Articles By Amanda

Amanda

lush henna hair dye

PHOTO CREDIT: SHANNON BENNETT FROM CURLY DEVIANTS

This is how Shannon Bennett of Curly Deviants uses the Lush Henna Hair Dye in Caca Brun.
Products

Tools

  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Old t-shirt or cape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic cling wrap
  • Hooded dryer
  • Whisk

Directions

  1. Cut the Lush Caca Brun Henna into cubes and place them into a blender with steaming hot water.
  2. Blend until the texture is like a thick pudding. Add more water as necessary.
  3. Pour the henna into a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the remainder that is sticking to the blender.
  4. Put on an old t-shirt you don’t mind staining or a plastic cape.
  5. Apply Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade along your hairline to prevent skin discoloration.
  6. Put on plastic gloves in order to not stain your hair.
  7. Apply the henna in small section throughout your entire head. Continue to saturate your hair until all of the product is applied.
  8. Remove your gloves and wrap the plastic cling wrap around your head
  9. Sit under the hooded dryer for an hour. If you do not have a hooded dryer, allot two hours for the treatment to penetrate.
  10. Apply a conditioner with loose consistency and rinse until the water runs clear.
  11. Add the Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner, Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner, olive oil, aloe vera gel, and raw honey to a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
  12. Saturate the hair from ends to roots with the conditioner and apply a plastic cap.
  13. Sit under the dryer for 30-45 min.
  14. Rinse your hair, apply moisturizer, and style!

Watch the video

You can follow Curly Deviants on YouTube and Instagram.


curly hairstyle for prom

PHOTO CREDIT: LEYLA FROM LUXY HAIR

When prom season rolls around, every girl wants to be glamorous. It’s all about the hair, nails, makeup, and of course the dress. You already have a list of stores you plan to visit and a friend that can beat your face to oblivion, but where does a curly girl go if she wants her hair snatched but without the straightening? Going to a salon can be daunting if you want to wear your hair curly and the stylist is either inexperienced with your texture or pressures you to straighten your hair. Who better to trust with your curls than yourself? Leyla from Luxy Hair has created an Easy Updo for Naturally Curly Hair tutorial that gives you an elegant updo in a matter of minutes. All you need is bobby pins.

Tools

Bobby pins

Directions

  1. Begin the style on freshly washed hair that is 80%-90% dry for more body and reduced frizz. Styling hair that is completely dry hair has a tendency to induce frizz.
  2. Create a side part at the front of your hair.
  3. Grab a two-inch section along the front hairline and create a loose two-strand twist. Once you have reached the ends, pull the twist toward the back of the head and fasten to your roots with a bobby pin.
  4. Repeat the same step with the hair sectioned on the other side of the part.
  5. Continue to take two-inch sections along the hairline on both sides of the parts and repeat the first two steps until all of the hair along the hairline is twisted and pinned toward the back. 
  6. Take the remaining section at the nape, create a two-strand twist, tuck it under, and secure with a bobby pin.

Watch the video


NaturallyCurly: When did you start embracing your curls?

Diane: I have been back and forth with embracing my curls my whole life. Sadly, I did go through a phase of wanting pin straight hair and my poor hair suffered with relaxers. For the last three years or so I have truly been loving and enjoying my curly waves!

Have you received any negative comments about your hair? How do you respond?

Diane: A few people do say they think I look better with straight hair, but luckily most people do like my curls better! I just say "thanks" to those who think straight hair looks better.

What's your daily hair routine?

Diane: It depends on if it’s a wash day or not. Wash day is usually twice a week. I use a shampoo or co-wash followed by a deep treatment. My hair is colored and really dry so it likes a lot of deep treatments! Once a week I deep condition with steam or heat. Then, I apply a leave in, Living Proof Prime Styling Extender, Living Proof Restore Targeted Repair Cream, Devacurl B'Leave In, Jessicurl Spiralicious Styling Gel, and seal with argan oil. It sounds like a lot, but I am only using all of these products twice a week. I apply each product in sections and then plop with a Curl-ease Towel while doing my skin & body care routine in the bathroom. On non wash days I refresh using the Q-Redew, Jessicurl Awe Inspiraling Spray, and an anti frizz serum. Sometimes I’ll apply a leave in if my hair is really dry. 

What's your nighttime routine?

Diane: I pineapple my hair and cover it with a satin bonnet. I also have a satin pillowcase for added protection. During the winter or when my hair is really dry, I will use a spray like the  SheaMoisture Yucca and Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist for added moisture overnight.

 

curly wavy diane

What is your favorite product?

Diane:  Oh I love so many products! It would take so long for me to go through them all, but every few months I publish a favorite product video on my YouTube channel Curly Wavy Diane. Some of my favorite brands are Living Proof, Devacurl, Jessicurl, SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Original Moxie, & Pureology.

What is your favorite DIY recipe?

Diane: I like mixing oils together for overnight treatments. I don't have a specific recipe right now. I just enjoy combining them all together. This may be weird but I take the SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Yucca and Baobab Anti-Breakage Masque and the SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Repair Masque and combine them into one giant mega treatment mask because I can never decide which one I want to use.

What ingredients does your hair love?

Diane: My hair loves coconut oil, argan oil, and shea butter. It really loves all butters or oils.

curly wavy diane blogger

What ingredients does your hair hate?

Diane: My hair hates sulfates! Sulfates make my hair so dry. It also doesn't like a lot of silicones unless they are water soluble. 

How do the seasons affect your regimen?

Diane: In the winter my hair needs as much moisture as it can possibly get so I increase my deep treatments and use my steamer more frequently. In the summer, the humidity causes my hair to expand and be very frizzy so I up the frizz fighting power. Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper is a godsend for me in the summer. 

Have you ever experienced damage? How did you recover from it?

Diane: I used to relax and color my hair back to back, but not the same day. Looking back now I see the ends of my hair were so thin and much more fine than the rest of my hair. In earlier videos you can notice how thin my ends are. I let it grow out and nurtured my hair. Well, I still baby my hair as much as possible. I rarely use heat tools because I still color my hair and I incorporate a lot of deep treatments.

What inspired you to start vlogging?

Diane: I noticed there were very few curly-haired vloggers with similar hair types like me.

How did you become a successful vlogger?

Diane: I still can't believe I'm successful! It is so humbling. I think being real, truthful, and always being yourself is how you become a successful vlogger. Also being nice and organic. Viewers can tell if a vlogger is fake.

What do you like most about vlogging?

Diane: I enjoy making friends and talking to fellow curly-haired people like myself! Also, it is an incredible feeling when viewers thank me for following tips that I have suggested in videos. 

curly wavy diane hair blogger

What do you want to do beyond YouTube?

Diane: I am looking for a full-time job in the beauty industry. I would love to work in the office of a hair product brand or naturally curly. I wish your office was closer to me!

Do you have any advice for curly hair vloggers?

Diane: Disable your ratings. I disabled mine so the thumbs downs wouldn't make me feel sad. 

Any upcoming projects/events you'd like to tell us about?

Diane: My blog (curlywavydiane.blogspot.com) really needs a makeover. Also, I am planning on doing more videos with my hairdresser, Lisa of Marucci Hair Design!

What is your number one piece of advice for women with curly hair?

DianeLearn to love and embrace your curls! It takes some trial and error, mixing, and experimenting with products, but it is fun once you find what works for you. It is nice to save a lot of time and not freak out every time it rains or when you exercise! 

 

You can find Diane online here:

Curly Wavy DianeYouTube & Instagram


doctor kari

NaturallyCurly: What are some of the most effective protective styles?

Dr. Kari: The most effective protective styles that I have seen are double strand twist (with and without extensions). Twists are a great way to protective style because of the longevity and versatility. Other effective styles include individual braids, cornrows, and cornrow styling. I select these because you have access to the scalp. I would like to note that 1) the technique and 2) hair care in the style are essential to all of these. Poor technique can cause traction alopecia from pulling and other concerns. In regards to hair care, you want to keep the hair lubricated with oil-based products. Oiling the scalp and the ends are important. Oftentimes, people tend to crucify and blame the style because lack of care.

Which styles have the highest potential for damage? Which styles would you suggest people to stray from?

Dr. Kari: Weaving provides versatility but I do not select it or encourage it because of the lack of access to the scalp. You cannot cleanse the scalp as thoroughly. With weaving, the hair is typically braided in a cone shape, the rows are close together, and sometimes the stylist uses a cap. So much money is spent on the hair and installation that no one is willing to remove it in four weeks. Failing to remove a weave for proper cleansing can cause tractions, fungal infection, and bacterial infections. This could then lead to misdiagnosing the irritation as itchy instead of a symptom to a bigger issue. Then, the client goes on to suffer hair loss and not realize the cause.

What is a good time period to keep protective styles installed?

Dr. Kari: For twists or braid extensions I typically tell clients 6-8 weeks but that is specifically based on if they get a touch up between 4-6 weeks. A touch up is getting the hairline re-braided or re-twisted. As the style gets older women tend to pull the hair back in an attempt to make the style look neat, but the increased weight from the braids causes stress and the pulling can potentially cause traction. No more than eight weeks. Cornrows are worn from 2-4 weeks. Again, a month max with all protective styles.

Are protective styles ideal for people with high porosity hair?

Dr. Kari: For women with high porosity hair, you want to make sure that you are sealing the moisture in. People with high porosity hair tend to feel that constantly moisturizing their hair can become difficult and cumbersome. They tend to not moisturize their loose hair anymore than they would with a protective style so I encourage protective styling because it seems to provide a sense of relief. In order to assure the hair is always lubricated, they could use a spray solution with oils.
doctor kari protective styles

What should be done prior to installing a protective style?

Dr. Kari: Make sure the hair is thoroughly cleansed, deep conditioned, and lubricated with a light oil. When installing double-strand twist with extensions, I usually do a blow out. You should not install extensions on wet or damp hair.

Should you trim before or after installing a protective style?

Dr. Kari: It depends on the condition of the hair, texture, and curl pattern. If a client has really bad ends, I will trim the hair slightly. If the hair is in good condition and the client requests a trim, I’ll tell them to wait until they come out the style. Other deciding factors depend on how the technician styles and cuts. If the technician cuts too blunt, then the hair will protrude from the twists.

What styles would you suggest for children?

Dr. Kari: I love twists on children. They are easy, low stress, and can be installed quickly. I usually suggest that children have double-strand twists without extensions but if I am installing extensions I am mindful of the length of thickness of the twists to assure the finished look is age appropriate.

How do you wash and moisturize the hair without causing matting and tangles?

Dr. Kari: Concentrate the shampoo on the scalp or pads of the fingers and use a water battle to create the lather. When you rinse, you want to lightly massage the ends of the hair to remove buildup.

When using extensions, does hair quality matter in regards to the health of your real hair or just longevity of the style?

Dr. Kari: First, be mindful of allergies to synthetic hair and coating on the hair strands. Both matter. Some synthetic fibers are extremely harsh on the human hair. Find synthetic fibers that are extremely soft and similar to the natural feel of your texture.

doctor kari natural hair

Community Questions

Martha Patricia Reveles: How can recuperate my pattern hair? I used to be 3b-c, but last year I had a thyroidectomy and since then, besides the hormonal replacement, I take calcium and vitamin D. As a consequence, apart from losing hair and the dryness, my pattern hair changed. After the surgery it was 2a-b, now, after follow the naturallycurly advice hair is more 2c-3a.

Dr. Kari: Ultimately, anytime someone is experiencing a systemic condition, especially an endocrine dysfunction, it will interrupt the growth cycle. Because the growth was affected, there is nothing that can be corrected externally. Similar to women who go through chemotherapy, this may just be the new texture of her hair. Another thing she can do is try to get a hair mineral analysis, which will determine the mineral and nutrients level in the blood and that may play a role in how her hair is growing. The change in the system is due to the systemic interruption. There is no guarantee that the original curl pattern will come back. It will depend on the balance of her system.

Hayleyandevette Knight: I have been having a hard time getting my hair to retain length during the winter months and wondering what I can do because I don't want to go back to relaxing my hair. Any tips would be helpful. Thank you.

Dr. Kari: Typically in the winter, hair tends to be drier and needs more lubrication because the climate is so cold. Stick to protective styling. You do not have to add hair. Reduce manipulation. Length retention is about how healthy the ends of the hair are. Something is happening to the ends of your hair so keep your ends lubricated.
doctor kari protective styles

Onie Lee: Is there an alternative to a blow out for trimming ends and how often really should very coily 4c hair be trimmed?

Dr. Kari: You could get a trim while the hair is wet or damp. It becomes a question of how trained is the technician who is cutting your hair wet. I have cut hair damp but most of those clients want a shape for curly styles. It is at the discretion of the client. Be mindful that when stretched, it may not be the same shape due to unevenness.

In regards to the trims, again, it depends on the client. Some clients with tight coils tend to get more single strand knots (ssk) and in order to maintain the integrity of the length and to trim efficiently, I will blow the hair out first. Everyone is different.

Nekisha Hegler: I have a couple of what I call "troubled spots" in my hair. At one point my hair fell out in those areas. It has grown out since then but it’s growing pretty slow. What do I do?

Dr. Kari: Ultimately, an anagen hair (active growing stage) will grow for 5-7 years. If anything happens in that period that interrupts that growing phase, how fast it grows back may vary. Was it a fungal infection, bacterial infection, trauma, traction? All of these could have affected the follicle. The follicle could potentially not be as big, as strong, and as a result affect how efficient the hair grows. Immediate results will not show with trauma and the cause of the trauma must be identified.

You can find Dr. Kari Williams on Instagram, Facebook, and Mahogany Hair Revolution Salon and Trichologist Clinic.


Merriam Webster identifies nappy as “having tight bends or coils” but when I hear the term it is commonly used to mean dry and unmanageable and that is how I will use it in this article.

Before we condition our hair we must first treat the conditioning of our minds. Manageability is relative and people rate the manageability of their hair based on lifestyle and preferences. Like many women, if you were relaxed and straightened frequently it’s just as bad as being natural and straightening frequently so that’s a convenience that many need to forgo anyways but I digress.

My curl pattern is predominately 4a. For the past three years I have mostly worn stretched styles, with a flat-twist out being my favorite. When I was in undergrad, more times than not, if a woman asked me about natural hair they discredited their beauty by saying “my hair is too nappy for that” and being the challenger that I am, I would inquire more about this “unbearable” nappy hair.  With any conversation, the root of so many women being nappy is a combination of an inferiority complex and lack of knowledge. For many newbies in the natural hair community, when they see a flat-twist out they genuinely think that is someone’s natural curl pattern. I was intentional about telling people that my hair was in a stretched state. I was not flattered by someone thinking I did not put any effort into my hair, and that is not to say that women with looser textures do not, but I wanted to empower them to know that their nappy hair is capable of more than they think. The worst way to start your hair journey is with a bad attitude. Some contributing factors to this attitude are aspiring to be Tracee Ellis Ross when you are a Naptural85. Yes, I intentionally said Naptural85 because she recently published a video showing her hair in a wet, shrunken state because new viewers who have not been following her since 2009 think that she has a 3b texture, which is furthest from the truth. With the right products and technique, your nappy hair can reach moisture perfection as well.

After talking to countless women about hair care, here are the top reasons I have discovered that your hair is nappy.

Products

Around three months after my big chop, my hair was becoming excessively dry. I did not understand what the issue was because I was using the same products. Sure enough, I headed to the blogs and droves of women started to discontinue the use of products with silicones and mineral oil. This was a huge game changer for me. Literally, every product that I owned went into the trashcan. After I shampooed my hair and applied SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner, I never looked back. Although Aussie Moist is a staple of many, my hair was suffocating from the buildup of silicone. Some people get it right with the first products they purchase, but it is hard to have a successful hair journey if you want to bypass the time it takes to learn about ingredients. Trying different products is only an investment if you are observing the common denominator in the ones you are throwing out.

Straightening

When you have been raised to blow dry and flat iron your relaxed hair after every wash, it is disheartening to hear that straightening your hair weekly and monthly is damaging. If you are convinced that you do not have heat damage and your hair has changed or does not curl, I challenge you to go six months to a year without any heat tools and to see what your roots look like. You have to put the flat iron down. So what do you do with the heat-damaged hair? Big chop or transition.

Weave

Weave does not make your hair nappy but many women use it to avoid the learning process of caring for their hair. I know someone who wore a sew-in faithfully for two year straight without wearing her hair out and when she removed the extensions, she panicked. Her hair was excessive dry and unmanageable. Why was it unmanageable? She did not know what to do with it. She was avoiding the learning process in an attempt to maximize her length retention. Did she retain? She did but her story is an anomaly. For many women, once the weave is removed, it is just a matter of days before their dehydrated curls break off. Don’t allow “protective styling” to evolve into neglect.

Technique

When someone tells me, “my hair is so pretty when it’s wet but when it dries it’s bushy” my first question is do you comb your hair? If you are dry combing your hair that is why your hair is nappy. You are combing your curls out. If you are not washing your hair, you do not have to comb your hair. I know that goes against everything your were taught but it is simply unnecessary. Constant combing or high manipulation only increases the potential for breakage.

 

So why is your hair nappy? It needs knowledge, moisture, and love. Everyone’s texture is different and you are not a 4z. You may just be a 4a who is confused or a 4c who has not accepted her hair texture. Please take advantage of the natural hair community on YouTube and fabulous blogs such as this one. No one likes growing pains but it’s essential for a happy, healthy hair journey.

 


Duchess Gabrielle

NaturallyCurly: How long have you been natural?

Gabrielle: I have been natural for a little over three years.

When did you start embracing your curls?

Gabrielle: It was a gradual process. I went from absolute panic when I big chopped to curiosity and finally passion when it comes to my hair. Somewhere in there I just fell in love.

What's your daily hair routine?

Gabrielle: I lightly spray a leave-in conditioner then roll, tuck, and pin my hair. I am a little styling challenged but I’m working on it. 

What's your nighttime routine?

Gabrielle: I moisturize with an herbal tea, finish with a water based herbal hair crème, and then put my hair in chunky braids. I always wear a satin scarf and lay on a satin pillowcase just in case.

Duchess Gabrielle

What is your favorite hair recipe?

Gabrielle: My favorite hair recipe would be the one product that has most transformed my hair, which is the leave-in conditioner spray. I use a blend of mucilaginous and moisturizing herbs in conjunction with aloe vera juice and water-soluble shea butter. It’s also multi-purpose – works as detangler, leave-in conditioner, and refreshing sprits. Gabrielle: My favorite hair recipe would be the one product that has most transformed my hair is the leave-in conditioner spray. I use a blend of mucilaginous and moisturizing herbs in conjunction with aloe vera juice and water-soluble shea butter. It’s also multi-purpose – works as detangler, leave-in conditioner, and refreshing sprits.

What ingredients does your hair love?

Gabrielle: I would say herbs, herbs, and more herbs. My hair tends to favor oils as well. 

What ingredients does your hair hate?

Gabrielle: My hair hates silicones and commercial gels mostly. I avoid heavy conditioners because they weigh down my light density (thin) hair.

Duchess Gabrielle

How do the seasons affect your regimen?

Gabrielle: Since my regimen is mostly plant-based, I don’t alter my regimen that much. The only difference is in the winter I add a thick butter to coat my hair. Other than that, I just switch the herbs around depending on my mood mostly.

What are your go-to styles?

Gabrielle: The roll, tuck, and pin is my main go-to style. Although I think I finally have understood the concept of twisting so styling twists is next on my list. Since my regimen is mostly plant-based, I don’t alter my regimen that much.

How has your healthy diet affected the health of your hair?

Gabrielle: From the beginning I understood that blood is the critical link between the hair and the rest of the body. And whatever is present in the blood, whether toxins or nutrients, is transferred to the hair root, which determines hair growth. I have always paid attention to what I eat, but it was reinforced by the fact that I wanted to have healthy hair. 

 

Duchess Gabrielle

What inspired you to start vlogging?

Gabrielle: I saw a lot of people with my texture, which made me so hopeful of the potential my hair had. But as my hair got longer, I realized that although the texture was the same, my thickness didn’t measure up to my mentors. I realized I had thin hair, an element that was unspoken for in the social forums. I figured I might be able to help guide others, just like I was guided.

How did you keep your content fresh?

Gabrielle: I am naturally very curious. For me it’s not enough that my hair is growing – I want to know why and how. It’s not enough to know that my hair needs conditioner – I want to know why and how the conditioner works with hair. So off I go down the rabbit hole every time.

What do you like most about vlogging?

Gabrielle: I like sharing discoveries with the community, which triggers conversations with fellow hair enthusiasts.

Duchess Gabrielle

Do you have any advice for new natural hair vloggers?

Gabrielle: The first one is definitely integrity. Your content must be sincere. Second, in order to stay relevant you must bring something fresh or a different angle to the table. The beauty of it is no two heads of hair are 100% alike so there’s always something to learn from each other. Third, your voice is just as valid as that guru with a gazillion subscribers. Give your thoughts a voice but without bashing anyone else’s. Fourth, start where you are with what you have but most of all just start now. You’ll go through changes and adjust as you learn and evolve. Fifth, follow your bliss and have fun. 

Any upcoming projects/events you'd like to tell us about?

Gabrielle: I have been working on a hair crème for the past year. The initial recipe is shared on YouTube. There has been such an overwhelming demand for this crème so I decided to go into production for sale. The crème should be out in the market beginning March 10, 2014.

What is your number one piece of advice for women with curly hair?

Gabrielle: You have to establish a relationship with your hair, which means you have to listen to it, accept it, and love it unconditionally. This is the only way to successfully care for your hair.

 

You can find Gabrielle online here:

Tribe of ChicYouTube Instagram


Naptural85

Naptural85 acclaims much of her hair’s health and shine to her DIY Hair and Body Oil. This mixture is chock full of nutrients from the combination of five different oils. The all-in-one hair and body oil will provide moisture, stimulate cell renewal, control dandruff, coat the hair shaft, protect the hair follicle, strengthen the hair, penetrate the hair shaft, reduce inflammation of the hair follicles, softens and lubricates the hair, reduces breakage, and improve blood circulation. This all-in-one oil sounds like a winner!

Ingredients

  • 2.5 oz Olive oil
  • 2.5 oz Jojoba oil
  • 1 oz Castor oil
  • 1 oz Sweet almond oil
  • 1 oz Avocado oil
  • 1/2 oz Vitamin E

Tools

  • Applicator Bottle

Directions

  1. Add all of the oils to the applicator bottle.
  2. Apply the oil to damp skin immediately following a shower or bath.
  3. Shingle the oils throughout freshly washed hair before towel drying or plopping.


Want to know more of Naptural85's recipes?  Check out her Avocado and Banana Hair Mask Tutorial and her #NaturallyCurly Guru Tag!


Oftentimes, many curlies get frustrated trying to create sleek styles using gel because once they walk outside, all of the flyaways and baby hairs take on a life of their own. Well, that is because most gels are formulated with humectants to withdraw moisture from the air, causing the hair to curl and add definition. Pomades are formulated to be thick and heavy in order to keep the hair in place. If edge control products leave your edges dry, tacky, and flaky, try creating Colorful Canary’s All Natural Hair Styling Pomade. It is chock-full of oils that all naturals love and a little goes a long way. For naturals with coarse, porous hair, this would be a great option for sealing in the moisture that always seems to escape your tresses.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp organic beeswax
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, jojoba, almond, or apricot kernel oil
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot powder
  • Essential oils of your choice

Tools

  • Storage container
  • Double boiler
  • Hand mixer

Directions

  1. Fill the bottom double boiler pot with water and put it on a high heat setting. Once the pot is hot, add beeswax to the top pot until it is melted and then add coconut oil.
  2. Turn off the heat and remove the top double boiler.
  3. Empty the bottom double boiler pot and add freezing cold water.
  4. Place the top boiler pot back over the bottom pot, add arrowroot, olive oil, and essential oils, and stir quickly.
  5. Blend the mix with a hand mixture until stiff.
  6. Transfer the product into the storage container.

We are excited to see Colorful Canary whip up more hair products in her kitchen! You can find Colorful Canary at her blog and on YouTube.


naptural85

NaturallyCurly: How long have you been natural?

Whitney: I’ve been natural for a little over five years now!

When did you start embracing your curls?

Whitney: I started embracing my curls towards the end of my junior year of college. I was swamped with work and started really embracing that “college bed head” look. It was my senior year of college that I knew it was time to give up my relaxer completely.

What's your daily hair routine?

Whitney: Heehee! Daily hair routine? You’re so funny NaturallyCurly. I don’t have one! I really just fly by the seat of my pants. I guess the one thing that I always do is wrap my hair in a satin scarf at night, but during the day, anything goes! If it’s cold, I’ll usually stick with buns, hats, or a side braid!

What's your nighttime hair routine?

Whitney: No matter how I style it, I always wrap my hair in a satin scarf at night. I do both the satin scarf and the satin pillowcase! Ha! Double protection baby! Just in case, you know…

naptural85 natural hair guru

You are renown for taking a holistic approach to hair care and you use very few store bought products. What are some of your favorite retail products?

Whitney:  I am obsessed with the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner! I buy it in bulk! Clear the shelves! I love this stuff; it’s pretty close to being all natural, it's inexpensive, and has slip for days!

What ingredients do your hair love?

Whitney: My hair loves jojoba oil!

What ingredients do your hair hate?

Whitney: My hair doesn’t really hate a lot! I haven’t come across a singular ingredient that my hair has rejected, just overall formulas.

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natural hair guru

How do the seasons affect your regimen?

Whitney: The seasons only slightly affect my hair. I’m the type of girl who loves beanie caps so I wear them year-round regardless of the weather. I guess the one thing I tend to do more in the summer is wear my hair in a wash and go. I’m more willing then because it’s super hot outside and I don’t feel like styling just to sweat it out. And in the wintertime, you’ll probably see my hair hidden inside the beanie cap more often to hide it, whereas in the summer, it’ll probably be loose in twists!

We’ve had the pleasure of watching your coily ringlets grow since 2009. What part of your regimen would you identify as the key to length retention?

Whitney: The key to length retention is moisturizing. If your hair isn’t moisturized, it’s going to create friction against itself, causing breakage and knots.

naptural85

Being a wife, mother, graphic designer, and vlogger can call for a hectic schedule. What are your go-to styles?

Whitney: Haha so true! My go-to is a twist out. It’s classic, gives me the stretch I need to style my hair if necessary, and lasts throughout the week with minimal touch-ups.

How has your healthy diet affected the health of your hair?

Whitney:  As far as diet and hair, I’m sure it has a lot to do with it. I’ve been an athlete since grade school, so I’ve always been a healthy eater in order to perform well. I don’t have anything to compare with, so I can’t say from personal experience if my hair grew more or less because I’ve always eaten healthy, but I’m sure it’s definitely a huge factor.

naptural85 hair guru

How has your disciplined exercise routine affected the health of your hair?

Whitney: I used to be a lot more disciplined with my exercise, and it’s something that I’m getting back into now. But there was a span of about a year and a half where I didn’t exercise at all; I was so busy with other things. My hair still grew but I’m not sure if the growth was slower or faster. Then again, I think it’s the same as eating healthy; the more you can do, the better for your hair, body, and overall health.

Olivia is absolutely adorable and we love the little styles that you do with her hair. What hair care advice would you give to other parents who want to nurture their child’s hair?

Whitney: Thank you! I think baby hair care is very similar to adult hair care, the less styling you do, the better! I try to keep it simple, just like in my own routine. She’s a baby, her hair does not need to be “laid” right lol! My hair isn’t even laid! I just keep it so simple. I’ve been pulling her hair back lately just because it’s been growing so long and I don’t want her cute little face hidden!

naptural85 guru

What inspired you to start vlogging?

Whitney: Before I went natural, I needed to know what I was getting into. I searched online for pictures of women with natural hair, afros, etc. and that brought me to YouTube. In 2009 it was not like today. There were maybe seven women with natural hair sharing their journeys and secrets, but it was enough to inspire me to go natural. While my hair grew out, I found myself facing obstacles in my styling and maintenance. I didn’t see anyone online with my hair texture and so I thought that I should share my experiences with how I overcame my hair obstacles in order to help anyone else out there who may be experiencing the same thing!

As a veteran blogger, how do you keep fresh content?

Whitney: I am, how do you say, obsessed? Lol! No really… I am always thinking of my next video. I draw inspiration from my daily life, what trends I’m into lately, what’s a current issue in my hair care routine, and I go from there!

What do you like most about vlogging?

Whitney: My favorite thing about vlogging is being creative! I love what I do. It’s so much fun! It’s a daily challenge, but one that I enjoy! Yes, it’s stressful and sometimes frustrating, but when the final product is something that you’re so proud to share, there’s nothing better than that.

naptural85

Do you have any advice for new natural hair bloggers?

Whitney: For the new natural hair bloggers, I say make sure you’re doing it because you love it! If it’s just for the monetary rewards, you’re going to find yourself getting frustrated very quickly. This is a labor of love. It’s not easy, and sometimes, it’s downright frustrating. The monetary rewards are certainly not going to be immediate. When I first started in 2009, our rewards as bloggers, was reading a comment that said our video made a difference. That was all we needed to keep going. If you’re not doing it for the sheer joy and love of helping others, there will be nothing to motivate you to continue when times get hard.

Any upcoming projects/events you'd like to tell us about?

Whitney: Right now I can’t share, but there’s a few projects in the works that I can hopefully share this upcoming year!

What is your number one piece of advice for women with curly hair?

Whitney:  My number one piece of advice for women with curly hair is, wear it however you like! Defined, frizzy, messy, shrunken, stretched, or straight. This year I am so over the rules! Wear it however you feel like wearing it that day! Yes, of course we want to promote healthy, thriving naturally beautiful curls but make sure you’re also having fun with it! Bending the rules can be very liberating! XoXo!

You can find Whitney online here:

YouTube & Instagram


For folks with curly hair, frizz can be a common issue that’s hard to eliminate. Sometimes it’s the heat, sometimes it’s lack of moisture. Other times, who knows what the problem really is.

Either way, when frizz shows up there’s no way to ignore it and for good reason. When your hair is frizzy, it can be an indication that there is dryness or damage that needs to be addressed.

Flyaways, split ends, and broken strands can be caused by overmanipulation, subjecting your hair to harsh chemicals, excessive processing, or constant heat from blow drying or straightening.

It takes a combination of tactics -- working from the inside and outside in tandem -- to combat the annoyance. The way to get rid of the frizzies is by moisturizing and protecting your strands against the elements both natural and self-induced.

MORE: What Is Frizz?



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