September 24, 2014

Nikki Chantal Is Naturally Glam!


Tell me about yourself!
Hello hello fellow Naturalistas! My name is also Nikki ☺ I’ve been natural for 2 ½ years and loving it more and more each day.  I’m 26 years old and a Mommy of a 4 year old mini Naturalista. She’s my life. I’m currently living in Florida.  I recently graduated college with my LPN license, so I’m working as a nurse in hopes to go back for my RN next year.

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Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
I guess I’ve technically been natural for several years now. I just hid my natural texture by using the flat iron every day, and yes I mean EVERY day.  You can imagine the damage that came from it. My hair was pretty short at the time that I decided to go all the way natural, but my ends were fried and had no curl pattern. So, I transitioned for about a month so I would have a little length to my curls.  After that month, I went to the salon and had them cut off all of the damage. I was definitely relieved, but super nervous to reveal the look to others. My go to style was my fro-hawk. To get through the awkward stage of the beginning of the journey, I had to do twist outs practically every night.  My curls were so tight it would have just looked like a TWA otherwise.  I would watch natural hair videos on YouTube while spending 2 hours twisting each section.  It was definitely tiring, but the videos kept me inspired to stick with it.

Had you always embraced your texture?
I actually hadn’t embraced my natural texture until just recently. I attempted to go natural in high school but I lacked the confidence to rock it and found myself fighting the “poofiness” by going into the bathroom after every class period to drench my hair, trying to give it the “sexy” wet and wavy look.  Pretty pitiful.  Everyone around me relaxed and flat ironed their hair, and I eventually got tired of being teased and struggling with my hair so I followed suit and joined the crowd.  Needless to say it took a pretty big toll on my hair.


How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
Since I was a little girl my mom begged me to just work with my curly texture and let it grow out.  But I couldn’t handle being judged for being different, and she understood how difficult it was for me to fit in.  Fast forward, when I told my family I was trading in my flat iron for a blow dryer and pick, they all breathed a sigh of relief; partly because they wouldn’t have to smell the smell of burnt hair all throughout the house anymore lol.  (We’ve all been there).  But they all knew my hair needed a break.  So I got tons of support.  My brother and boyfriend seemed to be kinda taken back, as it seems a lot of guys are initially.  But I kinda just shrugged off their opinions and looked toward the future.

Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
My hair is actually pretty thin.  I just have A LOT of it.  So you would never know it unless I straightened my hair.


What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
The craziest thing I’ve done to my hair may actually not be that crazy.  I wanted something drastic after having my daughter, needed a new more mature look.  So I cut all of my hair off and had it styled like Rihanna.  It’s still one of my favorite hairstyles.  It just took a lot of maintenance, when I was expecting the opposite.

What’s your biggest hair related regret?
My biggest regret is allowing peer pressure to cause me to relax my hair.  It took many years for my hair to go back to normal.  I look back at pictures and realize I look sillier than I probably would have if I had just thrown my poofy hair into a ponytail.


What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
My current hair routine is pretty simple, for once. Lol.  I wash once a week. Sometimes I cowash with a conditioner once throughout that week.  Come wash day, I use Garnier Fructis “Fall Fight” shampoo and conditioner.  I wash once, condition, then rinse, then deep condition usually with Pantene (or whatever is nearby). I THOUROUGHLY comb out my hair, first with a wide tooth comb, then a small tooth comb. This is key to great curl definition.  The deep conditioner sits for about 30 minutes, then I rinse with cold water, to prevent frizz.  I honestly don’t use a lot of product. I find that it either makes my hair too soft to where I lose my curl definition or it makes it too crunchy.  But I realize I need to add some sort of moisture, so I use a little Mixed Chicks leave in conditioner, some sort of heat protectant cream, and occasionally I may add Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk.  I diffuse until it’s completely dry. Then, my BIGGEST tip, blow dry the roots to stretch them!  It makes a HUGE difference.  The pick has also become my best friend.  You’d be surprised at just how big and beautiful you can get your hair with such a simple item.


What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
My favorite hair style is my wash and go, left out and big enough to block the view of everyone standing behind me. ☺ I generally let the wind be my hair stylist. The perks of being natural. I’ve seen that as my hair gets longer, it takes on a different shape, so it never gets boring, to me anyways.  When I do decide to do something different with my hair I always find that the natural pages on Instagram have really cute and fun ideas for me to try out.


Who is your curl crush?
My curl crush will always be Jo Michelle (also known as LoveIslandBeauty from YouTube).  Her videos and pictures have single handedly gotten me through this natural journey.  She exudes such confidence and I admire that about her.  And she has a variety of hairstyles that are always on point!

How do you maintain your hair at night?
My hair is maintained like a lot of other naturalistas.  I throw it up on the top of my head using the pineapple method. I sleep with a satin pillow case to hold in my moisture and to avoid frizz.


How do you maintain healthy length?
To maintain my length, I actually trim a tiny bit off of each section of hair every time I wash. It helps with tangles and shedding.  I actually haven’t gotten my hair professionally done in 2 years, and it’s held up pretty well. It goes down to the end of my shoulder blades.  That’s the longest my hair has ever been!

What's the best thing about being natural?
The best thing about being natural… You get the most genuine compliments.  I get stopped on a daily basis by every race and gender, and it still has not gotten old. Guys went from using compliments like sexy, fine, and cute, to words such as gorgeous, stunning, and classy. I used to hate to be different.  Nowadays I find it so empowering to stand out from the crowd and embrace what’s naturally beautiful about you.


Where can folks find you on the web?
My goal is waist length hair, so I have a way to go on my natural journey.  Feel free to follow me by finding me on Facebook or Instagram.
Facebook: nicole.arnold.948
Instagram: nic0le_chantal

Be unique, Be confident, Be Natural!

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