Articles By Claire Aviles

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary hairstyle for prom, formal, or banquet? We get that. Clip-in hair extensions are an easy way to add length, volume, and even color to your hair! They can give you a completely new, glamorous look in a matter of minutes. But before you go out in public with hair that's not yours on your head, you'll want to be sure you avoid the common pitfalls of this risky business.


marshmallow

Need another reason to love marshmallows? You already know that they are delicious in hot chocolate, but did you know that the root of althaea officinalis or “marshmallow plant” is great for your hair?

Tons of Mucilage = Detangled, Soft Hair

Marshmallow root is popular in the hair care world because it contains a high percent of mucilage—a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants.  Mucilage takes on a slippery texture when mixed with water, which makes it great for detangling and softening hair. Products like Kinky Curly Knot Today boasts “organic marshmallow root” in its ingredients, which explains why it is so effective! Marshmallow root tends to soothe a dry or itchy scalp also.

Want to try it? Read on for a great, all-natural detangling recipe!

You Will Need:

  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup dried marshmallow root (you can find it online or in a natural foods store)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tbsp olive oil or jojoba oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the marshmallow root and water in a small pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to thirty minutes. This “activates” the mucilage. Remove the pot from the stove and let the mixture cool.
  2. Strain the mixture, reserving the liquid.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar and olive oil or jojoba oil.
  4. Store the mixture into a spray bottle and use as needed! Be sure to shake the mixture before spraying it on your hair. 

 

If you’re looking for an even simpler recipe, stop after step two. Then use the mixture as a hair rinse in the shower.

 

MORE: This Unlikely Food Can Do Wonders for Your Hair


What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is obtained by pressing the castor plant seed. It is filled with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, which is great for your hair.

It can be messy and hard to remove, but its amazing benefits make the effort worth it! Read on for our top four uses for castor oil:


If you’re anything like me, Monday morning starts off right, with a perfect hairstyle. But by the time Wednesday rolls around, I’ve already lost motivation and inspiration. For the rest of the week, my hair is down and loose or, if it’s a “bad hair day,” in a bun on the top of my head.

Everyone has days whenever they just cannot be bothered to spend time on their hair. Here are a few options for your lazy hair days.


Did you know an apple a day could keep the product buildup, blemishes and sun spots away?

More specifically apple cider vinegar, which comes from pulverized apples. ACV (apple cider vinegar) has many topical beauty benefits because it is:

  • anti-viral
  • anti-bacterial, and
  • anti-fungal

Its main ingredient, as with any vinegar, is acetic acid, but it also boasts other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids that have great benefits!

If you’re interested in adding it to your daily routine, make sure to look for an organic, raw apple cider vinegar—you can find it in the condiment aisle (and occasionally in the health supplement aisle) of your grocery store.


Chanta15NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Chantal Thomas: My name is Chantal Thomas. I'm from San Jose, CA and I'm twenty-nine years old. I'm a current senior at DeVry University, working on my B.S. in Computer Information Systems.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

CT: I began embracing my curls my freshman year in high school. It was a struggle for me because I am biracial—my mother is black and my father is white. I didn't quite fit in and I was always teased about my hair. My freshman year in high school, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, got rid of "the bun" and started wearing my hair down. Of course there were rude comments from a few, but most people were really nice. It surprised me that so many people were fascinated by my natural curls.

NC: What's your current routine?

CT: My hair gets dry really fast so to help retain moisture, I use Mixed Chicks Detangling Deep Conditioner twice a week. Daily, I use Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner and then apply a generous amount of Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil. I've learned that oil is an important part of my moisturizing routine so I apply leave-In conditioner when my hair is damp, then use oil to seal the moisture in. I also try to avoid using my blow dryer at all costs…when it's absolutely necessary, I blow dry my hair using the cool setting. Otherwise, I'll let my hair air dry. 

NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

CT: My process is pretty quick and simple. I'm constantly trying out new products so the products may change, but my process is always the same. First I co-wash and detangle while showering. Once I'm out of the shower, I pat my hair dry with a t-shirt. Next I section my hair into six even parts and I rake leave-in conditioner into my hair using my fingers, making sure to distribute the product evenly. Then I apply a small amount of pure argan oil from root to end, paying extra attention to my ends because that's usually the first part of my hair to dry out. Then I flip my hair upside down, shake it out and apply a little more argan oil. Finally, I flip my hair back and shake it out once more, separate my bangs a little then voila, I'm all done!

Chanta's curly hair journey

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

CT: Even though I use it sparingly, I have to have a wide tooth comb. Sometimes my hair gets too tangled and I have no choice but to use my wide tooth comb. I also can't live without my large hair clip or pure argan oil. My hair clip keeps my curls out of my face while I sleep and argan oil has recently become an important product to me. It doesn't leave my hair greasy the way other natural oils have, in my experience. 

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

CT: At nighttime, I put my hair up using a large hair clip. My hair is pretty long so to keep my curls from hanging in my face, I have to twist it up before securing it with my hair clip. This way I can control how much I let hang outside of the clip. Sort of like the pineapple technique, but not quite.

 

chantals curly hairNC: If you've always been natural, did you ever have any curly girl insecurities?

CT: I've always been natural and my insecurities as a curly girl began at a very young age. I remember being so tender headed that I would hide to avoid getting my hair combed. I assumed that it hurt because my hair was so curly, which caused me to hate my hair. I was also raised by my grandparents and my grandma would comb my hair into these old fashioned puffy ponytails all over my head. That made me hate my hair even more. It was pretty bad! 

 

chantalNC: What is the best thing about being curly?

CT: My favorite thing about being curly is that I don't have to spend too much time styling my hair. After moisturizing, it just kind of does it's own thing. Not to mention all of the nice compliments I get! It's a great feeling when people tell me my hair is beautiful and I know I only spent twenty minutes on it.

NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?

CT: Having curly hair has definitely been a blessing for me. I wake up and take a shower and before I get out, my hair is already halfway done. Don't get me wrong, It was very difficult and frustrating at first, but once I developed a routine my life became so much easier. 

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

CT: There is nothing more beautiful than loving yourself and everything about you, including your hair. Once you love yourself, no one else's opinion matters. And don't forget to be patient! It took me forever to find out what works for my hair. What works for me, may not work for you. You just have to try different things until you're satisfied.

 

You can find Chantal on Twitter or on Instagram.


rachel's curly hairNaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Rachel Asakome: Hello, my name is Rachel Asakome and I am from Nigeria.  

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

RA: I have been natural for about 5-6 years now. I started truly embracing my curls in August 2011. I went natural because suddenly, all the hair on the back of my head fell off! So in 2008, I decided to cut my hair and let it grow out, so I could relax it again! When I first went natural, I didn’t know what to do…I didn't think that I needed to do anything special, and I treated my hair as if it were relaxed. Then I realized that my hair was growing really slowly and in a search for remedies, I stumbled across a video talking about how natural hair wasn’t considered beautiful. At that point, I decided it was my mission to show everyone just how beautiful kinky curly hair could be. I have fallen in love with my hair and it has responded to my love by growing like crazy!

NC: What's your current routine?

RA: On a wash day, I wash my hair with my homemade rhassoul clay shampoo, then follow with a homemade deep conditioner. My deep conditioners usually consist of shea butter, coconut oil, honey, aloe vera gel, neem oil, argan oil and palm kernel oil. After mixing all the ingredients together, I cover my hair with a plastic cap and sit under the steamer for about 20 minutes. 

I wash my hair every two weeks but in between washes, I condition my hair with pure coconut oil. I also spray it with water and aloe vera juice at least once every two days, depending on how my hair feels. Some days after spritzing my hair, I'll add oil.  

 

rachel's curly hair journeyNC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls? 

RA: I wear braids occasionally, usually when I have exams! But typically, I just rock updos. They are quick and easy, low-manipulation protective styles. 

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

RA: My favorite products are rhassoul clay, coconut oil, and shea butter. I need to have then somewhere in my routine! My favorite tools are my applicator bottle and wide tooth comb. 

NC: What about your hairstylist?

RA: I don’t have a hair stylist. I do my hair myself, except I want to braid it. I believe that no one can take care of your hair better than you can. That being said, the woman who braids my hair is an excellent Yoruba lady that does exactly what I tell her…she she parts my hair with her fingers and remembers to spritz my hair with water before fixing my braids! She is awesome and really attentive to my hair.

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

RA: Before I go to bed (if my hair isn't in a set style), I spray water and aloe vera juice on my hair, then seal in the moisture with an oil or butter, twist it in sections and finally, wrap it in a satin cap. If my hair is already in 100% protective style braids, I just wrap it in a satin cap and hop into bed. 

NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? 

RA: A few of my friends had already gone natural, so it wasn’t a big deal. But I always got lots of weird looks at salons. Every time I walked through the door, I would hear, "Do you want to relax it?" before I even opened my mouth! My favorite comment was from a male friend of mine, who said, "You think this is hair?! Relax it!"

NC: Did you big chop or transition?

RA: I big chopped. In the beginning, I kept my hair in braids a lot because I had no idea how to style it! I thought the only way my hair could look nice was in a braid or weave; I didn’t realize that my own hair could be beautiful without extensions. I initially thought it was childish to have your natural out because in my country, only a high school girl or a child would have natural hair. 

rachel

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

RA: Versatility! I can do almost anything with my hair: braid it, wear it wavy or in tight curls, straighten it,or even make it into a fro-hawk! My friends always expect me to do something wonderful with my hair.

NC: How do you think having curly hair impacts your life?

RA: In the beginning, it used to slow me down a lot because of the time it took to detangle and the endless fights I used to have with my hair. But now, I am so used to it. I get my hair in a beautiful style on a Sunday night and that’s it for the week! All the time it takes to detangle, wash and condition my hair is just another part of my life…I simply set aside time for it, as I do with everything else. 

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

RA: I usually tell people to accept themselves the way they are. In order for negative comments to not get you down, you have to be completely satisfied with yourself and recognize that what you do with your hair or your life is your concern. I also tell people to accept that their hair can’t do certain things anymore. When you have kinky curly hair there is nothing that you can do to make it look bone straight or relaxed every day without damaging your hair. Just accept that you look different and work with the new you!!

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!

RA: I am currently finishing up with school. I also just started a natural hair blog aimed at providing natural hair growth tips to 4C naturals or kinky curly naturals. It’s also meant to be a general guide to healthy living and wellness, but I get so many hair questions that I never have time to post anything else! It’s important that naturals with tightly curled hair (like me) understand that their hair is beautiful and can be managed, just like everyone else’s. I intend to start selling organic hair and skin products as soon as I am done with my university program. I have a Masters in finance, but natural hair is my first love!

You can hear more from Rachel on her blog or on Instagram


NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Alicia Angeles: My name is Alicia Angeles and I am a senior at Boston College. I’m 21 years old and from Montclair, New Jersey. I'm Puerto Rican and Dominican. Last year, I studied abroad in Madrid and this year, I am fortunate enough to be living in the “mods” here at BC. 

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

AA: I only started embracing my curls recently. I used to obsess over flat ironing my hair, and when I say obsess, I mean that I would iron it every single day. Thankfully, my hair isn't completely burnt anymore. 

NC: What's your current routine?

AA: I wash my hair every two days with shampoo and conditioner made for damaged and frizzy hair. After showering, I use store brand gel and hairspray throughout my hair and leave it to air dry. 

NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

AA: From start, I’ll shower, and maybe wash my hair. Regardless of whether or not I wash my hair, I detangle it while I'm showering. After that, I towel dry my hair, then let it down and part it. I’ll apply a palmful of gel to each side of my part, then another palmful to the front and back. After using the gel, I spray each side, then shake it out and am ready to go. 

 

NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls? 

AA: I love to wear my hair down or in a bun.

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

AA: I cannot live without my gel, hairspray, Vaseline and a flat iron.

NC: What about your hairstylist?

AA: I have been going to the same hair stylist since I was eleven years old. I refuse to go to anybody else, and have been loyal to her no matter what salon she works at in New Jersey!

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

AA: I just throw my hair in a bun and go to sleep! 

 

NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? 

AA: I've always been natural, so I didn't really get a reaction. If anything, I got reactions when I straightened my hair!

NC: Did you ever have any curly girl insecurities? 

AA: I had a ton of insecurities because of how big my hair is and how hard it is to control. I hate swimming and sweating, because my hair frizzes right up afterwards! 

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

AA: Not everyone has curls! I love that it makes me unique.

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

AA: Throw some product in your curls, wear them loose, and be confident! 

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!

AA: I'm finishing up my last semester of college and then I will most likely move back to New Jersey and hopefully end up working in New York City.


Nidia's Curly Hair JourneyNaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Nidia Daniels: My name is Nidia Daniels. I am a twenty-something and a proud South African Coloured.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

ND: I started embracing my curls in April 2013; I changed my mindset before taking any action. I started transitioning but then got frustrated at the lack of information for girls transitioning after heat damage. I then did a big chop in June 2013 and decided to keep it short for six months. My last big chop was December 19, 2013. 

NC: What's your current routine?

ND: I'll wash once a week and co-wash if I have product build-up between washings, which happens often.

NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

ND: I will wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, followed by conditioner. Then I will do a mini LOC method with Twisted Sista Leave-In Conditioner and coconut oil. Then I use either Twisted Sista 30 Second Curl Spray or Curl Activator. Finally, I press my hair down with a satin headscarf and leave it to dry and set.

Nidia's Curly HairNC: What are your must-have products and tools?

ND: The basics are sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner, a wide tooth comb, an old t-shirt, coconut and olive oil, Easy Waves banded pack, Twisted Sista products, a satin pillow and headscarf and LOTS of patience!

NC: What about your hairstylist?

ND: I do not go to salons (if I go at all) that do not know how to treat curly hair.

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

ND: Before my big chop, I would pineapple my hair. Now I just sleep on my satin pillowcase or spray Twisted Sista 30 Second Curl Spray before covering my hair with a satin headscarf. 

 

Nidia HairNC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? 

ND: Some people did not understand why I cut off my bra strap-length hair and others liked my new, shorter hair. The natural movement in South Africa is very slow and pretty much underground, so people don't really know what I mean when I say that I am going  natural. I always have to explain my journey. 

NC: Did you big chop or transition? For how long?

ND: I transitioned for a while but I did not find relevant (South African) information and products that applied to me and I didn't know anyone that was going natural, so I didn't have a lot of support. I also discovered that there is more information for curly girls transitioning from relaxers than for those embracing their curls after years of heat styling. But three weeks after discovering NaturallyCurly and a week after my 22nd birthday, I big chopped.  

Nidia's Curly Hair

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

ND: It is less effort because I don't have to keep my hair straight until my next wash, and I don't have to dodge water! 

NC: How does having curly hair impact your everyday life?

ND: It's a lot to manage, but also so carefree.

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls

ND: Equip yourself with a lot of information and patience before taking the actual step to big chopping or transitioning. Know that not everyone will understand your natural journey, but don’t let it get you down. Expect to grow as an individual. I had a no-nonsense, über confident and chic side  that emerged once all my hair was cut.

 

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!

ND: I am currently interning to get my (Marketing Management) diploma. I have blog where I am documenting my hair journey and sharing information with South African girls that is relevant to our market and I am also trying to put together information on a social learning platform to help newbie curly girls in South Africa. We do not have nearly as many hair products for curly hair, so providing information is my key focus. I would also like to start a curly community for other South African girls and I am collaborating with another young woman that will help me bring this to life.

If you are an American girl reading this and you are struggling with your hair, count your blessings! You have so many products available to you. Transitioning was very difficult for me because I wanted all the products that you have in the States...we don't have as many to choose from. So far Dr. Miracles Curl Care and Twisted Sista are the only complete curly hair product lines that are easily available to us. The rest are just hair sprays and curl activators. I am still on a quest to find great curly hair product lines in South Africa!

 

Want to know more about Nidia? You can find her on her blog or on Twitter.


Gloria's Curly HairNaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Gloria: My name is Gloria. I am thirty-one years old and the mother of a ten-year-old girl.

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

Gloria: I have always embraced my curls, but I only recently learned to enjoy them.

NC: What's your current routine?

Gloria: I wash my hair 3-4 times a week and I leave in the conditioner for as long as possible (usually twenty minutes). I like to switch up my products every now and then; I am currently using Herbal Essences Hydra-licious Shampoo and Conditioner.

NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

Gloria: Pretty simple...I wash and condition, then use L'Oreal Everstyle Free Curl Defining Gel and sometimes I add Suave Moroccan Argan Styling Gel. I always air dry my hair.

NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear?

Gloria: I like to leave my hair down and loose, but occasionally I'll wear it in a ponytail.

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

Gloria: One of my must-have products is a good conditioner (a favorite is Mixed Chicks leave-in, which is also a great curl definer). I also need a wide tooth comb.

Gloria's Curly Hair JourneyNC: What about your hairstylist?

Gloria: I don't really have one. I only go to the salon for trims, when necessary. 

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

Gloria: I put it in a loose bun or leave it down.

NC: What reaction did you get when you first decided to go natural? 

Gloria: I have always been natural, and the reactions are mixed. Some  love it, and others constantly ask why I don't give in and straighten it.

NC: Did you big chop or transition? For how long? 

Gloria: I did not big chop by choice! I was in need of a trim desperately but I had waited too long and the ends were very dry and damaged. The stylist went scissor happy and I almost ended up with a bob! It was a very disappointing situation. and the stylist went scissor happy so I almost ended up with a bob! It was a very disappointing situation.

NC: Did you ever have curly girl insecurities?

Gloria: The only insecurity I have is shared by many fellow curlies...frizz.

Gloria's Curly HairNC: What is the best thing about being curly?

Gloria: It looks beautiful, it is easy and quick and I cannot imagine my hair any other way! It makes me who I am. It is part of my personality.

NC: How does having curly hair impact your everyday life?

Gloria: I have had people come up to me and just touch my hair and I've had others ask if it is real! It is definitely a conversation starter. I love it!

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls

Gloria: Not only is curly hair amazing, but it is also time saving and you get the best of both worlds...you can alternate between straight and curly.

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects!

Gloria: I do not have any upcoming projects but I do love to write and read, so hopefully my dream of having my own book will happen! For now I am balancing work and being a mommy while trying out curly hair products until I find the ones that suit my needs.  



Total 3 results.

EClark6 Shares Her Secret to Natural Hair Growth

EClark6 explains why steam therapy is essential for natural hair growth.
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Avoid a Curly Haircut Disaster

This step will make or break your next curly haircut.
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Lush Henna Hair Dye Tutorial

Shannon from Curly Deviants shows us how she uses the Lush Caca Brun Henna to add luster to her 4c coils.
April 18, 2014 Read more »