Search Results: Stacy Pulliam

Your Back to School Shopping List for Wavy, Curly, and Coily Hair

Well, summer is coming to an end. No more late nights and even later mornings. Yep, it’s time for back to school! And I am going to help you start the school year off right. Keep reading for the best product recommendations, as well as my quick styling tips, and a link to some upcoming sales for all of the hair products your child’s bathroom could hold.

As a salon owner and professional stylist, it seems like every parent always wants to know, “What products should I buy?” and “What styles will last?” My answer: this totally depends on your child’s hair type.

Check out my product recommendations for curly, coily and wavy kids, based on curl pattern.


Products for Type 2 Wavy Hair

Shampoos for Wavy Hair

Conditioners for Wavy Hair

Leave-in Conditioners for Wavy Hair

Styling Products for Wavy Hair

Simple, fast back-to-school styling tips

1. Shampoo-and-go

Distribute product through the hair evenly (with either your fingers or Denman Brush“>. Bend your head down and scrunch out excess moisture using a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt. You can diffuse if you would like.

2. Do not ponytail wet/damp hair

Allow your hair to fully dry before pulling it back into a ponytail or updo style (leads to more options on Day 2″>. I personally do not diffuse but if you need your child’s hair to dry before gym class waking up a little earlier, diffusing may speed up the drying process. Once hair is mostly dry, softly finger comb back into a ponytail. Remember touse soft ponytail holders.

3. Braid for more defined waves

Follow step 2 up to the drying process and then braid. You may also braid from a wet state to give you more defined waves on Day 2.

Products for Type 3 Curly Hair

Shampoos for Curly Hair

Conditioners for Curly Hair

Leave-in Conditioners for Curly Hair

Styling Products for Curly Hair

Type 4 Coily Hair

Shampoos for Coily Hair

Conditioners for Coily Hair

Leave-in Conditioners for Coily Hair

Styling Products for Coily Hair

Simple, fast back-to-school styling tips

1. Shampoo-and-go

Divide your child’s hair into 4 or more sections. You want to make sure sections are small enough to evenly distribute product through the hair (with fingers or Denman style brush”>.To give 4c hair a defined pattern finger, styling is the way to go. If you want to dry the hair quickly or enhance certain areas, scrunch out excess moisture using a microfiber towel or t-shirt. You can diffuse to speed up drying time.

2. Braid-and-twist

This style can be done on dry or wet hair. Caution, be careful not to put too much tension on your child’s edges. You can do this on wet hair by detangling then applying product — andremembernot toput too much tension on your child’s hair. Keep in mind that wet hair stretches, so treat it with care. Proceed with styling. If you want to create this styleon dry hair,apply product thenblow dry on a low heat setting. You may also choose to stretchtheir dryhair. Stretch-dry-wrap several loose twist around the head, like a doobie wrap, and allow hair to fully dry. Proceed with styling.

3. Puff ponytails

This cute style looks best on detangled coils, followed by product applictionand smoothed edges back. You may alsoleave them totally natural (but moisturized“>. There are quite a few DIY videos on how to achieve amazing puffs. Just remember that too much tension may lead to thin edges so don’t pull tight.

If you’re on the hunt for a great deal, check out SHOPNaturallyCurly for a site wide sale to receive 15% off orders $35 and more plus free shipping off of orders $50 or more. Sale ends September 15.

Read next: 15 Cute Curly Hairstyles for Kids

A Curly Stylist Wants You to Stop Doing THIS Before Your Appointment

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash  

You did it. You finally booked an appointment with the curl expert you found on the NaturallyCurly Salon Finder and you are so excited and overjoyed that you forgot to ask what you should do to your hair before your appointment. Have no fear, your Master Curl Therapist is here to give you some tips for all your hair appointments to come.

How to prep for your consultation

Before your first cut with a stylist, the first step is to have a consultation. During the consultation, your stylist will want to analyze your hair. I always ask that my clients come in with freshly shampooed and conditioned hair, as well as apply a light leave in. For curl shaping appointments it is especially important not to come in with gucky, hazy-feeling hair. Your stylist will more than likely prefer one of the following:

1. Ask your stylist for product recommendations

Ask your stylist if they want you to come by or send your pictures ahead of time so they can make product recommendations. You can go by the salon and pick them up before your appointment. Great products will ensure your curl pattern really pops, allowing the stylist to create an amazing shape that you will be happy with.

2. Schedule extra time for shaping appointments

Be prepared for your first–and all–of your shaping appointments to take longer. This is because your stylist will have to shampoo, condition, and possibly stretch-dry you if you have a type 3b to 4c texture. Although I am going to shampoo you after your shaping, if necessary, I like the way products naturally dry. When your product naturally dries it gives you a true picture on day 2 of what second day hair should look like.

3. Refrain from using the following before any other type of appointment:

  • gel
  • cream
  • anything heavy and tacky

For a color service

1. Shampoo & detangle before your appointment

If you are scheduled for a color service please shampoo and detangle your hair prior to your appointment. It is a misconception that dirty hair colors better. If the hair is not clean the color has to eat through all of the product build-up.

It is a misconception that dirty hair colors better.

Shampoo only–do not condition or apply product–and detangle your hair before your appointment. 

The exception to the rule is when you are getting a highlight service: it is still recommended to remove all product build-up, however, you may add a light conditioner and leave in after you shampoo, MyHoneyChild Aloe Vera Leave-in is a great light leave-in.

2. Don’t do a henna treatment before your appointment

Do not do a henna treatment unless you have discussed it with your stylist.

3. Remember not to scratch the scalp

Scratching the scalp before a color service can lead to major burning and open sores. Massage the scalp with your fingertips, focusing on product removal from the actual hair. Surface Purify is a great non stripping clarifying shampoo, and a little goes a very long way.

4. Do not try to correct your color at home

Please leave color correction to your stylist. It would be awesome if you would leave all color services in the hand of your stylist.

A couple more don’ts

Do not do your big chop at home

Do not attempt to do your big chop and then expect your stylist to fix it. It is hard to recover from bangs that shrink up to your hairline. The only solution is to grow them out.

Do not attempt to straighten your curly hair at home

Your hair smells like fire as soon as the water hits it…. That should be reason enough to not straighten your hair at home. The only exception to this rule is if you have been directed under proper guidance on how to straighten, temperature settings, and what oils are ok to use.

I hope these pre-appointment don’ts help make your salon visits more pleasurable. It will certainly make your stylist life easier, that’s for sure! Your best bet would be to have a conversation with any new or prospective stylists so you know how to best prepare for your first appointment with them. 

What did I miss?

Stylists, I want to hear from you.

This article has been updated.


How to Put Off Your Trim for as Long as Possible

Photo: @creeative91

One of my amazing stylists, Tomeika Myers, has a great analogy about split ends, “Split ends are like panty hose: if you get a run, it just keeps right on running. Would you like to trim a little now or a lot next time?” Some things are inevitable, split ends are one of those things. 

How often should I get a trim?

Everyone’s hair is different; as a stylist, I’ve observed that one of my clients may need a trim every 4 to 6 weeks and the next one can go 8 to 12 weeks. It all depends. Below are some tips for giving your ends a longer life span and putting off your trim for as long as possible.

“Split ends are like panty hose: if you get a run, it just keeps right on running. Would you like to trim a little now or a lot next time?”- Tomeika Myers

How to prevent frequent trims

The key to preventing frequent trims is to take care of your ends. Here are my recommendations:

1. Apply penetrating oils for moisture

Use penetrating oils like argan, avocado, coconut, sunflower, or olive oil to protect your hair strands from the inside out and help retain moisture.

2. Apply a sealing oil

Use coating and sealing oils like castor, jojoba, shea, and safflower to lock in or seal in all the wonderful moisture.

Great oils to choose from are Moisture Love Seal With A Kiss Finishing Oil, Obia Naturals Argan Rose Hair Oil, or AfroVeda Pitta CocoLatte Moisture Cream.

A word of caution: depending on your hair type and porosity, your recommended amounts of the oils may vary.

3. Rock a protective style on healthy hair

When your hair is in a protective style you aren’t fiddling with your ends. Always opt to use penetrating and coating oils before you get a protective style.

“Your ends are the oldest part of your hair so you must treat them like royalty,” says Susy, Celebrity Stylist, at Hairbysusy in Brooklyn, New York. “As you trim your hair it grows. Unfortunately, most Hairstylist’s install extensions for the look and the drama of it. When installing hair, you must keep the health and longevity of your hair in mind. You can have drama and healthy hair!” I personally recommend getting a trim before your extension style, especially if your hair will be tucked away for 4 or more weeks.

4. Before you wear your hair down…

If you do opt to wear your hair down, be cautious of the material you are wearing. This may seem like something small, but if you are wearing thick t-shirt, wool, or tweed (just name a few”>, and your hair is rubbing against that all day, you are pretty much telling your hair to split right on up. Pull your hair up during the day if you are in the office at your computer. I know, it’s your hair…so you can decide if you want to swing it all day every day or constantly trim it.

5. Step away from the heat!

I’m not saying that you cannot do the occasional heat styling, but understand that too much heat will fry your ends. If you are a natural with color-treated hair, you are more susceptible to splitting more frequently. Honestly, speaking the tighter the curl pattern the weaker the strands, all hair cannot take constant heat styling. If you must apply heat, try Cantu Thermal Shield Heat Protectant or Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Treatment. Even when protectants are used and you are getting steam treatments, heat may dry your hair out, as well as weaken your curl pattern.

Susy put it very well when she said, “Love your hair and love yourself.”

Nurture, love, and trim your hair and it will grow.

This is Why Your Hair Is SO Dry, According to These Pros

“Why is my hair so dry?” That is one of the top 5 questions I get asked by curly hair clients.

And when I tell you there are about 100 different reasons your hair feels like tumbleweed blowing through The Sahara Desert, please believe it can be complex and simple all at the same time. There is a root system when it comes to dry hair… genetics, diet, medication, vitamin deficiencies, hair products, environment…. Dry hair may start off as one thing and grow into a conglomeration of many. It is like the domino effect; one thing leads to another and finally you end up shedding uncontrollably. Let’s discuss some of the reasons for dry hair.

Rachel E. Blistein, Founder and CEO of Original Moxie LLC, tells us that dry hair can come from something as simple as improper or inadequate moisturizing routines. “We see hair that is dry both from overuse and underutilization of product,” Blistein explains. “However, if these products are not the best fit for your hair, they may simply sit on the outside of the hair shaft and actually block moisture with dulling build up.” To be clear: yes, conditioner can lead to build-up and dry hair.

“Our experience and conversations with our community shows us that dry hair has often been under-nourished and mis-treated,” says Kate Evans, Creative Director for Curlsmith. “Years of chemical treatments, coloring, heat styling and using harsh synthetic products can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle and hard to manage.”

Both experts agree: your choice in the products you use play a huge role in your quest to combat dryness.

To treat, you need:

  • to eat a balanced diet
  • to use products containing humectants and oils
  • to toss out the synthethic ingredients
  • to use strengthening protein treatments

“The most extreme dryness occurs in damaged hair that is naturally fine and delicate in texture,” Blistein states. “To treat the dryness, you’ll need to pamper your hair with a balanced diet of vegetable-based proteins, humectants, and oils. These ingredients will help to strengthen and re-build the cuticle and enhance elasticity and moisture retention. Accept that your hair will need both a moisturizer and a sealer to help it retain moisture. Damaged hair also tends to be more prone to frizz, so we recommend a strong, protein-enriched defining product such as Hold Up Defining Serum.”

While Kate informs us that, “feeding your body great nutritious food in conjunction with serving your curls a balanced product diet equals a formula for success. Fall back on the hair straightener, throw away the synthetic products, switch to gentle/natural curly products (like the entire Curlsmith line”> packed with raw ingredients and watch your hair begin to flourish.”

If you fall in the category of low-porosity hair:

Rachel says you need the right moisturizer to effectively penetrate the cuticle of the hair. So, you know by this point I am thinking, great this is going to be a cake walk, there are only 5 million moisturizers to choose from, how does the average curly girl decide which one is best?

Rachel’s steps for finding the right moisturizer

  1. Shampoo to open the hair shaft and ensure that it is not coated with product.

  2. Follow with a rinse-out conditioner to restore any moisture that may have been lost as a result of the cleansing process.

  3. Isolate a small section of damp hair (spray to re-wet if needed”> and apply enough of your moisturizer to thoroughly coat the strand from roots to tip.

  4. If the moisturizer is effectively penetrating your hair, it should feel slippery and smooth on the hair and absorb fully by the time your hair is dry. You should also see enhanced curl definition even before the section is dry.

  5. Repeat this process with all the moisturizers you are testing and go with the one that produces the best result. Whatever your chosen moisturizer, make sure that you keep the hair very damp while styling and work in small sections. The tighter the curl pattern and the denser the hair, the smaller the section.

To sum it up

“We recommend using regular cleansing to open the cuticle and steam and deep conditioning to ensure the hair absorbs as much moisture as possible,” Rachel concludes. “We have seen some serious damage from the repeated use of baking soda and clay, so seek professional advice from a Natural Hair Expert before attempting any DIY treatments involving those two ingredients.”

This article has been updated.
How to Use Oils to Penetrate, Seal and Grow Your Hair

woman holding a bottle of jamaican black castor oil

Photo by @opokua.a


“Are certain oils for hair growth? What is the difference between sealing and penetrating oils? If I am a type 2 can I use the same oils for hair growth as a type 4?”

If this whole natural lifestyle isn’t overwhelming, I don’t know what is! You almost need a chemistry degree to figure out what you should be using on your natural tresses. I know your schedule is already crazy busy, so let’s dive right in.

Which oils should I be using on my hair?

The first step in deciding which oil is right for you is to do a strand test. It is very important to know if your hair leans more to the hydrophobic or hydrophilic side.

Hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic hair:

  • Hydrophibic hair is non-porous and resistant to water 
  • Hydrophilic hair is porous and loves water 

Remember, before you do the test make sure you have clarified your hair to remove all of your product build-up.

Once you have determined whether your hair is resistant to water or not, 

If you have hydrophobic hair

  1. Clarify to remove build-up. If you have heavy build-up present, oils won’t penetrate. A great clarifying shampoo is Original Moxie Get Fresh.
  2. Perform a steam treatment with a great moisturizing deep conditioner like Obia Naturals Babassu Deep Conditioner. The steam helps to swell the hair strands and slightly raise the cuticle. Rinse with cool water to close the cuticle, and lock the penetrating oils in.
  3. Apply a leave-in conditioner with a water (liquid”> base to wet hair, like Alikay Naturals Lemongrass Leave-in Conditioner. Stay away from hardening proteins and heavy silicones.

If you have hydrophilic hair

  1. Clarify to remove the build up of heavy products. A great sulfate free option is Surface Purify Shampoo.
  2. Deep condition with a flexible protein. Amaranth protein found in Surface Hair Care Trinity One Shothelps reconstruct damaged hair, lubricates the shaft and combats humidity.
  3. Your leave-in should have the ability to start the sealing process with great oils. I love Surface Trinity Tonic and Trinity Protein Cream.

What is a penetrating oil?

Like the name, this kind of oil has a molecular makeup small enough to penetrate the hair strands. It is a great idea to have the right penetrating oils in your deep conditioner and leave-in. You may also chose to use a pure form of penetrating oil after you apply your leave-in.

Try one of these penetrating oils for nonporous hair

  • Argan oil promotes healthy scalp and rich in Vitamin E.
  • Grapeseed oil improves elasticity in hair. Has the ability to clean the walls of damaged capillaries.
  • Almond oil treats hair loss and rich in both Vitamin E and magnesium.

Try one of these penetrating oils for porous hair

  • Coconut oil is said to prevent protein loss in hair.
  • Babassu oil adds strength to weak strands.
  • Avocado oil has antioxidant properties and protects against further heat damage.

What is a sealing oil?

Sealing oils do just that, they seal the moisture and penetrating oils in so that you do not lose moisture throughout the day (resulting in dryness and frizz”>.

Look for these sealing oils should be present in your leave-ins, creams, and styling products. 

Some of my favorite sealing oils for nonporous hair

  • Mango butter is great for adding hydration and moisture.
  • Muru muru butter locks in moisture and promotes shine.
  • Cupuacu butter is great for absorbing water and promotes healthy scalp. A great product for this is Original Moxie Emollience.
  • Jojoba oil moisturizes, adds shine and promotes scalp health.

Some of my favorite sealing oils for porous hair

  • Castor oil helps retain moisture and helps repair damage.
  • Olive oil moisturizes and adds elasticity.

Some oils can be used on both porous and non-porous hair, but remember: it is important to learn what your hair needs, and there is no ‘one oil fits all.’

Which oils does your hair love? 

This article has been updated based on reader feedback.

This is Who Should Co-Wash and Who Shouldn’t


group of curly women

Image: iStockphoto

There are still misconceptions out there about co-washing. First, you must know that conditioners are not designed to clean the hair, that is the job of your shampoo. When you have major product build up and you are wondering why your hair has lost its luster, looks limp, and there is no extra pop to your ringlets… Stop using conditioner only and add a cleanser or shampoo to your regimen.

In my last co-wash article, I explained that co-washing can clog up the hair follicle as well as leave a hazy build up. Even though I don’t agree with co-washing as a sole means for cleansing the hair, I will admit that from time to time it works well as a refresher. Not to be contradicting, but let’s face it sometimes we all just want to refesh our curls without a full wash day. Keep reading to find out the do’s and don’ts of co-washing and if you should be hopping on the co-washing bandwagon.

You should not co-wash if:

1. If you experience scalp problems or buildup

If you suffer from a scalp condition or severe buildup, you probably should not co-wash. When there is already an existing scalp problem co-washing has the potential to further clog the hair follicle. Have you ever looked at your scalp and seen what looks like cradle cap? If this is the norm for you, please stop co-washing and find yourself a shampoo. It is also a great idea to see what ingredient(s”> may be aggravating your scalp so you can steer clear of it.

2. If your daily products contain heavy coating oils and silicone

Coating oils build up on the hair shaft. Although they serve a purpose, too much of a good thing isn’t so great. In order to give the penetrating oils a chance to actually penetrate coating oils and silicone have to be removed.

Read next: 5 Signs It’s Time to Clarify Your Hair

3. If you work in a dusty environment

If your daily environment has a lot of dirt, dust, and debris you really want to make sure you are not a sole co-washer. To most, it may seem as though you are protecting your hair, but in all actuality you are trapping dirt in layers of products and conditioner. Honestly, your best solution would be to alternate cleansing your hair with a non-lather cleanser once every 2-3 days (depending on your work environment”>, moisturizing shampoo, and use a clarifier at least once or twice a month.

Are you a co-washing candidate?

As long as you don’t fall into the above categories you are an excellent candidate for co-washing. But PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t go overboard. The problem becomes when you “Co-Wash Only.” You have to remove your product build-up, even if you choose to do so with a great non-lather cleanser. I am 100000% against shampoos that have harsh cleansers and yank all of the natural sebum from the depths of your tresses, but trust me there are so many great cleansing shampoos that are a blessing to your hair. 

At the end of the day please understand that I want to see you happy with your hair. I have seen what “co-washing only” can do over time. And yes, there are exceptions to every rule including your Aunt who never touches her hair and it is all the way to her waist. This article isn’t for your Aunt, it is for those of us who are wondering why our hair isn’t at its absolute best, and what we need to do to get it growing.

Is co-washing a part of your hair regimen? Let us know your co-washing preference in the comments.

This article has been updated.

THIS is Who Should Use Gel (and Who Shouldn’t)

First of all, what is hair gel?

My definition of hair gel would be a styling product that provides hold to your hair strands.


When asked if all gels are created equal, Original Moxie owner Rachel Bleinstein says, “No!” Here’s why.

“Ingredients make a huge difference both in how the product performs and the health of your hair. Some gels, like Flax Seed, meld more easily with the hair, producing a low-residue, flexible finish. Others, which rely on synthetic polymers or thickeners, can provide an extremely long-wearing finish, but may build up more quickly on the hair. High quality gels moisturize, prevent dryness, accentuate curl, and strengthen the hair. Chances are, if you are purchasing a very inexpensive gel, you will get a strong hold — but not much else.”

What styling product does my hair need?

The answer? It’s up to you.

I promise that is not a cop out answer — in my opinion, it really depends on the look you are going for. Some naturals like firm, in place curls, waves and zigzags (also known as type 4c“>. As long as your gel has the ingredients your hair needs, I am on board with your decision. Rachel chimed in on choosing the right product for your hair type,

“Most hair types can benefit from a gel to preserve and protect the curl for longer retention and less frizz. However, a few should use it very sparingly or avoid it altogether. The hair types that most benefit from a traditional gel are medium to high density, high to somewhat low porosity with a definite curl (not a wave”>. Wavies and those with thin density hair do better with a lighter, less cast-forming definer like a mousse or a serum.”

I will say that my personal professional opinion is that some hair types benefit moisture wise if you use a mousse, cream, butter. Thick nonporous type 4 hair is likely to respond better to heavier creams and butters like My Honey Child Type 4 Hair Cream. Type 2b/3a hair may need a lighter gel/custard (oil enriched”> such as Obia Curl Enhancing Custard and a thick mousse. When talking to clients I rate styling products in the following manner.

Remember this scale:

  • 1-little moisture, thin liquid gel
  • 2-3-thick gel
  • 4-5-mousse
  • 6-custard
  • 7-8-cream
  • 9-10-heavy moisture, butter

The bottom line: if you use gel, use it right!

Rachel gave us tips on using gel to keep your curls looking photo-ready.

  1. In any curly routine, [the point is] is to activate and express the curl with the right moisturizer. For some, this can take the form of a moisturizing gel, while others need a separate moisturizer, followed by a gel.
  2. If you are using a gel and a moisturizer, always apply the gel second so that it can lock in the shape created by your moisturizer. The amount of gel will depend on the concentration of the product. Strong hold gels, should be used more sparingly than a softer hold gel.
  3. The general rule of thumb is to use a 2:1 moisturizer-to-gel ratio.

When in doubt, just ask.

I cannot say it enough, please check your label before applying anything to your hair. If the ticket price is $.99, I recommend you put the gel down and don’t look back. Consider the ingredients over the price. Your curls will thank you.

Let us know…

I want to hear what you love about your hair gel, and if you have questions about the ingredients, leave your comments below.

Follow Stacy and her salon on social media @DyeVerCity and book your appointment today!

3 Questions I ALWAYS Hear as a Curly Hairstylist
3 Questions I ALWAYS Hear as a Curly Hairstylist
Photo by @urbancurls416

However, that’s not always the case. Here are the 3 most common questions I get asked as a stylist.

Question 1: How long does it take to transition?

Answer: Okay, I must admit, I pride myself in being a pretty intelligent person. Nonetheless, for the millionth time, I am not God the Creator of Heaven and Earth and therefore, I do not know how long it will take you to grow out all the relaxed, heat damaged, or platinum blonde straight ends.

I can, however, give you 2 helpful tips:

  1. Trim your ends often. – You are in control of the process. If you want to see a quick turnaround time for growth, you have to give a lot to get a little. I know seeing your hair shorter than it has ever been before is a hard pill to swallow, but in the end, it will be well worth it.
  2. Switch up your styling routine. – If all you schedule with your stylist is straight silky blowouts, you can pretty much count on your transition taking longer than necessary. One reason: you are training your hair to be straight. The more heat you apply you run the risk of damaging your hair. Trust me, it only takes one time with the wrong oil and high heat to melt your ends. Open your mind to alternative styling, change is good.

Question 2: Does it matter what products I use?

Answer: Now if you have read any of my articles then you should already know that my answer is an emphatic 100% yes! If you don’t use products with quality ingredients, you are setting yourself up for an epic fail.

What tends to happen is most people start off on the right track and then they begin to experiment with the rest of the unlicensed professionals of YouTube University. While I am in no way bashing hair bloggers and vloggers that are putting out great product reviews — in fact, there are quite a few that I thoroughly enjoy — but please understand that if you have picked out a favorite social media icon to follow and her hair type and porosity is totally different from yours, chances are, her reviews do not apply to you.

My recommendation:

Consult with a professional Natural stylist that understands the science of hair and ingredients in products. Read and study products for yourself. Knowledge is power.

Question 3: How do I get my style to last?

Answer: Being a curly girl and the somewhat frugal consumer that I am, I understand why you would want to make your $75 hairstyle to last. I have come to realize that some people are just not hair people (yay for me”>. But seriously speaking, some styles just don’t last long. This includes softer updos, twist sets and braid-outs that haven’t been set properly. Knowing what products set your hair best is important.

Here are 2 quick tips:

  1. Fine hair needs foams, light gels and custards which tend to set best. Pay attention to the alcohol content in your products. There is a difference in good and bad alcohols. Bad alcohols will dry your hair out and potentially lead to popping and shedding.
  2. Medium to coarse hair should start with a foam for hold, then add a heavier butter for moisture. But please be sure not to go overboard with it to avoid an oily mess on your hands and scalp.

If my clients are comfortable I will allow them to leave with their hair set and instruct them on how to take it down.

I personally like the outcome of hair that has set for at least 8 or more hours but honestly, most sets require work at bed time if you want to keep a more defined look. When setting the hair at night, don’t over saturate with water-based products. This has the potential of ruining your set. Normally if the right amount of product was used initially, you may only have to apply a light oil or cream. Again, please apply sparingly!

I believe that great stylist don’t mind you asking a million questions.

At the end of the day, I take pleasure in educating my seasoned clients as much as my newbies. Jot down questions before your appointment and adhere to a maintenance schedule.

Do you have a question for a professional curly stylist?

I would love to answer them; please leave your comments below. Look for more curly tips on my salon’s YouTube channel, DyeVerCity.

Read Why Co-Washing May Not Be Enough to Get the Job Done, and share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments below

This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated.

Why Stylists Need to Stop Posting Unrealistic Color Inspiration

“Is that really her hair color?”

stacy hair color 650x 1 I want to say bravo to Sophia Hilton, Director of Not Another Salon, for standing up for stylists everywhere! We have to give a huge round of applause to Devon Abelman, who wrote such a beautiful masterpiece to the Allure audience, Not Another Salon Calls Out the Problem With Instagram Hair Trends. Here is the original post from Not Another Salon:
Dear clients, There’s something you don’t know about that’s happening to the hair colour industry and you shouldn’t be in the dark any longer. Hairdressers are in a colour pandemic. Have you felt frustrated after seeing hundreds of images flooding your social media of beautiful immaculate colours, yet somehow your hairdresser can’t achieve it? Maybe you have seen celebrity transformations or hairdressers online performing ‘miracle’ dark to light colour changes? You’re looking for the same results, and rightly so. After all, the results of other people’s hair is everywhere, why can’t it be you? I’m here to tell you that firstly, so many of these images are retouched, or with the saturation changed to make them look cooler paired with selected angles or extensions to hide damage. But here is the embarrassing part, there’s a small percent of hairdressers that are actually doing this themselves! But wait before you judge, let me explain. When other starry eyed hairdressers see these images, just like you, they are wowed. This leads to feeling obliged to compete, they too want to feel they are as good as as the last person- of course. They also produce unrealistic images which again go online with no information of the journey of the client… and so the damaging cycle continues. The next issue is time. The videos you see on Instagram of incredible transformations are never done within the appointment time us normal folk can afford. In fact, most of these clients have paid for a colour specialists attention for an entire day. This means you’d need to be paying what a hairdresser can take in an entire Saturday – ouch! But this is rarely made clear to you. When a regular hairdresser is presented with these images and videos, they feel the pressure to get the same results on a fraction of the money, in a fraction of the time. Sadly, this is leading hairdressers in this country to have a confidence crisis, because they can not and never will be able to compete. Not only do you loose faith in them, but they loose faith in themselves…

stacy hair color 2 650

Preach, sister!

I too am tired of the false expectations that clients have when it comes to miraculous hair color makeovers. We are not magicians that can turn you into Insta-glam when you come in with hair that is fried from blonder than platinum highlights, relaxers, keratin shampoos and conditioners, and you use products that shouldn’t be used on human hair. As we all know, you cannot believe everything you see on the internet, and that includes hair that seems to illuminate the entire room. Realistically, your hair has to be in great shape before you are even a candidate for a color service at DyeVerCity, and that goes for any spectrum of the rainbow and sea. Stylists go wrong when they allow their customers to pressure them into something they know will give way to tragedy in the end. Hilton described it best when she told Allure, “Countless amounts of these colors are completely unmaintainable, have no future options for change, or cause damage…”

My question then becomes: as educated stylists, why are we not schooling our clients?

Are we really afraid of standing up for what is right and beneficial to our client, or are we clueless to the fact that lightener has the potential to blast the cuticle wide open? If your client only wants to see you once a year and you are inspecting hair that is not properly maintained, maybe you should be discussing products and trims insteadof color.

Truth be told, it can take all day to perform color makeovers on hair that is in tip-top condition.

Let’s just say for instance you are a hair color virgin, level 1-3 (black to dark brown color”>, less dense/medium to normal porosity, and you only use the best products available. At best you may be able to reach a level 6 or 7 (light brown-dark blonde highlights”> during your first lightening service. But even you, my dear friend, will see that your blonde ringlets will require some extra TLC after a color service. (Keep in mind, the lighter the blonde, the drier the hair. When you opt for the Skittles Rainbow, you are essentially just an undercover Atomic Blonde waiting to explode.”> What looks okay today can look like a frizzy fried mess after a few times of shampooing. And honey, can’t no conditioner reach that deep down to bring your hair back to life.

Moral of the story? Be careful with hair color!

To all of the stylists out there: I encourage you to take time to research color companies and in some cases, take a refresher course on the science of hair. Don’t be the ‘yes’ stylist that agrees to every trendy, filtered, Photoshoped, hidden camera picture that your client screen shots or tags you in. I challenge you to be honest with your clients about the results they can expect and what their maintenance schedule will look like. For all of you beautiful divas ready to explore your colorful side, make sure you are prepping your tresses and you have allowed room in your budget for products and regular salon visits.

Happy coloring.

Here are some of our top hair color articles to keep you in the know: How to Prevent a Severe Allergic Reaction to Permanent Hair Color How to Enhance Your Hair Color With Steam How to Protect Your Hair Before Using Hair Color

Is Saltwater Actually Bad For Your Hair? A Stylist Explains
Some of my clients say their curls look their best after they have played around in the ocean for a few days. They like the “beach waves” that can be created as a result of spending time in the salty ocean air and water. So, is it possible to keep that beach wave look without drying out your curls? Could bottling up the sea salt water from the ocean be the key? That could be an option, or you could find a product line that has designed a sea salt spray specifically for curly hair.
650x650 mia devacurl waves.png
Photo courtesy of @mia_devacurl

Is there a downside to salt sprays?

Mia Emilio, Senior Stylist at Devachan Salon, says that improper use of sea salt sprays can become quite devastating to the hair. “Salt for curly hair in my opinion can be very drying and harmful,” she says. “Sodium sulfate is the number one ingredient I tell my clients to stay away from. Salt can create some volume and remove oil, but on the flip side, it can be very harmful to the hair and scalp. Curly hair is as beautiful as it is dry so we have to think about the adverse effects of our styling agents.”

Sodium sulfate is the number one ingredient I tell my clients to stay away from.
Mia Emilio, Senior Stylist at Devachan
650x650 mia devacurl beach waves

But what if most of us curlies just want to hang on to the look of tousled curls?

During my search for great sea salt sprays, I stumbled upon John Masters Organic Sea Salt Spray, and I appreciate the fact that the ingredients are organically derived and it has both sea salt and lavender.

Is it even necessary to have sea salt present in your hair product in order to achieve the voluminous look of the ocean?

No! If you want texture and volume in a salt-free option, Curlisto Natural Spray seems to be worth a try. Mia agrees. “I do not believe that salt is necessary — it usually just dries out the hair. [But] if you must use it, please remember that a little goes a long way.”

Mia’s tips:

  1. Depending on your curl texture, you might love a little sea salt from the beach or sea salt spray product but proceed with caution because it can make your hair feel like straw.
  2. I find that salt works best for hair types 2 to 3b hair in an effort to achieve the beachy volume you love. However, if you have a tighter curl patterns might experience a more tangled mess.
  3. If you are using a product such as a sea salt spray, you need to balance out the moisture in your hair so your curls won’t dry out and tangle. You have to decide if achieving volume is worth the price of dry, dull, and matted hair.

My “Bay Watch Babe”-worthy technique: Go for a loose braid-out.

  1. Shampoo, condition, then apply a leave-in spray and follow up with a light or heavy cream (depending on your hair texture”>. I like the Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray and the naturally smitten Moisturizing Hair Butter.
  2. Section your hair into 4 or 6 sections and loosely plait your hair. A great curl enhancing spray that gives a natural hold is O’Honey Curl Mist by My Honey Child.
  3. Allow time to air dry (or sit under a hooded dryer”>.
  4. If your hair has a tighter curl pattern, you can opt to lightly stretch it with a blow-dryer set on low heat — apply cream, plait and allow the hair to set at least 4 to 5 hours. You may also skip the blow-dryer stretch the wet plaits around the circumference of your head, secure them with bobby pins, and allow them to air dry (it is kind of like a dooby wrap with plaits”>.
  5. Once your hair is dry, mist a light holding spray such as Surface Theory Styling Spray.

Where there is a whale there is a wave… Ok just kidding. Don’t let your love for waves compromise the health of your hair. Remember there are other alternatives to salt sprays. Read the ingredients on your product label.

Happy Waving!

This is How to Keep Your Curls from Going Limp
In order to combat limp hair with the right hair products the answer is simple: trial and error.

Have you ever been super excited about trying a product only to have a major let down? As a stylist who specializes in natural hair, I have had my share of time in the lab with hundreds of curl patterns and hair types. I have learned that just because a product is labeled for “type 3 hair” doesn’t mean it was designed for your very porous curls. Let’s explore some of the factors that play into choosing products that won’t make your hair go limp.

stacy limp hair

It starts with the right shampoo and conditioner.

If you are “that one” that likes to pile on products to ensure you get your hair good and saturated, start with a clarifying shampoo.

It is extremely important that you remove all build-up from your hair strands; not doing so will result in undernourished hair and nothing will penetrate. Everyone’s head of hair is different, so you may only need to clarify once a month whereas I only clarify once every two months.

On the flip side, I don’t use heavy creams and oils in my type 3a hair since it can become limp easily. I have 2 favorite clarifying shampoos Original Moxie Get Fresh Volumizing Shampoo and Up North Naturals Clean Curls Cleanser. Both shampoos remove build-up. However, if your hair leans more to the dry side, Up North Naturals would be a better choice. Follow with a moisturizing shampoo such as Surface Hair Care Curls Shampoo if your hair feels a little dry after your clarifier.

Every conditioner does not work for every hair type.

If you have fine hair, do not use conditioners with many heavy, non-penetrating oils. I hear clients say all of the time that they don’t use conditioners because they are scared that their hair gets weighed down and feels oily.

Sometimes the problem lies in the application of the conditioner — too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. When it comes to ingredients, I am in love with Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment – Gardenia-Coconut which wraps your hair in aloe, horsetail, and cupuacu butter. This conditioner can definitely nourish your hair and help keep it from going limp.

type 3 limp hair

Your styling product matters.

I wanted to get one of the Super Women of curly hair in Dallas, TX Haiya Rodriguez, to chime in on styling products. “Styling products are like the makeup of hair — it helps enhance and give you the look you’re going for,” says the owner of HER Curls.

It doesn’t make your hair better, just like makeup doesn’t make your skin better. A lot of people skip the nourishment part for their hair so they rely on packing a lot of styling products to give them the definition they want, but when they take it off whatever is lacking shows. Packing on a ton of styling products can leave your hair heavy and major build which leads to very dry and limp curls.” Haiya’s trophy styling products include Kevin Murphy’s Killer Curls and Young Again Oil. “I use them on ALL of my clients. Yes, all! The product line is plant based, paraben and sulfate-free. When your hair is properly nourished your styling, products will be minimal!”

type 4 limp hair

I am a firm believer that when you pile on a ton of product the hair becomes limp and often times feels gunky. A couple of my favorite styling products are My Honey Child Coconut Hair Gel for 3b to 4c hair texture types and Original Moxie Moisture Gel for types 2b to 4a.

Is it really that simple you say? Yes it is!

When you take the time to get to know your hair and find the right hair care regimen, you can say good bye to limp hair (unless you get rained on or participate in a wet t-shirt contest… then I cannot help you”>.

Book an appointment with me at

Why Co-Washing May Not Be Enough to Get the Job Done

Have you ever washed your clothes in fabric softener?

stacy purple curls

If you haven’t, take my word for it: after the third wash they feel icky, hazy, and smell like a toxic waste zone.

“What had happen was…”

I sent my daughter to the store to get free and clear laundry detergent, and she picked up fabric softener instead.

Hair is just like a fabric, if all you do is co-wash (use conditioner only to cleanse”> it may eventually feel hazy and icky. Not to mention, you are clogging up your hair follicles, which in turn could suffocate them and potentially result in hair loss. I spoke to natural hair product experts and this is why they think co-washing may not be enough to get the job done.

Conditioners are made to adhere

Let’s start with amazing trail blazer, Keneesha Hudson, Owner and Founder of Urbanbella in Atlanta, Ga.

Keneesha birthed Urbanbella in 2002 and has been liberated ever since. When asked for her thoughts on co-washing she didn’t hesitate in saying:

“The purpose of co-washing is to cleanse hair while not stripping it of the oils needed to maintain beautiful healthy curls. I am in support of this concept, however, there are other factors going on. Conditioners are designed to adhere to the hair shaft. This means that they do not remove the debris that already exists on the hair nor do they remove build-up from the scalp.”

Let the Church say Amen!

  • Urbanbella’s No.7 Non-Lather Cleanser is a great start and let me tell you it’s like that York Peppermint Pattie commercial. It works well primarily because of the Peppermint Essential Oils that cleanse and naturally exfoliate the scalp, along with two additional sulfate-free cleansers.

Your scalp needs to be cleansed

Jeannell Darden, Owner and Founder of Moisture Love, is in agreement with the philosophy that co-washing alone doesn’t get the job done:

“I don’t think that co-washing only is a healthy strategy. Think for a second what it would be like if you only ever washed your clothes with fabric softener? Or if you took showers with lotion? Would you consider your clothes and/or skin healthy and clean? You have to think of your hair the same way.”

Jeannell also mentions that:

“The skin is your largest and most absorbant organ in your body, which extends to your scalp. If not properly cleaned, at least on occasion, it will struggle to thrive. I understand the challenge that curly girls face with shampoos. The ones that are traditionally sold are for textures of hair that desire to strip all oils from the hair which tend to have a higher pH — those high pH levels open the cuticle and strip all the moisture leaving curly hair feeling dry, damaged, and frizzy. And then, it is much harder for us to seal and mositurize.”

  • For those of you that still want a luscious lather, you have got to try Moisture Love’s Gentle Embrace Hydration Shampoo. It’s formulated with my Hydralure Technology (TM”> that infuses moisture into the hair on a cellular level. It has impeccable foam, and gently cleanses without stripping the hair.

I chose Lisa Keizer, Founder and CEO of Up North Naturals, to chime in and sign off on this controversial subject. For me, they seal the deal. Lisa says:

“I believe that co-washing only is not healthy for your scalp but has many positive benefits, including encouraging hair growth. I do, however, know that certain conditioners have a certain amount of surfactant properties that allows dirt to surface and be washed away. If someone wanted to use this to co-wash once a month, I’d say to go right ahead, but please don’t skip shampoo the next wash day.”

So there you have it: 3 leading expert opinions on why co-washing all the time is not always a good idea.

Free your curls from build-up so your products will work again and embrace the right cleansers for a healthy hair and scalp.

I know this may be a hard transition, but you can do it!

The One Thing You Need to Consider When Cutting Your Curls Dry or Wet
hair by @sunflowersandscissors / photographed by @charmaneedwinaphotography

Some things are not necessarily a question of right or wrong.

It’s simply a matter of personal preference. Should I vacation in the mountains or the beach? Do I splurge on crème brûlée or the 7-layer chocolate mousse cake? Will I style my hair with Up North Naturals 8 oil defining jelly or Surface Curls Firm Hold Mousse? Decisions…decisions When it comes to Shaping curly hair, the age old question is should curls be shaped wet or dry?

My answer: both ways are acceptable

I know you are thinking just choose one, but honestly for me it depends on the curl pattern. I asked the extremely talented Kristy Ramos, also known as SunFlowersAndScissors, a stylist at Rock Paper Scissors Salon in Columbia, SC, to chime in on her personal favorite. “I prefer cutting curls in their dry state versus wet because it helps me to see the shape I am creating in my client’s hair,” says Ramos. Ready, set… Let us break this curl-shaping science down for you.

The deciding factor: your curl pattern.

My personal preference on shaping curls is based on the curl pattern. When cutting curl patterns 2a to 3a I can start off shaping wet because the curls are of a loose nature. If my client has 3b to 4c hair I prefer to shape dry. The tighter the curl pattern shrinkage plays a big part, I don’t want my client to have gaps and steps in their cut (unless that’s the look they were going for”>. Kristy reminds us, “curls already have a shape of their own. Wavy hair, curly hair, and super curly hair looks a certain way, right? When those curls don’t have a strong shape with the haircut they are rocking, the curls can just look ‘lost’. Cutting curly hair dry for me helps me give their curls an amplified look.”

Since some clients suffer from major heat or product damage, you may have to improvise the way you shape their hair.

It can be somewhat challenging getting the client to understand that their desired look is going to take more than one appointment, and lots of at home attention. Being optimistic and trusting your stylist to take you through the proper steps to curl recovery is very important. I love the way Kristy describes how she shapes the heck out of some curls, “With my dry cutting curly hair, I can customize what tension I am using according to what particular curls I have in my chair. I love creating a dope shape in curls to give them a strong foundation to grow into.” This is a stylist with a vision!

Now that you know our preferences on shaping curls wet or dry, it’s now time to choose a cut.

Say what? you ask. I have to show you what I want? Or can you make me look like @theessenceof_ ?  To be honest we are artists but we need to have some idea of the shape and length you interested in. And as far as turning your curls into a pattern that you weren’t blessed with, good luck with that! Kristy shares a similar point of view. “When consulting with my clients I love when they bring pictures of haircut inspirations. A great resource of inspiration pictures for me is Instagram…

When looking for hair inspiration, you should try to find someone with hair like yours.

I will use my fave Instagram crushes as examples. You have to be realistic. Sure, I can create a look that emulates your hair crushes shape according to what your hair texture and pattern is. That is more realistic and that will give you an amazing cut that will complement your unique curls.”

So Curlies don’t delay get your curls shaped today! If your schedule allows always try to schedule a consult so you can discuss your expectations with your local curly hair stylist.

Wishing you love, peace, and happy shaped curls!

Schedule and appointment and follow Kristy on her blog, Sunflowers And Scissors

Do The Same Products Work for Every Season?

How many of you woke up this morning and put on thigh high boots, leggings, and your killer sweater dress that hugs every curve on you? Well if you live here in Georgia, there is no way you made it to the car let alone to work. Unless you want to pass out due to a heat stroke your clothing selection has changed in the past 5 months.

Did you know that, for optimal curl performance, your hair care regimen should change with the season just like your wardrobe?

Most curly girls think that their hair just didn’t like the leave-in you stocked up on in February. When the weather changes, your hair and body require different maintenance as well. Don’t just take my word for it, let’s see what 2 of your favorite curly bloggers have to say.

Marlene Dominguez (@curlswithapromise“>, blogger and executive assistant to Hayia Rodriguez (@gethaiya“>, says that during the summer, she has to lighten up on the coating oils:

Since moving to Texas, my hair has been suffering a tad bit with the Texas sun. I stay away from oils because the sun will fry my hair. I keep my curls hydrated and wear lots of protective hairstyles! I usually deep condition on the go! I am also careful while entering chlorine-based pools. I often braid my hair before and then deep condition right after the pool.

If you aren’t sure if your hair regimen needs to change get to know your curls on a more intimate level.

Felicia Jones (@hif3licia“>, curl reviewer and enthusiast, gives very practical advice on knowing when to change things up:

I change my curl regimen with the season if I start to notice my curls are feeling differently. One of the reasons I do daily massages and finger detangle is to get to know how my hair feels. If its feeling brittle and rough I know I need moisture, if they feel weighed down I need to clarify, and if they feel slighted mushy I know to lay off the moisture.

As a professional licensed hair artist I believe in listening to your curls. when I say that I mean becoming familiar with how they feel and respond to the products you are using. It will always be important to study the ingredients on the label. Here are some of the top product picks for the season, according to Marlene and Felicia.

Marlene’s top products this season

Felicia’s top products this season

Subscribe to Felicia’s channel on YouTube, and follow Marlene on Instagram.

This is What Makes FroGirlGinny’s ‘Fro Shine So Bright
Women always have something beautiful about them, and I love highlighting those very features in every woman I meet.
Nia, @FroGirlGinny

When I say the word ‘fro who is the first person that comes to mind? If you guessed Pam Grier as Foxy Brown, you are in the ball park as far as beauty and charisma is concerned. However, the ‘fro that I am referring to shines so bright it needs to be deemed as a landmark. Yep, this show stopper has the honor of being attached to a fun loving spirit, eye catching smile, and knock-out body…

Here is your up close and personal with Nia, AKA FroGirlGinny

If you follow FroGirlGinny on social media you already know the girl doesn’t sit still long enough to lay on a pillow and crush her curls. I love how she explains that her curls were born in London but her style reflects her Zimbabwean half. And just putting it out there, I had an instant attachment to Nia’s young, free and vibrant spirit before I found out that she was a Gemini just like me — yeah we rock! FroGirlGinny said that embracing her African culture is something she is extremely passionate about. If you take one look at Nia’s bold exquisite fashion choices, you literally begin to channel the very essence of Africa.

How curly hair became part of my platform

“It is more than just hair for me, it is a great conversation starter. I have met some of my closest friends (of whom I now travel with”>, through hair and I find that so magical. I actually met @LaurenLewiss_ online and we have been connected ever since. After a few FaceTimes we decided to bring the Go With The Fro Tour movement around the world. We felt so strongly about joining forces as young women who love to travel.”

The conversations only start with hair, but that’s not where it ends.

I was sold on FroGirlGinny’s movement when she reminded me that it wasn’t at all a popularity contest. “We travel to places where women may not have the opportunity to attend a natural hair event. The conversations usually start with hair, outfits, and makeup. Women always have something beautiful about them, and I love highlighting those very features in every woman I meet. The pinnacle point of every event is seeing all of the social media and phone numbers being exchanged at the end. It’s about strong women building their own communities.”

The products that make FroGirlGinny’s ‘Fro shine so bright

Now you know I couldn’t talk to this amazing hair icon without getting her top 3 favorite products for the ‘fro that has a language of its own.

  • Skimdo Curl Cream: “This is the best thing my curls have had put on their curls. This cream does magic to my hair, it’s smooth yet thick texture and fresh smell are perfect. It goes everywhere with me, it is life.”
  • DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel: “I’ve never met a gel like DevaCurl’s before. It has never left my hair crispy and with my new love of protective styles; it can be used for smoothing hair down too and leaves such a nice shine.”
  • Felicia Leatherwood Brush: “This brush was made by the Curl Whisperer herself, so when I started using it 2 years ago, I’ve been hooked ever since. I lose less hair and it always smoothes out all the knots.”

Listen to your hair

Although these are Nia’s top picks she gives a loud and clear PSA:

“I would say that it is important to learn your hair, what it does and doesn’t like. Invest in products for you — that doesn’t mean breaking the bank but moreso reading labels and seeing whether something is genuinely good for you. I’d also say to not try to change your hair but embrace it.”

With a heart and curls of gold, FroGirlGinny ends this interview by saying, “I didn’t set out to create a brand, I do not look at myself as famous either. I want to share with young girls that you do not have to wait till you get to a certain age to follow your dreams. Big hair is beautiful, do not try to tame the mane! Thank you to all of my followers, I see you as friends. Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today.”


Yours Truly,

Nia, “FroGirlGinny”

Love, Peace, and Light

Follow Nia and all of her adventures on Instagram @FroGirlGinny

Read Own By Femme’s Formula for a Successful Blog

This London Curly’s Top 3 Tips for Perfect Curls
My tip in life is a simple: Be yourself. It’s not cliché; it’s true. Authenticity stands out from a mile away!” 
Amanda Adjepong

We are beautifully and wonderfully made.  Most women want to feel accepted for who they are, along with their afro, curls, retro, shabby chic style, 6-inch platforms, curves, slim and sexy, dark rich chocolate, vanilla delight, or creamy caramel…

My beautiful interviewee gets this and wants to spread a very loud and clear message of self-love. Amanda Adjepong, also known as Curlgirlmanda is all about you being you. She currently resides in London, describing her ethnicity as “mostly Ghanaian and English with a bit of French and Irish chucked in.”  What is interesting is that one of Amanda’s biggest hobbies is learning languages. “I currently have 4 on-the-go!”

Going natural is not just changing your hairstyle

“The natural, curly hair movement — I guess you can call it a movement right? — is still a relatively new one and there are so many people who still don’t quite know what to do with their curls,” says Amanda. “I remember when I was in that position, picking up everything and anything I could from YouTube, making mistakes and learning from them, and I now want to be able to help and support ‘new’ curlies in any way I can. For a lot of people going natural is not just a ‘change in hairstyle’ and instead it can feel like quite a strong and brave stand against years and years of societal — and even familial — pressures, and acceptance of self. And I am 100% here for that.”

Stigmas in the natural hair community

When it comes to the stigmas surrounding the natural hair community, Amanda thinks that “there are still too many people embarrassed to wear their natural hair out, too many workplaces that make you feel your natural hair is not ‘professional or smart’ enough and far too many mothers relaxing their young daughters’ hair “because it’s easier to manage that way.” However, since becoming a more active part of the natural hair community on Instagram, it has been so uplifting to see how much these attitudes are changing, and I am incredibly excited for the impact that this will have on the future generations of curlies.”

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A post shared by A M A N D A (@curlgirlmanda”> on

Amanda’s top 3 tips for keeping perfect curls

1. Zero heat. It can be tough if you have been on that blow-dry/straightener life for a long time, but if having healthy curls is your main goal, I believe it has to be done. Put down the heat ladies and gentlemen.

2. Find your product(s”>. These days, we are almost spoilt for choice as there are so many natural, nourishing products on the market. They can be quite pricey, but I am a firm believer in paying for quality when it comes to things that are going on and in my body. I am lucky in that I found products that worked for me right from the start (Jessicurl Cleansing Cream and Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner“>, but if you haven’t found yours yet, persevere and when you do, stick to it!

3. TLC. Listen and react to what your hair needs, and treat it kindly. This last point is a bit of a cheat as it’s more of a catch-all — a thousand tips in one — but in my opinion, it is fundamental to have an attitude of intentional kindness towards your hair. I say ‘intentional’ because it is so easy to get complacent, especially when the laziness kicks in and before you know it, your Day 1 hair is now on Day 11. It’s simple things such as, not leaving such little time on Wash Day that you end up impatiently ripping out tangles; if your hair is dry, moisturize that ish! And yes, messy bed hair is sexy but a silk scarf can be, too.

The social media influence

There is so much pressure on young women to look, dress and behave a certain way, and I just hope that I am able to encourage them in some way to be themselves, and to love and accept themselves the way they are. And to have fun — life should be fun!” As far as Curlgirlmanda’s success, she’s humble about it. “I don’t think I would quite call myself ‘successful’ on social media, but my tip in life is a simple: Be yourself. It’s not cliché; it’s true. Authenticity stands out from a mile away!”

[quote cite=”Amanda, Adjepong”]Going natural is not just a ‘change in hairstyle’ and instead it can feel like quite a strong and brave stand against years and years of societal — and even familial — pressures, and acceptance of self. And I am 100% here for that. [/quote]

Follow Amanda on Instagram 

Read next:  Un-ruly’s Antonia on Growing Up Black and Natural in France

Own By Femme’s Formula for a Successful Blog
With social media you have to be authentic, consistent, and create quality content. Do collaborations as much as possible also.  
René Daniella, Own by Femme

I hear people say that if you would do your job for free then you are doing what was purposed for your life. Are you ready to make your dreams a reality? René Daniella, also known as OwnByFemme, is making a big splash in the natural world. The native US-UK-German native goes by this cardinal rule: “Treat your brand like a full time job, not a hobby, and you will really see it grow.”

René’s love for travel comes as no surprise; her mom is from England and her dad is an African American US soldier.

She starting with splitting her time in undergrad between San Antonio TX, and New York City, then going on to receive her master’s degree in France. “It was during my master’s program that I started my blog, When I graduated, I decided to pursue blogging full time and it has been an amazing journey!”

The inspiration behind the Own By Femme brand

“The conversation surrounding natural hair is a powerful one,” René says. “It includes messages of acceptance, adversity, confidence, beauty, diversity, and so much more. I love how much our curls bring us together and allow us to celebrate self love! I think it is so important that those who have learned to accept and to care for their natural hair, do their best to spread their love and knowledge to those who have not.

She’s come a long way from DIY hairstyles…

“The first time I ever did a ponytail on my own I literally felt like the world was mine to rule. I was immediately empowered by that small sense of independence. My blog, YouTube, and social media channels are my opportunity to give others that empowering sense of independence!” 

The formula to becoming successful?

“There are several things you can do to build a successful brand! With social media you have to be authentic, consistent, and create quality content. Do collaborations as much as possible also. Whether with events, brands, or other bloggers, collaborations are a great way to cross promote your brand to new audiences and to increase your following.”

The golden rule

“Stay organized! Be limitless in your goals but set some guidelines and parameters of what your brand will stand for and consist of. Get all your brand tools in order:

  • Press Kit
  • Media Card
  • Website
  • Bios
  • Contacts, and so on. Treat your brand like a full time job, not a hobby, and you will really see it grow!

Now you know I had to get some tips on how René keeps her curls looking picture perfect. Here’s what she said:

1. Deep condition! Moisture is the key to healthy hair.

2. Scalp massages are so good for your curls. Get rid of some stress while also delivering nutrients to your roots.

3. My fave combo for soft, defined, moisturized curls: a light leave in conditioner, a flexible gel, and then a hair serum. Apply in that order to damp hair. Let sit for 30 minutes and then diffuse on cool or medium! Then fluff with a hair pic if you want more volume.

René’s final encouraging words…

“The world will love you for you, but you have to know who that is. Follow your dreams. Ask yourself what it is you really want. What will make you happy, bring you joy, uplift and inspire you? Do that. Share your magic with us.”

For more advice and curly hair inspiration follow René’s Daniella on Instagram @OwnByFemme

Read Un-ruly’s Antonia on Growing Up Black and Natural in France

Wonder What Obia’s Favorite Product is From Her Holy Grail Line?

It’s not about how you start, but how strong you finish.

Can you imagine starting out as a child in a house with no electricity and no modern day appliances, to later graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in both Chemistry and Biology as well as a Master’s degree in Public Health? The beautiful, brainy, charismatic native of Ugep — a West African Village in Nigeria — Obia Ewah, is the founder and formulator of OBIA Naturals and winner of NaturallyCurly’s Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Leave-In Conditioner 2017. Let’s see what the hype behind OBIA Naturals is all about.

They say that some of the best things are discovered by accident, that’s kind of how OBIA Naturals got started.

Obia got sick her 3rd year in college and, as a result, became extremely cautious about the foods and products she allowed into her body.

“I decided to go natural and improve my health. I did the big chop in 2010, and couldn’t find any hair products that could both tame my thick hair and consisted of health-conscious ingredients. I began tinkering with some formulations for hair products as a hobby. To my surprise, the concoctions that I originally created for my hair alone, worked great for others also! I decided to join forces with my younger brother, Omini Ewah, and began developing and shaping the OBIA brand and message.”

If you have been a faithful follower of the knowledge I dish out to my amazing curly girls then you already know I support those that support the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Obia does just that.

“It is important to look for products that are free of mineral oil, sulfates, petroleum, artificial colors, drying alcohols, silicone, and gluten,” Obia emphasizes. “All of OBIA Naturals preservatives used are free from parabens and formaldehyde, and the fragrances are phthalate-free…” You know this means I’m in a pure product utopia.

Obia’s favorite product?

Sweet Almond Heavy Cream is a powerhouse of a product! It is a leave-in conditioner by definition, but it can serve as a styler as well, making it an ideal product for protective styling purposes.” But wait! I couldn’t end without giving my beautiful curlies some tips on getting the perfect twist out.

For more definition in your natural curls, Obia suggests twisting on refreshed, slightly damp, hair.

“I spray the Curl Hydration Spray on a section before moisturizing with Twist Whip Butter. The low pH of theses two products combined will allow me to lock in the moisture and close my cuticles.” I am including a video to give you a step by step.

According to Obia, the end all be all to maintaining and growing your hair out is by maintaining its moisture.

“Water is integral in hair growth, and new and long-time naturals should not be afraid of water. It is also important to let your hair breathe and not constantly rely on protective styling for retention and growth. Our brand motto is A Different Way of Thinking! so it is important for us to produce and share accurate science-based content. I would encourage readers to visit our website and view our #AskOBIA series.”

To sum it up

Remember curl nation, it’s not where your TWA starts as much as it is what you learn and apply on your journey to the final destination. You are strong, determined, and powerful beyond measure, Rock those curls like nobody’s business!

Shop OBIA Naturals products at SHOP NaturallyCurly here

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