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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!
    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.!
    #KBN3OGnatural @Lynnieluve rocking her #CombTwists using @koilsbynature #moisturizingshealoeleaveinconditioner @koilsbynature

    A smile doesn't cost a single penny. I love my life :) #Hair #green #kinky #kinks #curls #natural #love #green #smile #happy #beautiful #curlynikki #fiercefriday #fierce @tazmulumba

    #RiseNShine !! Have a terrific Thursday!! #ghairwrap #curlynikki #curlbox #curlyhair #curlyhairdontcare #washngo #nhdaily #naturalhairdaily #hairscarves @ghairwrap

    Back to the basics #washandgo #day3 #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlynikki #fiercefriday #naturallyshesdope #blackandwhite #shrinkageisreal #naturalgirlsrock @irocknspen

    Trust your Dopeness #Liveinlovewithyou @livenaturallylove

    Let's hang onto Summer for as long as we possibly can, ok #teamnatural? (Photo via @heyfranhey )  #indynaturals #naturalistasinnap #productjunkies #naturalhairproducts #indynaturals #naturalistasinnap #indy #curlbox #curlynikki #curlkit @daricerene

    Twist-Out (2nd day hair) #buttercurls #naturalhair #naturalgirlsrock #naturalhairrocks #naturalhairsistas #naturalbeauty #naturalhairmojo #naturalhaircommunity @butter_curls

    Because my real hair is raggety today! #wowafricanhair#wowafrican #bostonnaturals#healthy_hair_journeyhairjourney#naturalhair#gocurls
    #curlyhairinspires#fiercefriday#curlynikki @raenajenks

    When your Bantu knot out is perfect…. @beautywithindaw

    Took me 10 hrs to do this style and I only kept it in for 1 week smh I missed my hair #curlygirlproblems @amia_renee

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    The 3R™ Damaged Hair Restoration System

    By Susan Walker, Founder & Creative Director of Earthtones Naturals 

    If your hair has extensive damage then you’ll definitely want to implement some effective strategies to improve its health. Since there is no way to really permanently repair damaged areas, preventing further damage and addressing existing issues will enhance the look and condition of your hair. I’ve developed a simple 3-step program to successfully accomplish this.

    1. Remove
    This goes without saying. If what you’re doing right now is contributing negatively to the state of your hair then either stop or reduce the frequency with which you are doing it. If you’re wearing your hair in tight ponytails as your go-to style and your hairline is non-existent as a result then you’ll need to find another style. If you’re cleansing your hair with a shampoo that contains harsh sulfates then you’ll need to improve your choice of cleansers. Examine any physical manipulation or chemical processing that is part of your hair care regimen that is contributing to increased damage.

    Read More!>>>

    Common causes of natural hair damage include:

    • Chemical processing 
    • Dyeing hair 
    • Flat ironing or using excessive heat 
    • Over manipulation 
    • Using sulfate rich shampoos 

    2. Repair
    Conditioning is going to be the cornerstone of your program. Conditioners play key roles in enhancing the look and feel of damaged hair. If your hair is dry and brittle then a deep conditioner is your best friend. Intense conditioners that are penetrating are able to enter the hair shaft and deposit proteins and moisturizing agents to assist with repairing damaged areas and hydrate the hair. They can also deposit oils onto the hair or within the hair. Coconut oil is a great oil to look for in a deep conditioner since it can penetrate into the hair shaft and prevent protein loss from the hair. These conditioners are usually left on the hair for 20-30 minutes and can be used with heat for deeper penetration. These should be used every 1-2 weeks for optimal results.

    For severely damaged hair a reconstructor may be needed, especially if the hair is breaking and has lost elasticity. These types of conditioners contain proteins of different molecular weights to fill in cracks in damaged areas on and within the hair shaft. Protein is not your enemy! You do need it in appropriate amounts to provide support and strength to the hair. Monthly reconstructive treatments (if necessary) combined with weekly deep conditioning should effectively improve the condition of your hair.

    3. Replenish
    Moisture is a curly girl’s best friend and after deep conditioning and reconstructive treatments, an effective moisturizer is extremely important. Moisturizers hydrate dry brittle hair and correct moisture imbalances. If hair is dry and brittle then it’s desperately in need of hydration. It’s imperative that lost moisture is replenished in order to minimize damage due to dryness and prevent future occurrences. Water-based products will hydrate the hair and oils can be used to seal in the moisture and replace any lipids that have been removed from the hair from the overuse of sodium lauryl sulfate based shampoos or heat.

    How to Moisturize and Replenish:

    • Try the LOC Method or the LCO Method 
    • Use water based leave-ins and moisturizers 
    • Seal your moisturizers with oil to protect from the elements 

    Lastly, REJOICE! You’re on your way to improving your hair’s condition and having healthier
    looking hair.

    What are your damage-repairing strategies? How effective are they?

    This article was originally published in August 2012 and has recently been updated for grammar and clarity. 

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    So, news flash-- it's going up in the Target hair aisle. Gone are the days where we had to wait a week for the latest and greatest curl cream to show up... now instead of tackling the mailman, we can jump in the car (or in my case, walk across the street!) and have that ish in minutes! #FupSomeCommas #InstantGratificationNation 

    Read On!>>>
    Highly-coveted, natural hair brands are now readily available at your neighborhood Target Store (because of the impact we've made...shuttin' the internets down and all and illustrating our buying power) and while it has become the new normal, we must not forget that this is a relatively new, and much appreciated development.

    At any rate, I'm constantly bombarded with gifted, subscription beauty boxes which I generally have no use for 'cause (1) I've got my Holy Grails already, (2) I feel utterly disrespected when folks have the audacity to want me to pay (or have me ask you to pay) for teeny-tiny sample sizes of conditioner #CanIGet50PacketsOfThemJointsTho, and (3) they're grossly overpriced for what you get. But when I got a non-subscription box in the mail from Target, my curiosity was peaked. The included products were the top sellers in their respective categories, were of a respectful quantity and of course, were readily available at Target in the event that you loved them so much you were moved to cop full sizes.

    My box contained--
    Aquaphor Healing Ointment

    Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White Toothpaste 

    Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner

    Dove Quench Absolute Crème Serum (Full Size)

    SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Caster Oil

    Curls Crème Brulee Whipped Curl Cream
    The Target Beauty Boxes are only $7 and sell out in hours online so you have to move fast! But again, if you miss out, you can always make a trip to Target and get the curated products you want... now! #HeadsUp

    Later Gators,

     sponsored by Target Stores

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    Hola Chicas,

    I'm giving away 6 Conditioning Baskets(worth ~$90 each) this month (September 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 (9/1-9/30, 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 September 30, 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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  • 09/14/15--07:44: CurlyNikki's #AskAway Monday

  • Monday. #PermRodFro #Day4 #VersaceVersace #DC

    Hola Chicas,

    Every Monday morning, I'll be live from the rooftop taking your most burning questions!  If you've got hurr (or whatever and what have you) questions, ask below!

    I'll do my best to get to them all!

    Later Gators,

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    Tina Munzu writes:

    Perm rods are ubiquitous in the natural hair community. Using perm rods can create a vast number of curls from tight to loose, jumbo to little. Watch this video to see 3 easy techniques to create the curl you want using perm rods. The highlighted techniques include 1) The Rollerset Method, 2) The Spiral Method, and 3) The Corkscrew Method.

    Watch Now!>>>

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  • 09/15/15--08:44: Paula Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    I am an Intuitive Body & Lifestyle Designer, proud island girl and I use my Exotic Caribbean Cocktail to help smart, ambitious, results-oriented women develop the mindset, habits and skills to take the necessary actions in order to lose weight (or gain a few pounds), develop tons of self love and unshakable confidence to live a fabulous life, on their terms in bodies they love.


    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I have been both; most recently (2 years ago), I transitioned and having done the big chop prior knew what to expect.
    The journey certainly wasn’t alway smooth because my hair is super thick and it was frustrating.  At times I really felt like shaving my head.
    I love grown to  hair at all stages; however, on reflection; I probably had more fun when my hair was about 2-4 inches long because I experimented a lot more.

    Had you always embraced your texture?
    For the most part, I’d say I have always embraced my texture but on the odd occasion when I am in a hurry I would love to be able to do a wash and go.  My texture does not allow me to do that but I am very grateful for my hair because it is thick and healthy.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    I’ve always had mixed reviews - all unsolicited may I add.

    I believe my family and friends know me well enough to know that I’ll do whatever I want to do anyway.  Some say I’m crazy and don’t know what to do with my hair.  Others say my hair looks great no matter what I do and they wish they had my type of hair. Others ask why I just don’t relax it.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    Super thick; coarse; of a low porosity; healthy looking and often mistaken for a wig or weave.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
    I have done a number of crazy things but the craziest to date has been a full head DIY honey blonde dye job using Clairol Textures and Tones.  Let’s just say that you saw my hair before you saw me.

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    The dreaded flat iron episode which was done by a “Professional” and resulted in heat damage.

    I subsequently relaxed it; enjoyed my hair in that new state for a few months and at the earliest sighting on regrowth cut a few inches off and braided it until my hair braider (thanks Sharon) had enough natural hair to braid before I cut all the relaxed ends off.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    I don’t have a routine per se - I go with the flow.  The only thing that I always do no matter what is deep condition every single time I wash my hair which may happen every 2-3 weeks depending on what I’m up to and how I feel.  If my hair is not doing what I want it to do I’ll co-wash and restyle but this doesn’t happen very often.

    Right now I am loving:
    A natural oil blend of sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and tea tree oil which my cousin put together for me (thanks Kara)
    Vitale Olive Oil Hair Mayonnaise
    Giovanni Direct Leave-In
    Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioning repair cream

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    A big unruly twist out is my all time favorite.  I wish I could wear my hair like this all day everyday.

    I head on over to YouTube, Curly Nikki, Urban Bush Babes or simply type in “natural hair” over at Google whenever I need a bit of inspiration.

    Who is your curl crush?
    Cipriana Quann over at Urban Bush Babes is my hair crush.  Her hair looks healthy and she creates these really interesting structures with it.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    At times I cover my hair with a satin scarf and at times I don’t what I have been doing recently is sleeping on a satin scarf - that’s it.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    I stay hydrated and eat well; I love to see long natural hair but my priority is having healthy hair and if it happens to be long that’s ok too.
    I’m not into tons of products at all; if I find a product that works well, I use it until it’s no longer working for me.

    What's the best thing about being natural?
    By being natural I am being true to myself and honouring who I really am.

    I don’t have to avoid certain activities such as hitting the beach - I would never go to the beach if my hair was freshly relaxed.  I’ve rocked relaxers from the time I was 11 because my hair was long, thick and it was believed that my hair would be more manageable and it was but that came with burns and waiting in a salon for hours.

    Where can folks find you on the web?

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  • 09/15/15--08:44: My Faux Curly Bob

  •  I don't always crave short hair, but when I do,  I roll that ish up and pick it into a bad ass shape.  #FifthDayHurr

    Real quick--

    The #PermRodFro situation.

    Nope, I didn't cut it (significantly).  I still trim monthly, though, to keep this joint at armpit-length.  Any longer and it goes lanky and weird.  Any shorter and none of my go-to styles fall right.  My fine-ass hair does best when kept blunt (except in the back where I like some stacking action), medium-length, stretched and rolled the hell up-- which gives the illusion of volume . Over the last 2 months, the #PermRodFro has become my signature look.   So much so that I almost got it cut into this shape, and then quickly remembered that it only looks good (and big) on me because of the length I have.  The perfect amount of fine hair can do amazing things if you let it be great.


    Get the deets! 

    1.  coconut oil pre-poo for 30 minutes with a plastic cap
    2.  co-wash and detangle with Aussie Moist (first with fingers, then with Bass brush in sections)
    3.  rinse thoroughly and tie on a t-shirt for 10 minutes to handle the drippies

    1.  remove t-shirt and spray on Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Leave-in
    2. divide hair into 4 sections and start with the back-right.  Grab a smaller piece from that section and apply a very liberal amount (I've never got flakes and I use a lot) of Creme of Nature's Argan Oil Foaming Mousse before rolling it on an orange perm rod (the big ass ones), using the corkscrew method illustrated HERE and HERE.  It was actually Michelle's video that inspired me to try the style a few months ago-- I use the same products and roll up extra, extra tight (leaving no air-space between revolutions around the roller)! 
    3.  roll bigger/larger pieces of hair in the back and make sure the roller is taught at the root.  In the front, I roll smaller sections and let the roller dangle a little at the root because it makes for better picking and fluffing later.  All in all, I end up with about 30 rollers.  I tried using smaller rollers in the back but things got weird.  I get consistent results using the same size rollers.
    4.  air dry over night
    5. remove rollers, separate curls and focus the fluffing at the crown, front of the head and just behind the crown.  I leave the sides and back (near the nape) mostly untouched.  I use a metal pick and my scalp massager to create volume.
    6. hit the roots of the crown with a little heat (using an air concentrator attachment).  This creates even more volume and a dramatic, bob-effect since you haven't touched the nape and sides.

     1. Since the damn thing is so shrunken, pineappling would be the death of it.  I simply pass out on my satin pillow case.  Also, since the sides and back aren't fluffed out, I can lay on them with no worries-- all they do is keep their flat/shrunken shape while the top is allowed to be great.
    2. In the morning, if necessary, I smooth on a light oil or serum and go about my day.

    The style lasts for 4-5 days... sometimes longer if I sleep cute.  I like the Creme of Nature products just fine-- Michelle recommended them, they're cheap (the ingredients are too, tho), easy to find and yield shiny, fluffy, long-lasting results.  My hair has never dried crunchy and I'm really heavy-handed. I tried Jane Carter's Twist-Out Foam and Wrap and Roll with crunchy, flaky results. #Nope

    That's all folks,

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    Hola Chicas!

    I got a few messages yesterday telling me that Sheryl Underwood had shouted me out on CBS's The Talk.  Assuming it was a re-run (i.e. the social media firestorm of 2013), I quickly moved on until a clip found its way into my timeline.

    Read On!>>>>
    I watched it today (click here to see the video) and was absolutely floored by the courage, honesty and growth.   I've always wished that when you've made a courageous move in your public life, the people around you will acknowledge it with the same enthusiasm they use to acknowledge your mistakes.  So with that said, I hope that in 2015, Sheryl receives a firestorm of positive support!

    Later Gators,

    Share your comments below! She'll be reading them!

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     Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural

    I started my natural hair journey in 2009 and the number one question I get from other naturalistas is what did I do to grow my hair so long.  My answer? I simply stopped getting relaxers... there's some genetics going on too, though. It's really about length retention and not growth. I always state that just because you stop relaxing your hair, does not always mean it will grow to waist length. Many women become discouraged and disappointed when they do not reach the length they want quickly. Length retention is possible! I will share with you a few of my tips that helped me retain length over the years.

    2011 vs 2014
    Protect Your Ends
    You have to protect those precious ends! The way that I keep my ends protected is always sealing them with oil. I love coconut oil on my hair but there are others that you can use that you may like better (jojoba, olive, grapeseed etc). I usually wear my hair in twists or a high bun. This also protects them because they are tucked out of the way.

    Read On!>>>

    Low Manipulation Styling
    This is a big one for me. I’m a lazy natural and I like to keep it very simple most of the time! I love a rod set sometimes, LOL! I mainly rock twists for a day, then wear my hair out for up to 3 days then bun it until it is wash day. I try not to touch or mess with my hair too much. This helped my hair grow and helped me to retain length.

    Deep Conditioning
    I deep condition my hair at least every other week. I always want to make sure that my hair gets ample amounts of moisture. Deep conditioning helps protect your hair during styling.

    Now this may shock you. I only trim my ends when needed. I am getting my hair straightened this weekend so I will get a trim then. I had my ends trimmed in March of this year as well.

    Gentle Detangling
    I always make sure to use a wide tooth comb and gently detangle my hair. I always detangle my hair in the shower when it is wet. I also finger detangle over detangling with a comb.

    These are some of my techniques and tips on how I retained length during my journey. there is no magic trick to length retention. You just have to build a regimen, stick to it, and be patient.

    What are some of your length retention tips or methods?

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    by Keora Bernard

    Deep conditioning natural, multiethnic hair is one of the most effective ways to achieve one’s hair goals. Deep conditioning makes the hair softer, more pliable, and shinier than a regular conditioning session. If I took a before and after picture of my deep conditioning session, you would immediately understand what I am speaking about. However, how many of us have an effective process to deep condition our hair? Quickly slathering on your favorite conditioner doesn’t always yield the maximum benefits of a deep conditioning session. Here are my tips for getting a deep conditioning session:

    Read On!>>>

     Please Pre-Poo. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, pre-pooing is a process in which naturals use an oil and/or conditioner on their hair before washing it. This process is supposed to minimize shedding and breaking during the washing and styling sessions. The more lubricated your hair is, the easier it will be to work through your strands and the less breakage you’ll have while applying your conditioner of choice.

    Apply Heat. This step is important because it helps open the cuticle of the strand. This is especially pertinent to naturals with low porosity hair since their cuticles are tightly bound. By opening the cuticles, the strands of the hair receive the conditioner and reap the full benefits. You can use a steamer which is a great way of opening up those cuticles, but less expensive options include heating up your deep conditioner or using a plastic cap formulated for deep conditioning. Not to mention, you can get a little body heat from doing housework or taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood.

    Do Section Your Hair. I know some of you naturals are dead set against any type of hair tool but sectioning clips are some kind of wonderful for me. They help me figure out where I am and where I am about to go. Generally, I use three to four clips for my deep conditioning session. Afterwards, I bunch up the section of hair that I am planning to condition and apply conditioner to the ends and entire hair shaft. Once I am done, I twist the hair in at least 12 to 15 sections.

    Finger Detangle First. Out of all the tips I am going to give you, finger detangling is one of the most important. I have seen my hair shedding and breakage cut down in half when I implement finger detangling in my deep conditioning sessions. Using my fingers, and in particular my thumb fingers have saved my precious strands. Even if you want to use a tool then do so. However, my recommendation is using it after your deep conditioning session. Your hair will be more pliable and by taking it a step further and using a leave-in, less hair will be loss.

    Wait It Out. If you slab on some conditioner and only let it sit for 5 minutes then I am afraid you are not really deep conditioning your hair. Generally, deep conditioning sessions are at least 15-30 minutes, and I believe that is if you have a nice amount of heat to open the cuticles. If not, make your session at least an hour. Your hair will thank you for leaving it on a little longer than what the directions say. Just make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly when you’re done.

    It took me about a year to really figure out how to effectively deep condition my hair. I also realized the importance of not performing any shortcuts when doing these sessions because it made a big difference with how my hair looked and felt afterwards. Deep conditioning your hair is a delicate dance which means time and patience are vital. Regardless, your hair will thrive because of it.

    What are your deep conditioning dos and don'ts?!

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    Andrea writes:

    Dear CurlyNikki fam-- I'm sharing a video tutorial demonstrating seven quick and easy style options for your natural hair. I love showing others how they can quickly and easily style their hair to showcase the versatility of curly hair!  Enjoy!

    Watch Now!>>>

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    by Emilia Obiekea of

    The biggest issues for naturals when flat ironing
    -Premature Reversion
    -Maintaining Moisture
    -Avoiding Heat Damage

    Maintaining my hair when I have flat ironed it used to be a losing task. I have found that moisturizing my hair starts before ever applying any direct heat. This is my go to process:

    Read On!>>>
     Preparing the hair for straightening
    *This is done a week before flat ironing.
    1. I prepoo my hair overnight with an infused carrier oil blend. Usually coconut oil.
    2. In the morning lightly detangle to remove shed hair. Wash my hair with a clarifying shampoo.
    3. Do a mid-level protein treatment. I use commercial and diy protein treatments. For more info about the diy version read more here.
    4. Follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioning mask. I apply it and use the hooded dryer for 30 minutes.
    5. Lastly, I use a protein rich leave in conditioner and layer on a blend of ceramide rich oils. This combo is wonderful for reinforcing the strength in hair.
    6. I'm sure to style my hair in low tension and low manipulation styles for the week. This reduces the likelihood of experiencing unnecessary breakage.
    Flat Ironing Process
    1. Prepoo the hair overnight with an infused oil blend. (again)
    2. The following morning detangle and cleanse with a moisturizing shampoo. Since I only used water soluble ingredients, the week prior, there's no need for another clarifying shampoo wash.
    3. Use a moisturizing deep conditioner for 30 minutes under a hooded dryer. Allow the conditioner to cool completely before rinsing out with cool water.
    These are the most vital steps to lock in the moisture
    1. While the hair is lightly damp apply an anti-humectant moisturizer.
    2. Apply an oil blend + a silicon based serum. Be sure not to use any carrier oils that are heavy (ex: castor oil). Heavy oils weight the hair down. I like to use Daily Dew oil.
    3. Detangle from the ends to the roots. Twist the hair. Let it air dry in the twist. This prevents it from tangling.
    4. Once fully dry section the hair. Flat iron at no higher than 250° in small sections using the chase method. Do not do more than 2 passes with the flat iron. The temp for the flat iron is up to you. Generally there's no need to go above 350°.
    You can blow dry the hair prior to flat ironing if you like. I do not like to use direct heat often and i find that there is no need to blowdry before straightening. I've never had heat damage or premature reversion with this method. Also my hair remained moisturized for 2 weeks due to this process.
    This process addresses and resolves all 3 of the main issues we naturals have with straightened hair. Give it a try and let us know how well it has worked for you as well.

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  • 09/17/15--08:05: Mia Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    I am 29 years old and am a professional commercial print model.

    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I was actually in transition for about 5 months until I got impatient with the two textures so I eventually did the big chop and have gone all natural now for 2 months and loving my natural hair!


    Had you always embraced your texture?
    Yes, I have always loved my natural hair texture. When I first began growing it out it was much healthier and easier to maintain than the unhealthy relaxed ends. So I figured might as well be all healthy.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    My friends and family all were in shock not that I had went natural but the fact that I had chopped most of my hair off. My co-workers of course were shocked because they were so use to seeing me with long straight hair they did not know how to accept it at first. But I simply showed that this is the new me and I want to be natural and embrace my curls.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    Sense not using relaxers my hair is much thicker and softer. It takes in water and moisture products much better than before when it was relaxed. I have NO split ends and heat damage. And I rock a cute TWA!!

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    Not the craziest thing I’ve ever done because many women do it but I highlighted it. And I used the bleach blonde highlights which damaged my hair. My hair began to split at the ends and dry out easily. I had lost most of my length which is the reason why I was happy to go natural. Less hair on the bathroom floor.

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    Other than the highlights I have no hair regrets!

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    I wash and condition my hair with Shea Moisture super fruite twice a week and deep condition with hot castor oil on the weekends. I like to wear my hair in little curls to work so I use curl smoothie by Shea Moisture for that. On the weekends I like to try different styles by slicking my sides down with alcohol free gel and do a little Mohawk.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My favorite style is curly TWA. I mostly get my ideas from Pintrest and Curly Nikki.

    Who is your curl crush?
    I have to say my curl crush is singer Elle Varner. I absolutely love her natural hair. It’s big, exotic and fierce!

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    At night I like to wrap it with a silk wrap to avoid snatching and losing any moisture to my pillow.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    I maintain my length by not wearing weaves as much that can snatch my hair or pull it and cause a lot of stress. I don’t use any heat on my hair or any products with sulfate and alcohol that can dry my hair out. I use castor oil to help with growth as well.

    What's the best thing about being natural?
    The best thing about being natural is not having to use chemicals. Knowing my hair is healthy and that it will now grow its longest and healthiest at its natural state.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    I can be found on Face book as Mia Goins. I will soon have my own website to promote myself as a professional model.

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     by GG Renee of

    In which I take my own advice and just start writing.

    Because I know that I desperately need to shut my mind up and open up to my soul.  Here, in this space, I need to reconnect.  Getting back to the days when I would write blog posts that weren't planned, that weren't centered around a product launch or a series, but were necessary simply because the words needed to come out and be felt.  Sometimes my words are little warriors, and I send them out to look for signs of life when I'm fighting a battle.  Is anyone else out there fighting this battle, too?  Let's fight together.  This is what they whisper, in between the lines.
    Read On!>>>

    My battles aren't like they used to be.  There's no drama or chaos.  I'm not fighting with anyone.  My battles now take place between my heart and my mind as I make decisions and choose my steps and protect my energy.  As I go through my day and face all kinds of distractions, I'm holding fast to what I believe, staying open, flowing freely and being intentional about what I do and where I put myself.  Unwanted situations come and go, but my battles are only ever with myself.

    I see other ambitious women out there doing a million zillion things at once -- clients, workshops, traveling, networking, creating, promoting and more.  This energy first inspires me, then it overwhelms me.  Honestly, my head starts to spin and I burn out quickly when I catch myself drifting into that lane.  But when I sit still and look inside, I know that I want to write books and learn how to garden and get serious about yoga again and most of all, soak up every moment of my kids' childhoods because it's all passing by so quickly.

    So I tell myself:

    Your gifts are different. 
    Your desires are different.
    Your reasons are different.
    Your methods are different.
    So of course your path will be different.
    Stop comparing yourself.

    I'll be 38 in November.  I'm not confused about what I want anymore.  I want simplicity.  I want creative freedom and purpose.  I want space and clarity.  I want sustainability and security.  I want privacy and escape. I left the rat race for a reason. God forbid I create another one for myself by getting caught up in what other people are doing.

    Remembering who I am and what I want gave me the conviction to get back to writing.  So here comes my third book. This book is jealous of the rest of my life and it feels like I should be spending all my time writing.  Anytime I work on something else I feel like I'm cheating, like the book is going to spite me when I come back to it by not letting itself be written.   I joke, but every creative project develops a shadow at some point in the process, as you face your own resistance to pouring it out.  The only way to outsmart my doubts is to get out of my head and let myself breathe through the words.  Don't think about the writing.  Write.  This is also true for life.  Don't overthink it.  Live. Learn as you go.  Shape as you go.  Create as you go.  Do it naturally.  Do it without fear.

    I'm changing.  I'm becoming this person I've seen in the distance for a long time.  Day by day, the picture evolves and becomes a little clearer.  I'm seeing certain things up close and realizing that they aren't what they seemed when I was looking from far away.   The details look different, the textures feel different, but it's all still somehow familiar.  This...stripping, this constant process of becoming who you already are, makes life so trippy and ironic. I've spent years going through complicated, messy things to now recognize and appreciate the simple life I've always wanted.

    Simplicity requires creativity. Use more of what you already have and be more of who you already are. 

    Listen.  I wrote most of this freestyle, so I hope the message comes across >>  Remember who you are and don't get caught up.  Love you, Lovers.  If this message speaks to you, connect with me below.

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    Sandalwood has a multitude of traditional uses in Ayurvedic medicine as well as traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Popular in cultural and spiritual ceremonies, sandalwood was treasured in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Egyptians used it in embalming while the wood was made into furniture and caskets. There is no doubt that sandalwood has earmarked a place of dignity and respect in several civilizations and religions around the world. 

    Sandalwood essential oil comes from the heartwood of the Santalum tree, which is a heiparasitic evergreen that grows by joining the root system of other trees. It belongs to the Santalaceae family and is among the oldest-known materials used for its exotic scent. The oil is high in sespuiterpenes, which relaxing for the nervous system and has been used for centuries to enhance meditation. This oil is used for meditation, fragrance, and cosmetics.

    Read On!>>>
     What is sandalwood essential oil? 

    The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of pieces of the wood from matured sandalwood trees in the age ranges of 40 to 80 years old. The 80-year-old trees are preferred because the older the tree, the more oil available and the aroma is more pronounced. This woodsy smelling oil ranges in color from yellow to pale gold. It has several magnificent characteristics that make it highly useful and beneficial for health and wellness.

    Benefits of sandalwood essential oil

    For your body
    There are plenty of benefits this adjoining root system tree has to offer. It contains antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, cicatrisant, carminative, diuretic, disinfectant, expectorant, and hypotensive properties. With a list that impressive and vast, it is no wonder it was highly prized and used. It is excellent at cleansing, suitable for all skin types, and especially useful for chapped, dry, and even sensitive or inflamed skin.

    Excellent for skin, sandalwood oil will soften and restore the skins ability to retain moisture. Powerful for relieving rashes and inflammation, sandalwood oil will also aid in scar fading, healing eczema, psoriasis, and soothing acne. Sandalwood essential oil blends well with bergamot, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rose, and ylang-ylang.
    For your hair
    This antiseptic property in this fragrant essential oil is excellent for stimulating blood circulation in the scalp to encourage optimal hair growth. It has been used in ancient Indian medicine to increase shine and prevent hair dryness. The astringent in sandalwood oil is quite useful in getting rid of excess sebum secretions for those with an oily scalp. Relieve your dandruff-ridden scalp with by mixing sandalwood with a carrier oil and applying it to the scalp before a shampoo.

    How to use it

    Here are a few recipes and products that take the powerful and asset-filled sandalwood essential oil for your curls.
    • Sandalwood hair sheenAdd around 4 to 8 drops of sandalwood essential oil to jojoba oil and apply to dry hair, concentrating heavily on the ends after a shower. This will help to retain moisture and enhance sheen.
    • Sandalwood dry hair rinseAdd a few drops of sandalwood essential oil to your final rinse water and rinse hair. Condition and style as usual.
    • Sandalwood hair massage oilAdd drops of sandalwood oil to carrier oil and massage in circular motion in scalp. This will soothe, cleanse, and reduce inflammation in the scalp while increasing blood flow to nourish the hair follicles.  No need to rinse and can be done at night a few times a week for promoting a healthier scalp.

    Products with sandalwood oil

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  • 09/18/15--02:00: How to Cheat a Roller Set

  • Tina Munzu writes:

    For me, rollersets are synonymous with relaxed hair. Every two weeks I used to walk into a salon with limp, dirty hair and walk out with fluffy, voluminous curls, thanks to a rollerset. Like our relaxed counterparts, there is a place too for rollersets in the curly girl's regimen. Rollersets offer a great alternative to stretching the hair without the damaging use of a blow dry and flat iron.

    Unfortunately, I could never successfully install magnetic rollers on my own. So I found an easy way to cheat and achieve great results. Check it out!

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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.!

    She requested 'rock star' status on this glorious Friday, so I obliged with a couple of wild ponytails (the result of shea butter only after a curlformer set (using Giovanni Direct) a week ago)).  The faux leather jacket is from Tarjay!  xx
    Curls for Days.  #indynaturals #naturalistasinnap #productjunkies #naturalhairproducts @daricerene

     I pray everyone has a Blessed day. Hair: Two strand twist out using @miss_jessies curly meringue. I fell in love with the buttercreme so I decided to try this one out as well. The meringue reminds me of a curling cream and gel in one. A little goes a long way as well. So that's a plus @curlssodope

    This photo was taken right after we got rained on at @essencemag #StreetStyle Block Party. The rain gave my bob way more volume for some reason. I'll take it!@_cebelamour_

    From earlier this week. @vintage_curl

    WHOAAA 32,000 SUBBIES ! Like my FACEBOOK Page ( LiveNaturallyLove) to stay connected with me! & hints for my next video @livenaturallylove

    A throwback because I want to and I am cleaning my camera roll out. #curlsgalore #trialsntresses #day5washngo #curlynikki @kayshari88

    #fiercefriday #curlynikki Taking a selfie work break. Curls products featuring blueberry twist cream @cabernetkinksncoils

    That one #washandgo using #mielleorganics co-wash that turned out absolutely amazing!!! #FBF| SB- Life is awesome when you make God your focal point.  verything else is secondary these days... EVERYTHING. @posh_syd

    Natural girls do it better....duh! In LOVE with my hair. Think I'll rod it tonight. #naturalhair #curlbox #curlynikki #kinksandcurls #texture #relaxerfree @sewyayamua

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  • 09/21/15--01:00: Should I Oil My Scalp?

  •   by Kanisha of

    Scalp care is a very important part of natural hair care. Sometimes we tend to focus on the health of our strands and neglect paying close attention to scalp health and maintenance.

    Read On!>>>
    Lately there’s been a lot of talk in the natural hair community about sebum, which is an oily/waxy matter produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum lubricates the skin and hair in order to keep it from drying out. Sebum (is supposed to) work its way down the hair shaft and lubricate your strands. Because of this, many naturals choose not to oil their scalps because they find it isn’t necessary, thanks to sebum production.

    It wasn’t until after years of oiling my scalp that I learned some naturals find it counter-productive or unnecessary. After giving those theories some serious thought and re-examining my own hair regimen, I decided that oiling my scalp is still a definite do for me. Here’s why:

    1. Sebum’s cool and all, but…

    It’s not enough. Despite a healthy washing & moisturizing routine, I still found that my scalp would become slightly itchy at times when I didn’t oil it. No one likes a dry scalp: it looks and feels absolutely horrible. So even though the sebum is there, I still think it needs a little assistance.
    2. It feels good.
    If you’ve put oil on your scalp before, you know how amazing it feels! It’s calming and soothing, and it gives my scalp a much-needed boost after taking down a style. It’s like a special treat at the end of the day and I find that I actually look forward to it.

    3. I’m a protective styling queen.

    When your hair’s in box braids 80% of the time (like mine), oiling your scalp is your best friend. After moisturizing my scalp with a spritz, I always follow up with an oil. I do this a few times a week; it keeps me from having to moisturize daily and helps preserve the hair underneath.
    4. Scalp massages.
    I always use oil to facilitate my scalp massages. I’ve tried doing them without an oil and let’s just say I seriously thought I was about to start a fire in my head. The oil aids in stimulating the scalp and for me, is a necessary step in my healthy hair growth journey.

    5. It works for me.

    I don’t oil my scalp everyday- usually 3x a week. I’ve been natural for 5 years now. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’ve learned from them all. My hair is now the longest, thickest, and healthiest it’s ever been. So I know very well now not to try and fix something that isn’t broken just because it worked for someone else. As long as it continues to be beneficial to my hair, oiling my scalp will always be apart of my regimen.

    If you do choose to oil your scalp, here are a few tips to follow:

    *Stick to pure, light, and natural oils like jojoba, avocado, olive, or coconut oil that can penetrate and won’t weigh your hair down. You can even mix oils if you like- I do it all the time.
    Castor oil is great for your edges but you may not want to use it on your scalp because it’s extremely heavy.

    *Always put your oil in a bottle with a nozzle tip. This will give you control over how much oil you apply so you won’t overdo it.

    *Don’t over-oil your scalp. You more than likely don’t need to oil your scalp everyday. Listen to your hair and respond to its needs. 

    Do you oil your scalp?

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  • 09/22/15--00:30: 5 Quick Natural Hair Styles
  • Stephanie writes:

    I am a fairly new natural hair Youtuber. While creating this video, my goal was to provide a variety of unique, cute, and simple hairstyles that people can try when their intended styles don't come out as planned.  This is also for those who have no clue how to style their natural hair, and for those who are just looking to switch up their hairstyles. In this video, I show exactly how to do 5 quick and easy hairstyles that can be done on any length and texture of hair!

    Watch Now!>>>

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