Articles By curlynikki

WRITTEN BY DRWALKERWELLNESS VIA CURLYNIKKI.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUMETRAREED

I recently modified my hair care regimen and the results blew my mind. There was an incredible softness to my hair that I had never really experienced. My hair is not usually soft at all. So you understand my delight. And all from adding in one, relatively inexpensive product. And what was it?

Glycerin.

Given all of the rules, regulations and restrictions of natural hair care, if you’re one of those women who has been taught and believes that glycerin dries out your hair and makes it hard then you probably should stop reading this article. Or maybe you should continue – to discover that truth, that is.

If your hair is incredibly dry and brittle then you’ll definitely want to keep reading.

I’ll never really understand why anti-glycerin campaigns are common among some naturals. You’ll read the blogs and view the videos of some women who state that glycerin shouldn’t be used or to look for products that are glycerin free and all sorts of “interesting” information.

And while I completely understand that each person’s hair is different and requires specific types of ingredients and products to look and feel it’s best, all hair types have one specific requirement that is a foundational requirement to looking and feeling its best:

Moisture.

If you hair is not “moist” then it’s dry, brittle, breaking, flaking. You name it, your hair experiences it when it’s not properly hydrated.

Humectants

A key set of ingredients in getting your hair to be moisturized is to humectants.

Humectants are used in hair and skin care products to promote moisture retention. They have the wonderful ability to attract water from the atmosphere. Many different molecules have the ability to be effective humectants and how well they do this depends on how many water-loving sites they contain for hydrogen bonding with water molecules. The strength of this bonding between the humectants and water improves moisture retention by slowing down water loss due to evaporation. Because of their water-binding abilities, humectants are ideal for dry, thirsty hair. That was so nice, I’ll state it twice.

Because of their water-binding abilities, humectants are ideal for dry, thirsty hair.

Let’s go a bit deeper. You know I’m all about the “why” so you’ll develop an understanding of the principles I’m discussing.

Thermodynamics & Your Hair

Now for the scienc-y stuff so bear with me. This will only take a minute.

In Tonya McKays’ article The Effects of Relative Humidity on Hair and Humectants, she points out that the laws of thermodynamics have a daily influence on our hair.

Thermodynamics is the study of energy. Energy exists in many forms such as heat, light, chemical energy and electrical energy. Everything in nature is always trying to reach a state of equilibrium or point of balance. What this means is that molecules that are highly concentrated in one area will typically move to an area where they are less concentrated until the concentration is equal for both areas. This is called diffusion. Diffusion occurs in substances that are solids, liquids or gases. You can demonstrate diffusion easily yourself. Fill a glass with water and add a few drops of ink or dye to the water carefully. The colour will sink to the bottom initially because it’s denser than the water. However over time, if left undisturbed, the ink at the bottom of the glass will spread upwards from where it’s more concentrated (at the bottom) to where it’s less concentrated (at the top). Eventually all of the water in the glass will be the same shade. This is the point where there are no more differences in the concentration of molecules.

Why is this important? Because when it comes to hair, this same law of molecules trying to reach a state of equilibrium or balance applies. And the molecules we’re most concerned with are water molecules.

Humidity & Dry Hair

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Dry hair usually doesn’t contain a lot of water. When it’s exposed to a very humid environment the hair will eventually become saturated with water molecules as water moves from an area of higher concentration (the humid air), to an area of lower concentration (the hair). Textured hair is more susceptible to this because it is more porous than straight hair. On the one hand this is good. The hair is super moisturized. On the other hand once the hair is exposed to high humidity environments the cortex can swell causing cuticle scales on the hair shaft to lift contributing to what we experience as frizz.

So what happens in dry, cold conditions? Dry air typically contains little to no water vapor, or has a low relative humidity. Hair that is exposed to this type of air will tend to lose water and moisture to the atmosphere as water moves down its concentration gradient from more concentrated (the hair) to less concentrated (the air). The resulting hair is dry, brittle hair which can be prone to frizz, split ends and breaking.

Humectants can be a curly girl’s best friend or worst enemy depending on the situation so you need to know when and how to use them. The most important influence of how humectants will behave in your hair is the climate.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SUMETRAREED

Low Humidity vs. High Humidity

While the topic can be quite complicated it’s important to note that for the sake of hair care and the use of humectants, there are two main weather conditions: low humidity and high humidity.

Low humidity conditions are those such as cold, dry winter air. In this case, if you use products that contain a lot of humectants, there is not a lot of water in the air for the humectants to attract to the surface of your hair. What can occur is that the humectants in your products may prevent the evaporation of water from the hair into the air. Ultra-moisturized hair from humectant use ALONE in this type of climate isn’t going to happen. In fact there is a chance that humectants may remove moisture from the cortex of the hair into the air. Remember diffusion? Moisture will move from areas of high concentration (in this case the hair) to areas of lower concentration – the air! This can result in dry, icky feeling hair. Not cool! Don’t panic. Humectants are still necessary but you’ll need to add something extra to ensure your hair lock in moisture as long as possible and feels soft and moisturized. You’ll need to use an oil to seal.

With high humidity conditions such as warm or hot summer air, there can often be A LOT of moisture in the air. Some moisture is good; a lot of moisture – not so much. If your textured hair is dry, damaged and overly porous it can absorb a lot of water from the air. This can lead to swelling of the hair shaft, lifting of the cuticle, tangling and frizz. Combine this situation with a product that is high in humectants (especially glycerin) and you have a situation where a lot of water is attracted to the surface of the hair. This can lead to hair that always feels wet, takes forever to dry and is a sticky, tangled mess. In other words, cotton candy hair. Not hot at all! Again there is a way to tame the frizz.

You wanna get really anal and technical? Figure out the humidity using dew points

So how can you assess the humidity in the air? This is a complicated topic that’s difficult to wrap your head around if you’re not a meteorologist or physicist. However, you don’t have to be either one to get a basic understanding of how to determine how your hair will behave on a particular day. Something we can use is called the dew point. The science-y definition of dew point is the temperature below which the water vapor in a volume of humid air at a constant barometric pressure will condense into liquid water. Huh???

What you need to know is that the dew point is associated with relative humidity. The higher the dew point, the more moisture there is in the air. The lower the dew point, the less moisture in the air. To gauge how dew point makes you feel in general, dew points above 65 F (about 18 C) make it feel sticky and humid outside while dew points less than 65 F are more comfortable. The higher the dew point above 65 the stickier it will feel outside.

With respect to hair, knowing the dew point can really help you in managing your hair and style and determine whether or not you’ll use humectants, and if so, how much. You can check the dew point of your location on various weather channels and online. If you have the time.

Types of Humectants

Complicating things EVEN MORE: Types of humectants

There are several different types of humectants found in skin and hair care products.

A few examples include:

  • Glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Sorbitol
  • Sodium PCA
  • Sodium lactate
  • Panthenol
  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Fructose

What’s interesting about humectants is that each one has a different ability to bind to water. Glycerin, sodium PCA, sodium lactate and propylene glycol are humectants that have really strong water-binding capabilities while the other humectants have less.

I’ve used various humectants and my absolute favourite is glycerin. It’s available, relatively inexpensive and extremely effective.

Here are a few interesting facts about glycerin:

  1. It can hold onto water helping to increase the water levels in the hair
  2. Natural hair with glycerin can sustain higher levels of force before it breaks

At high levels it’s effective; however it can get pretty sticky. So it’s typically mixed with other ingredients and oils. However the bottom line is that it is an extremely effective moisturizer and can make a huge difference in your hair care regimen

How to Use Glycerin

So how do you use it? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t use straight glycerin. Mixing 1 part glycerin with 4 parts water is a good formula to start with. You’ll need to find that glycerin “sweet spot” (no pun intended) for your hair, so experiment!
  • If your hair feels soft after you use the glycerin it’s adequately moisturized or you’ve used too much glycerin. If it feels sticky then you’ve definitely used too much. Glycerin can be washed off easily with water so you can just apply a little water to your hair to remove the stickiness.
  • If you have a moisturizer that’s not quite cutting it the great news is that you don’t have to go out and buy another moisturizer with adequate levels of glycerin in it. Use what you have and look for one that’s more effective later. In the meantime, add a glycerin and water mixture to your hair care regimen and note the difference in the way your hair looks and feels.
So have you used glycerin? What’s your experience? Share!

This post was originally published on CurlyNikki.com

I don’t even know what to call this. But it happened – FOR REAL.

Background:

I’m married – 5+ years – to a wonderful husband and father. I’m pregnant – 5 months now – with my second child and I’m an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been natural – almost 1 year – and, although it took some time for me to feel this way, I LOVE my curls.

The Drama:

My husband works from home and has watched our 2-yr old daughter from birth (SN: She has curls too and he washes and styles her hair very well during the week). About a month ago, he sent me a text at work saying we needed to talk when I got home. So, I come from work on my lunch break like I normally do. We decided to leave the house to run some errands. In the car, I asked him what he wanted to talk about. Then he said the six words that literally threw me into an immediate emotional breakdown: “WE NEED TO SPLIT UP.” Huh? What? Where is this coming from? Instant flood of tears and hyperventilating.

He never wanted me to go natural. He doesn’t like “nappy” hair. He likes straight hair. He felt that I had totally ignored his feelings by going natural in the first place, but the fact that I’ve stayed natural, despite his disdain, is even worse. It doesn’t matter that everyone else around us likes my hair. He is my husband and his opinion should matter most. When he married me I had long, straight hair. He’s not attracted to me anymore because of my hair, and therefore he felt that the best solution was to split up, instead of being disgusted with the sight of me daily. But if I straighten my hair (it doesn’t have to be a relaxer), then everything will be ok and go back to normal. Blah, blah, blah. SN: Just the week before, his close friend’s wife chemically relaxed her hair after a year of being natural because she couldn’t stand the negative feedback from her husband.

Ok, ok, ok. He probably didn’t use those exact words. But I’m pregnant, so that’s what it sounded like. I emailed my boss from my phone and said I couldn’t come back to work for personal reasons. After running our errands, I dropped him and our daughter back off at the house and drove off to clear my mind. I won’t go into all the thoughts that led me to my next actions, but I will tell you what happened.

I LOVE THIS MAN. I CANNOT IMAGINE MY LIFE WITHOUT THIS MAN. I WILL NOT LOSE MY HUSBAND OVER HAIR. But I felt this was a deeper issue than hair, and I also felt that some information was missing from his little rant. So I went back home. I grabbed a pen and paper and went straight to our bedroom. I got in the bed under the covers and started writing. Right after I jotted down my last thought, he came in to check on me. He gave me a big hug, and waited for me to speak. Here’s what I wrote/said, and his answers.

-I have more going for me than the hair on my head. YES YOU DO.

-I’m beautiful, intelligent, stylish, in shape, a good mother, I bring home bacon just like you, and I cook it too. YES I AGREE.

-I’m pregnant with your child, how dare you bring this to me right now. I FELT LIKE YOU WERE IGNORING HOW I FELT ABOUT YOUR HAIR.

-My hair is beautiful and *I* LOVE it, no matter what anyone else says. I KNOW.

-Our daughter’s hair is beautiful, are you going to request that she straighten her hair? NO, HER HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL.

-Is your friend’s wife a better woman than I am because she relaxed her hair for her husband to make HIM happy, even though she will be unhappy? YES, I FEEL THAT WAY. BUT SHE IS NOT MY WIFE AND I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER WOMAN.

-Are you willing to give up our love, sex, family, home, future plans… all because of my hair?! NO, NEVER.

My response was: Then I cannot, WILL NOT get a chemical relaxer. So what is your REAL problem?

His response was: Well, it’s just that all the “different” styles you have been doing have been “nappy” styles. Can you please do some straight styles, and do them more often?

Of course! Why didn’t you say that in the first place boy?!

Ever since then, we’ve been back in love like usual. He touches my “nappy” hair and tells me I’m beautiful. And I still haven’t done a straight style yet, although I do plan to keep my promise – to prevent another childish rant.

Conclusion:

Turns out, he just did a really horrible job of expressing his feelings. And I did a really horrible job of acknowledging his feelings. We will not lose our love, our marriage, our life together… OVER HAIR.

Weigh in!

This article was originally published on CurlyNikki on October 25, 2011. However we feel the issues are still very much alive today. Have you experienced this in your relationship? How did you deal with it?


My name is Hennalice Silva, and I’m Cape Verdean (West Africa) but I was born and raised in the Netherlands. I’m 27 years old and graduated with a Bachelor of Law.

How long have you been natural? How you was embraced your curls?

My hair has always been like this, but that does not mean that I haven’t ruined it by pressing and dying my hair a lot! I haven’t dyed my hair for 2.5 years now. I don’t press my hair unless it’s my birthday or a special occasion where I need to be 'classier' and not enter the room like a lion, lol

Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?

Yes, I had to do the big chop! After I shaved one side of my head it grew back so healthy, I had to chop the other side. Since that day, I promised myself not to dye and press my hair anymore.

How would you describe your hair?

My hair can be really frizzy! I don’t have thick hair but I have a lot of volume! When I wash my hair and put it in a braid, you would never know that my hair can get so big and frizzy!

What do you love most about your hair?

What I like most is that I can have it big and curly when I want, but I can also have it straight when I like to. Also, the volume! Because I don’t have a lot of hair but the volume makes it look that way.



What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?!

Both, I think! I use to dye my hair a lot and my hair had no curls because of the pressing, so I couldn’t let my hair down with all the ugly ends. It took me a year before I could let my hair down. But, I was determined to get my hair back so that made it easy not to press it again!

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?

Everybody is in shock! They forgot that my hair was like this! Otherwise they were like; "That’s the girl we remember!” … Everybody is pretty happy that I made this choice!


What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?

Shampoo - I wash my hair once a week L’Oreal for curly hair (Evercurl Shampoo). I wash my hair upside down because I have this feeling that it creates more volume (I don’t know if it’s true, lol).

Condition - After I shampoo my hair two times, I condition (also L’Oreal) my hair and wash it out! After that I leave my hair in a towel for 15 minutes. This is because my hair doesn’t dry fast.

Leave-In - After I remove the towel, I put in leave-in conditioner that I buy in a local store for 1 euro, very cheap… but I have never had a better product! Also I can use the leave in conditioner that L’Oreal has for curly hair.

Dry - After this I just let it air dry. In a cold country such as the Netherlands, it’s best to let it dry in the house but when I’m in a warm country, I love to let it dry in the wind.

Nighttime - When I go to sleep, I sleep with a high ponytail and in the morning I just untie my hair and run my fingers through it.. I don’t put anything in it until I wash my hair again; otherwise, my curls stay hard and it won’t bounce naturally anymore.



What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTubers, or blogs?

I never knew there were so many blogs and websites about natural hair! But since I’ve gotten on a few, I have been watching some on Instagram and the internet. Let’s just say CurlyNikki is my favorite! Hahaha

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?

Just be happy with what you look like.

Some have straight hair, some curly, and others kinky. When I was a kid, people used to laugh at my frizzy/curly hair – now people love it! Don’t let people tell you what’s pretty and what’s not! Every hairstyle has its beauty!

Where can people find you for more information?

I don’t have a blog or a YouTube channel because I don’t have a lot to say about my hair but I do have Instagram: @h7_nnlc.

 

 

WRITTEN BY GLOBAL COUTURE, LLC VIA CURLYNIKKI

Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily.


WRITTEN BY THEMAINECAPTAIN VIA CURLYNIKKI 

I don't like to wear my hair out that often because I really don't feel like spending the extra time every morning styling my hair and then having to spend another 30 minutes to an hour putting it away at night. Although I have to admit that I do enjoy the variety of styles that I'm able to put my hair in when it's out.

If you have medium to long hair, you might be looking for easy ways to put your hair away at night. The hairstyles that I choose to wear to bed is often dependent on the style that I plan to wear the next morning, as well as the time that I'm willing to spend on my hair that night.

I've listed 10 different styles that our hair can be styled in for bed. As usual, you can either choose to wear a satin bonnet or scarf to protect the style or you could sleep on a satin pillow case instead.


Gaelle is a Belgian blogger from Brussels, she just started filming YouTube videos about her curly hair and so far we're loving them (if only to hear her gorgeous French!). Gaelle may not have loved her curls to begin with, taking cues from her family and society, but with time she has embraced natural and healthy haircare methods. Here's her story...

Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?

I’m a Big Chopper! One day I woke up and decided I really wanted to be natural. The thing is that I always had long hair before. And the transition was more a question of length. I didn’t like my hair so short so I started to wear curly extensions and wigs the first few months.

My boyfriend had also a big influence. I felt really loved for who I am and he gave me the confidence I needed to do it!

Had you always embraced your texture?

No, honestly I didn’t. Funny story but true, fantasizing was all I did on how my hair would look naturally. I imagined it would be a stunner like the hair of Noemie Lenoir. Well obviously the reality of the nature of my hair didn’t really look like that. The more I wanted my curls to be defined and frizz free the more I had to use toxic products, like gel and some other wicked blue liquid.

As years passed by, I actually studied exactly how to work my hair.  As I know my hair better these days I know exactly how to give it that "wow" look meanwhile doing it in the most natural and healthy methods. Before I wanted to look sober and now I want my hair “BIG.” Plus the queen of rock music, Tina Turner, once said “ The bigger your hair, the closer you are to God." I totally get what she means today.

How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?

There were two reactions from my friends and family. The bourgeoisie friends didn’t understand, and preferred me with straight hair. They thought that straight hair was more elegant and sophisticated. And I have to admit that I was thinking alike too.

It’s really strange but I think that the hair changes everything for an outfit. I know that today I can dress really simply yet be able to be stylish with my afro as it gives a lot of personality. But when I wanted to look classier and glamorous I thought that straight hair was more appropriate, but not anymore!

That’s the result of growing up in a world with really defined prototypes. But now I’m loving “the natural me” more and more. It’s a journey…

Describe your hair.

I have mid-length hair between 3C and 4A, they are porous, fine and dry but I love them.

I think that they are easier to manage now that they are longer. I’ve lost my curls on the front because when I do straight extensions I always leave my hair in the front and I straight if every day. In the back my hair natural curls grow just fine. However, the front curls after a period of time.

How do you maintain healthy length?

I try not to touch my hair to much besides when it is under water.

I hydrate them as much as I can, some oil every day. And I cut the ends every 2-3 months, not too much but just to get rid of the split ends.

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style?

Before I washed my hair once a week. It depends if I’m going out more that week, then I’d wash my hair more than once. I have tried all kind of shampoos and finally I realized that they are not really meant for my hair. Today I co-wash my hair with the Knot-out Conditioner, Au Naturale Dark and Lovely and I totally love it! It detangles my hair in two seconds and my curls are really well defined right after I rinsed it.

After that, to moisturize I put natural oils such as argan oil or shea butter that I heat up in the microwave before applying. To add the finishing touch, I spray shine my hair with products from fantasia, or I’ll use oil again, or the Sheen sealing nectar by Au Naturale Dark and Lovely.

I only recently discovered the Au natural products just one week ago and it satisfies me with the best wash-and-go ever! I guess it really depends on your hair because I read a few reviews where girls didn’t really have the same satisfactory as I did, but for now, I’m happy with it and I will continue using it.

I also do twist-outs when I want more definition to my hair. For that I add some Frizz Buster Fantasia gel and Keep it curly Texture My Way to my curls.  What all the products that I like have in common is that I really like the scents. It’s really fruity at the beginning but after that it leaves your hair smelling just right and doesn’t exaggerate on the tones.

Now, my little secret for deep conditioning my hair--Argan oil, Shea butter, olive oil and sometimes eggs that I mix with olive oil. Then I leave it for a few hours and of course rinse it all off after.

Watch: DIY Whipped Shea Butter for Skin + Hair


How do you maintain your hair at night?

Nothing special. I tried the pineapple technique but it reduced or made my front curls disappear.

What's the best thing about being curly?

It’s to embrace who you really are. To love you as you were made, even if there are not so many examples in the society. For example, I’m Haitian and Dutch but I grew up in the Netherlands and in Belgium where I had no example, no reference and no one the help me in my transition or to inspire me. It really helped me to assume myself completely. Difference is a chance!

Find more of Gaëlle online at vanrosen-theblog.com. You can also find her on Facebook.


WRITTEN BY CONFESSIONSOFABLOGVIXEN VIA CURLYNIKKI

@SamirahxGilly shows us how she achieves defined, big curls using using olive oil, whipped butter and the key to this all, homemade flaxseed gel.

Flaxseed hair gel is a natural, inexpensive hair product particularly suited for curly or wavy hair. It defines and moisturizes curly hair without creating stiffness or crunchiness. Many additional ingredients can be added to homemade flaxseed gel to customize it for the particular needs of your hair. The following process takes approximately 7 minutes.

Flaxseed gel lasts about two weeks refrigerated, or longer with added preservatives. It can be frozen for later use.

Ingredients

  • Flax seeds
  • H2o

Directions

  • Soak the flaxseeds overnight. This increases gel yield, increases ease of straining, and reduces cooking time.
  • Combine the flaxseeds and water in a pan over high heat, stirring occasionally
  • Stir gently and constantly when the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat to medium when the mixture’s consistency turns into a thin, foamy jelly.
  • When the seeds remain suspended in the jelly instead of sinking to the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat and drain the mixture through the strainer into the bowl. Note: Rinse the pot immediately, as cleaning it later will be difficult if you don’t do this.
  • Whisk the mixture to combine ingredients and break up any clumps. The gel should be about the consistency of egg whites.
  • Pour the mixture into the container. Your gel is ready to use. Store in the refrigerator for maximum shelf life.

(Courtesy of WikiHow)


BY MAKELA VIA CURLYNIKKI

I’ve had my head shaved for about three months now so I figured that was enough time to adjust to the new hairdo and get my thoughts straighten out. For my senior project at school, I decided to host a Locks of Love hair drive. I told my school that if I got 25 people to donate the minimum length of 8 inches, that I would shave my own head and donate my hair to people who can’t grow their own. Obviously, I did get enough people to cut their hair at my event because I currently have short hair.

Why Did I Shave My Head?

During my 8th grade year, I had the idea of shaving my head and donating it to Locks of Love, mainly because I didn’t like my hair at the time, and I wanted to give it to someone who would appreciate it more than I did. Back then though, I didn’t have the guts to actually do it, especially going into my freshmen year of high school, but that doesn’t mean the idea didn’t stick with me. Then I moved to another country part way into my senior year, and I wanted to make a statement/ difference at my new school. Hence, the idea of hosting a Locks of Love hair drive and getting people to take the plunge of shorter hair with me. I have always been defined by my hair, from comments on it or the texture of it, but that wasn’t the only thing I wanted people to see about me. That’s when I realized that hair doesn’t define who I am. I’m still going to be the same girl who loves to dance hip hop and read books back to back, with or without hair. I wanted to spread that message I learned around my school and into my community. It was also a dare to myself to prove that I was brave enough to shave my head, especially since it’s rare for girls to do that.

What Were People’s Reactions?

My family and friends fully supported me throughout the whole experience and helped me plan the event. Afterwards my haircut, I got a lot of amazing feedback from my teachers and random people who came up to me specifically to tell me that they loved my hair and the cause that I was supporting. I even had a guy, who was with a group of his buddies, come up to me in the cafeteria and very loudly tell me, “You look beautiful with your new hair! I have mad respect for you for shaving your head.” Of course, I got a lot of attention and looks because people wanted to see it. I guess to know that it really did happened and it wasn’t a practical joke. Outside of school, I was a bit scared to see how people would react to me because I didn’t want people to think I was a lesbian or that I was an actual sick person. But for the most part, I got the same reactions as I did at school, which was good feedback. Sometimes, I did notice that people stepped around me carefully so hopefully they didn’t think I actually had a hair losing disease. Even people from my old school in Germany that I have never talked to told my boyfriend how much they loved my new hairdo and how brave I was to do something like that, so I thought that was pretty awesome that I had an influence in two parts of the world.

My Feelings on My Hair Now

I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t miss my long hair because occasionally I do, but at the same time, I think of how much I helped the Locks of Love organization and people who can’t grow their own hair. Now, I absolutely love my short hair! I feel braver, stronger, smarter, more feminine, sexier, and more adventurous than I ever have with long hair. Plus in the mornings, I barely have to do anything with my hair besides using a brush and adding some oil and leave-in conditioner. To be honest, I think that shaving my head boosted my self-esteem to such higher levels because of the fact that I was able to do something I believed in, even though it’s unconventional. If you have the guts or even an inkling that you would want to shave your head or go shorter, then do it! What do you have to lose? It’s going to grow back anyways so why not have fun with your hair or give it to someone who actually needs it.

Thank you guys for reading! I hope that I answered most of the big questions in this post and have inspired you to do something daring in 2014 for yourself! Remember you only live once so make the most of it!



WRITTEN BY GLOBAL COUTURE, LLC VIA  CURLYNIKKI

Greetings, my name is Quisha from Fort Worth, Texas and I'm 33 years young!

How long have you been natural?

I've been natural for 3 years and 8 months.

What motivated you to go natural?

My mom was my motivation, she had been pressuring me (in a good way) to go natural but I still wasn't sure until I watched "Good Hair". At the end of the movie I was ready for a change. I transitioned for 6-7 months and in July 2010, I decided to big chop because I could no longer deal with two different textures.

How would you describe your hair?

My hair is very thick, curly, and coarse. Lioness aka "Lioness The Boss" does what she wants and for the most part, I let her.

What do you love most about your hair?

I love my curls! They are springy, bouncy and I just can't get enough, lol!!! 

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?

The most memorable moment would have to be during my transition phase experimenting with Kinky Curly products.  My hair was braided to the scalp on one side with rubber bands. Now the shampoo to this product reads- '...if your hair has any oils, take a pinch of baking soda, mix it with the shampoo, wash hair until it's squeaky clean. Well I followed the instructions, but by accident I left a rubber band in my hair; Lets just say rubber, baking soda, shampoo, and water dont mix. I had a perfect DREAD LOC! This journey has been easy at times and difficult at others, but I wouldn't change a thing. 

What are some of your favorite hairstyles?

While I was transitioning, ponytails and scarves were my go to hairstyles. I wasn't familiar with the natural hair community on YouTube until after my Big Chop, and that's when I fell in love with my curls .

Any memorable reactions from family or others?

One of my most memorable experiences took place in a Beauty Supply store, when an elderly woman asked me where I got my curly weave/wig from!

Me: Oh no ma'am this is my hair!
Elderly Woman : No baby, that's not your hair!
Me: Would you like to touch it ?
Elderly Woman: COME HERE.

Y'all, she was all up and through my head!

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)? 

SheaMoisture, Beautiful Textures, Eco Styler Gels, and Tresemme are some of my faves right now.  I keep my regimen simple- wash n go's, twist outs, and buns. I shampoo and pre-poo my hair once a month, and co-wash twice a week depending on the hairstyle. I also moisturize every other day and keep my ends sealed.
What are some of your favorite natural hair websites, YouTuber’s, or blogs?

I enjoy watching Teaundra on YouTube, AfricanExport and AfrikanHairGod.  Just to name a few.

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?

"Knowing the true nature of your natural hair teaches you to appreciate your roots/heritage, and it gives you a beautiful understanding of God's creation... The Black Woman.

 

Where can people find you for more information?

@EmpressKwi on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter


samantha coily hair

VIA  CURLYNIKKI

Were you a slow transitioner or a Big Chopper & why?

I have been natural all my life. Growing up my parents told me that I couldn't get a relaxer because they didn't want to pay for the upkeep it requires, so I had to go without one. As I got older I started to realize that I even though I had my own money to pay for one, I really didn't need one so I just stayed natural.

Had you always embraced your texture?

I did not always embrace my texture. It was difficult growing up and going to school with all the other girls who had relaxers. I was envious of the styles they wore. I was going through middle and high school in the early 90s and I remember wanting the finger waves and the French rolls that the girls used to wear back then. My parents used to let me get my hair pressed on special occasions, but it wasn't the same. I didn't start liking my hair texture until I got older and started to experiment with it more.


How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? How did they react to the new you? What was your response to them?

My family has always been supportive of my decision to stay natural. Growing up, I was surrounded by family members who were natural and I believe that played a big part in my decision to stay natural also. Friends on the other hand were a different story. A lot of my friends would say things like "you would look so much prettier if you had straight hair" or they would ask "you still don't have no perm yet?!" It annoyed me because I felt pressured at times to get a relaxer just so I could fit in and be like everyone else. My response to people now who ask me if I will ever get one is simply, "No... I don't feel that I need to get a perm, my hair is fine without one."

Describe your hair.

I believe that my hair falls in the medium category, meaning my strands are not thick and they aren't fine either. My hair looks thicker at times because of how it reacts in the humidity. It has a tendency to swell (I live in a very humid state). I get a lot of shrinkage when it is wet - almost 80%. The porosity of my hair is low but when my hair is well-moisturized it has a cottony feel and appearance to it. 

What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style?

I try to keep my hair routine simple. I wash my hair every two weeks with SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo (the gold bottle), and I condition with Infusium 23 Moisture Replenishing Conditioner.

If I need to do a deep condition I will use Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner. Then I will style my hair in two-strand twist, and wear those for about two weeks. I style and moisturize my hair with Qhemet Biologics products. I rotate between the Alma and Olive Heavy Cream and the Burdock Root Butter Cream depending on the weather.

I also use the Aethiopika Hair Butter as my sealer/pomade. Olive oil is what I like to use on my scalp if I am experiencing any dryness.

How do you maintain your hair at night?

Every other night I will spritz my hair with water, moisturize/seal and twist my hair up. Then I will put a satin scarf or a satin bonnet on. I don't like to sleep with loose hair because my hair tangles very easily.

How do you maintain healthy length?

Keeping my ends trimmed is very important in the health of my hair. I can see such a big difference in the health and appearance of my hair when I keep my ends trimmed when I should. Moisturizing properly and wearing styles that allow me to keep from doing my hair everyday helps keep it at a healthy length too. I believe my hair is at its best when I keep it sweet and simple :)

 

Find more of Samantha on Instagram @SDW8029


WRITTEN BY GLOBAL COUTURE, LLC VIA CURLYNIKKI

PHOTO: SANDRA ÅBERG MAKEUP ARTIST TINE CHRISTENSEN

 

My name is Faune Martin, I’m 18 years old and I live in Copenhagen, Denmark in Scandinavia. My heritage is half Danish and half American in which I’m also part Native American. Since I was a child I’ve mostly had my hair loose without tight up-do’s. I’ve cut it once where I was short haired (to the neck/ears or so) for approximately a year – it grows out quickly! Since then I only cut the ends to keep it healthy and fresh (and to define the natural curls). From time to time I straighten it just to try something different for a while, but I do it rarely – 3-4 times a year, not to damage it.

How long have you been natural? Have you always embraced your hair?

I’ve always been natural, no weave, extensions, perms or anything like that. I keep it as it is. When I went to the smaller grades in high school I remember being teased a lot, so I had it in a loose ponytail for a couple of years on a daily basis to get rid of the heat, but I never straightened it or stuffed it into a ball to make it seem smaller – just casually took it away from my face and gathered it so it wasn’t too much for the others to handle – needless to say an afro is rather unusual in Denmark! We have many of course, but the majority cannot relate to having an afro, and so they will react differently – some think it’s cool, others think it’s weird.

How would you describe your hair?

For the moment I haven’t been to a hairdresser in about a year (I really need to get my hair cut lol) but I kind of like it still – it’s fierce, big and wild.
But when I’ve cut it the curls are prettier looking, more gathered and defined, I like that as well.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER OLEKSANDR PSHENYCHNYY
STYLIST IRYNA PSHENYCHNA


What do you love most about your hair?

It’s a difficult question, and it’s actually way easier describing what I do not like about it...
I hate when the wind comes from behind. I leaves me practically blind. I don’t like that it’s always in my face, but I’ve gotten used to it though, but when it’s too much I put up a loose ponytail. I hate that it looks really messy really easy – I wash it almost every day to comb it and redefine the curls that after time look more and more frizzy.

 

Other than those things I love it – I love the different responses, good and bad, it’s definitely a conversation starter. I also work as a model and A LOT of photographers and Make-up artists think it’s totally cool to play with and we always get great pictures that are hard for others to remake (only partly because of the hair but it still has an effect).

 

Finally I just love it because it’s me – get me right, I was born the way I am, I’ve never had it any other way, so I don’t know what else I’m missing. To me, it’s pretty great having an afro despite of the minusses – but don’t we all want what we can’t have? at that point I’m happy that I can straighten it – I would say it’s easier getting authentic straight hair out of afro than making an authentic afro out of straight hair.

 

There’s a lot to do with an afro, you can style it any way you want with different up-do’s and braids (that can be hard to do on straight hair because it’s so smooth with no friction). AND then I can do ALL the styles for straight hair too when I’m having it that way!

 

PHOTO SOURCE INSTAGRAM

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!

It’s been a rollercoaster ride – there are always going to people who feel the need to put you down.
Your friends will tell you that those people are just jealous and that might be true, but it really couldn’t matter any less because their words can still be hurtful. But with time I’ve grown to be quite carefree and thick-skinned.
The rude comments go right by me. I know who I am, and how I feel about myself, and there are just as many, if not more (!) LOVELY comments I get on my way.
There’s a price to being different, but best embrace it, good and bad – I wouldn’t change myself or my appearence if I’m content with the way I am.

 

PICTURED: MISS J. ALEXANDER WITH FAUNE'S PHOTO 

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural?’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?

My family and friends love my hair – but mostly, they’re just used to it, it’s a part of who I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?

I really don’t do much with my hair – I don’t like spending too much time styling it because it’s not going to work in the long run. Best just be as you are.
I put in shampoo in the shower and lots of conditioner – then I comb it and wash out. Then I ALWAYS let it air-dry and if I feel like it (mostly winter) I put in some coconut butter. aaaand that’s it, there’s really not much to it.

 

PICTURED: FAUNE WITH HER SISTER

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?

Embrace your personal style – the key to healthy hair is letting it be and only putting in what it needs (moisture), as simple as that sounds.
Overdoing it will only break your natural curls.

Where can people find you for more information?

 

PHOTOGRAPHER ANJA EKSTROM
MAKE-UP ARTIST ANNAMIAH SILKE

Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram.


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