Search Results: Nikki Walton

6 Things Everyone Who Wants Sisterlocks Should Know

I’ve had an affinity for locs for many years. After going from having long hair most of my life to cutting it into a shortcut and growing it back out, I decided it was time to try something different. I no longer wanted to “be bothered” with my hair on a daily basis and constantly had to decide what to do next.

Trust me, it took a lot of research on my behalf to decide if traditional locs or Sisterlocks would be best for me, and if I should even get my hair locked. One of the many deciding factors for most is the cost and time commitment of Sisterlocks. Oh, it’s no secret that Sisterlocks can be very costly and the installation can take days to complete.

Some people may be turned off by the cost of installation or the need to have their hair retightened every 4 to 6 weeks. However, I wanted to be happy and satisfied with my decision about my hair, so initially, I didn’t let the cost or time deter me from moving forward, especially when this decision would be, for the most part, permanent.

Here are some facts that you should know before you decide to free yourself of hair dilemmas, woes, and bad hair days. Once you get Sisterlocks, I promise you that bad hair days are non-existent!

1. Let’s talk about the commitment of having Sisterlocks

Image Source: @chinithaj

I did my due diligence of effectively researching various certified Sisterlocks consultants, making an appointment for tester locks and then waiting to see how my hair would respond. After installing the tester locks, I became apprehensive about continuing to move forward. I decided to cancel the appointment for the installation that I booked with the consultant because the thought of it being a lifestyle change for me started to scare me a bit. After a while, the other drawback was the amount of time it would take for me to get my Sisterlocks installed, due to the density of my hair and the length. The thought of this alone made me want to run and never entertain Sisterlocks again.

6 Things Everyone Who Wants Sisterlocks Should Know
Image Source:

It wasn’t until May 2015 that I decided to set all of my fears to the side about getting my hair locked and just do it! I actually lucked up, too. I found an amazing consultant who happens to come to her clients. So she came to my home to do my installation, which made my experience very comfortable. After an entire weekend of breaks, 26 hours, and 421 locks later, my babies were finally installed!

Whew, let’s just say that it was intense. If I had to do it all over again, would I? I definitely would. I’ve had my Sisterlocks for almost nine months now, and I love them! This is truly the best hair decision that I have ever made. Every day when I wake up, I simply run my fingers through my hair and go, unless I decide to do a style with it.

As you know by now, Sisterlocks can be a lifestyle change and a true commitment.

2. Sisterlocks are not cheap

Image Source: @rebbiecam

The prices can vary based on several factors. Where I’m located, the prices start around $500 and go up for installation. Typically, a consultant can charge per inch after a certain number of inches. They can also charge extra for density. Retightening can be costly, too, and depends on the frequency of your “retight/retie.”

So my suggestion is to definitely shop around and find someone who you are extremely comfortable with. Now, I’ll be honest: my amazing consultant did not charge me anywhere close to what everyone else charges. My retightening appointments are extremely reasonable, too.

3. You should use a Certified Sisterlocks Consultant

Image Source: @therealkylab

Be sure to check out to ensure that you are only selecting certified individuals. Their official title is Certified Sisterlocks Consultants. If their name does not appear on that list, I would keep it moving. 

4. You should ask to see their work

6 Things Everyone Who Wants Sisterlocks Should Know
Image Source: @growingwiththegardners

Request pictures of the installations they have done. Just because they are Certified Sisterlocks Consultants is only half the battle. You want to ensure that their work is satisfactory to you. In addition to this, I would also do reference checks with their current clients.

5. This is a lifestyle change

Image Source: @justcallherjp_

Currently, you are used to combs, brushes, flat irons, and curling irons. Well kiss all of that goodbye! You will no longer be using or needing those tools. You also cannot use any hair products on your hair as it is not recommended while your locks mature. So pack up a bag of hair products you still have left and give them to a good friend who can use them.

6. Shampooing your hair will be slightly different

There is a special technique to washing your hair as you won’t wash the same way as you are used to. If you decide to move forward with getting your Sisterlocks, which I hope that you do, your Certified Sisterlocks Consultant will demonstrate how to do this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not totally different from how you currently wash, however you will become very familiar with the term “bundling”.

Last but not least, embrace the journey

6 Things Everyone Who Wants Sisterlocks Should Know

You must be patient and understand that everyone’s journey will differ. Your hair may go through a few changes, and you may deal with a term called slippage or frizz, depending on the texture of your hair. However, know that your consultant is along for the ride and committed to the success of your Sisterlocks. They should be just as excited as you are.

If you decide to move forward, you will not regret your decision. For me and the thousands of other Sisterlocked sistas across the globe, we truly love our hair.

Sisterlocks have been around for a very long time. This trademarked company was founded in 1993 by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell.

This article was written by Patrice Tartt and published on CurlyNikki.

Have you rocked sisterlocks? Currently rocking ’em? Share your experiences below!

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

New color is beautiful and rich, and if you’ve colored your hair, then you understand the diligent maintenance required to keep it healthy and vibrant. So, how do you take care of color-treated hair? While there are many ways to maintain color-treated hair, you must start with a sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo.

Color-safe shampoos are designed not to strip the hair color during cleansing. The right shampoo will help maintain color vibrancy and help the color last much longer without retouching. Using the wrong shampoo may cause irreplicable damage to your hair, resulting in dryness, frizz, and split ends.

If you want to keep your color popping, keep reading to learn more about top color-safe shampoos. 

1. Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Conditioning Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Conditioning Shampoo is a color-safe cleanser for dry and curly hair. Babassu Oil, Almond Protein, and Hibiscus are the key ingredients to soften, moisturize, and strengthen the hair.

This shampoo is gentle enough to protect your color but powerful enough to cleanse your hair and scalp. For extra protection and color enhancement, you can try the Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner.

2. TXTR by Cantu Color Treated Hair & Curls Cleansing Oil Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

This color-safe, moisture-rich shampoo restores radiance and moisture. Colored hair may be more dry, so shea butter, spearmint, and castor oil are perfect for cleansing while adding moisture. Combined with the TXTR by Cantu Leave-In & Rinse Out Hydrating Conditioner, your hair will have deep-penetrating moisture for days! 

3. Maui Moisture Color Protection & Sea Minerals Shampoo 

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

If your colored curls need moisture, you cannot go wrong with Maui Moisture’s Color Protection & Sea Minerals Shampoo. The unique blend of aloe vera juice, coconut water, and sea and kelp minerals are perfect for keeping color vibrant and your hair healthy. 

4. Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Now, you can cleanse and neutralize with Shea Moisture’s Purple Rice Water Color Care Shampoo. The combination of Purple Rice Water, Wild Orchid, and Sweet Violet Extract gently removes residue while restoring shine and strength.

The shampoo is designed to restore brittle hair to its healthiest state. For best results, pair it with Shea Moisture’s Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Masque.

5. Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Aveda’s Color Conserve Shampoo is a popular, safe, plant-based shampoo specifically formulated to extend the vibrance of color-treated hair. Not only does it extend vibrance, but it also leaves hair soft, shiny, and silky. The best news about Aveda’s Color Conserve Shampoo is that it comes paired with a Color Conserve Conditioner and Color Conserve Strengthening Treatment.

6. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo 

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Do you have both thick and color treated hair? If so, Pureology’s Hydrate Shampoo is made for you. The concentrated formula of Jojoba, Green Tea, and Sage adds softness and protects color vibrancy. Pureology adds an AntiFade Complex with Fennel Seed extra, Camelina, Coconut, and Olive Oil to provide maximum color protection for color treated hair. 

7. Olaplex No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Olaplex’s No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo is among the most popular color-treated beauties. When protecting hair against split ends, heat damage, and frizz, Olaplex is a pro. The shampoo is suitable for all hair types and leaves hair easy to manage, shiny, and healthier. 

8. Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

As the summer months approach, blonde is a popular choice. With Amika’s Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo you can take extra care of your newly blonde locks with a special formula designed to keep blonde, grey, and silver hair bright and healthy. 

9. L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Shampoo

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

Color-safe shampoos can be expensive. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet effective one, then L’Oréal Paris’ EverCurl HydraCharge Shampoo may be the perfect fit. L’Oréal’s formula is free of harsh salts and surfactants that can destroy your hair and color. Coconut Oil smooths frizz and adds shine.

10. Innersense Color Awakening Hairbath 

Here Are The Top 10 Color Safe Shampoos to Maintain Healthy Hair

If your color needs an awakening, then Innersense’s Color Awakening Hairbath is perfect for you. The salon-quality shampoo is made with coconut and Pumpkin Seed Oil, Shea Butter, and other plant ingredients that enhance and protect color while removing residue. If your hair needs extra TLC (tender, love, and care), you can pair with the Color Radiance Daily Conditioner and Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner. 

How to Moisturize Your Stubborn, Low Porosity Hair

Hair porosity is a key player in effectively moisturizing our hair. If you are on either end of the spectrum (low or high porosity) then you know how daunting it can seem to keep your hair moisturized. This is due to the outer layer aka cuticle of the hair. The way the cuticle of your hair lays and opens is the determining factor of your porosity.

What does low porosity mean?

Hair has low porosity when the cuticle layer of the hair is tightly packed and flat. Think of it like singles on a roof. The cuticle, like shingles, are tightly nested together to protect the roof. Making it difficult for water to pass. This is the same reason people with low porosity have a hard time with their hair absorbing moisture.

Knowing your porosity aids in bettering your selection and success rate when buying products. It helps aids in the creation of a simple regimen that is highly beneficial to your hair as well.

How do you know your hair is low porosity?

  • Is your hair always dry no matter how often you moisturize, deep condition or greenhouse it?
  • Do you notice water beading up on top of your strands?

Note: If you answered ‘Yes‘ to either of those questions, I have some great tips that will make it much easier for you to achieve the moisturizing greatness you’re looking for.

How to treat low-porosity hair

Clarify your hair

Low-porosity hair is prone to having product build up. Build up + shingle tight cuticles = sad dry hair. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup and give your hair a fresh start.

Deep condition with heat

It is important to open your cuticle a bit to deep condition your hair properly. By using heat you are assured that the cuticle layers will lift so the interior of your strands are moisturized. Here are two ways to condition with heat:

  • Use Indirect Heat – Apply deep conditioner to your hair, covering it with a cap (be sure it is made to withstand heat) and applying indirect heat via hooded dryer.
  • Use Direct Heat – This is done by applying deep conditioner to your hair and using direct heat from a hair steamer.

Note: Many find these two methods work wonders. No matter which way you decide to go, it is important to deep condition your hair. Once a week is fine for most. Be sure to do so at minimum biweekly to yield the best results.


Use greenhouse/baggy method

The method is done to create a humid environment that forces your hair to absorb moisture. The process is pretty simple. Moisturize your hair as you normally would, cover it with a plastic cap and a beanie/snug fitting hat/hair turban/towel. You can leave your hair wrapped up overnight. You will notice, when you remove the outer layer, that the plastic cap has water droplets inside of it. The droplets form because of the heat rising from your head.

Humectants are your friends

Things such as glycerin (veggie or animal), honey, agave nectar, coconut nectar, etc… gain moisture from the air and help to adhere it to your hair. Be sure the humectant you use is properly diluted. If you are unsure or don’t want to do research, it is always good to use buy a product that contains a humectant. We offer the Florets & Creme as well as the Blooming Moisture Mist. Both are very well incorporated. We do not put too much glycerin into our products so it is fine to use year round.

Note: If you are creating a DIY moisturizer or buying one that has a large amount of glycerin in it, you will want lighten up the amount of glycerin being used or discontinue use in the colder months. Winter time glycerin draws moisture out of the hair if it isn’t properly diluted. 

Avoid heavy styling products

Just adds unnecessary weight to the hair and contributes heavily to build up. No bueno.

Use water-based moisturizers

They work best for your hair. Some people have problems using water-based leave-in conditioners containing aloe vera juice or gel. I haven’t had that issue when using those items in other people’s hair, but if you have, then you might want to avoid those items.

Do not use heavy oils

Heavy oils sit on top of the hair and aren’t fully absorbed beyond the cuticle layer. It defeats the purpose of moisture retention and softening of the hair. Coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil are the most commonly used heavy carrier oils in hair products. These would be oils to avoid.

Use light oils

Lightweight oils such as apricot kernel oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil are ideal. If you like coconut oil but hate the heaviness, a much lighter option is fractionated coconut oil, which is a modified version of coconut oil from which many of the fatty acids have been removed. Jojoba oil is a medium-weight oil and fine for most low porosity hair.

How do you moisturize your low porosity hair?

Related: Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

This article was written by Emilia Obiekea and was first published on

4 Ways to Use Rosemary for Hair Growth

Before Pantene, Queen Helene and Head and Shoulders, women turned to their gardens, woods and fields for plants that met all of their beauty needs. Whether it be a cure to dandruff, premature balding, dull strands or a desire for a new hair color, there was a plant that they knew could meet their specific demands. And when it comes to plants with hair benefits, rosemary has long been used for its hair growth properties and so much more. It’s an all-purpose ingredient to have in your toolkit, and here are just four of the ways you can use rosemary for hair growth.

The benefits of rosemary for hair

Rosemary is commonly used for maintaining scalp health to promote hair growth – because healthy hair starts at the scalp. It stimulates and improves circulation to the scalp to encourage hair growth. Due to its antibacterial properties it also works to gently cleanse the hair and relieve scalp issues like irritated, dry, flaky scalps and dandruff.

4 ways to use rosemary for hair growth

As with all herbs there are many different ways that rosemary can be applied externally onto your hair and scalp. These processes can be used with both fresh and dried herbs. But as with cooking, it is always recommended to use fresh ingredients. If you don’t use all of your herb initially, you can dry them and store for next time!

Here are the most common ways to use rosemary for hair growth.

1. Rosemary Hair Rinse

What is a hair rinse you ask? It’s as simple as a cup of tea. Actually, it is pretty much a cup of tea!

How to make a rosemary rinse

  • Simply boil water and add your rosemary to the water.
  • Allow it to steep for 15-30min. and then sift away the leaves. You are left with rosemary infused water.
  • The water can then be used for a rinse for a cleansing rinse, a treatment for shine, a treatment for dandruff or for calp irritation.

For extra scalp stimulation, which is great for hair growth, accompany your rinse with a nice scalp massage. 

2. DIY Rosemary Hair Growth Oil

Purchase rosemary essential oil (which is highly concentrated) and add just a few drops to your favorite daily oil. This is the quickest but not necessarily the cheapest route.

Remember to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to your hair or skin.

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

3. Make a Rosemary-Infused Oil

  • Buy fresh rosemary and crush it within your hands to bring out the aroma.
  • Put the crushed herb into a sterilized glass bottle and pour your choice of oil such as olive or jojoba oil over the herbs. Try to pick an oil that is not temperature sensitive like coconut oil.
  • Put the bottle in a cool, dark space and allow it to sit for 2-4 weeks.
  • You can then apply this rosemary infused oil to your hair and scalp for treating dandruff, scalp irritation, to stimulate hair growth, for a scalp massage, or for added shine and luster. 

4. Rosemary Vinegar Hair Rinse

  • Crush fresh rosemary and add to a jar of apple cider vinegar.
  • Follow the same steps as the DIY oil above and store in a cool, dark space for 2-4 weeks.
  • After shampooing hair, combine 1/4 cup of your rosemary vinegar to 1-2 cup of water and rinse hair with it.

This is best used as a gentle cleanser, a hair treatment for your scalp’s pH balance, or for shine and conditioning.

Where to buy rosemary

You can find the rosemary herb at any grocery and produce store. It is a very inexpensive and very accessible herb. If you are a gardener, look into adding this wonderful culinary and medicinal herb into your harvest as it grows easily and yields well.

You can find rosemary essential oil at your local health food store, Amazon or at online ingredient shops like The Herbarie and Bulk Apothecary. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to buy ingredients for DIYs.

Well folks, I hope this was informative. I pray that we begin to take our health and beauty into our own hands and relearn practices that are indeed effective and harmless to our bodies. The next herb I am working on is going to be Burdock root. As we learn the herbs we can then learn how to couple what with what until we are mixtresses in our own bathrooms and kitchens!

Have you tried rosemary in your hair recipes?

Is DIY 15 Rosemary Hair Products to Try for Hair Growth

This article was written by Shanti of Around the Way Curls and originally published on CurlyNikki. Her source for today’s research comes from the book entitled “Back to Eden” written by Jethro Kloss. This article was published in 2015 and has been updated for clarity.

4 Reasons That Product Didn’t Work for You
Photo by @letts_curl

If you are trying new products to simply explore your options and feed your Product Junkie habit, then this article might be irrelevant to you. But if you are trying new products because your current arsenal is not up to par with your expectations, then this will help you prevent those disappointing purchases. Only you can determine which regimen suits your needs, but before you impulse buy or select at random (or because a YouTuber told you to”>, consider these four steps.

1. Do you know what your hair likes?

Before making a new product purchase, you should review the ingredient lists of your current products to see if there is something consistent that your hair may be responding adversely to. Sometimes it is one ingredient and other times it is the entire formulation. Your hair may reject coconut oil, silicones, and mineral oil, and reviewing your current regimen can reveal the common denominator. If this sounds overwhelming to you, stick to looking at the first five ingredients. If you have not done this yet, you could be repetitively buying products with ingredients that don’t suit your hair.

Save money and shop smarter by trying products that do not contain ingredients that are in the current products you hate.

2. Do you expect the impossible?

If you are unhappy with your shampoo or an oil because it does not moisturize your hair, the problem might be you, not the product.


Moisture retention is the biggest concern for textured hair and it is important that it is reinforced in every step of your regimen, but sometimes our expectations can be misplaced. Shampoo is designed to remove debris, product buildup, and excess sebum – not leave your hair feeling soft and conditioned. Shampoos work by using surfactants and a pH balance of 4-7 that raises the hair cuticle. When the cuticle is raised, it will feel dryer or rougher than it does with a deep conditioner. It’s supposed to! Many naturals complain of shampoo drying their hair, but the process is drying in nature in order to effectively remove dirt, which is why brands formulate a conditioner to help restore moisture and close the cuticle. It is one thing if your shampoo leaves your strands matted, but what you are mistaken for dry hair is actually clean hair. If you are searching for a shampoo that will leave your hair feeling like you can forgo a deep conditioner, that will never happen.


Most oils do not moisturize the hair; they simply help to seal in the moisture that is already in the hair. It is best to use an oil before or after applying your leave-in conditioner or moisturizer. They are not effective as moisturizers that can be solely after rinsing off your conditioner, so before deciding whether your oil is leaving your hair dry and greasy, consider using a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner if you are not already.


If conditioner is on your current shopping list, then consider whether you need a daily conditioner or deep conditioner, masque, or treatment. If you are expecting longer-lasting moisture benefits, then you should consider incorporating a deep conditioner, as it “contains long lasting, penetrable ingredients benefitting the strand from the inside out by finding the damaged areas and filling them in order to temporarily rebuild the hair strands.”

Read more: Daily Conditioner vs. Deep Conditioner

3. Did you remove your other products first?

Many products are formulated with water-insoluble ingredients, which tend to cause excessive dryness after accumulating over time. Before you can properly attribute your issues to this new product, it is essential to first shampoo to effectively observe how well the new product performs. You want to thoroughly remove all of the silicones, mineral oil, butters, and heavy oils that have built up on the hair.

You want to thoroughly remove all of the silicones, mineral oil, butters, and heavy oils that have built up on the hair.

Mineral oil and certain silicones require sulfates for thorough removal, so it is worth considering whether you want to continue using products that require sulfates to remove, especially if dryness is a concern. Co-washing and using co-wash conditioners are meant to be incorporated between shampoos, not to replace them. You want to make sure your hair has a clean slate when trying new products.

Read more: You Need to Clarify: Signs that Co-washing is Not Enough

4. Did you follow the directions?

I am all for doing what works for you, but if you are using a product differently from how its formulators intended, chances are it will not work to its full advantage. Consider following the directions for your first use. For example, I love using daily conditioners on damp hair to detangle before cleansing, but if the instructions state that the product is to be used post-shampoo, then it is only fair to rate the product based on how it performed post-shampoo. Although it is great when a product works in several ways, it seems illogical to rant about a product that was not used as it was designed.

What products are you itching to try?

This article has been updated.

6 Tips on How To Grow Out Your Tapered Curly Haircut
6 Tips on How To Grow Out Your Tapered Curly Haircut

Image: Averiesun Photography


Hi Curl Friends! You’ve decided to grow out your tapered haircut, now what? The tapered haircut is the perfect option for curl friends looking for overall low maintenance while having some hair to style. However, when it’s time to grow out the haircut the process can be long and painful. I’m three months into my grow-out journey and the most frustrating part has been growing out the sides and back. It’s taken some time, but I’ve finally figured out a few tips for growing out my short bushy sides and laying my edges. I’m here to tell you that growing out a tapered haircut doesn’t have to be a long and painful process when you follow six steps to kick start your tapered haircut grow out journey. Having a planned strategy for growing out a tapered haircut will keep you away from the scissors and excited about growing a head full of healthy long curls. 



Establish A Healthy Hair Regimen 


The first step to kick start any grow out is to establish a healthy hair regimen. Establishing a healthy hair regimen doesn’t have to be complicated or take hours to do. The key steps to any naturalista’s regimen should include cleansing, conditioning, detangling, moisturizing, sealing, deep treatment, and styling. Consistently following these steps will have your scalp cleansed and curls moisturized which are the catalyst for healthy long hair. If you need help establishing or revamping your regimen, read these articles: How To Create A Healthy Hair Regimen, How To Build A Natural Hair Regimen To Promote Growth

6 Tips on How To Grow Out Your Tapered Curly Haircut

Image: Averiesun Photography


Get Your Hair In Shape


Now that you’ve established a healthy-hair regimen, it’s time to get in shape. Although you want to grow your sides and top to achieve a certain length, you still want to cut your hair for overall shape and health. There’s nothing worse than having split ends, breakage, and fairy knots crush your long hair dreams. Moreover, you’re less likely to hate your hair during the awkward stage if your hair has shape. I actually got a full haircut at the start of my grow-out journey. Over the last three months, my hair has flourished, so much so that I need another haircut. Give your grow-out a kick-start by removing split ends and getting in shape. When you have a healthy and styled haircut you will be less likely to dislike your hair at the start of your journey. 

6 Tips on How To Grow Out Your Tapered Curly Haircut

Photo Cred: Naturally Shauniece; Stylist: Kimistre; Salon: Curl Theory Salon 

Create Inspiration 

When we first create a goal we start a vision board full of quotes, pictures, and other inspirational items to keep us focused on the goal. This should be no different when setting a hair goal. Head over to Pinterest and Instagram to create boards and save your favorite looks. When you’re having impulses to cut your hair because your sides won’t lay smooth or your hair isn’t growing fast enough, you can refer to your inspiration to remind you of your grow out goals. Check out my personal Pinterest Grow Out Inspiration Board

Try A Protective Style 


One major downside to growing out a tapered haircut is not having an option for bad hair days. If your hair is not “done”, or you miss a wash day, your hair just won’t look good. There’s no high puff or slick back ponytails. However, you can incorporate protective styles to get you through bad hair days. Depending on your length you can try clip-ins, wigs, box braids, crochet braids, knotless braids, and much more. Protective styles are an excellent option to add versatility, low hair manipulation, and provide you a break from growing out your hair. For more on protective styling check out these articles: Protective vs Low Manipulation Styles, Do Protective Styles Really Make Your Hair Grow Longer?, The Dos and Don’ts of Protective Styling  


6 Tips on How To Grow Out Your Tapered Curly Haircut

Image: Averiesun Photography


Invest In Hair Accessories & Tools 

My biggest frustration has been growing my sides out. Three months ago my sides we smooth and laid. Now they are curly, bushy, and require quite a bit of maintenance in order to look neat. If you’re like me, you won’t have the time or quite frankly, you won’t want to style your sides everyday. If this is the case, you will need to stock up on headwraps, turbans, hats, hair clips, and other hair accessories. 


Shop head wraps and turbans: Ruby Sampson Blue Gold Silk-lined Head Wrap, Ruby Sampson Cherry Red Rosette Silk-lined Head WrapLoza Tam Yellow Headband, Grace Eleyae Black Jersey Knit Headband


Shop hats: Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper BADAZZ Backless Curl Cap – Denim Blue

Patience, Patience, and More Patience

Having patience during a grow-out is easier said than done. We all wish we can snap our fingers and wake up with long hair, however, we know that’s not how the process goes. On average, your hair will grow ½ inch per month or about six inches per year. When starting a grow-out process it’s important to understand that it will take time. Having this perspective will save you a lot of frustration when you don’t see or think your hair is growing fast enough. So sit back, relax, and trust the process!

Growing out a tapered haircut doesn’t have to be a long and painful process when you follow six steps to kick start your tapered haircut grow out journey. Having a planned strategy for growing out a tapered haircut will keep you away from the scissors and excited about growing a head full of healthy long curls.

Have you experienced growing out a haircut? What are some tips you’ve learned along the way?

15 Black Owned Haircare Brands to Celebrate Black History Month

Getting chocolates and flowers, or going out on dates to celebrate love in February usually gains our attention and affection. In the midst of all the love, our love for black owned haircare brands should remain strong. Black owned haircare brands should have our full attention and affection in celebration of Black History Month. These brands can take care of our natural hair all year, and now is the time to give extra love to black business owners by supporting their haircare products this February. Explore these 15 black owned haircare brands to learn how their products help your natural hair!

15 Black Owned Haircare Brands to Celebrate Black History Month


One Little Parrot

DeQunda Smith founded One Little Parrot. As a nurse, Dequnda helped a patient who was an ethnic woman with trichotillomania. This disorder causes individuals to pull their hair from dealing with depression and anxiety. Dequnda wanted to help her patient, so she created products that would decrease the urge to pull hair, and stimulate hair to grow back. The inspiration for her brand’s name came from parrots, who tug at their feathers when they are overstimulated or anxious. One Little Parrot supports healthy hair, and healthy minds.

NaturAll Club

Muhga Eltigani the CEO and founder of NaturAll Club, was frustrated with hair products that worked well, but left her hair feeling brittle and dry over time. She started to make her own hair products in her own dorm room in college. NaturAll Club’s products include safe and natural ingredients, and do not include any toxic ingredients. NaturAll Club is committed to fostering and uplifting a community, and creating products with integrity.

Alikay Naturals

Rochelle Alikay Graham-Campbell, the founder and CEO of Alikay Naturals, created products in her own kitchen by using information on natural ingredients. Rochelle created products that served hair and skin. Alikay Naturals products do not include silicones, sulfates, parabens, alcohol, petroleum, or mineral oil. Products from this brand are sure to maintain moisture for skin and hair.

Curl Junkie

Marsha Coulton is the product developer and owner of Curl Junkie. Marsha was frustrated with the lack of availability for textured hair products, which led to her combining conditioners, oils, and butters for her natural curl pattern. As a licensed cosmetologist, her clients constantly wanted to buy her products, so she created her official brand Curl Junkie. Curl Junkie includes products for every hair type, and focuses on creating defined, healthy, and soft hair.

15 Black Owned Haircare Brands to Celebrate Black History Month



Nancy Twine, the founder and CEO of Briogeo, felt that natural hair products did not perform as promised. She decided to create Briogeo, which focuses on providing effective performance and results. Briogeo includes natural products that are free of synthetic color, silicones, DEA, phthalates, parabens, and sulfates. Briogeo’s products are packaged in recyclable bottles. This brand includes formulas that are gluten free, cruelty-free, and vegan.


Mahisha Dellinger is the CEO of CURLS. Mahisha wanted to develop products for an overlooked audience with curly hair. She used her chemistry background and worked with cosmetic experts to build CURLS, a brand that specializes in products with certified organic ingredients.

Design Essentials

Cornell McBride, the CEO of Design Essentials wanted to create hair products that could be used in hair salons and in homes. Products by Design Essentials are sure to provide protein and vitamins for natural hair, to support manageability and movement.


The CEO and President of Gnatural, Roger Gore, started his brand after experiencing a receding hairline, thinning, and balding. He could not find any products to help his hair issues. He used his cosmetology background to create special hair products that would promote hair growth. After experiencing hair growth from his products, Gnatural was launched. Gnatural products are natural, consisting of oils and herbs.

15 Black Owned Haircare Brands to Celebrate Black History Month


Curls Dynasty

Nickie Nougaisse founded Curls Dynasty. Nickie was let down by hair products and started creating her own mixtures from items from her kitchen. Curls Dynasty products are made with natural ingredients that strengthen, hydrate, and soften curls. Curls Dynasty products do not include fragrances, dyes, harsh chemicals, or preservatives.

Karen’s Body Beautiful

Karen Tappin, the CEO and founder of Karen’s Body Beautiful created products after learning about harmful ingredients in body and bath products. She then decided to make her own products using natural ingredients. Karen’s Body Beautiful products are all natural, and do not include sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, or parabens.

Koils by Nature

Pamela J. Booker, the CEO and founder of Koils by Nature created her own hair products after being disappointed by the lack of natural hair products in the beauty market. Koils by Nature products are affordable, cruelty free, vegan, and all natural.


Debra Small founded HPO after applying her own shea butter product to eczema flares. She wanted to serve the body and natural hair market by creating products that were needed, but unavailable. HPO includes cruelty free products, with clean and natural ingredients.

15 Black Owned Haircare Brands to Celebrate Black History Month


True by Made Beautiful

Dana Pointer, the owner of True by Made Beautiful, was inspired to create her own products after being unable to find products with natural ingredients for natural hair. True by Made Beautiful works for many different hair textures and types.


Richelieu Dennis is the mastermind behind the leading skin and hair brand SheaMoisture. He’s built an empire that is cross-cultural and innovative, serving countless families for over 25 years. As an organic and natural brand, SheaMoisture is commited to providing safe ingredients in hair and skin products. SheaMoisture’s products do not include petroleum, formaldehyde, mineral oil, phthalates, sulfates, or parabens.

Mielle Organics

Monique Rodriguez, an experienced registered nurse, is the CEO and founder of Mielle Organics. Monique’s passion for health from the inside to the outside of the body inspired her in creating Mielle Organics, a natural line for every hair type. Mielle Organics products include natural ingredients including amino acids, herbs, and oils to name a few. These ingredients support not only healthy skin, hair, and nails, but also a healthy immune system.

In honor of Black History Month, give love and support to black owned haircare brands by trying out a new haircare brand for your natural hair. You’ll fall in love with these brands after trying them, and your hair will love them too. Out of these 15 brands, you’ll be sure to find a product that will enhance your natural haircare routine.

What black owned haircare brands are you going to explore and try this month? Want to see even more black owned haircare brands to try on your natural hair? Visit the #SupportBlackBusiness SHOP NaturallyCurly store!

Is It Ok to Swim in Crochet Braids?

Photo courtesy: @Stylefeen

Since crochet braids have become a popular protective hairstyling option for many naturals, you may be wondering, “can I wear this style on vacation?” The answer: it depends on the type of hair that you use for your crochet braids.

If you went for the trendy twist out look using marley hair curled with rods and dipped in hot water, your style will most likely destroyed if you try swimming in it. On top of that, it will also be uncomfortable and heavy.

Never fear, naturalista! All hope is not lost. You can still have the joy of flaunting some awesome crochet braids on your vacay, you just have to go with a different hair type that can handle wear and tear from swimming.

FreeTress Bohemian brand hair is a better choice if you need hair that can withstand coming in and out of the pool. If you have a tighter curl pattern, you should do a full crochet braid installation rather than leaving any hair out. This way, you’ll avoid spending too much time blending your hair texture with the synthetic hair. Remember this is your vacation time! Make things as easy and hassle-free as possible; you deserve a breather!

If you’re interested in trying crochet braids, here are 6 Marley hair brands for crochet braids, all under $10. And if you already have crochet braids, here are 4 things you need to know about removing them.

Have you worn crochet braids before? Did you go swimming in them?

This article was written by Ariane for CurlyNikki.

How to Prevent Split Ends and Breakage

Image: istock

Prevent those split ends!

Dear CurlyNikki: My ends are jacked. They’re crunchy, dry, and many of them split. I have to admit that I did color my hair last year, but I did my best to keep it in a healthy, strong condition. I’ve given up heat for the new year, but at times I feel like it’s too late. I’m really tempted to hack it all off and start over again, but I’ve come so far. Help!

Dear Cherie: We’ve all been there. Dry, damaged ends. If your ends are split or breaking (not just dry”>, you should get a trim… ASAP. Not only will this aid in the overall health and appearance of your hair, and make detangling and styling easier, you’ll also feel motivated to care for your freshly trimmed ends. To prevent dryness, splits, and breakage, try the following:

1. Moisturize!

On an as needed basis (for most, every 2-4 days”>, apply water, the ultimate moisturizer to your ends in order to open the cuticle. Follow up with a water based leave-in, conditioner, or moisturizer—you don’t need much, just be sure to evenly distribute.

2. Seal!

Next, apply a thin layer of a natural oil or butter, such as shea butter or castor, olive or coconut oil. This will seal in the moisture from the water and moisturizer.

3. Hide!

Some folks, no matter how often they complete the first two steps, still experience dry crunchy ends. Protecting the ends in styles such as buns and pin-ups, may prevent them from drying out, and help you to retain length. I’m not a protective style girl, but I notice that allowing my hair to dry in a stretched style (twists, braids, rollers”> really helps it to maintain moisture. Not sure of the science behind it, but hey, if it works, it works!

4. Deep Treatments!

If you really want to see some length retention, engage in a hard core deep conditioning routine. My hair was at its healthiest in 2008. I applied a deep conditioning treatment (with heat”> at every styling session—2 or 3 times a week. My ends were rarely dry, and they almost never split. My fav right now is Curl Junkie Rehab, Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment, and MyHoneyChild’s Olive You. All of these are incredibly moisturizing and extra slippery! I often use the Curl Junkie to complete step 1 above as well.

Editor’s Note: Other popular Holy Grails for Type 4 natural hair include the Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner and Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Penetrating Water Hair Treatment.

Immediately after a micro-trim or search and destroy session, I always follow up with a deep treatment, or the first two steps above.

Remember that even without heat and color damage, our ends are very delicate… they’re the oldest part of the hair and have been exposed to natural weathering and the wear and tear of styling. Always be mindful of your practices and how you handle your hair today, because you’ll still be feeling the effects 2 years from now!

Have tips to treat split ends or breakage? Share them below!

Read next: The 3 Types of Split Ends, and What Your Split Ends Say About You

This article was originally published on

4 Ways to Protect Your Curls By Choosing Green Hair Care

Image: iStockphoto

We all want to do right by the planet we call home, but the matter of green hair care can get a little confusing. If you are new to this topic, here are a few tips on how to embrace green hair care for the benefit of your curls and the environment. 

1. Check labels

The most important part of green hair care is to check the labels on your current products as well as any you buy in the future. Part of going green is ridding your hair care routine of any chemicals that are harsh and damaging to curls and the planet. Some people say the general rule is that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, toss the product. While this is a popular rule to follow overall, it is important to note that some ingredients will sound worse than they really are, such as Benzyl alcohol which might sound scary, but serves as a preservative to keep products from going bad. The key is to read labels *and* do a little research to make sure they are made from natural sources.

2. Opt for organic ingredients

The easiest way to take on green hair care is to choose organic ingredients. It is important to note that there is a difference between natural ingredients and organic natural ingredients. For example, a product may list ingredients such as shea butter, honey, or tea tree oil, but that doesn’t mean there are no chemicals in the formula or that these ingredients were harvested without the use of chemicals. The term organic means natural ingredients harvested without chemicals. If you are trying to go as green as possible, opt for organic products – here are a few of our favorites.

3. Avoid animal-tested products

If you are looking to go green, opting for products that are cruelty-free is a good place to start. Generally speaking, products that test their products on animals aren’t showing a high level of concern with the ethical or environment impact of their products overall. When you choose cruelty-free, you can feel good about the products you use knowing no helpless animals were harmed in the process. Here are 10 cruelty-free brands you can trust.

4. DIY recipes

When you want to go green and try something new, creating a few DIY recipes is a fun way to try this out. Doing a few DIY recipes lets you customize the recipe to your exact needs while ensuring you have absolute control over what goes into the recipe. 

Do you prefer to use green hair care? Let us know which brands you love in the comments. 

5 Different Ways to Wrap Your Hair

African-American woman sitting down smiling with a red headwrap

Photo courtesy: @simplybiancaalexa

Most curlies understand the importance of wrapping their hair at night. It gives your curls a little break from being manipulated so they are revitalized when you wake up. If you are tired of the same old method of wrapping strands, here are a few different ways to wrap your hair.

1. Dry Wrapping

One of the most popular and different ways to wrap your hair is dry wrapping with saran wrap. This is good for when you have a straight hair look or blow out and want to make it last longer. When you want to extend your style without adding extra weight with oils, this is a great choice.

2. Pantyhose Wrap

Using another household item you probably have on hand, this method is great for curly hair. What is good about this wrapping method is that it doesn’t squish your hair and you don’t have to twist it. This helps eliminate tangles or clumping when you take down the wrap. Pantyhose are also breathable so you won’t feel too hot during the night which is an added bonus!

3. Satin Wrapping

Of course, satin or silk is still the preferred go to for lots of women. This soft material doesn’t rob hair of moisture and can actually help to prevent frizz caused by friction. Here are a few different ways to wrap your hair with your silk or satin scarf.

4. Turban Wrap

Of course, not all wraps are intended for bedtime only. Stylish silk scarves and head wraps are a great way to get through your day in style without damaging your curls. One of the most stylish ways to wear a head wrap is the turban style. This allows you to protect your edges while still letting your stands hang loose to show off texture.

5. Pineapple Wrap

Another stylish daytime way to wrap your hair is the pineapple. While this can also be used as a nighttime option, it is totally acceptable to wear during the day. This is another look that protects your roots and edges while letting your ends take center stage. See how to do a pineapple wrap here.

How to Stop Sweat from Damaging Your Hair


Photo courtesy of 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!

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!

This post was written by BarbaraNaturallySpeaking for CurlyNikki.

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been updated to incorporate new product recommendations.

But Does The Curly Girl Method Work for Type 4C Hair?
Hadassah Agbaps is a blogger who shares her experiences as a Nigerian woman who has had natural hair her entire life. In this article she tests three popular hydration methods on her own hair, and no matter where you live in the world we feel you can benefit from her detailed comparisons and personal experience! 
Hadassah tried the Curly Girl Method, along with 2 other popular methods for defining curls on her own hair. These were her results:
3 popular methods for defining curls:
  1. Curly Girl Method
  2. Tightly Curly Method, and now
  3. Maximum Hydration Method
Below you’ll find descriptions and highlights of each method, along with their pros and cons, and my personal experiences.

Curly Girl Method

This method of curl definition was developed by Lorraine Massey and shared in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook. The basic principle is to eliminate silicones, petroleum products, sulfates and heat.  So to eliminate sulfates, shampoos are not used at all. The hair is cleansed using a silicone free conditioner only, such as VO5 Conditioners, Suave Naturals, Jessicurl Too Shea, or Kenra, Tresemme Naturals, etc.

Leave-in conditioners or gels should never contain sulfates, silicones, alcohols, petrolatum, mineral oil and its derivatives. Suggestions include Kinky Curly Knot Today and Giovanni Direct Leave In, etc. Gels include Ecostyler gels, Fantasia IC Hair Polisher, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper and Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

  1. This method works because it eliminates products which coat the hair and prevents it from absorbing moisture. With the prevalence of junk petroleum and sulfate ridden products in the Nigerian market, this method helped start me on a healthy hair diet.
  2. You can still follow your usual regimen, the only thing that really changes is skipping the shampoo step (and avoiding key ingredients”>.
  3. No heat means you avoid heat damage.
  1. The downside to this method was over-conditioning so my hair became mushy and too soft. There was also buildup due to the emollients in the conditioner and the presence of hard water. So I modified it by clarifying with shampoo once a month.
  2. No heat meant I didn’t have the option to straighten my hair, and ‘freedom’ is the reason I went natural.

Does it work on Nigerian hair?

Yes it does. I noticed my curls weren’t as tight as I thought they were and they were popping. I noticed the same in textures different from mine. However finding the CG friendly products was another matter.  If your hair is very tightly coiled, it may not improve curl definition but will definitely keep it feeling softer and less stripped.

Tightly Curly Method

This method was developed by Teri LaFlesh and is shared in her book Curly Like Me. Her method is similar to the Curly Girl Method in that you use mainly a conditioner. It is different in that,

  • you are allowed to use a shampoo, but a sulfate free one. You can cowash if you prefer.
  • there’s a lot of combing/brushing with loads of conditioner (in CG method, finger detangling is used almost exclusively”>
  • it isn’t necessary to trim your hair (it is in CG”> and you can use moderate heat with a diffuser to dry your hair.
  • no gel

The technique involves applying loads of conditioner to hair cleansed with a sulfate free shampoo or cowash and combing it through from tips to roots until the hair clumps visibly and the conditioner disappears.

To avoid damage from combing or brushing you need a conditioner that is thick with loads of slip. Teri refers to them as ‘combing’ conditioners. Recommendations includes Alaffia Coconut and Shea Daily Hydrating Conditioner, Aveeno Nourish and Shine Conditioner, Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner, Aussie Moist Conditioner, and Tresemme conditioner.

The recommended brush is the Denman brush. However I have used a shower detangling brush with good results. The point is the brush should have very smooth bristles and be well spaced. It allows the hair to clump beautifully.


Does it work on Nigerian hair?

I’d say it might if your hair has some degree of porosity. If your hair has low porosity, the conditioner will just sit on top of your hair.

Does it define curls?

Yes it does. My type 4b/c hair began to look like type 4a. However if you are in a constant battle with shrinkage, it can shrink your hair tremendously. My almost waist length hair shrunk to a small afro though I had lovely lovely curls.

  1. Just two products are needed. Your cleanser of choice and a combing conditioner. No gels or even oils are necessary which I like so much.
  2. The hair curls up nicely, feels soft to the touch and isn’t frizzy. No crunchiness like when you use a gel.
  1. Oh my gosh!!! It takes time! My hand was in my hair for 45mins straight as I kept combing and brushing.
  2. I don’t like being wet for long so I had to comb outside the bathroom which was a bit messy as globs of conditioner were dropping everywhere.
  3. If you have fine hair like mine, you will dread the comb or the brush. My hair is too fragile to keep brushing.  Surprisingly, I had little breakage but did see a lot of shed hairs….probably due to fingerdetangling almost exclusively.
  4. If your hair is very thick and coily with low porosity, the conditioner may not provide enough hold to keep your coils in place.
  5. If used on children, I don’t think they have the patience for all the combing….not because it hurts but because of the time it takes to comb and separate clumped sections.

It’s not my favorite method, but like the CG method, it can fit into your once a month or bi-weekly regimen.

So the new buzz is the Maximum Hydration Method, which claims to define curls in hair with no visible curl pattern and in hair with low porosity (hair that doesn’t easily absorb water/moisture and products sit on top of strands”>. In summary, for 7 days, you consistently infuse moisture into your hair morning and night. For a lot of naturals dreading wash day, this seems like a lot of work. It may or may not be so depending on your hair and your current regimen. So the question on most Nigerian naturals’ minds is will it work?

Maximum Hydration Method

This method was developed by Pinke Cube a member of Black Hair Media. I first got to know about it on and then read a summary on TheKinkandI. We all know how soft and curly our hair is when freshly washed and how it disappears when it is dry right?!  Well this method is designed to infuse the hair with so much moisture that it hardly has a dry moment.

For seven consecutive days you clarify and condition in the morning and before bed.  It is similar to the CG method because you’ll avoid products with sulfates, petroleum derivatives, silicones and drying alcohols.  In addition, you also avoid products with emulsified oils, aloe vera gel/juice and glycerine because they dry out some naturals’ hair.

The night before, you clarify with baking soda (if you have low porosity hair”> or with Apple Cider Vinegar ( if you have high porosity hair”>. Then you deep condition your hair and apply a shower cap overnight.

In the morning, you rinse out the conditioner, apply a clay treatment such as bentonite or rhassoul clay, wait for 15mins then rinse out. You then apply your leave in conditioner and seal with a gel.

If you shower early in the morning and again in the evening, this shouldn’t be tedious unless you come back home dead tired!

Since you detangled the night before with the D.C. you should have less tangles by morning which improves within the 7 days of the regimen.

Recommended leave ins available in Nigeria include Kinky Curly Knot Today, Jessicurl Deep Treatment, Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls, Giovanni Direct Leave In.

Recommended gels are Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, Flaxseed gel, CurlyGirl Silky Custard.

For a DIY gel from The Kink and I check here.

So will it work for Nigerian hair?

I should think so because the reason our Nigerian natural hair is dry is because we don’t moisturize our hair enough.  Seriously, I see improvements in texture and softness of clients’ hair at the salon when they come regularly for their D.C., clay treatments and pH balancing treatments in addition to using recommended moisture balancing products at home.  Assuming these treatments are done daily, I will agree that maximum hydration will be reached faster and once it has been attained, hair care from then on will be easier.

My hair is well hydrated, that is why with little effort, my curls pop. Whenever it gets dry from being in a protective style, I follow a similar regimen with an overnight D.C. and gentle cleansing to get it back on track.

The Maximum Hydration Method is worth a try if it is difficult to keep your hair moisturized.

  1. You get to use good quality natural hair ingredients with little chemicals in them.
  2. Your hair is kept in a moisturized state which improves the health of your hair.
  3. Daily detangling helps remove shed hair and makes the hair easier to manage in the long run.
  1. The constant daily manipulation may wear out your hair increasing breakage especially for fine, porous hair. Let’s not forget hygral fatigue from constant expansion and contraction of the hair fibre.
  2. It is time consuming. If you are a working mother, this routine can be hard to pull off. MsDeeKay has some suggestions on how to make it easier.
  3. Products recommended can not only be hard to get but are expensive.

So there you have it!  The common curl defining methods in use and their feasibility in Nigeria and on Nigerian natural hair.

In Summary

The summary of all the methods are:

  • use the right pH balanced products for your hair
  • moisture, moisture, moisture
  • keep those curls together
If you’ve tried any of the methods listed, don’t hesitate to share below!  Also share the products you use!

This post was written by NappilyNigerianGirl for CurlyNikki.

The Struggle is Real: Parents Caring for Little Curls
Photo by Jodi Jacobson — Getty Images

Do you have memories of sitting in between your mother’s legs while she parted your hair, oiled your scalp, and styled you up in some plaits and twists, perhaps with pretty clips and bubbles and elastics? Are those memories fond or fearful? For me, they’re all warm and fuzzy. Having my mom wash and braid me up for school was usually something I looked forward to – her hands were gentle, I loved the smell of the African Pride scalp oils she used (remember the yellow ones filled with petroleum and “herbs”?”>, and we had fun watching TV or talking while she got me ready for the next day of school.

I know that for others, the memories aren’t so sweet. Hair being scraped back and torn with rough combing, singes from irons used to “tame” naps, and harsh comments about how tough, nappy, and bad one’s hair was. I’ve seen the after-effects of negative treatment pass down much more visibly than the positive – mothers who were told their hair was “bad” have practiced the same with their own children, especially their daughters. Seeing 4 year olds with relaxed hair makes me sad. Hearing mothers talk about how terrible their child’s hair is in front of the child makes me cringe.

I have heard Black women admit to choosing fathers of another race in order to ensure that her daughter didn’t have “nappy-ass hair” like she did. I’ve spoken with White mothers who have children with Black men, but have absolutely no clue what to do with their baby’s hair.

If you’re a parent struggling with your child’s hair, you aren’t alone! I’m no hair professional, but here are some tips I’ve acquired to help create more happy, healthy memories when it comes to little ones and their hair.
  • Moisturizing is the key: kids’ hair can get extremely dry. From wearing wool hats in the winter, to going to swimming lessons, to a general rough and tumble lifestyle, so many things can zap the moisture right out of your little one’s hair. If they also have tight kinks and curls, you’ll want to pay even more attention to this.
    • Adding a bit of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO”> or jojoba oil to shampoos and conditioners is always a good move.
    • Stick to water-based moisturizers to keep hair soft and supple in between washes
    • Use natural oils like coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter to nourish and lubricate your child’s hair before styling.
  • Detangling doesn’t have to be torture: the keys to detangling are tools + technique.
    • Use a wide-tooth comb to gently but thoroughly detangle hair section by section
    • If you have extra time, use your fingers as a comb to remove any tiny knots or tangles.
    • Never detangle your little one’s hair when it’s dry! The best time to do so is when their hair is soaking wet and full of conditioner – this helps your comb to move through the hair much easier, and less painfully too.
    • If their hair does dry before you’ve been able to detangle, keep a spritz bottle of water and leave-in conditioner handy to wet the hair again before running through with the comb.
  • Young scalps are important: Are you concerned with the rate at which your child’s hair is NOT growing? It all starts at the scalp. School-aged children are prone to getting a little bit of everything in their hair, and if yours also sweats in their scalp, you’ll need to shampoo more frequently. Scalps need to be able to breathe in order for hair growth to flourish, so keep that in mind. Also – don’t gunk your child’s scalp with petroleum based oils and greases. While some use mineral oil-based products to protect their strands from mechanical damage, these products can sit on top of the scalp without providing any nourishing properties. Try applying castor oil to your little one’s scalp to nourish and promote growth.
  • Styles matter: Most parents I know limit “out” days and keep their children’s hair in mainly protective styles. Smart move, as this could save you the tears and extra time to detangle at the next wash day. In the same vein, don’t be afraid to try your hand at some new styles! Buns, braids, twists, cornrows – the options are endless! If you aren’t as skilled as you’d like to be, or if your busy schedule makes it hard to recreate fresh and fab styles, hit up your friendly neighborhood braider to get a style that may last your child a week or 2 at a time! Whatever route you take, remember that young hairlines are sensitive – don’t cause damage by braiding, pulling, or combing too tightly. Also, take care of exposed ends. Try applying shea butter or coconut oil to the ends of hair to protect from dryness and splitting.

(don’t the above tips reflect the same things we adults do for our natural hair care? Get the kiddies started off right!”>

  • Watch your words: I have colleagues and acquaintances in their 50s who remember, clear as day, the way their mothers used to disparage and criticize their hair – those memories don’t easily fade away. Remove the negative speak when taking care of your child’s hair, and replace it with positives. Children first develop their self-esteem through what they’re taught and told at home – besides, there are sufficient messages in the world to tell your child why they aren’t good enough. Do you want to add to that, or help to strengthen your child against it? Use your words to instill pride and love in your child’s hair, so that they can absorb that pride and love for themselves. Instead of teaching them how to “fix” their hair, teach them how to take care of it. “Fixing” indicates that something is wrong – and as long as your child’s hair is healthy, it’ll be alright!

This article was written by Bee of and published on CurlyNikki.

Below, share your tips for caring for your kiddo’s curls!

The Drastic Ways My Hair Changed After Pregnancy

Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl, ever!  The pregnancy and the idea of being someone’s mom was new to me, so I really didn’t know what to expect!  I did, however, know all about postpartum shedding and what could possibly happen to my hair after I had my baby. I spoke about how I dealt with postpartum hair loss here. I then began to notice texture changes with my hair.

I like to be transparent with my readers, to let you know what I’m going through in hopes that it may help someone else.  As we all know, change can be difficult, no matter how minor or major they’re perceived to be. I’m not going to lie, as I noticed changes in my hair I got a little sad. 

Before pregnancy

Pre- pregnancy my hair was long thick and I had a looser curl pattern. If I had to type it I’d say 3c maybe. 

During pregnancy

During my pregnancy, my hair thrived! This is because during pregnancy, the higher levels of estrogen prolong the growth phase, which results in less shedding and thicker hair. Some women also notice that their hair becomes shinier and more moisturized during pregnancy, or that it changes in texture. Many women notice these changes.  For me, my hair was fuller, thicker and doing well. I took my prenatal vitamin everyday and drank lots of water.


I breastfed my baby for 9 months when she suddenly stopped on her own. I began to take post-natal vitamins and stopped taking my prenatal vitamins since I no longer needed the level of nutrition I required while breastfeeding.  A few months after that, I replaced the postnatal vitamins with a regular women’s multi.

This is when I really began to notice another drastic change with my hair. My thick hair began to break off, it was less dense and lacked volume. It was growing, but it was now thinner. I thought to myself that it was all in my head. But as I began to look back at pictures it was evident.

What did I do about it?

I had to totally switch up my routine. Things I used to do no longer worked. I noticed that my hair was always super dry. I went from deep conditioning every 2 weeks to once a week, with heat. I always do the L.O.C. method.  My hair was so different that the styles I used to do no longer looked the same. I just couldn’t get that same look! So I just started to wear my hair in a bun every. single. day (my way of protective styling”>. This turned out not to be a very good idea because I neglected my ends, and didn’t moisturize my hair properly (bad idea”>. I recently visited the Chicago Curl Collective to get my hair straightened. Moral of the story I had to get 2 inches cut off!

I decided to embrace my new texture and learn to care for my hair all over again. I’ve had to put in place new techniques and take a different approach and it’s okay. This natural hair journey is really a “journey”. I’ve been rocking with it since 2009 and everyday is a new adventure and a new learning experience. I knew that I would experience changes, but I had no idea that I would have to learn care for my hair all over again, with a new texture. Im still learning. My hair may never return to how it was pre-baby and I’m perfectly okay with that.

This article was written by Michelle Thames of and published on CurlyNikki.

Have you experienced changes in your hair postpartum? How did you overcome the changes?

This Blogger’s Allergic Reaction Was Caused by Henna

Most naturals have heard about henna, which is known as an alternative and natural way to dye natural hair. Chemese Armstrong, a lifestyle blogger based Texas, chose to try henna because she is allergic to paraphenylenediamine (or PPD”>, an commercial dye that is found in more than two-thirds of hair dyes on the market.

Read more: Do You Have a Cosmetic Allergy? These are   Common Culprits

After having an allergic reaction to PPD when attempting to get her hair dyed, Chemese didn’t think she would ever try dyeing her hair again until her dermatologist informed her that she should try henna since it is natural and plant-based. Chemese is vegan and thought trying henna would be a safe option, and found a salon in Austin that uses henna, calling it “all-natural, chemical free, and harmless.”

Chemese said she thought her stylist understood she couldn’t use chemicals in her hair, and that the stylist did a 30-minute strand test that produced no reactions. However, the stylist used a different henna to complete Chemese’s entire head. Chemese went home and washed the henna out herself. Later on that day, she realized her scalp was very itchy, and washed her hair with a clarifying shampoo. She knew then that she was having an allergic reaction.

The next morning, her condition worsened. Her right eye became swollen shut and reluctantly, she went to her doctor’s office, who gave her a shot to reverse the swelling. Chemese drove herself home, and by the time she was in the parking lot of her apartment complex, her left eye had swollen shut, too. As the swelling progressively got even worse, Chemese had to be rushed to the emergency room.

Thankfully, the reaction did not affect Chemese’s breathing and the swelling started to go down. In this YouTube video, Chemese says she is 75% recovered from her very traumatic experience and will be more mindful about what she’s consuming and putting into her body.

I personally have never considered getting henna done in a salon and have always done it at home, but I never considered the idea that a salon would use so-called “henna” that clearly wasn’t henna at all since it had been altered. Chemese became a victim to a salon and stylist that she trusted who not only gave her false information, but put her life in jeopardy, and she deserves justice.

In all of your hair ventures, try your best to be safe and do your research. But in cases like these when you’ve done both: #putitinGodshands.

Written by Kanisha Parks and published on CurlyNikkiKanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than, she has also written for and Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, “Love Letters from the Master.” Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at

Do Fatty Alcohols Add Moisture to Your Hair… Or Not?

Are fatty alcohols good for natural hair?  It depends. It is true that fatty alcohols are an improvement over short short chain alcohols like SD alcohol, alcohol denat and isopropyl alcohol.

Fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol – just to name a few – tend to have lubricating properties that in the short term, seem to make hair more pliable and more flexible.

In contrast, short chain alcohols are extremely lightweight and very drying. Additionally, these alcohols break up oils that they come into contact with. That is precisely why they are so pervasively used in hair products that are marketed for people who have oily hair. Unfortunately, short chain alcohols are also prominently featured in African American and natural hair care products, rendering hair that is already naturally dry and non-pliable even more dry.

But I digress. Fatty alcohols are okay – not great – just okay – if used in moderation. Speaking from personal experience, I have found that these alcohols are still very drying when the composition of the hair care product reflects a sizable amount of fatty alcohol. Let me explain…

For a while, I was using an organic moisturizing shampoo to cleanse my daughter’s curls. This product contained no alcohol, so her hair felt great – except it tangled easily because of the amount of glycerin that the product contained. (My daughter has a very dense mix of 3c/4a hair.”>

Seeking an alternative that resulted in fewer tangles, I decided to use bentonite clay and aloe vera gel to cleanse her hair for a while. The tangles definitely decreased, but her hair just never felt thoroughly clean. So after using an organic clarifying shampoo that was also alcohol free, I shopped around and decided to try a cleansing conditioner that contained lots of good stuff – but cetyl alcohol was the first ingredient in its ingredient list.

I used it for the first wash, and her hair felt amazing. With each subsequent wash, however, I began to notice a definite change in the texture of her hair. Instead of feeling soft and supple, it gradually began to feel hard, wiry and extremely dry. Sadly, every wash with the cleansing conditioner amplified these results. I looked at the ingredient list again and noticed that, even though the product contained a nice amount of moisturizing ingredients, it contained much more cetyl alcohol than moisturizers.

Remember, fatty alcohols may make your hair feel good for a while by providing lubrication, but they do NOT add moisture to the hair. 

Remember, fatty alcohols may make your hair feel good for a while by providing lubrication, but they do NOT add moisture to the hair. In other words, they do not nourish hair or even replenish lost moisture that very dry natural hair needs.

The bottom line? Buy products that have a low percentage of fatty alcohols in their ingredient lists.

This article was written by SOINTOCURLS of and published on CurlyNikki.

Can You Straighten Curly Hair with a Steamer?


I was looking online for a hair steamer. I did some research and found a site that said there are not many studies for hair steaming. Is this true?

TheBeautyBrains Answer

In case you’re not familiar with that this process, hair steaming it is exactly what it sounds like. You apply steam to your hair because it supposedly makes it smoother, softer, and more moisturized. The practice is especially popular for natural hair. Typically this is done with a bonnet like device into which steam is pumped or from a handheld device that puffs steam directly into your hair as you comb through it. I assume the practice goes back much further but I remember seeing hair steaming units for the first in the 1970s .

This has such a commonsense kitchen logic to it that I’m surprised the beauty industry hasn’t exploited this idea more. There really aren’t very many hair steamers on the market. Why is that? Probably because it doesn’t work as well as expected. The idea that “injecting” your hair with steam is good for it doesn’t hold up scientifically. If you’re trying to moisturize your hair, just soaking in water works perfectly fine. Steam doesn’t provide any additional benefit in terms of getting moisture to penetrate more deeply.

In fact, too much exposure to high temperature steam can actually damage hair. There’s some classic research done by the hair care ingredient company Croda that showed when you apply a flat iron to wet hair you get little blisters or bumps in the hair shaft from, presumably from the steam evaporating. Granted, flat irons provide a higher temperature than just exposure to steam but still this could be an indication that heat and steam are not friends of your hair. 

There hasn’t been very much written about hair steaming in the scientific literature but The Natural Haven blog does reference one study from 1934 that looked at the effect of steaming on wool fibers. (X-Ray Studies of the Structure of Hair, Wool, and Related Fibres. II. The Molecular Structure and Elastic Properties of Hair Keratin”> In case you didn’t know wool is a pretty good surrogate for testing human hair. It’s not exactly the same but there is some overlap.

Anyway, the study wasn’t focused on hair care benefits but rather on manipulating the fiber for using it in fabrics. In particular they look at fiber stretching. The researchers found that if you take a wool fiber put a weight on the end of it and then expose it to steam, the fiber will stretch it out longer than its original length and it won’t shrink back afterwards. In other words the fiber was permanently straightened and lengthened. They hypothesized that the combination of heat and stress severed some of the disulfide bonds that control the structure of hair.

This might lead you to think that steaming hair could help straighten out your curls however there’s two problems with that. First of all the time of steam exposure in the study was something like 15 hours. There’s no way you’ll be able to expose your hair to steam for that period of time. And secondly they only saw a straightening result when weight was applied to the fiber. Even if you’re brushing or combing your hair while you steam it it’s difficult to reproduce the effect of applying the force of a weight to each strand of hair. Also, I would think that since you’re not re-oxidizing the bonds to lock in the new straight configuration, there could be some reversion. Hard to say, again this isn’t very well studied. According to The Natural Haven, the long and short of hair steaming for natural hair–

  1. Steaming hair for under 30 minutes is generally considered safe in terms of not damaging hair
  2. Steaming hair is pretty similar to wetting hair meaning hair absorbs moisture and swells. It can feel smoother as a result of the swelling.
  3. Steaming will allow hair to stretch a little more than wetting hair would with the same force (therefore be gentle when handling steamed or wet hair”>
  4. Steamed hair will remain elastic provided you use reasonable gradual force and remain under the 30 minutes.
  5. Steaming over 30 min. can induce disulphide (disulfide if you are on the other side of the pond”> bonds to break – essentially, yes, steaming for long times can relax your hair.

This article was written by The Beauty Brains and published on CurlyNikki.

Share your experiences in steaming