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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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    photo courtesy of Getty images

    Our hair needs a perfect balance of moisture and protein for optimal health. Our hairs are made of about 70% keratin, which are long chains of amino acids. Our hair is made of protein but that is not all our hair needs to be healthy and grow. We need moisture to keep the hair from being dry, brittle, and breaking off and our hair needs protein to stay strong and to help repair the damage we inflict in day to day styling and the environment we live in. Basically, too little moisture or protein can be a problem and this delicate balance, if swayed too much in either direction, can be detrimental to the health of one’s hair. Desiree.Lesa from Curly Q&A may be struggling with this very balance as she wonders if her dry hair is in need of a protein treatment.

    Read On!>>>

    Does dry, brittle hair automatically mean protein overload? I recently bought a protein treatment to help with my excessive breakage but I don't want to use it, if it's only going to make my hair drier. Is there a difference between having normal dryness and dryness caused by protein overload?
    This is really a two-part question that needs to be addressed, as many may find themselves in similar situations. The need to fix dry, brittle hair is necessary but finding out the cause is essential to getting the right treatment to do the job and prevent further damage. First off, dry and brittle hair can be a sign of several things and not just protein overload. Let’s define protein overload. Protein overload is just as it sounds. Protein overload in our hair is upsetting the delicate balance of moisture and protein.

    Hair can be dry and brittle from improper diet, chemical treatments like color or straightening, climate, medical illnesses, or even medication. It is not always just the products we use that can make our hair dry, so it is important to find out the possibilities prior to rectifying the situation. If all of those mentioned above do not pertain to you, then reviewing the ingredients list is a great way to determine if you are getting too much protein. Protein is necessary but on a daily or even weekly occurrence. Our hair can stand a protein treatment monthly or even less, especially if one is not using chemical treatments or excessive styling. Many styling products we love contain protein, so checking to see if you are using gels with hydrolyzed protein or silk protein will allow you to determine if you are overdoing it. Another way to determine if you have protein overload is a simple strand test.
    Strand test
    Take a wet or dry strand of hair and gently stretch it. If it barely stretches and snaps then you need more moisture and may have too much protein. Too much protein robs the hair of elasticity and elasticity allows us to manipulate our hair without causing breakage because the hair should be able to stretch and not instantly break. If your hair is breaking off easily when manipulated then that may be a sign of protein overload.
    Fixing the problem
    You may need to put off the protein and concentrate on moisture. Right now your hair is telling you it is dry and needs moisture so use very moisturizing products to cleanse and condition. Use sulfate-free shampoo to combat the dryness and breakage. Deep conditioning should always follow cleansing. Use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to reinforce the moisture plan and remember to seal your hair and ends (pay close attention to the ends) to the dryness and breakage. Steer clear of products with protein to bring up the moisture balance in the hair and implementing methods like the baggy method to increase the moisture quicker. Once you notice a difference, try incorporating and continue using a protein treatment but make sure to not use it more than once a month.

    What say you? How have you fixed dry, brittle hair? 

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  • 07/30/15--05:26: Dannielle Is Naturally Glam!

  • Were you a long term or short term transitioner, and why?
    I transitioned for seven months before doing my big chop. My aim was to grow my natural hair to a length that would allow me to create a ponytail, but as you can well imagine, 7 months of transitioning hair was not long enough for my desired up-do.

    When did you BC? What was your initial reaction to your natural hair?
    I big chopped on Dec 31, 2014. After I big chopped I was not sure what to make of my hair since I had never really handled it in its natural state. I had no idea what my true hair texture was like and what it needed to thrive. Nevertheless, I was excited to learn about my hair.


    How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
    Both friends and family were very supportive of my decision. Many of my friends were already natural and encouraged me on my journey.

    What was your transition routine (products included)?
    My routine was simple. I realised that my transitioning tresses were susceptible to breakage and so I resorted to low manipulation hairstyles.  I washed with Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo, conditioned with Aussie Moist and deep conditioned with Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment. I styled using perm rods or flexi-rods. I did this routine at the end of each week.

    What was your staple hair style during the transition?
    For everyday wear I would let my curls hang loose and separate them for fullness throughout the week. On the weekends, I would tease my curls and pin the sides for my signature Mohawk look.

    How did you moisturize your hair to prevent breakage at the new growth line?
    Manipulating my hair as little as possible definitely helped to prevent breakage. I also deep conditioned weekly and used Creme of Nature’s strength and shine leave-in conditioner. I separated my curls with coconut oil which helped to lock in moisture until my wash day at the end of each week.

    Why did you choose to go natural?
    I was tired of being dependent on a hairstylist for the health of my hair and realised that my relaxed hair required going to the salon every week. Follow that, my hair would begin to break even when I tried to tend to it myself. I also began to experience severe itching in the middle of my head and was diagnosed with eczema. Getting relaxers only made the itching worse! I have been natural now for over 6 months and can honestly say that I have experienced no itching outside of the norm!
    Going natural has been one of the best decisions I have made and I would encourage anyone who has doubts to take the leap of faith whether by transitioning or just doing the great big chop! It is indeed a journey that I am enjoying to the fullest!

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    It's always been important to me to be thought of as pretty and polished and nice to look at.  Sounds vain, but as a woman, perhaps you can relate.  I talked about the roots of this a bit here.

    With that said, I work diligently to position myself as a champion for shameless self-possession.  I celebrate all the many layers.  And some of those layers ain't pretty.  Feeling pretty is like happiness.  It's a choice and a feeling that comes and goes depending on what's going on.

    Read On!>>>

    Embracing the unpretty is part of my brand. I think about it every time I sit down to write, and when I share bits and pieces of inspiration on social media.  What am I struggling with?  What are my friends struggling with? How can I help people cope?  What would boost me or comfort me right now?

    Often I find that what comforts me is remembering that everything is not picture perfect and pretty all the time -- for anyone.   But awhile back I realized there was a disconnect in what I practiced and what I preached.  As much as I talked about imperfections and how beautiful we are because of them, personally I was still very attached to the need to appear flawless.

    Not emotionally flawless, but physically flawless.  Because when I didn't feel pretty and polished on the outside, I felt like I didn't have my life together.

    My truth is that I want to look like a hot mom -- no, a hot woman who happens to have kids -- all the time.  But my reality is that well, yeah I just don't.  When running here and there with the kids, I often skip doing my hair and throw on a hat over tangled, matted tresses.   I may or may not put makeup on and I may or may not have time to fix it during the day when my face gets all oily looking.  I always seem to have more dirty clothes than clean clothes and my nails are never done.  I feel disheveled often and I probably say self-deprecating things to myself in my mind because I want to look better.

    To add to that, I leverage social media quite a bit to promote my blog and when I'm perusing my timeline, everyone looks picture perfect.  This used to really bother me sometimes and on vulnerable days, it still does.  You too?  Trust me, I understand.

    When we're not careful about how we perceive social media, we create stories in our minds around circumstantial things and make sweeping generalizations about our lives and the lives of people around us.  How does she manage to look so perfect while at the amusement park with her 7 kids under the age of 7?  I would be so sweaty and gross.  I bet she never sweats.  That couple looks so happy -- they must never fight.  She posts beautiful family meals every. single. day.  My kids had chicken nuggets for two nights in a row.  I'm a terrible mother.  A messy, terrible mother. 

    You see how we do this to ourselves?  When I originally wrote this post two years ago, I was in the midst of an a-ha moment.  It was starting to make sense why I'd put so much emphasis on looking good. Aside from being a girly girl and loving pretty things, I connect how I look with how I live my life.  I see it as a message to the world.  So if I look a hot mess, then I feel like I'm telling the world that I am a hot mess and that's not really the message I want to convey.

    But if I'm being honest, then I have to tell you that yeah, sometimes I am a hot mess.  Owning that fact makes me feel free and fortunately, feeling free is more important to me than feeling pretty and perfect and... not sweaty.

    So when I start to think mean thoughts to myself about my appearance, I remember this: "A beautiful thing is never perfect."

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    Watch as TheNaturalChica123 preps her hair for a fierce wash and go using a few basic tools and products!

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    Tell me a little about yourself and your hair journey.
    My name is Sheriden. I’m 23 years old, and I’m a writer who’s all about being transparent, authentic, and putting good, real vibes out into the world. I blog at The Indie Byline where I collect life moments – both big and small, go on the best foodie adventures, and fumble at love one boy at a time lol. I also have a YouTube channel where I am curating love lessons through real talks with people sharing their views on love and self love. My natural hair journey started 4 years ago when I decided I just wasn’t about that relaxed hair life no mo’. Since then I have grown, I have chopped, I have dyed, and now I have grown some more lol.

     How long have you been natural?
    4 years strong! It is annoying at times but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There’s so much personality and versatility with black hair that I love and that goes doubly with being natural. I am actually thinking about getting starter locs this winter…

    Read On!>>>

    What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
    I transitioned before going full blown natural for about 6 months. It was easy to deal with the two textures as long as I paid extra attention to my new growth. I wanted some length before I did my big chop and initially wanted to do a year, but after taking out my kinky twists and seeing how struggle my permed ends were, I was just like, “Cut it all off!”

    How would you describe your hair?
    Kinky. Stubborn. Wild. Free. She marches to the beat of her own drum.

    What do you love most about your hair?
    The individuality it represents. The air it gives me, the confidence. I like that even if it is a subject of dislike or beauty – it demands the attention of anyone who sees me rocking it. I love feeling how soft it is.

    What has been the most memorable part of your journey ?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
    The most memorable part was both of my haircuts. I remember being so nervous because I was allowing others’ perception of beauty to influence whether or not I would cut it, so it was a freeing experience when I big chopped. I let go of what people’s standards of beauty were and invented my own. When I cut my fro into a tapered cut a couple of years back, that was another freeing experience. I let go of the weight of some baggage I was carrying around. I made a move for me by cutting my hair and coloring it – donning a new look. It might sound silly to place such an emphasis on short hair but hair means a lot to women, it influences how we feel about ourselves unfortunately and fortunately. So cutting it off and offering an alternative to the “long, straight hair is beautiful” stigma is pretty empowering as a woman.

    What are (or were) some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles or current dos?
    I love braid styles lol. Box braids, marley twists, and my latest love has been crochet braids. I am a diva when it comes to headwraps, I love rocking a turban at least a few times a week. I love twist outs when I am wearing my real hair.

    What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
    Generally really positive experiences, but my mother didn’t care for it initially. For a while, she couldn’t understand why I wanted to trade my signature wrap style for a teeny teeny weeny afro that black people largely put to bed decades prior. But I think after a few months, it became obvious that this natural was in fact a part of who I am and how I am meant to be, it showed, and she loved it so much, it encouraged her to start her own natural hair journey. Dope!

    What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
    My current hair regimen is a weekly cowash with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner, proceeded by a prepoo with coconut oil and a deep conditioning treatment with Shea Moisture Yucca & Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque. What I typically do when I deep condition is place my hair in loose flat twists and then don a headwrap for the day, at the end of the night, I give my hair a cowash with my conditioner of choice (it’s cheap, smells good, and leaves my hair feeling moisturized). When I wash my hair with shampoo (Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo), it’s once a month accompanied by a protein treatment that is one part mayonnaise, one part essential oil of my choice, and one part conditioner. My day to day practices is basically maintaining the moisture I’ve placed in my hair through the use of the LOC method. After washing, I twist my hair into little twists with that method to ensure a quick dry. Water is my liquid, olive oil is my oil, and raw shea butter is my cream-based moisturizer. The next day, I untwist with oil on my fingers and wear my hair like that. I retwist at night with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and twist my hair into much chunkier twists, wake up and repeat. The style will either evolve into an afro puff by the end of the week or I’ll just wrap my hair up in my turban again depending on the weather and how I’m feeling.

    Who is your hair crush?
    Yagazie Emezi. Kilo Kish. Hannah Faith. Solange

    What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs ?
    I don’t really look at a lot of natural hair sites but I love CurlyNikki, HeyFranHey, Talk Tresses, Global Couture, Black Girl Long Hair, & Urban Bush Babes.

    Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
    There’s a quote I’m living by lately: “The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” It’s by Alex Elle, a fellow queen I love and whose life and work ethic inspire my own as a creative.

    I’m outchea! Lol, connect with me with any (or all) of the links below





    Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily.
    Are you naturally fierce? Email us to share your hair journey at

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

    Being in New Orleans left my hair super dry due to the humidity. But I used @designessentials products that were in the gift bag and it gave me one the the best twist outs ever! My hair is super soft, defined and shiny! @takeya_monique

    It's Friday! @pearlmommie

     READ MORE>>

    Summer cut by @ouidad. Can't wait to see what they have planned for me this year @_cebelamour_

    #fiercefriday on the way to work with a pinned up mohawk. #curlynikki @ma_kay_la25

    Mielle Organics never fails in giving me great results. I used the Avocado Hair Milk to moisturize my hair before blowing it out and installing some soft waves with my curling wand. I love how soft my hair feels and how fluffy the hair milk left my hair. The product is nice and creamy but doesn't weigh the hair down at all. @brandilou88

    Me and the fro, we come alive on a Friday. @iriediva

    Revlon matte balm in Striking #lipstickjunkie #mattebalm  @battykatt

    #NoFilter @posh_syd

    Falling in love with yourself first doesn't make you vain or selfish, it makes you, myself and I. The best investment @bellange1991

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    by Hadassah Agbaps of

    As a natural based in Nigeria, I am constantly faced with sometimes unwanted natural phenomena such as:

    - frizziness
    - dryness
    - single stranded knots and splits
    - shrinkage

    Nigeria is an African country situated in the tropical belt. The weather is for the most part hot and humid and the sun beats down mercilessly on my fine, type 4, highly porous natural hair.

    Sometimes it gets my hair confused. On one hand, the humidity and heat act as a steamer for my hair, on the other hand, the midday sun dries it all up!

    So, how do I cope with this?

    Here are my personal tips for maintaining my natural hair in humidity.

    Read On!>>>
    1. Go with the flow!
    Do not fight the shrinkage because if you really look at it, the last thing you need when the weather is hot and humid, is hair touching your body. Shrinkage is a blessing.

    2. Shampoo the scalp, condition your hair.
    With all the sweating and dirt, it's tempting to wash your hair everyday! I concentrate most on washing my scalp with African black soap (or a gentle cleansing conditioner). I put my hair in chunky braids/twists while washing. Then rinse off and use a conditioner down the length of my hair. Without getting out of the shower, I blot off excess water, apply a leave in and coat the hair with a light oil. This helps prevent dryness, frizziness and knots.

    3. Use lighter oils, butters and moisturizers.
    Unlike the cold and dry winter/harmattan season where you have to use a lot of heavy water-based moisturizes and heavy butters to keep your hair hydrated and sealed, when it's hot and humid your hair will really thank you for using light oils and butters, even if you have high porosity hair.
    I usually prefer coconut oil or black palm kernel oil to help with moisture retention during the daytime then at night I use heavier butters and oils like cocoa butter, shea butter etc.

    4. Deep conditioned hair is happy hair in humidity.
    I noticed that when I deep condition my hair well, I can safely rock my afro without frizziness or dryness at the ends of my hair.

    My favorite deep conditioner is locally sourced cow ghee which is called 'manshanu' in Nigeria.

    In the absence of this, deep conditioning with a mix of aloe vera, milk and honey works beautifully. Also for days I'm too lazy to mix, I use store bought deep conditioners.

    I think the reason for this is that when the hair is well saturated with moisture, it doesn't look to the environment for more moisture leading to less poofiness, frizziness and dryness.

    5. Switch up your hairstyles.
    Heat or tension straightened styles are really not a good idea for humid weather because it will more than likely revert. The best styles in my opinion to rock are:
    - elegant cornrows
    - mini twists / twistouts or braids/braidouts ( the smaller your natural curls, the smaller your sets should be. It will hold up in humidity).
    - strawsets
    - fingercoils
    - cowash, seal and go.
    - big daddy 'fro!
    In short any style that works with your natural texture!

    6. Make sure to really moisturize and seal the ends of your hair. I've had success with applying aloe vera gel/juice to the ends of my hair and sealing in with a light oil. This helps prevent unwanted splits and knots.

    7. Do not forget to protect your hair from the sun, from the salty sea and from the chlorine filled pools. There's a reason why most people in hot regions of the world favor a head covering! If like me you don't want to hide your natural hair from the sun, incorporating shea butter (with natural spf 8) into your night routine helps. You can also purchase hair products with sunscreen in them (usually for colored hair) and swimmer's shampoo/conditioners.

    So there are my top tips for having fabulous hair in hot humid weather.

    Lots of love from Nigeria
    Hadassah Agbaps
    Instagram @nappilynigeriangirl

    CurlyNikki Says:
    NUMBER 4, tho. I couldn't have said it better myself.  Number 4, all day. 

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     by Keora Bernard

    One of the best attributes of the natural haircare movement is its diversity of options. You can wear a sleek bun, an unhinged afro, or choose to lock your hair. Furthermore, naturals can experiment with edgy cuts and colors, which highlight their state of mind and/or fashion sense. However, when we think about or refer to naturals, our frame of reference tends to be Solange Knowles or Lupita Nyong’o, but not Nicki Minaj or Beyoncé. Whether we acknowledge it or not, there is a large population of naturals who choose to regularly wear wigs or weaves.

    I have family members and friends who wear hair pieces or extensions for a wide variety of reasons, and it doesn’t always mean they don’t like their natural hair. An old co-worker of mine told me that weave “grows your hair.” Other naturals say that wigging or weaving gives them a diversity of options and protects their hair at the same time.

    On the other hand, many of us have witnessed the unpleasant effects of improper wigging or weaving, such as the case of Countess Vaughn. For those of you unfamiliar with Countess, she played as one of the leading actresses in “Moesha” and “The Parkers”. Her love for lace-front wigs caused a “severe scalp infection” (Wilson, "Countess Vaughn Reminds Us Of The Dangers Of Wigs And Weaves"). I don’t want to shame naturals for their personal choices, but I do want them to be informed and proactive rather than reactive. Here are the top five rules for wigging or weaving:

    Read On!>>>

    1.) WEAR A WIG CAP. Wearing a wig cap will help protect the hair from any unnecessary snagging or pulling. It will also keep all of your natural hair tucked away. An added bonus is that it will keep your wig in place. I made the mistake of wearing a wig without a wig cap and experienced a dreadful case of lopsided wig syndrome. Not cute. Keep it right. Keep it tight.

    2.) TAKE IT OFF. Take a deep breath and say this phrase with me slowly: “I am not my hair.” Go home and be yourself. Even if you’ve got a Naomi Campbell hairline under your wig or hairpiece, bare it all. Besides, this is a healthy hair practice. I have a hat that I absolutely adore but after one week of wearing it all day, my scalp began to itch terribly. I found refuge in taking it off after a day at work. Your scalp needs circulation for optimal hair growth to occur, so if you’re aiming for length retention, give your scalp some fresh air.

    3.) DEVELOP A ROUTINE. From what I have observed, a broken routine or complete lack thereof leads to unnecessary hair loss while wigging or weaving. You should take care of your hairpiece and your hair underneath it. This means that you should wash, deep condition, and dry your natural hair at least every two weeks. I would also suggest putting it in a protective style, especially if you’re weaving. Ericka Dotson, co-founder of Indique Hair, suggests using a “blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment” on the roots of your hair to prevent mildew (Essence, “How to Cleanse Your Scalp Under a Weave”).

    4.) PROTECT YOUR EDGES. Always be conscientious of hair piece placement, products used on your hairline, and the manner in which you perform these steps. The edges of our hair are very delicate. Make sure that your hairpiece is secure but not too tight. Don’t use a lot of gels or heavy products to lay the hairline, as this can lead to breakage. Belinda Baker, CEO of salon BKB in Atlanta, Georgia, recommends making sure the wig cap covers the hairline to avoid “friction between the natural hair and the wig itself” (EHow beauty, “How to Protect African-American Hair Under a Wig: African-American Hairstyling”).

    5.) SET A LIMIT. You should plan how long you intend on keeping your weave in. I would follow the same guidelines as those for braids, which are typically kept in for no more than 12 weeks. Leaving your weave in too long can create breakage and defeat any length retention you may have achieved. Besides, who doesn’t want to have a fresh weave? No one wants to be on the receiving end of immature weave jokes.
    A curly fro, sleek bob, and big pin curls are all possibilities with wearing a wig or weave. These are styles that most of us cannot achieve on our own or seldom have the time to attempt. Like other naturals, wig and weave-wearers have just as many styling options, oftentimes even more. For naturals who prefer wearing wigs or weaves, more power to you. Just remember the tips above and you should be well on your way to enjoying both your showcased hair and your natural hair.

    Wilson, Julee. "Countess Vaughn Reminds Us Of The Dangers Of Wigs And Weaves." Huff Post Black Voices., 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 2 Aug. 2015.
    Baker, Belinda. "How to Protect African-American Hair Under a Wig: African-American Hairstyling." YouTube. YouTube, 19 July 2012. Web. 2 Aug. 2015.
    Dotson, Ericka. "How to Cleanse Your Scalp Under a Weave | ESSENCE." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Nov. 2012. Web. 2 Aug. 2015.

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    If you want healthy hair then you need a healthy scalp and that is pretty much what Dr. Samuels, Chief of Dermatology at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO surmises in his analogy: “There are several observations that would suggest the scalp is analogous to topsoil – that is, the thicker the topsoil, the better the grass will grow. This may be the case in the scalp. Healthy scalp skin with a normal pH and normal thickness of the epidermis and dermis will improve hair growth and/or decrease hair shedding.” A healthy scalp is necessary for hair growth, but it does not hurt to also find ingredients that not only heal but also stimulate the scalp for optimal hair growth.

    There are ways to have both but one cannot exist without the other or if it does it will not be for long. If you want long curls and a soothing, healthy scalp then we have complied a list of our favorite four amazing ingredients that not only stimulate your scalp for optimal hair growth but also reduce inflammations, infections, and irritations.

    Read On!>>>

    Borage oil
    One of the most embarrassing yet milder scalp annoyances is dandruff. Nobody wants it and usually at one time or another you will experience it. This flaking of the scalp is not contagious but it can cause scalp irritation. A wonderful ingredient to use in the fight against the flakes is borage oil with its Omega 6 fatty acid that will treat inflammation and alleviate your dandruff while also revitalizing your hair. It also calms an itchy scalp. Here are some popular products that utilize the prized oil for cosmetics, dietary, healthy, and medicinal benefits.
    Avalon Organics Moisturizing Shampoo Olive and Grape Seed
    John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler

    Buriti fruit oil
    You may not be visiting the rainforest anytime soon, but you can still obtain this scalp tingling oil fruit oil. Buriti fruit oil is chocked-full of essential fatty acids like oleic, palmitic, and linoleic. It has the perfect composition makeup that will revitalize damaged, dry, and chemical-fatigued strands while stimulating the capillaries in the scalp, which is the perfect formula for promoting hair growth. Here are some products that will bring your tresses back to life.
    Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie
    Buriti Shampoo Surya Nature

    If your edges are beginning to wane then you may want to check out your spice rack for a remedy. Ginger is highly regarded as a hair growing wonder in Ayurveda with its magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium ingredients. These minerals help stimulate blood flow to your scalp and that encouraged blood flow will prevent even more thinning while also increasing hair growth. It will soothe that irritated scalp as it has natural antiseptic properties so just thank me now for hipping you to this 2-for-1 hair growing natural asset. Check out this amazing DIY that is easy to use.
    DIY Hair Growth Mix

    Fennel seed oil
    If you want to get rid of the gunk from your hair without harsh chemicals then fennels seeds needs to be on your list. They unclog, grime, excess sebum, and even dead cells with their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are used in Ayurvedic medicine for body and skin detoxing and rich with fiber, folate, potassium, and several vitamins. They are superb for hair rinses or water infusions.
    Fennel seed water infusion & Fennel seed tea hair rinse

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    Hola Chicas!

    So y'all went hard in the paint and I appreciate the initiation of discussion and helpful advice you shared with one another. Thanks to everyone for your participation!

    The July winners are--
    Jazmin Jordan
    Tracy H.
    Each winner will receive:
    (1)Hair Therapy Wrap: $21.95
    (1)Aubrey Organics HoneySuckle Rose Conditioner: $10.93
    (1)Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo 10oz: $6.00
    (1)Curl Junkie Curl Rehab - Gardenia: $20.00
    (1)Oyin Handmade Hair Dew 8.4oz: $13.99
    (1)Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries: $13.99

    Please email me at with your full name and home address using 'July Winner' in the subject line. Oh, and I'm hosting the exact same giveaway for  August! Past winners are eligible! Remember, no one word responses! Ask questions, get answers, foster positive discussion! Love y'all! 

    Later Gators,

    p.s. US only! 

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  • 08/04/15--06:45: Demaria Is Naturally Glam!
  • Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I was a transitioned for about two years on heat damaged arm pit length hair. I wore protective styles throughout the two years back to back. My go-to protective style was a sew-in because I missed my long straight hair. Between sew-ins, I trimmed about two inches or so to get rid of the heat damaged hair. Eventually I was left with more curly hair than heat damaged. My transition was easier than most since I did wear my hair in protective styles during the bulk of the time. This not only grew my hair, but also protected my hair from myself by not pulling, yanking and trying to style it.

    Had you always embraced your texture?
    I always loved my natural hair, but of course growing up I wanted straight hair. My best friend was the flat iron instead of the relaxer. I eventually missed my curls, but they were virtually gone after straightening my hair everyday. I continued straightening, even forgetting how my natural hair pattern looked. There was no going back to something I couldn't even remember.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    I was the ONLY person who was excited about going through the journey of reuniting with my curl pattern.  My friends asked often why I started to wear weave for the first time and why I was cutting all my long straight hair. My mom was not fond of the process and commented throughout my journey about how my hair was styled during my transition even when I was between my protective styles or even after my hair was fully natural and I found the right products to work with my curls. I personally loved my journey, even the days that I looked crazy and had to go back to the drawing board, I knew it was all in the processing of loving my natural curls again. Now my mom and friends cannot get enough of my hair especially how much length I have retained in these last three years since embracing my curls.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
     Thick and highly porous.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    Craziest thing I would say has to be the styles that I thought was cute during my transition with products that did not do anything for my hair. So basically I was a walking frizz ball from time to time. Can you say embarrassing?!

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    Well to be honest I wish I would've big chopped! I would've loved to see how I would have looked with a curly TWA! I sometimes wish I could do it all over again just to see myself with a short cut.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style?
    My curly hair routine: shampoo with sulfate-free shampoo usually SheaMoisture, follow up with conditioner usually Aussie Moist or Hello Hydration and finger detangle. I deep condition once a week for at least an hour with SheaMoisture JBCO deep conditioner or raw Shea butter deep treatment masque by SheaMoisture. Once a month I do a protein treatment with a two minute reconstructor or two step protein pack by Aphogee. My hair is usually styled in a wash and go, using the Anthony Dickey method, putting products on drenched hair. My go to products are SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie followed by Eco Styler gel olive oil. This wash and go will usually last me 7 days. On not so humid days,  I use the same method but using Eden BodyWorks line which only last for 4 days at best. Once a month, or so I do wear a braid out or twist out. I do it on damp hair using the Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler gel.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My favorite hairstyle would be a wash and go; it last all week and only takes an extra 10 minutes to do after co-washing!

    Who is your curl crush?
    Natural Neiicey!

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    I pineapple with head scarf.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    I maintain healthy length by trimming ends when I spot them! No need to hang on to the ends that look bad until "trim-time".  Listen to what your hair needs.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    Facebook: Demaria Tinsley
    Instagram: DarkSkinCurlyHair

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    Craig... Craig, can I borrow your product guide?

     Hola Chicas,

    It's been a disrespectfully long time since I've updated my natural hair care regimen.  So long, that when I began compiling the deets, ish got outta hand and a couple of paragraphs turned into a whole, entire dissertation.

    Read On!>>>
     If you'd like to catch up on my most favoritest products, my henna mix, my big-hair-or-bust rituals AND my comprehensive bi-monthly wash day regimen, shoot me an email using 'Regimen' as the subject line, and I'll hook you up.

    Later Gators,

    p.s. The email (if the link doesn't work) is,

    p.p.s.  I even talk about my new favorite product that gives me damn near humidity proof twist-outs!

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     Photo Courtesy of Freddie
    by Amanda

    For years there has been misinformation about hair growth. Hair care is full of old wives’ tales that need to die. With the access to licensed cosmetologists who style curly hair and product chemists who formulate our products, it is time to get all of the facts straight. You no longer have to wonder if your efforts are in vain when you can seek the knowledge of those who have been formally educated paired with experience to confirm or deny tradition practices that have been passed through generations.
    Read On!>>>

    Poor hygiene
    A dirty scalp and hair are not a breeding ground for growth but rather bacteria. A clean scalp is a healthy scalp. The reason why so many associate a dirty scalp with growth is because of the low manipulation. The dirt buildup is not stimulating growth, quite the opposite, rather the hair is experiencing less mechanical breakage. Dryness and over manipulation are the two main causes for breakage, so washing and styling the hair less leads to more length retention, which is often perceived as growth. And leads to my next point.

    Trimming your ends
    Your hair grows from the scalp and not the ends. Trimming your ends removes the damage that naturally splits and breaks over time due to overmanipulation, excessive heat usage, chemical processing, and natural weathering. This also gives the perception that trims make your hair grow when in reality you are retaining more length because you are removing the damaged ends before they break off and taper.
    Greasing your scalp
    Peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil are great for scalp stimulation and lubrication, but using grease formulated with mineral oil and/or petrolatum oil suffocates the scalp, which can prevent it from functioning at its healthiest potential. Remember that the scalp is a part of the epidermis, which needs oxygen to function properly like the rest of your skin. If your scalp is experiencing flaking and dandruff, then the grease is not eliminating the problem, but merely causing the shed skin to stick to the scalp and clogging the scalp. If your scalp is excessively dry and flaking, then you should consult your licensed beautician or a trichologist like Dr. Kari Williams. Here's what Dr. Kari Williams has to say:

    "The scalp consists of skin cells that are constantly replicating and shedding to produce new cells on the scalp. Like the skin on the rest of our body, this process happens synchronously and microscopically; it is invisible to the naked eye. It is only when something disrupts this process that scalp problems arise. These problems manifest in the forms of flaking, pimples, or bumps on the scalp and severe itching. Any of these symptoms can be a sign that there is a need to change your diet, hair regimen, or there is a medical issue."

    Biotin and castor oil

    According to product chemist, fellow natural, and NaturallyCurly contributor, Erica Douglas aka Sister Scientist, biotin and castor oil do not increase hair growth or thickness:

    “However, there is no scientific basis for these claims. After perusing through some of pictures, I believe that thickness could be misconstrued with hair density, as defined earlier. Improved hair density due to a castor oil treatment could be attributed to the lubricating of the scalp with an oil known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help clear up bacterial infested follicles… Biotin is most commonly associated with ingestible hair and nail supplements. However, the scientific evidence available that supports biotin as an effective growth and thickness enhancer is weak.”

    Read more: Biotin and Castor Oil: Do They Really Work?

    Follow Freddie (pictured above) here:
    IGoByFrankie and Instagram 

    What were you told makes your hair grow?

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    by Chelsea Satine of

    Just kidding, there really is no secret! The answer is more obvious than you think(and it's retaining the growth that's the real problem).

    I remember when I first went natural; my hair was such a priority. I made sure to abide by every natural hair rule and didn’t skip a step on washday. Over time I slowly started skipping steps and cutting corners, expecting the same results. It simply doesn’t work that way. Growing long natural hair is a process. Think of it as growing a plant: If you decide that you’ll water it when you want and constantly alternate between drought and flood, chances are you won’t get the results you desire. I’m back to following the most important rules: pre-pooing, deep conditioning and detangling only when wet/damp. If you’ve stopped, you should should start following the rules again.

    Read On!>>>
    Growing long natural hair is almost every woman’s dream and the process of doing so is no secret. We all know what we should be doing, but we don’t all do it. Following the natural hair rules makes all the difference.

    Re-evaluate your hair regimen for a second. Are you doing everything you were doing when you first went natural? Are you sticking to a hair regimen that works for you and includes all the necessary steps required for long, healthy natural hair?

    Sometimes we forget the basic steps and believe the problem is deeper than it actually is.

    Just as a reminder, here are four of the most important natural hair rules.

    Pre-pooing: I think this is the most over-looked aspect of natural hair. Pre-pooing is done before shampooing with oils or conditioners and creates a barrier between your hair and the shampoo. It prevents the shampoo from completely stripping your hair of its natural oils.

    Deep conditioning: Now, you know how important this is. African American hair is notorious for being dry. This is the secret to moisturized hair.

    Low manipulation: Cut some heat out. Stop twirling your hair around your fingers, even though it’s so tempting. Try not to comb your hair everyday, instead opt for finger detangling.

    Satin/Silk Bonnet: Have you started just going to bed without your bonnet? Or maybe you got a new boyfriend and you can’t be sexy with a bonnet on? Try a satin pillowcase!

    Growing long natural hair is no secret and while genetics plays a role, the “secret” is simply taking care of your hair consistently.

    What's your secret?

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    The Denman Brush is a very popular detangling tool among the curly community, but it has also been known to be a controversial topic. It is used mainly to detangle natural Type 3c and Type 4 hair when wet.

    Read More!>>>
    Many curlies rave about the way a Denman can cut down their detangling time, and it also works to evenly distribute product in curly hair. In addition, the brush helps achieve curl definition.
    However, as with any tool or product one size does not fit all. Some curlies find that the brush pulls out too much hair, and others have experienced frizz. Furthermore, the Denman has a higher price point than other brushes, ranging between the $10-$19.

    So is a Denman Brush better than a regular brush?


    It depends on your detangling preference.

    Many curlies view the right detangling tool as an investment, and if you want to focus on curl definition and decreasing your detangling time, then a Denman may be for you. There are a variety of Denman Brushes to choose from, though it’s best to purchase a brush that uses 5-7 rows of bristles.

    If the brush snags your hair, all is not lost! Don’t be discouraged if the brush doesn’t live up to your expectations on the first try, you may just need to modify the brush to suit your curls. Many naturalistas remove every other row of bristles to create what is known as a “modified Denman.” Also, be sure that you are using the brush slowly to avoid unnecessary hair pulling.

    Prefer a cheaper alternative? Try generic brushes, wide tooth combs, and (the cheapest option) finger detangling.

    Don't Forget Your Conditioner  

    No matter what tool you choose for your detangling session, it’s essential to use a conditioner with “slip.” This allows the tool to easily slide through your hair. 

    CN's Favorite Conditioners for Detangling: 

    Rinse Outs/Instants:
    • Aussie Moist 
    • Trader Joe's Nourish Spa 
    • Hello Hydration 
    • Aubrey Organics White Camellia 
    CN Says:  
    With all of these, it's essential to apply heavy handedly and then work some water into it-- the water increases the slip action and aids sets fling even further. I apply to my wet hair while in the shower and then pass my hand under the shower stream and then work in a little more conditioner.
    Leave Ins:
    • Giovanni Direct Leave In   

    Tips for Detangling: 

    While detangling, start from the end of your hair and slowly work your way to the root. Create sections and twist your detangled hair as you go to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Lastly, take your time while detangling your hair. Always schedule your detangling session on a day when you’re not in a rush to be anywhere. Rushing this process can cause hair breakage and pulling.

    CN Says:

    The Denman wouldn't let my fine strands be great.  

    It's incredibly efficient- not just at detangling, but in removing hairs that aren't yet ready to fall. I also notice an uptick in split ends with regular use.  There's also the definition thing- it defines the hell out of the length (clumps and curls galore) but leaves the roots shrunken and frizzy.  

    Which brings me to my 10 digits.  Despite the time and patience needed, they're still the number one detangling tool... that and a super slippery conditioner like some Trader Joe's Nourish Spa Conditioner... or Aussie Moist... or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration and I'm good.  Plus, fingers alone give my wash-do-the-most-and-gos the best definition.  

    What about you? Are you a Denman girl? 

    This article was originally published on September 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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    Tell me about yourself! 
    I’m a 37 year old divorcee. I have a 7 year old son and work full time. I first decided to go natural in 2010. My last relaxer was in March of 2010. I was inspired by my best friend who started her journey back in 2007. I loved her hair, and I was tired of my relaxed hair. Relaxers were not fun for me.

    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? 
    I transitioned for about 14 months. I wasn’t very knowledgeable on the best way to transition. I transitioned by getting my hair blown out and flat ironed. I had my hair cut a few inches every couple of months.


    What was your journey like?  
    While transitioned I didn’t do my own hair. I went to a hair stylist every 2 weeks and she was the one who had to fight with combing the two textures. It didn’t get too bad until the weather got hot, but I only had to deal with it for a couple of months.

    Had you always embraced your texture?  
    Embracing my texture has been a work in progress. When I initially cut the rest of my relaxer off it was an adjustment to seeing my hair not straight. Now I love my hair.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    For the most part most people were supportive.  Some people were like OMG why did you cut all your hair off? I was like, it is just hair and it will grow back. I had a few friends and family members state that they couldn’t go natural and are natural now!

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)  
    My hair is pretty thick and not fine but not coarse. Humidity is not my hair’s friend.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style?  
    I wash my hair every 1-2 weeks depending on product buildup/dandruff. I deep condition my hair at least twice a month. Every time I wash my hair I two strand my twist my hair. I do twist outs, puffs, and buns. I am pretty simple in the styling department. The products I love are anything from SheaMoisture, CoCo Curls, Alikay. I also love Dove’s Crème Serum as a moisturizer.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle?  
    I love a good twist out! But it always looks better to me after I twist it again. And you can always change up a twist out by pulling up on the side or the back, adding a braid or barrette.

    Where do you get hairstyle inspiration? 
    I love YouTube of course! I watch videos there to give me ideas.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?  
    I always wear a satin bonnet or scarf. If I need more moisture or definition, I will retwist my hair with a moisturizer or pineapple it.

    How do you maintain healthy length?  
    Deep conditioning often, keep it moisturized and getting my hair trimmed.

    What's the best thing about being natural?  
    Wearing your hair natural allows so much versatility. You can wear it curly or straight. No chemical burns. Less time at the beauty salon.

    Where can folks find you on the web? 
    On twitter @alwayskyshia On Instagram toomuchkysh.

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    Hola Chicas,

    I'm giving away 6 Conditioning Baskets(worth ~$90 each) this month (August 2015) to question askers and answerers!

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

    The first three baskets will go to the three curlies with the highest number of posts this month (8/1-8/31, comments from previous months don't count) and the next three will go to three randomly selected commenters.  Past winners are eligible!

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

    *contest ends August 31, 2015 at 5pm EST*

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

    *US citizens only
    Later Gators,

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    After being on this natural hair journey for four years, I have had my fair share of using different maintenance and styling tools. There are a lot of naturals who only use their fingers when handling their coils, but I am completely out of patience for that. I have tried numerous ways to detangle, section, dry, and sleep with my hair and here are the five tools I swear by that make my hair extremely low maintenance.

    Read On!>>>


    1. Ouidad Double Detangling Comb

    This is the best comb I have ever used. It has double rows of teeth to eliminate difficult knots and prevent curls from springing back and re-tangling. The teeth are long to reach through the densest of curls. It also allows for fewer combing strokes so curls remain defined and frizz-free. With this comb I do not worry about the teeth breaking over time. First I run a little water over my hair, coat it with a slippery daily conditioner, and then detangle starting from the ends and working up to the roots. When comparing this to a shower comb or detangling comb, the Ouidad Detangling Comb gives the least amount of breakage and allows me to create the largest sections.

    2. Colortrak Tools The Croc Clip

    On wash day I used to grab whatever was accessible to section my hair and as a results I experienced breakage because of it. Whether it is the Goody ouchless elastics, prong clips, or bobby pins, they all either snagged my hair, flew off, or rusted over time. One day while in Sally Beauty, I stumbled on The Croc Clip. I was extremely hesitant about spending $8.99 for a pack of four hair clips but I figured I would give them a try. Sure enough they were worth the money. These unique double-hinged clips hold large amounts of hair and have a rubber finish to ensure no slipping while working with wet hair. They can be used for coloring, cutting, and styling. These clips do not pop off, rust, snap my strands, or pull my roots, so if you have dense, coily hair then I highly recommend purchasing these sectioning clips.

    Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

    3. Plastic processing cap

    If you want to up your deep conditioning, then using a plastic processing cap is a must. If you don’t want to purchase one, then the produce bags or checkout bags at the grocery store will suffice. Simply use this to cover your hair while you pre-poo or deep conditioner for 15 min. Being able to trap your body heat can help some of the ingredients in your deep conditioner to adsorb to your hair’s cuticle, leaving your strands feeling supple. Any time I have attempted to deep condition without one my hair never feels as soft and moisturized, so no matter where I am, I always manage to find a plastic cap to deep condition my parched strands.

    Photo Courtesy of Kala G

    4. & 5. Satin scarf and bonnet

    By now most women with textured hair know that sleeping on a cotton pillowcase will withdraw moisture from your hair, but when it comes to style preservation I realized that this pairing of a satin scarf and bonnet helps to maintain my wash and go. After using a satin scarf to secure my hair in a modified pineapple, I cover my ends with a satin bonnet. This protect my ends that are protruding from the pineapple while also helping to create a round shape for when I release it in the morning. Only using a satin bonnet causes my hair to matt and so does solely relying on a satin pillowcase. Consider using a satin scarf and a satin bonnet together to preserve your wash and go’s.

    Which curly girl tools can you not live without?

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    Re-posting as a refresher because I'm bringing back the #LifeHack series! 
    #IGotYourEmails #IveBeenInStLouisSinceIsraelTho

    Hola Chicas,

    You know that amazing feeling when-
    • they finally drop the beat?  
    • Bae has you at that angle?!
    • your twists were like 'barely', but your twist-out is BOMB?!
    • Bae tells you that you can upgrade that rock (again-again)?
    What if I told you that you can feel these good feels all the time? And that these 'positive' circumstances are just empty symbols, permission slips that allow you torelax your mindlong enough to experience your default state of love, joy and happiness? Choosing to wait for that tax refund, that promotion, that 'perfect weight'... choosing to wait for 'symbols' or 'permission slips' before you allow yourself to feel happy is a CHOICE.  A tragic one, actually. But you already knew that, you just forgot. 

    Read On!>>>
    In a previous post, we discussed how the world you perceive 'OUTSIDE' of you, reflects what's 'INSIDE' of you.  Our circumstances don't actually dictate our mood, but since we've believed this for so long, it certainly appears that way.  If you're fed up with feeling crappy, or worse, 'just regular'... like, 'whatevs', and you want to feel incredible and excited about your life, then you have to break the cycle.  Yep, that cycle you didn't even know yo' ass was in. 

    If your circumstances take their direction from you, but you're taking direction from your circumstances, can you see why you're all struggly? For example-- you've disrespected your finances two months in a row, and have more bills than money.  Naturally, you feel 'struggly'.  Your circumstances pick up on the struggle and serve up even more struggly circumstances for you to feel all struggly about. #Looped #PoThang

    We can break this dreadful cycle by choosing happiness, joy and appreciation in spite of struggly circumstances.  And yes, this sounds counter-intuitive and yes, it will feel incredibly fake, but keep at it until feeling good for no reason feels just as natural to you as feeling bad or 'just regular' feels today.  For a while, you'll still see #TheStruggle looking back at you, but if you remain persistent in your decision to #ChooseHappiness, you'll watch everything around you (the reflection) mold and shift to the new you.  The moment you stop needing 'stuff' to make you happy, will be the moment that 'stuff' just shows up... effortlessly! #NeedNothing #ManifestEverything

    I've already shared tips on how I choose happiness (be mindful, just choose, listen to music), but I wanted to add a few more things--

    (1) How would you feel if?
    Play this game until you can simply choose happiness.

    Sit down somewhere quiet, close your eyes and imagine what it would feel like if _______ (insert awesome ish you desire, here).   It doesn't matter what 'it' is because remember, 'it' is just an empty symbol to allow yourself to feel good!  'It' could be Idris following you on Twitter, a new car, or a trip to Brazil.  Whatever 'it' is, imagine what it would feel like to have 'it' right NOW... right here.  This is important.  Don't watch yourself turning up in an Brazilian club like you're watching a movie, or viewing yourself form the third-person.  I want you to see that Brazilian #TurnUp from your first-person point of view (you only ever see your torso, legs, feet and arms, but never your face, unless you're looking in a mirror-- think first-person video game).  See your arm reaching out to grab that Caipirinha from the bartender, look over and see your BFF's smiling face... she's clearly lit, lol, look down and see your body gettin' it when the DJ drops the beat! 

    Once you feel 'it' (for me it's like little tingly waves/vibrations/light pleasurable contractions in my tummy-- like post orgasm #TMI), stay there and remember how 'it' feels.  Pretty soon, you'll be able to feel those good, tingly feels without imagining any symbols.  It'll be instant and you can choose that vibration all the time! 

    (2) THIS.
    Pay attention to the good feels the next time something awesome happens to you.  What happens in your body?  Again, with awareness, you'll be able to access this same feeling without symbols or imagination. Alternatively, you can follow the steps in the above bullet, but use a past triumph/award in place of 'it' or the thing desired.  Either way, the purpose is to get familiar with what the happy feeling feels like, so that you can feel it anytime, no matter the situation. Remember, it's your default state, so that good feeling is always there, it's just that thoughts and negative beliefs ('I can only feel happy if______ happens') covers it up. You really don't have to do anything to feel it, but STOP and BE.

    (3) Keep tabs.
    Motivation to keep this up can be a challenge.  It seems like a lot of effort at first, and again, it'll feel fake.  But you have to stay with it.  I found that it helped to keep a running tab in my iPhone Notes of the good ish that was showing up in my life.  The more awesomeness you see reflected because of your simple shift in mood, the more you'll be likely to stay the course.  This has the added bonus of tapping into gratitude (for the good in your life) and then circumstances will have no choice but to give you more to be grateful for!

    Later Gators,

    p.s. Please don't take my word for it.  Just give it a try...unless what you're doing right now is working for you... naw? Then what do you have to lose?!  Give it a day... give it a week... go for a month and #JustWatch

    p.p.s. This is not to say that 'bad things won't ever happen. But you'll notice that you'll be in a better mental space to cope with the 'bad stuff'.  You'll also find that you won't stay down as long as you used to.  For instance, you'll allow yourself to grieve the loss of a loved one, but at the same time feel their presence right there with you, even in that terrible moment.  You'll still experience sadness, but there will be an unshakable peace and joy right under the surface.  #BeStill #HesHere

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    by Veronica Jacobi via NaturalBella

    What is Shea Butter?

    Shea butter is a natural conditioner for hair. It is produced from the Shea-Karite tree nut, which is a native tree found in the tropics of East and West Africa. It provides extraordinary moisturizing properties and is therefore known as “mother nature's conditioner”.

    It’s been utilized for decades in areas of Africa not only for the hair but also because of its skincare and therapeutic qualities. Shea butter is also known to heal burns and injuries, and to get rid of surgical marks, dermatitis, and stretch marks. Apart from medicinal uses, some of the most common uses for Shea butter include using as a natural moisturizer for your body and face, and as a conditioner for dry hair.

    Read On!>>>

    Here are some uncommon uses for Shea butter that you can start doing now:

    Sooth Irritated Scalp
    Shea butter has been used for centuries to sooth dry itchy scalp or dandruff on African Hair. It’s also a great source to provide moisture for dry or damaged hair. It is usually utilized like a foundation for health-related creams, and it has been believed to possess anti-inflammatory qualities. It absorbs easily into the scalp and it does not clog the pores. It provides moisture from the roots on down to the ends. It is therefore extremely beneficial to hair that is relaxed, colored, or heat-treated.

    How to Use It:  
    Melt down Shea butter in a double broiler over boiling water. Once it has cooled to a reasonable temperature, spread onto your fingertips and apply in small amounts directly onto your scalp. Rub in circular motion. You can add drops of tea tree oil for an extra soothing sensation.

    Sealant for the Hair
    Black hair has the tendency to be dryer than any type of hair due to the texture. The natural sebum from the scalp has a hard time sliding down the shaft to the ends because of the bends or coils of black hair. Shea butter is frequently found in curly hair treatments because of its emolliating qualities. This makes it excellent for locking in moisture without leaving your hair greasy and heavy. Since it aids in fastening moisture into hair it’s fantastic for keeping your hair protected against the weather.

    How to Use It: 
    You can use it alone or you can add it to your favorite conditioner to give you extra moisture. It’s also a great additive for shampoos and hair creams.

    Protection Against Heat

    Shea butter does not sit on the hair, instead it absorbs into the hair strand/shaft without leaving a greasy or heavy feel. However it does coat the hair shaft so that it is protected against damage from the heat tool being passed along the hair.

    How to Use It: 
    You can melt it down and combine it with another natural oil, such as grapeseed oil or avocado oil which have high smoke points. Apply in small amounts before blow drying and straightening natural hair.

    Shield Against UVS
    Shea butter is believed to have a low amount but sufficient SPF to protect your hair against the damage from ultra violet rays of the sun. This is definitely beneficial for processed or color treated hair.

    How to Use It: 

    Melt it down and apply lightly before going to the beach, lake, or any activity in which your hair is exposed to sunlight. You can even add it to a moisturizer spray to spray it on easily to your hair.

    Softener for Hair
    Shea butter is great for softening hard brittle hair. It’s an excellent moisturizer, and therefore offers that advantage for dried as well as fragile curly hair.

    How to Use It:
    Mix with another carrier oil and apply as your "oil step" in the LOC method, or as a moisturizer for 2nd or 3rd day hair.

    Refined vs. Unrefined Shea Butter
    There are two types of Shea Butter refined and unrefined. Unrefined Shea butter means it has more of its natural goodness. One of the reasons Shea butter is refined is to eliminate it’s natural aroma which may not be liked by some. However the odor does absorb fairly quickly. If you want to use an unrefined Shea butter with less of an aroma, its been recommended to use Shea Butter from Uganda or East Africa. It cost slightly more, but it is also known for being able to make your hair a little softer and it’s slightly better at moisturizing.

    Where can I buy Shea Butter?
    Shea Butter is a very popular moisturizing supplement for the hair and therefore most beauty supply stores that cater to black hair should carry refined and unrefined Shea Butter. You can also purchase it from online retailers that are focused on natural black hair care.

    Tips for Shea Butter Usage: 
    Find 100% natural unprocessed Shea butter at your local natural foods store. Processed Shea butters can take on different forms.

    To melt it down, use a double broiler or place in a bowl over hot water. Do not expose it to direct heat on the stove.

    Keep in a cool dry place. Shea butter will melt in warm temperatures, just like coconut oil.

    Try DIY Whipped Shea Butter for easier application.

    Everyone’s skin is different. Do a patch test on your skin before applying all over your scalp. You want to see how your skin and scalp react to Shea butter first. 

    Are you on the Shea Butter Bandwagon?

    This article was originally published on November 2011 and has since been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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