Current Product Rotation:
- Shampoo- Mehandi Shampoo Bar, or Giovanni Tea Tree
- Deep Conditioner– Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment or Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose
- Conditioners- Depending on how I feel, I use one, or a combo of the following to co-wash, detangle, and leave-in: Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine, Herbal Essence’s Totally Twisted or Hello Hydration, and DevaCare One Condition.
- Sealant– Afrikan Republic Unrefined Shea Butter from Butters-n-Bars.
- Henna – Bridal Art Quality Jamila from Mehndiskinart.com—choose Jamila 2008 or ’09, and use code ‘CN’ at the time of purchase. I buy the Jamila in the foil pouch only, not the cellophane. I also purchase henna from Butters-n-Bars.com.
- Extras– I sometimes use Oyin’s Shine and Define, or Deva’s Set it Free for extra hold, and shine. Deva SIF holds up well in humidity.
Hair Styles (listed in order of how often it is worn):
- Chunky Twist-n-Curl (looser waves, and easier to do!)
- High Bun– The same basic steps found in THIS VIDEO, but done on dry, previously twisted hair.
- I haven’t done a Bantu Knot-Out in a while due to the amount of time it takes to dry. I love the look, but hate sitting under the dryer!
To see pictures of my hair in the various styles, browse through My Hair.
On Sunday afternoon I do the following:
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- Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).
- Apply conditioner of the day to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Herbal Essence).
- Pass my head back under the shower stream for a second for better distribution and added slip.
- Clip the hair up and out of the way while I complete shower rituals.
- Take down the right side and finger detangle a bit — detangling the rest under the water stream after the big knots are out. Follow up with the left side. If the conditioner is washed away and tangles are left, I add more conditioner, and repeat. The power of the water stream and the slip of the conditioner should make detangling a breeze!
- Once all the tangles are melted away, and the Herbal Essence is rinsed clean, I apply a generous amount of DevaCare to my hair in 4 sections to ensure coverage. I then pass my head back under the shower stream for even distribution and get out of the shower. I use lots of DevaCare One Condition as my leave-in…enough that I see white bits while styling. But don’t worry, it dries clean and shiny!
- Make 10-12 twists- 5 or 6 on each side. Secure the roots with clips.
- Seal the ends with shea or Set it Free.
- Set the ends on rollers (rods, magnetic or flexis).
- Sleep under celing fan for faster drying time. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll sit under my bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes.
- The next morning, I take the twists down, and choose whether to leave it out, or pull it up into a high bun, or gather it into a low side bun. If I decide on a high bun, I use my hands only to secure the bun (combs and brushes will create frizz). To help the edges lay, I tie on a silk scarf for 30 minutes before leaving the house.
- My hair style lasts until the following Sunday. If I have weekend plans, I’ll often re-style on Thursday or Friday — so at the most, I style twice a week.
Once a month, on Thursday nights, I do the following:
- Shampoo, Condition, Detangle- I shampoo with a Mehandi bar, apply conditioner, detangle, and rinse thoroughly.
- Apply Henna for an overnight treatment (4 hour treatment with heat, if I’m in a rush).
- Deep Condition the next morning, and follow the steps above for styling.
Preserving the Style:
- To preserve my fluffy out-styles, I do THIS, or I sleep with my hair out on a satin pillow case, or up in a high, loose pony secured with a satin scrunchie. All three routines yeild excellent results.
- To preserve my high buns, I don a silk scarf every evening. By day three or four of my bun, I apply Shea Butter to any unruly edges prior to applying the scarf for the evening. Shea is a great pomade.
- To preserve the frizz-less low bun style, I take it out of the bun at night and secure it in a loose, higher bun on top of my head (with a satin scrunchie). I then don a satin scarf (to help the edges lay) and retire. The next morning, I take it down and pull it back down into a low bun
I tried the twist n curl…and got lots of compliments. I envy the shine and glow of your tresses Nikki! Is that due to the henna or the extras you use for hold. I am also interested in henna. From what I've read, it is used to color hair. What are the other benefits for hair? Can anyone speak on the benefits of Henna?
Curly Nikki, I so love your blog and you are a super cute gal.
I too love using the HE "hello hydration"
for daliy co-washing. Which one of the conditioners do you use as a "leave in?"
If any of the ladies on here want to comment about which conditioners they use as a leave-in
that would be great. I just wrote the Herbal Essence Company today to find out if they could possibly add a pump to a few of the bottles of conditioners, that would make it so much better, the bottle become so slippery when using them in the shower, so hopefully they will like the ideas.
Love & Peace yall:)
I LOVE YOU!!! Ok that was a bit over the top— but seriously, I am so excited to have found your site and even more excited that you have a technique that totally works for me hair. I have been natural for most of my life… then for my wedding, I was convinced to get a relaxer, it was beautiful that day, but ever since then it has been tragic. I have cut off nearly a foot of hair and now have been natural for over two years.
I have been searching for a way to where my hair natural for two years…and finally your twist and curl is it. You can check out the results on my blog… http://younghabeshafabulous.blogspot.com/2009/08/quest-for-curl-update.html.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! And God Bless you for being so honest and truthful, you are helping so many sisters out there.
Keep on keepin' on!
How often do you henna?
when you use the deva set it free do you spray it on while your hair is wet and then do your twist and curl or something different?
What do you mean when you say "seal the ends?"
I found your website from another natural on a day when I was about to give up on my curls and go back to the white crack :(…It has truly given me hope. It is so easy to navigate thru and I check it every day. I have purchased some products from the Oyin line. And I love the Honey Hemp and DS. I am currently deployed to the middle east and between the extreme weather conditions finding a moisturizer and conditioner that keeps the curls is essential. The DS is truly the best product I have ever used. I too a confessed PJ. Keep up the good work and thanks for helping me step away from the ledge. 🙂
Hi Nikki!! I was going through your henna routine and decided upon purchasing some, and guess what? I'm kinda a bargain shopper so instead of just buying it from the website you get it from, I put it in google and I found Jamila for 3.99!! And I also found it on ebay for 6.00 for summer '09 crop! Just thought to let you know!
Hello Nikki, I have started the process of transitioning. I am following your lead and have bought some of the products you use to start with. I think my hair texture is a 4a (not sure) but after reading all of the positive stories on your blog it has inspired me to take that step. I tried it about 4 years ago and I bought products from Treasured Locks to help me but did not have the forum you have here. Thank you so much. i will keep you updated. I started a Fotki pic album so that I can share my "hair' story.
I LOVE your site! I really appreciate all the insight you provide & I LOVE how you update EVERY SINGLE DAY, usually MULTIPLE TIMES!!! cuz i definitely check your site AT LEAST 2-3x a day when i get the chance!!!
Anyway, I was wondering if you've heard of something called the Zann Clip? (www.zannclip.com) It looks kinda cool & i've read a lot of positive reviews from it, but none from napturals!!! Obviously we would need the largest size clip for all the hair we have. . . maybe would you consider reviewing it sometime if you get the chance? I'll probably go ahead & buy one & let you know how it works!
Thanks for everything!
Do you notice that your hair is stronger with more frequent use of henna? I just started using henna and have only done it twice (about a month apart) but I swear it feels stronger already. I've been baggying at night and alternating between a high bun and a baggy bun 5 nights out of the week (for moisture and protection) and my hair is starting to look so much happier. I got highlights a little over a year ago and my hair has been pretty weak ever since. I'm trying to thicken my fine strands so if you think henna might do the trick, I'll place another order asap! BTW..I look forward to trying Garnier Sleek & Shine. The PJ in me loves you!
Anon, I'll definitely check it out!
simplycolette, I use the zizyphus or the cassia one. They should last for 12 washes — seeing as how I only use them once or twice a month, I should get a lot of use out of them. Unfortunately, the hubby is loving them and each bar lasts about 3 weeks (he uses it every friggin day!)
Shera, you know I have a serious case of PJism. I'm always moving on to the next best thing. I still like it, but haven't used it since I originally posted about it. Just because I stop using something doesn't mean I no longer endorse it…I just have a short attention span 🙂
Anon, I use a mix of cold wave perm rods and magnetics from the smallest size rods, up to 1/2 inch magnetic rollers.
Anon, glad to hear it! what products are you using?
Natakue, it's my pleasure 😀
thanks for writing this all out for us!
Nikki – thanks so much for all your tips and advice you have helped my hair so much – it's gone from a dried out bird's nest to sleek silky curls!!
What size rollers are you using now? Your curls look different. Great post! I love the simple regime!
What happened to the Lustrasilk Shea Butter and Mango?
Hey Nikki! u are truly my hair idol.. ur hair is goregous!!! I was wondering… which shampoo bar do u use… how long does one bar last you?
Looks great Nikki! You should also try Redken Detangling Leave In Cream. It works really great!
Sounds like a LOVELY Summer routine to me! :o)