Search Results: Jenell Stewart

Jenell Stewart’s 5 Minute Daily Moisture Routine for Toddlers with Natural Hair

After the hustle and bustle of a rigorous morning routine with two children under 5 I have little to no patience for styling my daughter’s hair.  I think to myself “Why does she have to have so much hair?” — Does that make me a bad mom?

Girl Bye!

The tendency to want to be perfect at everything we do as moms makes us more stressed out than we really need to be.  My daughter Elle (pronounced el like the letter “L””> is two years old and still at an age where I have to assist her in most of her day to day tasks.  I needed a morning routine that was simple, easy, and stress free on both me and her hair.  I’ve come up with a quick and easy daily moisturizing routine that restores hydration to my daughters natural hair and only takes all of 5 minutes to do. These tips have helped me keep “momster” in the closet and I’m passing them onto you.

Our nighttime routine

When working with Elle’s natural hair, I know no matter how much I prep her hair at night, I’m still going to have to work with her hair in some way in the morning. It’s unrealistic to expect a toddler to sleep in one position like sleeping beauty–heck I don’t even sleep in the same spot all night.  To keep Elle’s hair from drying out completely, I introduced a satin bonnet to her night time routine when she was 1 year old. Over time she’s gotten much better at sleeping with it on the entire night and because we’ve made wearing her bonnet a strong part of her night routine she never forgets to wear it.  I highly recommend a bonnet for your little ones to maintain moisture overnight.

What if their bonnet keeps falling off?

If your little one won’t sleep with the bonnet or it keeps falling off during the night, put a satin pillowcase over their pillow–problem solved and no bonnet needed (once they are sleeping on a satin pillowcase”>.

Do you twist or braid at night?

The answer is “if I have the energy.”  You’re a mom so I know you understand how little energy I have at the end of the day. With that said, I usually put Elle’s hair up in a high pineapple with a satin scrunchy, she puts her bonnet on her head and she hops in the bed for a bedtime story.

Our comb-free morning routine

Now onto the morning, the goal is to moisturize and style as quickly as possible but to also avoid hair damage and pain.  I don’t use combs on Elle’s hair in the morning, to be quite honest I almost never use combs on Elle’s hair at all. My main reason for this is a simple equation: toddler + natural hair + combs = pain. You can’t fight the science. You know what I’m talking about mom, no matter how gentle you think you are your little one is “oohing” and “ahhing” or full on crying. So why bother? Oh don’t give me that story about knots and tangles, because you and I both know the minute that comb leaves that section of hair it is knotted and tangled again. I’m not saying I don’t ever use a comb I just don’t use them as a part of the morning routine because I’m not concerned with detangling. I save the combs for wash days where I destroy those tangles.

5 minutes to moisture

In the morning I saturate Elle’s hair with water and begin using my hands to distribute the water around her hair evenly. I can immediately feel the life being restored back into her hair as I gently pull at her hair loosening the shrunken areas of her hair. When her hair feels soft like a cloud I massage an ample amount of leave in conditioner to her hair in sections still using my hands very gently to stretch out the hair while simultaneously distributing the product throughout her hair.

Following the leave in conditioner I massage a rich hair butter to Elle’s hair to seal in the moisture.  After applying the moisturizer I use an edge control product and massage it on her hairline.  This will help control any flyaways for a few hours while she’s at daycare. Finally, I use a boar bristle brush to smooth out the outer layer of Elle’s hair and then use elastic bands to put her hair up in one, two or three puffs.

The finished look is healthy moisturized hair that I completed in less time than it takes to prepare a cup of coffee.  To see how Elle and I complete this morning routine tune into the video below.

How long does your toddler hair care routine take in the morning?

4 Reasons to Use Shea Butter This Week

If I were forced to make a choice of only one hair and body care product to use for the rest of my life, shea butter would be it. Shea butter is a miracle ingredient, and if its uses were tallied up they’d number in the hundreds.

While there hasn’t been a lot of research to back up many of the claims of shea butter benefits, there is no shortage of folk wisdom and testimonies singing its praises. And really, in a world of cosmetics laden with synthetic ingredients, finding a pure ingredient is a beautiful thing, especially when it happens to be so effective for so many women.

Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of African karite trees (Vitellaria paradoxa“>, a species that grows from Guinea and Senegal to Uganda and South Sudan. Shea butter has long been used for health and cooking in Africa and is also an ingredient in a number of confections, especially chocolate; but its latest role is as the new darling of the beauty world. According to the American Shea Butter Institute, the moisturizers in shea butter are the same ones that are produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands, making it one of the best matches for dry skin. After a nice warm bath, I like to apply shea butter to my skin while still damp to lock in the moisture.

1. Make your hair happy

Shea butter is used in many hair care products for its ability to seal in moisture, define the curl, condition the scalp, alleviate dandruff, and decrease frizz. The hair butters and creams that work the best in my hair contain shea butter, without a doubt. Try out my DIY shea butter recipe that I used to moisturize my hair. 

You’ll Need…

  • 1 container raw shea butter
  • 1 cup pure coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO”>
  • 1/4 cup castor oil

2. Enhance your kiss

Shea butter is said to protect and soothe the lips. Apply several times a day and smooch frequently to test its efficacy.

3. Fade stretch marks

As a mom of two, stretch marks are what I call my battle wounds. While a lot of people advised me to use cocoa butter to fade my stretch marks, I’ve found much better results by using shea butter. Its abundance of vitamins and healing agents really soothe and rejuvenate the skin.

4. Repair cracked heels and troublesome cuticles

If you are suffering from painful cracked heels, shea butter solves the problem. After my shower, I massage shea butter to my feet while still damp to lock in the moisture. For heels that are particularly bad, apply shea butter before bed and slip into cotton socks for the night. 

There are unlimited hair and body recipes with shea butter that you should try and I promise your hair and skin will thank you.

How do you use shea butter?

4 Reasons to Stray from Your Holy Grail

As a natural hair and beauty editor, I am often asked questions about product recommendations. I aim to please my audience and I find myself reviewing and researching many products in an effort to be resourceful, but then I wonder am I secretly a product junkie? The world may never know, but what I do know is that trying different products has taught me a ton. And I implore you to be open to try something new and this is why.

Healthier Ingredients

I am not encouraging you to replace all of your current products with new ones, that would be foolish and downright expensive, but when your current shampoo, conditioner, hair butter, cream, etc. runs out, I would suggest spending some time in the beauty aisle to see what other products are out there. Do not just look at the front of the package; turn the package around and breakdown the ingredient list. Your old shampoo that you have been using for your entire life probably contains harsh sulfates and drying alcohols that the newer products are not formulated with. Your conditioners may have silicones and parabens while the newer products have lots of rich oils and extracts to keep your hair moisturized without all the garbage ingredients that your hair just does not need. Be mindful that as the world is evolving, product manufacturers are listening to the complaints of the female consumer about the ingredients. Ingredients do matter and trying something new could ultimately be better not only for your hair but also for your body. 

Better Results

I love wearing my natural hair in a twist out, so when I try new styling products, I choose that style because I know it is foolproof. I know immediately if my results are on par, above par, or far below par. There are many a times that I have taken my twists down the night after using a brand new product and was stunned. Just when I thought my hair could never look better, I looked better than Beyoncé and JLo put together! This has also happened to me with conditioners, deep conditioners, and moisturizing products. There is nothing better than going on a moisture streak—that is what I call more than three days with moisturized hair that does not require refreshing!

Life Changes

I am not one that likes to change my hair color, but if you decide to use permanent hair color, it would be best for you to upgrade your current products to products that are made for color-treated hair. Shampoos for color-treated hair enhance the new color and prevent it from fading. Conditioners for colored hair will intensify the moisture. If you have decided to heat style your hair, then you should invest in heat protectants. As the seasons change and as you age, your core products can also work inefficiently, especially if they have been reformulated without your knowledge.

Save Money 

As a mom of two, I have started counting my coins in pampers. And with so many products on the market, pricing plays a large role in how people are choosing which products they buy. If you are a mom with a daughter or daughters, then you surely need a lot of product. If you are a student in college or just recently on your own for the first time in your life, you may not be able to afford an arsenal of brand new products in addition to your rent, utilities, and takeout. I find companies like SheaMoisture are doing their absolute best to keep product costs low while still giving their consumers healthy, safe ingredients in large quantities so they do not have to repurchase them monthly. Your old products may be on the higher end in smaller bottles and not as healthy for you and your hair.

You know your hair and what it likes. Do not change everything; just be open to finding something better when it makes sense. If you have been eyeing a product, it is likely that I have reviewed it. Feel free to check out my product reviews on my YT channel.

When Being a Kitchentician Goes Wrong

With an increase in ingredient consciousness for the curly-haired consumer, there has been a wave of more women looking into their kitchen pantries and refrigerators for DIY hair care methods. How exciting it is to mix up a bowl of honey and lemon juice to create an itchy scalp eliminator or blend avocados, our favorite oils, and mayonnaise for the ultimate moisturizing deep conditioner. The creative juices start flowing and mixing with unlimited options. You no longer have to get annoyed because commercial products did not deliver on their promises, but there are a few things you do need to be cautious about when making your own products.


Always sterilize your containers, even though you may think that they are pre-sterilized when coming from the company. First, wash the containers using an eco friendly soap, proceed to boil the containers, and then allow them to completely dry before adding any product to them. It is important to be cautious when making your own products.


Whether you have concocted an Ayurvedic tea rinse or whipped up a moisturizing shea butter recipe, your homemade mixes will have this in common—they need to be properly stored and preserved. It is exciting to create and blend your own conditioners and moisturizers—it is not so exciting if their potency declines and they become overridden with bacterial growth or mold. There are several methods to storing and preserving your rinses and mixes so that you can maintain the longest shelf life possible and protect yourself against harmful bacteria. One common method is to refrigerate your mixture for five to seven days (and then discard any remaining portion”>. Just as if you were storing food, storing your mixture in this manner will help preserve it for a few days. If you are looking to make larger batches that last a few months, you will need to add preservatives such as ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C”>, tocopherol (vitamin E“>, grapefruit seed extract, and essential oils that are known to be antibacterial and antiseptic. Before adding preservatives, you will need to research and find the proper ratios of preservative to batch mix.

Lumps and Chunks

As you explore new foods and ingredients to mix and create, you may learn the hard way that not everything mixes very well. Avocado, banana, and many veggies do not turn into a creamy rich texture. All the elbow grease in the world will not save you from the horrible nightmare of removing banana chunks or avocado fibers out of your hair for the next few weeks. The best way to avoid lumps and chunks in your hair is to use a blender.  This will allow for your ingredients to blend together better, creating a rich and creamy texture that will evenly coat your hair and rinse off with ease. For extra measure, use a rice strainer to catch any remaining lumps that are not visible.

Is it Worth It?

Your homemade products can be a healthier alternative to commercial products, if you are smart about how you use and store them. For me, the ultimate goal is not to replace every commercial product with a new one; it is about simplifying my life so that all I need are a few essentials. I can make room in my fridge, work in small batches, and be sure to add some natural preservatives to keep them safe, but at the end of the day, I am not able to make every single thing that my hair needs.

3 ‘Aha!’ Hair Moments That Changed My Life

When you’ve been natural for as long as I have, you experience more aha hair moments than you can count on one hand. Aha hair moments during your hair journey are when something you did, heard, or learned changed your regimen forever. My aha hair moments usually revolve around a technique or method that gives me even better results than I’m used to. As a woman with tightly textured hair, a goal of mine is to style my hair in a way that shows off more of my true length. It can be frustrating when I think a style will look one way, but my hair shrinks when interacting with high moisture levels.

1. Skip a Step, Avoid Shrinkage

One night I was too lazy to retrieve my water bottle and spritz my hair while I was twisting it. My laziness led me to realize that if I don’t spray my hair with water when re-twisting at night, my hair will show more of its true length when I unravel them. This was genius! Each night for five nights I would apply a small amount of moisturizer, skip the water, and twist. Everyday my hair would stretch more. If my goal was elongated hair, it only made sense that I stop spraying my hair with water, as it would only reactivate my coils and cause my hair to shrink as it dries. Omitting the water eliminated lots of shrinkage over time.

2. Stay Twisted

I twist my hair every night and unravel in the morning to wear a twist out, but on days when it’s raining, every curly girl knows that this is a recipe for disaster. There was a really rainy week in the spring and I knew that if I were to take my twists down on a rainy day and then head to work, I would have a big poof ball on top of my head before I could even make my way to my desk. Humidity and moisture in the air are a deadly combo for a twist out. Day after day the weather was wet and for this reason I left my hair in the twists.

Finally, one morning I woke up to birds chirping and I just new the rain spell was over. The sun was shining bright and I could finally take my hair down and wear it in my signature style. To my surprise the definition in my twist out was so curly unlike anything I’d ever witnessed on my head. Because the curl definition was locked in so well, I was able to go to bed for three consecutive nights without having to re-twist my hair at all. The time-saving at night was a dream to come true.

3. The 8-Minute Detangling Secret

My last aha hair moment occurred while at the hair salon. During a visit to Oh My Heavenly Hair (OMhh”> Salon in Brooklyn, Diane Bailey detangled all of my dirty hair in less than eight minutes, seriously. It felt like she hardly touched me at all, but yet all of my thick coils were completely tangle free. In disbelief of what had just happened, I asked Diane “How were you able to detangle my hair so quickly?” Diane explained, “I used a detangling cocktail made of water, conditioner and oil. This concoction moisturizes, softens, and adds the right amount of slip to your hair, allowing me to thoroughly detangle your hair pain free and quickly.” I was in shock. Prior to this moment, I would spend up to an hour in the shower detangling small, soaking wet sections of hair that had been bathed in slippery conditioner, but I never thought to mix the water with my conditioner in a spray bottle with some added oil and detangle before washing. In the video below, I demonstrate how I make my detangling cocktail.

Share some of the tricks, techniques, and tools that have changed your regimen forever.

Does Natural Hair Need Proteins?

protein for natural hair

I’ve been asked time and time again what is my stance on protein treatments. Women want to know what are the benefits? Do I incorporate them in my hair regimen? Which products do I use? At what frequency should they be done?

The easiest way for me to explain the benefit of protein treatments without scientific jargon is this: our hair is made up of over 90 percent of the protein best known as keratin. When our hair gets damaged by normal weathering, chemical treatments, sun exposure, pollution, washing, drying, combing, and styling heat use, it can be only temporarily mended by protein. A protein treatment works by filling in gaps present on your hair strand and forming a temporary bond. In order for a protein treatment to be effective it must contain hydrolyzed proteins, which just means the size of the protein must be small enough to attach to the hair shaft. Because the mending of your hair is only temporary, you can’t do just one protein treatment a year. Your hair will thrive if you regularly incorporate protein treatments in your hair regimen. I suggest anywhere from 1-6 weeks depending on your hair and the type of protein treatment you are using. I’ll delve further into this momentarily.

Protein treatments are good for your hair, so there is no harm done is using them as a part of your hair regimen. In fact, I encourage everyone to give them a try, especially if you are a naturalista who frequently uses heat or is color treated. Protein enriched products help to strengthen the hair follicle. 

When caring for your hair, you should use a protein treatment every 30 days to continue to reap the benefits.” -Tameeka McNeil-Johnson, Hairstylist

How does it work?

A protein treatment has different protein properties that attach directly to the hair follicle and harden the cuticle layer. This places a barrier around the follicle, which protects it from further damage. I’ve noticed four main types of protein conditioner treatments: protein packs, reconstructors, deep penetrating treatments, and light protein treatments. The hair’s current condition will decide the type of protein conditioner needed for treatment. Use a reconstructor for severely damaged hair. For moderately damaged hair, use a deep penetrating treatment. For slight damage and routine treatments, use protein packs or light treatments.

Protein pack: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack 

Reconstructor: ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor

Deep penetrating treatment: Organic Root Stimulator Hair Mayonnaise

Light protein treatment: Hydratherma Naturals Protein Leave In Conditioner

My regimen

Protein is very much a part of my regimen. I primarily use it during my washday. On a biweekly basis I use the Organic Root Stimulator (ORS”> Hair Mayonnaise after shampooing with the SheaMoisture Yucca and Baobab Thickening Shampoo. The ORS Hair Mayonnaise gives my hair a protein boost, leaving it soft and supple until the next treatment. It’s easy to use and the product is very affordable. On a monthly or bimonthly basis, I will use the ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor. This product is a bit more intensive, thus I don’t need to use it often, but when I use it my hair is so happy.

During your next wash session I want you to give a protein treatment a try. Evaluate the type of damage you have and select the appropriate protein treatment that is suitable for your hair and then come back and share your results with me!

Do you incorporate protein treatments in your regimen? Which are your favorites?

Making Time for Your Hair with Jenell Stewart

As a mother of two, I totally get it — who has the time to spend an hour styling their hair in the morning and then another hour or more at night? With all the demands on our time from home, kids, hubby, and work, we are lucky to get any time to ourselves. I often have to schedule my “me” time because if I don’t it won’t happen. Heck, I can’t even use the lady’s room alone anymore, let alone primp for an hour in front of the mirror. When you have kids, time isn’t something you get much of and with my tips your hair won’t have to suffer. But hey, even if you don’t have kids, these tips are still relevant. 

Trade wash day for wash night

I know, I know, how can you even think about doing your hair when you’re exhausted? Believe me, I’m not a night person, so doing my hair at night isn’t my favorite thing to do at all, but 1-2 hours uninterrupted doesn’t happen often. Having to stop every 2-3 min. during the day will leave your hair half finished and often rushed because of the constant interruptions. By 9pm on Saturday, I race upstairs into the shower and spend the next 30 min. giving my hair the TLC that it really needs without worrying about who needs more juice or who has a smelly diaper. No rushing through my detangling, no rushing to moisturize, just pure zen. Yes I may finish at midnight, but the entire time was devoted to myself and not everyone else. Trust me, wash nights are the bomb.

Wear a style that lasts

Gone are the days of the daily twist out. As much as I love twist outs, braid outs, and other forms of stretched styles, they just aren’t mommy friendly anymore. Too much work goes into it over a 2-3 day span with very little return. Twist at night, releasing it in the morning, and repeat. All this work to wear a style for a few measly hours? How about I put this hair up into a Marley bun that will last me three days or more. Can anyone say roll, tuck, and pin? This is my signature style that is easy to put up and take down, and most nights I don’t even take it down. My goal is to exert as little energy on my hair everyday because time is a hot commodity in my home! Checkout out one of my roll, tuck, and pin tutorials below!

How do you squeeze washday and styling into your schedule?

Hair Care Tips for Expecting Mothers
The happiest day of my life was when I discovered I was pregnant. Knowing that I had my little boy or girl growing inside of me was so exciting! Everyone was sharing laughable old wives tales with me. Apparently, if the hair on your legs is growing at record speeds, you’re having a boy. And if you have a lot of heartburn, your baby will have a lot of hair. Regardless of whether you are having a boy or if your baby is going to have a lot of hair, one thing I know for sure is that during your pregnancy, your hair will be in the best condition it has ever been in.
I always tell my patients that their hair will be the best it’s ever been — lush, full. Enjoy it!” says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, Cal.

Hair normally grows in three phases: active growth, resting, and shedding. During these phases, people typically shed 100 hairs every day. When you’re pregnant, the extra hormones spreading through your body shift your hair cycle. Your hair grows without shedding. This is why your hair seems longer and thicker than usual. For me, because my energy was so low, the last thing I wanted to do was worry about my hair. Let’s be real, when your back is hurting, you’re running to the bathroom every few minutes, and you’re nauseated, are you really going to care about your hair?

If caring for your hair is becoming too difficult because all you have energy for is eating and sleeping, then follow my lead and put your hair away for a while. During my pregnancy I put my hair into multiple protective styles including extensions like Senegalese twists, puffy twists, and Havana twists (which were my favorite”>, but there are so many protective style options for you to choose from. If you’re not into extensions, try styles that can last beyond a few days like buns, mini twists, and the roll, tuck, & pin to allow you more rest time.

Even though you’re not focusing on your hair, there are still a few things you should and should not do. I would highly suggest you schedule all your color treatments and keratin treatments for after your baby is born. While there is no scientific data proving that these chemical hair treatments can actually cause harm to the baby, hair colors can trigger certain allergies and can cause infections, so it is good to avoid potential complications while pregnant.

Now, when it comes to maintaining your hair during pregnancy you can continue to use all your same products and tools, but I found that the fragrance of some of my favorite products made me want to upchuck. My products with less perfume and natural oils were a win for me. If you notice the aromas of your products are overwhelming you can always try the following:

  • Use only a small amount in your hair, so you don’t smell it all day
  • Revisit some of your older products from the back of the cabinet
  • Make your own products with ingredients that you can stomach
  • Purchase new products to use as a part of your pregnancy regimen.

Because of the mega increase in hormones, your hair may be dryer or oiler than usual. If your hair is drying out quickly, I suggest you do a weekly deep conditioning treatment. The SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque was a staple for me during my pregnancy because it hydrated and softened my hair while being lightly scented. You may also want to introduce hot oil treatments with the steamer to restore moisture to your thirsty hair. Simply set up your steamer and while you wait for it to warm up, wet your hair with warm water and evenly massage your favorite oil throughout your hair. Sit under the steamer for the recommended time and then shampoo.

If your pregnancy is leaving your hair oilier then usual, opt for lighter creams when moisturizing and/or styling versus the heavier butters you’re used to. You also can skip sealing with oil. This extra step isn’t needed if your scalp is over producing your natural oils. If you have enough energy to wash your hair more frequently, I suggest adding a midweek co-wash like the As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner. It contains a special blend of natural ingredients for healthy hair growth and removes product build-up from your hair between regular washing.

Obviously the main focus of your pregnancy is your health as well as the baby’s health. Low maintenance hair care is all you need because your body will do the rest. Eat right, sleep tight, and enjoy your pregnancy!

What tips can you share about your hair care regimen when you were pregnant? If you are currently expecting, how is your hair responding?

Jenell Stewart: Trim it Up!
trim hair
I’m often asked, “Jenell, my ends feel so rough, what can I do?” After asking when was the last time they had a trim, I’m never surprised by the answer. For many newly natural women, they’ve never trimmed their hair because they are so focused on retaining length that they don’t realize how harmful not trimming is to their hair. Trimming your hair is a very important part of your healthy hair regimen because it’s the only way to truly remove split ends and damage at the ends of your hair. If you don’t remove the damage at the ends of your hair, the damage will travel up the strands and further damage the rest of your hair. Additionally, when your ends are trimmed your hair looks better because the thin, weathered ends have been removed leaving your hair fuller and thicker.

Trim wet or dry? That is the question

There is much debate about whether your hair should be wet or dry when trimming. Even amongst the professionals, there is no true consensus. Here is something for you to ponder: Your hair appears longer when it’s wet due to the weight of the water. I mean, we all know about the shrinkage we experience when our hair is dry and not stretched, therefore cutting your hair while wet could leave you highly disappointed about your final length and shape when your hair returns to its dry state. If your hair shrinks above 50% of your true length, every inch trimmed will leave your hair shorter. Trimming your dry hair will give you a better visual of the length and a better idea of the finished result.

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to get my hair trimmed and styled by celebrity hairstylist Diane Bailey who prefers cutting hair while it’s dry because she has better control over it. While blow drying my hair she explained that when she’s trimming and/or cutting hair while it’s dry, she can see the lines that the hair forms. Hair has more of a definite shape when dry, so cutting it in this state makes the trimming or cutting process more accurate and leaves the client satisfied. 

How often do I need to trim?

Your hair should be trimmed to maintain it’s length, but the frequency is always a big discussion. We all take care of our hair differently and our lifestyles vary. Manipulation from hair tools and even your own hands impact your hair negatively, weakening it with every use. For the woman who wears her hair loose in an afro, twist outs, and braid outs, she needs trims more regularly (3 months”> because her hair is manipulated more often and not protected from the environment. However, the woman who keeps her hair in twisted styles or pulled away in buns experiences less manipulation and can go much longer without a trim (4-5 months”>.

When I visited the very talented celebrity stylist Tameeka McNeil of Jaded Tresses, she advised using protein treatments like the Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment to restore the protein in your hair, keeping it strong. Giving your hair proper protein treatments reduces the frequency in which you’ll need a trim.

Trim with the best 

When trimming your hair you can’t just use any pair of scissors. Normal scissors will gnaw through your hair and cause even more split ends. You should invest in a pair of good quality, sharp shears. Dull blades can damage the hair causing split ends and rough lines. This is counterintuitive to your healthy hair regimen. A sharper cutting blade is more efficient and results in smooth lines, which is your goal with trimming your hair. There are thousands of shears to select from, and I highly suggest you read consumer reviews to help you make a decision.

Don’t stunt seeing your growth by growing in fear of trims. Trims are a very necessary part of seeing the progress of your hair growth and the sooner you accept this, the closer you are to longer, healthy hair.

3 Hair Oils for Coily Hair

Oils are great for your hair and skin in more ways than many curlies understand. We all love oils because they seal in the moisture and add shine to our coils, but hair oils have much greater benefits than they sometimes get credit for.

3 Oils for Coily Hair

Tips for Cleansing Coily Hair
Woman smiling with big coily afro and hands behind her head

Clean hair is happy hair, and happy hair grows long, strong and healthy. Cleansing your hair removes dirt and grime particles that end up in your hair during day-to-day activities and removes the residue left from your favorite products. Not cleansing your hair can lead to product buildup, itchy scalp, lackluster and weighed down hair.

There are a few cleansing options we coily-haired girls can use to give us clean, happy and healthy hair. Shampooing your hair is the traditional form of cleansing. You can also follow a no-poo regimen to cleanse your hair. Experimenting with homemade recipes can give you clean happy hair as well.


Shampoo is a hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair. The goal is to remove the unwanted build-up without stripping out so much sebum as to make hair unmanageable. For coily girls, shampoo doesn’t always achieve this goal which leads some of us to follow a no-poo regimen. I shampoo a few times a month with SheaMoisture shampoos. Their shampoos are sulfate free, ultra moisturizing and very affordable. When I want a moisture boost, I use the SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.


No-Poo simply means, not using shampoo. Another word for this is co-washing, which is how we coily girls refer to the conditioner only wash method. A co-wash is easy to do, just wash your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. It sounds really bizarre and it may take you some time to wrap your head around how is it that a product that is meant to restore and add moisture to your hair can also cleanse your hair at the same time. The simple explanation is that most commercial conditioners have mild detergents in them, meaning that your conditioner is capable of cleaning your hair. However, if you’ve recently used gels or products with silicones, petroleum, mineral oil or lanolin, then you may want to use shampoo to effectively cleanse your hair first, because conditioners just don’t have the same cleansing power as a shampoo.

Homemade Recipes

If you open your pantry and fridge, aside from finding options to ease your growling stomach, there are many healthy hair staples. Some of  your food items can double as a homemade hair cleanser. Apple cider vinegar (ACV”> is a common food item often used on hair to help clarify the hair and rid it of build up caused by the use of hair products and natural elements we encounter on a daily basis.

Baking soda, mixed with warm water (a teaspoon to one pint of water”> can cleanse your coils much like a shampoo. It can also help clarify your hair from all the unneccessary build up. This is a great option for coily girls with extremely oily hair.

Similar to conditioner, ACV and baking soda have limitations in their cleansing abilities. The health of your hair relies partially on how clean your scalp and hair are. Make an informed decision about how to cleanse your coils and how often to do it. You should cleanse often enough to keep your scalp healthy and hair free of buildup, but not too often so that your coils can flourish with enough of their natural oils.

How do you cleanse your coils?
Creating a Hair Regimen

Whether your hair is curly, coily, or wavy, you will probably have a love hate relationship with establishing and keeping up a hair regimen. But let me just tell you that if healthy long hair is something you’re longing for, then you better get your regimen together ASAP.

What is a regimen?

According to, the word regimen means, “a systematic way of life or course of therapy.” What this means in terms of hair is creating a system to care for your hair that you follow on a schedule.

Why should I have one?

The greatest benefit of establishing a regimen is the positive effect it can have on your hair. Your hair needs care and lots of it. A regimen gives you a plan of action to follow when caring for your hair. A good hair regimen gives your hair exactly what it needs – moisture.

How do I create a hair regimen?

Every curly will have a different regimen because our hair is different and has different needs. Another reason why our regimens will differ is because our lifestyles are all very different. However, whether you’re transitioning to natural, are newly natural, or have been natural for years, there are basic steps we all need in a regimen.

  1. Shampoo: The detergents in shampoo break down oils that accumulate into tiny droplets on our hair. Once broken down, water can rinse the oil as well as dust, flakes of skin and dirt out of the hair and down the drain. The detergents used in shampoos are able to access and clean tiny crevices found in hair, the hair shaft and scalp by reducing the surface tension of the water.
  2. Condition: Hair conditioners contain different types of moisturizing and softening ingredients that make hair softer, shinier and glossier. The main ingredients include moisturizers, fatty oils, surfactants, glossers, thermal protectors, detanglers and lubricants. Most of these ingredients such as moisturizers and fatty oils coat the hair with humectants that lock in moisture and prevent the hair from becoming dry and brittle. Conditioned hair tends to be shinier, bouncier, softer and sleeker.
  3. Moisturize: The key to moisturizing your hair is to drink water — lots of it! In addition to drinking lots of water you should include topical moisturizers and oils to soften, seal and add shine to your hair.

How often should I follow my regimen?

Follow your regimen on a weekly schedule, but also create a daily schedule to care for your hair. Your weekly regimen would include the whole enchilada, from washing, to conditioning and moisturizing. Your daily regimen will focus on moisture and protection, whereas your weekly regimen will focus more on cleaning. Decide on how you plan to moisturize your hair in the morning or at night. Come up with a night time plan to keep your hair from drying out and to keep it from becoming tangled.

Final Thoughts

When starting a new regimen, I would suggest sticking to it for a few weeks to give your hair enough time to respond to the changes. Don’t change it, tweak it or switch it up at all. After a few weeks, evaluate the state of your hair and then decide on what new products and methods should be introduced.

Forget-Me-Not: Twisted Boho Hairstyles

Try boho hairstyles if you’re looking for another quick and easy hairstyle that can work for being casual or for an effortless look for a night out. You won’t need a lot of tools or products for this one either. Just grab some bobby pins and clips or hairbands to hold back your hair while you style, watch this tutorial and get started!

Twisted Boho Hairstyle

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

Forget-Me-Not: Roll, Tuck & Pin with Bangs

Need a quick updo for a night out or another hairstyle to try on a tired twist out? Look no further! Jenell demonstrates how she creates a fun and easy look that you can add to your hairstyle arsenal!

Funky Roll, Tuck & Pin with Bangs

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

Healthy Hair Diet for Hair Growth

Are you worried about your slow hair growth? Does it seem like everyone else’s hair is growing faster than yours? What gives? Have you evaluated your diet?

It would be nice if the solution to the health and growth of our hair was bottled up in some miracle-working product that you could find at your local beauty supply store, but it’s not about what we put on our tresses that counts — it’s about the overall way we take care of ourselves. Did you know that there are many foods that stimulate hair growth by providing your body with vitamins, minerals and many nutrients? Improving your diet will boost the health of your hair, encourage growth and the rest of your body will benefit as well.

Improve Your Diet

The foundation of all new hair growth is the nutrients that we eat. For maximum hair growth and health, step out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. Now, let’s be real — if you were born with fine, thin hair, you’ll never have super thick hair no matter what you eat. But a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference. Eat more beans — they are a great source of biotin, which is known to combat hair loss and promote the growth of healthy hair. Incorporate leafy, green vegetables into your diet. They are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, which work together to produce sebum. By keeping hair conditioned, sebum prevents hair from breaking off so that it can grow longer. Nuts are a natural source of zinc, a mineral that promotes scalp health, which in turn can help hair grow longer faster.

When it comes to healthy hair, what we put IN our bodies is just as important as what we put ON our hair. Many of the nutrients essential to healthy hair are found in fruits and vegetables. But, why worry about if produce is in season or not? Frankly, “fresh” fruits and vegetables aren’t always fresh. By this time that out of season fruit or vegetable has traveled hundreds of miles to your grocer’s shelves, the nutritional value has greatly diminished or disappeared.

Eat Fresh Foods

When it comes to healthy

hair, what we put IN our bodies

is just as important as what

we put ON our hair.

The advantages of seasonal eating are that you eat foods that are picked when they are ripe or very close to the peak of ripening. They spend less time on their way to the supermarket, so they are at their optimal nutritional value. It is also budget-friendly, because you buy the food without the shipping cost.

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid. It also contains fiber and iron. Asparagus stimulates hair production and is also a good source of silicon for healthy hair. vitamin E also works toward healthy hair and can be found in asparagus.
  • Broccoli: Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains more vitamin C than an orange. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. Vitamin C is great for your hair as it aids in circulation to your scalp.
  • Collard Greens: Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, iron, copper, and calcium. Incorporating these greens will give your body the extra boost it needs, and in turn allows you to improve the chances of growing hair.
  • Honeydew: Deficiencies in folic acid can cause hair loss, so it is vital to hair growth that you consume folic acid in your diet. Honeydew melons contain folic acid.
  • Mango: Ripe mangos hold the largest amount of beta carotene. Mangos contain sources of vitamin E, which improves circulation to the scalp by enhancing oxygen uptake.

Final thoughts

The list of foods that will help your hair and body could go on and on. These are just a few of my favorites. The most important lesson here is that you understand the importance of your health for the growth your hair.

Are you on a healthy hair diet? What healthy hair habits do you practice?

Forget-Me-Not: Flat Twist Crown Headband

If you’re running out of ways to easily freshen up your look for a night out or just for fun, this is for you! For a quick and simple style to change up your twist out or coily fro, check out Jenell’s flat twist headband tutorial.

Quick & Easy Flat Twist Crown Headband

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

Forget-me-Not: French Roll Hairstyle with Bobby Pins

Are you looking for a quick style to freshen up your day look for a night out or a special occasion? Don’t have a lot of time to do it? No problem. Jenell shows us how to do this quick, sophisticated, French roll hairstyle with some bobby pins and a 3-day-old braid out!

French Roll Hair with Bobby pins

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Get more tips and trick for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

3 Hair Oils for Healthy Hair
Jenell Stewart

Are you an easy-going girl with a simple regimen? Or are you really high maintenance and your hair is no exception? Regardless of how much time you have or don’t have for your hair, hair oils are amazing additions to any healthy hair regimen. If you aren’t sure which oils work best or give the best results, I highly suggest you add these three to your arsenal.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made up of a class of saturated fatty acids, which help in smoothing the scalp and keeping it soft. A moisturized scalp promotes hair growth because then there are no dead or dry skin cells to clog the hair follicle. Coconut oil can also help reduce hair breakage because the oil adds to the strength of hair shaft. This is a particular benefit if you have dry hair. When hair breakage is reduced, there is a good chance of the hair reaching longer lengths and growing healthily. Due to its benefits, coconut oil is used as one of the primary ingredients in many of hair care products.

Coconut oil is a staple in my hair regimen, because it treats my hair like a Princess, gives me amazing shine and smells like an exotic island. When shopping for coconut oil, be sure to get unrefined coconut oil with no additives or other ingredients. You can get large quantities of coconut oil at a low cost.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pure Argan oil for hair does not come cheap, but its effects are nothing short of spectacular. Many problems such as dry hair, rough hair, dull hair and frizzy hair can be solved with the use of this wonder oil.

Extra virgin oil is rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which is good for hair growth. Both mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E are good for moisturizing, protecting and nourishing hair. Olive oil makes hair grow stronger and its emollient properties prevent hair loss. If that’s not enough, olive oil helps in battling dandruff, which can be one of the reasons for hair loss. Olive oil doesn’t re-grow your hair, it just makes the existing hair stronger which leads to less breakage.

I’ve enjoyed using extra virgin olive oil in my pre-poo treatment and also for hot oil treatments. This oil coats the hair very well, and when coupled with conditioner, leaves my freshly washed hair feeling extremely soft. When used daily, I find that it leaves my hair feeling greasy.

Argan Oil

Pure Argan oil for hair does not come cheap, but its effects are nothing short of spectacular. Many problems such as dry hair, rough hair, dull hair and frizzy hair can be solved with the use of this wonder hair oil. It is rich in vitamin E and contains omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids that provide nutrition for hair. In addition to these, it also contains Linoleic and oleic acid that helps to hydrate and moisturize hair.

Argan oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft and repair damaged hair follicles. It is immediately absorbed by the hair and it restores the lost moisture. It increases shine of lackluster, dry hair by locking in the moisture. One of the greatest things about argan oil is that it is non-greasy, and won’t weigh down hair or make it limp. It is ideal for taming rough, dry, frizzy and unmanageable hair. Since it is light and almost weightless, there is less probability of build up. It restores the lost luster from too much hair straightening and other chemical treatments, helps keep the color vibrant and to prevent dryness in color treated hair, acts as a shield from harmful UV rays and protects the hair from environmental pollution.

Argan oil is very effective for hair growth, but it is very expensive. If you can get your hands on pure argan oil, go for it. It’s a great investment. I love rubbing argan oil on my hair before taking down my twists because it goes on smooth as silk and gives my hair amazing shine.

These are just three of the many oils that are great for you hair. You can use them solo or mix them for a luxurious oil blend.

Are ready to go on out and get some oil, or do you already have some in your cupboard? 

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