It’s not official in the calendar yet, but ask anyone who lives up north and they’ll tell you – IT IS WINTER. Here in Chicago it’s cold, blustery, snowy and windy and did I already say cold?? I forgot. Cause it’s so COLD in the C!

I’m still new to the winter thing, so I need all the help and advice I can get. So when Curly Nikki and I decided to swap winter hair regimens, I was SUPER STOKED. Because besides being wonderful, warm, and supportive to her fellow natural hair bloggers – Nikki is also SO extremely knowledgeable about natural hair in ways which I am not. This is what she does during the winter to care for her natural hair! Take it away, Nikki!

Current Product Rotation:

* Shampoos- CURLS Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream, KeraCare Natural Textures Cleansing Cream, Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo

* Deep Conditioners- Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment , Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose, Myhoneychild Olive You, Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment.

* Rinse-out or Detangling Conditioners- Herbal Essence’s Totally Twisted or Hello Hydration, Yes To Carrots, Aussie Moist

* Leave-in Conditioners and Stylers- CURLS Whipped Cream, CURLS Curl Souffle, CURLS Milkshake, KeraCare Twist & Define Cream, KeraCare Natural Textures Leave-in.

* Sealant- Afrikan Republic Unrefined Shea Butter from Butters-n-Bars. I refresh and fluff my hair with Philip B Formula 57 Frizz Serum

* Henna – Bridal Art Quality Jamila from I buy the Jamila in the foil pouch only, not the cellophane.

Current Routine:

Every other Saturday (yes, twice a month) afternoon I do the following:

* Thoroughly saturate hair with water in the shower, and divide into two (left and right).

* Cleanse hair with shampoo– one side at a time.

* Apply conditioner of the day to both sides in a smooshing motion (usually Aussie).

* 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 with Ouidad Double Detangler 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!

* Hop out of the shower, allow hair to dry for 15 minutes… blot with microfiber towel.

* Make 8-10 twists- 4 or 5 on each side. **This step is to stretch the hair for the ‘real’ hairstyle**. You could also pull the hair into a bun, do cornrows, a roller-set, chunky plaits, or band. If you don’t have time to do a wet set to stretch your hair in preparation for a dry set, you can blow dry your hair on warm, concentrating on the roots, and skipping the ends. A twist or braid-out on blown out hair may not last very long, but you’ll definitely be rocking the Joan from Girlfriends look. I would reserve this style for special occasions. The blow dryer is definitely a frenemy.

* Seal the ends with shea.

* Allow to airdry overnight, using a bonnet dryer if you’re in a rush.

* The next morning (Sunday), take down the twists and finger detangle if necessary. Divide hair into two. I now prepare to twist my dry hair for a wavy effect.

* I do 10-11 twists total, 5 on each side (two in the back, one above my ear, one framing my face, and one immediately behind that one), and one at the crown.

* Start with the back- left side. Brush the hair out (this is optional… I use a Denman paddle, but a wide tooth comb or fingers should suffice), apply a teeny bit of CURLS Souffle (leaves no residue and adds lots of moisture and shine), and twist with wet hands. Set the end on a flexi rod , and move on to the next one.

* Complete all twists in the same manner– adding CURLS Souffle along the way.

* Once all the braids are damp and the ends are rolled, I tie on a satin scarf, leaving the braids dangling, but the crown secure to control the frizzies.

* On Monday morning, I carefully take down each twist and fluff.

Preserving the Style:

* I re-twist once or twice a week. Since the hair is somewhat straightened and already detangled, your fingers and a wide tooth comb (instead of brushing) should get the job done.

* On nights that I don’t re-twist, I pineapple (gather the hair at the crown and secure with a loose, satin scrunchy, and tie on a scarf), and sleep on a satin pillow case. I fluff the next morning with Philip B Formula 57 Serum.

I’ve been experimenting with this routine for a little over two months now. I like that I don’t have to wet my hair as often, and that it yields fluffy, HUGE hair on day one. It makes my hair look thick, healthy, and full of life.

** I will resume once per month henna’ing soon.
**I deep treat once a month.

Please visit to see MY winter hair routine. And you’ll see I have a LOT to learn! I am totally going to try Nikki’s routine out!


Dana G. says:
December 10, 2010, 2:54 pm
What is Curyl Nikki's henna routine. I want to try it!
Kat says:
December 10, 2010, 2:55 pm
Curly Nikki is great...she's the one that inspired me to experiment with henna and other natural plant dyes. Thanks for the tips!
Denise says:
December 10, 2010, 7:14 pm
I love how two of my favorite natural hair gurus swapped routines. I will be trying both or variations of them:)
Natasha says:
December 10, 2010, 9:40 pm
Natural hair frenemies :lol: I'll have to steal that one! I've been doing the pineapple on my locs based on CN's mention of it. My 2-month old satin pillowcase and I are quite happy with the results: less morning maintenance. That said, I'm taking myself off the "Product Junkie" roster cuz even with my shampoo rotation, I can't keep up with Nikki :-) It takes dedication to find products that will be "just right" for your particular hair though so it's great to see that she stuck through it!
Stephanie says:
December 11, 2010, 1:10 am
The routine sounds very nourishing but complex, what r vthe most important steps and which steps could possibly be eliminated
Curly Nikki says:
December 11, 2010, 5:04 am
Thanks ladies!!!! Natasha, sorry in advance, but my PJism can be quite contagious ;) I'm on a down swing though... loving CURLS! Stephanie, it's probably easier than it sounds. Basically, I only wash/condition twice a month. I wet set my hair to stretch it out and then rock a dry twist out the rest of the time.
Digital Coyote says:
December 13, 2010, 5:41 pm
This is going to sound stupid...but can someone who is stretching a relaxer use any of these techniques? I go to school in the mountains and not yet in a position (educationally) to make the big chop. While I've figured out how to keep my hair happy in the temperate Bay Area or the extreme Vegas desert, snowy winter conditions still elude me.
Hamptonsfnst says:
December 13, 2010, 7:17 pm
You can head over to for more details and video demonstrations of her and other fellow naturals' henna and general care routines.
Hamptonsfnst says:
December 13, 2010, 7:22 pm
Those are all great products to try Digital Coyote but CN's PJism can get a bit expensive. Try using staple products like Herbal Essences conditioners or Aussie Moist conditioner. During my transitioning period, I wore my version of a twist out which included setting the twists on gray perm rods to better blend the two textures.
Flyygirl says:
December 14, 2010, 9:06 am
HI Curly Nikki! I love your blog and got ZERO work done for days after I found it, trying to catch up on your posts! Congrats on the baby, she's adorable. It looks like you do a dry twist on Sunday but don't take it out until Monday? If I wanted to get the same effect could I sit under a dryer for a bit until the twists dry? Thanks!
January 3, 2011, 12:36 pm
CNikki - Amazing coffret of Natural Hair Care selections... Locs soft as butter, get that ORS Shea Butter (Mmmm Soft), Transform/Jeuge those Locs in there...Loc n Twist Gel(Sugar for a sweet hold). Want some? Let me know, PR at ORS.
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March 24, 2012, 8:52 pm
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