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Curly Nikki

Left Behind…

By January 27th, 202132 Comments
Left Noni of Three Naturals

Today’s topic: Grease stains- why we thought we left this behind with the Jheri curl…

So the other day I was at a friend’s house and she was leaning on the wall by her doorway as I was prepping to leave. She stood up straight and looked at the wall to find a grease spot where her head had been…
She was like –

-‘was that me?’
– ‘Yes girl it was. And if it wasn’t you it was me or that other curly you had over.’

Translucent paper, greased up pillow cases, grease fogged windows. I mean, it’s not just me. Right?!

Back in the day, very long ago and very far away I had a *clears throat* jheri curl. Yes, you read that right. I was considering posting a photo of me with mine but who am I kidding? I’m still tryna locate and burn all photo evidence. -___- Now, while the manufacturers tried to tout it as a ‘carefree curl’, all of us who had one knew – Jheri was nowhere close to being carefree.

Jheri was like a dictator imposing a curfew. As a friend of mine joked, you couldn’t crash on anybody’s couch last minute cause you didn’t travel with your plastic shower cap and you didn’t wanna leave a mess on their couch…

For real, Jheri was like a strict church-going Big Momma who expected impeccable manners from her granbabies. I mean forget about relaxing your posture or resting your head back on a long car ride for fear of leaving behind your greasy ‘headprint’ on either the window or the seat..

Oh Jheri, lest we forget about the limitations to touching (or even coming in the vicinity of) a well doused coif and then trying to touch something else without the infamous hand wipe down… Straight up that wasn’t ‘carefree curl’ that was ‘cautious curl’. I know. I’m a survivor and I lived it. And hey, I’m not knocking the J-curl, but as Maya Angelou says: when you know better you do better. But I digress.

I’m noticing these days though, that with all these natural oils and moisturizing pomades and leave in conditioners I sometimes leave traces of greasy goodness behind… Looked at your headtie recently??? I wanna be memorable, make a lasting impression but not on the papers in my bag that have become see-through because they had an encounter with my silk scarf.

So, what to do? Ease up on the product application or just throw caution to the wind and who cares if I leave back a greasy imprint?


  • Hilary B. says:

    lol, this is one my biggest fears. I recently went to the orthodontist and when I left the chair, there was a wet spot on the headrest. I apologized and quickly wiped it off. so embarrassing :/

  • Stephanie-In-Transition! says:

    This is hilarious!! I never had a J-curl either but I definitely have had to play around with the amount of oils, etc I put in my hair. My hair is so dry though especially while I'm transitioning that my hair soaks up most of any amount of oil that I put in my hair. I also only oil my hair about 3-4 times a week.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was on set this Monday, shooting for a Indie film. The director decided the bed where my character was sleeping (don't worry, this film is PG!) didn't havbe enough pillows, so he tossed one of his own personals on there. It's a beautiful brocade pillow. Well, under those hot lights on set, the oil spriz I'd put on my hair that morning started to heat up, and you can guess what happened to that pillow! I felt so bad, but the director was like "Just keep going!"

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok – I almost peed myself @ Shelli 7:27 and cygnet 4:33! The shoulder wipeoff! Too funny!

  • Kinky-curly chica says:

    Ok ok I had to add this line when I saw the pic lol
    Just let your soul glow Just let it shine!!!

  • cygnet says:

    Some go natural in hope of a pretty curl. Others in hope of saving a pretty penny. One goes natural in hope of discovering mystical roots. Another, in need of recovery from dead ends. This one turns to natural as a means of stepping off the cookie-cutter assembly line of other relaxed heads that all look the same. That one jumps on the natural bandwagon because, let's face it, everybody's doing it. Whatever they are, we all have our reasons.

    One of mine was the hate side of the love-hate relationship I have with the Brown Bottle.

    I love the way it moisturizes like nobody's business, but I hate the build-up—yes, some of that stuff does build up despite claims to the contrary. I love that you can still find it most anywhere, but I hate that it gets everywhere! Thanks to God that it's water-soluble on fabrics, because it's tacky as all get-out on skin. And, most of all, while I don't mind the gentle touch or soothing stroke of a loved one's hand on my hair, I intensely dislike the blatantly surreptitious follow-up pat on the shoulder that I'm not supposed to recognize as a wipe-off.

    I went natural, in part, to find better products to put in my hair.

    What did I find? That I should pre-poo. With oil. Then I need to DC. With oil. Then I absolutely must moisturize. Thank God the moisturizer is water-based—no, wait: the third ingredient is oil. And I really ought to seal. Uh, yup: Gotta use oil! Ay, ay, ay!

    Well, I do manage most days to keep the oil slicks under very tight control. The really good news is that now nearly all the ingredients in the products are as beneficial for your hands as they are for my hair. So now, you can be kind to yourself and massage them into your own skin instead of being so rude as to wipe them off on me :-/!

  • Quaneasha says:

    I just use light oils like jojoba and grapeseed oil and I apply just enough to get the job done. I start with as little as possible because you can always add more but you can't take back what's already done (unless you wash of course)!

  • Anonymous says:

    @hairscapades — LOLOLOOOOOOOOL!!!!! "…so just didn't give them a card at all". Tooo funny. I'm on the floor cause it's so true.

  • hairscapades says:

    caramelcurls, the post is actually by Noni:). But, it did remind me of when Nik posted that pic of James Brown saying that her hair looked like that! LMBO!!

    I never had a JC, but I did have a Wave Nouveau, which my SO says ain't nuthin' but a Jheri Curl! *LOL* I don't really remember leaving grease stains then …. but I sure enough did when I used to mix gel and grease for my WnGs in the early 2000s (I went natural in '00). The grease stain on my headrest would start collecting dust!! HORRIBLE!!! LOL!!

    Anywho, I don't currently have to worry about grease stains or car seats too much as there a lot more options for keeping hair lightly moisturized and I tend to wear updos most of the time, so the hair that I'm sealing (my ends) are tucked away. Buuuuuut, I'm definitely guilty of putting an oiled up scarf in my purse or on my car seat (you know how we do) and having oil stained, see-through paper tell on me!! LOL!! That was sooo on point! I ruined the envelope for a card last month doing that and was too embarrassed to give it to the person, so just didn't give them a card at all!!


  • Anonymous says:

    Nikki–you are a trip girl! I literally laughed out loud when I saw the pic and read the article–it made me think of "Coming to America". lol!

    I have recently switched from using oils to seal my ends at night to butters for this very reason. I was tired of rubbing my hands through my hair and having my fingers covered in oil, whereas with butters that is not the case. Butters tend to absorb into my hair better, where as oils tend to just sit on top of my 4a/4b hair. With butters my hair feels very moisturized and fluffy, but never oily.

    Since doing this, I've noticed that I don't have any grease stains on my pillowcases anymore, and my satin bonnet isn't drenched. #winning

    Butters for life! 😉


  • luvmylocs says:

    when i was a loose natural it was always a challenge to moisturize enough but not so much that i left residue on things. now that i have sisterlocks. i use liquid moisturizers or plain water and the problem is solved. it's great! i know longer dream oily sheets or fingers. i don't cringe when my guy touches my hair, lol.

    btw, i had a curl on a couple of occassions as a kid. for all it's greasiness, my hair did grow but i'm glad i'm on a different plane now!

  • Anonymous says:

    ps. My mom let me go to a her friend's salon for a Jheri Curl. The lady unrolled the rods and made a comment that dashed all my dreams of shiny coileness.

    I may be the first person in HISTORY that a Jheri curl didn't take. I had virgin 4c and was so hyped about not having to press and curl anymore. *sigh*

    My hair just said, "yeah, right". I had to wear a fro moistened with Jheri curl juice. What a mess. Lucky my hair didn't fall out.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't know about you guys, but "oyo" makes my "hurr" feel "hord" and "drah".

    Hair scarf all greasy, pillow smelling rancid, hair hard as all get out. And don't try to refresh your hair with water when you have oil on your gel – instant flakes and gumballs.

    No thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    I use the kimmaytube leave-in & would have oil stains on my pillow & a shiny hand after touching my hair. It bothered me, but one day a light came on & I decided to reduce the castor oil in my conditioner to just 1 teaspoon, since it's the thickest oil in the conditioner. It worked like a charm. Now my hair is perfectly moisturized without extra oil sitting on top of my hair.

  • Jeannette says:

    I remember when I was a kid my hair stylist at that time was trying so hard to convince me to get a Jheri Curl. Although I never got one, sometimes I do experience the grease as if I have one now. I've learned to put less product and oil in my hair because I don't need to put so much, it's not necessary.

  • Anonymous says:

    The whole time I was reading this I was literally saying "mmm hmmm". LOL. I too am a survivor of the Jheri curl…and actually I'm a two-time survivor. How's that for ya? LOL. Never again LOL

  • Anonymous says:

    Funny post! Love the humor.

    I've learned how to moisturize instead of greasify. Lol!

    Regular deep conditioning, leave-in conditioners and the use of light oils (coconut, jojoba, kukuinut)help keep the hair moisturized and prevent grease stains. The use of heavy butters ( shea, etc) and heavier oils (olive, castor) are more likely to sit on the hair and result in 'greasification' rather than moisturization.

  • Anonymous says:

    Loved this post. That's why I like sheen not shine…smile.

  • Andrea says:

    I have eased up on my oil usage but I also started carrying my own pillowcase with me when I travel.

  • Anonymous says:

    I havent noticed any issues with oil stains. Then again I havent looked for them. I tried to be light with all my products to begin with, but I plan to pay more attention to see if I am leaving anything behind….

  • Abstract says:

    I don't have this problem as I only use oil about 2 or 3 times a week. Also, I try to only apply "refresher" oils and moisturizers in the morning becuase I don't really see the point of oiling my scarf and pillowcase 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Oh wow, I'm still trying to figure out how to alleviate this problem. My hair seems to absorb the oils (doesn't feel/look greasy) but my silk scarf and a few pillowcases say otherwise. I need to find a happy medium, considering all I use really is just oil and tea spritz. *Sigh*

  • Emmanuella says:

    I never have this problem even though I use oils in ny hair everyday. They're ligh ones like coconut oil.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Very funny but true! I am guilty of leaving oil stains. I did try to ease up on my usage. Instead of everyday, I "oil up" every other day.


  • Sonya says:

    LOL! "Peace and Hair Grease!" I'm greasy too. But since it's shea butter, coconut oil, and long list of other organic oils, I'm cool with it.

    When I wear my hair out, I have to wash my face in the middle of the day. My satin pillow case stays oily, and there's a spot on our wood head board with my greasy little head written all over it.

  • wisecurls says:

    Hilarious!! I'm with you Noni, I "rocked" the old J and survived. LOL. I have the same plight today with butters and oils, as I a am one heavy handed individual. So I'm throwing caution to the wind!

    This was tooooo funny!! *breaks out in song* Just let your soul glo, just let it shine through…Just let your souuuuuuul glo, baby. Looking oh so silky smooth….Soul Glo. *runs to watch Coming to America*.

  • CurlyInTheA says:

    LOL. This post was HILARIOUS, especially for those who lived through the Jherri Curl days (Didn't have one, but I sure wanted one!) and lived to tell about it.

    But, yeah, oils can be a mess. I'm heavy handed too and I have to use a light hand. You also have to be careful about the types of oils you use and allergies.

    Oils will tear your face up! Has anyone noticed that lots of naturals tend to have lots of pimples/blackheads?

    I especially notice it when you see relaxed vs. natural pics and the relaxed pics don't have a blemish on them. But the natural pics do. I know that when I start getting break outs, I cut back on oils and make sure I frequently wash my satin head cap.

  • Annabel says:

    Follow the drip, follow the drip! This post cracked me up! I too try to be light handed with my oils and use just enough to moisturize and not leave any traces behind. =)

  • Phyllis Roberts says:

    I thought it was just me lol. Last night I did a deep condition and ended with some evoo. I woke up and through my stain cap my pillow was all stained with oil. My husband died laughing.

  • CSI says:

    I remember those Jheri Curl days. Funny!!! I had one too but now is another day….I can't deal with that greasy look or feel. I've practiced with diff products in order not to have that problem and one day when I thought my hair was dry a woman in Target says, "what do you put in your hair to make it so shiny"….woohoo!!! I was happy since I thought otherwise.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very funny!! I had one myself and was always mortified by ANY grease stains left behind. I switched to a relaxer and guess what…MORE grease stains! My first few months of being natural I found grease stains on my pillow (although it was not as pronounced). Realizing that I was very heavy handed with my products, I've discovered that being as light handed as possible with oil products solves the problem. My hair loves oils (especially coconut) but only in moderate light amounts and guess what…NO grease stains.

  • Pecancurls says:

    OK, you had me cracking me up with all the visuals about Jheri. The picture of Mr. Soul Glow himself had me dying at my desk!!LOL!!! While I never had one, I knew plenty of folks back in the day who ruined many a couch with the slick. I try not to be as heavy handed with the more oily products that would leave a signature behind.

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