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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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    by Kanisha of BlackNaps.org

    Lately, I’ve really been loving twisted updos for the fall/winter protective styling season. It’s fun to see how other naturals manipulate their hair to create these fabulous updos. Plus, there isn’t much of a learning curve because the hairdo is more dependent on our own personal creativity and style.

    Read On!>>>


    Here are 3 little reasons twisted updos are awesome:

    1. They can last a week or two, which cuts down on styling time and hair manipulation.

    2. They help keep the hair moisturized without having to reapply often since the hair is tucked away.

    3. Upon takedown, it’s easy to transition this style into another (if you so desire) by simply adding misting with water and re-styling.

    When watching the tutorials below, still keep it interesting by adding your own flair and doing what you feel like looks best on you: this could be adding a bang, a little eyeshadow for a pop of color, an accessory, etc. Having fun with your style makes protective styling easier!

    As always, be sure to start on freshly washed, conditioned, deep conditioned, and detangled hair.

    Check out the following twisted updos, courtesy of TiffanyNicholsDesign and TheChicNatural:



    What protective styles have you tried this season? Let us know!

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  • 12/01/15--07:35: Adriane Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!  
    I am a natural-hair wife and mother of two natural-hair teens, ages 14 and 18, who have been natural since birth.

    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like? 
    I BC’d 5 years ago.  After moving to coastal Alabama, I quickly grew tired of daily battling the frizzies with chemically straightened hair. I decided to chop it all off instead of transitioning. I am not that patient.

    READ MORE>>
    Had you always embraced your texture? 
    Yes I have; all of them!  I have four different types of hair on my head.  Of course sometimes we long for what we don’t have. I would love to have a more dense fro. No product will make that happen.  I love my curly/wavy combination hair.


    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? 
    My family and friends’ reactions were mixed.  Some couldn’t believe I cut all that long, pretty hair off, while others immediately stated that natural hair was so me.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)  
    My hair is very fine.  For this reason, I always get that “you have good hair” comment. ALL hair is good hair is what I say to this statement.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
     I wouldn’t say I have ever done anything crazy, although some would beg to differ I’m sure.  I have played with a number of colors over the years that sometimes come out right and sometimes not.  I rock it either way; I've never corrected color mishaps.


    What’s your biggest hair related regret? 
    My BIGGEST regret would be getting that relaxer.

    What's your current hair routine?   
    I wash my hair and condition at least twice a week.  I, like most naturals, was a product junkie.  Now I use whatever is around or what I have coupons for.  Currently I wash and condition with Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion color care line.  I twist while wet with Cantu Coconut Curling Cream.  I MAY let my roots dry with the hooded dryer, but mostly I air dry. I two-strand twist nightly and cover with that ole faithful black bonnet!


    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration? 
    I am now wearing a frohawk and I must say it is my fave cut to date.  I am inspired by my need of non-complacency. I have to switch it up!

    Who is your curl crush?  
    My hair crush for life has been “Freddie” from Different World!!! So much so my kids middle names are Cree and Summer.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?  
    I two-strand twist my hair nightly and oil it every other night.  I sleep in my bonnet.

    How do you maintain healthy length?  
    Being that I’ve bc’d five times, I don’t care much about length.  I prefer shorter hair.  However, at shoulder length I would make sure my ends were sealed every other  night with shea butter when I twisted it.

    What's the best thing about being natural?  
    The best thing about being natural is it’s the most “me” I’ve ever felt, just unique.  It is a great thing to see more of my sistas embracing our God-given textures.  We’re just like finger prints, no two are exactly the same…no duplicates!

    Where can folks find you on the web?  
    Adriane Kuykendall Latham on Facebook and @mzadriane on Instagram


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    Do you know what damaged hair looks like, feels like, and even acts like? Often, we get used to the way our hair behaves (or doesn’t) and ignore the signs of true damage. Bald patches, clumps of hair falling out, or thinning edges — these are easy to spot. But what about the other, less-obvious signs that your hair is in serious trouble?

    If you comb, brush, shampoo, chemically straighten, or use heat-styling tools or permanent color, the fact is, you are in some way or another harming your hair. Even pulling your hair into a ponytail too often can be destructive. Before you throw your hands up in the air and surrender, know that it is possible to prevent this damage. You just have to know what to look for.

    Read On!>>>

     
    Split Ends

    Easily mistaken for frizz, split ends are the damaged tips of the hair shaft that have split into two or three fragments. The ends are the oldest part of your hair and tend to grow increasingly porous over time, which is why many naturally curly girls emphasize oiling their ends. If your hair looks full and voluminous at the roots and much thinner at the ends, your ends are probably damaged. Getting a trim and focusing on moisturizing hair care are crucial to staving off further issues.

    Lack of Elasticity

    Hair is elastic, especially when wet, but one of the biggest problems with elasticity loss is that it can sometimes be hard to diagnose. Healthy hair has a high level of elasticity, and this is what gives hair its body, bounce, and texture formation. Elasticity is what makes hair styling possible and is a telltale sign of hair health.

    To test if your hair has lost its elasticity, stretch a strand while it's wet. If a strand breaks with little to no stretching, it may need more moisture. If it stretches a bit and then returns to its natural state, you have normal elasticity. If it stretches more than usual and then breaks, or feels limp and mushy between your fingers, then it needs protein. It’s important to have a balance of moisture and protein in our hair, and the best way to do this is with protein treatments. (Ideally, have yours administered by a professional, as too much protein can also cause damage.)

    High Porosity

    Porosity is how easily hair (like a sponge) can absorb moisture and chemicals, and damaged hair is more porous than healthy hair. Chemical treatments like coloring, chemical straighteners, and heat applications can cause hair to become overly porous. If you dye your hair, then you may have noticed the dye absorbing or processing more quickly on hair that is damaged than on the healthy parts of your hair. The flip side of that problem is that the color may fade more quickly in the highly porous sections every time you cleanse.

    The best way to prevent this damage is to decrease the chemicals and heat-styling products in your life. Since damaged hair is more vulnerable when wet, try styling or manipulating it when it’s dry and consider damp detangling to cause less damage. Incorporate protein treatments to add strength to the hair and temporarily close holes in the hair’s cuticle. Deep-condition and consider using apple cider vinegar and aloe vera to restore the hair's pH balance. Then,seal with an oil to help retain as much moisture as possible.

    Dry, Brittle, Lack Of Moisture

    Healthy hair is soft and supple and should never be dry and brittle. Not sure why your hair is dry no matter what you do? Consider these questions:

    1. Are you deep-conditioning after cleansing? You should.

    2. Are you protecting your curls at night by using a satin scarf or satin bonnet or sleeping on a satin pillowcase? You should.

    3. Are you drying your hair with a blowdryer on high heat? You shouldn’t.

    4. Do you incorporate oils into your regimen with pre-poos, hot oil treatments, or sealers? Maybe this is the time.

    Pick up a couple strands of your hair and run your fingers through it from root to tip. If it feels rough, that is a sign of dryness and possible damage. Do this test the day after washing your hair, as dryness can also be an indication of product buildup. Sometimes, dryness can be caused by the weather, hormone changes, or even medications, but often it’s simply too much heat, chemical treatments, or not properly moisturizing and conditioning your hair.

    Unruly Tangles

    Textured hair is more prone to tangling than straight hair is. If you are doing all the right things in your detangling session and are still wrestling with unruly tangles, then your hair may be damaged. This is a sign that you’re likely dealing with a few of the issues above; dry hair with roughened cuticles and frayed split ends is likely to snag and form knots. And, if your hair lacks elasticity, it will likely snap as you attempt to remove those knots. This calls for more frequent deep-conditioning and is potentially a sign that it’s time for a trim. Even if you want long hair, you can’t reach mermaid status by holding onto damaged strands that need to go.

    You know your own hair. If it was soft and full before and now it’s dull, thinning, tangled, and will not hold a style, then you know something isn’t right. If it feels different, looks different, or your old products just aren’t doing the trick, investigate to see if you have any damaging habits — and then stop doing them! Your hair will thank you.

    How can you tell when you're dealing with damage?

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    LiveNaturallyLove writes:

    I have created 3 chic, sleek, and protective updo styles perfect for the upcoming holidays and cold months! I wanted to create elegant protective styles that could be worn to any formal gathering or for work and school! 4C hair is chic and elegant too and I would love to share how!

    Watch Now!>>>




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    What is Black Seed Oil?
    According to Oil Health Benefits, Black Seed Oil has strong medicinal benefits when used as part of a regular regimen. This highly concentrated oil is made up of tiny black colored seeds that are commonly called "black cumin" but are scientifically called nigella sativa.

    It is dissimilar from popular natural hair oils like coconut and olive oil because it is an essential oil. Natural lifestyle enthusiasts call this the "cure for everything except death."

    Read On!>>>


    When it is 100% pure, unrefined, and cold-pressed, black seed oil is sourced from Indian or Turkish seeds made up of powerful Nigellone, and Thymoquinone--two antihistamines.

    Other common names
    -nigella sativa oil
    -black cumin
    -Roman coriander
    -fennel flower
    -nutmeg flower
    -black caraway

    Black Seed Oil benefits
    Since it is anti-inflammatory, black seed oil is great when diluted with a carrier oil to soothe scalp conditions that cause inflammation, flakiness, and sensitivity. It also kills viruses and fungal infections, so those with lice can benefit. Like lavender, citrus, and rosemary essential oils, black seed oil is an adjuvant, meaning it works well with other ingredients to provide therapeutic effects. Put a few drops in a fragrance lamp or mist some on your pillow and linens to give you a restful, relaxing night. You may also put a few dabs of your diluted black seed oil to your temples to ease a headache and lower your blood pressure. Black seed oil is anti-rheumatic, so it is extremely effective in giving relief to joint issues that come with age and athleticism.

    As far as natural hair goes, black seed oil may help in regrowing certain thinning areas on your scalp. Massage 1 part black seed oil with 2 parts olive oil vigorously onto your bald patches to encourage hair growth. Rinse out afterwards with a cleansing conditioner.

    DIY Black Seed Hair Loss Remedy
    Try this recipe from The Blessed Seed to regrow your thinning edges using black seed oil.

    1. Add 2 handfuls of black cumin seeds to 5 cups of water.
    2. Boil for 10 minutes. Let it cool down.
    3. Strain the seeds.
    4. Pour the black cumin water into a glass jar.
    5. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
    6. Massage this mixture to your scalp at least twice a week.
    7. Let it stay on your scalp for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then wash your hair.
    8. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 weeks maximum (without preservatives).
    Black Seed Oil Products
    Here is what reviewers have to say about these black seed oil products.

    Sweet Sunnah Organic Black Seed Rosemary Carrot Hair Oil, $11.99
    "This oil is truly amazing, I have hair loss and a bald area on the top of my head. I have been using this oil for 2 weeks, there is new growth in that area already. And my hair is getting thicker also. I am amazed and so happy with these results, when I researched this oil at the manufacturer's website its stated that it would accelerate hair growth. But products don't always live up to their hype. This is a genuine hair growth oil. The smell is a little strong, but I don't mind it and it really moisturizes." 
    - Amazon.com user M. Barth

    "I use this product when I do hot oil treatments and i will oil my scalp with it at night. I use it every other night to moisturize my edges before applying my scarf. I have not seen any additional or extraordinary hair growth. I think that it is a good moisturizer and very healthy addition to my regimen. Unsure if i will continue to repurchase, The container is small." - Amazon user D. Taylor

    Amazing Herbs Cold Pressed Black Seed Oil 500mg Softgels, $12.80
    "I mix black seed oil with virgin coconut oil and use it on my skin and hair and it's truly miraculous. As nearly prohibitive as the price is, I'd be a fool NOT to cut it but the black seed oil shines right on through the coconut oil. I put some of my mixture on my son's skin with his eczema and chronic itchy skin and it kept his skin moisturized, healed his scratch marks where he'd scratched his skin up in his sleep and left him with a wonderful glow. I use it on my skin and hair as well and I love it. I also consume the oil on sprouted grain bread. The oil has a peppery/citrusy taste and is quite different from any other oil that I've ever tasted but there is no denying that if you care about your health, you must have this oil." - Amazon.com user Me, that's who
    Halal Every Day Pure Black Seed Oil, $24

    "I've been using black seed oil for about A month now and I can definitely see changes. I mix one teaspoon of black seed oil with one teaspoon of virgin olive oil and rub it on my face everyday. My skin is smoother to the touch and all of my blemishes are fading, all together my skin looks healthier and cleaner. I also drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with one teaspoon of black seed oil every other day and my energy has sky rocketed. The mornings before my workout (Cardio) I mix about one teaspoon of black seed oil, natural honey, cinnamon and a very small amount of water. This mix is said to boost energy and burn fat fast. This oil is amazing!" - Amazon.com user Smith, Q

    Would you try black seed oil?

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    Jewe Jewe Bee writes:

    I hope that you're having a great holiday season! I just uploaded a video about my natural hair journey.  It shows how I started from the bottom with my hair struggles that I faced while I had chemical and heat damage, as well as my transformation 6 years later!

    Continue! >>>


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    by Charlene Walton ofTexturedTalk.com

    Before now using glycerin for natural hair had always been a tricky topic for me. I sort of understood the purpose of the ingredient in hair products but I was still lost on the whole weather, dew point aspect. Like many, I saw other popular bloggers and vloggers using glycerin for natural hair, creating DIY recipes so I figured why not. Glycerin is also listed in about every product I own so I figured the ingredient…couldn’t hurt right?

    The good news is ever since I started blogging I’ve become way more informed about the science behind growing and maintaining healthy natural hair and my research game is on another level. (Yay me!) Instead of just taking someone else’s word, I now seek out additional information to form my judgement. Now I know everyone doesn’t have time for that, which is why you are here so let’s dive right in! And if you were completely lost after reading the first paragraph then definitely keep reading.

    Read On!>>>

    What is Glycerin? (The Scientific Breakdown)
    Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a thick, odorless clear liquid derived naturally from plant oils such as palm, soy or coconut oil or synthetically from petroleum. Chemically, glycerin is a water-soluble conditioning sugar alcohol with 3 hydrogen bonding properties, making the substance great as a moisturizer in other products besides just hair care. Glycerin is commonly used in the creation of soaps, toiletries, drugs, and some beverages as a sweetener and preservative. Trust me the list goes on and on.

    How Does Glycerin Work?

    Without inundating you with too much scientific lingo glycerin at the core is a type of humectant, which means it attracts moisture to itself. The hydrogen bonding properties of humectants attract water from the atmosphere bringing moisture to the hair and ultimately improves moisture retention for the hair. As a result, Glycerin and other humectants are widely popular in products that promote ridding yourself of dry, thirsty hair. Glycerin is also used as a thickening agent in many products to create the nice fully texture I absolutely love.
     
    Glycerin, Humidity and Your Hair
    While glycerin has an immense ability to attract moisture to the hair it also has the reverse effect. Everything is about balance. On extremely humid days too much moisture can be attracted to your hair causing the hair to swell and frizz. However, on low humidity days (cold, dry days) where the surrounding air is more dry than your hair, the opposite occurs. Moisture is drawn from the hair back into the air to balance the moisture in the atmosphere.

    Think of it this way…it’s not about YOU at all but, the balance of moisture in the atmosphere.

    Hopefully that makes sense. If not, let’s run it back again. On high humidity days moisture from the air is drawn TO other things for balance and on low humidity days moisture is drawn FROM things back into the air for balance.

    How do you know if the humidity is high or low outside? Most weather apps will plain out list the humidity % or the dew point. The higher the dew point, the more moisture is in the air.
    So What’s the Big Deal About Glycerin and Natural Hair?

    The big deal is ingredients matter. Your environment matters. And your specific hair needs and texture matter. If you have extremely dry hair glycerin can be your best friend, when used correctly. Too much glycerin if not correctly diluted can leave the hair feeling sticky due to the thick viscosity of the ingredient. Luckily products containing glycerin have already done the hard part for you mixing all the great ingredients together. However, pay special attention to the order of how ingredients are listed. Companies label ingredients based on order of dominance, meaning the first ingredient is more prevalent in the product, then the second and so forth. Depending on what my hair needs, the climate outside, and the style I want to achieve I know whether or not I need to use a product that contains a lot of glycerin or just a little.

    For example, last week I twisted my hair with Cantu Coconut Curling Cream where glycerin is the second ingredient listed. Not only did my hair not dry all the way, but the next morning was a rainy, warm spring day filled with lots of humidity. My hair frizzed before I even made it from the parking lot to my office. In retrospect, I should have probably used more of a twisting butter, for example Karen’s Body Beautiful Super Duper Hydrating Cream where vegetable glycerin is the second to last ingredient. Both great products but serve two purposes for me depending on the day.
     
    How to Create a DIY Glycerin Curl Refresher Spray:
    As mentioned above, many women create their own glycerin mix to refresh curls or the hair daily. Here’s a quick recipe I’ve tried before as well mixing in a spray bottle. Feel free to play around with the ingredients to get the right concoction for your texture but just remember to ALWAYS dilute glycerin with water.

    -1/2 Cup of distilled water
    -1/2 Cup of Rosewater
    -2 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin
    -1 teaspoon of olive oil

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  • 12/03/15--07:36: Delmaine is Naturally Glam!


  • Tell me about yourself!
    Hi. My name Is Delmaine Donson. I am a 24 year old photographer and image editor from Cape Town, South Africa, and I love all things natural.

    Were you a transitioner or a big chopper?
    I was a transitioner. I transitioned with box braids for about one year and 3 months before cutting off all my relaxed ends.

    READ MORE>>
    Have you always embraced your texture?
    Oh definitely not!!! I hated my hair. It never grew past shoulder length. I didn’t really know what my natural texture was until like a year ago when I went completely natural. I got my first relaxer at 4 years old so relaxed hair was all I knew. 


    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them?
    After doing so much research on natural hair I was so sure that I wanted to go natural that I didn’t really care about what anyone else had to say about it, but I didn’t get any negative reactions from anyone. Everyone loves my hair☺

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    Ihave really coarse, thick low porous hair (too much to handle sometimes).

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
    This is going to sound crazy but there was this one time I ran out of gel so I use golden syrup to lay down my edges. Don’t judge me. Ha ha.


    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    Uhhmm relaxing and flat ironing the hell outta it!!!!

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    My hair is in box braids right now. What I do right now with the braids in is every night before bed I spritz my hair with a water and conditioner mix and I oil it with tea tree oil every second night then bun it up, put my satin bonnet on then head to bed.

    When my hair is out of braids I water only wash and deep condition my hair once a week. Then I usually do a braid out and style in the morning once it’s all dry. 


    I looooooove Aunt Jackie’s curls and coils products!!! Especially Aunt Jackie’s Curl la la Defining Curl Custard.... Yummy! My hair absolutely loves this product. It’s so moisturizing and makes my hair feel and look so soft and smooth and shiny. I also use Shea butter and a lot of different kinds of oils like organic coconut oil and tea tree oil. 


    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My hair is usually in a bun or pineapple when it’s not in braids because its still in that awkward phase, not long but not short and the shrinkage on my type 4 hair is crazy! For protective styling I LOVE box braids!!! I love how easy it is to style. I love that its low maintenance. I love how it protects my ends from breaking off and I mostly love seeing how much my hair has grown once I take it out. I will definitely wear my hair out more when it’s longer. I get my hairstyle inspiration from Pinterest and YouTube

    Who is your curl crush?
    Can I name like 3? ☺ Addisa Goldman, ItsMyRayeRaye, and Tasha Green. I have a million more but I’m just going to name those 3 ladies.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    I always make sure my hair is in a satin bonnet when I sleep.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    A lot of moisture. Just making sure my hair never feels too dry. Keeping my ends protected by doing a lot of protective styling. I also drink a lot of water and workout as much as I can. 


    What's the best thing about being natural?
    Literally everything! I love the versatility. I feel like I look so much better with my hair natural. I’ve never felt prettier and more comfortable. Just knowing that my hair is healthy and growing is a really good feeling. To me this whole process of going natural was just a time of self-discovery. Just learning to love me in my most natural state has truly been liberating.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
     Facebook: Delmaine Donson Instagram: @delmainedonson 

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    source: getty images

    by Emilia Obiekea of Adorebotanicals.com

    Yes it's December! New Years is right around the corner! Time to start working on those resolutions. Some we keep and others we don't. I've realized it is much easier to keep resolutions when they are simple and realistic. We won't dramatically morph into a new person at midnight....we can take steps to get there starting with our hair care.

    Try out a few of mine below!

    Read On!>>>

    1. Reevaluate your current regimen. If something isn't working change it.
    2. Accept your hair. No one's hair is perfect and that's what makes it perfect.
    3. Cleanse and condition regularly. Try to do this once a week or biweekly. Deep condition for 15-30 mins each wash day.
    4. Try something new! New cut, color or both. It is nice to switch it up. Styling ruts are never fun.
    5. Clean out the closet and give back. Donate unused or gently used products to local women's shelters or soldiers overseas. Throw out the rest (especially if expired).
    6. Get new hair tools. Combs, shears and brushes do not last forever. They become damaged by normal wear and tear. Hair can snag on them in that state. No bueno. Replace tattered bonnets and scarves too...we've all had one lol toss it out.
    7. Accessorize your situation. Get new hair accessories, earrings and other items to switch up your look.
    8. Restock and Discover. Restock your favorite products and discover new ones. Try new brands.
    9. Heat isn't the enemy. Straightening the hair once in a while is nice. You can do blow outs and flat ironing. Be sure to always use heat protectant, chase method and minimal amounts of heat.
    10. Don't fuss. If your hair regimen is too much then make it more low maintenance. Being natural isn't supposed to be a chore. It is you being you...enjoy it!
    What resolutions will you be making. Share them in the comments below.

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    We all have hair crushes myself included and there is nothing wrong with that. Trust me, I LOVE clicking that little heart on Instagram, leaving comments, sharing videos and so on. However, I think there is a fine line between admiring someone’s beautiful mane and wanting/longing/striving to have that mane by copying everything your hair crush does.

    When I started my hair journey I didn’t know what I was doing but every time I came across a natural with thick, big, bouncy curls my first few thoughts were: I need to do what she does, why does her hair always look that good, what products does she use and how can I get them. I think when we start to cross that line into hair envy, wanting to change what we have or chasing a dream that will simply not come to fruition is where the harm starts.

    Read On!>>>

     Again there is nothing wrong in finding out what their current staple products are, the routines they are doing etc. but at the same time it is important to realize that their hair needs/reacts differently to yours, yes even if you think you have the same “hair type”.

    What I have started to notice is that whenever a popular blogger loads up “My Current Routine” or “My (current) Favorite Products” videos, A LOT of viewers suddenly feel the need to copy. Trial and error is part of any journey but if you currently have a routine that is working for you, products that your hair loves, where does the need to change everything you are doing to copy your hair crush come from?

    A lot of the times your hair crush is on their own trial and error, tweaking methods (sometimes off camera) and then they update you with the changes they had to make to fit their hair needs, or inform you that whatever they were doing wasn’t working for them. All the while you already noticed that the method they were doing (you were following), products used, didn’t favor your hair but you stuck with it and now with their update you think “Okay, that is why it went wrong, I need to change it like she did and then it will work”.

    Even if your hair crush were to make a bold claim such as the products/routine will work for every and anyone, chances are you will find a few people that copied it step by step and their hair is cursing them (and making them for pay it in retaliation)!

    Here are some of my views on the pros and cons of following someone’s routines/using everything her does:

    Pros

    • You get to find out about a new product you didn’t know existed.
    • You apply products in a new method that actually works for you (who knew!)
    • You learn something new about hair, particularly your hair.
    • The products used are from a new start company and you get to support a small budding company.
    • The routine might be something you never thought about and you find out your hair loves it.
    • You strengthen the loving relationship with your hair (yes some of us consider it as a relationship)!
    • You find that missing link that helps you complete that healthy hair routine you wanted.
    • You get to hear/see reviews about products you always wanted to try out.
    • You pass on what you learnt to someone else
    • As a new natural you are able to find out more about all the endless hair care possibilities out there.

    Cons

    • You are stuck in hair envy (unwittingly).
    • You end up wanting to change your hair (perhaps subconsciously) because you don’t love what you naturally have.
    • Your “rocky” relationship with your hair ends up getting worse because you didn’t end up with the results you expected (she had).
    • The routine simply didn’t work.
    • You spent a ton of money on products only to find out they will end up collecting dust in your black-hole unused hair product cupboard.
    • Instead of taking your healthy hair routine one forward you end up going two steps back.
    • You are following someone that is a (self-claimed) “hair guru” but in reality is only a guru of her own hair.
    • Your hair crush is promoting a product that in reality is not one of her “must haves” but has been paid to make a positive review.
    • You spent a ton of time and money chasing a dream instead of working with your own hair and nurturing it.

    At the end of the day, my opinion is that admiring someone else’s hair is not a bad thing however, admiring & loving your own should be your priority!

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    Photo by Pamela Moore -- Getty Images


    As more curlies are taking the DIY approach, many are also forgoing the salons for even the most tedious of tasks. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. With the right knowledge, resources, and determination a curly girl can do just about anything. Professionals are always a viable option, do not DIY if you do not feel comfortable. This is exactly what Klloydmajestic wanted to know when she inquired about doing her own big chop (BC) at in our Curly Q&A section.

    Read On!>>>


    Question
    "Has anyone done their own BC? I'm planning on doing a big chop in the near future. I've been using henna to cover my gray hair and want to stop. I already know I'll be impatient with having two colors in my hair, so once it's grown out about an inch, I plan on using clippers and a guide comb to do the big chop myself. However, it seems like the "normal" thing most people do is get their big chop done at a salon. My mom is freaking out about me doing it myself also.

    The only major risk I can think of when doing it myself at home is if I use crappy clippers, which would of course risk creating split and gnarly ends. Are there any other risks that I'm missing? Anyone else out there do their own big chop? Thanks in advance!"

    Answer
    Seven years ago I did my own big chop without knowing it was called a big chop. I just looked in the mirror, picked up kitchen scissors (I do not recommend this), and started cutting. Cutting my own hair was liberating, self-affirming, and allowed me to work on only one texture. I loved that I did it and would not change a thing, because my experience, albeit improper tools, was a necessary component in my journey to going natural. Most curly girls have horror stories about hairstylists who are unskilled and inexperienced with natural hair. If this is truly something you want to do, then by all means do it. But before you get started, here is a list of things to consider when taking the DIY route for your big chop.

    Use proper tools
    Proper tools does not account for only appropriate shears. It also includes a wide-tooth comb, spray bottle, hair clips, and a room with great lighting. Proper tools allow you to do the job right and just as you suspected, the wrong cutting tools can leave snags or split ends. Shears are recommended, as you have more control over what you are cutting; they also allow people to take their time to cut their hair by each clump based on the visible line of demarcation.

    Wet your hair
    When doing the BC you want to work on very damp hair. Wetting the hair allows your natural hair to retract and curl, making it easier to distinguish between the relaxed ends and your natural hair. Some even use daily conditioner with lots of slip to help their curls to clump and reveal a more pronounced line of demarcation.

    Enlist the help of someone you trust
    If you are not sure about going to a salon, then ask a friend or family member to at least help with the back of your hair. It is easier to see the front and sides but the back (even with several mirrors) can be challenging and cause you to cut too much or too little.

    Take your time
    There is no need to rush, as you want to make sure you are only cutting off your relaxed ends and not healthy natural strands.

    Watch


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    Liv writes:

    I created a tutorial sharing a pre-wash day treatment that helps keep my hair shiny, soft and moisturized during the colder months!  Hopefully this can help you fight dry hair this season! 

     Watch Now!>>>



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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.!
    curlyredhaircurlynikkibostonnaturalsnaturalhaircurlyhairloveitcurlbox @chels_lyn

    #hairshealthy @hairs2healthy



    Killin em! @hayley_cassidy Styled by: @_ljade_ Hair and makeup by myself  Finished look for @hayley_cassidy Headline show at #thejamldn #makeupbysasha #londonmua #makeupartist #ootn @bgki #headlineshow #ukartist #singer #naturalista #naturalhairdaily #naturalhairstyles #teamnatural #curlynikki @makeupby_sasha

    Yesterday's look from #ProductRescue  @_cebelamour_


    My Black is Beautiful @iamkayfitz


    Like new #curlynikki #serenityhair #teamnatural_ #teamnatural #myhaircrush #globalcoutureblog #naturalhair #afro #naturalhairdaily #Curls #blonde #frizzfreecurls #curlyhairsolutions #clairol @gemtrendsetter

    "Slaves, give them freedom, but give them dope Take away their leaders cause that gives them hope Sell them dreams of changing things like they were never kings and queens befo' As small as a giant" -Small as a giant, Big K.R.I.T @jaydanielle29


    Wash and Go (2nd day hair) Products Used: @naturellegrow Sweet Plantain Leave- In Conditioner and Asian Pear & Fresh Coconut Soft Curl Cream. Loving my curls @butter_curls

    Our pumpkin patch pictures are only about a month late that's all!  She was the most beautiful pumpkin at the patch!#myLondi #londigrace #thatsmilemakesmyheartsmile #ilovethiskid #photocredmommy #childrensphotography #pumpkinpatch #pumpkinpatch2015 @thisisgugu

    #aboutlastnight ... My rod set was a success! #selfie for the evening. #rodset #naturalgirls #kinkyhair #latergram #instacollage #instacute #mynaturaldopeness #mynaturalhairjourney @tish_ferguson


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    You are what you eat--literally.

    And because your hair is part of you, what you eat reflects in the health and state of your hair. If you want hair that is healthy, longer, stronger and shinier you should be paying attention to what you put INSIDE your body, not just what you use on the hair itself. These superfoods will help keep you and your hair looking their best.
    1. Water = Hydration
    Not a food but-- we are primarily made up of water. It is important to stay hydrated and to keep all of your body cells working properly. By drinking enough water daily, you are also helping the hydration and moisture levels of your hair as well. By not drinking enough water daily, you are hindering your hair growth as well. If you don't like the taste or want to spruce up your regular water, infuse it with some berries or citrus, which will give you added vitamins as well.
    2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Iron, Vitamin D = Salmon
    Salmon is a healthy food superstar; it is an oily fish rich in protein, vitamin D, and fatty acids. The Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for a healthy scalp, resulting in hair growth. Salmon also contains iron and Vitamin B12 which can help promote strength and shine in your hair. If you don't like fish, flaxseeds are a good vegetarian replacement for these nutrients.
    3. Biotin, Vitamin B, Protein= Chicken & Eggs
    Which came first, the chicken or the egg? A diet with both contains good sources of protein that will really help your hair! Hair and nails are both composed of protein, which supports body and hair strength. Your hair is the last part of your body that gets the protein, so a lack of this in your diet could affect its state of hair fall and length retention. Eggs are full of B vitamins, especially biotin (B7) and panthenol (B12). Yolks have important vitamins and minerals that the egg whites do not. Chicken is a rich source of protein, as well as several B vitamins that helps to strengthen fragile hair.
    4. Zinc, Vitamin C = Beef & Oysters
    Beef and oysters are rich sources of zinc, which is helpful in improving your hair's natural luster. Zinc deficiency is a cause of hair loss and dryness, so include beef and oysters in your diet. Zinc is also said to help combat premature graying of hair. Make sure to eat enough vitamin C in your diet, which will help the zinc absorption. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, as well.  
    5. Biotin, Vitamin E, Zinc = Nuts
    Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, and we need healthy fats to look and feel our best. Walnuts and almonds in particular are high in omega-3 fatty acids which can help keep hair strong, and zinc which can help aid in hair loss. Walnuts in particular also contain a great amount of vitamin E and biotin. The vitamin E can help protect your cells from DNA damage cause by the environment and too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Brazil nuts are another great option to snack on for hair health. They contain a good amount of the mineral Selenium. A deficiency in Selenium has been linked to slower hair growth. 
    6. Folic acid, Iron, Biotin = Lentils
    Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein and are contain an excellent amount of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for hair growth and cell renewal and it is also necessary in restoring the health of red blood cells that supply skin and scalp with much-needed oxygen. Lentils also are a good source of iron, zinc and biotin too. 
    7. Vitamin A = Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
    What do these two have in common? They're both orange. They also are an excellent sources of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps the scalp product enough sebum. Sebum is like natural oil that your scalp products and it important for your scalp and the length of your hair to stay moisturized and not become dry and brittle. Dandruff flaky scalp is just one condition of what might happen if your scalp does not produce enough sebum.
    What foods do you eat for healthy hair?

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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 November winners are--
    Shanelle Anderson
    Michel
    Tya D
    Lucretia
    AndreaB
    Tonya S
    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 'November Winner' in the subject line. Oh, and I'm hosting the exact same giveaway for December! 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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    Some say that variety is the spice of life. I agree. For me, the monotony of anything has the potential to become boring. That includes wearing my natural kinks, coils, and curls.

    Every now and then, I like to flat iron my hair. Being that hair is fiber, over time, manipulation, constantly pulling it back, extreme environmental temperatures, hair color, hormonal changes, illnesses, and heat can alter our hair’s texture. That is why I am deliberate about my process of thermal straightening---from beginning to end.

    Read On!>>>
    Generally, I know when I want to flat iron my hair at least two to three weeks ahead of time. That is the best time to start preparing for a potentially damaging process. Yes, we risk thermal damage, AKA “heat damage”, every time we straighten our hair, so it’s best that we prepare ahead of time. So far, I’ve had great success with flat ironing my natural hair without heat damage.

    Over the years, I’ve banked a few dos and don’ts to achieve the most quality flat ironing experience.

    Dos:
    • Cleanse with a clarifying shampoo or use an apple cider vinegar rinse to guarantee the removal of build-up, prior to flat ironing.
    • Deep condition your hair once a week for two to three weeks prior to straightening. Your hair’s condition can change your heat tolerance.
    • Consider a protein treatment within a week prior to and straightening to help strengthen the hair
    • Choose a moisturizing conditioner with hydrolyzed proteins, whenever possible.
    • Treat your tresses to hydration therapy, while deep conditioning. Intense moisture from a hair steamer will lift the cuticle and offer a healthy dose of hydration to the cortex. Dry, brittle hair heats rapidly and is more prone to heat damage.
    • Apply a liquid heat protectant prior to blow drying, preferably after the hair has been towel dried.
    • Opt for silicone-based serums (in addition to the liquid) for shine, smoothness, and added heat protection.
    • Keep your appliances clean. Old, hardened, debris on your flat iron can snag hairs and cause damage.
    • Allow your hair to air dry at least 50% before blow drying to minimize heat exposure and chances of heat damage. 
    • Always blow dry hair in a downward direction to make sure that the cuticle is flat. This will set the foundation for a more quality flat ironing process.
    • Work with hair in sections. It makes the process much easier.
    • Apply oil, serum, or finishing sheen AFTER flat ironing, for lasting shine and durability.
    • Wrap or bun your flat ironed hair at night with a silk or satin scarf to keep it from becoming dry, or reverting due to night sweating. (Throw in a few bantu knots, large cornrows, flat twists, or flexi rods overnight for added texture and fun.)
    • Always patch test, first, to determine the temperature at which to set your flat iron. Each texture responds differently to heat.
    Don’ts:
    • Don't use oils and butters prior to blow drying and flat ironing, as the heat can cause oils and butters to fry your hair---especially when flat ironing.
    • Don't use heat over 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Hair burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Avoid passing the flat iron over each section more than once.
    • Do not flat iron your hair every day.
    • To keep hair from frizzing or reverting, stay away from water-based moisturizers and steam at this time. We don’t want that hard work to be in vain.
    • Do not forget to use a protein treatment once your flat ironed ‘do is done. Your hair will need to be reconstructed.
    • Do not neglect to deep condition and treat your mane to more hydration therapy after washing away your straight style.
    • Dodge styles that cause stress to the hair due to over manipulation or tension. It is important to choose styles that allow your tresses to just be, so avoid tight and high maintenance styles.
    This article is based on my personal experience and research. Heat tolerance is very subjective, and varies greatly or slightly from person to person. Always do what is best for you.

    Watch the Video
    Watch my video tutorial, and feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts, do's and don'ts for straightening your coils!


    What are your tips for heat styling?

    This article was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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  • 12/08/15--09:00: Mariel Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    My name is Mariely Muñoz. I’m 23 years old. I’m from Dominican Republic. I’m a graphic designer and illustrator. I love to read, draw, play video games and I collect figurines. Oh and I’m vegan.

    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I remember that I got my hair relaxed one day and that the other day I decided that I wanted my hair natural, but I transitioned for about six months and then I did the big chop. I’m going to admit that at first I didn’t like it, I never had my hair that short, but after like a week I was feeling good about my hair.

    READ MORE>>


    Had you always embraced your texture?
    Yes, but when I was little I wanted to be like everyone so I got my hair relaxed but I always wanted to have curly hair, I didn’t do the big chop sooner because I was afraid of short hair.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    My mom always supports me in everything and she likes it, but my dad didn’t-- he only likes straight hair.  He used to ask me every day when I was going to wear my hair like before. But I always do what I want, so I don’t let my family give me bad opinions about my looks.

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    I never know how to describe my hair but I think it's thick, curly and coarse.


    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    Recently I put some blue highlights in it, it looked pretty awesome!

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    Well, once I relaxed and dyed my hair at the same time, and my hair fell.

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
    I usually do a wash and go.  I wash once a week, detangle my hair with coconut oil the day before and then shampoo and condition it. I don’t have a specific brand for that, but for leave-in conditioner, I cant live without Kinky Curly.  Finally, I use some gel and a little bit of argan oil.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    I like my Afro very big and round, I like to have bangs.


    Who is your curl crush?
    On instagram @nikishabrunson @aishathalia and @beautybylee

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    I only do the pineapple and use a satin pillowcase.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    Never using a blow dryer, trimming my ends every 4 or 5 months and using a lot of coconut oil.

    What's the best thing about being natural?
    I feel free really.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    Instagram: @asdfmariely
    Tumblr: http://marielysketches.tumblr.com/


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    by Kanisha of BlackNaps.org

    Hair porosity is a huge topic when it comes to natural hair. You may know that it deals with your hair’s ability to absorb moisture, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The science of hair can get deep real quick, so many naturals choose to focus on the look and feel of their hair rather than the nitty-gritty details of such topics as porosity.

    Read On!>>>


    But a basic understanding of porosity and natural hair is all you really need in order to determine whether or not it really matters, so let’s break it down:

    Before we get into porosity, we must understand the actual hair strand. Each strand of hair consists of an outside layer called the cuticle, and it consists of up to 8 layers. These layers help fortify your hair but must be carefully maintained and protected to avoid damage from heat, coloring, and over-manipulation. Damage to the hair cuticle is irreversible and should therefore be avoided at all costs. You’ve probably seen damaged, see-through hair before when you needed a trim. This is a result of cuticle layers that have been worn down and cannot be reformed.

    When a liquid substance comes in contact with your hair, the cuticle opens allowing it to pass through. How porous your hair is determines how much of that substance will go into the hair shaft and how quickly it penetrates. (MoKnowsHair).

    What is hair porosity?
    Porosity is defined as “the hair’s ability or inability to absorb and hold in water or any other penetrating molecules” (Green Beauty Channel). There are three levels of hair porosity: low, medium, and high. Healthy hair has multiple cuticle layers and low to medium porosity. Each level of porosity comes with its own advantages and challenges, so knowing them and their characteristics plus your own hair’s porosity will only aid your healthy hair journey.

    Low-porosityhair tends to be the driest of the three types. This is because its tightly packed cuticle makes it difficult for liquids to enter or remain in the hair strand. Many Type 4 naturals have low porosity that lacks elasticity.

    If you have low porosity hair, here’s what you can do:
    • Use shampoos and conditioners that are rich in moisture and emollients
    • Always deep condition using heat for 15-30 minutes at least once a week
    • Use water-based leave-in conditioners with humectants like vegetable glycerin, honey, and aloe vera juice
    • Incorporate coconut and olive oils into your regimen- they are great moisturizers that can penetrate the hair shaft
    Medium-porosity hair is the best level to have. The hair cuticle isn’t densely packed. The hair is healthy, bouncy, and resilient.

    To maintain medium-porosity hair, here’s what you can do:
    • Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners
    • Use thicker water-based leave-in conditioners
    • Moisturize the hair using vegetable glycerin, aloe vera juice, and water
    • Incorporate coconut, olive, and jojoba oils into your regimen
    High-porosity hair:

    This could be due to genetics or damaged from the use of heat, color, or over-manipulation. High porosity hair often has broken or missing cuticle layers and/or holes in cuticle layers that have been broken down by excessive damage.

    Here’s how to deal:
    • Use a moisturizing shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner that has hydrolyzed protein, which can be absorbed by the hair strand
    • Use a protein deep conditioner biweekly. (It will help close up the gaps in your hair’s cuticles).
    • Use thicker water-based leave-in conditioner & moisturize the hair using vegetable glycerin, aloe vera juice, and water
    • Incorporate coconut, olive, and jojoba oils into your regimen
    Does porosity really matter?

    Knowing your hair’s porosity can only aid your hair journey, not hinder it, however, not knowing your hair’s porosity isn’t necessarily a problem. As I mentioned before, many naturals pay close attention to the health of their hair, avoiding damaging practices and keeping a consistent routine, and get along fine.

    For more information about how to maintain your low, medium, or high porosity hair, check out the last video of this super-informative porosity series from Green Beauty Channel:


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    Liv writes:

    Braid outs give me the most out of my length with stretched and defined curls on my 4C/4B Hair! I wanted to share how I achieved my signature defined braid out with tons of movement, stretch and shine! This is one of my favorite go-to styles that never fails on my kinky curly 4C/4B Hair!

    Watch Now!>>>



    How do you achieve defined braid-outs?

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    by Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural.com

    Looking for tips to protect your natural hair for your next blow out? Ready to flaunt straight or stretched hair for a few days? We are all scared of that those two little words…dun dun dun… Heat damage! There is good news, though. You can safely blow out your hair to prevent and minimize heat damage. Here are a few ways to help you protect your hair for your next blow out.

    Read On!>>>

    Make sure you have your style in mind before proceeding

    I always like to check out YouTube for my latest style before I begin-- to see how much heat I will actually need for the style.

    Dry your hair

    You always want to let your hair air dry a little before you blow dry it. It’s not a good idea to blow dry your hair while it is soaking wet. I usually braid or twist my hair. Let it dry for a few hours, then proceed to blow drying my hair. From my experience, this has helped tremendously.

    Use a heat protectant

    You should always use a heat protectant. Yes ladies, this is a MUST. I NEVER blow out my hair without some type of heat protectant. Most leave-in conditioners double as a heat protectatnt. But, I go the extra mile and use both. My stylist always told me that she uses a heat protectant with sillicones. Yes I know I said the S word, but silicones are actually your best friend when blow drying. It helps form a barrier and protect your hair from losing moisture due to the heat.

    Do your hair in sections

    Blow out your hair in sections. Don't try to just race to the finish line. Take your time making sure each section is properly protected. I actually apply my heat protectant to each section before blow drying. This way, I make sure the heat protectant is evenly distributed through my strands.

    Hope this helps you the next time you prep for a blow out!

     How do you prep for your blow outs?

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