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How to Remedy Skin Discolorations

Hair and beauty are two important aspects of our lives. Whether you are a man or a woman, we all want to look good. Doing so starts with what we wear, our hairstyles and what’s on our faces. Today, let’s talk about dark spots.

Most people of color deal with this issue at some point in their lives. It is annoying, to say the least. It can cause embarrassing moments that make you feel less than beautiful because the truth is, we all care about how others view us. Dark spots can happen to anyone and the cause varies from person to person.

Speaking of causes, knowing how dark spots occur can help prevent them from happening in the first place. There are skin diseases and conditions that can be the source of the problem. There are also things like hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration that can happen as a result of acne. Finally, the production of too much melanin in one spot can cause dark areas and patches of darker skin as well. Needless to say, when they do pop up, they are not fun. Of course, you can cover them with makeup, but why only mask the problem? There are some great ways to get rid of them once and for all.

Here are some suggestions.


This cream is an old favorite for getting rid of dark spots. For years, people have relied on Ambi to help even their skin. It works by fading the dark areas, bringing you skin back into balance with the rest of your face. It can be used on pretty much all parts of your body, including your neck, knees, and face. It is extremely affordable too, costing about $4 at most retailers.

Lemon Juice

DIY and natural remedies are a great way because unlike buying products in the store, you know exactly what you are putting onto your skin. It is simple. Take a lemon and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. You then apply it to the areas with a cotton ball and allow it to dry. Afterward just rinse with water. Do this two times a day for at least two weeks to see results.


Another DIY home remedy, Turmeric is the super ingredient of the spice world. It is an anti-inflammatory so it is great for a variety of things. You can take advantage of its ability to even out your complexion by making a paste. Along with two tablespoons of turmeric, add some buttermilk and lemon juice. Apply to the dark spots and leave on for about 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and repeat daily for best results.


This is a very powerful vitamin A. It speeds cell turnover, which is what helps the spots fade faster. Furthermore, the collagen found in retinoid helps smoothen your complexion and diminishes the appearance of what so many women fear- crows feet and fine lines. This option is more expensive as the most potent and effective form is retinoic acid, which can only be obtained through a prescription. Still, if you have severe scarring which has led to a lot of dark spots, then it may be something to consider.

These are just a few of the ways that you can take your beauty routine up a notch. When you deal with unwanted dark spots from acne and other causes, it’s good to know that there are things that you can do to help bring balance back to your beautiful face.

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A Little TLC: Catering to 4C Hair

There are a lot of different hair types and it’s so important to know which one you are working with. Knowing this piece of information will save you a lot of trouble, time, and money in the long run because when you know better, naturally, you do better. Let’s talk about 4C hair.

This hair type sometimes gets a bad rep and I am not here for it. There is no hair type better than another hair type. All hair is “worthy” and it just comes down to learning how to manage yours. I like to call it “catering.” Yes, you have to make every effort to cater to your hair and that first comes with understanding it. 4C hair is thick, coarse, kinky and beautiful. It may take a little more work, but it is worth every single drip of sweat and tears.

So here are some secrets, tips and ideas to make your 4C hair shiny and strong.

Section it Off

One of the biggest things you want to avoid doing when managing 4C hair is causing breakage. It can happen for many reasons but there are a lot of things you can do to ensure its health. When it comes to washing and blowing drying 4C hair, for best results, do it in sections. This allows you to make sure you are getting all parts of your hair during washing and it allows you to thoroughly dry without ripping out your hair. It will take longer and you will wonder if it even makes a difference. I am telling you now that it does.

Finger Detangle

The best thing you can do for your hair is detangle it with your fingers. When you use a comb, it can put a lot of stress on your hair that can lead to breakage. Detangling is a nonnegotiable part of the process and if you have 4C hair, you HAVE to do it. If not, you will wish you had when it’s too late. Again, section it off, turn on some music or your favorite show and put in the time.

Deep Condition

One of the things that a lot of women with 4C hair experience is dryness. The best way to fight that is through deep conditioning. If this step is not a part of your regimen, then you NEED to change that immediately. It’s so important because deep conditioning, when done correctly, serves to not only keep your hair healthy but also repairs your hair if need be. Using a conditioner that you know works on your hair and adding some form of mild heat in order to really penetrate your hair shaft is going to work wonders for you in no time.

Protective Styles

You hear me talk about protective styling a lot. I think that it is one of the most effective things a natural can do for their hair. When you take the time to do a style that will take the pressure off of having to do it everyday, it benefits you and your hair. The fact that you don’t have to manipulate it or style it daily removes the kind of stress that can prohibit growth. A protective style for 4C hair can be braids, extensions, a twist out, cornrows and more. The goal here, ultimately, is to give your hair the break it needs from time to time.

If you have 4C hair, be proud of it. You can do so much. And while it may seem that you’re doing a lot with some of these suggestions, trust and know that you are doing what’s best.

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Perfecting the Twist Out

One of the tried and true staple hairstyles for just about every natural is the twist out. Yes, it is one that can be done in so many ways. The twist out is easy, convenient and nearly effortless. Please note the key word here- nearly.

While it is true that the hairstyle is relevantly simple, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you need to pay attention to in order to ensure it’s done right. The protective style is one that every natural should try but keep in mind that just like most other things, when it comes to your hair, you have to know what you are doing. If not, you will waste your time, effort and end up pretty disappointed in the results.

So let’s talk about some things to consider when doing a twist out. From products to technique to timing, all of it is important if you want to perfect this hairstyle.


It is not a good idea to just dive right into twisting your hair if you have not detangled. This is an important step in the hair maintenance process that you CANNOT skip. Whether you use a comb and do it while in the shower, or if you choose to use your fingers, detangling before you do a twist out is a sure fire way to make sure you get the best results.


This is a tricky one. First of all let me say that you MUST use product. It does you no good to just twist your hair without using any kind of moisturizer, setting lotion, conditioner or anything that will help with definition and combat dryness. Secondly, you have to find the right product and that’s the tricky part. This is trial and error because all products are not made equally for this purpose. However, a foam or lotion is a good place to start.

The Root

When it comes to technique, you have to make sure that you start strong, at the root.  You want to grip your roots as tightly as you can because your goal with this is definition, which leads to longevity. The firmer the twist the better the end result will be. You might have to do smaller twists in order to get the root the way you need to and if so that’s fine. Just don’t neglect that part of the twist out because you will pay for it later.

The Ends

Just as important as applying enough tension to the root, you want to take care of the ends as well. Some women have straight ends and that’s okay. You can prevent that from ruining your hairstyle by coiling them. This can be done a few ways. You can use small rollers, hair clips or even pipe cleaners to set the perfect curl in place once you are ready to take the twists out. Find what works best for you and gives your desired result.

Dry vs. Wet

Believe it or not, styling your hair while dry or wet is more than just a preference. Some hair types function better when styled after air-drying while others do well styled right after washing. Find out which method works better for your hair. This can determine the kind of products you use also.

The twist out is a great style that can last past the initial first day styling. You just have to adjust your routine a little bit so that you can maximize your efforts.

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Makeup Trends: Spring 2017

One of the great things about the changing seasons is the fact that you can do so much when it comes to hair and makeup. The change in weather means more than just a change in fashion trends. Seeing designs, details, and items off the runway is a highlight for some people. Along with getting excited about new fashions, makeup is another part of the change in seasons that so many love.

With that, spring is right around the corner and when it comes to makeup, there are some trends that experts project are sure to be all the rave spring 2017. While they make be dramatic and over the top on the runway, you can easily adapt them to everyday life. So if you like to update your eyeshades, lipsticks, and blushes according to the seasons, keep reading. There are new colors, techniques and more to incorporate into your beautification routine.

Here are some of the hottest makeup trends for spring and summer.

Colorful Eyes

Who doesn’t like to play with color? If you love bright pinks and vivid blues, then color wash eyes are one of the trends you should most definitely try. On the runways, the eye makeup was fun and vibrant. You can so do this everyday. No color is really off limits and beauty experts suggest the bolder the better. So if you’ve wanted to try something different for your makeup, this spring is the time. Go for it.

Glazed Lids

This is a riskay trend and I love it! Sometimes, you have to do what you’ve never done before; or what others wouldn’t dare to do. Glazed lids can be achieved in a number of ways. It comes down to the colors you use as well as a little something called Milk Makeup Face Gloss (you can find it for $20 at Sephora). The best pencil to use is a reflective silver one on the inner part of your eyes to create a nice highlight. From there, add the gloss to the eyelid and a little sparkle and you have a cool trend.

Golden Cheeks

Are you living your life like it’s golden? Golden cheeks are super sexy, chic and attractive. It was all over the runway and the great thing about it is you can use an eye shadow to make it happen. Lighter skinned women should opt for a champagne gold highlighter with a touch of pink and darker skinned women should go for bronze or a rose gold. No matter your complexion, this is a trend you can pull off flawlessly.

Blended Eyes and Cheeks

This one is for those who like to make a statement. It is inspired by the 70s (think Studio 54) and involves seamlessly blending colors from the outer eye to the cheeks. Using a pink, berry or light red colors (find what looks best on your skin) blend away for a look that is daring, dramatic and trendy.

Makeup is one of the cornerstones of a lot of women’s beauty routines. For those who take it seriously, staying abreast to what’s in is important. These are just a few trends that you can try now. You will more than likely be seeing them all year long so why not see how they look on you?

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Nutritional Deficiencies and Hair: What’s the Connection?

What are you putting into your body? This is an important question and applies to more than just how you look on the outside. Everything that goes into your mouth affects every part of who you are. From how your skin looks to how your nails look, you have to care more about the long-term affects of food on your body. That’s why paying attention to your hair and how it functions is paramount. It can be a telling sign about what’s taking place inside of you.

For a lot of women, thinking about the kinds of nutrients needed for optimal hair growth isn’t always on their radar. There are many reasons for this, but regardless of what the case is, in those moments when you have deficiencies, you have to know what they are so that you can rectify them.

The lack of certain nutritional elements in your diet can greatly take a toll on your hair. The way it works is that as your hair grows, about a centimeter a month, in the pockets of hair follicles, the dermal papilla, located under the bulb at the base of the follicle, is responsible for taking nutrients from the body’s blood to ensure growing, healthy hair. When you have a deficiency of certain nutrients, therein lies the root of any issues you might be facing.

So let’s talk about the nutrients that can stop hair growth and health when you don’t have enough of them in your body.


Believe it or not, an iron deficiency is very common. The lack of iron can lead to hair loss and breakage. This deficiency can happen for many reasons including menstruation and after the birth of a baby. If you feel tired often, or become out of breath after completing simple tasks, you may be in need of some iron. When it comes to your hair, if it is dry, brittle, or breaks easily, getting more iron in your life could be the answer.


This is a big one and is extremely common in women as well. Magnesium helps with boosting your energy and aids in the regular operation of your nerves. Ever have a twitching eye or experience a “jumping” nerve in other areas of your body? You could have a magnesium deficiency. It can lead to unwanted facial hair, polycystic ovarian syndrome and consistent hair loss. Get some magnesium-rich foods in your life like nuts, seeds, fish and beans; or you can take pills.

B12 Vitamins

If you ever feel extremely tired, you might need some B12 in your life. As far as your hair is concerned, it can greatly affect the look and manageability of your tresses when you don’t have enough B12. It is necessary for good red blood cell production and will encourage hair growth. B12 is also great for nail growth. Overall, you can get B12 in your life a few ways. There are shots that can get at the doctor. You can take pills as well and of course, you can eat foods like Salmon, beef liver, sardines and milk.

We don’t always think about the way foods affect other parts of our bodies; mostly because we aren’t really taught that we should. We are told that it obviously takes a toll, good and bad, on the size of our pants, but we aren’t really told about the way it impacts our hair. Take the bits of information here and make some adjustments if you find that your hair is not acting the way you want it too. You may be deficient in one of these nutrients.

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How to Protect Protective Styles

Okay so lets talk about protective styling. If you are a natural, then you know that this is one of the go-tos that saves a lot of time, money and effort. There are those within the movement who wear their hair in protective styles all year round and more power to them. But even in the midst of doing what you believe to be a good thing for your hair, you can run the risk of still causing major damage. Let me explain.

Sometimes, when wearing a protective style, you can forget that you still have to perform maintenance, meaning you have to watch your hair to see how it reacts. You also have to make sure you are giving it the proper love and care because growth and the need for moisture, etc. doesn’t stop just because you have some Marley twists in your hair. There are a lot of mistakes you can make with protective styling that can end up doing more harm than good. But just like other things, it doesn’t have to be that way.

So here are some ways to maximize your protective styling efforts and prevent hair loss during and after protect styling.

During: Pay Attention

This is so important because ignoring what’s going on with your hair will cost you. Just because you have braids or weave doesn’t mean you can forget about your hair underneath. Pay attention to how the style is treating your hair. Are your edges protected, is it braided too tightly in the back, is the thread from your installment cutting into your hair? I know that it’s tempting to just let things be, but don’t forget to stay on top of what’s going on.

During: Moisturize

What is the point of giving your hair a break if you’re still not taking care of it? You are giving it a break not you. Please remain aware of the fact that you have to continue moisturizing and oiling your hair. The idea of protective styling is to give your hair the chance to be still without much tussle but it still needs the TLC to keep it happy and healthy.

After: Detangle

If you don’t usually detangle your hair, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Regardless of the type of protective style you had (some may cause more knots/kinks than others) you really need to carefully detangle your hair. After taking down your style, you don’t want to just wash and go. You need to take the time to use either your fingers or a large toothed comb to detangle. Make sure to also use a creamy/thick conditioner. That way, you will have good lubrication, which is essential in the detangling process.

After: Deep Condition

Remember that taking care of your hair is a process that calls for different steps at different times. One of the most important things you can do, period, is apply a deep conditioning treatment. This can be a product formulated for deep conditioning or a DIY mixture that you concoct yourself with the right ingredients at home. Regardless, you should set time aside after your protective style to give your hair the treatment it needs, which can include sitting under a dryer to really penetrate your hair shaft. This is especially true if you plan to style soon after. Give your hair a fighting chance at remaining strong before you start stressing it again.

Protective styling is a staple in the natural hair community. If you are going to have them, create a protective styling regimen that’s going to enhance your efforts and continue to strengthen your hair.

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Combat the Winter Brittle: 3 Reasons For Dryness and 3 Ways to Fight It

We are in full swing of winter and many times, we don’t consider how harsh cold weather can be on our hair. We cover up our bodies, get our cars winter ready and winterize our houses, but what about setting up our hair for success during the coldest months of the year?

One of the ways to protect against dry hair, which ultimately leads to breakage, is to combat a dry scalp. Yes, keeping your scalp flake free and healthy is paramount to the overall look and feel of your hair. Some people are more prone to dry scalp than others but believe it or not, there are some pretty simple reasons for this. No matter what your case is, you can combat the issues you may face and succeed with having healthy, strong hair.

So let’s look at a few reasons one might experience dry scalp and ways to change this annoying issue.

You Are What You Eat

How many times have you heard this in your lifetime? What you eat is so important to your body and has an impact on how you look, how you feel and how you function. You can also add the condition of your hair to that list. One of the best things you can do for your diet is increase your water intake. If you don’t drink enough of it, it will affect everything about you. From your skin to your organs, it is nonnegotiable; with that, as much as possible, try to remove the things from your diet that offer little to no nutritional value. It will not only help your body’s appearance but also your hair’s appearance. Drink more water to fight a dry scalp.

Oil A Day Keeps the Brittle Away

So here is the thing- your hair needs oil. Most non-people of color have natural oils in their hair and is why they wash their hair nearly everyday; to remove the oil. For black women and people of color, it’s the opposite. You have to add oil to your hair to make sure you have a balanced, moisturized scalp. The lack of applying oil on a regular basis will greatly impact the condition of your scalp. So the solution for that is to simply add oil. It can be the kinds of oil you find in your kitchen like olive or coconut or you can buy products formulated for the purposes of keeping your hair in tip top shape.

Be Mean, Fight those Genes

For some people, a dry scalp is just something that they inherited from family. You know how there are things that we get from our mother or father’s side of the family? Well, having a dry scalp is just another one of those things. But just as with most issues we face, there are ways to combat dry scalp so that you can have relief and growth. This particular reason for the condition is a little trickier because it’s really not your fault. The best thing to do is find the right kind of shampoos, conditioners and treatments and use them as the first form of defense. From there, it becomes even more important for you to use the right kinds of oils and to have a balanced diet.

Having a dry scalp is never fun and finding a remedy can be challenging for some, but not matter what you face, you can have relief. Don’t let the weather (or genes) stop you from achieving the hair goals you want.

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Five Oils for Hair Growth

One of the best things about deciding to go natural is that fact that you are taking control of your hair. It requires a strong commitment and a lot of patience to be successful at managing natural hair. All and all, it’s something that one must not go into lightly because that plunge into the world of the natural hair movement is no joke. It is, nonetheless, worth it.

Just as with most other things, you have to learn your hair and in the case of the natural, you have to learn a lot. From when to wash it, what to wash it with, how often to moisturize it and which protein treatment works best for your type hair, you have your hands full. With that, knowing the best kind of oil to use is paramount to achieving your hair goals. There are some that just work better than others. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what some of them are as you journey down the natural hair road?

Well of course it would! So here are a few of the best oils that many women have used on their hair with excellent growth and strengthening results.

Lavender Oil

Not only does this oil smell absolutely amazing (it has the best aroma in my opinion) but it also is great for stimulating circulation of the scalp. That, of course, promotes growth and gives your hair fabulous nutrients starting at the root, which makes it stronger. Furthermore, lavender oil’s anti-bacterial properties fight against infection and fungus. It’s a winner all around.

Sweet Almond Oil

If you are looking for something to bring great softness to your hair, then sweet almond oil is it. With both vitamins E and D, it boasts calcium and magnesium as well, which are ideal deterrents from dry and brittle hair. And we all know that if you hair is dry and or brittle, breakage is soon to follow.

Black Seed Oil

Some people refer to black see oil as a miracle worker. It is used to treat numerous ailments and originates in the Middle East. Many people have spoken about its hair growing properties, which users report have helped regrow receding hairlines and bald patches. The benefits it offers is more than likely a result of its amino acids and other natural ingredients like zinc and calcium. Black seed oil is a great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent that protects your hair follicles.

Peppermint Essential Oil

This is one potent substance. Created from peppermint leaves, it is one of the best things you can use to grow and thicken your hair. It has a wonderful smell and leaves your scalp feeling clean and refreshed after use. It’s that tingling sensation that stimulates your hair by revitalizing latent follicles all while strengthening the weak parts of your hair.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

For those with thinning hair, Jamaican black castor oil is a perfect product to have. It is known to help reverse alopecia with its thick consistency and healing properties. You can combine it with another oil like olive oil (also a great one to use) to maximize your efforts too.

When it comes down to it, having the right kind of oil is one of the most important things you can have in your hair arsenal. Try these out to see what works for you and make sure to keep them on hand at all times. You never want to be without the good stuff.

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Five Don’ts to Grow Natural Hair in 2017

It’s finally 2017 and that means it’s time to reevaluate your hair routine. A lot of people don’t even consider that perhaps what they usually do to and for their hair is in need of some updating. We are more than halfway through January (already) and it’s the perfect moment to take the time to make some short and long-term goals for your hair.

One of the things at the top of most women’s list, especially naturals, is to grow long and healthy hair. That notion is one of the cornerstones of going natural because who doesn’t want to have enviable tresses?

With that, too often the things that we think are good for our hair aren’t. Some of the things we do are “tried and true” advice that our mothers, aunts and grandmothers taught us. Other habits are ideals we’ve picked up along the way through trial and error. We can’t change what we’ve done to our hair but we can go forward to do much better.

So if you are looking to grow your hair long and pretty in 2017, here are a few tips on what NOT to do this year.

Do Not Go Without Moisturizing

This is a big one but one that many women, surprisingly, don’t always do. A part of taking care of your hair is making sure that it has adequate moisture at all times. This prevents your hair from being dry and, ultimately, from experiencing breakage. You can oil your hair a few times a week before you go to bed to ensure that it’s getting the moisture it needs to be healthy.

Do Not Ignore Your Hair Type

If you don’t know what kind of hair you have (4C, 4B 3A, etc.) do yourself a favor and put the time in to learn. Knowing will do wonders in how you take care of it. Along with that bit of knowledge, also know the porosity of your hair. This goes along with the moisture part. Understanding and testing your hair’s porosity will help you know how often you should moisturize and what products you should use.

Do Not Go Without Pre-Pooing

Another important part of a hair care regimen is pre-pooing. This is where you apply a conditioning agent to your hair before cleansing. It can be done the night before (which is what many naturals do) or an hour or more before you shampoo. Because the actual act of washing your hair is a bit intense on your locks, pre-pooing with something like coconut oil or a product specially formulated for the process, is just good practice.

Do Not Forgo Trims

This is probably the biggest one of all. I know that a lot of people feel like cutting the hair is counterproductive to growing the hair, but I promise you it’s not. When you have split ends or damaged hair, it can severely limit your hair growth as well as its overall manageability. You don’t have to trim every week or month, but every quarter or three times a year will greatly help with the growing process.

Do Not Forget A Scarf at Night

I know that it is tempting to lie right down at night and go straight to sleep, but if you have natural hair, there are some extra things you need to do before you hit the hay. Namely, tie your hair up. This can be with a scarf or a bonnet, but no matter how you do it, make sure it’s satin or charmeuse silk material.

Make the next twelve months the best your hair has ever seen with these tips.

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2017: The Year to Go Natural?

This year is all but gone and per usual, that means New Year’s resolution making is in full effect for 2017. It’s a good thing. Making goals and planning to stick to them is healthy because it makes us work toward something that betters our quality of life.

We make resolutions about money, about our bodies and about relationships so why not make some commitments about our hair? In 2017, it may be time for you to finally take the plunge and go natural.

Now I know that you hear me talk a lot about how much of an involved process maintaining natural hair is and there is no exaggeration with that. It takes more time, more effort and comes with trial and error. But these things should not be deterrents to starting the natural hair journey that so many women are on right now. It may start off shaky, but the end product will be hair that is chemical free and healthy. And these are just two of the benefits of going natural.

So to help you understand just how awesome and powerful being natural can be, here are a few reasons for you to go natural in 2017.

Allows for Versatility

If like to change things up, then this lifestyle may be for you. Being able to go from curly to straight whenever you want is convenient to say the least. This is a big reason so many black women have gone this route. You can do so much with natural hair.

Promotes Healthy Hair

We all know that putting harmful chemicals on your hair is counterproductive to having healthy hair. The relaxers found in retailers and salons are full of ingredients that should never be used on humans. For those who want to live a more natural lifestyle, you will love how much your hair glows in its natural state. Along with that, many times what you put on your hair affects the rest of your body as well.

Inspires Pride

One of the things about having natural hair is that it definitely debunks the European standards of beauty that exist in today’s world. For black women, straightening their hair is a way of conforming. It’s a way of fitting in and for a long time, it was the only way to be accepted in some industries. The natural hair movement has changed that and given pride to women of color everywhere. It will empower you to embrace who you are and teach you how to love yourself exactly as you are.

Teaches Self Awareness

This is a good one and goes along with inspiring pride. I say that you don’t really know how confident or unconfident you are until you go natural. That’s because black women take a lot of pride in their hair, and when what’s on your head goes against the “norm” it can mess with your self-esteem. But again, this is a good thing because having confidence in who you are is what gives you the power to live your best life. I truly believe that natural hair does just that (if you let it).

Saves Money

Ultimately, when everything is said and done, you will save money. Yes, there are a lot of products marketed to the natural hair community, but once you find what you like and get in the groove of what works for you, you will see the change in your wallet. Because you will learn your hair and how it works, you will do a lot of maintenance yourself, which is great. Protective styling will become your best friend and is as easy as some twists or braids over night.

These are just a few reasons why going natural may be the best thing you do for yourself in 2017.

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