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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!

    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 August winners are--

    Laddidi
    CurlyNiyah
    Brendee
    Regina K
    HDanielle
    Shanta 
     
    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 nikki@curlynikki.com with your full name and home address using 'August Winner' in the subject line. Oh, and I'm hosting the exact same giveaway for September! Past winners are eligible! Remember, no one word responses! Ask questions, get answers, foster positive discussion! Love y'all! 

    Later Gators,
    Nik

    p.s. US only! 

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    Hola Chicas,

    After a 3 month long residency in St. Louis, MO, #TeamWalton has finally made their triumphant return to D.C.  Dramatic?  Maybe, but it was a dramatic ass summer, tho-- one of growth, change and self-reflection and now that I think I'm done processing my situation, it's time for me to catch y'all up.  Ish got real, but I'm blessed and smiling.  So below find my summer in pictures--

    Read On!>>>

    I came home in May to care for my Grandma Maxine.  She's been sick off and on for the last few years, and on what everyone would agree was her death bed no less than 3 times since Gia was born.  Each time, I'd drop everything (thanks Dr. Daddy for understanding) and rush home to nurse her to health.  This time, the illness is dementia and there's absolutely nothing I can do.  She's physically healthy (despite the recent heart attack), mobile and hilarious but her short term memory is busted and she needs care around the clock.  Due to her quick mental decline, she had to surrender her driver's license and her independence and she moved in with my parents back in February (kicking and screaming).  It was rough going as Dad wasn't getting adequate support from other family members #YouKnowHowThatShitGo and it was taking a toll on his health and personal life.  She would be up all night and so he had to be up with her which would leave him sleepless for days in a row. I knew he needed me.  I knew she needed me.  So, in May, we packed it up with the intention to hit up Israel and then stay in STL for as long as it took to help them find some normalcy.  #TheAbilityToMoveFreelyAboutTheEarth #Priceless

    Boogie (who told me yesterday her name is Gia Nicole, not Boogie) attended Girl's Inc of St. Louis this summer with my sister-in-law as her teacher and my mother as the director of the center.  #Spoilt #Priceless

    Boogie-less, Gma and I spent our days hitting up casinos (she loves slots, I love cheap wine), buying stuff we didn't need from the Dollar Store and brunching at all the STL hot spots. If we were not in the streets, she stayed trying to pack her bags to board some mystery bus to Jackson, MO (where she grew up). At first, I'd try to intervene ('cause I'd be the one to have to put everything back), but eventually it dawned on me that she enjoyed doing it and it wasn't hurtin' nothing, so I started helping her pack, lol.  Sometimes, we'd pack up (and unpack) several times a day. #Priceless

    There were 2 or 3 turn ups with the crew #StressRelief #Priceless

    some VIP seshs...#Priceless

    some two-step action with Bugs... #Priceless

    some new Mac action with Nephew #CollegeBound #Priceless 

    Some humidity proof twist-out action despite the rude dew points... #FinanceDisrespectingCurlCream #PricelessTho

    Gia whippin' and nae nae'ing and in this pic, breaking her legs at the Surge basketball game #TheyWonToo #Priceless

    fireworks in Ferguson over the lake (and no one got shot) #Priceless

    Date nights with Dr. Daddy under the Arch #AlwaysPriceless

    Lunch with my honeys #Priceless


    #NerdDay She was so self-conscious and didn't want to go into the class because she thought her friends would tease her.  She was nearly in tears when we told her that everyone was dressed silly and that it was fun... we later found out that nearly all the girls were apprehensive and felt better once they saw what the other girls were on... and so it begins.  #Priceless

    Boogie caught a bass!

    Dr. Daddy took center stage! #DontAsk #UniverSOULCircus

    Meramec Caverns-- yes that's a light show. It was only barely a cave.  There was linoleum on the floor at times, hand rails and light switches, so...#FauxSpelunking

    Riverboat whippin'

    fake campout havin'

    boston baked beans eatin'

    Toward the end of my trip (taking over for Dad as primary Gma care giver, I was beat) it was abundantly clear that Gma needed around the clock, professional care.  Despite my best efforts, I couldn't keep her at home.  I felt like a failure.  I felt guilty.  Helping Dad make that decision and getting the arrangements in order was... terriblé.  Dementia runs in our family so her mother, both brothers and sister all ended up in nursing homes.  It almost seemed inevitable but it didn't make it any easier.  We toured several facilities and decided on the one she recovered in the last two times.  The staff was familiar with us and her (she used to visit her siblings there), so we felt as comfortable as you could, given the situation.  The last nights with her in my parent's home were so bitter sweet.  Gia had no idea what was going on, but she knew something was up.

    After practicing all summer, Grandma and I packed up her ish, but forreals this time.  

    I hadn't been to her house since I'd been home but wanted to walk through since we'd have to rent it.  I grew up here and wanted to see it as it was before someone dismantled all my memories, lol.  And yes, that's a Christmas tree.  She had a heart attack the week of Christmas (while I was in India) and hasn't been home since. 

    Dad and I took her to the nursing home. Leaving her there was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.  Dad left first.  4 hours later, I worked up the courage to tell her I had to go but would be back tomorrow.  And while I was holding back tears, I knew it was for the best because she didn't even know she was there.  BUT, she still knew me, so for that, I was thankful.

    But I returned and stayed posted up.  We'd gossip and talk ish and she'd tell me about her 'co-workers'-- she's convinced that she works at this 'community center' and she's there to help the patients. She's probably going to get suspicious if she doesn't get her check soon tho...

    Ice cream social fun--
    Gma was reminiscing on a recent family reunion which was held in her honor because she is the last elder from that generation. I tried telling her that now she's the "mah-, may-, mat-" of the family.  I couldn't remember the word and I was like, 'yeah grandma, they held it for you because you're the... it starts with an M'.  And she smiled and responded, 'cause I'm the mother f*cker' and we fell out laughing.  I said, 'naw, you're the matriarch'.  And she responded,'I'm the mother f*cking matriarch.'#Boom #Priceless

    happy hour fun at the nursing home (and yes there was liquor!) #Priceless #ShoulderWork

    and there's a mini-horse on site and Grandma was terrified of him...

    until she forgot she was, and now they're buddies!

     and then August came and we had to go.  It was almost as hard as leaving her there weeks before.  She told me to hurry back.  I kissed her and we headed back to D.C.

    ... to do what we do best #RoofTopShenanigans

    but it was short lived cause I had to go to NC to give a keynote speech on 'choosing happiness, now'. 

    and 24 hours later I had to practice what I was preachin' because my baby was going to big-girl-school and I didn't wanna ugly cry

     But Syl did (ugly cry, that is) when Perry proposed to her by the lake!!!!!!! #CauseThatRockOnYaFingerIsLikeATumor #YouCan'tFitYaHandInYaNewPurse #ThrowBackJay
     #IPickedItOutTho 

    and then Momma  and Daddy flew in (and they're still here) for Gia's 5th bday... which was Saturday. 

    and even tho we spent the whole summer in STL, our DC friends still loved us and showed up for Boogie.  #Priceless

    Interesting side note...
    Dude that has the kids hiding behind the couch is the world's best kid party performer, ever.  He has a TV show being made about his life, where he may be played by Joel Mchale.  His show was totally amazing and the kids loved him!  Check him out here-- http://www.thegreatzucchini.com/

    Later Gators,
    Nik

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  • 09/03/15--07:18: Bridget Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    Hello, My name is Bridget Williams. I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA.  I am a mother of 5, ages 34, 30, 22, 15 and 10. I have two grandsons, ages, 13 and 12. I’ve been natural now for 2 ½ years, and I’m loving it!

    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like? 
    I started out as a transitioner for up to 8 months, but I decided I know longer had the patience to wait for the perm to grow out. So, on June 16, 2013, I did the Big Chop.

    READ MORE>>


    Had you always embraced your texture?
    No not always. I wanted straight hair not curly. So, I would go to the hair salon to get my hair permed for years. Then, I felt that this was getting too expensive so I started doing my own perms. It was nice at first, but I noticed my hair was thinning and breaking off. So, I decided to stop putting perms in my hair and this is when I started to appreciate the texture of my hair.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    My family was very supportive of my decision to go natural. I think the only thing that scared them was when I did my Big Chop. I was scared as well because I didn’t think it would grow back fast. But, I took that chance.


    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    My hair is thick in some places and fine in others. Kinda weird….lol

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    I never really did too many crazy things with my hair but one crazy thing I do remember is that I had a Jheri Curl put in my hair which was a big mistake!

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    It goes back to that Jheri Curl I had put in my hair. I didn’t like that I had to have a special pillow to sleep on because the curl activator was so messy so that led me to have to sleep with a plastic cap on my head,  which I did not like one bit! I didn’t like the fact that when my hair dried from the activator my hair looked like a dried up afro….I immediately let this style grow out but I had to get a lot of my hair cut off in order to get a relaxer.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    My current hair routine is wash and go’s. I co-wash my hair with all sorts of different conditioners but the main one I like to use are the VO5 conditioners because they have a lot of slip. I then use the Mix Chick leave in conditioner, and I use my Coconut oil to set the moisture in my hair. When I do my twist outs I use the Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, and I also use the As I Am products which is one of my favorites. I wash my hair every two weeks with Creme of Nature Shampoo.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My favorite hairstyle are my twistouts. I get my hair inspiration from the young ladies on YouTube. They have really encouraged me and taught me how to take care of my natural hair. Thank you ladies!

    Who is your curl crush?
    Sistawithrealhair, Mahoganycurls, Moknowshair, Naptural85, Chime, and Manda Panda. They have truly inspired me that you can do all sorts of fun and creative styles with natural hair.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    I maintain my hair by spraying a little water and adding coconut oil to it. I wear my satin cap to bed some nights and I do sleep with my satin pillow case.


    How do you maintain healthy length? 
    I do this by keeping my hair moisturized, wearing protective styles from time to time and keeping my ends trimmed every 6 months.


    What's the best thing about being natural?
    The best thing about being natural is that you can do all sorts of beautiful styles. I love that I don’t have to spend a lot of time styling my natural hair it if I don’t want to. It has given me the freedom to be me. I will never go back to relaxers again.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    You can find me on Instagram @B_Natural5 and on Facebook under Bridget Williams


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    by Emilia Obiekea by AdoreBotanicals.com

    I love DIY and all that can be done with it. Using organic ingredients in their rawest form and combining them in different ways to become something new is fun. Customizing products to work for friends, family, coworkers or myself. The bonus is making items that work without adding unnecessary harmful ingredients.

    Who wouldn't love that?
    Interest in DIY has increased significantly along with the popularity of natural hair increasing rapidly over the years. I find it is of the highest importance to know how to create products, at home, in the most sanitary ways possible. The following are things that I find to be very helpful for the home beauty diy-er.

    Read On!>>>
    When creating any homemade beauty items the following is very important:

    Basic Info
    1. Always wash your hands, wear protective gear, gloves, hair net, shoes and eye protection. Nothing should be exposed. This reduces the likelihood that your products will be compromised or contaminated. Be sure to protect yourself by always wear closed toe shoes and minimize exposed skin.
    2. Sanitize you work area, utensils, measuring items, tools, bowls, etc... Be sure everything is sanitized.
    3. Never cross contaminate. Any tools, pots and other items used should only be for creating your products. Do not use anything for food and beauty products. No bueno.
    What to use?

    Containers
    • (Best Option) Glass: Will always be your best choice. It does not absorb ingredients or hold odors after being properly cleansed.
    • Plastic containers should be safe for the intended use.
    • (Worst Option) Metals: When metals are used it is best to use a high quality steel (stainless preferably). Some metals react negatively with oils, such as essential oils, this is not an ideal option for many things.
    Utensils
    • It is best to use silicone or stainless steel instead of anything that is rubber.
    • Many people cook with wooden items and feel it should be alright to use them for your products. Nah...no need. Wood absorbs things liquid, oils, fragrances and other things. Using wooden utensils and bowls is not an option. They are too porous and that makes it very hard to clean properly.
    • The chemicals that are combined to make plastic usually removes it as being an option for most.
    Re-usability
    We know that many reuse/ re-purpose bottles, jars and other containers. If this is something that you do always:
    • Be sure that the item is heat safe and not highly porous. Porous materials increase the opportunity for bacteria growth. Always be sure to wash the container with hot water and soap. This removes any residue that may be in the container.
    • Boil them, full submerged, in a pot of water,for approximately 10-15 minutes. Be sure to use heat resistant tongs or utensils of choice to remove them from the pot. Be very cautious when removing the containers from the water. They will be really hot!
    • Be sure everything is 100% dry before using it!
    • If you need to use them right away just preheat your oven to 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the containers, glass, in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until they are 100% dry. Let them cool completely and they are ready to be used.
    • Be sure to cleanse utensils with a cleanser that is not toxic.
    Water...Vital & Dangerous

    Water is essential to life. We thrive on it and so do microbes and other nasty bacteria. Ensuring the proper precautions lessens the possibility for having any potential heath issues.

    You are making preservative free DIY products with water. This is a haven for bacterial growth! This. It's why I prefer to use commercial grade preservatives. If water is added to any aspect of your product it is imparitive to properly preserve the item or use it in a very short amount of time.

    Water is the #1 ingredient for moisture. It is wonderful for the hair and skin. The type of water used is also very important.

    4 Common types of water

    Distilled water (BEST): Is water in its simplest and purist form. It is created by distillation of water. The water is steamed. The steam is captured and the contaminants are discarded.

    Filtered water: High quality water filtration system can be sued as well but the more economical route for the at home diy-er is to just purchase distilled water.

    Boiled water: Is alright for home use products but I still don't recommend it.

    Tap water (WORST): Should never be used. It usually contains a great deal of bacteria and undesirable minerals.

    Using Essential Oils
    Essential oils are high concentrations of very potent oils. They are undiluted, unless otherwise stated, when bought. They must be diluted into to a carrier prior to use. The dilution ratio is commonly 2% for products that are made for the skin. 2% is generally the highest amount that is to be used. Only use skin safe essential oils. Never consume oils that do not state that they are made for consumption.

    Shelf life of Final Products
    • When DIY at home never make more than a single use batch. Never make more than what is needed for a very short period of time.
    • Always use clean hands when getting products out of your containers. Using a spoon is more ideal.
    • Be sure to close containers after each use.
    • Refrigeration is necessary for any product that has water as an ingredient.
    • Store all items properly.
    • Test pH (with pH strips if needed).
    Hopefully these tips are helpful. If you have questions or input feel free to comment below.

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    When you are afraid of something and you think about this fear a lot, you based your actions around it and you give it energy.

    Read On!>>>
    You actually have a subconscious desire or expectation for it to happen.

    What if you used the energy of your thoughts and intentions to create brave feelings and authentic actions, untempered by fear?

    There are so many possibilities. Too many to not explore.

    Don't feed the fears. Use your imagination to create the life you do want.


    ___________________________________

      CN Says:
    I love this!  Every single day when fear or worry thoughts pop up, I immediately take notice and ask myself, 'what would I like to come from this situation? What would I like to happen?'  We are often AUTOMATICALLY imagining/visualizing or expecting the terrible-awful, so like GG said, why not use that energy to visualize or expect something awesome instead?  

    The day before we admitted Gma to the nursing home, I was sad and worried that she would hate it there, hate me for sending her there and not get the proper care and attention she required.  I then remembered to remember and asked myself, 'what DO I want to come from this situation?' My response-- 'a fast and successful adjustment period for her, new friends, fun activities, excellent quality or care and an excellent quality of life.'  Just that quick turn around in thinking/imagining provided much needed relief and an ability to focus on creating positively.  Your imagination should empower, not terrorize you.  

    hth! xoxo
    nik

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    Packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids, raw shea butter is an all-around hair and skin care product with origins in West Africa. For decades, it has remained a favorite ingredient in the hair and skin care industry for multiple reasons.

    The shea butter that most of us are used to is a butter that is extracted from shea nuts of the shea-karite tree. This buttery substance is usually then further processed to meet the needs and demands of the end user. However, many naturals have started purchasing the butter online in its raw form and whipping up their own product into a consistency that might be easier to apply to their hair or skin. Doing this can also provide DIYers the opportunity to add other carrier and essential oils to help enhance the natural properties of shea butter.

    While there are many benefits of Shea butter on natural hair, here are the top 3 reasons why so many community members love this all-natural ingredient.

    Read On!>>>

    It softens
    When used often and consistently, shea butter has been shown to improve the texture and feel of the hair. This is because the essential fatty acids in shea butter deeply penetrates into the hair shaft to smooth the cuticles and to soften the hair strands, which then gives the hair a silky feel.  

    It seals in moisture

    The rich vitamins A and E contents in shea butter helps to soothe dryness, minimize breakage and curb split ends. The thick consistency of shea butter also makes it a great sealant to use in cold environments, particularly in the winter time. Raw shea butter's creamy, thick consistency helps to trap in moisture to the strand for a longer period of time.

    It is a natural sunscreen

    Shea butter has been found to contain low levels of UV protection (around SPF-6), making for a great natural "sunscreen" for curly and coily hair. When applied onto the hair, shea butter coats the surface, acting as a shield against the damaging, drying effects heat exposure can cause. This also applies to styling hot tools and even chlorine in a swimming pool.

    Make your own DIY whipped shea butter moisturizer
    Trust us--it's actually pretty simple.



    Is shea butter right for your hair type?
    Many naturals sometimes complain about their hair being weighed down from using raw shea butter. This could be due to the density and thickness level of their hair-- as well as amount of other products that they cocktail with it. Medium to thick hair texture types can handle shea butter without being weighed down, whereas, a fine hair texture might feel weighed down, especially if too much of the product was used. It is important to not be heavy handed when using shea butter. A small amount can go a long way!

    Where to buy shea butter
    Most vendors that sells Raw shea butter are on Amazon. However, here is a list of vendors who sell whipped shea butter to the natural hair community:
    Shea Makery (Gourmet handcrafted Shea Butter)
    Shea Butter Cottage (UK, Fair Trade Company)
    Coils & Glory (North America)

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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,
    Nik 

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



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



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    by Tasha of Just Curlz

    With the upcoming holidays and the New Year approaching, we all have the urge to work out more. Whether it’s to shed the extra pounds we put on at Thanksgiving or we are making another New Year’s Resolution to work out more, we all need to be physically active to be healthy. Although we no longer have to worry about "sweating out our perm", us natural ladies have other issues we must address when working out.

    Styling
    This is a big issue for us as some styles take hours to complete and we don't want that to be ruined after one trip to the gym. So, my tip is to either wear wash-n-gos that can be easily redone or protective styles. My hair is not wash-n-go friendly, so I tend to wear lots of individual twists or flat twist/braided updos that will last a few days. This helps to keep my hair moisturized and also saves time so I don't have to redo my hair every day.

    Sweating
    The first and easiest measure you can take is to wear a sweat band or scarf, however we all know that it's hard to contain all of that FROtastic hair. And not to meantion, the more you sweat, the BIGGER and more out of control it gets. The two tips I have for you are to A.) seal in your moisture before your workout and as soon as you can after or B.) rinse or cowash your hair after your workout to start with fresh, clean hair the next day. As I said above, I wearing mostly protective styles, but I also do a mid week cowash to help cleanse my scalp. Some other naturals also find that just doing a quick rinse with water helps after a workout as well.

    Make a schedule
    Our lives are busy enough without adding a workout routine into the mix, so making a schedule for our hair is very important. If you know you are going to work out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, then you can make Sunday and/or Wednesday your hair spa day. When your "hair appointment" is scheduled with yourself you don't feel rushed and you are able to give your hair the TLC it needs.

    Whatever you decide, make a routine and stick to it. Keeping a good routine holds you accountable and makes it easier to juggle every thing going on in your life. We work hard for our healthy hair and our healthy body so take some time to keep it that way.

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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.!
    Have the kind of day where they all look at you with Amazement. #productjunkies #naturalhairproducts #indynaturals #naturalistasinnap #indy #curlbox #curlynikki @daricerene

    Feeliin VAMPY today....I wonder why?! OHHH, it's MAC VAMPLIFY gloss launch!! More pics to come! XO 😘 #mac #vamplify @beautywithindaw



    Glistening in #sheabutter from head to toe. Hope everyone is enjoying their #humpday @naturaltonatural
    It's your hair have fun with it 💕 #colorednatural #curlswithlove #ariyon @curlswithlove


    [Texture] Most days I don't even put up a fight. I just let her, my mane, do what she wants. Shout out to that small section of heat damage on the left side! Who said it was a good idea to have my hair straight for an entire month? @missbmonet



    I love this look!!! So ready to order mine! @organictextureshair - Enthusiast here it is the finish product of the Organic Textures Hair Coily Collection. The color, style and makeup where all done by @hairvenscentmua , the owner of EClassProductions. @thenaturallyfe


    I always think I'm a thug in my head. It stops there tho. Don't try me in real life. Is this just me? Oh…ok. @brandilou88


    I don't wanna go to school! #protectivestyle #crochetbraids @alifeuncomplicated


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    Tiffany Nichols writes:

    "I wanted to share my take on the Twist and Curl hairstyle that is suitable for naturalistas of most lengths and for those ladies looking for a way to switch up their typical twistout by adding a little dimension.  I hope you enjoy it."

    Watch Now!>>>




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  • 09/08/15--03:49: Corresia Is Naturally Glam!

  • Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like? 
    I've always been natural. I only flat ironed my hair almost EVERY day! (Yikes) I just never decided to embrace my curls until about 2 years ago.

    Had you always embraced your texture?
     No, my texture is really curly, so being in school I got called names like Jerry curl, or Michael Jackson.

     READ MORE>>

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    They loved the idea!

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    It's thick and super soft.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    I went to Super Cuts to get a bob and my hair was like really long. When the stylist asked hard or soft, I replied hard and she cut my hair so short I cried.

    What’s your biggest hair related regret? 
    Dyeing it green! I rinsed it black a few days ago and the green is back.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    I wash my hair every 5 days or so. I deep condition it every 2 weeks. I love coconut oil & black castor oil, As I Am leave in conditioner and Miss Jessie's hair moisturizer.


    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration? 
    Perm rod sets. SO many YouTube gurus inspired me. They all looked great!

    Who is your curl crush? 
    Samirah Gilli

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    Ponytail and silk bonnet to maintain my natural curl pattern, or flat twist.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    Trim split ends monthly.


    What's the best thing about being natural?
    The best thing about being natural is being completely comfortable the way God made me, getting compliments on how nice my hair is, being able to scratch my scalp and not pat it like crazy.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    Corresia Jones I'm on IG and Facebook

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    by Jonna of BlackNaps.org

    Whether you’re transitioning from relaxed to natural, looking for a protective style option, or just want to switch up your look-- wearing weave or extensions is the way to go for a lot of women. Until more recently, women with naturally curly or kinky hair would be hard pressed to find hair extensions that match their hair texture. Malaysian, Peruvian, even Phillipino maybe. But what if you’re looking to rock hair extensions that look something like your own kinks and curls?

    Within the past few years, this void in the marketplace has been filled. Weave and extensions are now available that resemble textured natural hair. Now women can find weave with the kinkiest of kinks so no one has to feel left out. What makes these new options so significant is that you don’t have to manipulate your own hair as much to get the two textures to match. Which is part of the whole point of protective styling anyway. You also can experiment with colors and styles that you may not want to do on your own hair, like going blonde or a shorter cut. One other perk is that others are less likely to know that you’re wearing extensions.

    Here’s a list of the 10 best natural hair weave companies servicing all the naturalistas. Most offer a variety of options including wigs, clip-in wefts, closures, and sew-in extensions to suit your styling needs.

    Read On!>>>

    1. Heat Free Hair.
    Heat Free Hair is hand selected from one donor at a time and kept with the full cuticle in tact. The owner is a natural hair stylist and certified Hair Manufacturing technologist. The hair matches and blends with a variety of curl patterns and hair types. 100% virgin human hair comes in wefted hair, closures, wigs, and clip-ins.



    2. Haute Kinky Hair.

    Haute Kinky Hair uses 100% virgin kinky human hair that will match perfectly with 3b-4c hair textures. The Haute Coils collection is for 3b textured curlies, while the Haute Curls collection is for 3c/4a textured curlies and the Haute Kinks collection is for the 4b/4c textured curly. The hair can be dyed or bleached to match any hair color. You can use the hair to make it into a wig or for a sew-in.


    3. Curlkalon.
    Curlkalon Hair Collection is a protective styling brand that is the first to offer women pre-curled 100% synthetic hair designed to match her natural hair texture. Curlkalon uses a high quality 100% Toyokalon synthetic hair that last longer than many other fibers. While it is not a versatile as human hair, and heating tools are not recommended, it comes pre-curled which makes it easy to install crochet braids and the curls can last up to six weeks if cared for properly.

    4. Private Stock Hair.  

    Private Stock Hair is premium unprocessed cuticle hair. Each strand is carefully inspected to ensure natural luster, strength, color and structure. These hair pieces are 100% virgin and 100% human, and may be bleached, colored, or straightened and will revert back. They offer a variety of textures for kinky, coily, and curly naturals as well as straight and wavy styles. This brand of hair is available in signature wigs, clip-on extensions and hair closures.



    Private Stock Hair ‘Frosace’ Wig worn by Yolanda Renee

    5. Runway Curls
    .
    Runway Curls boasts Ethiopian Textured 100% Virgin Hair. All bundles come in a natural black color and can be bleached, colored or straightened and then brought back to its original curly or kinky form by simply wetting the hair. When properly cared for, this hair which comes on a weft and can be used multiple times. This super high grade hair is still made to be affordable to the everyday working woman.

    6. CurlSistas.  

    CurlSistas Hair is an exciting line of natural textured virgin human hair extensions. CurlSistas Hair matches your natural hair effortlessly and comes in wefted hair and clip-ins. The wear time is 1 year or more with proper care. CurlSistas hair is 100% human hair and can washed, dyed, and heated.



     7. My Natural Hair Extensions.  

    My Natural Hair Extensions provides 100% remy hair. The hair has been steam processed to give it its course natural looking texture. The hair is also 100% human hair – no synthetic fillers or synthetic fibers. This hair is also virgin in color only (meaning the hair has not been dyed). These extensions are popular due to their natural appearance, low luster, manageability and ability to hold a curl.

    8. Big Chop Hair.
    Big Chop Hair comes in a wide range of textures and curl patterns, from spiral curls to kinky curly. The hair is 100% virgin and can be bleached or dyed any color to blend with your hair.

    Big Chop Hair Kinky Curl U-Part Wig

    9. BellaKurls.  
    BellaKurls offers clip-in extensions made with premium quality 100% Virgin Indian Hair. They offer a variety of curly types: Curly, Kinky, and coming soon Afro & Wavy. Their clip-in sets are double-wefted with 226 grams, so you can add length and volume too.

    10. ONYC
    .
    ONYC is 100% full cuticle human hair directly from a verifiable donor. ONYC hair is acquired one donor per bundle, which ensures the hair retains its natural texture, color and sheen per bundle. The hair is proven to be reusable for up to one full year, with some customers who reported using their hair for up to two years. It responds to chemicals just like human hair, so they can be effectively colored as desired.

    Options. That’s one of the main reasons many women are wearing their natural hair. With these natural hair weave companies catering to textured hair, we now have even more options.

    Have you tried any of these weave companies? Did we missed your favorite one? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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    You want your edges, or nah?

    Sorry, I had to do it! We are all about our healthy hair journey right? You take all that time washing, deep conditioning, detangling and moisturizing your hair, but sometimes we are too tired to protect it while we sleep. Newsflash… don’t skip the last step!

    Here are a few tips to keep your hair healthy while you get your beauty sleep.

    Read On!>>>
     1. Keep your hair moisturized. Spritz some water on it before bed to keep it moisturized through the night. Yeah, by now you are tired of hearing this right? Moisture, moisture, moisture (I don’t know why marsha, marsha, marsha just popped in my head from the Brady bunch) but I kind of like that. Don’t let Marsha get all the attention at the party because you forgot to keep your hair moisturized like Marsha, and her hair is now on FLEEK!

    2. Pineapple your hair. You worked way to hard on that twist out, braid out, or rod set for it to go to waste in one day! Pineapple your hair (under your satin bonnet or with your satin Pillowcase) so that your curls last more than just one day. I live for 4th and 5th day hair!

    3.  Sleep on a satin pillowcase or in a satin bonnet. This is the most important tip right here! Cotton pillowcases will snatch your edges left and right and cause major breakage. I know we all had that one day where we were just too tired to tie our hair up and took one for the team. Well let that be the only time you do that. Cotton pillowcases wick the moisture from your hair which is bound to cause breakage, of which we do not want! So this step is a must it cannot be skipped, you cannot pass go or collect your $200!

    You can also apply all of these tips for your child’s hair as well. It’s important to also protect your little ones hair just like yours.

    How do you protect your hair at night? What is your routine?

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    photo courtesy of Nelly


    Ever wondered the difference between an oil rinse and a hot oil treatment? While both of these curly hair treatments might appear to be the same thing, they are actually quite different.

    One major difference is that hot oil treatments are typically applied before shampooing your hair, while oil rinsing is usually done after shampooing the hair, right before applying conditioner. The differences don't stop there, keep reading to determine what's best for you!

    Read On!>>>

    Oil rinsing

    Oil rinsing is a step usually completed after shampooing the hair right before applying conditioner.  Once the hair is clean and while the hair is still soaking wet, a generous amount of oil is applied all over the hair coating everything from root to tip. Penetrating oils such as olive, coconut, and avocado oils are recommended for use due to their low molecular composition, which enable them to bind to the water inside the hair cuticle to prevent hygral fatigue. Conditioner can be applied while the oil is still in the hair followed by a final water rinsing session removing the excess oil and conditioner. Oil rinsing also helps with fighting against excessive drying during the shampoo process, as it seals moisture into the hair.  The other added benefit of oil rinsing is the ability to add natural oils back into the hair, which could have been stripped away while shampooing.
    Benefits of oil rinsing
    • Prevents dryness from shampoo
    • Seals in moisture
    • Easier detangling / reduction in single strand knots
    • Increased moisture
    • Reduced frizz
    • Prevention of hygral fatigue
    • More soft, shiny, and manageable curls
    The cons
    Although oil rinsing reaps tons of benefits for your curls, there are drawbacks. Continuous oil rinsing without properly clarifying or cleansing the scalp at least once a month can rapidly accumulate product buildup, attracting more dirt and dust. Clarifying regularly is an important step in your curly regimen to ensure the hair and scalp are clean, which allows other products and moisture to further penetrate.
    How to oil rinse
    After you shampoo and before you condition, apply a carrier oil to your hair the same way you would a conditioner. Massage the oil from the roots to your ends, completely coating your hair. Allow the oil to set for a few minutes and then rinse it. Follow up with your daily conditioner. For a full guide to oil rinsing, read here.

    Hot oil treatment

    Hot oil treatments on the other hand are typically used as a pre-poo option, meaning the oil is applied before shampooing your hair. Pre-pooing is also a step used to combat hygral fatigue. Any oil of your choice is heated slightly and applied directly to the scalp to fight dandruff and severely dry hair.  Hot oil treatments can be applied to dry or slightly damp hair. Furthermore, once the hot oil is applied, sitting under a hooded dryer or using a plastic conditioning cap for 15 - 20 minutes will allow the oil to penetrate deeper. With this method you will still be able to obtain soft and shiny hair even though hot oil treatments focus more on the scalp.
    What You Will Need
    • Oil of your choice. Try one of these top 5 oils for hot oil treatments.
    • Plastic applicator bottle
    • Plastic conditioning cap
    • Large cup, bowl, or pot of boiling water
    How to do a hot oil treatment
    1. Gather 1 cup of oil or oil blend of your choice.
    2. Pour oil into plastic applicator bottle.
    3. Sit plastic applicator bottle into larger cup of hot water, bowl or pot of boiled water to warm
    4. Test temperature of oil on top the back of your hand before applying to scalp
    5. Apply warmed oil to scalp and slightly damp hair, massaging thoroughly
    6. Cover with plastic cap and allow oil to sit for 15-20 min. (Sitting under hooded dryer optional)
    7. Shampoo and condition according to your normal routine 
    Follow Nelly (pictured above) here:
    Muse Uniform and Instagram

    Which method do you prefer for your curls? What has been your experience?

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  • 09/10/15--06:27: Awkwardly Authentic


  •  

    I had a phone interview recently.  I felt laid back at first like I was having a chat with a friend.  Then throughout the call I got more and more worked up.  My thoughts went into overdrive and nerves started taking over.  I couldn't say anything without stuttering and repeating myself.

    I was frazzled.  I struggled to provide straightforward, concise answers to questions that should have come easily to me, having answered them dozens of times before.    Long gone was the calm, be-your-self-ness that I felt when the interview started.  When the call ended, I hung up feeling uneasy.

    Read On!>>>
    This is nothing new.  I geek out when I'm excited or really inspired and once I'm geeked I have trouble expressing myself.  I blurt and babble and say a lot of words that don't make sense together.

    Then I feel weird about it and that just intensifies the problem. When I replayed the call in my mind, I was thinking  'Ew, why do I do this every time?' It's like too much energy is coming out of me at once causing my thoughts and my mouth to be out of sync.

    Inside I'm like, chill.   But the part of me that takes over when I'm inspired is all in, no pretenses, and often no chill at all.  It's scary to surrender to this zone in front of people I don't know intimately but that's what art is, isn't it?  Showing your soul?  Being vulnerable?
    I struggled on this call because I tried to hold myself back when I got excited.  I became self-conscious about my words and how they would be perceived.   My mind tries to distract me when my heart takes over.  My heart is confident and knows its truth.  My mind has its doubts. They battle with each other -- one wanting to be sincere, the other wanting to be accepted, important, whatever.

    But I would rather embrace the awkwardness of being candid and free flowing, than settle for the awkwardness of a blocked heart. To vibrate higher, we have to let our hearts speak and not get distracted by how we look or sound or what people think of our expression.  It amazes me that I can write the most touchy-feely things, but when it comes to speaking them, I still get tongue-tied.

    After the call I had to come home to myself.  Remembering that I've made big changes in my life to allow me to be openhearted and joyful about the work I do.  Work that requires me to tap into this shameless place without having to water myself down.  I didn't choose this journey so I could waste energy wondering if I'm too happy, too intense, too excited, or too idealistic.  With every experience, my only goal is to show up as myself, channeling love, not fear. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don't, but I'm learning as I go.

    When's the last time you didn't show up the way you wanted to during an important moment or opportunity? What do you think caused the disconnect?

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  • 09/10/15--06:27: Eleanor Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    Hello! My name is Eleanor Barkes. I’m a proudly South African curly girl originally from Cape Town who has just moved to Johannesburg after having lived in Tokyo for 2 years. Even though I’ve been natural for a few years it was only while living in Japan that I learned about natural hair care and started caring for my own hair properly. Now that I’m back in South Africa, I’m continuing my natural hair journey and I’m enjoying connecting and meeting up with other naturals in the country.

    READ MORE>>
    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I was a transitioner, even though I didn’t know anything about natural hair care at the time, or the natural hair movement for that matter. I just knew that I didn’t want relaxed hair ever again.

    I had worn my hair naturally curly for most of my life, with little bouts of relaxers in high school and in my twenties, as I thought my curls were too out of control. I also went through stages of rolling it in those massive rollers, blow-drying and then flat-ironing it weekly to achieve that sleek, straight look. I would even still wear my hair curly in its relaxed state. But it wasn’t up until a few years ago that I decided that I didn’t want to try and tame my mane with harmful chemicals or heat anymore. So I had my last relaxer sometime in 2010 and I gradually let the relaxed hair grow out.

    Had you always embraced your texture?
    Yes and no. I’ve always loved my curls, but I didn’t know how to handle or style them, which is why I turned to relaxers and heat styling. However, once I started caring for my curls properly I really fell in love with it and started embracing it to the fullest.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    My family and most of my friends have always been supportive of my choice to wear my hair naturally, so I was very grateful for that. The people I experienced the most resistance from was surprisingly hair dressers. With every salon visit they would always try to sell me a relaxer or some type of Brazilian keratin treatment under the guise of, “Your hair will be so much easier to handle”, or “Your hair is so dry, a relaxer will take care of that problem for you.” Well, I grew tired and frustrated with this notion and ended up hardly ever getting a decent cut. So I was happily looking after my tresses myself.

    It wasn’t until moving to Tokyo in February 2013 though that I realised I actually knew nothing about caring for curly hair. With the dry winter I faced there, my hair started breaking off badly. What made the situation worse, was that I was in a country with absolutely no resources on how to care for afro textured curly hair. So I started doing research via my only accessible source, the internet.

    Through connecting with other naturalistas across the world on online forums, websites and blogs, I finally started my healthy hair journey in April 2013. I am now a very keen natural hair enthusiast in support of embracing every single curl on your head, by sharing information and inspiration, in the hope that my experience can help someone else along the way.

    Because of this my family and friends are now even more supportive of my decision to go natural.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    My individual strands are extremely fine. But I have a lot of it so I would describe it as high density. I have a few different textures going on: most of my hair is curly coily, while some parts on the crown of my head are curled even more tightly and tend to be drier than the rest, so I have to make sure to moisturise that part carefully. Conversely, the hair in the nape of my neck is very loosely curled, all of which can make for some very frustrating styling days, when I end up looking like a stingray from the back because some hair refuses to cooperate by hanging down “longer” than the rest, simply because of the looser texture.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    I really wanted blonde hair for a while so I bleached my hair a very coppery blond about 10 years ago. I loved it at the time, but now I cringe every time I think about it.

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    My only regret is that I didn’t learn about natural hair care earlier in my life.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    I usually wash my hair once a week and start by prepooing and detangling with coconut oil (my favourite oil), as well as Tres Emmé Naturals Conditioner or Giovanni Deeper Moisture Conditioner. Then I’ll hop in the shower and alternate washing my hair between a natural shampoo and a gentle cleansing conditioner. So one week I’ll wash with either Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo or Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo, and the next week I’ll wash with a gentle cleansing conditioner. Currently I’m hooked on As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, as well as Carol’s Daughter Marula Curl Therapy Gentle Cream Cleanser. I gently wash the hair section by section and twist up each section before I move on to the next.

    I deep condition once a week as well and either apply a DIY deep conditioner or a natural commercial one, after which I cover my hair with a plastic shower cap and leave the conditioner in for anything from 30 minutes to an hour. Then I jump back in the shower and rinse it all out. My favourite deep conditioners include Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie and Monoi Repairing Hair Masque, both by Carol’s Daughter.

    To moisturise and seal I’ll start by spritzing on aloe vera juice, followed by a moisturising leave-in conditioner. My favourites include Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk. Finally I seal in all the moisture with coconut oil, or my home-made whipped shea butter cream during the winter. I’m also in love with Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Camille Rose Naturals’ Curlaide Moisture Butter and Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Then I twist the hair up into 2-strand twists and let it air-dry overnight. I wrap it in a silk scarf, while I sleep on a silk-lined pillowcase.

    During the week I keep the twists in for 3-4 days, after which I need to restyle. I usually take out the twists and wear my hair in a high bun, or another protective style such as 2 plaits on either side of my head, or 2 large chunky flat twists. I mainly wear my hair out over the weekends, in which case I’ll sport a braid-out or a twist-out.

    I maintain my hair’s moisture levels by spritzing with water, a little touch up of leave-in conditioner and sealing with coconut oil and/or one of my butters. Depending on the style I’m wearing and how my hair feels, I might re-moisturise twice a day, daily or every few days.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My two favourite styles are braid-outs and wash and gos. I’m not one for intricate up-dos as my fine strands are way too fragile for it and break easily with too much manipulation. I don’t do wash and gos that often either as it can lead to lots of tangles and more manipulation and breaking while detangling. I usually get hairstyle inspiration from YouTube or other natural hair blogs.

    Who is your curl crush?
    I don’t have one. I’m simply able to appreciate other women’s beautiful hair.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    It depends. If it’s in a wash and go I’ll put my hair in a high ‘pineapple’ ponytail and wrap a silk scarf around my head to protect my hairline. Other times, I’ll shape it into a loose bun. If it’s in twists, I’ll wrap a silk scarf around it and sleep on a silk-lined pillow case.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    I focus on maintaining my hair’s health by keeping it moisturised and using low manipulation and/or protective styles such as twists, braids and buns. The length usually follows.

    What's the best thing about being natural?
    The best thing about being natural is that my hair is mine, all mine. I love that I’m unique in that way and that I’m comfortable with my God-given texture.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    YouTube: youtube.com/eleanorjadore
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/eleanorjadore/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eleanorjadore?ref=hl
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eleanorjadore
    For business enquiries, please mail me at: eleanorjadore@gmail.com

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    photo via HappilyEverNatural's post on flexis!

    by Keora Bernard

    Almost since the beginning of my natural hair care journey, I have been doing twist-outs like they were going out of style. Now don’t get me wrong, I know how to do braid outs, Bantu knots, French braids, and a highly texturized wash n’ go, but something within my spirit kept leading me down the twist-out path. I loved the simplicity, versatility, and the definition it gave to my tightly curled strands. Despite this, I recently discovered the phenomenal benefits and multiple uses of flexi-rods for natural hair. The following is a list of the ways you can use flexi-rods and the benefits it provides to your hair:

    Read On!>>>

     IT STRETCHES STRANDS. Shrinkage amongst naturals is common due to the bends, curves, and curls of our strands. For curlies with tighter curl patterns, shrinkage is almost inevitable. Most protective styles lessen the extent of shrinkage but don’t completely eradicate it. Quite frankly, shrinkage is unique and means your hair has elasticity which is a sign of hair health. On the other hand, it can create a less than pleasant detangling session and cause more mechanical breakage than those with little to no shrinkage. By stretching those strands, you’ll incur less breakage during and after wash day.

    IT GIVES THE HAIR VOLUME. If you’re like many naturals, you secretly prayed for and envisioned having a big wild mane of curly hair. With flexi-rods you can achieve that dream. Trust me on this. I have fine, low porosity hair which means that I don’t naturally have the shiny, bouncy ringlets that some naturals have. However, I have learned to love my hair and understand what its capabilities and limitations are. Using flexi-rods especially on a braid-out gives my hair that boom. The bounce, the life, and the definition are unparalleled to any other protective style I’ve worn.

    IT’S VERSATILE. Flexi-rods are a wonderful natural hair tool to incorporate into a variety of hairstyles. I recently had someone flat twist the front of my hair and do a braid out on the remaining part of my hair. I decided to flexi-rod the braided section (had never been done) and I was quite pleased with the results. The hair was more stretched than I had ever seen it before and my definition lasted for 2 weeks! With flexi-rods they can be used alone or to add an extra finishing touch to a protective style.

    THEY GIVE YOU DEFINITION FOR DAYS. Flexi-rods remind me of the saying, “go big or go home.” Flexi-rods go big. There is nothing small or meek about flexi-rods. They do the job and do it well. If you’re someone that has fine hair then purchase flexi-rods. They will give your hair extra staying power while wearing styles and spruce up those strands. You’ll be the prototype for big hair, don’t care. Like Nike, I recommended you 'just do it'!

    THEY PROMOTE HAIR HEALTH. As I previously mentioned, stretching natural hair without the use of heat results in less tangles and ultimately less breakage. Not to mention there are a couple of other benefits. Unlike some other hair tools, flexi rods are made of foam with a sleek protective coating on the outside. They do not snag, pull, or tug at your hair strands.

    Hearkening back to our days of wearing foam rollers and hoping they would give our hair a nice bump, flexi-rods give our hair a bang. Even better, the style is considered acceptable in many different arenas, including the workplace, social functions, and for a fun night out.

    Please ladies, do yourself a service and start flexing those strands!

    Are you a flexi rod girl?
    What's your favorite products to use?

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    by Nicole Harmon author of Coils & Curls: The Hair Product Handbook

    It takes just the right blend of water (for moisture) and emollients (for smoothing) to tame coils and curls. The emollients are the tricky part. Too heavy and they’ll weigh your hair down, too light and you’ll end up with frizz.

    To find the right leave-ins for your hair, it’s important that you understand your “strand thickness," otherwise known as "hair width", which can be categorized as “fine to medium” or “medium to thick”. When you see those words on a product label, they’re not referring to how much hair you have; they’re describing the thickness of each individual strand on your head.

    Read More!>>>


    The words “coarse” and “thick” are used interchangeably, but they both refer to the size of individual strands of hair. Your “strand thickness” isn’t determined by your ethnic background. Two women may have similar looking coils, but one woman’s strands might be twice the size of the others. The only way to know exactly where your hair falls would be to visit a trichologist or dermatologist who has a special microscope that measures strand size.

    Fine hairs are around 60 micrometers in diameter; thick hairs are around 100 micrometers. However, you don’t need to be that exact. The tell-tale sign of fine hair is thick-looking roots with a thin-looking ponytail. If you have fine hair, you’re likely to have a lot of strands. Those strands look nice and dense near the roots, but as the hair grows longer, the relative thinness of the strands becomes more noticeable.

    The strand thickness slightly varies on different parts of your head, so it can still be difficult to decide how to categorize your hair. Don’t worry about getting too specific, you just need a general idea, so you can find products that make your hair look and feel the way you want. Choose your leave-in conditioners and stylers based on the emollients that you see in the top 5. If you think your strands are fine to medium, choose products that contain lightweight emollients. If you think your strands are on the thicker side, look for products that contain heavier emollients. Whether you’re using a leave-in conditioner or styler, you need to be able to distribute the product evenly, from root to tip, without worrying that it will leave your hair looking greasy.

    Lighter Emollients for Fine to Medium Thickness

    • Argan Oil
    • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
    • Dimethicone
    • Grape Seed Oil
    • Mango Butter
    • Phenyl Trimethicone
    • Soybean Oil
    • Sunflower Oil
    • Sweet Almond Oil


    Heavier Emollients for Medium to Coarse Thickness:

    • Avocado Oil
    • Castor Oil
    • Cetyl Esters
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Coconut Oil
    • Jojoba Oil
    • Olive Oil
    • Mineral Oil
    • Shea Butter
    • Sorbitol Esters


    It will take some trial and error to find leave-ins that you love. Many products contain a combination of light and heavy emollients. This is a good time to read the rest of the product label, not just the ingredients list. The descriptions on leave-in products usually mention “fine” or “thick/coarse” hair.

    Have you figured out your strand thickness? What helped you decide?


    Nicole Harmon, Cosmetic Chemist and author of Coils & Curls: The Hair Product Handbook", is the founder of HairLiberty.org. She has received rave reviews for her seminars on ethnic hair education and science. She's on a mission to help the Product Junkies of the world save MONEY, sort through marketing HYPE and buy SMARTER! 

    Hair Liberty (def.): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself!

    This article was originally published on May 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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    by Emilia Obiekea of Adorebotanicals.com

    Some naturals enjoy complete DIY regimens but struggle to find an effective yet simple cleanser. This one is so simple it only has 2 ingredients and helps to restore the pH balance of your scalp.
    Win-win!


    Utensils
    1 whisk
    1 bowl
    A few ice trays
    1 dye applicator bottle
     
    Ingredients
    -2 cups of raw aloe vera gel
    -1 can of full fat coconut milk
    Gotta have the fat. My hair isn't on a diet lol. Besides it is wonderful for your hair so no need for any substitutes.
    *(Optional) You can add some essential oils to the mix for fragrance or necessity. It is good to use an essential oil, such as tea tree, if you have dandruff.
     

    Steps
    1. Mix both items together with a whisk.
    2. Pour a few ounces into a dye applicator bottle. Usually 2-4 oz is enough for most lengths of hair. Adjust the amount accordingly. 
    3. Pour the remaining mix into ice trays. Freeze them and store in freezer safe zip lock bags.
    How to use
    -Use the dye applicator bottle to apply the solution to the scalp. Massage the scalp very well for about 1 minute. 
    -Apply the remaining mixture to the length of the hair. Use a smoothing motion to fully saturate your hair. 
    -Pin up your hair, complete your shower routine and then rinse and massage your hair and scalp clean.
     
    Result
    Leaves the hair and scalp feeling very clean and refreshed without drying them out. This cleanser is most effective if only water soluble products are used on you hair. If you use products that are difficult to remove, it is best to use a cleanser with a mild surfactant.
    Give this a try and see for yourself how simplicity is key to any hair care regimen. 
    Enjoy!

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     Photo of trichonodosis/single strand knot/fairy knot

    Do you have single strand knots? They may feel like little beads along the hair shaft. They are annoying, and to remove them many women comb as much hair as they can towards the front of their head, grab a pair of scissors and begin clipping away any knots in view. First, let me state that I do not advocate trimming your own hair, especially with any pair of scissors. Dull scissors can fray the ends of the hair shaft, leaving them in the same condition they were in before the makeshift trim, if not worse.

    Most importantly, there are some irregularities of the hair shaft that cause consistent knotting. This is most commonly seen in curlier hair types. Unfortunately, some women will experience knots along their hair shaft on a regular basis. These knots are not always at the end of the hair shaft; instead, single or multiple knots can be seen and felt along the length of the hair shaft. This phenomenon has been nicknamed single strand knots or “fairy knots,” but the technical term is trichonodosis.

    Read On!>>>
    Why does curly hair knot more easily?
    Curly, coiled strands are produced by a flat, curved hair follicle. The curly hair strand that grows out of this follicle tends to weave and loop around other hair strands causing the strands of hair to easily become knotted together. Now this is common in curly hair types. The ultimate concern is when this becomes a chronic problem and a single, or sometimes double knot occurs in the hair shaft. Short, curly hair and tightly coiled hair types are particularly susceptible to this type of knotting.

    What causes knots?
    A considerable number of slack knots are often produced by friction from pillows or various hair manipulations, especially when shampooing. Combing the hair with combs that have fine teeth may tighten the knots and even pull out hairs from the scalp prematurely. As a result, wide tooth combs are always the best option when combing through the hair.

    How can I prevent knots?
    Extreme care must be taken to reduce the amount of excessive knotting of the hair shaft. Here are 7 ways to prevent and/or decrease the occurrence of single strand knots (trichonodosis):
    1. Always detangle your hair before shampooing. When hair is not detangled, the water will cause your curls to tighten around any existing knots or build up in the hair. This makes combing the hair after the shampoo more difficult and frustrating.
    2. While shampooing, do not pile the hair on top of the head. Instead, massage the shampoo directly in to the scalp with the pads of your fingertips and gently finger comb the shampoo through the length of your hair in a downward motion to keep the hair free of tangles.
    3. When drying the hair it is always best to blot the hair dry and squeeze excess water from the hair. Do not use harsh movements with the towel.
    4. When preparing for bed, braid or twist the hair in sections to decrease the friction and matting that can be caused while the hair is loose.
    5. Incorporate reconstructing deep conditioners into your conditioning routine on a regular basis to keep the hair shaft strong.
    6. Keep your hair well lubricated with the use of natural and essential oils. The oils coat the hair strand, which helps to reduce friction, tangling and knotting.
    7. Have a professional trim your ends on a regular basis. On average for women who wear their hair natural, that’s once every 3-4 months, but it may be more frequently for those who have tighter coils and experience knots on a regular basis. So, monitor your hair growth cycle and how your hair feels a month or two after a trim. If you start to notice that your hair tangles more during and after a shampoo and/or you feel knots in your hair that is a sign you need a trim.
    What if you can't get rid of a knot?
    If you have knots in your hair shaft that you cannot undo, the only and best way to get rid of them is to cut them with proper shears. Do not comb, yank, pull, tear or use your kitchen scissors to remove the knots. You are only further damaging your hair. Lastly, do not get frantic if you are experiencing this problem. It is a common occurrence for some curly girls and comes with the territory of having curly hair. As long as you have the proper tools and information to manage the problem and prevent it from getting worse, you and your hair will be happy.

    Do you experience single strand knots? How do you combat them?

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