Articles By Tara Lisciandro-Hornich

Taking time to embrace your natural curls may also take some getting used to--however, with the right products, adapting to the true “Curly Girl” Method can be a lot easier.

Most Curly Girl products are those that don’t contain any harmful substances like sulfates (really, these aren’t good for anyone’s hair, they strip hair of natural, needed, oils). Silicones and most products ending in “-cone” (ie. dimethicone), are also not “CG” approved. There are a number of various types of silicones, but most only cause build up in the hair, and need to be removed with (guess?) Sulfates! Ugly cycle.

To avoid this vicious cycle and start treating your curls with love, follow the CG Method using some of the following product suggestions.

 MORE: Curly Girl: The NEW Handbook

happy girl with curly hair

First, ask yourself these 2 questions:

1. How do I react whenever somebody compliments my waves, curls, and coils?

A. “Oh, thanks” (but you don't believe them)

B. “Thanks” (followed by you walking away awkwardly, primping and messing with your hair)

C. “Thank you! I love them too!” (you continue the conversation with your head held high)

2. Do I search online and in magazines for every photo of a better style for your curls and waves?

A. True

B. False

What your answers may say about your Curl Confidence: 

#1 C- So think of just how many times someone has commented on how beautiful your hair is or how they would love the curls or waves that you already have. How many times have you simply just let the comment go, thinking it’s not true? Too many. The fact is that those comments are things to be proud of and not shrug off so quickly.

#2-Either way, a little research is always good. A little. Would you believe me if I said you don’t need to be online every hour on the hour searching for the newest style or the latest curl miracle you’ve been waiting for all along? Embrace your curls and waves NOW!

Feel the need to straighten your hair every so often to have “options”?  Need a ponytail for the beach? That’s fine. But straightening, on occasion, and ponytails to “rid” of the curls, ringlets and waves every day can do damage, in the long run, to your hair, scalp and even your self confidence. Yes, there are some great tools and products out there but have you really tried to accept your natural hair? It doesn’t have to be a lot of work, in fact, allowing your natural locks to show themselves can actually increase your self-confidence and reduce the amount of work and time you spend with your hair.


Try 14 Days of Curly Love!

If you’re ready to embrace what you have, try a two week trial. Start on a day when you can wash and style your hair “all natural.” Use your favorite curl gels, serums, sprays, leave-ins, etc. Check out the CurlTalk chat forum on for some good suggestions on your hair type or even home made stylers for your hair, to go even more natural. Yes, that's possible!

Think of it this as a two week diet for your hair. Try products that will be good to your hair. Look at labels, try avoiding products that have lots of “cones” - ie. dimethicone, etc. Try Shea Butter or Coconut-infused leave-ins and stylers. For looser waves and curls (type 2), try using less product or lighter versions. For tighter curls and coils (types 3 and 4) try cocktailing product.

If it’s been a while, you may want to get a new cut, or just a trim to get your hair back to healthy. Find a stylist that knows curls and texture. Ask him or her questions about how your curls and waves can better frame your face or fit your lifestyle. Here's our recommended list of curly salons that you can find in your area.

You may want to experiment with some new, or old (just be sure they’re not expired), products for a few days. Style your hair with a diffuser or let it dry on it’s own, yes, with no hairdryer. You may want to use a satin pillow case if you’re planning on going to bed with some damp curls and waves. A satin pillow case can help protect curl formation and prevent frizz.

Once you’re at your “natural best,” be sure to become aware of the comments you may start to receive. Don’t be so quick to brush them off. Embrace the kind words and take a look at just how good your locks look!

Take a look at the calendar, has it been more than two weeks? Maybe you can extend your two week trial to three? If , however, you’re finding the two week trial a bit of struggle, don’t give up! It’s only a few more days. Work with different products, give them a chance to adjust to your natural look. And, most importantly, don’t be so hard on yourself. Your curls and waves most likely look a lot better than you’re giving them credit for.

After your two weeks are up, evaluate how you did. Were you too hard on yourself and your hair? Did you listen to others and their comments? You may want to take some time to think about how your trial went and just how much better you feel about your hair, and yourself.



Why Cocoa?

Cocoa trees, it’s believed, first grew in South America, and today, cocoa trees can be found throughout the world. Like wine, cocoa varies on taste depending on where it comes from , therefore, you may just notice different flavors in certain favorite chocolates from time to time. And, take the time to appreciate that delicious cup of cocoa or chocolate bar because it takes about 300 to 600 cocoa beans to make just two pounds of chocolate!

So what about cocoa and curls? Cocoa butter is the substance that is obtained from cocoa beans, it’s a by-product of chocolate - and curlies know that cocoa butter is a must for cold weather, frizz and soft skin too!

What will you use cocoa butter for?

Deep Treatment

Use it as a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a week, depending on your hair type. You’ll notice how much softer and easier to manage your hair will become. Cocoa butter won’t weigh your hair down and it will help to moisturize your hair and scalp.

Cocoa Pre-Poo

You can also use it as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment.

Try it! Put some cocoa butter (found online or in health food stores) in a cup and melt it in your microwave until it’s a liquid. Apply the oil/liquid to your hair for about 15-20 minutes then shampoo.

Frizz Fighter

You can use cocoa butter as a pomade to help style your hair and keep frizz away as well. Just rub a small amount of cocoa butter in your palms, and smooth over your hair. You can mix a bit of coconut oil or an essential oil with it to give it a scent as well.

Color Gloss

For brunettes who want to add some sheen and a tint of color depth to their hair, a cocoa hair mask may be something to try out too:

Mix a cup of pure aloe gel, 1/2 cup of pure cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tablespoon of favorite conditioner (I like Suave Coconut).  Mix the ingredients in a bowl and you’re left with a great smelling chocolate treatment for brunettes.

If you haven't tried using natural ingredients on your hair, you may be missing out.

Aloe Vera has been used for centuries as a health and beauty aide and has proven, to curls and fragile hair, to be a real BFF.

Here are two easy recipes that you can make at home in either  small, or larger batches, depending on your hair’s needs (and length). If you make extra you can even store it in your fridge for later.

Moisturizing Detangler Spray

You can add or remove ingredients to suit your hair's needs.


  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 cup aloe vera juice
  • 1/2 tsp silk amino acids (binds keratin and strengthens)
  • 1 tsp panthenol (vit B5)  (moisturizer)
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (humectant)
  • 1 tsp guar gum (emulsifier, adds slip)
  • 7 drops rosemary oil (stimulates hair folicles)
  • 7 drops lemongrass oil (anti bacterial and adds fragrance)


  1. Add all items into a blender and mix well for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Empty into a jar to be stored in the fridge.
  3. Apply to hair as needed and notice the shine and definition of your curls!

Leave-In  Aloe Treat


  • 3 oz aloe vera juice
  • 2 oz coconut oil
  • 5 oz distilled water
  • 8 oz light CG conditioner (Suave, Deva, etc.)


  1. Mix all ingredients in a mister/spray bottle and apply to damp or wet hair.
  2. Allow the product to air dry for best results.

This conditioning treatment will give your curls definition and bounce.

Visit our Facebook page and show us your hair after your aloe vera experience.


Tara Lisciandro-Hornich is a Type 2/3 curly mom as well as healthy lifestyle advocate.

The nature of the child is an amazing one. Taking moments to truly be with your child, and spend quality, wholesome time together, can change your own outlook on parenting, and simple day to day tasks. Below are a few ideas and activities that you can share with your daughter. Remember, they can all be enjoyed together, as long as you are mindful as you do them.

Being mindful is simple, but not always easy. Being mindful simply put is staying in the present moment, being aware of what is taking place with all of your senses, and passing no judgement as you do so. Being mindful, while playing and being with your child, may just turn playtime, story time and “girl” time into something a little more, if you practice.

tara and daughter

Dearly curly daughter of mine,

I always want you to know that...

  • You are beautiful and strong, and your curls are a special part of your unique beauty. I may not use the terms “princess” or “fairy” a lot, but my daughter is reminded of her natural beauty and great strength daily.

When I help her out of a bath or shower, I teach her to become aware of how her curls just pop into place - with very little effort. I do have to add, of course, that they’re adorable and frame her little blue eyes to a “T”!

  • You can go anywhere, with a good hair cut. Early on, I settled for simply trim. Now that my daughter is a “big girl” - yes, 6 is “big,”  - we go to the same stylist, someone who is trained and skilled to work with curly hair. My daughter understands that her hair is important and needs attention and care, just like the rest of her, from a professional who understands.
  • You are not boring, or dry - and nor are your curls. Keep them clean and well nourished, just like your body. Feed and moisturize your curls, and your curls will thank you.

Ensuring that a good curl- regime is in place for my daughter has always been important. Taking time to teach her the simple things about caring for her curls isn’t just a valuable lesson, but can be a fun time too!

  • You will never stop learning -  keep an open mind. Read labels and learn from others. Listen and make good judgements - your hair, and body, will be appreciative.

Yes, even at six, my daughter can read basic ingriedients on labels. She also knows what is good for her curls, and what isn’t. It’s never too early to introduce young ones to good hair care products and routines. Reminding her that she should always be open to new ideas and opinions, is also important in the learning process as well.

  • Lastly, little curly one, always be true to you. Keep your style, change it up - do what makes you happy - always.

One of the things I remind my daughter is that the words of others aren’t hers - they’re simply just other words. I encourage her to make the most of her curls any time. So if she puts fifty barrettes in her hair - great. If she wants to add a head band and a few hair clips on it too - enjoy. If she chooses two different sized pony tails - love it! She’s free to be who she is and show off her true nature - always.

I love you always,


Dry air and heating systems can undo all of the good moisturizing and conditioning we do to our curls. How dare they!

Luckily, we have a few tricks up our sleeve to thwart the damaging effects of winter dryness. The first step is to know your curl type, the second step is to treat them accordingly!

Not only will this styling technique result in a good hair day, but stretching your curls allows them to hold moisture for longer amounts of time too.

The following routine can be used by curl types from looser Type 2A waves to tighter Type 3B ringlets - just switch up the products to suit your exact hair type.

The effort you put in during styling will be well worth your time spent for days to come!


Step 1

Comb through your wet hair in the shower and apply product to it while in the shower.

Add a product that emulsifies hair like a pudding or creme/lotion.

We like:

Use a little more than you normally would to wet hair. Try not to “mess” hair too much when applying the product - keep it as “flat” to your scalp as possible.

Step 2

Divide your wet hair (with product) into sections and begin to twist each section from top to ends.

At the end of each section (make them smaller for shorter hair and larger for longer hair), add a duckbill clip. If the clips don’t stay, try a smooth elastic to wrap at the end of each section instead.

Step 3

Allow your sections to air dry, or use a diffuser if you have less time.

Optional:If you choose not to use the clips, try diffusing your hair just a little (15-20%) then tying it back in a short ponytail or bun.  You can sleep with your hair tied up, if you need to, then let it down in the morning to find looser curls and waves.

Step 4

When your hair is dry , release the clips or bands from each section and gently shake each section with your hands/fingers. Style as usual. You’ll find you’ll have smoother, looser curls that you can wear for 2-3 days.
Optional: You can opt to add a light hair spray or pomade for added shine , or an extra day, when wearing your curls a bit looser.

We like: 






MORE: DIY Spray Mist for Second-Day Curls



‘Tis the season! And, as you prepare for a cold winter holiday, or a busy rush of friends and family or, even a relaxing vacation on the beach, chances are you’re time may be a bit limited. That’s why having a little “must have” kit for your curls can always be helpful. Picking out your favorite products may be a bit difficult, especially if you’re limited to just five. However, once you have your must haves kit together, you’ll see just how much time you can save.

Every curly varies in curl type, so finding the right product may take some experimenting at first. Here are a few suggestions to pick from for your top five:

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