Articles By Tara Lisciandro-Hornich

The winter season may be a great reason to give yourself the gift of silk and satin - well, to give your hair the gift of silk or satin.

Sleep Well

The benefits of using these materials for curly hair are numerous, and most curlies agree that they notice less to no breakage when they use a satin or silk pillowcase at night. Satin and silk pillowcases help to retain the much needed moisture in your hair.

With the winter months being very dry, your curls will need as much moisture as they can get. These pillowcase will also help if you have problems with tangles and knots. (PS they also make great gifts for young curly girls! sating pillowcases in hot pink, purple and bright green are sure to “wow” a young one, and keep her curls in shape too!).

If you’re someone who loves natural fibers, try a silk pillowcase instead of satin. Though the satin pillowcases may be less costly and easier to find, you may want to try one of each and see which one works best for you, and your hair.

Once you start using a satin or silk pillowcase, you will certainly notice the difference and may just get addicted to the way it feels not only on your hair, but your skin as well.

Tie it Up

And you don’t have to limit yourself to silk and satin in the bedroom - try some silk scarves this winter too. They can be a curl’s best friend in dry, cold winter weather. Silk and satin scarves come in endless patterns, colors and lengths - you’re sure to find a few that work for you. Use scarves to tie your hair up at night and secure with some metal clips; wear out to work, or protect your hair from cold winter winds. You can change to wearing the same scarf around your neck, or even as a belt, once you get to work or a festive holiday party.

Put a Lid On It

Silk and satin bonnets are also a great way to protect your hair at night. If you’re trying out twists, braids or other styles, using a silk or satin bonnet can help keep your hair soft, defined and well moisturized as you sleep.

Give your locks the gift of silk and satin this winter, you’re sure to notice a difference in just a short time, and your curls will thank you.

December 13th is National Cocoa Day! And what a perfect time of year to celebrate Cocoa. The warmth and delicious smells from hot cocoa are always a favorite around the holiday season.

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 two pounds of chocolate!

Cocoa & Your Curls

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? 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. 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.

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.

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 tblspn of favorite conditioner (Suave coconut is a good one to try).  Mix the ingredients in a bowl and you’re left with a great smelling treatment for brunettes.

There are also a number of products on the market that feature cocoa butter blends for your hair and skin. Darcy’s Botanicals, Cocoa Curl, Shea Moisture and  Dr. Bronner’s are just a few.

The cooler temperatures are upon us and you may be noticing some changes in your child’s skin, bodies and hair too.

The effects of cooler weather and less humidity are usually welcomed by curls, but, they too may take some time to transition into a new pattern. Arranging for a healthy bed time routine can make it easier for you, and your child, to keep after their curls.

Adjusting your bed time routine for the change in weather can be a challenge, but keeping up with it will, in the long run, make thing easier for you and your child.

As you create your routine, if your child is old enough, talk to them about why you’re making a routine, or making changes to an existing one. Let them be part of your conversation and planning.

Steps for good night (easy morning) curls:

  1. Clean your child’s hair up with a good cut or trim. Ask your stylist for suggestions if you need help with an easy to keep style for your child.

  2. Use a child-friendly shampoo and conditioner. Visit CurlMart for suggestions on natural, non-toxic products. Be sure not to “overwash” - you may only need to shampoo on every other night and continue to condition and add moisture to your child’s hair as you see needed.

  3. Detangle when your child is in the tub. Use a wide-tooth comb on their wet locks to make it easier and tear free. If your child is a little older, show them what to do as you work product into their hair and detangle.

  4. If you notice dry ends or scalp, try some leave in conditioner.  There may also be a favorite leave-in spray that can be easier to apply for younger ones.

  5. Once they’re out of the bath, add a favorite gel or styling product in moderation. Try a little less than you would normally use as there may be less humidity in the air and less need for heavier (or more) products.

  6. Like you may do with your own curls, you the “plopping” method with a wet towel to slightly dry their hair afterwards.

  7. You may want to wrap their hair in a silk scarf to sleep, or try a satin pillow case for them to sleep on at night - there are some great colors and patterns for kids - they’ll love having a “special hair” pillow case!

Have patience. Routines are periods of time where patience is well tested. See what works for you, and what doesn’t. But within just a few short weeks you’ll have a routine that works for you and your child.

Caring for little ones with curls can be quite a chore!

Their highly active play habits combined with their natural curls and kinks can make for some big tangles, at times. Luckily, with the right tools and know-how, these tangled situations can be easy to avoid, and easy to repair.

Throughout the year we remind ourselves of the many things for which we are grateful. For example, the support of our tight knit curly community! Then there are the products that have altered our curly hair journeys for the better. Those desert island products for which we are eternally grateful.

Here are the top eight curly and wavy hair products we found most curlies to be most grateful for year-round:

The month of October is normally filled with runs, walks and special events for Breast Cancer Awareness. The hair and beauty industries have also contributed annually by creating special programs, products and events to also bring awareness as well as the much needed funds for Breast Cancer research.

This fall season has come great colors ready for curls - cocoa brown,  ombre’ auburn and scarlett ruby red. They are not just beautiful, but stylish, and great transition colors for fall - and for curls.

The autumn season tends to  bring about some of the best inspirations for hair color due to their deep and elegant hues. NaturallyCurly's Evelyn (pictured) recently dyed her hair with Shea Moisture's Bright Auburn and Manic Panic's Purple Haze (you can watch her review here).

You may not be going purple, but whatever your flavor it’s easy to find a color that will work for your hair and skin tone with fall's rich palette.

Curly and wavy hair have the added benefit of being able to soak up color  and allow texture to serve as highlights for all types of color!

At Home

  • Don't shampoo - The natural oils in your hair and scalp can actually help to make for a better color process, so don't shampoo  for 2-3 days before you apply color. 
  • Use distilled water - Pour out about 1/3 of the developer and replace it with distilled water. Why? Milder formulas are better suited for curls and waves, the color sits better by processing at home color this way.
  • Condition your curls - When you’re ready, mix your color and apply. Once you have allowed your color to sit for 20-30 minutes, according to the directions, rinse and follow up with LOTS of conditioner. 
  • Maintain your color - In addition to adding color to your fall hair, you also have to double up on maintaining moisture for your curls and waves. It’s best to deep condition, or apply a home made hair masque, about 7-10 days after you color.

At the Salon

If you’re looking to change to a new shade or two, for the season, first take these steps into consideration:

  1. Visuals are best for color as they give you and your stylist an easy place to start and communicate with one another. Your "auburn" may be another woman's "copper."

  2. Consider adding high or low lights to your hair, discuss your options with your stylist and find out which one (or two!) colors may be right for you.

  3. Don’t forget you may need to have roots touched up every 4-7 weeks, depending on your growth and the color you’ve selected.

  4. Maintain your color by using healthy, color-care products at home.

Remove Gum Without Scissors (Or Tears)

My 6-year old daughter and I share many things: eye color, our love for kickboxing and full, Type 3a/b curls. Unfortunately, we also share a similar experience with chewing gum.

When I was seven , I recall sitting on the kitchen table in tears, and my mother cutting out curls with scissors. I went to school the next day with a few less curls, eyes swollen from crying, and a new, shorter hairstyle. So when my daughter came home with three bits of gum stuck in her hair, I wasn't about to let that happen to her! Thankfully there is an easier, less frightful way of removing the gum without the scissors, tears, or damage to your child's hair.

All you need is creamy peanut butter or a vegetable oil. Dr. Mirmani, of assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco says that "with peanut butter, the oils in the product make the chewing gum base stiffer and less sticky."

What You'll Need:

  • creamy peanut butter or vegetable oil, such as olive oil
  • an old wash cloth or toothbrush 


  1. Cover the gum completely with either peanut butter or oil.
  2. Very gently spread the oil with either your fingers, the wash cloth or a brush. 
  3. Let the oil (or peanut butter) sit in the hair for a few minutes. This allows the oils to work and the gum to loosen from the hair.
  4. Using the brush or cloth, gently move the gum out of the hair in downward strokes.
  5. Wash the hair as you normally would and style. 

Watch Step-by-Step

Chances are, your child will also have a few super “shiny” spots on their curls where the oil sat - not a bad thing for curls. In fact, olive oil treatments are a great “treat” for curls every so often.

My daughter didn’t love the smell, or the waiting time (10 minutes feels like a lifetime to a 1st grader) but it was over before she knew it. And when I explained the alternative to her she was back to her happy, giggling, curly self very quickly.

Curlies are picky about what we put in our here, so just imagine how careful we are when it comes to our curly kiddos! Luckily, today’s market offers a large selection of products for little ones that are natural, and kind to their locks. 

Here are a few natural products that are easy to find, and even easier to use. You may need to experiment with products at first to find what works best for your child, so buy the travel sizes first to test them out before you commit!

What's a Pre-poo?

A “pre-poo” is usually an oil treatment applied to hair prior to shampooing or conditioning. While most of these treatments can be oils of your choice, some women create other treatments from household pantry items.

Popular Pre-poos

Whichever treatment you decide to use for your hair type is, of course, what works for you. And though this may take some extra time, here are five good reasons as to why pre-pooing does wonders for your hair:

  1. Moisture

    Curls and waves are always in need of moisture - and a prepoo treatment is sure to give us added, extra moisture when applied. Seasonal stress on hair such as heat, humidity, wind, salt water, etc, can leave curls extra dry. Adding a prepoo treatment to hair helps to restore lost moisture.

  2. Avoiding “over clean” hair

    Though we all want our hair to be clean, sometimes, “squeaky” clean can be too much. Shampoos and other products can often strip the necessary oils that our curls need for shape, shine and definition -  prepoo treatments help restore those oils and protect hair follicles.

  3. Get the tangles out!

    When using a prepoo treatment, you can take care of detangling hair a lot easier than after it’s washed. Breakage occurs much more often with wet hair, than dry. Therefore, applying the prepoo treatment and allowing it to sit on your hair for 15-30 mins, will help detangle locks  and lessen breakage.

  4. Make the most of your conditioner

    We often use our favorite conditioners a bit too much. So much so that after time, they start to not have as great as an effect as they had some time ago - because they lack a place to “hang on to.” As your hair is stripped of oils, the conditioner you follow up with will simply be washed away before it leaves you any benefits. A prepoo treatment will allow your conditioner to find it’s place back in your regiment and treat your curls to more moisture.

  5. Say “ahhhh”...

    After a pre-poo treatment you should notice soft locks, shiny ones too. Your hair and scalp will be ever so grateful for helping restore some moisture and restorative oils that have been lacking. Making prepoo a part of your regular routine will show great improvements to your hair’s texture and sheen.

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