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Pass the 5 Finger Test

We love helping our curly community problem solve their curls. Especially when they're this cute!

For many mothers dealing with curly kiddos, detangling is a major challenge. Here is how one mother tackles the task in her daily routine, using Just For Me products. The ultimate test: Can you easily run all five fingers through your child's hair at the end of your wash day activities? #5fingertest

If you answered no, then we recommend products with lots of slip, a wide tooth comb, and gentle, gentle finger detangling. Watch the video for the full routine, or simply to have an adorable 3-year old brighten your day!

Watch the Video

Products used:

Just For Me Hair Milk Nourishing Cream Cleanser

Just For Me Hair Milk Smoothing Edges Creme

Just For Me Hair Milk Curl Perfecter

We expect a lot from our stylists, and admittedly not all of them are up to the challenge. So when we find one that knows what they're doing, we like to sing their praises! Stephanie Kocielski is the Vice President of Education and Artistic Director of John Paul Mitchell Systems, and she knows what she's talking about when it comes to curls. She knows firsthand that no two curly (clients) are alike, so we asked her what sets them apart! Here's what she had to say:

  1. Curly haired clients communicate through sound to their hair dresser.They use the craziest noises and hand gestures to describe their curls, like creaks, squeaks and snarls. It's like Punk'd, and I'm always looking for that hidden camera!
  2. Curlies are always on the hunt for that dream product, and they're always looking for different ways to improve their curls.
  3. You need to customize the cut and color of curly hair for every client, it makes you imagine shape and texture differently. I like that curly hair challenges me!
  4. Curls react differently to products! I love that products for curls are different, like the Paul Mitchell Curls line. It's like using ointment and repellent to transform curls so there is no more use for the F word (frizz), except fun.
  5. One thing that's true for curls no matter what their pattern, if you treat your curly clients well, they will be loyal for life.

As NaturallyCurly celebrates our 15th Anniversary we're reflecting on all of the special curly women that we've met along the way. Karen Tappin was a high school history teacher when she began experimenting with natural ingredients and solutions for her personal hair needs. This hobby grew into a full fledged enterprise that has helped many of our readers out in going natural. Karen has worked tirelessly to eliminate the myths and spread the truth about natural hair with the community, and today she's sharing her top five reasons to go natural!


Karen Tappin: Working with a powerhouse like has been an amazing experience because of the care and support shown to the natural community. It's a one-stop shop for all things textured hair, including education, videos, reviews and message boards with a super fun and positive vibe. At Karen's Body Beautiful, WE LOVE the love NaturallyCurly gives to naturalistas, because it helps them learn more about their hair and how to use our products more effectively. The exposure we've received through NaturallyCurly's bloggers has been invaluable, and it's wonderful to work with the NC team, as they understand this market in a genuine way. They live curly hair, so long live NaturallyCurly!
  1. Reunion

    When you go natural, you get to see your real hair for the first time in a long time. What's that you see peeking through? Your natural tresses, not somebody else's. And, they're gorgeous!

  2. Anti-Aging

    Natural hair makes you look youthful. How many celebrities have you viewed in magazines and online who went natural and look vibrant and more youthful? All of them! Check out photos of Viola Davis, Nicole Ari Parker, Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding and Solange Knowles. They possess a beauty that's all their own. These ladies radiate.

  3. Flexibility

    Natural hair means flexibility. You want to change up your look? Opt for a braided updo or twistout. You're not stuck with one style. Your hair can match the season, an event, your wardrobe or mood.

  4. Community

    You get to join a community of amazing natural women who care about health, wellness and individuality! What a support system we naturalistas have. You can interact with your curl friends by attending a meetup, show or event, asking a question on the NaturallyCurly.commessage board or watching a styling tutorial video from your favorite vlogger.

  5. Pride 

    By wearing your hair natural you let people know that you're proud of who are you, and you won't conform to one single standard of beauty. You're saying, "This is me, and I'm beautiful just as I am. This is beautiful."

As NaturallyCurly celebrates our 15th Anniversary we're reflecting on all of the special curly women that we've met along the way. Take for example Marsha! Did you know that Curl Junkie founder Marsha Coulton traded in a job on Wall Street to become a beautician? She is an invaluable part of the curly industry, so we were thrilled that she agreed to share her insights into our unique community. And we have to say it's refreshing to hear a business owner admit that people buy from different brands, and negative feedback keeps you honest!

Marsha Coulton: NaturallyCurly has helped me grow my business astronomically. Without NaturallyCurly as a resource, I couldn't have developed my products as effectively. CurlMart was our first retailer, which was incredibly important. And NaturallyCurly suggested I send products to Essence, and an article in Essence helped take the brand to the next level. I might still exist without NaturallyCurly, but I wouldn't be at this level.
  1. There's no right way

    Some people like silicones. Some people don't. Some people like proteins. Others don't. Don't pass judgment.

  2. People like to buy products from multiple brands

    If people can find two or three products in my line they like, I'm good. There is no one who will stick with one line. I buy products from other brands.

  3. Product rotation is key

    When products are formulated, they're only looking at how it works on hair a week at a time. But there are a lot of variables. If you use a product with protein every day, your hair might get dry and hard. If you use too much moisture every day, your hair may get weighed down. The weather and humidity changes from day to day and season to season.

  4. Keep an open mind

    Customers have taught me that they may use a product for a completely different purpose than I developed it for. My good friend uses our Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix for her twist out. When you're developing a product, it may be used as a leave-in, rinse-out, deep conditioner and styling product. I've changed labels based on customer feedback on how they're using it.

  5. Listen to the drum beat of your customers

    I'm always on discussion boards and reading emails to see if there is a lot of noise for certain types of products. That's why I developed Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment. People were saying they needed a deep conditioning protein product that didn't make the hair rock hard and didn't contain silicones but strengthened the hair.

  6. Smell is completely subjective

    I always try to stay with neutral or lightly fragranced products. I never find people clamoring for strong smells.

  7. If something isn't working, don't bang your head against the wall

    Try something else. But before you throw it away, try using it in a different way.

  8. Negative feedback is as important as positive feedback

    It keeps you honest. If they don't like it, you need to figure out how to develop a better product. I'm tweaking Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha to make sure it works more consistently over a range of textures. Right now, people either love it or they hate it.

  9. Conditioners are what set you apart

    Across the board, conditioners are our anchor.

  10. There are no rules when it comes to what products work for what textures

    I used to develop products for wavy, curly and kinky hair - heavier products for coilier hair and lighter products for wavier hair. But I found it wasn't necessarily how my customers were buying products. I developed Curl Assurance Aloe Fix was for coily hair, but I have a lot of wavy customers. I try my products on every texture now.

  11. There is no shame in mixing expensive products with drugstore brands

    I find some people like to mix my Curls in a Bottle with a drugstore gel to enhance the performance. You can mix and match.

So many of our curlfriends old and new have shared encouraging words with us as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary. We love the support we receive from other empowering curly entrepreneurs, so this heartwarming message from Mahisha Dellinger, the brilliant founder of CURLS, is very special to us. has had an amazing impact on CURLS. CURLS was launched on in 2002, before the rise of social media.   As the Mecca for all things curly, I knew that an early partnership with founders Michelle and Gretchen was imperative.  The very first samples we ever sent went to NaturallyCurly members! Our first internet banner advertisement was posted on NaturllyCurly, and my first curly hair article and column were posted there too.  The partnership has continued, more than 11 years later! As we always say, it's a CURLS thing!

If you'd like to share your story of how NaturallyCurly has impacted YOU, please share it here! We love to read all of your responses.

Pictured Mahisha and the CURLS staff

You may recognize this Brit model Annaliese Dayes from America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion or her cover of Blackhair Magazine. In this tutorial she's showing us how to create this easy updo! First she talks you through how to use Curlformers and then shows you how to create a simple up-do, followed by a natural afro look. If you were wondering how the Softhood Inflatable dryer works, she’s got that covered too. It's really kind of three tutorials in one, lucky us! 

If you've ever felt intimidated by Curlformers (the stick with the hook, all the bright colors) you probably won't be after watching this how-to. And Annaliese is a low-maintenance hair girl so she breaks it down for all of the beginners!

Watch the Tutorial

NaturallyCurly has been an amazing sounding board for ALL textures out there, providing support and solutions that fit all budgets and needs! The first thing that someone notices about you is your face the second is your hair, unless your hair happens to be particularly distracting, then it is the first. From this moment you have 3 seconds to make and impression and the other person judges how they will perceive you.  I salute TextureMedia for helping make strides in how we accept ourselves and each other, by being a driving force in this world, and helping us celebrate our texture.
We LOVE to take personality tests, whether Strength Finders 2.0 or Meyers Briggs. We do this to understand how we are created and to give ourselves "permission" to BE who we are designed to be. NaturallyCurly has helped to bring Texture front and center in media both written and online. Accepting and celebrating our texture is the truest sense of self acceptance. Give yourself permission to truly step into who you are created to be!
Since I have been in the curly industry I have seen the community grow in leaps and bounds; and not only that, but the public perception of curly hair has come a long way too. Here are the 5 top advances I have seen in the curly world. 

We've Come So Far!

  1. Acceptance

    My girls are growing up KNOWING that they are beautiful just the way they are created, I NEVER felt that growing up.

  2. Conditioning

    There are so many more options than before, and there is an understanding that my texture needs more moisture and that's ok!

  3. Shampooing

    This one's HUGE, no one ever told me don't shampoo every day! did I mention I'm a clean freak, this one was hard for me.

  4. Cutting

    There are more techniques available,  I went around looking like a boy the first 17 years of my life!

  5. Product Development

    There are so many more options, natural is so important to me, your skin is your largest organ and you absorb 60% of what you put on it!

But We Still Have Work To Do

Despite the great advances we've made, I believe we still have a few challenges ahead of us. These are the top five hurdles that I think our community and the curly industry can still improve.

  1. Professional Settings

    In a job situation, you can be professional looking without HAVING to straighten it, I have a dear friend that is a meteorologist that was at the top of her class and was unable to get a nibble on her resume with curly hair picture, she straightened it and had 3 offers immediatley! We MUST continue to push accepting our texture in professional environments.

  2. Continuing Education

    There are NOT enough stylists that truly understand how to cut textured hair with out blowing it out straight!

  3. Hair Color

    Textured hair can be more fragile, some of the color lines/techniques are too harsh.

  4. Hair Accessories

    I still struggle with finding good accessories that don't damage my hair and are cute.

  5. Celebrity Media

    UGH! This one really bugs me, there are so many celebrities that actually have textured hair that was once BEAUTIFUL, but they choose to straighten, flat iron and abuse their hair.  Oh how I would love to see those beautiful influential celebrities embrace their texture and really make a positive change in so many lives and self-confidence, the other causes they get behind are nice, but I would love to see this change.


I LOVE and am so grateful for this community for myself and my kids!  Thank you guys!!!

Embrace your natural beauty,


Founder of MopTop

Since the company launched its Mist-er Right herbal cleansing tonic in 2001, DevaCurl has been known as an innovator in the curly haircare world. With the launch of No-Poo a year later - a product that transformed how people cleanse their hair - it established itself as a company willing to think out of the box.

With DevaCurl's Shine Spray, which launches exclusively on CurlMart today, the company adds another tool to its arsenal to help wavies, curlies and coilies keep their curls looking their best. We talked with company spokeswoman Kimberly Heathman about the development of the Shine Spray.

NC: Why did Deva decide to develop the new Shine Spray?

Kimberly: DevaCurl was missing this key product in the finishing category. It obviously needed to be one that would be water-soluble, as with all of our products, as well as provide optimum, weightless shine and curl protection (both in UV and to strengthen curls) WITHOUT the use of silicones.

NC: Was it difficult to develop, and if so why?

Kimberly: We had been working on a formulation for quite some time- as well as testing it at our four Devachan Salons on curly clients. The development of DevaCurl shine spray was inspired by a growing demand from Deva Inspired stylists and individuals with curly hair for DevaCurl to introduce a water soluble, silicone free shine spray suitable for all curl types. 

NC: What makes it unique from other shine sprays?

Kimberly: DevaCurl Shine Spray is a water-soluble, weightless shine enhancer that produces radiant, frizz free curls without the use of silicones. It moisturizes, strengthens and protects without weighing down or drying out curls. It contains four natural UVA/UVB antioxidants and UV absorbers to help protect against oxidative damage. It is humidity- resistant to control and reduce frizz. It delivers shine in a fine-mist, aerosol spray to allow for application to the entire head of hair or to just targeting specific curls
Like all DevaCurl products, Shine Spray contains the exclusive DevaCurl Botanical Blend to maintain curls natural moisture balance. This includes Balm Mint Extract, Chamomile Extract, Hops Extract, Lemongrass Extract, Rosemary Extract and Yarrow Extract

NC: What makes a product like this especially beneficial for curly hair?

How to Use It

  1. Target dry areas
  2. Spray evenly about 6 inches from your scalp
  3. OR Lift your curls up and spray (for shine without disturbing curl definition)

Kimberly: Curly hair is typically dry and fragile--and curly cuticles (the hairs’ outer layer) need more moisture and hydration. Functioning as a barrier, silicones temporarily seal cuticles, preventing dehydrated curls from absorbing beneficial moisture and conditioning oils. Silicones provide the false appearance of a healed cuticle. Over time, curls become brittle, less defined and further prone to frizz--creating a damaging and dehydrating cycle. DevaCurl Shine spray is not only moisturizing and conditioning, it gives radiant shine without the use of Silicones.

NC: With the addition of the shine spray, how many products are in the Deva lineup?

Kimberly: DevaCurl now has 26 products specifically designed for curly hair.


3 Ways to Use It

1. Cocktail

Combine the Shine Spray with DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray natural, lightweight, frizz free curls

2. 2nd Day Hair

  1. Refresh scalp with No-Poo™ Quick Cleanser
  2. Revitalize and reform curls with Mist-er Right on mid-shaft and ends, allowing curls to dry completely.
  3. Apply DevaCurl Shine Spray for polished, no-frizz curls

3. Polished Updo

Apply DevaCurl Shine Spray throughout curls before creating your curly upstyle, offering remarkable shine and a light, non-greasy texture

We've learned many lessons about our curls over the past 15 years of One woman who has been an invaluable resource to our readers is Lorraine Massey, the author of The Curly Girl handbook and founder of DevaCurl.

Many of our readers and loyal CurlTalkers have experienced drastic curl transformations using her curl care methods, so to celebrate our anniversary our long-time friends at DevaCurl put together their top 15 care tips for curly hair!

  1. Banish the Brushes! Always, use your fingers to comb through hair that’s wet and drenched with DevaCurl One Condition; or No-Comb Detangling Spray.
  2. Granola, Not Curls, Should Crunch: Over-cleansing and leaving in too much conditioner or using alcohol-filled gels can give your curls a crunchy look. Give your hair a break and just refresh with a spritz of DevaCurl No-PooTM Quick Cleaner at the roots.
  3. Hands off! Don’t interrupt your curls while they’re drying, or they will frizz up.
  4. Avoid Snags: Detangle in the shower before rinsing out your conditioner. It’ll make for easier styling and less breakage.
  5. Body of Work: Make your workout session double as a curl treatment. Before you hit the elliptical or treadmill, run DevaCurl Styling Cream through your locks and twist up in a bun. The heat your body produces while working out allows curls to soak in moisture and conditioners.
  6. It’s all in the Details: For natural, healthy curls, only use a defining or styling gel that's alcohol and silicone-free, and soluble in water—as the gel can remain in your hair for 2-3 days.
  7. Don’t Fracture your Hair! Remember to remove your hair from your shoulders before slinging on your handbag, backpack or messenger bag.
  8. Boost Your Roots! To give your curls at the top of your hair extra volume, lift and clip the hair at the roots while it’s still wet. Doing so will release the top layer from its own weight, allowing it to dry faster and in an even curl pattern from roots to ends. Clipping also speeds the drying process.
  9. Natural Order: The top of your hair should be the last place you cleanse and the last place you rinse the conditioner. Start from the bottom and work your way up!
  10. Radiant Curls in Record Time! Spot cleansing not only saves time but it can instantly boost volume. By absorbing oil, No-PooTM Quick Cleanser refreshes, conditions and helps add the ideal volume and tousled texture.
  11. Handle with Care: Precious hair fibers require special attention. Using a soft fiber cloth or DevaTowel, gently rotate and “scrunch-squeeze” curls in an upward motion toward the scalp to absorb extra moisture.
  12. You're Fine! If your curls are baby-fine, use a hairnet when showering. The net allows water to flow through and lets you cleanse the hair with your fingers while helping to contain the wave structure.
  13. Good Night's Sleep: For perfect next-day waves and curls, spray curls with DevaCurl Spray Gel, and then ball your hair into a bun at the top of your head just before bed. Unfurl the gorgeousness the next morning.
  14. Hydrate! Invest in a top-quality humidifier for your home. A humidifier will encourage curls and keep your hair and skin from drying out! 
  15. Pin Up: For a curlier look on dry or second-day hair, try the pin method. Starting at the crown, wrap a section of hair around your finger, slide the finger out, hold the coil with your other hand and insert a clip at a right angle. After the hair is dry, gently remove the clips and loosen curls with your fingers. Finish with a tilt and scrunch.

Put Your Curls On the Map

Selfies. It’s officially a new word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

They've proven an empowering way for women to share their good (and bad) hair days with the curly community with over 6 million Instagram selfies labeled #naturalhair or #curlyhair. Everyday we see our readers sending messages of encouragement and self love across the country, so we were excited when Sofn'free Nothing But created a way to map your photos for the natural hair community to see!

How it Works

The interactive Google Map lays out your Instagram photos on a map of the United States, and lets you focus on particular hair types and styles throughout the country. Looking for some twist out inspiration? Search #twistout. Wondering if braids styles in Brooklyn are different from braids in Los Angeles?

“We’ll see some interesting regional trends in style, length and color as the map becomes populated by Instagrammers,” said Will Williams, Director of Education and Product Development for Nothing But.

How to Join

  1. Post your hottest looks on Instagram
  2. Use hashtag #NothingButHair
  3. Tag your location!

Gifts & Goodies

Every week through mid-October, Nothing But will is giving away $50 Sally Beauty gift cards and a selection of its hair-care products to participants on the map.

We'll see you and your #naturallycurly self on Instagram! #naturalhair #curlyhair #NothingButHair

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