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Curly Nikki

A Walk Down Memory Lane…

By January 27th, 202126 Comments

Every few months, I look back over my pictures to assess progress and to foster happy feelings!! I recommend that each and every one of you incorporate this simple act into your own healthy hair routine! As a curly girl, progress can be hard to measure- pictures truly help you see just how far you’ve come. Unlike many, my goals are for fullness, not length (although with length comes volume).

A Walk Down Memory Lane...
A Walk Down Memory Lane...

Wash&Gos during my pre-henna days…late ’06 through Oct. 2007. The 2nd pic is after my first cassia experiment. Wash&Gos kept my fine strands from growing past my shoulders ๐Ÿ™ Those highlights fried my hair.

A Walk Down Memory Lane...
A Walk Down Memory Lane...
Twist-out and Wash&Go after several henna applications in late 2007. My hair began retaining more length thanks to the henna, and twist-outs, but the ends were still knotting, splitting, and breaking. My hair is thicker than in the pics from ’06, but not quite as big as I’d like ๐Ÿ™‚ After a 3 month bunning experiment, and discovering the Twist-n-Curl my growth took off.

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

A Walk Down Memory Lane...
Twist-n-Curl 2009- My ends aren’t perfect, but they’re better than they’ve ever been. Stretching the end of each curl w/out heat has aided in length retention, and I like the style! Henna has darkened my highlighted hair considerably- you can barely see the light parts anymore. However, if you see me in the sun, it looks as if I have an auburn rinse. I love my henna head!

Submit your Walking Down Memory Lane story…if applicable, be sure to illustrate how particular techniques or products have aided in length retention and/or overall health. As always, send submissions to


  • Mims says:

    Hey nik, I question in the most pleasant and honest mindstate, are you mixed? Because your hair texture is very different from MANY black females.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ur hairrrrrrrrrrr is just soo Lovely Nikki!!


  • dami says:

    hi nikki
    i ve noticed that your hair is naturally shinny and has a glowing feel to it an i love it. and me as a transtionioner i noticed that my hair has been very dry…i tried co-washing then putting olive oil and shea butter, deep conditiong, every thing but mky hair is still dry….any tips would be awesome.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki,

    You're hair is absolutely gorgeous. I have tried henna with indigo 5 times and have yet to experience the wonders of it. Could it be because I am not using 100% henna?



  • Anonymous says:

    How long have you been natural?

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! Glad I found your site. I have very fine hair. I am nine months post relaxer. I have about five inches of new growth and not ready to do a big chop. I am having so much trouble finding hairstyle. I did do a twist with a rollerset, it was beautiful but tended to knot on the ends, and dry out (even though I applied leave in conditioner and mango butter daily). I’m reluctant to try it again. Any, advice for wearing this style in a way that it doesn’t knot your ends or dry hair your hair.


  • Anonymous says:


    Nikki, you mentioned that the Wash-n-Go’s hindered your growth. Could you explain what that means? I am about half your length and about to try henna treatments. Do you discourage simply washing hair, adding moisturizer, and going? I’d love to know the recommended hairstyles for everyday.


  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki. Love your blog! I’m a daily reader, but first time commenting. I’m currently transitioning with plans for the BC in April (one year since relaxer). ITA with Libra08 and Tina about the dryness and lack of moisture and in my case, shedding. My hair seems to do better the more I wash but I don’t want to do it every day, try to keep it to 1-2x/wk. Any recommendations on daily moisturizers? Thanks for your great tips and inspiration…

  • Anonymous says:

    This post is so inspirational because as curlies, we tend to have a harder time at finding products and styles that work for our hair and turn to flat ironing when we are in despair. I love doing the twist-n-curl, but I’m at a loss as to how to moisturize in between. How and which products do you moisturize with? Thanks!

  • Tina Beanie says:

    I love the volume that the henna gives you, but most of all I love the SHINE! I am a HUGE shiny hair lover from waayy back! I’ve tried the Cassia twice from Mehandi. The first time was a dryness disaster! The second time added a quarter cup of olive oil to like three cups of product and didn’t leave on as long and it was better. I will give the henna a try once I big chop hopefully sometime in the summer.
    Now that I have a decent amount of new growth (3 1/2-4 inches), I am seeing my real hair texture, after having relaxers for years, and I’m wondering why I my Mom even started in with the relaxers. My hair could be easily that straight with a single flat iron pass. My biggest problem with my natural hair seems to be dryness. I have been falling into the wash everyday trap now. My natural hair dries out overnight and is hard in the morning. This is something I never had with relaxed hair. Any pointers on what I should do to help this (techniques, products, etc.) would be helpful. Thanks Curlies!

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @Camelia, definition was a difficult one for me. Just as my Twist-n-Curl takes 45 minutes to do, defining my curls for a wash&go took forever too. I did a play on the Shingling method (see Miss Jessies website). I literally did 10 or so sections- add product, finger rake, and the hair that got caught between my fingers would spring back into perfect ringlets. Aloe Vera Gel and Fantasia IC were my 'curl definers'. hope this helps!

    @Maria, thanks chica! You know you're my favorite curly friend!!! I've thought about the Indian powders…but it always takes me forever to jump on a bandwagon. I'm sure I'll hop on eventually!

    @Tia, girl, you tell me. I've always felt like a 4a, with 3c tendencies…I think SBB said that first.

    @Tasha, right!!! Everyday…it was driving me nuts! Second day hair was impossible, and even if it looked decent, it was HELL to detangle. Breakage city. Live and learn.

    @Anonymous, you're right…leave that heat alone as much as possible. Roller sets, twist-outs and the like are better alternatives. Please keep reading and share your Journey to Natural story!

  • Anonymous says:

    Curly Nikki, you keep me going. I’m leaving the heat alone for a while, b/c I think it is definitely affecting my hair doing it’s transition. I always enjoy reading your blog.

  • Unknown says:

    I agree that a wash-n-go everyday can hinder growth. Even though it may not be much, our scalp produces natural oils that you can be stripping your hair of each day. Plus, that’s just too much Everyday? Naaah.

  • Tia says:

    I like this post CurlyNikki! I can’t wait until I’m fully natural. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your hair type?

  • Maria says:

    Nikki I remember the 4th picture was around the time you started posting about henna on Your hair looks completely different now! Wow I love that last picture, it looks like something you’d see in a poster or commercial.
    I hope you venture out into other Indian powders since it seems to be working so well for you. I want to experiment with Jamila and dye my hair black. I’ll let you know if I do.

  • KrazyK says:

    I know the wash-and-go isn’t your preferred style, Nikki,but how on EARTH did you get your curls to define? I tried to follow Teri’s clumping technique and my hair will clump and spiral at the ends, but it won’t spiral any higher than about an inch. Any suggestions? ๐Ÿ™

    And, of course, you and your hair are beautiful! I’m so glad that I saw your posts on you and all the CG ladies have been nothing but amazing influences! thank you sooo much!

    krazyk on

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Ms. Nikki I was wondering if the Cassia is what you used to highlight your hair or were you just using it in place of henna to avoid coloring them? I am still on the fence about the cassia because my hair is naturally red like orangish gold in the summer and coppery bricks in the winter and I don’t want to alter my own color but I can’t help but be curious about the deep conditioning effects the henna family has, your hair is so shiny and that’s one thing my hair lacks probably somewhat due to the color I feel like the sun alone causes my hair to have heat damage, at times parts of my hair have turned blonde! So if you have any positive results or any other readers also experimented with Cassia please let me know.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the response! I learn something new about hair everyday that I visit the blog. When I retain a little more length I will definitely experiment with other hairstyles to keep it growing

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    @CurlyTrini, hi hair fam!!! Happy Nappy use to be my stuff! I may have to revisit ๐Ÿ™‚

    @tryn2figureitout, I can’t say for sure…I attribute it to several things:

    -frequent co-washing- in order to keep my hair looking good and fresh, I was re-doing it just about everyday! Every morning, I’d co-wash, apply leave-in and gel, and dry with a diffuser or air dry. Although frequent washings are good for some, it dried my hair out. I was shedding a lot too!
    -drying stylers such as gels, even the ones devoid of alcohols and cones were still not very nice to my delicate strands. During that time in my natural journey, I felt that I needed gel to survive!
    -My strands are baby fine. If I isolate a single strand between my thumb and forefinger, I can be barely feel it. Fine strands have a tendency to be very delicate and prone to knotting and splitting.
    -On days that I didn’t re-do my hair my ends would dry out instantly- I don’t think my ends enjoyed being dried in an ‘out’ style. Hay stack.
    -All of the above led me to believe that this style just wasn’t for me! And it only took me 2 years to figure it out!

    As I tell everyone, if your current routine is not yielding the desired results, change the products or techniques and re-assess in 3 weeks. You’ll be amazed! The Twist-n-Curl allows me to do my hair once or twice a week, moisturize easily in between, and avoid heat and stylers. It’s a win-win ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey Nikki, I was wondering why do you think the wash-n-gos hendered your hair growth? Anyhow your hair transformation looks great!

  • CurlyTrini says:

    Oh for the love of curls!!! Ok not only are we hair twins but we also have similar stories. I began my natural journey in 2006…and my hair seems to not really want to grow…GGGGRRR!!! I was just thinking a few weeks ago to go back to my flat iron because when my hair was straight I had hair long down my back…I miss that. But same as you I’m not really looking for so much length, more so volume, volume, and more volume. Nothing is sexier than big curly hair (well to me anyway)!!

    I’m going to stick to doing the twist and curl and bunning and continue to do search and destroys, along with henna and pray that God is gracious and gives me hair like yours. I’m not very patient but I know I need to learn some in this case.

    On a side note…I did a twist and curl last night with happy nappy and devacare and sealed with shea butter….I think I’ve found my holy grail!!! It is amazing…and I’m going to buy set it free tomorrow and see how that works as well!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok I just saw the tutorial, now I have a reason to go back to Sally’s and spend more money for some rollers and clips…lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    How do you do your twist-n-curl nikki? I think mine is too short but I want to give it a try if I can. I love your hair, you are definitely one of my hair idols.

    I am going to be hennaing for the first time when mine get here. I am nervous and I might have to many expectations but I want shine and definition. Not caring about color since I have blackish hair. I ordered the 2006 clearance of Jamila from black cat red cat.

    I am just coming into my own hair, I still have about an inch of perm to cut but I think before I henna, I’m going to cut off about 3 inches to have a fresh cut and start. I have tried the Lustrasilk Aloe Vera for leave in and I like it so far, only used it twice so far but I’m excited. I want to define my curls so I can do a wash and go but right now my signature style is a curly bush where I twist and knot out.

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Here’s a link to how I style my hair:

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    The texture difference is a result of my signature style- the Twist-n-Curl. When I was unable to maintain length, I contemplated going back to the flat iron…my hair seemed to actually grow longer when it was straighter. Instead of resorting to heat, I decided to do a twist-out with a curl on the end. The act of stretching the end, without heat, has prevented splits, single strand knots and breakage. As far as the color…at first, my brown hair became red, but now, pretty much all of my hair is a rich black indoors, and auburn outdoors.


  • Soude! says:

    I don’t know if you’ve answered this before, but whenever I look at your pictures I wonder about the texture difference between your ends and the rest of your hair. Do you do something different to your ends than the rest of your hair? Is it heat damage? I’m really curious.

    And envious. Henna makes your hair look awesome. I have fine hair too and at first I was “Henna? whatever!” because I don’t want to change my hair color (unless it makes it even blacker) but I really want the other benefits of henna.

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