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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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    Iyanla Vanzant
     By Veronica Wells

    I’m waiting with baited breath for the day WE tv shows the meet up between Iyanla Vanzant and the Braxton sisters. To put it simply, the Braxton sisters have a lot of things to work out and Iyanla has the type of no-nonsense, honesty that the family could use a lot bit more of. 

    For the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing rumblings about what transpired on the season finale of “Braxton Family Values.” Tamar accused Vanzant of sex shaming her after she revealed she was molested by family members. (Vanzant mentioned that she could sue her for defamation of character.) Then, there was footage of Iyanla walking out of the session with the sisters—and their parents. At the time, we didn’t know what that was about. But a new clip from We Tv seems to add a bit of context to the walkout. 



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    Photo Courtesy  STYLE CARMEN


    It seems simple, right? Take a shower and wash your hair daily. Wrong! Washing your hair may seem like a simple task, but you would be surprised how many people are doing it wrong.

    Washing your hair incorrectly can lead to scalp irritation, dandruff, and other scalp issues. How often someone decides to wash their hair is a personal choice, although a standard can be set according to one’s lifestyle and hair type. I wash my hair with shampoo once every two weeks and co-wash weekly just to refresh my strands. I can do that because of the products I use and my lifestyle, but that can change with changes in my habits too. Certain hair types and textures only require washing once a week, while others feel best when washed 2-3 times a week.

    Read On!>>>


    Thick, coarse hair or tight curls and coils
    With this hair type, shampooing can be the last thing on your mind, since you need to wash your hair no more than once a week, or once every 2-3 weeks if your hair does not feel dirty. Daily washing is a bad idea as this would be too drying for your hair.

    To refresh in between washes, try co-washing your hair with water and conditioner, or water wash. Water washing means that you massage your scalp using just water, no shampoo, cleanser or conditioner. Some people do this in between their co-washes and shampoos.

    Medium curls and waves
    You can afford to shampoo once a week. If you skip a day or two, no need to worry because your curls will look great with a little refreshing. Curls can work well when they have a small amount of oil in them. If you work out frequently, you may need to co-wash in between shampoos. You can also water wash between co-washes.

    Fine curls and waves
    With a fine texture, by the evening your hair may seem oily, especially when you use styling products daily. Depending on your scalp, you may find that co-washing makes your hair appear oily the first few times you do it. Experiment with co-washing over time, you may find that the oiliness subsides. If you find that it’s not for you, try to prolong the length of time between shampoos by using dry shampoos or sticking to light stylers and refreshing with water rather than a product. At the very least, cut down on daily shampoos and minimize your wash days to once every 2-3 days.

    Of course, your hair type is not the only contributing factor to how often you should wash your hair. For example, your porosity and your city’s water qualities will also affect what might be best.

    WHEN SHOULD YOU WASH?

    No, washing weekly is not necessary for everyone. That weekly standard is for people who find it fits into their lifestyle. Here are three easy rules to guide you towards a wash day decision.

    1. Wash when hair is dirty
    There is no need for a wash day schedule just because we are used to one. Wash your hair when it is dirty and that can be anywhere from 1-3 weeks for some, although for many two weeks are just fine when you have coily hair. “Washing” means cleansing with a shampoo or cleansing conditioner, not just re-wetting hair and running conditioner through it. Many run conditioner through their hair just to refresh it and to keep it going until cleansing is necessary. Some months may require more washing (when you are working out more, swimming, etc.), so do not feel the need to stick to a wash schedule if it does not work for you.

    2. Wash when you have buildup
    Buildup is not always dirt. Oftentimes it is product buildup. Just like putting hair in twists the day before wash day, I do something similar when I use silicones. I know it will cause buildup by day two, so I do not use it until it is time for me to wash my hair. I don't want to walk around with buildup for a week so I schedule certain hairstyles according to my wash schedule.

    3. Experiment on washday schedules
    The best way to determine if two weeks would be a better fit for you is to try it. If washing weekly is just too much then stop and go longer like a week and a half or two weeks. Going longer than that may be such a great idea but know that just because you are not washing so often does not mean you cannot wet your hair and keep it moisturized. Do not lock yourself into a regimen out of habit but more out of a fit into your life. If your hair is not dirty, go an extra week and see how it fares.

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    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @CRAVINGYELLOW


    When you’ve been stuck with the same hair length for a while, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that your hair has stopped growing, but unless you’re suffering from a medical condition, rest assured--your hair is still growing.

    The average hair growth rate is about half an inch every month, meaning we get about six inches of new growth every year. The reason your hair may seem like it’s not growing is because curly hair is so fragile that, if not properly taken care of, it may break at almost the same rate that it grows, if not more.

    Here are some reasons why your hair growth seems to have stagnated:

    Continue!>>>


    1. Dryness/Lack of Moisture
    With all the coils and kinks on our hair strands, the sebum produced on our scalp can’t travel down our hair shaft, meaning our strands are left dry and prone to breakage. To help curb this natural phenomenon, you need to keep up with your hair’s moisture needs. After every wash day, make sure that you use a water-based leave-in like theOuidad Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner, to boost your moisture levels, seal the moisture in with your choice natural oil and then proceed to style your hair. In between your wash-days, you can lightly spritz your hair with some water to re-moisturize it.

    2. Excessive use of heat
    Using too much heat, or frequently using heat to style your hair can cause your hair to be extra dry, leaving your strands brittle and prone to breakage. Always ensure that you use a heat protectant like the Fantasia IC: Heat Protector Styling Cream; it seals in moisture and protects your hair from intensive heat damage.

    3. Harsh chemicals
    Frequent use of hair dyes and other chemical-laden products containing sulphates, parabens and silicones will leave your hair dry and brittle and prone to breakage. Opt for henna instead of your usual hair dyes, and always be sure to read product labels to ensure they don’t have any harsh chemicals in them.

    4. Genetics
    Our hair strands grow in cycles. Each strand individually goes through the Anagen phase, which is the growing period of a hair follicle; this is followed by an intermediate phase called the Catagen phase, characterized by slower growth; and finally, the Telogen phase, which is the resting and shedding period. Each person’s growth phase differs, and is largely determined by genetics. It typically lasts between two and six years, advises Dr. James C. Marotta, plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist.

    5. Diet
    Not eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated could slow down hair growth. Hair follicles need to be nourished to help them function at their optimum. “Your hair is comprised of the second fastest growing cell in your body and you have around 120,000 hairs growing on your scalp at any given time, all of these hairs need support”, adapted from the Harley Street Hair Clinic magazine. Aim to eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein and essential fatty acids.

    6. It’s time for a trim
    Clinging on to our damaged ends actually hinders hair length retention. Split ends left unattended could travel all the way up your hair shaft, damaging your hair and leaving it susceptible to breakage. Trim your hair at least every 4 months to get rid of these rugged ends, help keep your hair healthy, and encourage more length retention--supporting your overall hair health, and growth.

    7. Health issues
    Sometimes slow hair growth could be attributed to underlying health issues. If you’re doing all of the above, and your hair growth is still stagnating, Stephanie Scuoppo, a hairstylist and hair extension specialist at Oscar Blandi Salon, advises to pay the doctor a visit to rule out any allergies, dermatitis, hormonal disorders and general health issues.

    Feel like your hair isn’t growing? Share how you’ve overcome your own hair growth challenges in the comments below! 

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    VICTOR DEMARCHELIER

    via xoNecole by @michellesashawrites 

    When I think about my life, I often think about all the sacrifices I've made thus far just to make it another day.

    I've given up relationships, jobs, and even a bit of comfort in the pursuit of what I visualize as my dreams. A lot of times, it's easier to focus on what you don't have. However, when we're able to, instead, focus on what we do have, we grant ourselves permission to manifest additional greatness into our lives.

    In a lot of ways, singer and model Ciara is a glowing example of what a lot of us strive to be: the mother, the wife, and the career woman, doing it all in a seemingly effortless way. In the past, the 32-year-old has spoken about manifesting her dream husband, quarterback Russell Wilson, and why her intentional focus on positive affirmations have led her to lead the life of her dreams. But that's not the only blessing she spoke into existence.

    Recently, Ciara linked up with Cosmopolitan to shoot her first cover for the magazine and also dropped some gems about her ambition, her goals, and why she will never entertain an online troll.

    On the heels of the release of her seventh album, Ciara is on a mission. While this mission definitely includes continuing her successful career as a recording artist and eventually becoming a billionaire, Ciara also realizes that long after the records stop spinning and the accolades no longer roll in, it will be her legacy as a wife and mother that will remain.

    The singer says that in 10 years, her idea of success will be based on her family life, regardless of her creative endeavors. She tells Cosmo:

    "I never thought, 'I can't be because of the color of my skin, I can't be because of my gender.' No dream is too big. I want to be a billionaire. The more resources, the more you can do. But I think my greatest accomplishment 10 years from now is that I would have a successful life as it pertains to my marriage and being a mom. It's cool to want to do all these creative things, but it's no good to gain the world if you lose your soul."


    In fact, Ciara has been using the idea of positive mantras and writing down goals long before she manifested her beau. The singer, who is currently on tour with Bruno Mars, says she knew exactly what she wanted to do the first time she saw Destiny's Child on TV.

    And just like that, she wrote it down.

    She also wrote down how many records she wanted to sell (3-4 million, but as of 2015, she has sold over 23 million). And seeing that she's been in the spotlight since 2004, her goals have definitely become reality. She says:

    "They [Destiny's Child] were killing it, and I just went, 'This is what I want to do. I'm gonna be an entertainer…' The first goal I wrote down was to get discovered. The second was to sell 3 to 4 million records. Third, have longevity."


    When you're in the spotlight, there is no doubt that you'll have to battle the negative forces designed to wreak havoc on your self-esteem, and in 2018, we call them "trolls". The trolling phenomenon has taken on a life of its own with the advent of social media, and if you don't have a strong foundation in your own self-worth, one, ten, or a million negative comments could likely destroy you.

    Continue reading, HERE

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    via MadameNoire by Victoria Uwumarogie

    Reginae Carter is serious about her fitness these days, so much so that the 19-year-old has been able to drop a large amount of weight in an extremely short span of time.

    Continue!>>>
    She shared on her Instagram that since working with her trainer, who is known for his sessions with other stars in Atlanta, including Riley Burruss (who dropped more than 50 pounds with his help), and by recently revamping her diet, she lost 10 pounds in only five days. This feat was something that left her fans with questions, and even Carter, with questions.

    “I wanna thank my trainer @iamthekingoffitness for helping me through this fitness journey!” she said. “I lost 10 pounds in 5 days which was very very shocking to me lol . I kept getting on the scale like uhhh is this real ? But it is !! Because I had discipline and I stuck with my diet ! You guys can too!! Join me ! #WNM18 #NoDaysOff”


    Carter has been working with her trainer for months now, and they usually focus on intense boxing workouts. Boxing is a great way to get in and stay in shape, as it works the entire body: arms, legs, core, obliques, etc. It’s great for not just resistance training (punching against a hard surface that provides resistance builds strength and power), but also cardio. They also do a lot of tough resistance work, including the push sled, box jumps and more. Overall, it’s helped her tone up and feel at her best.

    But as Carter mentioned, nothing gets you to your results faster than cleaning up and sticking to your diet.

    For the record, it’s possible that she actually just lost water weight, as water weight loss can fluctuate greatly, especially during and after a period.

    Continue reading, HERE! 

    What has been your most effective weight-loss strategy?  

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    Sadora Paris shares her top 3 ways she grew her long, healthy natural hair.  Hint: blood flow is KEY!

    Continue!>>>

    Watch 

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    IG @snazzysoul


    Veronica asks, "I heard that using lotions with water is actually bad for your skin because as the water evaporates it removes the skin’s natural moisture and oil. Is this true?'

    TBB:  There are two fundamental ways that lotions can moisturizer your skin: one way is to provide an occlusive barrier that prevents the moisture that’s already in your skin from evaporating. That’s what ingredients like, petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones and so forth do. The technical term for this is reducing TEWL or Transepidermal Water Loss.

    The second way lotions work is to attract moisture to you skin using an ingredient that has an affinity for water. We call these ingredients “humectants” and they are things like glycerin, sorbitol, and hyaluronic acid. They essentially bind water to the surface of your skin.

    The best skin moisturizers use both mechanisms to moisturize skin. And the best way to do that is through an emulsion that’s a combination of oil and water.

    Continue!>>>


    This brings us back to Veronica’s question – what about the water that’s contained in the cream or lotion? What does it do?

    There’s enough water in a lotion or cream to give your skin a little quick moisture boost which the oils and other occlusive agents can lock in your skin. Let’s be clear – most of the moisturizing effect comes from preventing the loss of what’s already in your skin, but it doesn’t hurt to add that extra little topical boost of moisture.

    Right, some of that extra water will be absorbed by your skin and some of it will evaporate but that process of evaporation doesn’t cause any harm to your skin. It’s not going to cause the loss of skin’s natural moisturizing capacity in any way. So what Veronica has heard about lotions is just a myth. BUT I can see where this myth may have got its start.

    It could have come from the fact that soaking your skin in water is not good for it. That swells the skin cells and does allow leaching out of some water soluble moisturizing components like urea and sodium PCA. But that only happens when your skin is submerged in water for a considerable period of time.

    So I could see some clever marketer taking this little half truth and then saying that skin care products that contain water are bad for skin so they can sell you their special oil based product that doesn’t contain water. But it just doesn’t work that way. So, Veronica there’s nothing to worry about from using skin lotions that contain water.

    Have you noticed a difference in moisturizing with an oil based versus a water based moisturizer?

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    via xonecole.com by Kiarra Sylvester

    Dating? What does that even mean anymore?

    Ask around and you'll get a multitude of answers, from hooking up and talking exclusivity with one person. Personally, I'm talking about good, old fashioned dating that allows you to see what's out in the world. By that definition, it's something that I've never partook in but something that feels necessary and that I feel ready to indulge in...finally. But with the world revolving around hookup culture and the apps that support it, how does one even go about doing that on the cusp of 2018?

    In knowing exactly what I want, I have a 30-minute bandwidth with apps such as Tinder where I get request to have my p*ssy eatten after minimal dialogue. Don't get me wrong, that's great and all, but I'm not sure it's the proper way to manifest what I intended to manifest from the app. To that point, I'm not so sure that app is any better.



    Hoping the results I yielded on the tried and true Tinder were isolated incidents, I also tried apps like Clover, Plenty of Fish, and even a few sugar daddy apps (because men and money never hurt nobody).

    PoF was a bust from the second I downloaded, simply because the logistics of the app irked me and on Clover, I found an influx of undercover gay men and a crossdresser who expressed interest. Which is fine, just not for me. Post-dating app failure, I have a greater inclination to date the old fashioned way and that included meeting men in public settings. As someone who has always worked in female-dominated fields, there's not much of a space to meet men at work or in social settings.


    So, the question remains: how the f*ck does one date in 2018? Sadly, for those who love our solo Netflix 'n' Chill seshes, I think dating remains the same no matter how it is that we change. That means getting out and unlearning the defense mechanisms we've come to utilize by hiding behind our phone screens and earbuds. It means being as present as we can in the few moments that we do spend out in the world.

    And for those of us in this generation who are finding ourselves in more entrepreneurial endeavors and work from home roles that isolate us from a workforce, it means we must maximize every opportunity to meet people. Below are three ways to maximize your visibility in the 2018 dating scene.

    1. Rideshares Are the New 'Getting Out' and Meeting People


    I mostly Uber Pool because I have to, not because I want to. Nonetheless, Uber Pool opens a door that wouldn't otherwise be opened if you're behind the wheel of your own car. In my "Uber everywhere" lifestyle, I am exposed to attractive drivers and in my experience, the drivers typically have decent day jobs -- potentially weeding out men who lack potential. Furthermore, the other riders you meet along the way are always viable options as well.

    Basically, there's love to be found in Ubers, or at least a free meal.

    2. Use Social Media and Actually Get Social


    It's particularly difficult to meet people when you're starting from the ground up. But this is especially made difficult if you're Black in a new city, or at least that's how I'm currently feeling. Currently, social media is probably the greatest community that I have outside of my predominately white cohort, so I've been thinking I need to play the hand I was dealt. Facebook groups of like-minded people often have meetups, so we can learn more about one another -- take advantage of these and go to the events that they offer.


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    Wearing a protective style during the warmer seasons is like heaven on earth. There’s no better feeling than freeing yourself of styling responsibilities for an extended period of time. Although they are convenient, fiinding the perfect style that balances both your professional and personal life can be challenging! Have no fear; here are five styles that will protect your hair while maintaining professionalism in the workplace.


    The Braided Updo
    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @DOPEAXXPANA

    Looking for a style that is simple and provides low-maintenance? A braided updo will do just that, and then some. Create an elegant bun or pompadour with cornrows braided to the crown of your head, using the excess hair to style accordingly. You can count on longevity with this protective style--as long as you use a satin bonnet at night and keep your scalp moisturized. This updo will help you transition from work to the beach seamlessly!



    Crochet
    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @KEMIIXOO

    Crochet hairstyles offer extremely versatile looks that can be altered and styled any way your heart desires. Flexi-rods, faux locs, braids, short bobs--you name it, it can be done. When channeling a style for the professional setting, flexi-rods offer a fun, carefree look that will have your office talking —- in a good way.


    The Stylish Ponytail
    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @THEBRILLIANTBEAUTY

    The high ponytail has always been a classic, clean look. You can experiment with the style by wearing it loosely, adding a braid, bun, or wire accessories to wrap around the hair. The lifespan of this style is much shorter and it may require more maintenance. Fortunately, the install doesn’t require much. You can remove the ponytail, wash your hair and reinstall as needed.




    The Braided Bob
    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @JOURDANDUNN

    As fashion history repeats itself, so does the braided bob. This chic style frames your face and highlights your features. Like the braided updo, the bob style promises longevity and low maintenance. Add some hair jewels to dress up the style or some color for a little edge!

    Wigs
    IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM @ALWAYZPRETTI

    If you want to protect your hair but don’t have time to sit in the stylist seat, a summer wig can be your best friend. Braid your hair up, throw on a stocking cap, and select a wig that will align with your idea of professionalism in the office. Wigs are so versatile that you can have a designated style for work, and a style for social activities. Whatever you choose, know that the feeling of removing your bra when you return home is the same feeling you’ll have when you remove your wig. It’s euphoric!

    The professional world can often challenge your choices when it comes to selecting a protective hairstyle. The goal is to find a happy medium that meets professional standards, and fits your personal style. What’s your go-to protective style for the work environment? Please share in the comments section below, and check out this article if you’re looking for a few more crochet hairstyle ideas.

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    PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVING YELLOW


    I already know what you're thinking... should a woman with fine hair use oils? Everywhere you look in the hair care world, the answer seems to be, “not really.” Well, I’d like to disagree. Women with fine hair can use oils to improve their hair’s health. Before we dive into this topic, let's make sure that we get some key definitions out of the way. 

    What is fine hair?

    The natural hair community has several hair typing systems that help us better understand our manes. Two naturalistas with a very similar curl pattern might have a very different head of hair, simply because of the width of their strands. Natural hair varies according to curl patterns, porosity, and width.

    Hair width is the average diameter of one’s strands. There are generally three types of hair widths: fine, medium, and coarse. The term “fine hair” refers to hair that has a small circumference or that has a small diameter. Fine hair is mainly a dependent on your genetics, and all hair types, regardless of their curl pattern can have fine hair.

    Is fine hair the same as thin hair?


    No, fine hair is not necessarily thin hair. The term “thin” hair refers to hair density and not hair width. Thin hair means that one has few hair follicles per square inch. A fine-haired naturalista can have a full mane consisting of strands that are small in diameter.

    What are the characteristics of fine hair?


    Fine hair might appear very full when washed and air-dried, but falls flat and limp when straightened or blow-dried.
    Fine hair is easily weighed down by heavy oils, creams, and butters.
    Fine hair is fragile and easily prone to breakage when overmanipulated.
    Fine hair takes easily to color or dye.
    Fine hair usually doesn’t hold a hairstyle too well.
    What oils work best for fine hair?

    As fine hair tends to get weighed down by products, you’d be better off using products that are quickly absorbed into the strand and that do not leave a heavy coating. Argan oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil do not leave a greasy residue our fine strands.

    Argan oil is a light plant-based oil high in vitamin E and antioxidants, which help treat and repair damaged strands.
    Almond oil is one of the lightest drupe oils and is high in essential fats, proteins and magnesium. Both oils are easily absorbed into our strands and when applied modestly, do not weigh down fine hair.
    Jojoba oil is actually a wax ester that is used as a non-greasy, moisturizing hair oil. It is the most similar to the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in your scalp.

    Protective and Restorative
    Since fine hair is easily prone to mechanical damage, it is beneficial to use oils that have protective, strengthening, and restorative properties. Avocado oil and grapeseed oil can actively work to protect fine hair from environmental or mechanical damage.
    Avocado oil is high in monosaturated fats, which nourish, moisturize and strengthen hair strands, improving the way they look and protecting them from environmental damage.
    Grapeseed oil is non-greasy, odorless, and colorless. Like avocado oil, grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps to improve our hair’s elasticity.
    How should you use these oils?
    Hot oil treatment
    -Heat 2 tablespoons of almond or avocado oil .
    -Apply sparingly to the length of your hair and focus on the ends, which are the most delicate. Massage gently into your scalp for several minutes. Allow to sit for 15 min. Proceed to shampoo. Remember, heated oils are better absorbed into our strands and do not leave a heavy coating. All curly hair types with fine hair can benefit from this method.
    Sealant
    Fine hair is more prone to mechanical damage than other hair widths. Therefore you’ll need to have your LOC method on lock. Use three to four drops of argan oil. Rub it in your palms to heat it up. Dab it sparingly along the length of your hair. Remember to apply your sealant sparingly – there’s no need to slather oils onto your scalp. This will leave your hair weighed down. Type 4 textures with fine hair will benefit most from this technique as their curl pattern is most prone to losing moisture.
    Pre-poo or overnight treatment

    Pre-poo treatments can aid to keep our hair strong and moisturized, as well as to prepare our hair for wash day. Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado or grapeseed oil. Rub it onto your strands from tip to root. Only saturate your strands if you are using a clarifying shampoo the next day. Don your plastic cap and cover with your satin cap. Type 2 textures with fine strands can best benefit from a pre-poo instead of a sealant, as it does not require as much oil as a hot oil treatment and will be cleansed off the hair. This will eliminate any trepidation about your hair being weighed down.

    Do you have fine hair? Have you used oils in your hair regimen? What’s your experience been? Leave us a note below, and let us know your thoughts!

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     We’ve all seen it: Ariana’s lavender tresses, Zayn rocking neon pink, and Camila Cabello’s hues of purple that are ushering us into the lighter colors of the fall. Pastel hair looks fabulous on any curl type or texture, but we all know that creating these beautiful colors can put some wear and tear on your curls due to the intense dyes and chemicals. The misconception is that you must go blond before you can add any real color to your hair, but with a booming beauty industry making hair color more accessible and convenient, there are alternatives. Have no fear — if you are looking to put some pastel into your hair this season without the damage, we have a few alternatives to help keep your wallet and curls happy.

    continue!>>>



    1) Hair Chalk
    Yes, you can color the sidewalk and your hair at the same time. Hair chalk gives you temporary color for the day and is great way to add highlights or pastel hints to your hair without any messy dyes or chemicals. Chalks like Splat slide on dry and give your instant results with colors like violet sky, sugar plum, mint candy, and sun kissed. Hair chalks come in creamy and powdery formulas so determining which one is best for your hair type will require some research along with deciding what color you might want. You may need to do a few test runs on strands of hair to see what takes.

    2) Hair Spray
    If chalk isn’t your style and you prefer not to get your hands dirty, there are many new color sprays out that can give you temporary color at an affordable price. L’Oreal Paris has a 1-Day Spray with pure pigments in bold colors that you can wash out after just one day. Many temporary sprays on the market work so well because they aren’t sticky, and you can control the light or dark tints with the amount of spray you use. Dark and Lovely and Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint also carry some beautiful hues.


    3) Hair Gel and Tints
    If applying your own color at home feels a bit overwhelming, some salons allow you to bring in your own hair color applicators they can apply for you. Brighter hues can be tricky to impart onto darker curls so having a little help won’t hurt if chalks and sprays aren’t providing your desired hair color. Hair gels and tints have a more hands-on approach but can still provide a semi-permanent color you rock for a few days. Lime Crime and Manic Panic are both vegan and cruelty-free brands that can give you pastel hues in bold pigments.

    With so many alternatives for coloring our curls this season, trying out new, soft pastels are not only pretty but on trend for the fall season. Mix and match your color and have fun blending different hues;

    Always keep in mind that no matter a temporary or permanent hair color, conditioning and moisturizing your curls is essential to prevent damage and dry hair.

    Have you tried to temporarily color your curls? Let us know what products you used and any tips that helped you achieve and maintain your color.

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    No matter how much you love your curls, you probably don’t love detangling them. No matter your curl type, there is a risk of causing breakage or hurting your scalp or just taking too dang long. However, if you have the right products and patience, detangling becomes a breeze! Whether you detangle before you shampoo, while you’re conditioning, or as part of your styling routine, one of these products is sure to streamline your wash day.

    Continue!>>>


    Oyin Handmade Oh My Glide!
    Ease tangles away with this nourishing detangling spray! Cut your detangling time in half with the epic slip-in-a-bottle of OMGlide prestyling detangler. Packed full of nourishing oils and plant extracts including avocado oil and organic aloe vera.

    Kinky Curly Knot Today
    This is a favorite among curly girls for two major reasons. It keeps the frizz away and it has massive slip! That slippery elm and marshmallow root are not there for nothing. They aid in detangling like a pro without parabens, protein, or drying alcohols. This natural conditioning treatment is safe and perfect for daily use.

    SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Detangler
    Glycerin, coconut oil, elm and marshmallow extract make this detangler the ultimate go-to for loosening what seems like an impossible hair knot.

    DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray
    Quaternium-80, a compound made from coconut oil, water and other conditioning agents making it a holy grail for many curlies and wavies. It is a beast at combatting frizz and tangles. Your hair is left with shine, softness and defined curls, coils and waves.

    Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Knot on My Watch
    Have no fear! Your hair has its own personal Super Hero, guarding against tangles, knots and unruly, tresses! With the power of its "silky slip," Knot On My Watch helps the comb glide through hard-to-manage hair, leaving it tangle-free and protected from breakage, while restoring a healthy moisture balance.

    Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-in Treatment
    Coconut water and natural oils are combined in this leave-in treatment to deeply condition your hair. It also includes the heavy hitter flax seed oil, which is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your hair as healthy as it can be.

    Soultanicals Knot Sauce Coil Detangler
    Love dessert fragrances? Then the Soultanicals Knot Sauce is for you. This coil detangler is nourishing and packed with oils, marshmallow root and slippery elm for slip, and aloe juice for its humectant properties. The flaxseed gel provides curl definition with light hold, making it a great primer for your styling product.

    Creme of Nature Pure Honey Know-Away Leave-in Detangler
    Instantly detangle and remove knots with the Creme of Nature Pure Honey Knot Aware Leave-In Detangler. It is infused with Pure Honey, Certified Natural Coconut Oil and Shea Butter to restore moisture and repair split ends.

    SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Leave-in Detangler
    Infused with fast-absorbing Baobab and Tea Tree Oils and enriched with certified organic Shea Butter for a perfect balance of nourishing hydration and shine. Refreshing Spearmint invigorates the scalp for a stimulating experience, while Clay Sage gives hair a silky shine.

    Alikay Knots Be Gone Hair Detangler
    Scented with calming jasmine, this botanical infused blend gives your hair slip and moisture for easy manipulation to loosen stubborn tangles and knots, by reducing tension on hair during detangling which causes less breakage and hair loss. This lightweight formula will not weigh your hair down. Also works great for babies and kids!

    Sweet Milk Detangling Leave-in by Brown Butter Beauty
    When in need of a leave-in detangler with strengthening properties I reach for the Brown Butter Beauty Sweet Milk Detangling Leave in Conditioner. It has hydrolyzed wheat protein to help make the weak points along the hair shaft stronger for less breakage and is also great for those who do not like overpowering fragrances. It spreads easily without excessive application.

    Curl Girl Unwind Thermal Protector & Detangling Mist
    A dynamic duo that makes it so easy to detangle my curls, plus protects my hair from heat. This detangler leaves my hair so soft and defined, where sometimes I don’t even have to use a leave-in conditioner.

    Not Your Mothers Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Cream Detangler
    A luscious blend of Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter preserves the natural curl so your hair moves with a beautiful bounce. Tahitian Gardenia Flower soothes and softens to enhance the shape of natural curl. Mango Butter reduces frizz, restores hair's elasticity and creates shine.
    Curl Junkie Beauticurls Strengthening Hair Conditioner
    For those that need help with detangling, but don’t want to weigh their hair down, this conditioner is the perfect solution. It has plenty of slip without butter or heavy oils.

    Bouclème Curl Conditioner
    This conditioner from the up-and-coming UK brand Bouclème contains omegas 3, 6, and 9, along with plenty of botanicals. This magical combination makes for great detangling.

    Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner
    This curly girl essential can be used as a detangler, rinse out conditioner and /or a leave-in. A balancing blend of natural olive oil and coconut, this conditioner moisturizes and protects your hair without weighing it down. Essential triglycerides add softness, shine, and silkiness to your hair for effortless combing and minimized breakage.

    Bounce Curl Cream Conditioner
    This conditioner won a 2018 NaturallyCurly Editors’ Choice Award for best daily conditioner for type 2 hair, partially due to its incredible slip. All hair types will benefit from this delicious-smelling conditioner.

    Living Proof Curl Detangling Rinse
    Although Living Proof says this product isn’t a conditioner, it is designed to be used after a conditioning cleanser. The way use it is your choice - however you decide to integrate it into your routine, it makes detangling a snap.

    DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder
    One of DevaCurl’s newest products, Wash Day Wonder is designed to be used before you cleanse your hair. It’s super slippery for easy detangling and hair strengthening.

    Many Ethnicities Moisturizing Conditioner
    This product line was designed for multi-ethnic people and their specific curl needs. It is formulated to help retain moisture in dry or brittle hair, and it provides tons of slip and strengthening ingredients.

    Mielle Organics Detangling Co-Wash
    Want to skip the pre-poo? This co-wash has you covered. Specifically formulated for easy detangling before you condition, this product gets the job done quickly while cleansing your scalp.

    Curly Hair Solutions Slip 30-Second Detangler
    The name says it all. It allows you to comb through tangles quickly, and it comes in a convenient spray bottle for easy application.

    What is your go-to detangler? Let us know in the comments below.

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    Type 4c hair, in all its glory and beauty, can admittedly present a bit of a learning curve to naturals who are still learning about their hair. It may take a while to fully understand what their hair needs in order to thrive, and how it may require a little extra love and care to keep it in its healthiest state. While stretching natural hair is a popular method of styling, it can also be added to a regular 4c hair care regimen to make haircare easier and more efficient.

    Continue!>>>


    Why Do 4c’s Benefit From This Method?
    Type 4c naturals have the most tightly-coiled hair, and that combined with up to 70 percent shrinkage and difficulty retaining moisture can create the perfect recipe for damage and breakage. The tight curl pattern of the hair makes it difficult for oils and sebum to travel down from the scalp to moisturize the entire hair strand. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living your best life and rocking a beautiful 4c wash and go. Shrinkage is a sign of healthy, thoroughly moisturized hair; but for those 4c’s who have difficulty controlling knots and tangles, wash and go’s are just not practical for an everyday regimen--that’s where stretching comes in.

    Stretched 4c hair is less likely to curl in on itself, and makes it easier for those natural oils (and added moisturizing products) to travel down the hair strands and retain the moisture, warding off excessive breakage and dryness. Using heatless methods to stretch can also help you avoid frequent use of heat (and irreversible heat damage) and retain as much length as possible.

    Shavonnie Scott Wilson, professional New Jersey hairstylist and fellow 4c natural, says that although she likes to wear wigs, she prefers to keep her 8-year-old daughter Cecelia’s 4c hair in cute stretched styles. “Specifically in the summertime, I don’t change her styles much, so it’s easier to maintain braided and twisted styles. And her hair is detangled and protected” she says. Her go-to methods of stretching are banding, braiding, and twist-outs.

    Stretching Methods
    Some popular methods to stretch natural curls, waves, and coils include:

    1. BRAID-OUTS/TWIST-OUTS:
    The classic braid-out/twist-out. On thoroughly-moisturized and detangled hair (usually water, a styling cream, and an oil), simply section hair off and twist or braid the hair. Then, take the twists/braids down when they are dry. Check out Halfrican Beaute’s simple tutorial for type 4 hair. Get the Flaxseed and Black Castor Oil Eco Styling Gel she uses here.


    2. AFRICAN THREADING:
    African threading is done by sectioning the hair off and wrapping thread around each section. This method is good for keeping the natural curl pattern, while still elongating the hair. Youtuber NaturallyPhilo documented her results, check it out below.


    3. BANTU KNOTS:
    Bantu knots are accomplished by sectioning hair off as desired and twisting the hair, while wrapping it into a small knot. Some people twirl the hair around their finger, while others actually twist two pieces of hair together. Youtuber Ambrosia Malbrough does a two strand twist and then a bantu knot; take a look.


    In addition to aiding in hair maintenance, the ability to stretch type 4 hair presents naturals with several different styling options to switch it up and keep things new and fresh. Type 4c coilies can easily transition between a soft, fluffy afro with maximum shrinkage, to a super defined twist out or blown out style. If your coils seem to be dry and knotted regularly and you don’t wear stretched styles, give one of these methods a try.

    Do you stretch your hair? If so, what’s your favorite method? Go ahead and comment down below.


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    There is no turning back time when it comes to the severe, gradual heat damage that happens after too much heat use, at too-high temperatures, with too few heat protectants. But what about that one time you might have just made one too many passes over your hair? Or maybe you know you did everything right, but you're just nervous about the possibility of your curls and coils not bouncing back quite the same way.
    But don't worry, all hope is not lost on your short-term straightened hair. Try taking these six steps to rehabilitate your curls after a heat binge. You don't have to do all six at once, feel free to pick and choose which ones may work for you!

    Continue!>>>

    1. Cleanse with Shampoo
    As much as we love our co-washes and conditioners, the first wash going back to your waves, curls, and coils after straightening should always involve a shampoo. You can still avoid a sulfate shampoo to make sure you treat your curls gently, but the key here is that you will need a deep cleansing. Try the Bounce Curl Pure Silk Moisturizing Shampoo.


    Shampoo is important for a first wash for two major reasons:

    One--buildup removal. If you've ever had that semi-frightening moment where you first rinse your straightened hair and it doesn't immediately revert, you'll understand why shampoo is necessary. Most heat protectants and anti-frizz products have silicones and other occlusives that work to keep moisture out of the hair. Many oils and butters act in the same fashion, hence their propensity to seal the hair. Using a shampoo helps lift the moisture-blocking product buildup, so that the water can penetrate the hair and help restore the original texture.

    Two--since shampoo has a negative charge (anionic), it binds all of the positively charged (cationic) buildup to itself, removing it from your hair, which also has a negative charge. Since the hair is stripped, the next positively charged conditioner you place on your hair will be more effective than if you had not used shampoo to cleanse.

    2. Use a Reconstructor
    Heat straightening, combing, and just general wear and tear can cause cuticle damage to the hair. An intensive protein treatment (reconstructor) will help patch up those chips, cracks, and breaks in the cuticle of the hair temporarily. At some level, heat straightening (especially if you cranked the heat up a little too much) can alter the structure of the proteins in the hair, and a reconstructor has the potential to help them bounce back to normal - which in turn encourages your old texture return.

    Looking for a good reconstructor? Try:
    ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment
    ApHogee Intensive 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor
    She Scent It Okra Reconstructor
    Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment
    Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener
    tgin honey miracle

    3. Deep Condition
    Moisture is an integral step in getting your hair to return to normal. And of course, this step will work better if it follows a good cleanse. When hair is blow dried and flat ironed, moisture leaves the hair. And after slathering hair with products to keep frizz at bay, natural hair begins craving moisture. Restoring moisture balance to the hair with a super nourishing and penetrating deep conditioner will put parched strands back on the right track. Although most deep conditioners are designed to reach maximum effectiveness in 30 minutes or less, I recommend that after a flat-iron driven draught, an hour or more is perfectly fine. Just don't deep condition overnight to avoid hygral fatigue.


    Looking for a good deep conditioner? Try:
    tgin Honey Miracle Mask
    Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea
    DevaCurl Heaven In Hair
    Giovanni 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Deep Deep Moisture Hair Mask


    4. Do a Hot Oil Treatment
    If your hair still isn't feeling or looking quite up to par, a hot oil treatment may help get things back in order. Nourishing the hair with a warm concoction of oils can help restore shine and elasticity, enhance smoothness, penetrate the hair, nourish the scalp, and more. A hot oil treatment can penetrate the hair, moisturizing and nourishing on the inside and out. Different oils can boost the effectiveness of your curl, coil, and kink loving concoction.

    -Place the oils inside of a plastic applicator bottle (which can be purchased at a local beauty supply store)
    -Melt them together in a hot water bath (don't microwave them)
    -Apply to hair and scalp
    -Cover hair in a plastic cap or saran wrap.
    -You can sit under a dryer with the oil, or use a satin scarf or bonnet to help keep your head-generated heat in.




    5. Use the Greenhouse Effect
    If your hair still isn't responding like you had hoped, the greenhouse effect may help. A spinoff of sorts of the hot oil treatment, greenhousing involves trapping hair in an ultra-moisturizing environment to aid in absorbing as much moisture as possible. This can be achieved at simplest, by covering damp hair with a plastic cap and scarf.

    You can add to the greenhouse effect by incorporating a little bit of butter, oil, or conditioner of your choice to the damp hair, or by steaming your hair with a handheld or tabletop steamer. You can greenhouse your hair for as little as 30 minutes, or as much as overnight. Since the hair is not soaking wet, it is at less risk for hygral fatigue, over-conditioning, and becoming limp and mushy.



    6. Last Resort: Cut/Trim
    If you've done everything you possibly can and your texture just won't come back, a trim or cut may be in order. Since the ends of the hair are the oldest, it is likely that most of the damage to heat straightened hair is concentrated at the ends. Luckily, that can be resolved with a quick or gradual trimming away. More severe heat damage will require more cutting.

    Ultimately, severe heat damage cannot be undone. If you are at this point, determine what method will work best for growing out more healthy hair and getting rid of what is damaged - either with a major or big chop, or long term transitioning.

    How did you repair your heat damage?

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    AMINA MARIE

    Reader Question:
    I have been natural for two years now, but still learning how to work with my hair. For the most part, I wore my hair in braids during my transition period and only wore my hair out long enough for it to breathe before putting braids back in. I work out at the gym in the morning and have heard sites mention that you should wash you hair after each workout because sweat will damage your hair. Is this true? I do lots of braid outs on dry hair and I'm about to style my hair in mini twists for the fall to protect my hair and retain length. With that being said, I will not wash my hair everyday and need advice on how to keep my hair healthy. Help!

    Answer: Working out does typically cause sweating, and yes, sweat can be damaging to your hair.

    Sweat is the body's way of naturally cooling you down and eliminate toxins. But despite being a natural process, sweat can also bring damage to the hair. Due to the salt content of the sweat, letting it sit in your curls for awhile will definitely cause some dryness in your strands and scalp. But there are a few steps you can take to protect your hair from damage without washing it every day!

    Continue!>>>


    Minimize the amount sweat sitting in your hair
    There are some ways to absorb sweat, especially if you sweat a lot in your head area. You can wear a cotton headband to absorb some of the sweat around the hairline. Dry shampoo is another great option to remove excess wetness from the scalp. If your hair is long enough to bun, it's a good idea to pull it back and away from your face to keep you cooler. Even without length though, there are various protective styles that will help you stay cool and sweat less, such as flat twists. Lastly, you should already be drinking water before, during, and after your workouts. Staying hydrated will help you keep cool and also prevents your body from overproducing sweat.

    Do a conditioner rinse after working out
    In the summer, I typically rinse with conditioner if I'm wearing a puff. Like you, I wore cornrows during my transition. When I worked out I would fill a spray bottle and add shampoo (I'm definitely a supporter of sulfate free shampoos!), and water to dilute it. I sprayed my hair with this mixture and let the shower run over my hair. Now that I'm all natural, I add conditioner to a spray bottle, misting the hair, paying attention to the scalp and then doing a water rinse. I then spray on a conditioner, water, and oil mixture as my leave-in conditioner. You could also use your leave-in conditioner of choice. I think this strategy would work well on your mini-twists. Then take a t-shirt and squeeze the water out of the length of the twists in a downward motion.

    Sit under a hooded dryer, then apply a leave-in
    Another alternative would be to take a hand-held dryer with a diffuser attachment with you , so that you could gently dry after working out. This question prompted me to plan a new experiment. My daughter starts her swimming classes again next week and immediately after she will be attending music class. I twisted her hair tonight.

    I plan to conditioner rinse her twists and use a t-shirt to absorb the dripping water. Since it's getting cooler, I may also take the hand held dryer to make sure that her scalp is dry before going out. The good thing is that restyling natural hair after a workout is easier with natural hair than it is with relaxed hair. Now, sweat just requires rinsing and conditioning. I surely don't miss blow-drying my hair straight and then curling after washing. Hooray for easier post-workout haicare for the girls with curls!

    How do you maintain your hair while working out? 

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    via MadameNoire by Marsha B.

    Neijae Graham-Henries has a philanthropic spirit that is to be admired. This past summer, the 8-year-old Philadelphia resident attended the Junior Barber Academy lead by P. Michael Boone. Boone created a six-week program to give young men the tools they needed to become a barber.


    Continue!>>>


    Henries younger brother attended the orientation but later decided that fit wasn’t quite right for him. Instead, his sister attended the first day as the youngest girl in an all-boy class. Henries devotion and dedication to her craft, caused her not to miss any days of the program. “I never expected to see a young lady in my class, but she was eager to learn, and I gave her the same guidance I’d give my older students,” Boone told Yahoo Style. Upon her completion, the budding barber and future entrepreneur decided to give back to the community by giving out free haircuts.

    Continue reading, HERE.

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    craving yellow


    Many naturalistas start off their hair journeys by cutting off their relaxed strands. As they rock their TWAs with pride, many begin to crave length shortly after and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Natural hair bloggers, the web over, are proving coily hair can grow just as long as any other hair texture.

    One of my biggest secrets to my long, Type 4 hair is simply focusing on the basics: moisturizing, sealing, and protective styling. However, I know that for many Type 4 naturals, this process involves an understated fourth aspect: detangling. Detangling is the process of gently separating the strands to remove any knots and shed hair. Since our strands tend to form very intricate tangles and knots, this process for many naturals is easier said than done. However, in order to retain length, it is important that we learn to embrace and manage them. Here are six essential detangling tips that I have picked up along my four-year journey:

    Continue!>>>


    Start with stretched hair
    Whatever you do, do not try to detangle a shrunken fro. You might end up in tears or maybe even with a pair of scissors. A dry shrunken fro is a detangling disaster. If you have worn your hair in a stretched style, it’s best that you detangle your hair in that state before saturating it with water. Stretched hair is easier to handle because our coils and curls are slightly looser at this point. You can stretch your hair using two strand twists or plaits. You might even try the banding method or African threading technique. Remember, stretched hair is less prone to breakage and single strand knots (ssk) or fairy knots.

    Section your hair into 6-8 parts
    This is an important follow-up to part one. If you’ve worn your hair in a stretched out style, simply unbraid and detangle each section before moving on to the next. If you’ve been rocking a stretched out fro, you probably want to gently use your fingers to section your hair into 6-8 parts. Braid up each section and hold it back with hair tie or a few bobby pins. When you are done, take down one braid, and completely detangle it before moving on. This not only ensures that each section is completely detangled, but also preserves your sanity.

    Apply an emollient-based product
    Now, there’s lots of sway among naturalistas on this particular aspect of detangling. Some naturalistas rave about detangling products that add slip to their hair and melt away knots. These detangling products vary in composition, but most are water based. Other naturalistas say that a light oil will do the trick. I have found that whether water or oil based, adding product to my hair greatly aids my detangling process. I simply apply olive oil along the length of my slightly damp hair and proceed to detangle it. I leave the olive oil on overnight to serve as my pre-poo. I wouldn’t advocate for dry detangling, as the friction between my hair and my fingers causes unnecessary damage and breakage.

    Use your fingers first
    There is a vast array of combs and detangling brushes available releasing knots. I have opted to use my trusty ol’ fingers. Brushes cause too much friction and prominent seams in combs can cause excessive damage. My fingers are more than enough when it comes to regular detangling. Detangling using my fingers takes longer than raking a comb through my hair, but it helps me to retain length. If I must use combs on my hair, I only do so monthly or quarterly.



    Start from ends
    This is absolutely crucial. The ends of our hair are the most delicate and prone to damage because they are the oldest. It is critical that you nurture your ends if you are serious about length retention. Remember, the oldest parts of our hair have suffered lots of mechanical damage already from simple wear and tear, so treat them like silk. Do not forget to moisturize and seal regularly with a moisturizer and oil or butter of your choice.

    Be patient
    Detangling is a time-consuming affair. Make sure you allocate adequate time. It takes me two hours to fully detangle my waist length hair from tip to root. I fully detangle my hair once a fortnight, depending on my protective styling routine. On detangling days, I make sure I have my stash of movies on hold - this makes an otherwise exhausting process, more enjoyable.

    How’s your detangling process? What are your favorite products or tools and how do you use them?

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    source:ThankGodImnatural

    Wouldn't it be great if all our curly problems could be solved with one pill?

    Continue!>>


    Unfortunately hair care hasn't gotten that convenient just yet.

    While many women rush to the vitamin aisle to help with lackluster hair or even dreaded hair loss, it is important to check out the research on the matter before just assuming a vitamin is the answer. One of the most hotly debated and misunderstood options on the market is the use of vitamin A supplements for hair.

    And it makes sense, after all, retinol, a prominent member of the vitamin A family is a very common ingredient in both hair and skin care for its rejuvenating properties. But before you stock up on this little powerhouse, there are a few things you need to know first.

    The matter of taking vitamin A supplements for hair loss isn't a clear-cut, yes or no type of answer.
    While there have been studies that suggest vitamin A can help with hair growth, these studies were typically small-scale studies collecting data too small to be fully conclusive in its findings. It is also important to note that there are studies suggesting that a vitamin A deficiency can lead to hair loss. If a person doesn't have a deficiency in vitamin A, many people think there is no harm in simply doubling up to be on the safe side. However, if you do not have an actual deficiency, taking vitamin A supplements can have the opposite effect and lead to premature hair loss. In a study published in the esteemed journal, Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, it was found that, "While deficiency has not been linked to hair loss, high levels of vitamin A have. In fact, one study found that in a mouse AA model, reduction of vitamin A in the diet actually delayed hair loss onset."

    Remember, just because it's a vitamin doesn't mean the more the better.

    Unlike vitamin C, our bodies don't naturally flush (literally!) excess A out of our systems. As it's a fat soluble vitamin, not a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin A takes much longer to leave our bodies, and can build up to toxic levels if you're not careful. As well as hair loss, symptoms of over-intake of vitamin A can include irritability, nausea, severely reduced appetite, spontaneous bone fractures, and liver damage. Not fun stuff, curlies.

    So, unless you have a deficiency in vitamin A, you might want to skip adding in supplements, especially less obvious ones that are still high in the substance like Cod Liver Oil. But how do you know that you actually might have a significant amount missing from your diet in the first place? The symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency include dry skin, vision problems such as being unable to see in dim settings, dry eyes, and vision spots or "floaters", as well as frequent infections. If you suspect you have a deficiency or any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. You should never start a vitamin A supplement without checking in with your physician just to be on the safe side—and if you doubt us, scroll back up and read through the overdose symptoms one more time.

    If you have consulted your doctor and increasing your vitamin A intake is a suggested method, it is important to note a few things.

    If possible, it is better to get your vitamin A through digestion of vitamin A rich foods over supplements. Foods rich in vitamin A, include common, easily found munchables like kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, liver, broccoli, and eggs.

    If you do decide to take vitamin A supplements for hair growth or other issues, do remember that supplements are not closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so a vitamin A supplement may have less vitamin A than it leads you to believe. It is important to carefully read any labels on the supplements to make sure you are getting something that is pure and safe, as well as to read reviews before purchasing anything and to ask questions in communities that DON'T profit from selling supplements. If you still have questions about supplementation, you can consult your doctor or a registered dietician for guidance.

    What do you think curlies? Have you ever supplemented blindly or do you always check in with your GP first?

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    source: instagram

    via xonecole.com by Bria Renee

    Beyoncé ain't neva lied when she said, "All these people on the planet working 9 to 5 just to stay alive, and 9 to 5 just to stay alive, how come?"

    The majority of your life consists of earning a living and, believe it or not, many people are unhappy with their jobs. According to a 2016 study conducted by Gallup, a research-based research consulting firm, 9 out of 10 employees are "actively disengaged" from their job. The average American retires between the ages of 62 to 65. So from around 16 to 65, we are dissatisfied in what we do for a living. So are we just supposed to work all our lives at shitty jobs we don't like? Hell yeah, we are! At least, up until we decide to say, “Hell naw" and find what it is that we are passionate about.

    Many people hate the lack of freedom, the consumption of irreplaceable time, missing out on events with family and friends, and simply just not wanting to go to the same place day in and day out. The motions of constantly going into work and feeling an instant shift in your mood, thinking about other things while you are robotically doing your job, and constantly telling yourself that working a job you hate is better than having no job at all is not what we all imagined being when we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. 

    It's a universal truth that everyone wants happiness.

    So, how do we find happiness in a place that we absolutely hate?


    Create your own reality.

    Get over your dislike for your job by using it to fund your dreams. Doing so will help you in creating your own reality. Of course, we would love to give our supervisor a resignation letter one day in advance of quitting but that won't stop the bills from building up or keep the refrigerator stocked. Many of the people that we look up to like Karen Civil, Sophia Amoruso, and Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar would not be who they were if they were not happy with working at places that left them feeling unfulfilled while they worked to achieve their dreams. If they can do it, you can too.


    Use what you know and turn it into actions.


    If your desire is to start a catering company, find some new recipes that you have never tried and make them. If you fail, don't take it to heart. Failure is expected and I promise it will help you to improve by changing your approach to things. Many people encounter that failure and they will get discouraged, which is expected, but remember to keep your goal in mind.


    Do the work.

    Whatever your dream may be will require your hard work, sacrifice, and money. Take the time to figure out what makes you happy, how you can help others, and what can you do for free while maintaining your passion. Also, find someone that has the time to commit to helping you, not only professionally but personally. If you can't find someone who will help you reach your dreams yet, read what you can to increase your knowledge and apply it to what you already know.

    Continue reading, HERE!

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    via BET.com

    And everyone wants to know what in the Iyanla: Fix My Life is going on.

    Some people just don't need to be on social media...periodt!

    In a photo posted to The Shade Room, an alleged mother claimed that her husband once left her while she was pregnant for his mistress. Then in a shocking and somewhat sad turn of events, he re-married his mistress and started having an affair with his ex-wife.

    Why the ex-wife thought this was a good idea to post, the world may never know.

    Everyone in the comment section was equal parts confused and shadily judgmental.

    "Why are you out here bragging about being demoted and degraded???" wrote one person on Instagram.

    "Oh so you went back back...ok," commented another person.

    "The foot rub can't be that good sis," wrote one Instagram user.

    While there are no details about who posted the picture and if its even real, one thing we do know is the world is full of petty, petty people.

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    Calling all curly coily ladies out there! Are your curls thirsty? Has harsh weather made your hair stiff? You might be overlooking a great natural ingredient that could be your saving grace. Aloe vera is known to promote shine and moisture in hair while also preventing hair loss and dandruff. Grab products with aloe vera or some all natural aloe vera gel to benefit from this amazing plant! Why should you? So glad you asked.

    Continue!>>>


    What are the “ingredients” found in aloe vera gel?
    Many curly girls are extremely careful about the ingredients found in the products that they use on their curls...as they should be! With aloe vera gel, there’s no doubt that you’re using a natural product that’s great for your hair. It consists of water, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 phyotonutrients.

    Our Curl Chemist Tonya McKay says "most '100% pure Aloe vera gel' available for purchase is a mixture containing some aloe, polymers for viscosity modification, preservatives and other additives. These additions will necessarily change the impact of the aloe vera on your hair as well." This is even true for one of the most popular brands in the curly community is Fruit of the Earth which you can get at Amazon, Walgreens, or Walmart. So you can use any brand that sells pure aloe vera gel, but just be aware that most will contain additives.

    1. Pre-Poo
    Use aloe vera gel as a pre-shampoo treatment to reduce buildup dandruff. Aloe vera’s natural enzymes destroy the excessive dead skin cells and fungus that leads to dandruff (malassezia) while also leaving the scalp’s pH level balanced and hair moisturized. Apply to your scalp as a treatment before your wash and give yourself a fresh start!Massage the gel into your scalp and leave it for ten minutes, then rinse before shampooing or co-washing as usual.

    You can also use aloe vera juice to the same end. For a lighter pre-shampoo treatment, mix aloe vera juice, coconut milk and wheat germ oil.

    2. Shampoo
    Aloe vera gel can make a great moisturizing shampoo. Some shampoos (even sulfate-free shampoos) can leave your hair dry and stiff. Check those ingredients and try a shampoo containing aloe vera, or add some aloe vera gel to your current favorite! Its naturally moisturizing properties will leave your hair strong and moisturized.

    3. Conditioner
    For women with tightly coiled strands, natural oils are trapped at the root. Products with amino acids promote moisture and condition our hair. Aloe vera has 20 amino acids!

    You can use a ready-made aloe vera conditioner or you can mix aloe vera gel with the conditioner that you already use. If you’d rather go all natural, here’s a very simple conditioning recipe:

    DIY Conditioner
    -Cut the aloe vera leaf from the stem upward
    -Use a spoon to remove all the gel
    -Apply it to damp hair, starting at the scalp and working your way down to the ends
    -Wrap your hair in a warm, damp towel and let the treatment sink in for at least 15 minutes
    -Wash your hair as usual after the treatment

    4. Aloe Vera Gel
    Looking for curl definition? Many use aloe vera gel to define and moisturize their curls simultaneously. Defined curls always look the best when they are conditioned well. For Type 4 Coilies, this may not work so test on a small section of hair first to see if you like it.

    DIY Styler
    -Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to your hands after washing and conditioning
    -Scrunch it into wet hair just before your go-to styler or gel

    5. Detangling
    If you are looking for natural detangling products that are gentle on your child's or your own curls, you can skip the store aisle and make your own. Simply combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:

    8 oz distilled water
    1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
    1-2 drops glycerin
    1-2 drops essential oil (e.g., lavender, jojoba)
    10-15 drops grapefruit seed extract
    Then section the hair and apply the mixture to each section as you detangle.

    6. Hair Growth
    YES! We all love to see our hair gain some length. Use aloe vera on your “special” areas that need a little extra help, or even bald spots. The enzymes in aloe vera will attack skin cells clogging your hair follicles leaving two gifts (moisture and shine). While helping to unclog your follicles the nutrients that promote hair growth can do their thing.

    Do you use aloe vera gel? How did it work on your hair?

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    If your deep conditioning sessions consist of a lot of trial and even more error, then you need these no-fuss dos and don'ts of successful deep conditioning:

    Continue!>>>


    DO...

    DO KEEP IT REGULAR

    Hair that is deep conditioned regularly is more manageable, softer, less prone to breakage and frizz, and is able to retain length.

    Remember that whatever "regularly" means is determined by you. Some naturals and transitioners deep condition their hair every 3-4 days. Some, every 2 weeks. I personally aim for once a week, twice a week if I'm lucky. My recommendation is to start out weekly - if your hair begins feeling weak and limp, lessen to every two or three weeks. If it still feels dry, pump it up to twice a week.

    DO HEAT IT UP

    If you want your deep conditioner to work double duty and make your hair feel super soft and smooth (or super strong if it is protein based), heat it up. According to this article by JC of The Natural Haven, heating your deep conditioner up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) increases the amount and effectiveness of adsorption (the good stuff that sticks to the hair) of said conditioner. Long story short, warm conditioner works better.

    Try heating your deep conditioner in a hot water bath instead of the microwave for best results.

    DO ALTERNATE

    One of the keys to healthier hair is a proper protein to moisture balance. Alternating your deep conditioning sessions between moisture and protein will help keep your hair soft, strong, nourished, and minimize breakage, aiding in growth and length retention. For moisture and softness, stick to conditioners that have fatty alcohols like cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl, plus emollient butters and oils, humectants like glycerin and aloe vera, and ceramides. For strengthening treatments, look for ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins, amino acids, keratin, and henna.

    DO GET STEAMY

    My pre-poo, detangling, and deep conditioning life forever changed when I got my hands on the Q-Redew. Steam is one of the major ways I keep my hair hydrated and give myself a moisture boost during deep conditioning sessions, and for mid-week refreshing. Steam not only heats up conditioner (bounce back to #2), but it also lifts the cuticle gently to allow for better penetration of conditioning ingredients. Steaming hair while covered in deep conditioner also helps improve elasticity, and moisture retention. Even if you don't have a steamer, you can DIY your own at-home steam treatment when you follow this tutorial.

    DO FOCUS ON YOUR ENDS

    Have you ever actually read the directions on the back of your jar of deep conditioner? Most of them say to start and concentrate on the ends of your hair first. I know personally, I'm guilty of the exact opposite. However, starting with the ends of your hair is the most beneficial, because your ends are the oldest, driest, and most prone to breakage and splitting. By starting with your ends, you allow them a little more time to soak up and adsorb all of the deep conditioning goodness your product has to offer.

    And now, for the don'ts...

    DON'T...

    DON'T OVERDO IT

    Don't deep condition overnight or for hours on end. The obvious exception to this rule is treatments like henna, that require hours to take to the hair.

    But for your everyday run-of-the-mill deep conditioner, it should begin to work instantly, and reach maximum capacity at around the 20 or 30 minute mark. If your deep conditioner doesn't work after 30 minutes, it's time to ditch it for one that's more effective. Also, there is a such thing as over-conditioning the hair that can result in mushy, weak hair that has a more fragile keratin coiling. This is called hygral fatigue.

    DON'T MULTI-TASK

    Don't use your DC to co-wash or as a leave-in conditioner. Deep conditioners are specially formulated to be especially adept at what they do - providing intense conditioning to the hair. And while they may feel nice in the hair, and can in some cases make pretty sweet curl definers, using them to cowash or as leave-ins is generally a no-no. Deep conditioners tend to contain higher concentrations of cationic surfactants (their primary function is to stick to the hair), and will likely lead to even more buildup if used as a cowash or leave-in.

    DON'T BLOW YOUR BUDGET

    For the most part, deep conditioner base recipes tend to be the same:

    -water
    -fatty alcohol (ceteryl, stearyl, cetearyl)
    -gentle surfactant (behentrimonium chloride, methosulfate, etc.)
    -humectant (glycerin, propylene glycol, honey, sugar, aloe vera, etc.)
    -emollients (oils, butters)
    -hydrolyzed protein (optional)

    The order in which these ingredients appear may differ, as will the concentration and types of ingredients. This does not mean all deep conditioners are the same - these variations in formulation can mean the difference between a holy grail product and a horror. What this does mean, is to be price savvy. Take some time and compare the ingredient lists from your favorite expensive deep conditioners with a few drugstore brands. Often times, you'll discover the cheaper brand will be just as good, if not better.

    DON'T INVITE BACTERIA

    Don't let your DCs sit in storage long-term. Whether it's a DIY mix of avocados, greek yogurt, and Hello Hydration, or you stir your two favorite conditioners together, it is never a good idea to keep mixes for longer than a few days.

    Refrigeration may buy you a week but no longer -- unless it is a henna mix that you can freeze for months. The general idea here is that all store-bought conditioners are formulated with a certain concentration of antimicrobials and preservatives that keep them from molding on the shelves. Home DIY mixes have no preservatives, unless you just happen to keep food grade preservatives on hand (essential oils only last so long). To keep the mold away from your mane, only mix enough deep conditioner for a single use every time, and use clean kitchen utensils to mix and stir.

    DON'T BE FOOLED

    Don't be fooled by marketing gimmicks and pixie dust. As you may know, only the first 5 ingredients after water (with a few exceptions) have the most impact on your hair.

    Given point #3 about most deep conditioner bases being similar, spending tons of cash may not be the wisest thing. Add to that, not falling for marketing gimmicks and pixie dust. There are tons of products that will showcase exotic ingredients and extracts emblazoned across the label, but when you turn that label over, said ingredient is 32nd on the list right before the preservatives. Unless the miracle ingredient you're looking for is in the top 6 (top 10 to stretch) ingredients, you're setting yourself up to become a victim of a marketing ploy. If it is an oil or butter you're after (like coconut, jojoba, olive, macadamia, or sweet almond), you might be better off buying a cheapie conditioner and adding said oil in pure form yourself.

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    Whether it’s makeup, hair, beauty, or skin, the drugstore is that tried and true friend who’s always got you covered. We all know the beauty aisle is filled with a variety of go-to and lesser-known brands, most of which rival high-end products. Ready to change up your look or try something new? Here are some drugstore beauty products to look out for this season, because you deserve to look luxurious on any budget.

    All of these products are available at stores such as Walmart, Ulta, CVS, and Target.

    1.) Soultanicals Knot Sauce Coil Detangler (paraben-free, phthalate-free)
    This is a curly/coily favorite with impressive reviews. This hair lotion makes detangling day much easier with a lot of slip and a host of plant-based ingredients, including coconut nectar and broccoli seed oil. On top of that, it will leave your hair smelling like a sweet vanilla cupcake.
    Price: $16.00

    2.) Carol’s Daughter Coco Crème Velvet Cream Hair Mask (silicone-free, paraben-free)
    For curlies with dry hair, Carol’s Daughter’s Coco Creme Velvet Hair Mask may help you get through the colder months. When added to your normal hair regimen, the Coco Creme Velvet Hair Mask can add extra moisture and hydration for soft curls and coils.
    Price: $13.97

    3.) NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
    Looking for a new foundation? This lightweight liquid foundation gives a matte finish while being advertised as suitable for all skin types. Even better, it comes in 45 shades, from the lightest Pale to Deep Ebony.
    Price: $14.99

    4.) African Pride Moisture Miracle Honey, Chocolate & Coconut Oil Conditioner

    This sweet-sounding conditioner contains real honey, chocolate, and coconut oil that will replenish and restore moisture to your hair after shampooing. It’s also water-based.
    Price: $5.49

    5.) Tropic Isle Strong Roots Red Pimento Shampoo
    For curlies who need a more moisturizing shampoo, the Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Shampoo removes buildup from the hair while adding moisture. It also sports an all-natural and fairly short ingredient list, including coconut oil, olive oil, and Jamaican black castor oil.
    Price: $13.99

    6.) Taliah Waajid Protective Styles Hairline Help 2-In-1 Plus Bamboo & Biotin Edge GrowthCurlies/coilies who wear protective styles may want to wear sleek styles with smooth edges, without the fear of thinning. With the 2-In-1 Plus Bamboo & Biotin Edge Growth you can have your cake and eat it, too. The product promises to keep edges and fly-aways in place with no flaking, and stimulate thicker, fuller hair.
    Price: $4.99

    IMAGE BY SABIN ABAYO

    7.) Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Instant Soothe Scalp Elixir Treatment (sulfate-free, paraben-free)
    Itchy scalp, be gone! This treatment is designed to be used in between washes to give relief to those who suffer from a dry, itchy, or flaky scalp. This no-rinse formula is applied directly to the scalp and is part of the Head and Shoulders’ line of products designed for natural hair.
    Price: $13.92

    8.) Covergirl Queen Natural Hue Mineral Bronzer
    A dramatic bronzer, perfect for a sun-kissed look on deeper skin tones. A single product that can amp up your look. Comes in three beautiful shades.
    Price: $6.64

    9.) Love Beauty And Planet Shea Butter and Sandalwood Shea Velvet Body Lotion(vegan, paraben-free, silicone-free)
    This environmentally conscious lotion will keep your skin smooth and moisturized this fall while giving off a relaxing sandalwood and shea butter scent. Love Beauty And Planet even sources their shea nuts ethically from Ghana and Burkina Faso.
    Price: $10.99

    10.) L’Oreal Paris Nourish & Soften Pure Sugar Scrub
    Keep your skin glowing and fresh this fall season. This lip and body scrub contains three different sugars, crushed cocoa, and coconut oil. The sugars exfoliate the skin while coconut oil nourishes, leaving a soft and smooth finish.
    Price: $8.53

    Let us know what drugstore finds are on your radar this fall. For more affordable products, take a look at these curly girl approved items.

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    image: instagram


    I wish my hair would stop growing...said no one, ever. Curly and wavy women especially can relate. Even when our hair grows at a normal rate, tight curl and wave patterns make it seem as if the length barely budges. Sigh.

    But before you Google “hair growth supplements”, we need to have a chat. Slow-to-grow hair probably isn’t the reason you’re longing for Rapunzel-level length (or just a lob that makes it past your shoulders). As we age, hair can become thinner and even starting falling out, which often tricks us into thinking that our length is the problem. These nine supplements have been shown to promote thicker, stronger hair that looks fuller, healthier, and yes, longer.

    Continue!>>>


    VITAMIN A
    Vitamin A is an antioxidant that promotes skin regeneration and collagen production, making it ideal for healthy hair, skin, and nails. It is said to promote thicker hair and stronger hair follicles through keeping the scalp moist, which in turn stimulates growth. However, too much Vitamin A can have the opposite effect, essentially causing hair follicles to go into overdrive and resulting in hair loss. Make sure to read the vitamin label and avoid taking multiple doses so you don’t overdo it.

    SAW PALMETTO EXTRACT
    Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., a dermatologist at the Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, California, tells NaturallyCurly.com that saw palmetto extract may improve the growth and fullness of hair. In one study, 60 percent of patients taking saw palmetto extract saw an improvement (whereas only 10 percent of the placebo group reported any improvement). This is another supplement to be careful with, though, especially if you’re taking birth control pills: saw palmetto has been shown to “decrease the effects of estrogen in the body” and thus, potentially decrease the effectiveness of birth control.

    VITAMIN D
    “The vitamin D receptor helps regulate your hair cycle,” says Dr. Mirmirani, who has her patients take vitamin D supplements whenever their levels are low. Even though experts aren’t exactly sure how the body’s vitamin D levels influence hair growth, most agree that it’s an essential vitamin for skin and hair health.

    BIOTIN
    Biotin, which is part of the Vitamin B family, is one of the most-recognized supplements for improving the strength and thickness of hair. Although the data from studies of biotin is inconclusive, Doris Day, M.D., a celebrity dermatologist in New York City, says, “I have some very happy patients taking biotin right now. Even though the data is mixed, there’s at least enough to support trying it out.”

    FOLIC ACID
    If you do decide to take biotin, you can increase your body’s absorption of it by pairing it with a folic acid supplement, as well. This study from the University di Bologna shows that folic acid helps the body metabolize biotin, boosting its effects.

    VIVISCAL
    One of the most respected hair growth supplements on the market is Viviscal, a Scandinavian supplement made with silica, Vitamin C, and fish protein. Dr. Day tells us, “I’ve observed it help with hair thickness and regrowth, especially around the temple area.”

    Celebrity hair stylist David Babaii is a fan of Viviscal, as well, after witnessing its effects on a client. “Within a month, I noticed growth of new hair and after six months, her hair was even thicker than before she started taking it,” he says.

    COLLAGEN
    As we age, the body’s natural production of collagen slows, which can result in wrinkled skin and thinning hair. Adding collagen, which is actually a protein, to your daily routine can counteract these effects by helping the body produce more keratin protein (which, by the way, makes up 90% of our hair). Collagen also stimulates blood circulation, which supports hair health by helping the body deliver essential nutrients to hair follicles.

    GLA
    GLA, also known as gamma linolenic acid, is considered an essential fatty acid of the omega-6 variety. Even though we need omega-6 fatty acids for a variety of reasons–including healthy hair and hydrated skin–the body cannot produce it on its own. Nuts and seeds, like almonds and pumpkin seeds, are great sources of GLA–but if you don’t get this essential nutrient from your diet, you can take it in supplement form to stimulate hair growth and keep your scalp moisturized.

    FENUGREEK
    Fenugreek is a herb that promotes healthy hair in two ways: you can take it internally or use it topically. Part of the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, fenugreek (sometimes called “methi”) has been shown to strengthen hair at the roots, preventing hair loss and thinning hair. You can take it as a supplement, or make a hair mask by mixing equal parts fenugreek seed powder and water and applying it from root to tip. Although there aren’t studies that prove fenugreek’s benefits, many people swear by it to promote hair growth, prevent dandruff, and add shine.

    Of course, the best way to promote thick, healthy hair is through a well-balanced diet. First, add these hair-healthy foods to your daily routine; then, supplement with vitamins as needed.

    Have you taken any of these supplements and noticed hair growth? What are some others that you might suggest for your fellow curly girls? Share them with us in the comments below!

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    Hola Chicas!

    So I've been vegan off and on for the last year, and stay sharing pics of my favorite dishes on IG.  The DMs and emails have been so serious, that I thought I'd share here!

    Continue!>>>
    Y'all: How long have you been vegan?

    Me: I called myself a flexatarian up until May 2018, but have been fully vegan ever since-- my longest stint yet! I'd go back to fish on occasion, and one time fell all the way off the wagon into a plate of Dominican chicharron and ox tail.  Bomb.  And after a cup of fish nibblers from White Castles back in late April, I decided I was all the way done, and haven't craved meat, fish, dairy, or eggs since!  I'm also mostly gluten free due to the gastrointestinal distress.

    Do you miss meat? 

    As someone who could eat fried oysters, shrimp and clam strips for breakfast, and go ham in the Honey Baked Ham store on any given non-holiday day, I would say that it has been a long and arduous journey to actually 'loving' veggies.  I'm not a salad person... so I'm not 'that' kind of vegan.  Between mushrooms (grilled, smoked, or sautéed), jackfruit, and the magnificent meat substitutes they've rolled out, I'm good.  Beyond Meat has a brat now... and it not only snaps like a brat (they got that skin/casing down!), it tastes like one.  And I wept.

    Why, tho?

    Fat-ass hamburger arteries. I've had slightly elevated cholesterol since I was 18, 'cause bacon. At my last yearly physical, despite my healthy appearance and weight (I'm the weight I was pre-Gia), my cholesterol was still hitting border line high... mostly because of the Dominican restaurant in walking distance. That, plus I'm a heavy researcher.  I knew what I was supposed to be doing.  *Just like you know what you're supposed to be doing!* I threw out all the cakes, cookies, and pies, and other processed unnecessaries way back in '08.  I had seen the documentaries, but would still go back to the terrible-awful.  I think I hit a turning point after my experiments with juice fasts-- I would feel so energized and clear, that I knew that if I cut out the heavy animal products, I could enjoy this clarity, while also eating actual food.

    Also, mucus. I had mystery, non-allergy related, post nasal drip for years, and always knew it was dairy, but couldn't give it up.  Since going vegan, the green monster has vacated. Unless I eat too much wheat, and then he sets up camp again.

    What do you eat? 

    EVERYTHING! Except animal products, to include honey.  Honey was the last and hardest thing to give up.  I'd still probably take some in my tea if the agave or sugar ran dry.  Despite my vegan or plant-based label, I still enjoy ice cream, spaghetti, tacos, burgers, brats, enchiladas, quesadillas, fried 'fish', fried 'chicken', and other greasy deliciousness.  But most of my diet is comprised of rice, quinoa, stir fries (heavy on the shrooms), fruits, and nuts (and buckets of french fries and hashbrowns, I tell no lies).  I drink a lot of water (with a splash of cranberry juice), quite a bit of tea (Black with almond milk and a little sugar or agave), and a dose of Amazing Greens, daily.

    Fun fact-- I gave up my near nightly glass of Pinot Noir back in January. I still had 10 pounds of baby weight that wouldn't budge. I was eating clean... not working out (but I never really do), but damn sure eating clean, except for when I wasn't haha. I googled 'alcohol and weight loss' and realized that it isn't just the calories that's the problem, it's the way your body processes alcohol.  Your body sees it as a toxin, and immediately gets to work trying to get it out of your system, which pushes everything else, like fat burning, down the priority list.  I kept googling 'I can loose weight AND still drink', but I knew what had to be done.  It wasn't even 3 weeks later and all the weight was gone without any other tweaks to my diet or lifestyle. I also feel much clearer every morning, and have a natural high.  I still drink when we go out-- I can't eat al fresco and NOT drink, lol.  I tried, and it's not fun. Life's too shawt!

    At any rate, bottom line, if you're stuck at a weight plateau, giving up the wine might help!  You can commence libations after you reach your ideal poundage.

    What about your family?

    My parents have been vegan since May (thanks to yours truly, and the Netflix documentary 'What the Health' a friend made them watch). Dad is down 25 pounds with a normalizing blood pressure (this is all diet, he can't workout due to an injury), and mom has dropped 2 pant sizes!  And anybody that's been following me knows we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to eat!  So it's been so cool watching them flawlessly and (almost) effortlessly make the transition, despite decades of bad habits!  I say almost, because there's actually quite a bit effort if you want to be successful... you have to get in the kitchen and cook! If not, you'll find yourself eating for convenience again. Dad became a chef years ago, so he just swapped the steak for portobellos and he's in there!  Gene (hubby) is a flexatarian but vegan most days (fried chicken on others), and the kids are slowly transitioning.  Max is like 90%, but Gia doesn't want to do anything I'm doing apparently, she's only 8, but acts 15!  I'll keep you posted on this front!

    What are some of your favorite store bought items?

    Whole Foods
    Beyond Burger (gluten and soy free, plus non-gmo... best fake burger out there) 
    Beyond Bratwurst (gluten and soy free, plus non-gmo... best fake brat out there)
    Double Cream Chive Vegan Cheese Wheel (this right here... with some fig or a date + a gluten free cracker... thank me later. This cheese tastes and spreads like a good goat cheese.) 
    Frozen Jasmine Rice (I'm lazy, and this is the solution. 1 minute in the microwave = delicious and fluffy rice)
    Daiya Cheese Shreds (melts beautifully on pizza and in quesadillas! If cheese is a 10, it's like a 7.5)
    Pure Blends Coconut-Oil Plant Based Butter (spreads, looks, and tastes like butter)

    Trader Joes
    Chickenless Orange Chicken
    Chickenless Chicken Strips 
    Snickerdoodles  (the first time I bought these, I purchased 2 boxes. The cashier told me how good they were, and I proceeded to the car. After a minute or so, I came back in the store with a guilty look on my face. The cashier saw me, smiled, and asked, 'you opened a box didn't you?!' He was right! I tried one, and NEEDED to buy 5 more boxes just in case! They're vegan, gluten free, and taste like Christmas!) 
    Jackfruit -- My dad fashioned a can of jackfruit into faux pulled pork sandwiches, and his brothers (all fierce meat eaters) ate the shit out of them! Google some recipes.  Bomb. 

    Other
    MorningStar Buffalo Wings (I do my best to avoid soy, but these suckers, here? At least they're non gmo... I pair w/ dill pickle and onion, and dip them in Daiya brand vegan Ranch, and then I die and go to heaven.)
    AlmondDream Ice Cream (tastes just like the real thing, unlike some other brands)
    Teriyaki Bok Choy Sautee Kit (hands down the best pre-made stir fry kit. When I can find it, I buy it by the barrel) 
    Ripple Pea Protein Milk (I mix a little of this and a little Califia Farms Almond Milk together for Max and he loves it! High in protein and calories, and none of the BS) 
    Aldi's Chickenless Patties 
    Aldi's Chocolate Ice Cream

    As I think of more, I'll add it!

    Love y'all!
    Nik