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Curly Nikki

Lessons Learned 2010

By January 27th, 202128 Comments

Hola Chicas,

Okay… so I know it’s only the 6th, but I’ve already learned 5 valuable lessons this year:

1. Giovanni Direct applied alone as a leave-in, yields haystack results. Ms. Giovanni is not woman enough to moisturize these locks.

2. Innersense Curl Calm leaves my hair feeling like satin– applied both dry and wet. Unfortunately, it’s way too friggin’ expensive. I’ve got 4 samples left, and need to figure out how to make it stretch!
It’s one of those conditioners/curl creams that leave your hands feeling soft as well. I love that! Plus, it smells like oranges… real oranges. Yum.

3. Going more than 3 weeks without wetting my hair is dumb… tangle city. I was doing well… re-braiding every other night, sometimes nightly… spritzing with water here and there, and lubricating with shea. But then I got lazy, and bunned it for 4 days. HUGE mistake.

4. Bantu knots on my dry hair…umm, yeah, no. Maybe I made them too tight, but my hair was shrunken to my ears! I actually liked the cropped look, but the frizz was out of control. Next experiment… pin curls?

5. Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose… great deep treatment, horrible leave-in. Although my hair feels moisturized and strong, it’s flaky and dull. I’ll be re-washing (unfortunately) this Friday.

Here are some random images from last night’s styling session. I was preparing to (dry) braid a wash-n-go that I wore in a bun under a tam yesterday. Although my curls/waves are defined, there are a million white flakes the camera didn’t pick up. I was really feeling the hat… I’m going to pull a AfrikanLatina and rock one for a week ;-)

Shrinky hair

Lessons Learned 2010Lessons Learned 2010

Stretched out
Lessons Learned 2010
Finger combed throughLessons Learned 2010

Have your curls taught you anything recently?


  • Anonymous says:

    I need to practice my Portuguese and she gave some decent advice so I will translate erika's comments:

    "eu descobri que meu cabelo adora mel, azeite e oleo de coco juntos… também descobri que ele tem mesma definição se, apos lavar o cabelo, eu fizer twist nele todo sem necessidade de molhar novamentem, apenas usando creme e gel…"

    Translation: I've discovered thet my hair adores a mixture of honey, olive oil, and coconut oil…I also discovered that it has the same definition if, after I wash my hair, I twist it without necessarily wetting it again, just using creme and gel…

  • Anya says:

    I really like what you said about the Aubrey Organics… its soo true it is better to use it as a leave in. My curls have taught me to LEAVE my hair ALONE so that it can do its own thing. Washing every week and restyling is not keeping me moisturized – said my hair one day hehehehehe

  • Unknown says:

    Girl! You ain't neva lie about that dry bantu knot out. I tried it and the result was epic. hair. FAIL.

    Btw. Did some Googling and found that leave-in for a bit cheaper than on CurlMart…

  • BreakageInAtlanta says:

    Giovanni Direct gave me protein over load not once but twice. You would think I learned my lesson the first time but I really want to love it. I know now I was using way too much and not mixing it with SOMETHING/ANYTHING.

    I've had my eye on 50/50 for sometime but I'm kinda scared of another set back. Does any one know if the 50/50 can be used straight or is it best to mix it as well?

  • NaturallySweet09 says:

    To the ladies wondering what to use with Giovanni Direct, I use coconut or castor oil to seal and it works wonders! I've used Giovanni Direct since I BC'd 7 months ago and I've tried many things with it…..those two oils are the go to things! Hope that helps!

  • Unknown says:

    I found out my hair loves coconut oil, water, Oyin whipped shea butter for twists! But it can't stand being in twist longer than a about KnotCity. I was sick the entire holiday vacation so my coils deserves to be pampered starting this weekend with Aphogee Protein Treatment.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have found my hair loves Henna :-)My hair loves Giovanni leave in mixed with vegtable glycerine, jojoba, and olive oil. My hair loves coconut oil-makes my hair super soft. my hair loves shea butter but applied as sealant only not mixed with other products. my hair does not like 2-strand twist outs or braid outs but loves flat twist outs (my hair is special) and I love it.


  • Anonymous says:

    Anyone try Milkshake by Curlz? It is a leave-in coconut based product. My hair loves this product along with anything coconut! My hair loves coconut so much that sometimes I wonder what would happen if I found a really big one and just made a coconut helmet to wear for a week if I'd end up with hair like CurlyNick? Ahhh, a girl can fantasize. Anyway, has anyone used this product? If so, how did your hair like it?

  • BluTopaz says:

    Like LBell said, I am also learning that simple is best. I got rid of a decades (yep ten years) habit of getting extensions in December 2009. This past month I have been unable to keep my hands out of my hair, I can't believe how soft and spongy it is. And for the first time in my life my hair is long enough to put in a bun and look cute, and I'm even not horrified if the edges are a lil frizzy–When summer gets here I will have my soul glo afro in effect (even if just a 2 or 3 days a week).

  • LBell says:

    1. For my 4b/c hair, simple is still best…and I can go even simpler than I thought with my routine and styling and still have unlocked, "long-ish" hair.

    2. Coconut oil is still my BFF. I've been using it almost every night before bed and it does a great job of keeping my hair soft.

    3. Preventative ends care: I'm now going to dust every three months instead of trim every six.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mixed chicks is not for this chick!!

  • erika says:

    eu descobri que meu cabelo adora mel, azeite e oleo de coco juntos… também descobri que ele tem mesma definição se, apos lavar o cabelo, eu fizer twist nele todo sem necessidade de molhar novamentem, apenas usando creme e gel…

  • Butterfly73 says:

    Yes, I agree with you on Giovanni Direct – feels so good going in but like straw when it dries *straight face*…I have the super big pump bottle, since like April, its almost 3/4 full.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG!! I feel the EXACT same way about Giovanni Direct!! I want to love it because it's just so creamy and feels good going on, but after my hair dries, STRAIGHT haystack!! @CurlyNikki, I noticed that you said, "…applied alon…" Have you figured out what to pair it with in order to be able to use it? I was thinking about shea butter or an oil…does anyone else have any recommendations on what to pair the giovanni direct with? My PJism got the best of me, and I have TWO bottles that I would prefer not to throw away…I'm definitely going to give the 50/50 a try because I definitely need a creamy leave in….

  • Anonymous says:

    "1. Giovanni Direct applied alone as a leave-in, yields haystack results. Ms. Giovanni is not woman enough to moisturize these locks."

    I am SO glad I am not the only person who felt like this! 50/50 or Smooth as Silk worked MUCH better.

  • Unknown says:

    I have learned to keep it simple and that coconut oil is like deodorant–I better NOT leave home without it! It makes my curls POP, POP, POP!! I've also found that I cannot leave (regular) conditioner in my hair; my hair becomes an itchy, flaky mess!

    BTW, on facebook today, Carol's Daughter asked "Who will go natural this year?". Many sistas chimed in saying they are, or are already in transition (yay!). But, there were those who'd written that it was just too much work, or their hair was just too hard to handle, so they ran back to the perm. So…I gave my 2-cents and said to those who found it rough, to come check out to learn how to handle your hair and to see sistas doing AMAZING things with natural hair! I had to send that shoutout to CurlyNikki for the wonderful site and to all the curly women with amazing hair! Hopefully some will check it out and love this place as much as I do! (THE_RYL_1)

  • Anonymous says:

    I meant to write: I'll BEAT DOWN the PJ heifer…

  • Anonymous says:

    I've recently learned that the less stuff I put in or do to my hair the better. And that I can get great looking hair by only purchasing things available locally. I'm down to AOHR for co-washing and one weekly deep conditioning session (with a tsp of EVOO added). Unrefined shea for sealing/moisture-mostly at the ends. A bit of unrefined coconut oil for shine and added softness. Sleeping in two braids on a satin pillowcase. A little bit of Jane Carter Nourish & Shine (one container lasts forever for me) or unrefined coconut oil and a spritz of water for freshening up. Aztec clay mask and water for monthly clarifying. Cold water rinses to aid clumping and definition. That's it. And my hair has never looked better. But the PJ in me is still griping and wants to par-tay, "That's it? I'm bored! What's wrong you? Must do more stuff! Must use more stuff!" She had me believing if I wasn't doing or using a lot I wasn't really working my hair to its fullest potential. But I can't argue with the results of this approach so I think I'll the PJ heifer and chain her to hotwater tank in our basement. LOL

  • Curly Film Chick says:

    I've learned the less product I use in my hair it's best. If I can just use one moisturizing product and then a styler, (and an oil if I see fit) I am good to go and it saves on money. At the end of the week, no build up, weighed down, dead hair, and I can pay bills =]

  • A85 says:

    I learned about the whole not touching my hair for 3 weeks tryna get by with spritzing equals tangled matted mess last year lol…this year I have learned that my hair likes wave nouveau finishing lotion and my lovely hard to find tressemme thermal recovery conditioner.

  • Savannah says:

    The main thing that my hair has taught me so far is patience. Also that I need to listen to her to see what she likes. So far she loves water (daily if she can get it),olive oil (I can't wait to try coconut oil..super excited!) and occasional co-washing. I'm still on the look out for a good shampoo for monthly cleansing/clarifying and some new styles. I'm in the in between stage with my twa. I feel like I don't have that many options and time is def a factor. I'm thinking about getting braids for a few months so I can get some length but am still up in the air.

  • sweetdrk1 says:

    I haven't tried the direct leave in..but lawd knows I have learned not to leave the SAS in…my twists were so hard I could have snapped one off and used as a weapon. I have a huge bottle too! I will just use as a DC every once and a while.

    I have also learned 4 days is the max at this point with my roller set. I am going to attempt to pincurl them at night next go round.

    Keep it curly

  • Anonymous says:

    I need to accept that my hair loves glycerin. My has done very well with its first bentonite clay treatment, but I HAVE to DC afterwards. I also, need to learn to mix the stuff properly. Also, I need to find out how to use coconut milk because my hair seems to love it as well.

    I want to try the Giovanni Direct Leave-in but I can never catch the sale. Just bought the 50/50. I already have the Smooth as Silk and I love it for my Conditioner Only Method!

  • ChrLvsBks says:

    I have to figure out a way to keep the curls happy when in small twists. My hair took a while to rebound when I kept them in for 18 days. I will try a couple of more times using different leave ins, moisturizers and sealers, hope me the best.

  • Anonymous says:

    I still heart giovanni direct and it works good for me. But another lesson learned- AOHSR as a leave works only once :-(.
    My hair l.ov.e.s Mixed chicks leave in. And I will have to skip henna for cassia this year. As my hair is getting longer, the curl loosening effet of henna makes it ummm…nor straight but strechted too much, therefore it lacks volume. And I can not do twist-outs, braid outs and all other protective styles. I end up with limp, knotted hair with a tendency to break and snap. I will stick to my wash and go. Seriously.

  • Girl Friday says:

    This is going to sound strange but my hair hates braid outs! I can do the tnc just fine, but if I try to do it with braids? Completely undefined, drier, fragile looking hair. My hair has also taught me to not be so doggone lazy and it will take care of me. I can only get out what I put in!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am still trying to love giovanni direct…it definitely can't hang on its own…but 50/50 works amazing as a leave in.

  • b. says:

    Yes…I gave away my Giovanni Direct but I have a permanent home for 50/50 as a conditioner and *definitely* as a leave-in. A dab'll do ya!

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