Q&A with CurlyNIkki
Dear Nikki: How do you sleep with all those curlers in your hair??!!! I did a Twist N Curl once, and while I favored the results, the curlers gave me a headache in the morning!! Please dish how you keep your head from hurting but your curls ever-so-tight!
A: LOL! It can definitely be uncomfortable at times, but I'm a "beauty hurts" person, so I deal with it. I usually make sure to roll the magnetic or rod rollers to my chin, or just below. That way, when I lay down on my side, I can flip the twists and rollers over the pillow so that I lay flat and comfortably. During the night, if any of the clips (at the roots) begin to hurt or dig into my scalp, I yank them out and throw them on the floor!
Dear Nikki: Whenever I do a Twist-n-Curl, the twists look great, but they look so dry. I am using the exact same products you use (Pantene R & N for the deep treatment, DevaCare One & Jessicurl WDT to set the twists.) Is there something else I am missing to make it look shiny (like yours! :)
A: Maybe she's born with it...maybe it's HENNA! My hair is naturally sheeny, and the henna has definitely enhanced this (along with rich conditioners). You're already using moisture-rich products, so you've got that covered, but sometimes, less is more. Every now and then, when I'm heavy-handed with products, I get a dull cast over my hair. Maybe your hair would fare better if you use DevaCare One (quarter-size amount for each half), and simply seal the ends with Shea? See how that treats you and report back!
Also, if henna's color scares you, check into cassia—you'll get the shine without the red.
Dear Nikki: When I comb through my wet hair, it is shoulder length but, when it dries, it shrinks to about ear-lobe length. What can I do/use to prevent some shrinkage?
A: Shrinkage comes with the territory of natural hair. Henna can help reduce shrinkage for short periods of time, but this isn't necessarily the case for every curly. If you're currently wash and going, try twisting, roller-setting, TnC'ing, or braiding your wet hair. Let it air dry completely, take it down, and fluff. Wet setting greatly reduces shrinkage.
I used to stretch my roots on occasion to achieve a fuller, longer look. This hair tip definitely works, but please use it sparingly. A blow fryer should not become a staple of your arsenal!
After my wash and go was fully dry (this is very important), I'd grab chunks of hair and blast the roots (with warm air) with a diffuser or air concentrator attachment. See step 8 of this Miss Jessie's Tutorial for a visual. I'd do this until most of the hair was stretched...taking about 5 minutes total. The end result was a bigger, fluffier curly fro that would last until humidity hit it, or it got wet.
Recently, I discovered that pulling your freshly set and dried hair up into a loose pony overnight, yields the same results as the blow dryer trick above...with much less stress and damage of course! This is my new bedtime routine...I either leave it out, or pull it into a high pony.
Dear CurlyNikki:How do you moisturize your hair without ruining your style?
A: This is a toughy, and I must admit that there are days that I choose beauty over moisture, lol. Not good. When I opt for bigger curls (magnetic rollers), it's much easier to apply shea butter or Deva Set it Free to the ends. But, when I want a shorter, fuller curly bob (rod rollers), I never want to disturb the little curls, so I usually leave them alone :( The key is to start with properly moisturized hair. Deep treat/condition with a moisturizing conditioner, rinse, and apply your rich leave-in, and be sure to seal the ends. Those steps are crucial, and make moisturizing on day 2, 3, or 4 less important.
When I choose to moisturize my ends, I use a product that clumps the curls (shea or Deva), rather than one that would weigh it down or frizz it out (water based moisturizer or oil based moisturizer).
Dear CurlyNikki: Do you tell us ALL your hair secrets?
A: Of course! Y'all know about every favorite product, every failed product, every successful styling attempt, every botched styling attempt... even my sex/bedtime routine (which has changed, by the way—no more bonnet!!!). I dish all because it's therapeutic for me, and benefits you gorgeous chicas!