed to living according to the book of Beyoncé. We’re basically running the world; but are we running our male companions away too?



    Since the beginning of time, there have been women running things and making their own moves, just ask Adam. Yeah, Eve made a bad decision, but she took charge and made her own choice, and that is definitely one of the characteristics of an alpha female. I think we all know that while alpha females have always been a thing, we weren’t always as free to do our thing as we are now. There was a time when strong women had to hide behind men and stay in a woman’s so-called place. Those women were just as strong, independent, intelligent and capable as we are today, but they had to dumb themselves down because of society’s standards.

    Long gone are the days of women suppressing our strengths to accommodate men, conforming to society, or waiting to be saved by some knight in shining armor. Alpha females are showing up, putting in work and saving ourselves. We understand our power and potential doesn’t rely on anyone other than God and us (duh). But as a girl who was raised by alpha females, there was one thing that always bothered me that I have tried to avoid as an alpha female myself. Growing up, I witnessed many of the women around me were either unable to maintain relationships or were in relationships with men they emasculated. My mother, a beautiful, strong woman, emasculated my step-father most of their marriage, and I hated it. I would always say, “when I have a man, I’m not going to do that to him.” However, now I see that it is much easier said than done.

    Yeah, I know that the Bible says the man should be the head, but what if he isn’t capable? Should I allow my life to be in shambles while waiting for a man to be a man? During a recent Facebook conversation discussing alpha females, a friend of mine made a valid point when she explained how we got into this predicament. “An entire generation of Black men were absent, which forced mothers to teach their daughters to be more efficient and independent.,” she stated. “We had to adapt and now our men must do the same.” I felt that.

    When I consider the male/female relationship, I must acknowledge the fact that somebody’s got to be on top (pun intended). However, being strong doesn’t equate to being mean, dismissive, or inconsiderate. There is a time to turn up and use your strength and there is a time to turn down and follow someone else’s lead. This has proven to be a challenge for both alpha females and alpha males.


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     Queen O!!!!

     Hola Chica!

    Just getting back home from my last minute travels to Johannesburg, South Africa, and it was truly a magical trip! Check out my IG stories for even more deets and backstage views of the Global Citizen Festival!

    Continue!>>>>



    at the Touche Global Consciousness Summit 2018!

     on stage at the Global Citizen Festival!

     chris martin of coldplay!!!

    Usher!!!!

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    Source: JGI/Tom Grill / Getty

    by Veronica Wells via MadameNoire.com

    There are some things you could never know about people—until you know them. And by that time it’s too late. I’ll explain later; but first, an anecdote. I was visiting a friend recently and in a moment of near-drunken revelation, she shared that when her daughter was first born, she was hyper vigilante and protective in ways she hadn’t been with her son. For instance, she said that she never took issue with husband showing their son affection. But when their daughter was born, she was always peeking around corners, making sure that the affection was appropriate, that he never crossed a line.

    Her husband had never given her any reason to suspect anything, but she was just watchful. Making sure that if any suspicious behavior presented itself, she’d be ready to intervene on behalf of her child. And thankfully, it never came to that. This wasn’t something she would have shared in a more sober state but I found the story interesting and wondered if other mothers felt like that.

    I asked my own mother. And she said that while there had never been indication, for the first couple of months she was also watchful of my father but eased up as she felt convinced that there was no danger.

    My pastor’s wife, who is a victim of sexual abuse, shared one Sunday that after her daughter was born, she actually told her husband that he would have problems if he ever touched their daughter. Naturally, he was shocked and offended. But after considering her point of view, based on her experience, he understood why she at least had to say it.

    A mother’s natural inclination to protect her child can occasionally cause dark and disturbing thoughts to cross a woman’s mind.

    So, I wasn’t all that surprised to see these series of tweets from a Nigerian television host, Morayo Akabashorun. Although several other people were.

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    During the winter, the harsh weather changes can be damaging to your hair. Think about it: you go from inside a warm house, usually circulating dry air, into a cold, windy, and frigid environment. Not only is the temperature change hard for you, but your follicles can pay a price too. If you’re struggling for simple remedies to the cold, here are four protective styles that can keep your hair safe from the freezing winds.


    This classic style of braids covers your hair in three strands of protection. You can wear them for up to 6 weeks and not have to worry about your hair being shocked by the cold. Be sure to provide your scalp with the oil it needs and also give your braids an occasional shampoo. Your local Yelp can help you find a braider to help you create this look.



    It’s cute, it’s chic, and it’s great for winter. Using a headwrap on a cold night out is a great way to show your personality and protect your hair. Some come pre-wrapped but others you can simply do for yourself. There are also different styles of wrapping but this simple protective style is something you can do all by yourself with your favorite scarf. 

    IMAGE:@TYLAUREN

    The braided ponytail has made a major comeback this season and is so sleek and easy to style. Simply put your hair up in a ponytail and braid your puff and wrap it into a small bun. Then, grab the hair extensions and attach it to your bun with a rubber band and a few hairpins to secure the ponytail. Now, braid the hair extensions and you’re off to go. Watch this video for a step-by-step tutorial.

    Image: @simplycyn

    Winter is the perfect time for cool and funky hats. Mix and match your hat colors with your outfit. Making the hat part of your look will prompt conversation about your cool and artsy aesthetic. The hat will keep your head warm, your curls out of harm's way, and will easily be a conversation starter.

    These styles are not the only ones that can keep your hair out of the winds way. Wigs are also very popular for winter time hair changes. You can literally transform into different people just by switching out your hair. Wigs come in human hair or synthetic, so be sure to do some research before you buy one.

    What's your favorite winter protective style?

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    by London Alexaundria via XoNecole

    There's something about scoring a good deal and saving your coins on a purchase that is very satisfying and when it comes to travel deals, it is even more satisfying. Thankfully, nowadays it's becoming easier and easier to find sites that can help you do just that.

    Whether it's mistake fares or bundle deals, we have rounded up the top sites that will give you a gratifying travel planning experience while still keeping money in your pockets.



    Skiplagged.com claims to have some of the cheapest flights around due to techniques that helps their customers get around the rules.

    For example, Skiplagged has a feature called a "hidden-city flight" where you get off at the layover rather than the final destination, which can result in you saving money. While it may sound too good to be true, it's perfectly legal and the site even boasts about United Airlines failed attempt to sue them, but the case got thrown out. If you do decide to use Skiplagged, however, be sure to read up on their guidelines.

    Continue!>>>



    Expedia.com is probably one of the more popular sites to find the best travel deals. The great thing about Expedia is that not only do they offer amazing flight deals, but they also have bundles where you can purchase a flight, hotel, and car all in one place.

    The site is easy to navigate and it uses your location to show flights to popular destinations.



    Scottscheapflights.com is a site that is comprised of Scott and his team of experts who search all over for the best flights and send them directly to your email. They have two packages: Limited, which is free, and Premium, which is only $39/year. While the Limited package includes limited flight deals, preset departure regions, and delayed notifications, it's the Premium package that has all the best flight deals, mistake fares, peak season deals and more.


    Clark.com is a site that features some of the best financial advice, budgeting and money saving tips and the best flight deals. The travel page includes an extensive list of national and international flights that are organized in categories from "Book Ahead Deals" to "Limited Time Offers" as well as by country/region. While you're booking your flight, make sure to also check out their travel guides that is designed to make your travel experience much more enjoyable.

    Featured images by Getty Images.

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    Source: Noel Vasquez / Getty

    by Veronica Wells via MadameNoire.com

    Last week, Michelle Williams sent out a cryptic message in her Instagram stories, suggesting that she and Pastor Chad Johnson had called off their engagement.

    Continue!>>>
    In a message she later deleted, Williams wrote:

    “I’d rather be alone and be whole and healed of past hurts and wounds instead of being in a relationship wishing I had taken the time to do so.”


    It was pretty clear. And after calling off her engagement on three separate occasions, the writing was on the wall.

    Today, Williams surprisingly released a new album called Fearless. And in the midst of promoting it, sharing what fans had to say about the project, she also included this message.

    “I still remain fearless. I guess I still remain single! Things didn’t work out. The healing that needs to take place is a must! I don’t wanna destroy another relationship. Blessings to him, his family and ministry. #Fearless”


    As for Johnson, one of the last videos on his Instagram page are videos of the two from their OWN show, “Chad Loves Michelle” and another video of them promoting a Bible plan for couples with YouVersion.  Continue>>

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    via XoNecole by Krissy Lewis

    When I usually get these bumpy breakouts, they appear in groups on my forehead. Most of the time, when I get these minor acne outbreaks, I would assume it's caused by a reaction to a moisturizer or face wash, but that wasn't the case. I did some research on what can cause them and I realized, my pores were crying for help.

    Besides maintaining a healthy diet and drinking more water, here are six ways to unclog your pores and get rid of pesky bumps:

    Continue!>>>

    Wash Your Bonnet/Scarf More Frequently and Separately.

    Naturally Curly

    I realized a big contribution to my forehead breakout was the build-up of products from my hair and face. I've honestly been slipping and haven't washed my bonnet in a couple of weeks and when I did, I washed it with the rest of my clothes, which I don't recommend.

    The type of bonnet I use has a wide black band that protects my edges and tends to lay on my forehead. I realized how much oil and product must be living on my forehead causing my clogged pores, so now I hand wash my bonnet every week with Urban Hydration Lemon vegan laundry detergent. I use it because it's a way more gentle than my Tide detergent and I don't want anything else to irritate my skin.

    Use A Charcoal Mask In Affected Area(s).


    Writer Krissy Lewis/xoNecole

    Charcoal masks, face washes, and moisturizers are great for clearing out your skin's impurities and unclogging pores. Since I work from home and I don't particularly have to get glam in the morning, I apply my charcoal masks twice a day to the affected area— once in the morning and again at night. If you don't have this flexibility, I recommend washing your face twice a day with a charcoal face wash/moisturizer and/or applying the mask at night.

    I also used a charcoal-infused peel off mask twice a week to make sure I'm really cleaning out my pores and a retexturizing mask to give my face a deep clean and reduce the appearance of pores.

    Keep Your Hair Away From Your Face.

    media.giphy.com

    This may sound simple, but it's very important.

    You can follow every other step, but if you miss this one, then it's pretty counter-productive. I would refrain from wearing your hair in your face until your pores are cleared and allowed to breathe. Even if you're using natural products, it can be a lot of build-up from both your hair and skin.

    Change/Wash Your Pillowcase.



    Oh Joy!

    Ideally, you should change or wash your pillowcases every week or every other week.

    Acne breakouts can not only stem from your hair, but your sheets as well. Just think about this, our skin tends to rejuvenate and repair itself at night, so why not give it a clean environment to do so? Our pillowcase can have a lot of build-up and irritants we can't see like dead skin, sweat, and bacteria, which can clog pores and cause breakouts.


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    by Kim Wong-Shing

    There’s nothing like edges that are completely “laid to the gawds,” as they say. Immaculate baby hairs are truly a work of modern art. Picasso who?

    Coily-haired beauties often use some type of strong edge control or gel to sweep their edges into place, and the results look amazing. But sometimes, all you want is a soft, natural, and sleek look – using products that won’t dry out your hair, flake away, or become stiff. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to smooth your edges with products that are gentle on your hair.

    When you want to lay your edges, but you don’t really feel like reaching for the Gorilla Snot, here are a few all-natural ways to smooth your edges down.

    Continue!>>>


    Jamaican black castor oil
    Add this to the long list of amazing feats that Jamaican black castor oil can perform. This thick oil has the consistency of molasses, and it’s heavy enough to weigh down your hair. That means it’s not ideal for all-over moisture, but it’s absolutely perfect for applying a modest amount to your edges to lay them flat. As a bonus, JBCO promotes hair growth, so if your edges are struggling, this will help them recover.

    Shea or cocoa butter
    Similarly, a simple butter can do the trick. Hair butter is an excellent alternative to gel, because it holds your hair in place, without drying or flaking. Instead, it delivers a major dose of moisture.

    You can use an all-natural, alcohol-free hair butter, like Flora & Curl’s Flower Garden Hair Butter, which won the 2018 Editor’s Choice Award. Alternatively, you can simply use a dollop of pure shea butter or cocoa butter.

    Make your own gel
    If you’d still like to opt for a gel, but want to go the all-natural route, try making your own homemade hair gel. DIY flaxseed gel works amazingly well for this purpose. The thicker you make your gel, the stronger the hold will be. Read more about how to make your own flaxseed gel.

    Use a toothbrush or boar bristle brush
    If you haven’t heard of this trick, it’s time to get on board! Using a small brush is much easier than using your fingers or your regular comb/brush to lay your edges. Happily, you don’t have to spend money on a fancy, miniature edge brush. You probably already have the perfect tool lying around: a toothbrush.

    A toothbrush works really well for precise baby-hair styling. You can also use a boar-bristle brush for sweeping your edges into a bun or ponytail.

    Tie your head.
    After you’ve got your edges laid, you need to make sure that they stay in place until they’re completely dry. Wrap a silk or satin scarf around your edges, secure it firmly, and leave it in place for at least 20 minutes. While you wait, you can apply your makeup, get dressed, or do whatever else you need to do before you leave the house.

    If you really want a smooth look, start the process overnight – wrap your hair before bed, and wake up to soft and sleek edges.

    These methods will result in a soft, natural-looking hold rather than a stiff hold. They’re easy on your hair, and easy on the wallet, too.

    Have you successfully laid your edges using an all-natural method? How? Share your wisdom in the comments!

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