Natural Hair: The Versatility, The Freedom

THROWBACK! So much versatility.  My natural journey started in 2009 and I haven't looked back since. I transitioned for 10 months and BC'd in 2010. I'm knocking on 5 years natural and loving my journey every step of the way (even the epic fails).

And Now - embracing my new hair cut and fresh start!

See more pics!>>>

From Big Chop to Hip Length with Jewellianna!- Natural Hair Growth

Jewellianna writes: 

Hi CurlyNikki community!

You may remember me from my glam idol feature!  I recently created a "4 Year Natural Hair Journey: Hip Length from Big Chop" video that I would like to share with you. 

Natural Hair Journey- From Big Chop to Waist Length

by Alicia James of

My oh my how things have changed...

I have been completely natural for over four and a half years and both my hair and regimen have gone through so many different changes.  I've changed too.


Tuesday Inspiration: 2 Years of Natural Hair Growth

Whoever Said Natural Hair Does Not Grow Fast…Lyed!!!!

I remember just two years ago, I was sitting in a salon chair about to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. I had decided the morning of May 15, 2011 to cut off all of my relaxed mid-back length hair to a short boy fade. Yes, I was one of those few bold ladies who didn’t see the point in transitioning… Just cut it & get it over with.

Read On>>>

Brittney Celebrates 3 Years of Natural Hair!

 Brittney writes:

**BLOWS CANDLES OUT** Happy anniversary to my beloved natural hair. How long has it been? Three glorious years. On June 26, 2009 I walked into the salon and had my hair chopped off. It wasn’t until April 2011 that I actually told my “big chop” story here on CurlyNikki, and now I’m back again to reflect and reminisce. Looking back, the journey has been nothing short of amazing. My hair is healthy and my afro is fierce.

Life gets hectic but I always make sure to find time to give my kinky curls the TLC it wants and needs. This summer is all about length retention and maintaining moisture. 

Current Regimen:
-ACV rinse every other month
-Co-wash approximately every 10 days.
-I leave an oil mix in overnight (much like a pre-poo). It makes my hair easier to detangle and it’s much softer
-Wash with Hello Hydration Conditioner
-Apply castor oil to wet hair
-Let it air dry some before applying my whipped shea butter and twisting.

I leave my hair in twists most of the time. I re-moisturize/re-twist once a week to prevent fuzzy twists. I apply a small amount of oil to my ends every day because it’s very important to protect them. I sleep in a satin bonnet on a satin pillowcase. If I need to get fancy, two stand twist bantu knot outs are my go to style. Since my hair is already in twists, I spray them with a mixture of water and aloe vera gel to give it a damp feel (curls are more defined when my hair is damp). I give myself about 15 knots and let it dry (usually overnight). I take them down, style and leave the house looking FIERCE!! 

Current Products:
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
Whipped shea butter (shea butter, EVOO, coconut oil)
Castor Oil
Aloe Versa gel/water mix
Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner

I keep things simple because I’m a very busy lady and I live on a college student budget. I love Curly Nikki and the natural hair community. Keep encouraging healthy and natural hair growth ladies!

I’m snap happy with the camera so be sure to follow me on Instagram (@musikizme) and on Tumblr (

Tina's On The Grow- Walking Down Memory Lane

Tina writes:

Hey Nikki,

 It has been 26 months since I Big Chopped (March 2010) and looking back it’s amazing how far I’ve come emotionally, physically and creatively. I decided to look back at my own journey and reflect on how amazing it has been! I love my hair … but even more I love the effect it has had on various aspects of my life – I’m more confident, I have a greater sense of ME, and I am ever branching out into being more creative (as far out as jewelry making now, lol). Wanted to share a few pics, my regimen and my gratitude for the wealth of information you and your readers give me everyday. Without the amazing natural hair community, my mane would not be where it is today!

My current regimen:
I pre-poo with mixed oils then co-wash my hair every 7-10days and always follow through with my homemade deep condition mix (fav conditioner, honey, coconut oil, essential tea tree), and rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV). Next I twist- rocking the twists a few days before I release it to 'twist-out'. Somewhere in between days 7-10 I wash and start over again. For hair treats, I henna every other month (If I’m not too lazy, lol), and do a Bentonite clay treatment once a month.

My nightly routine:
If in twists – I prep as seen in this video ( ). If I twist-out, I pineapple and twist the top or simply twist without the pineapple depending on the look I’m going for the next day. I’ll mist sparingly with water and a apply moisturizing butter as needed to replenish my strands with moisture.

Current Products:
Cleansing: Bentonite clay w/ ACV and aloe vera juice

Rinse Out Conditioners: Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, VO5 moisture milks
Deep Conditioners: Combination of Aussie Moist 3 minute conditioner, honey, coconut oil, essential tea tree oil

Leave in: Modified Kimmaytube mix

Sealants: Coconut oil, jojoba oil

Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie, homemade whipped shea butter mix

A girl on a tight budget, I keep my regimen and products very simple. While every now and then I might try something new I find I always come back to my basics outlined above. For more info on my journey please check out my youtube channel (where I also share quick, easy recipes) or my Facebook Hair Journey Album

Thanks for letting me share!

A Mighty Long Way- Nita's Stroll Down Memory Lane

Hi Nikki,

I was looking at some pictures recently of my hair journey and realized just how far I and my hair have come! I made the decision to go natural after finally coming to grips that the relaxers that I was getting every 6 weeks were severely breaking off my hair. When I started this journey, my hair in the nape of my head looked as though it had been fade cut, even though clippers had been nowhere near my head.

I started my transition in June 2010 and big chopped in December 2011. I transitioned with a full sew in weave so I wouldn't have to deal with the two textures. I stalked your website every day imagining the day that I would be able to try the fabulous styles I saw here. This March was 18 months post last relaxer! I am so thankful to finally have a head full (even in the back!) of healthy hair! I'm loving and enjoying this journey.

My current regimen:

Wash every 7 - 10 days with a sulfate free shampoo, finger detangle with a rinse out conditioner, apply a leave in, seal with an oil and apply a styler for twists for a twist out. I wear my hair out 2 weeks a month usually in a twist out and then 2 weeks in a protective style (either a bun or a style with Marley hair).

(Marley hair protective style)

My nightly routine:

If I'm wearing a twist out, I retwist my hair each night graduating to fewer and chunkier twists by the end of the week. I moisturize every 3rd day by spraying my hair with my aloe vera juice, glycerin & rose water mixture, and sealing with an oil. I always sleep with a satin bonnet.

Current Products:

Shampoos: Elasta QP Conditioning Creme Shampoo, Curls Curl Cleansing Creme
Rinse Out Conditioners: Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisturizing Conditioner, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration
Deep Conditioners: Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, Butters N Bars Original Conditioning Hair Masque
Leave In Conditioners: Giovanni Direct Moisture Leave In, Koils by Nature Moisturizing Shealoe Leave In
Sealants: Coconut Oil, Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade, Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair & Body Butter
Stylers: Koils by Nature Herbal Soothing Peppermint Gel, EcoStyler Gel
Moisturizer: Homemade Aloe Vera Juice, Vegetable Glycerin & Rose Water Mixture

After a year I am still a daily reader of your blog. I was so inspired by you sharing your story, that I started a blog to document not only my natural hair journey, but of all the other journeys that I embark on. I can be found at Thanks for all you do!

Big Chop!

Twist-out fro



Walking Down Memory Lane with Nadia E.

Hey Nikki,

It's Nadia! July 17th will mark 2 years since my Big Chop! Your site has been there with me the whole time and my hair has flourished! I'm so happy I made the decision to go natural and I can't wait to see what the future brings for Harriet and I. We're on our way to waist length baby! Thanks for all you do for the natural hair community!

My current regimen:

I wash my hair once a week. I detangle in small sections with conditioner. I apply my leave in conditioner and let my hair dry 75% in 8 large twists. Then I use my butter of choice and put my hair into mini twists. I'll wear those for a week or two and then wear a twist-out for a few days. Then repeat! Every two weeks I deep condition for an hour. I also moisturize daily with water and peppermint oil and seal paying special attention to my ends!

My nightly routine:

If my hair is feeling dry I'll moisturize and seal again before putting on a satin bonnet and going to bed!

My current products:

EO Essentials Rosemary and Mint Shampoo, Aussie Moist, Kinky Curly Knot Today, Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter, Afroveda Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter, Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque, coconut oil, and castor oil.

Big Chop July 17, 2009

December 2009

Twists in July 2010

Puff in December 2010

Twists in June 2011

Twist-out July 2011

CurlyNikki says:

Damn. *drops mic...walks off stage*

Christina - A Walk Down Memory Lane

I've Big Chopped about 3 times... most recently in October '09. The reason this time took was because I promised myself to see it through, and just let my hair grow as is. It's been a journey. Tears, frustrations, and head-wraps but I keep on keeping on. I figured, I made this decision and I owe it to the betterment (is that a word?) of my hair to do right by it. And my hair has rewarded me by growing beautifully, strong and so thick.

My current regimen: I have finally mastered Twist n curls (third attempt) so for now, I rock those. I also love wash n go's. And since I live in Sweden, I learned how to braid my own hair with extensions, so during this past winter, I rocked that as a protective style.

I shampoo my hair once a week, and I deep condition every second week. I like to oil my scalp and ends after my wash and then again during the week. This seems to work very well for my hair as well as just leaving it alone. I recently did a (Henna) Indigo treatment in April that I want to do every month.

My nightly routine: I sleep with a scarf. I bun my hair and just tie the scarf around my head. I really want to try a bonnet, but for now, the scarf seems to do the trick.

Current products: My staples are: Amla oil, Shea butter, Caster oil infusion (mine has many other oils in it), Jasmine hair oil, Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Avocado oil, and Aloe Vera Gel. I also like Garnier Fructis strengthening shampoo. On a recent trip I may have gone a little overboard with products, buying up a few products from Ausie, several from the Herbal Essence's line!

For more information about my journey please visit me at:

I gotta say, I love your blog, and the CurlyNikki fam! I come here on the daily! So yep, you got a follower in Sweden!!!!!!!!

Bald in '08

Shaved Head '09

2011 Wash & go and Twist-n-Curl

Stacey C.- A Trip Down Memory Lane

I big chopped on Feb. 10th 2010, so I'm one year strong! The picture above is a couple of days after my big chop. I haven't really experimented with various styles. I have stayed true to the two strand twist-out because I love the results. I just recently started re-twisting my hair every night before going to bed. I love how it stretches the hair out and aids in longevity of the style. Now I co-wash every week and a half rather than twice a week. My old routine consisted of wearing the silk cap to bed and refreshing my curly fro with Jane Carter's Leave-in Conditioner.

My current regimen:

Once a week:
-Co-wash (Burt Bees' or Giovanni's Conditioner)
-Deep condition (Jessicurl's Weekly Deep Treatment)
-Spray hair with Jane Carter's Leave-in Conditioner
-Two strand twists on wet hair with Jane Carter's Nourish and Shine
-Air dry overnight
-Release in the morning, shake, and go!

-Henna treatment (Jamila Summer Crop '09 or '10)

I get my ends trimmed every 3-4 months or whenever the knots get out of hand.

My nightly rountine: Like I stated earlier, I used to leave my hair out and just wear a satin cap to bed. I would wake up to smooshed hair and I would spray it with a leave-in conditioner and pull it out by the root while trying not to cause frizz. Now I re-twist my hair nightly and I continue to wear a silk cap.

Liz J. Celebrates 1 Year Natural!

I just celebrated my 1 year naturalversary on January 25th! The first picture is from the day I did my big chop, and of course the second is from today, only one year later! I rarely wear my hair stretched, but it's amazing to see the growth that I have, despite my shrinkage. Your site has been extremely helpful throughout this year.

My Current Regimen: In January, I let my beloved Wash-N-Go go for a month of twists and twistouts. So basically, I Washed, DCed and twisted it on Sundays, wore the twists until Wednesday, and wore the twistout until that next Sunday. But thankfully I'm back to my Wash-N-Go. Basically, I just wash or co-wash, put in some Kinky Curly Knot Today, Kinky Curly Curling Custard, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and let it be! My Wash-N-Go's normally last anywhere from 3-5 days. I just listen to my hair, and when it's ready to start over, I wash it again.

My Nightly routine: Well, last night I tried pineappling for the first time (I did a modified pineapple, with one on each side of my head since my hair is still short-ish) and I loved it! But ordinarily I just sleep as-is with a bonnet and that works, too.

Current Products: SheaMoisture Moisture Retention Shampoo, Trader Joe Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner, Giovanni Direct Leave in (for twists), SheaMoisture Curling Smoothie (for twists or a softer, fuller Wash-N-Go), and of course my holy grails: KCKT, KCCC, and EVOO.

Again, this site is a godsend! Thank you!

Check Out the Growth on This One!

Meet Gabbihealth... a lovely natural who felt it necessary to share her story with the CN community, since it was all of us that helped her along the way. Hopefully her amazing pics will inspire one of you!

I've reached my one year and 6 months anniversary December 21, 2010 and I'm so excited.

My Current Regimen: I hot oil* and shampoo my hair once a week. I deep condition (DC) twice a week. Every time I either wash or DC, I make sure to put my hair in either twists or plaits as a protective style. I rarely do twist-outs or braid-outs because my twists and braids are always mini so they look more like a style than a protective style.

My Nightly Routine: Because of the dry winter months, my hair requires a lot of moisture so either I moisturize it with my homemade water based leave-in**. Or I rinse it at nights. Either case, I follow it with either my Shea Butter mixture*** or my jojoba oil. The one I use, depends on the state of my hair. The Shea Butter mixture is for when my hair feels dry, and the Jojoba oil is for when my hair is at a perfect moisture balance. And of course I sleep with my bonnet on, lol.

Current Products: Shampoo: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo, Conditioner: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner, Detangler: flaxseed gel, hot oil* treatment or Afro Detangler, Leave-in: I haven't found a store bought leave-in conditioner that I like, so I use my homemade leave-in mixture, Styling products: Shea butter mixture and flax-seed gel, Sealant: Jojoba oil, shea butter mixture, Scalp Oil: Jojoba oil.

*Hot oil treatment: coconut oil + aloe vera juice + EVOO.
**Homemade leave-in: Water +aloe vera juice+ jojoba oil
*** Shea butter mixture; Shea butter + coconut oil + aloe vera juice + vitamin E + jojoba oil

For more information about my journey please visit me at:


TWA @ 2 months
Protective Styles @ 8-12 months
Puff @ 12 months

Walking Down Memory Lane with Maria

Maria writes:

I've been natural for seven years beginning with my last relaxer in 2003. I never transitioned "properly" and never gave any serious thought to whether or not my hair was natural. It just never occurred to me. I have been the BIGGEST fan of Denise Huxtable since I can remember and always wanted to pursue locs. So when my hair accidentally locked out of pure laziness of never taking down a set of two strand twists, I couldn't have been more thrilled. However, some girlfriends of mine convinced me that "we" did not do things like that to our hair and after six months, I allowed them to comb them out.

I had the most gorgeous curly Afro once I took those locs out, but because I knew no better, I hopped in the shower trying to wash it, no detangling, regular shampoo, and found myself in a knotted mess. I promptly walked myself to the nearest salon where the owner went to the back to get a lye relaxer. He claimed it was needed to get my hair "right." That was my last relaxer and I locked my hair again the following year.I found a very popular natural hair board to aid me in caring for my locs, but feared admitting most of my hair was relaxed. I didn't do my big chop until I was five months pregnant with Sun. It served a dual purpose, 1) to mark the beginning of my new life as a mother and 2) to finally free myself of my relaxed ends. Since then, I have locked my hair twice more, once resulting in a chop and the other in being combed out.

I think much of my back and forth with locs has to do with not knowing about how various products and at home ingredients can help my hair. Now, however, I've immersed myself in Natural Hair Culture, so much so that I am using it as the focal point of my master's thesis. My loose hair is here to stay, for now at least.


My Hair Journey

Walking Down Memory Lane with Antre

Hey Curly Nikki and soon to be cute baby girl!

Time sure does fly doesn’t it?! It seems like just yesterday that you announced you were prego! Anywho, in regards to my lovely mane, time really does fly! My one year anniversary (since I BC'd) was May 17, 2010 and I wanted to share some pics with you and the curly hair community. I can't believe that in just one year, my hair has surpassed the length that it was when my hair was 100% relaxed. Wowser.

I've recently received some emails from other ladies who are having some challenges with their hair during the summer months, transitioning, and most off all, patience! I thought submitting some photos of my journey might encourage others to stick it out, be patient and learn how to love and embrace their OWN hair! I also wanted to thank you for all of the Henna posts. I read them over and over and over again for about 2 months straight, until I finally decided to take the plunge and try it. Boy am I a happy girl that I did! I love Henna and have become very addicted to the process and the results! Can you believe I even love the smell! Hehe :) I have been Henna'ing once a week for the last several months and have noticed that my hair hardly sheds, is stronger than ever, is bigger than it used to be and I absolutely adore the red rent. I haven't experienced ANY loosening, nor has my texture changed. Truth be told, I was kind of hoping for my curls to loosen just a tad bit, but it seems like they are tighter and pop more than they ever did before! Ahhh well, we're never satisfied are we?! lol….Anywho, here are the two collages that I put together.

Thanks for doing what you do and for being so fabulous while doing it!

CurlsGalore is 1 Year Natural!

The gorgeous CurlsGarlore is celebrating her one year natural anniversary! Nina (as she affectionately refers to her curls), is all growed up! In need of some inspiration, check out her montage:

Walking Down Memory Lane with Mcgradylady

Mcgradylady has experienced some exceptional growth and enjoys lots of styling options! Check her out:

Hi Nikki,

I was one of your first transition to natural features a while back. I've hit my one year anniversary and I'm so excited. I wanted to share some pics with you. Also thank you for your awesome blog. Since I've started this journey, your blog has been a staple in my natural hair obsession, lol. You rock!!


My Current Regimen: I hot oil and DC every Sunday. Throw some plaits or twists in and I'm good to go, lol. I only do my hair during the week if I'm going out which is very rare, lol!

My Nightly Routine: If my hair isn't braided or twisted I put it up into a high pony and throw my bonnet on.

Current Products: Totally Twisted (detangling), The funny thing is it's been a year and I still haven't found a leave in or deep conditioner that I really like :-(. Castor Oil to seal in moisture (Thanks Nikki for that review. I'm loving Castor Oil). EVOO for hot oil treaments and scalp massages.

My BC (Feb '09)

Old Twist Out (April '09)

Old Wash and Go (May '09)

Puff (August '09)

Twist Out on dry hair (November '09)

Twist Out on Dry Hair (January '10)

Flat Ironed with my Maxiglide (heat level 8), I DC'ed then used Jane Carter Leave-In spray. I let it air dry overnight. Then I used Silk Elements Heat Protection spray and Kemi Oyl. (February '10)

MahoganyCurls Celebrates 1 Year!

MahoganyCurls is celebrating her 1 year natural anniversary and she is sharing her progress with the community! Ladies, I think we've lost our TWA guru... that ain't no TWA no more ;)


It has been a year since I went natural and I wanted to share my hair journey with the lovely ladies on this site! I love my natural hair! Going natural was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I would like to thank you and many others that gave me the inspiration to go ahead and do it. I hope I can have that impact on someone as well. Thank you!


oooop2- Walking Down Memory Lane

Hi Ladies,

Well the time has come for me to post my hair journey through 2008.

In January 2008, I really started developing my hair regime and joined a Super 3m challenge. This challenge really helped me to develop a routine and start learning about my hair.

Here is my hair in Jan 08:

Braided out flat-ironed hair

My standard twistouts

In March '08, I finally took the plunge into the Henna world. Initially I hated it. I couldn't figure out how to get all the grit out. But after getting more info, I can now say I've perfected the Henna application.

I looked so silly!!

In May '08, I placed my hair in my first set of mini-twist and loved them. I need to do this again. I also did my first official length check.

My mini-twist

May growth check

In June '08, I started the Twisting for Growth challenge. I did it for 3m and my hair really thrived.

Took a break from the twist and did a puff ponytail

In Sept '08, I did my other growth check and started to wear my hair in a wash and go style, and started to focus on a cowash challenge. I also started using a rosemary-sage spritz mix on my hair.

My growth early Sept

I also started to experiment with more afro styles:

In Sept-Dec. '08, I started to really tweak my regime. Started adding tea mixes and Vaseline to my regime. I even developed a natural homemade hair mask that has done wonders for my hair.
My hair with my homemade mask

On the go easy style

Twist on dry hair and Vaseline applied for extra sheen.

End of year growth Dec '08!!!!

For more information on this lovely curly, check out THIS LINK!

To submit your "Walking Down Memory Lane" story, email me at [email protected]

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