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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 Brittney M. Walker

    The deacons are passing around Communion cups, the prepackaged ones with the non-alcoholic wine shots and Styrofoam crackers attached to the top protected with a cellophane wrapping. I am sweating a little in my armpits, nervous about what she’ll say when she notices that I don’t take one. For several Communion Sundays I had been purposely sitting out of her eye sight so she wouldn’t see I’ve been skipping it for the last few months.


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    Liv of LiveNaturallyLove
    Hi Loves,
    This natural hair 4b/4c protective style is perfect for holiday season, winter, graduation, prom, anything! Click to see how I achieved this sleek ponytail look. I hope you enjoy!!!✨
    Love,
    Liv

    Continue




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    By Niesha Davis

    It all started with an itch down there. At first, I thought my newfound discomfort was brought on by a new hygiene routine. “It must be that new body wash I bought,” I said to myself. I always heard rumors that cleansing yourself down there with fruity, fragranced soaps could wreak havoc on the pH balance in your vagina, and now it seems I was paying the price. I hurried myself to the bathroom to wash off with something less pungent, and relief came, albeit temporarily. But the tingly feeling never subsided and it returned with a vengeance later the next evening. In the days that followed, the feeling intensified and eventually progressed to a full-blown rash. I began to panic...


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    Itika Oldwine of Oldvine Florals 

    By Sharee Silerio


    In 2011, after working on “The Oprah Show” for eight seasons as an intern then employee, Itika Oldwine took a big leap of faith and traded in Chicago for Los Angeles to start a career in marketing. Soon after arriving, she started a marketing position at L.A. Live, an entertainment and sports complex adjacent to the Staples Center Downtown. There, she was immersed in one of the largest event spaces in the nation, which hosts the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, the Grammys, MTV Awards and BET Experience.


    After learning as much as she could about marketing, she started securing her own clients, and one of them ended up being Eric Buterbaugh Design, a florist out of the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills. Eventually, Oldwine left LA Live to become Buterbaugh’s general manager and a new passion began to bloom.




    "I've always loved beautiful things, and I appreciate a certain aesthetic, but I wasn't sure that flowers was something I was passionate about until I started working with Eric Buterbaugh," says Oldwine. "Flowers live and breathe, and they have this texture when you touch them. They change the mood of a room. They change the mood of a human being.”


    Although it was refreshing to be able to work with beautiful flowers every day, Oldwine soon wanted more.

                                                                                                                  

    “When it came to the way we designed flowers, I grew. I wanted to be bolder, use different colors, work with different clients. I developed a point of view that I couldn't really express because it wasn’t my business,’ she explains.


    So Oldwine gave herself the blessing to do something different. After two years of hands-on training, she took another leap of faith. This past June she left Eric Buterbaugh's company to start her own floral business.

    Itika Oldwine

    “I left the job before I had a location, before I had a name for it, or anything. I just had a feeling that I could do this for myself,” she says.

    When choosing a name for her business, Oldwine wanted to find something that would resonate with her and clients. After brainstorming, she chose Oldvine Florals, a mix of her last name and vines, which are reminiscent of flowers. She purchased a domain with the same name as the business, then registered a “Doing Business As” with the city of Los Angeles. After that, she chose a location for the boutique, which is a convenient two blocks from the flower market.


    Though everything seemed to fall in place easily, she says that securing angel investors and coming up with the marketing and business plan, as well as figuring out how much money she needed to actually launch, was the biggest challenge.


    Still, in just a short time, Oldwine has made a name for herself in the industry, working with clients such as Martini & Rossi, E! Entertainment, “The Voice” television show, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and more. So what's the secret to her success?


    “Every single thing that I did in my professional career, and even things throughout my young life, led me to this point," she says. "Sometimes, when we’re working, figuring things out or looking at our past decisions, we don’t see how it will all come together. I pull from all of my experiences in order to excel where I am.”


    As a woman who bravely chose and created her own path, she has a nugget of advice for all who want to pursue their passion.


    “Absolutely follow it because it's not going to go away. It might be a huge, burning fire or it might go down to a flickering flame, but it's going to be there. You're doing yourself a disservice by trying to snuff out that flame. Light it up!”


    To keep up with Itika, follow her on Instagram, and Oldvine Florals on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


    Do you have a business you'd like to start?

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MblxtY6vhN4/WabW_0OC8RI/AAAAAAAA-zU/OdaRoqTAo4YRgGmDf1F00tiUxqzqYinMACLcBGAs/s1600/Sharee%2BSilerio.jpg

    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.comthen connect with her on Facebook, Instagram andTwitter.


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     By Erickka Sy Savané

    Call Dionne Phillips many things: Eyelash expert, celebrity eyelash extension guru, entrepreneur, wife, but stingy with her information? Never. Since launching ‘D’Lashes’ her Beverly Hills-based studio in 2005, prior to that she worked at a top Los Angeles salon, and before that, she was servicing African American and Asian clients in New York City, pre-social media, Dionne has firmly established herself as the queen of eyelashes. Shows like The Doctors, Good Morning America and Extra TV all consult with Dionne, and clients as diverse as Naomi Campbell, Victoria Beckham, Mindy Kaling, and even Steven Tyler, clamor to get an appointment, which you wanna make at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Dionne is in business!

    The great thing about this former actress and Toledo native is she wants you to be in business too. Sharing what she knows, better yet, the things no one shared with her, is a part of her higher purpose. So if you’re planning on starting your own business, or you’re already a company owner in need of a few tips, pull out your notebooks for 7 Things No One Tells You About Starting Your Own Business from Dionne Phillips!

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    • Ask Yourself, ‘Why Not Me?’ Why not? Why not you? Saying these words will open you up and give you the courage and strength to just do it! And that courage and strength that you build from starting your business will carry over into every other aspect of your life. Asking this also helps when you get discouraged.

    • Know Your Numbers. Know how much everything is going to cost. Know how much your rent, your lamps and tables are going to cost. Don’t just go out buying stuff because you have some money in the bank or you think you have a lot of money. It’s the reason a lot of small businesses don’t get ahead. Big corporations know their numbers; they bring in a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). If you don’t know your numbers you don’t know your business.

    • Watch Marcus Lemonis on CNBC. His show, The Profit, is business 101. It breaks down the key to a successful business into 3 Easy Steps: People, Process and Product. The most important, I believe, is Process. Meaning, if you were to train someone to work for you, what are the 5 steps of running your business? Knowing this is key.

    • Know All The Details of Having a Business. For example, the certificates, licenses, inspections, taxes. A lot of people have gone to jail and prison for taxes, but they have a nice car. Ask someone with the same business as you what you need to know. It’ll keep you from having to pay more money in the long run.

    • Say Thank you. Send a nice thank you card or get some cards made with your business name on them. We’ve lost the fine art of saying thank you by sending text messages and a quick email. That’s okay, but etiquette is still there. I get an abundance of flow simply by saying thank you.

    • Don’t Allow Anyone To Run Your Business. Everyone thinks they need an assistant because they’re so busy. But what happens is if that assistant ends up not being around for a while, say it’s just a summer check for them, they end up running your business into the hole. If you do hire someone, you want them to be smarter than you, but you have to be in the loop with it. Otherwise, you might as well just be an investor.

    • Know Why You’re Doing This. People think that by having their own business they’re going to be able to take off and go on vacation all the time, but you end up working more for yourself than you would for another corporation. Know the why because it’s your higher purpose that keeps you going year three, five, and 10. Telling people the things no one told me is a part of my higher purpose. Working with cancer survivors and seeing how confident they feel when they get up from my chair is a part of my bigger purpose. It’s a reminder that I’m not just working for the money.
    To find out more about Dionne and D’Lashes click here!

    Are you considering starting a business? If you're a business owner, what tips can you share!
     
    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Via XoNecole.com
    By Tee Elle

    I scroll through my Facebook news feed admiring the chubby-cheeked faces that my high school classmates post. The happy babies are dressed in toothless grins and two-pieced grownup outfits looking like little men and women. I smile in recognition of the toddlers who are complete miniatures of the people who upload the photos.
    “Aww look at her,” I say to myself. “Too cute.”
    Then I read the caption. It refers to “my grandbaby.”
    Grandchildren? I’m not old enough to be anyone’s Grandma! Am I? But I’m not even a parent yet! Never mind that, I’m 41. And then I start to do the math, which has become an increasingly growing habit these days. I calculate how I could have a high school student right about now. Or a college student. Or (gasp!) a college graduate. Then, yeah, I guess it would be possible to be a grandmother at 41 had I not thrown the proverbial biological clock across the room and postponed motherhood.

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    By Veronica Wells

    When I was first hired on at MadameNoire, I quickly learned that if we needed a traffic boost, all I had to do was write something about hair. It got to the point where I started feeling like I wrote, almost exclusively about hair. And eventually, I got burnt out. As a result, I vowed that I would no longer spend my days writing about something so “trivial.” I pulled a Solange. I said I wasn’t talking about no damn hair no mo only to continue talking about hair; Solange in the single from A Seat At The Table and me by writing for this Black women’s publication that focuses on our hair.

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    It’s unavoidable. Not to mention the conversations surrounding our hair are rather fascinating. Like this picture of Shannon Brown and his wife, singer Monica, taken at rapper Gucci and Keyshia Kaoir’s wedding.

    Singer Monica and husband Shannon Brown
    If you see a beautiful, Black couple in love, you are nothing like the people in The Shade Room who used this series of photos as an opportunity to discuss Shannon’s cornrows. People, mostly women, clowned them, talking about everything from the style being outdated and juvenile to the length of the braids and how he had them tucked under one another.

    I didn’t like Shannon’s hair either. But since cornrows were the go-to style of my adolescence, I wasn’t so quick to dismiss it as played out. And I thought the conversation, while hilarious, was a bit mean-spirited. After all, nothing says Black hair across the diaspora like cornrows. It’s unique. It’s ours and I don’t know if we should be so quick to write it off.

    Last week, the internet was in an uproar about a J. Crew/Madewell ad featuring Dominican model Mari Henny Pasible. Everyone swore that J.Crew had dropped the ball in their incapability to hire a stylist who knew what to do with Black hair. I mean people were outraged, making jokes about wanting to fight the clothing company for allowing this Black woman to look “bad,” in a nationally disseminated ad campaign.
    Model Mari Henny PasibleJ. Crew
    The whole J. Crew discussion reminded me of another one I had with real friends--or friends of friends rather. In a moment of candid conversation, they asked me my advice on what to do with a friend who was wearing her natural hair in a way they deemed “unkempt.” With genuine concern, they said, “I mean, I’m all for her embracing her natural texture but it needs to be styled differently. Why can’t she do something else with it?”

    My response to them was something like the one the J. Crew model eventually offered. Both were looks the friend and the model had readily embraced and were happy to showcase. There is no “right” way to be natural.

    We saw a similar discussion play out with Beyoncé and the way she let Blue Ivy wear her hair. We saw it in the comments issued by Isaiah Washington and Tyrese when they encouraged Black women to stop wearing weaves and fake hair, and with the everyday Black men who encouraged one Black woman to put her wig back on.

     
    Nosugarnocreammagazine instagram
    When I first started thinking about the very story you’re reading right now, it was two separate topics. Why Black women believed cornrows were over and why men like Tyrese and Isaiah felt they had the right to tell us how to wear our hair. But it’s bigger than that.

    As a community, we take an almost unhealthy interest and concern in the ways in which other Black people wear their own hair. Rarely, as a community do we stop with “I don’t like her hair” or “I don’t like his hair.” There is an entire dissertation why the way someone has chosen to wear their hair is “not right.” When I was considering the reasons for this phenomenon, I didn’t have to think too hard. For Black folk, there is the burden in the belief that the way we wear our hair says something about not only our personalities but our philosophies. There are thoughts that wearing “fake” hair means you don’t love yourself or embrace your Black features. There are people who will argue that it’s deceptive.

    But more than anything, the reason Black folk are so concerned about what other people are doing with their Black hair is largely based on respectability politics. Beyond just a style or a preference, for centuries many Black folk believed that if we didn’t wear our hair in ways that were similar to or appealed to White people we were only going to be allowed to get so far in life. It was the reason my mother told me after I’d gone natural, to buy a wig for job interviews. It’s the reason that Wendy Williams said Viola Davis’ natural hair wasn’t appropriate for the red carpet. It’s the reason HBCUs forbid certain hairstyles in their business schools. And the reason Steve Perry and Steve Harvey applauded a group of young, Black men who made the decision to cut off their locs, braids and fros in favor of a look that was connected to the“aesthetics of success.” Whose aesthetic? Furthermore, what type of success is there to be had when you have to mask your cultural or racial identity to attain it?

    There are times when we’re judging, commenting, clowning, and policing one another’s hair for the sake of coolness and style. As a people who invented style and embody cool, that will always be the case. But more concerning are the times when the ownership we take over one another’s hair is clearly our own grappling with fully accepting Black hair. For so many of us there is still hesitancy in accepting Black looks that don’t adhere to certain Eurocentric beauty standards (i.e. perfectly slicked edges, length minimums, texture preferences). The real tragedy in what we’ve been convinced to think of ourselves and our features, whether through images, representation, or oppression, is that even when White folks aren’t even thinking about dismissing or denigrating our hair, we do it to ourselves.

    Why do you believe we 'police' each other's hair so much?

    Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the websiteNoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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    Runners in Berlin #berlinblackish2017
    By Mwabi Kaira

    It was winter 2012 and I had my fuzzy slippers on, sipping on a cup of tea with my feet up flipping through my copy of Essence magazine when I read something about Black women runners. I took a mental note and thought one day I’ll run something and went about my day. At the top of the year I met Shonda, my college friend for lunch, and she brought along another friend. Turns out, that friend belonged to the same organization I was reading about; Black Girls Run! I told her I was interested and in March I laced up my tennis shoes and went to my first Black Girls Run! I couldn’t run to the mailbox at the time, but something inside told me I could do this and I listened.

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    I was a good runner all the way up until fifth grade when puberty hit, yes I was an early bloomer. I noticed the audience of boys started getting larger at the finish line and that was the end of that for this shy girl. My first run with BGR in 2013 was a struggle...It was 3 miles and I think I only got through a mile and a half because I didn’t get the directions right and instead of getting lost I decided to just go back to my car. And I didn’t run the whole distance. I pushed myself to run a block then walk until I caught my breath before running again. The following week, I went back and was encouraged by the women of BGR to just do my best. I made it past the point I stopped the week prior, so I felt pretty good. I kept going back week-after-week and the consistency paid off; my breathing got controlled as I ran, I found my cadence and eventually I could run the entire 3 miles without stopping. The weekly BGR meet-ups became so much more than about running but about sisterhood and encouragement. Their mantra is “no woman left behind” and these ladies will wait for you no matter what your speed is. The faster ladies will finish the route and actually come back and run beside you till you finish and all the women are waiting with high fives and cheers of good job. These ladies taught me what running shoes to buy, what kind of compression pants and sports bra to get, and had running tips. I ran my first 5K that May and my first 10K that October. I couldn’t believe that I was a runner! No one was more surprised than me when I signed up for my first half marathon and ran it in March 2014.

    Mwabi Kaira

    The running joke has always been that African-Americans don’t run unless they’re being chased. Running was just not something we did for pleasure. Case in point, in 2011 only 1.6 percent of runners in the United States identified as African-American. But that’s changing.

    Ashley Hicks-Rocha and Toni Carey founded Black Girls RUN! in 2009. The movement really took off in 2011 when a group of black women met to run the Publix Half Marathon. BGR offers weekly runs all over the country. Black Men Run followed suit in 2013. All these groups were created with our health in mind; our numbers for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease have always been alarming. Running on a regular basis and controlling what we eat changes these numbers drastically.

    Michelle Richardson was almost 300 pounds when she decided to take control of her health and weight. She changed what she ate and started exercising, first taking walks and moving up to jumping rope. As she dropped weight she added running. It was not easy but she kept at it and refused to quit. Michelle says, “I use to be that overweight girl wishing that I could do it. I remember struggling through my first 5K and now here I am with over 120 pounds lost naturally and I have run over 11 half marathons and 1 full marathon. I am so proud of myself and know if I can do it with discipline anyone can.”

    Michelle Richardson
    Another movement was born in 2016 when Heather King decided to ask other African-Americans to run the Georgia Publix Marathon with her. This is not a popular marathon because it is considered one of the toughest courses. It was the actual course used for the 1996 Olympics. I had several half marathons under my belt and signed up along with 500 others from all over the United States and 3 countries. We trained and made history on March 19, 2017 as Team Take down Publix. We now travel together to run in Berlin, Jamaica, Paris, Miami and wherever there is a race. We encourage each other on the course and party afterwards. We have our elite runners who make record time and break records and we have runners like me who are not fast but cross the finish line in our own time. Even Kevin Hart caught the bug and ran the New York City Marathon on November 5th.

    Today, the number of African-American runners has jumped to over 8% and will continue to rise. If you are interested in joining the movement, look up Black Girls RUN! and Black Men Run and meet them for a run. I’m warning you, it might become a habit that will take you to places you never imagined. If you have the desire, we will get you across the finish line.

    Are you a runner or have you considered it?

    Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her at http://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

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     By Erickka Sy Savané

    Let’s face it, some questions are just taboo. If you’ve ever asked a woman, “How many months are you?” when she wasn’t even pregnant then you know there aren’t enough rocks to crawl under. It’s right up there with “Is that your grandchild?” when it’s actually the person’s kid.
    I’ve been both the asker and the one asked, and it can suck on both ends. Usually, the person asking is just excited and can’t wait to share in the big news, but for the person who isn’t pregnant, well, it’s not so cool. Does any woman want to look pregnant when she is not?

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    To be on the safe side, common sense says that asking someone if they are pregnant is a no-no unless they are being transported to the hospital delivery room because it’s just not worth the embarrassment of being wrong. Most would argue that it’s none of your well-meaning business anyway. If a person wants you to know they will tell you. Actress Tia Mowry has been very vocal about the negative impact of the media’s constant speculation that she is pregnant and equates it to a form of body shaming. At one point she felt compelled to share this message on Instagram.
    But the truth is nothing is ever so black and white, and there are only a few occasions when–dare I say it–it’s okay to ask. Here are some…

    1. When she’s such a good friend that even if she isn’t pregnant you can both have a good laugh. When one of my besties asked me if I was preggers and I definitely wasn’t, I didn’t get mad, sad or offended. If anything, it was an indication to go easy on the Cheese Puffs. Seriously, if your homegirls can’t ask you anything then maybe you need to re-evaluate the friendship.

    2. You want to be mean. True story, Sandy was just a few weeks into a relationship with her man when they happened upon his ex-girlfriend at a party.  “Congratulations!” she said enthusiastically.
    “For what?” asked Sandy.
    “The baby!” said his ex, pointing to her belly, with a wicked smile.

    3. You’re her husband or boyfriend. Not every woman is ready to announce a pregnancy even to the person she loves and some women don’t even know that they are pregnant, like in the case of Carol who hadn’t lost the weight from her first baby so a big belly was no biggie. It took her husband insisting on her taking a test for them to discover that she was actually six months. The same thing happened to my mom who had my brother and then me just 10 months later. She didn’t find out I was coming until she was a full nine months. Perhaps if one of her sisters had said, “Hmmm…you look pregnant,” she would have found out sooner.

    4. When the person is constantly sick, tired and/or moody. Nausea, vomiting, and threatening to stab you for showing up 10 minutes late to lunch are all indications that a person might be with child. Sooooo, for your own safety, you might wanna ask in your sweetest voice, “Hey, do you think you’re pregnant?”

    Are there any instances when you think it’s okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant?

    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    Black Girl In The Rok Niesha Davis
    Ever thought about living abroad, but for some reason you keep talking yourself out of it? I don't speak the language, I won't know anyone, I'm too old, too young, yada, yada, yada...well, while you're thinking about it there are Sisters moving abroad every single day. Former ESL teacher-turned-magazine-editor Niesha Davis is one such woman. Listening to why she moved abroad might inspire you to go ahead and take the leap; if not, just follow her youtube channel as she hips us to her many adventures from the Chinese dating scene to apartment hunting, getting her natural hair done and more!

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    By Winnie Gaturu

    I have a close friend, Janice, who always adds a piece of lemon to the water in her water bottle. I've always thought it looks pretty cool so in a bid to improve my water intake on a daily basis, I decided to add a piece of lemon to my water bottle too. After all, I've heard and read about the many benefits of lemons to our bodies. I found myself refilling my 16 ounce water bottle one or twice a day and was really proud of myself. Surprisingly, by the second day my lips, mouth and throat were feeling dry all the time and I started feeling dehydrated, so I  thought that the answer was to drink more lemon water. After two weeks of this, I decided to stop drinking lemon water in exchange for plain old water, and the dehydration was gone. Now we can agree that lemon water has a wide range of benefits. It is supposed to help digestion, boosts the immune system, and is even safe for kids, in a more diluted form, so what was I doing wrong?

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    Initially, after that experience, I had sworn to myself not to drink lemon water ever again. It was only after talking to Janice and some of my other friends that I realized some of the mistakes I had made.
    For starters, I would put a half-lemon piece in the water bottle which made it hard to monitor the concentration of lemon I was drinking. Since I weigh 150 pounds, I should squeeze a lemon to get 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and mix it with 8 to 12 ounces of water. Janice didn't have a problem since she would only put a thin slice of lemon not half of it like I did. Secondly, I'd drink and refill the bottle once or twice during the day. Apparently, drinking too much concentrated lemon water leads to dehydration. Janice doesn't refill her bottle once the water she left home with is over. So maybe that’s why our outcomes were different.

    I also realized that lemon water has its share of disadvantages too, like heartburn, frequent urination, aggravated stomach ulcers, and tooth sensitivity caused by the citric acid that can lead to tooth erosion. To avoid this, simply swish clean water in your mouth once or twice after drinking lemon water.

    Clearly, there was a lot I hadn’t considered before starting my lemon water journey. I am wiser now! I’ve learnt that there's a limit to the amount of lemon water I can take daily and some of the precautions I should take. Although I'm now sticking to drinking plain water, I'll go back to drinking at least a glass of lemon water every morning soon.

    What do you think? Yay or Nay to lemon water?

    Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

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    By Erickka Sy Savané

    Back in the day, naming your son after his father was an honored family tradition. You’d have Eddie and Lil’ Eddie. No one questioned whether it was a good idea, and when you spent 20 minutes on the phone talking to Bobby Sr. instead of Junior you laughed and kept on going.
    Today, however, people are breaking with tradition and stepping out on their own for many reasons. In fact, some people love nothing better than giving a son his own unique name. Had you ever heard of the name Shemar before actor Shemar Moore? Probably not, since his name is a combo of his mom and dad. Now boys named Shemar are common…
    But really, there are pros and cons to naming a son after his dad, so if you're currently struggling with what to do, hopefully this list can help!

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    REASONS TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

    1. A 1940’s study showed that III’s, IV’s and V’s don’t have as many mental health issues as the general population. So the peace of mind that comes from having a family name can increase your chances of birthing the next Bill Gates III or Tom Cruise IV.

    2. A 1980 study showed that sons named after their dad had fewer behavioral problems, which makes sense because a kid is constantly aware that he is carrying that name. It’s like having dad breathing down your neck 24/7.

    3. It’s the ultimate family bond. Dad’s with a namesake are more aware that the child is representing him in the world.

    4. It gives your son something to live into. George Bush Jr. Definitely followed in the footsteps of George Bush Sr.

    5. When dad has a fancy name like Sammy Davis Jr. It’s like automatic PR.

    6. A family name is handy when you just don’t want to spend countless hours coming up with a new name. Just name him after his or your dad already!

    7. It can encourage a 'wandering' dad to stick around. Can Ronald Sr. just turn his back on Ron Jr. so easily?


    REASONS NOT TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER

    1. You’re pregnant by someone with a name like Charles Manson. Probably not a good name to pass on.

    2. You don’t want him being called "Jr." and you hate the word Lil’ on a grown ass man.

    3. You don’t want your son getting used to being II or III. It’s not his lot in life to follow any man, not even his dad, and his dad's dad.

    4. There are ten people in the family with the same name. Talk about a chip off the old block!

    5. You’re stealing his identity. Did George Bush Jr. really want to become President or did he want to be an artist? (Seen any of his paintings?)

    6. You’re not really sure he’s the father. Maybe you should wait for Maury and the results of the DNA test.

    7. His name is Djakarakabeebojalagyshu. It’s got to be pronounceable.

    8. Dad hasn't been paying his bills so creditors are constantly calling you. 

    So what do you think? Yay or Nay to naming a son after dad?

    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    By Winnie Gaturu

    Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company,""You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

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    Sometimes I want to yell, "STOP telling me to have more kids!
    Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!

    That said, I have a couple of reasons why I'm not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you'll say I'm selfish but that's just how it is. Unless you'll pay the child's bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.

    But I won't lie and say that these comments don't get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.

    Considering everything, I've made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP! 

    Do you mind people telling you to have more kids? 
     https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
    Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

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    Urban Hydration Vanilla Bean Body Bundle
    Hello Ladies!
    Recently, a reader asked, "What happened to all the commenters on this site? This site use to be the go to site for natural hair?"And we thought it was such a great question that we asked YOU- and you answered with the best feedback! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and we will be making it a point to incorporate them into the site. We just ask that you share and comment if you see something you asked for or like. Even if you don't 'like' something, we welcome you to share that too. Soooooooooo without further ado, the winner of the Urban Hydration Vanilla Bean Body Bundle is.........

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    Urban Hydration Vanilla Bean Body Bundle
    1). I have been following your post, articles and TV show appearances (Dr. Oz) for several years. I have only been natural for a little over 3 yes. My daughter's are natural so I used your blogs to help me with their hair. ( I'm still struggling to find product that will work for them.) They are 9 and 10.
    2) I have only commented a few times on your Facebook page, never on here.
    3) I do not comment on a lot of blog post but I am a faithful reader/follower!

    Congrats ! Please email nikki@curlynikki.com with your full name and address using Urban Hydration Vanilla Bean Body Bundle Winner in the subject line. Enjoy the products, and please, stay tuned for the next giveaway which will be announced tomorrow! (FYI: All winners are selected randomly)

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    By Erickka Sy Savané

    “Why do I have to go to school everyday?” complains my six-year-old daughter, on our walk to school. Before I know it, I find myself repeating the same thing my mom told me countless times, “You’d better enjoy these years because these are the best years of your life. You don’t have to work or pay bills. Your only job is to play and learn.”

    By the time we reach the school steps I realize that she hasn’t said anything in a while. “What’s wrong?” I ask.

    “You said these are my best years, and it makes me sad to grow up.”

    Hunh?! Where did that come from?

    “We’ll talk about it later,” I tell her.

    I walk home thinking about this concept of ‘our best years,' and she's right. If we’re living the best years right now, why would we ever want to move to the next stage?

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    Raising kids is tricky.

    It brings to mind something that my neighbor is always telling me. “Enjoy these years,” he says, sounding like the prophet of doom, “they are the best.” My girls are six and three while he has a house full of teens. Christ! Is that what I have to look forward to? Sounds like misery…

    But thinking about it, it was the same when my girls were babies. Inevitably, there was always some well-meaning person who would stop and say, “Ooh, you’d better enjoy these years, next are the terrible twos!”

    Alright. I can clearly see the limits of claiming the best years as right now, and I understand why my daughter would prefer to stay in kindergarten forever, but it leaves me wondering, what are the best years?

    I’ve heard people saying, ‘the best years are yet to come,’ and I’ve actually said it myself. Especially, when I’m roasting in the now, looking ahead is the only thing that keeps me sane, and like many, I visualize the future that I want to have. Hope to have. 

    “See it, taste it, feel it!” say the self-help and spiritual gurus. Honestly, it makes me feel good for a short while, but it’s hard to sustain. Let’s face it, when you come out of a meditation and those bills are still breathing down your neck, at some point you start feeling silly. So I’m not so sure the best years are in the future.

    So if the best years are not in the present, and they are not in the future, could they be in the past?

    I start looking. Funny enough, things start opening up. Like in high school when I won homecoming queen, but also got busted selling essays to my fellow classmates the same year. Best days. And college when I got my first car and also gained those freshman 15 pounds. Best days. There’s also meeting my husband, the book deal that didn’t happen, friendships that soured and soared, an eviction, and so many things good and bad that make me actually smile today. I even brag about some of them–remember when I paid the rent with the pennies from my piggy bank? Ha-ha! Those were the days!

    It’s kinda crazy because it seems that all of my best years are in the past. Why?

    Maybe it’s the only place that we have perspective. They do say, ‘Time is the other name of God.’ Enough time has passed that we can appreciate the great times, but also the challenges that forced us to step up and out, that ultimately didn’t kill us, but caused us to become greater.

    So what am I going to tell my daughter?

    I’m going to tell her that it’s my bad. That it’s not up to me or anyone else to tell her what her best years are. One day, when she’s all grown up, she can look back at all of it and decide for herself. So in the meantime, just really enjoy today.

    This article appeared on Madamenoire


    What are your best years? 
    Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com

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    By Kanisha Parks

    Lurking in the comment sections / dropping shade left and right
    Mad at the world / always ready to fight.
    They think they run the hair scene / their way or none
    Natural Hair Nazis / mad since day one.


    Seriously, cheesy poetry aside: Natural Hair Nazism is real and thriving. It’s unfortunate, really, because ultimately, it really is just hair. But Natural Hair Nazis take this hair thing to a wholeee other level. While being natural for seven years, I heard the term “Natural Hair Nazi” thrown around pretty consistently but since returning relaxed, the term instantly became personal. I never knew how much women cared about other women’s hair!

    What’s more is, Natural Hair Nazis don’t just discriminate against relaxed ladies—they get mad at the hair choices of other naturals too! They feel as though “being natural” should be conducted a certain way, and anything contrary to their opinion of what it means to be natural is frowned upon.
    So the question is (and be real)—are you a Natural Hair Nazi? Let’s find out!

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    You don’t like it when naturals define their curls.
    You feel like naturals should just let their hair “be,” and that if women prefer their hair defined it means they’re not happy with the way their hair naturally acts. You ride or die for the wash and go, and you mean that literally—not wash, define, and go. You get bothered when you see a natural who invests a lot of time in making sure her hair looks “perfect,” and think she’s doing too much.


    You don’t like when naturals straighten their hair.
    You think they’re “trying to be European.” (Insert exhausted eye roll). That they think beauty means sleek, straight hair. That they’re trying to “tame” their curls, coils, and kinks instead of embracing them. That they prefer the straight look because society’s beauty standards are still influencing their hair decisions.


    You don’t like temporary straightening kits or hair dyes.
    Of course if a Natural Hair Nazi is against straightening hair, temporary kits (like the Beautiful Textures Naturally Straight Texture Manageability System) are definitely a big no-no. You can’t stand words like, “tame,” or “manage,” so when you see other naturals gravitating towards those options, your claws come out. You think that anything that somehow alters the hair texture, even temporarily, is off limits. Even hair dyes are a no for you—henna is okay but anything remotely chemical and/or permanent means the person isn’t natural anymore.

    You don’t like fake hair of any kind.
    Weaves, wigs, extensions. You’re not for women who choose to protective style with weave. Especially straight ones. The only weaves you semi-tolerate are ones that are closest to the person’s natural hair texture. Even then, she better not have it in too long or else that means she’s trying to avoid dealing with her own hair which again, means she’s not comfortable with her natural hair.

    You have no tolerance for women who relax their hair.
    Last but most definitely not least, you feel like relaxers are ultimate sin. You don’t even want to interact with women who have relaxers and think they’re not “woke,” or aren’t tapped into their African heritage. You think they secretly want to be white and are going to damage their hair beyond belief. You’re ready to stage an intervention.

    Sure, I may have exaggerated some of these, but real talk: please stop trying to dictate what another woman should or shouldn’t do with her hair and simply worry about what grows on your own head. That’s all.

    Love, your friendly neighborhood former natural.

    Serious question, are you a Natural Hair Nazi?
    Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other thanCurlyNikki.com, she has also written forBlackNaps.organdDevozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at kanishaparks@gmail.com

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    Urban Hydration Coconut Oil Hair Care Bundle
    Hi Ladies,

    We've got another fab Urban Hydration Coconut Oil Hair Care Bundle to give, so if you didn't win the first time, here's your chance! This week, we'd like you to share your favorite black-owned beauty and hair care products! It's a great way for all of us to know what black-owned beauty and hair care products are out there, and it'll make great Holiday gift inspiration! Just submit the names- even if you live abroad- in the comment section below and a winner will be announced next Monday, November 27th! Good Luck!

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    Urban Hydration Coconut Oil Hair Care Bundle
    Urban Hydration’s Coconut Oil line includes shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, curl cream, daily moisturizer and curl defining gel, that each contain avocado and argan oil. These three oils help to protect color, add moisture, restore curl patterns and the products are perfect for hair that has been damaged from dye, heat and manipulation. These products are all natural and food/plant based. To learn more visit UrbanHydration.com

    Submit the names of your favorite black-owned beauty & hair care products- even if you live abroad- in the comment section below and a winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, November 27th! Good Luck!!!

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    By Maya Wright

    Call it what you want: dating, Christian dating, “Dating with Purpose.” Yes, many Christians do date and the truth is, I’ve heard countless positive testimonies. But for me personally, I choose not to date, and to wait on God. When people hear that, it’s like they instantly think you’re weird, you’re crazy, you’re in a cult, that it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like, “How are you going to meet your mate if you don’t date?”

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    It didn’t take me long to decide that dating was off the table. I’ve had two boyfriends in my life, and neither “relationship” lasted long. The first was off-and-on for about 10 months, while the other was only 3 months. Even though both (boys) called themselves Christians, it was abundantly clear to me that I was more devout. Our priorities were different—I was constantly at church and had my sights set on ascending in ministry, while their interests were more about secular gain. Both times, I found myself drifting further away from God. And above all, they wanted to have premarital sex, and I didn’t, which is an obvious deal breaker.

    A lot of people will say, “Oh, you just chose wrong,” or “That’s only two.” But when it was all over, I remember feeling completely lost and apart from God because I had put all of my energies into them and placed my relationship with God on the back burner. I hated the person I had become to try to be who they wanted me to be instead of who God had created me to be. I didn’t even notice all of the negative changes I had made until it was over. I realized that I started dressing differently, wearing more makeup, and being sneaky. I didn’t recognize myself anymore and I knew I would never allow myself to go there again, for anyone.

    I decided then that instead of rolling the dice, I would do things the God way, which I believe is waiting on and trusting in Him, as the Word says:
    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
    I feel like Christians quote these words all the time, but do we really live by them—especially when it comes to dating? We claim we want God be Lord in our lives, but then we don’t even do what the Word says and trust Him to make the decisions because after all, He has the plan.

    Even aside from the fact that the Bible doesn’t condone dating, it comes with all kinds of unnecessary emotional baggage. When your emotions are involved, it’s easy to make bad decisions. You could easily end up catching feelings for the wrong person, resulting in years of heartache and pain. My own mother has been very open with me about her relationship with my father and the fact that she wishes she knew then what she knows now. She had four children with him, divorcing twice, and almost losing her life by way of his relentless abuse. Thank God, she made it out, but many women don’t.

    I know—that’s just one (extreme?) example. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from being a Christian, it’s that I don’t know everything, but God’s will is sure. My Pastor and First Lady are my example of what it means to choose not to date and wait for the Lord to send the one he made, just for you. At the time when they met, they were both focused on God’s purpose for their lives, not pursuing a relationship, and God spoke to each of them. It was that simple.

    So I stay close to God. I serve, I volunteer, I pray (all day, ‘err day), I study, and I keep my mind on God. No, I’m not perfect. Yes, I have desires. But I’m not desperate. I don’t need to be in a relationship. And the truth is, I’m completely happy just serving God. Besides, I’m only 26 and can’t really imagine being married right now. I am thriving in my singlehood. I have goals, dreams, and aspirations. I look forward to getting married and having children one day, but for now, I’m happy with it being just me and God. I don’t need a boyfriend and I don’t want one. I want what God has for me.

    And I know it will be well worth the wait.

     Are you a Christian who dates? Share your experience.


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    By Bukky Ojeifo

    For Black women, the term "snatched edges" is one of endearment, used to highlight a particularly amazing moment or describe thinning edges in a friendlier way. But if you've personally experienced hair loss near the temple area, there's nothing funny or amazing about the struggle to grow them back.

    Keep reading for prevention tips and the winning combination that made my growth journey a lot easier.

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    By Nicole Bourn

    There's nothing like a home cooked Holiday Meal and nothing has to change just because you're vegan this year.  The holidays are always a tricky time when you're on some type of special diet. No matter if you're eating low carb, low fat, gluten free or vegan - it's a challenge to navigate the family gatherings and get something on the dinner table that you can enjoy. In order to help you out with that, I've compiled a list of the 12 Best Vegan Thanksgiving recipes that you need to try this year.

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    Shea Scott Edwards
    If you've been rolling with CurlyNikki for a while then you're familiar with Naturally Glam, where you, the reader, got to share your natural hair journey with the rest of us. Well, we're bringing it back, this time with a focus on hair and the other aspects of your life worth highlighting. Are you in school, do you have a business, blog, products, advice, or even photos of your family to share? If you'd like to be featured in the Naturally Glam reboot- whether you live here or abroad- submit your photos and answer the questions inside this post!

    First up, we have Shea Scott Edwards, originally from Richmond, VA, currently living in the City of Lost Angels. Yes, Shea's hair is gorgeous, but we also love her commitment to giving back through her online ministry, blog, lifestyle brand and YouTube talk show, "Faith Rocks." Find out why Faith may be just what you need in your life!

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    Shea Scott Edwards

    How long have you been natural?
    I've been natural since 2006, after I got my first relaxer in LA, and my hair totally rejected the new chemicals. I did a gradual chop over the course of a few months because I couldn't fathom doing a BIG chop all at once.

    What have you learned about yourself since going natural?
    I've learned that my hair is such a huge part of my self-expression. Being natural makes me feel so connected to my spirit and culture. During the past four years, I experimented with a platinum blonde pixie (on and off) and although I LOVED the look and color it totally stripped the natural curl pattern from my hair. It was similar to having a relaxer. I've learned the health of my hair and natural defined curls are more important to me than color or bone straight looks. I want to be an example to my daughter in celebrating her naturally curly hair. I've learned I'm a naturalista for LIFE!

    Tell us about 'Faith Rocks."
    As an online ministry, blog, lifestyle brand and YouTube talk show, Faith Rocks is the #1 Destination for Faith & Lifestyle. We exist to encourage innovators, artists and entrepreneurs to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe in incorporating faith into every aspect of life. We are on a mission to spread the Gospel throughout the world by helping others experience the unconditional love, peace and freedom that comes through a surrendered life to Christ. I've recently written my first book, "Success in Celibacy" the Millennial's ultimate guide for self care through embarking upon the celibate journey. It's about identity, integrity, love, stillness and transformation. Life can be just as glamorous and fulfilling with NO sex in the city...at least for now. This book is EVERYTHING I wish I had in high school, college and while young-"adulting." It is currently available for pre-order on my website.


    Why and when did you create "Faith Rocks?"
    I've always dreamed of having a talk show. I started out as a panelist on the BET show, Teen Summit back in the day. After finishing graduate school at UCLA, I answered the call to ministry. Not too long after, (About 5-6 years ago) my husband and I came up with the "Faith Rocks" Talk Show as a way for me to encourage people on the daily grind of life by offering quick message, guest interviews and prayers on YouTube. I'd experienced so much rejection and defeat as an aspiring actress and needed to turn those lemons into lemonade. Faith Rocks is a form of total artistic expression enabling me to use my trials and triumphs as a way to help other people find God or become stronger in their faith. I chose to use the rejection, fear and sacrifice, mixed in with an unshakeable fire in my bones for the Lord in an effort to spread an authentic, relatable message of faith!

    How can it help us?
    We live in an era where people are looking for deeper intimacy with God, but don't necessarily connect to the culture of attending church for one reason or another. Faith Rocks is an online ministry for people in the in-between seasons of finding a church home OR to just be there to help enhance your current relationship with God.


    Did going natural help in creating "Faith Rocks" in any way?
    My esteem has grown through being natural. I've always been on a journey of finding, "my best look" similar to my walk with God, I was always looking for "the best spiritual path" for me. In trying so many different looks and exploring many different ways of doing things my own way I realized my best look is just being free. Natural hair gives me the ultimate freedom as does my walk with God. Natural hair helps me stay in my own lane and celebrate all that is uniquely me. It helps me combat comparison by accepting the skin I'm in and celebrating other women doing the same. Now, I will press my hair sometimes, wear braids and may even put in some clip ins- but being naturally glam is my most effortless, authentic look. I think women relate to me more in business and ministry with natural hair because they look and think, "there goes a woman unafraid of being her most authentic-self."

    Can you share any favorite black-owned products that you use? 
    Kinky Curly Curling Custard/Gel
    Cantu Shea Butter Conditioner Creme

    To keep up with Shea visit:
    Website: https://sheascottedwards.com/
    IG: https://www.instagram.com/faith_rocks83/
    YouTube: http://youtube.com/slsworldwide

    To submit to be featured in Naturally Glam email: naturallyglam@curlynikki.com
    And answer these questions
    1) Where are you from and how long have you been natural?
    2) Do you have any fav black-owned products that you use?
    3) What do you do and why do you love it?
    5) If you have a business, are in school, have a blog, products you sell, advice to give, or family that you are proud of and want to share, please do.
    6) Has having natural hair contributed to you meeting your life goals? If so, how?
    7) What's been the best part of your natural hair journey or your hair journey in general?

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    I'm straight...for now, anyway! #StraightNikki And while I miss the volume of my natural curls, the effortless dopeness of this bob, coupled with the fact that I don't have to re-wash or re-twist every few days has freed me up to spend my time doing (or not doing) other stuff.  My routine is simple and my hair lasts 3-4 weeks before I have to hit the re-set button.  The low manipulation/maintenance means I retain more of my length (I have to get it chopped every 4 months to keep the shape tight and the length above my shoulders!) and keep more hairs on my head.  So yes, if you are cautious, you can rock HEALTHY, gorgeous, straightened natural hair.

    Continue!>>>
    If I'm in St. Louis, MO (which I am at least 5 times a year-- I'm from Ferguson!), I'll have Marie Simone of Shi Salon hook it up.  She blows it out gently with a heat protectant and comb attachment (not a devilish round brush) and then flat irons it on the coolest setting possible for effectiveness.  I've never seen her pass over a section more than twice (and even that's rare--she uses the chase method with a fine tooth comb). She keeps my cut tight too-- it's basically a wedge cut, or an angled, tapered bob (cut at a 45 degree angle with the shortest layer at my neck/nape-- the layers gradually get longer as you move up to the crown) that she cut while dry and straightened. The nape hair is the shortest on my head- adding bulk, volume and movement to my naturally fine and thin hair because it all appears to be the same length!


    If I'm doing it on my own, I wash (Giovanni Tea Tree), condition (ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor and then Aussie Moist), finger detangle and then rinse thoroughly. I wring it dry a bit with my hands and then allow it to dry for about 15 minutes in a t-shirt. After removing the t-shirt I apply ApHogee's Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer + a little heat protection. I then gently blow it out in 4 sections using a comb dryer (takes all of 15 minutes because it was barely damp at this point) and then flat iron with my ceramic FHI.  It's never quite as dope as when I get it done professionally, but it ain't bad either--

    self-straightened 

    The key is to make sure your hair is CLEAN! Never never ever straighten dirty hair.

    No matter if I straightened it myself or had it done professionally, I add texture by bantu knotting my hair like this (usually two, sometimes 4)--


    or simply wrap it like old school.  Wrapping it gives it a ton of volume and it's a super easy night routine.  Sometimes, I'll rock the steam rollers-- the curls last for weeks!

    when David (my awesome stylist at the Dr Oz Show, he's melanated and beautiful- hey boo!) was styling me before going on set, he was praising the health and strength of my hair! We had a whole convo about today's culture and how folks lean on these bundles and lace fronts at the detriment to their own hair and self-esteem. 


    I use raw shea butter in the event that I need edge control and a little of Jane Carter's serum if I'm lacking shine.


    That's pretty much it! I still henna once a month (for shine, strength, thickening, smoothing and color) and rock the occasional twist-out.

    If for some strange reason I find myself on a treadmill or on my stationary bike (which is rare lol, I don't do sweating, I keep it tight with my diet), I always tie my edges down and I don't remove the scarf until AFTER my scalp is fully dry again.  This keeps my edges laid.

    In other news, after a series of appearances on Dr. Oz, I went home to STL for a week and made the conscious decision to partake in shrimp fried rice and vess soda at my fave Chinese spot and then a whole fish and jollof rice at my favorite African spot.  So in one day, in one bite, I went from Vegan to Pescatarian and I've been holding at that level for about 2 weeks. However, I might be eating honey baked ham tomorrow... it hasn't been decided.  After evaluating my psychological and physical health after the month long vegan venture, I didn't feel all that different, lol! So for now, veganism won't be a lifestyle for me, just my new once a season 'detox' (much healthier than the Master Cleanse that it's replacing)!

    Happy Thanksgiving darling,
    Nik

    Do you rock straight hair? What's your routine?

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    Via naturalhairslays on instagram
    By Mary Wolff

    Curls are beautiful in all their variations. While they are beautiful, they may require a good amount of care to stay healthy and looking their best. One of the biggest problems in curly hair, especially for those with thicker hair, is shrinkage. Shrinkage can make your strands look smaller, shorter, and flat. When it comes to preventing shrinkage in natural hair, here are a few tips to help you keep hair looking its best.

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    1. Blow Dry Roots 
    Heat is a tricky thing for curlies. It can damage hair when used too often and without properly moisturizing strands. When dealing with shrinkage, it can be your best weapon of defense.  Blow drying at the roots is a good way of preventing shrinkage in natural hair because heat causes hair to expand. The key here is to let your hair mostly dry on its own before using the blow dryer. You will get the best anti-shrinkage results if you blow dry roots that are only slightly damp as opposed to soaking wet.

    2. Blow Out
    With the same principle as blow-drying roots, a complete blowout might help prevent some shrinkage. This will help show off your length, but you should use this method in moderation to avoid long term hair damage. Also, make sure you use a heat protectant to be on the safe side. One of my favorites for this is Every Strand Coconut Oil & Pure Shea Protective Leave-In Hair Treatment because it is a two-in-one moisturizing treatment and heat protectant.

    3. Banding 
    If you want to forgo heat altogether, another option is banding. This is a method that uses hair ties to gently stretch out either wet or damp hair. You simply section hair and place the hair ties from root to tip to stretch out hair.  Let hair air dry and wrap in a satin scarf to help with fizz. It is important to note this method can lead to breakage so only use it occasionally.

    4. Pull it into a High Bun 
    This method of preventing shrinkage also uses the same principle of stretching hair. When you pull your hair into a high bun, you are essentially stretching the hair to avoid shrinkage. You want to pull the bun tight enough to give a good stretch but not so tight that it hurts or breaks your strands.  After a few hours in the bun, take hair down and be shrink-free!

    When dealing with shrinkage there are few ways to handle the matter. With these tried and true methods, never worry about shrinkage again!


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    By Lenora Houseworth-Weston

    When you think of your favorite beauty finds in your arsenal, vaginal products are probably the last on your mind, yet arguably among the most important. With Black women disportionately affected by cancer-causing chemicals in many vaginal products, and bacterial vaginosis (BV) via douching, it is time we re-imagine our vaginal care--and health. These beauty companies are shaking up the industry with their delightful, natural products while educating women on the importance of pampering ourselves down there.





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    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, for obvious reasons. It’s the one day of the year when I can eat pretty much all my favorite foods in one sitting. I never get to have baked macaroni and cheese and lasagna, apple pie and cheesecake, sweet potatoes and shepherd’s pie. Yams and rice and casserole, oh my! Don’t even get me started on the leftovers!
    As much as I love to eat, I always feel like I’ve gone up a size by the time dinner is over. Maybe it’s because I never dress accordingly, or maybe I actually do pack on some pounds. Either way, I always have to unbutton or unzip something. 

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