My Little Secret Is...

Let's keep it going!

Elisa Lewis writes:

This is a little game that I saw on another hair forum that I think would be a GREAT Question of the Day....

It's called, "Let's play a little game..."

Hi, I'm: Give your Username.
I love: List ONE of your favorite product lines.
My Splurge is: One product you buy that you know is expensive, but you love it.
My Cheap Fix is: That CHEAP (less than $10) product you love.
I don't get why ladies love: One product that ladies LOVE that just didn't work for you.
My Little Secret is: Name ONE product or ONE Technique/Method you love that people don't seem to rave about.
I want to try: This is for all you product junkies out there, ONE product.

**CN's Response**:

Hi, I'm: CurlyNikki
I love: CURLS Curl Souffle!
My Splurge is: anything I desire at the moment ;-)
My Cheap Fix is: Herbal Essence's Totally Twisted- the best detangling conditioner hands down!
I don't get why ladies love: Miss Jessies-- for the price, the ingredients leave much to be desired.
My Little Secret is: After styling (Twist-n-Curl), I sometimes tie a silk scarf around my head (with the twists and rollers dangling down underneath) to help the crown dry in a downward position. Works like a charm!
I want to try: Ayurvedic oils and herbs

What is a Bad Hair Day?

How we Talk About Our Own Hair

Rebellious, unmanageable, nappy, untamed, unkempt.
These are just some of the words I hear people use to describe their own hair, and it's usually not meant to be positive. This is what makes us look for so-called "miracle products" for our hair. I'm even talking about those of us who wear our hair naturally; I still don't think we have gotten rid of negative thinking about our hair. Some of us are wearing it out and proud but still talk about certain sections of our hair being "too unruly." I know some gave up relaxers and frequent flat iron use (me) because we were tired of fighting with our curls and coils. But then why are we still trying all these products and techniques in attempts to "fight" with our hair even more?

Don't get me wrong, I like playing in my hair on days when I'm not being lazy. I like finding out what it can do. But I stopped thinking about my hair as these unruly fibers sprouting from my head. Suddenly styling became easier and so did my product searches. I am NOT searching for a product to solve all of my hair problems because quite frankly, my hair isn't problematic. Having curls and coils isn't a disorder that needs to be "taken care of" or handled. Even though I have different patterns all over my head and it's in layers and I easily get single strand knots, I still don't think these are issues, but things about my hair I have to work with. Do you note the difference in wording? I said I had to work with my hair, not manage or tame it.

Obviously, the issue with naturally curly hair (particularly the afro-grade) is that information isn't mainstream enough for people to understand how their hair works. And let's face it, most products we love market themselves in ways to promise us to deal with these "problems." Look at the description of some (even ones that I have) that talk about using the product to have beautiful or manageable or better hair. If we want to fully accept our hair, I say that we stop using words (unconsciously) that make it so negative.

Weigh in!

Brown Babies with Pink Parents

Maria of writes:

Amy Ford is a new blogger on As conotated by the above title, Amy is white and her adopted children are black. Her contribution to Naturally Curly is to write about the things she learned to be able to properly care for her girls naturally curly hair.

I've been coming across many stories as of late, about white mothers with black adopted children who go through hell and high water in order to learn how to properly care for their daughters hair. There was the dad who learned how to braid his Ethiopian Daughter's hair. Not only was he a guy doing his daughter's hair, he was a white guy!

In my son's (overwhelming white) swim class, there was couple who had adopted a black daughter. On the last day of class in the locker room, I overheard her pointing out my "Thank God I'm Natural" tote to her 4 year old. I stopped so we could talk and she told me they are dedicated to the Youtube community for learning about how to take of the girl's hair. She asked me, a perfect stranger, about wrapping her child's hair at night. The mother stopped using scarves after waking to find the scarve slipped over her daughter's face in the night. I told her a cap or a satin pillow case would solve her problem. She was ever so grateful. Sherelle, the co-creator of Naturalistas, works in a child development center and mentioned to me about a little girl who is also adopted. The parents try very hard to enforce the beauty of the little girl's hair, but the girl insists that her hair needs to be straight like the other black women who also work at the facility. Sherelle, of course is natural. But at what point did the girl make this revelation I wonder?

More interestingly, I find, is the dedication of these mothers who love their children so much, and have no aim to change who they are genetically, that they are doing whatever it takes to make sure the girl's hair is taken care of properly. Maybe it is different with adoption? One could reason these parents may feel they have more to prove since the children are not biologically theirs irregardless of their skin color. But what about the whole Angelina and Zahara debacle? The brown masses of the US were demanding Angelina "do something" with Zahara's hair while others, including many naturals, thought her naturally curly afro was adorable and appropriate for a little girl. That Angelina and other mother's allow their little girls' natural hair to shine without submitting it to the heat of a hot comb or worse, to chemical relaxers so very early on in their precious lives is a beautiful thing.

My own mother, African-American, may not have gone out of her way to purchase numerous books and there were no Youtubes for her to watch, but she was very protective about my hair. It was always in braids. There were no free pony tails for me, no one, including my self was allowed to "play in" my hair and I slept with a scarf for as long as I can remember. Now, when I got to be 9, all that was undone with a relaxer, but I still wasn't allowed to touch my hair. Doing my hair was both tedious for my mother and loathed by me, but she had no qualms about taking the time and effort to do it. So what is it about many ( I said many, not most or all) young black mothers opting to take the easy route and slap the creamy crack on their babies heads?

I know, through my own witness, many heads roll when they see yet another white couple with black children. But it's just skin and it's just hair and obviously they are providing that child with love and care that the biological parents could and or did not. I say kudos to Amy for not only going the extra mile for her child but for sharing her journey publicly.

Weigh in!

When Are You Going to Relax Your Hair?

Didi of AdventuresofaKinkyCurly writes:

Reflections of a Natural Head...

When are you going to relax your hair?

This is a question I have heard frequently in the last month. I have been interning at a prominent law firm in Nigeria this summer and when people find out where I'm working, they are shocked that they allow me to rock my natural hair because it is seen as 'unprofessional'. Usually when someone asks me if I am going to relax my hair, I laugh and say that I prefer my hair this way. They normally look at me like I'm crazy and say that I should do something with it... do something to it. I have tried my best not to get offended, but after hearing negative comments from three people in one day, I was through!

I know that many Nigerian women prefer to wear weaves, wigs, and braids, but I'm not in that boat right now. Don't get me wrong, I think women can do whatever they want to their hair. Before my Big Chop, I was rocking weaves and braids regularly. Heck, if my scalp didn't severely scab up every time I applied a relaxer, I would probably still be hooked on the creamy crack! With that said, I get really annoyed and a little disappointed that I must defend my hair more in Africa than in America. A lot of the women I have run into do not embrace their natural hair and they try to make me feel uncomfortable about my own hair. Whenever they ask me why I don't do something with my hair, I always fight the urge to say, "Why don't you wear a weave that matches your hair texture or your hair color?" I never say that, but I don't understand why a woman wearing European hair is better than me wearing the hair that God gave me.

Not everyone is against my natural hair, many people actually like it, especially people my age or younger. They usually tell me I am brave to keep my hair natural. Often many girls tell me they have tried and failed to go natural because they don't have 'good hair' like mine. I try to explain that there is no such thing as good hair. All hair is different and what may work for one woman may not work for another. I just wish people in Nigeria, especially women, had a more positive image of natural hair.


Has anyone ever asked you, 'what are you gonna do with your hair?' or 'when are you gonna relax?' How did you respond... how would you respond in this situation?

Are Expensive Natural Hair Products Worth It?

Tonetta asks:

What is the most money you have spent on a hair product and was it worth it?

CN's Response: Most expensive product? That's a tough one... I've bought A LOT over the past 5 years. The most expensive tools have been the Ouidad Double Detangler (totally worth it), and Curlformers (ehh... I can take it or leave it). I consider that tiny jar of Aveda Defining Whip expensive ($20 for 4oz, I think), and it was definitely worth it! I've been using it for weeks, and have even used it twice without henna'ing before hand, and it smooths my hair like none other!

Trimming Natural Hair

Charrise asks:

What is the most effective way to trim?

-Describe your hair (coily, curly, wavy, fine, coarse, etc.)

- Do you 'Search and Destroy', clip the ends of twists, or
straighten to trim, or go to a salon?

-How often do you trim? How do you know when the time has come?

CN's Response:

- My hair is fine and wavy (mostly s curls with a few coils).

-I conduct Search and Destroys and on occasion, will clip the ends of my twists.

-It depends on the condition of my hair. If my curls are acting a donkey and tangling and snagging no matter what I do, I'll snip the ends of the twists prior to rolling them for a Twist-n-Curl (I do this a few times a year). Usually it's a micro trim (less than an inch), but sometimes I'll chop off more (like last December).

I conduct Search and Destroys whenever I happen to grab a curl and can see more than a split end or two without straining. I do this while sitting in front of the TV, or standing in the bathroom mirror... even while on the internet. The lighting in all three situations is perfect! After snipping a few, I become anal and my sessions can last more than an hour. I cut just above the split and apply moisturizer as I go. After I finish a S&D, I'm usually on my way to re-style, because it leaves me with a frizzy, undefined mess.

So yeah, I trim when detangling becomes more difficult than usual, and when I too easily run across split ends.

Also, I buy my hair shears from Target, Sallys, Walgreens, or Ulta. I never spend more than fifteen dollars and ONLY use them for my hair. I threw my shears away in early January because my preggy hormones were making me reach for them more often than usual. I'll probably buy another pair in August.

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