Nikki Mae is an icon in the natural community. Chances are you've learned something from her by seeing her natural hair journey from the BC to her luscious twist-outs (her staple style). Her blog NaturalChica.com features product reviews, interviews and the hottest natural hair meetups and events. Her mission is to educate, inspire and motivate her reader on their curly journey.  Check out her take on staying consistently positive and her advice about being authentically YOU!

Nikki Mae Natural Hair

1. How long have you been natural?
I did my big chop back in July 2009 which was around the same time I started blogging at NaturalChica.com and vlogging under the screen name Nikkimae2003 on YouTube. 

2. What's your daily hair routine?

I like to keep my hair "stretched" and moisturized during the week to prevent tangling. I usually style my hair in twistouts or braidouts and at night, I will spray my hair with a light leave-in followed by sealing my hair with a hair butter/cream and banding and/or retwisting my hair to keep it stretched.

3. What are your favorite products?

That's always a hard question for me! I feel like every year I come across several new brands that become faves. Some of the products that are in heavy rotation for me right now are Alikay Naturals lemongrass leave-in, Alikay Naturals Moisture Rich Hair Parfait, TGIN Moist Collection for Natural Hair, Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter, CURLS passionfruit control paste and CURLS curl souffle. For even more of my favorites, you can visit my "Mae's Faves" page on my site. 

Nikki Mae Natural Hair Guru

4. Do you ever get tired of curly hair?

I can't say that I have. This is the most fun I've ever had with my hair! Now I will say that there have been times when I didn't feel like putting in the work to do my hair, however, when I started looking at my wash/styling sessions as my own personal spa/ "me" time, I've started enjoying the process even more. 

5. You constantly encourage, inspire and motivate through your blog and social media. How do you stay so positive and consistent?

Once my platform started growing, I made a promise to myself to always be a source of positivity for my readers/viewers. There is so much negativity around us on a day-to-day basis and I really wanted to strive to provide a positive atmosphere whenever someone is interacting with me on my various social media platforms. When people write to me saying that something I've shared has been encouraging or an inspiration to them, I am truly humbled and it encourages me to keep sharing. It's the online community that helps keep me positive along with my strong support system of my family, my husband, close friends and most importantly, God.

6. When did you start blogging?

I started in the summer of 2009 which was around the time of my big chop. I started blogging late in my transitioning stage and 4 1/2 years later, I'm still enjoying sharing all things natural hair/body care. 

Nikki Mae

7. How did you become a successful blogger?

When I started blogging/vlogging, I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing or even the potential opportunities it could bring. I think that's what really helped me because I was solely focused on sharing my natural hair journey as far as what was working and wasn't working for me when it came to hair care. I was also fortunate to build friendships with other bloggers that I looked up to and definitely learned from them as I carved out my own path. It's a continuous learning experience and there are so many great resources online that have helped me along the way as well. 

8. What do you like most about blogging/vlogging?

I love the FREEDOM! It's an amazing feeling to be able to share your thoughts and experiences with basically the world! I also love the continuously growing network of people I've been able to come in contact with over the years. I know I've grown in so many areas because of the diverse group of people that the world of blogging has brought to me. 

9. What do you want to do beyond YouTube?

Right now I'm really focused on completing my Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering. That is my priority número uno right now, but I'm looking forward to doing some more traveling to host events in the U.S. and abroad centered on natural beauty/healthy living next year. I had an amazing opportunity to host an event in Trinidad this year for natural hair care and it really gave me the desire to travel more and interact on a one-on-one basis. Writing posts and uploading vids is great but I personally love being able to talk to people face-to-face. 

10. Do you have any advice for new natural hair bloggers?

As a new blogger, I would encourage you to stay true to your own unique voice. Don't get bogged down with keeping track of how many "followers" you have but focus on sharing what you're passionate about. There are many bloggers out there, but what will make you stand out is being the wonderful YOU that you are : ) There is room for everyone to have their voice heard.

11. Any upcoming projects/events you'd like to tell us about?

A few months ago, I reopened my site for Natural Chica shirts. I was fortunate to have worked with Andrea Pippins of Fly this year for an official logo design for the Natural Chica brand and I was too excited to be able to put them on shirts this year! You can check them out at http://naturalchica.bigcartel.com. Also, if you're in Atlanta, you're welcome to join me and Camille Rose Naturals for her Winter White Soiree. For more details and tickets, you can visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/camille-rose-naturals-winter-white-soiree-tickets-9124294009

Photos courtesy of DFinney Photography, Elvis Piedra Photography and KRJ Productions

You can connect with NikkiMae on YouTube, Natural Chica, and Instagram!

NEXT: Jouelzy, Natural Hair Guru