Dani & Dannah
By Kanisha Parks

If you haven’t heard of sassy and sweet sisters Dani (7 years old) and Dannah Lockett (6 years old), where you been, Sis?! Since going viral with a video about Dannah’s breakup back in early 2017 (over 10 million views and shares!), these two have been dropping knowledge and sharing their love for Christ all over the web and have even been featured on the Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and the Real! This duo may just be getting started but it’s clear they’re here to stay!

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Viral video 'after the breakup'

The girls are truly best friends, even calling each other “sister buddies,” and enjoy making videos together. They started posting about 9 months ago and since have been boldly declaring their faith via social media, holding nothing back!

“Well, if you believe in something or someone and love them so much you can’t help but tell the world about it, right!” says big sis, Dani. “We aren’t nervous about comments, and yes, we read many of them, because we know that everyone isn’t going to believe like we do and that’s ok. They didn’t believe Jesus and he was right in front of them.” Currently, attending a Christian academy, the girls say that their friends know about their success and are happy for them. 


In addition to their faith, the girls also embrace their beautiful natural hair! Their mom owns and runs Healthy Hair Studio salon in Conyers, GA and says she, Dani and Dannah, and her other two daughters are all natural. The girls share, “We love our hair and we like to wear it out, big and puffy the most! Curly hair is all we know and we tell our mom all the time it’s just fine there’s no need to brush it!” 

The girls with mom Danella
Behind the scenes is their momager, Dannella, who is their greatest supporter, fan, and prayer warrior. She discussed with me some of the challenges of running Dani and Dannah’s social media empire and having to deal with negativity, stating: 
“I just always remember that if God is for me then who can be against me and that no weapons formed against me shall prosper. God has our backs and that makes this easy. When we first got started it was a little nerve-wracking because I would deal with silly comments but then I realized everyone isn’t going to believe like I do and some people live and breathe negativity. I also realized some people are just ready to judge. Even though they have their own faults, they want to pick apart others and that’s just to make them feel better about themselves. I see this a lot in other Christians—instead of uplifting or praying for each other they are judging and gossiping. I’m not that Christian. I’m not pointing out your flaws and judging you, hoping to cover my own. So I just pray for them and go! God bless them.”She assured me that she is not a stage mom, and that the girls do this because they want to and ask to. “Some days they don’t post and that’s because they don’t want to and that’s ok. Remember when God gives you a gift with an assignment you want to do it every chance you get!”
Dani & Dannah on The Real
Dannella’s hopes for her daughters are that they continue to inspire others and that God’s perfect will be done in their lives. In the future, Dani and Dannah say they would like to work with Oprah and Beyoncé. Check out their cuteness via their social media!

Do you follow any young youtubers?

Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected] 
Lupita Nyong'o
By Kanisha Parks

Seeing celebrities on screen with natural hair is important for our culture because it normalizes natural beauty, proving that we are (and always have been) enough. In recent years, celebrities embracing and showcasing their natural hair has become increasingly popular, shattering the societal stigma that natural hair is “unruly.” Now more than ever, children, women, and men are boldly emerging with their natural hair front and center at home, out in public, and in the workplace.
In other words, natural hair is a big deal, not a trend, and these celebs are not playing. Check out some of our favs!

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Meka aka CurlyMonroe
By Kanisha Parks

When it comes to natural hair, manageability is often a major concern. Natural hair can be time consuming and realistically speaking, it can be hard! This concern is leading many women to make the decision to texlax or texturize their natural hair.

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Texlaxing means applying relaxer to your hair and intentionally under processing it by not leaving it on for the recommended time. For example, if the relaxer is supposed to stay on for 25-28 minutes and you only leave it on for 8, it’s a texlax. Some women also texlax by adding oil to the relaxer. Women who choose to texlax do so in order to loosen the curl pattern while still keeping texture, not resulting in bone straight hair.

A texturizer is formulated slightly differently than a relaxer and is therefore considered a “mild relaxer.” It also loosens the curl pattern without completely straightening the hair.

The main con of having texlaxed/texturized hair is that it will likely result in multiple textures. And just like a relaxer, you’ll have to touch it up. This is even trickier with texlaxed/texturized hair, as you’ll have to do every step exactly the same in order to reap the same results. Plus, once you’ve texlaxed/texturized, there is of course no turning back. If you end up regretting your decision, you’ll have to transition and/or big chop all over again.

Meka aka Curly Monroe
Still, some naturals are choosing to texlax or texturize their hair in order to improve their hair’s manageability without forfeiting the ability to wear it curly. YouTuber Meka Monroe chose to texturize her hair in 2016 in order to do just that. She had been natural for about four years and after feeling as though her natural hair was no longer responding to the methods she’d been using, she decided that a texturizer was the best option.

Meka used the Just For Me texture softener and left it on for about 8 minutes and admits, “The first time I wasn't sure. It took me some time to get used to it. Initially, I had too many textures after. I had to learn my hair again. I left the texturizer on too long in the back. I have straight roots along the back perimeter of my head if I don't scrunch.”

After getting another texturizer this year, she says, “I like how my hair looks. I use fewer products, have less bad hair days and I don't have to redo my wash and go as much. My wash and go lasts longer than a week.”

At first glance, you probably wouldn’t even know that Meka is no longer ‘natural.’ She still wears her hair curly and hasn’t changed her name from Curly Monroe, even though her decision to texturize was definitely met with some judgment.

“My best friend was disappointed as we were on our natural journey together. I also noticed a lot of my natural friends on social media stopped liking my posts. I understand everything isn't for everyone.”

 

What’s important is that Meka was honest with her subscribers—she didn’t hide the fact that she had chemically altered her curl pattern and says that some of the pros she’s noticed are: less air drying time, bigger hair, and less breakage/shedding. She still uses the same products she was using when natural.

All in all, Meka says she doesn’t regret her decision at all: “It's something I contemplated for months before actually doing it. After loads of research, I am happy I did it. Your hair, your head, your way!”

Meka, one year into her texlaxing journey:


Have you texlaxed/texturized your natural hair? Share your experience? 
Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected] 


By Kanisha Parks

Self-care is a topic that is becoming increasingly popular throughout social media, and I’m all the way here for it. As black women, self-care is something we often put on the backburner, if we even make time for it at all. We’re caregivers and caretakers—strong, hard-working, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends. We’re out here grinding, trying to build something we can be proud of. Some of us wear so many hats, it’s a wonder we ever get any sleep, let alone find the time to give even a few minutes to ourselves.


As a single woman, self-care is no less important than it would be if you were in a relationship. This is the time for you—getting to know you, improving you, accepting and loving yourself for who you are and all that you have to offer. When you don’t have a significant other or children to care for, it may seem you should have more time to embrace self-care but that isn’t necessarily the case. We all have responsibilities, some greater than others, and someone or something is constantly beckoning for our attention (even social media!).

But as you endeavor to be your best self, it starts with you. Aside from the immediate gratification, self-care has several benefits that affect your life as a whole:

1. Self-care helps reinforce your self-esteem. 
As a single woman, you have to take care of yourself. I mean, who else is going to do it? But what’s more is, before getting involved in a relationship, it’s important to have a firm foundation of self. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine only serves to reinforce your self-esteem, making you less likely to pursue a relationship for the wrong reasons—such as, validation. Self-care is a way of reminding yourself that you are important, you are enough, and you deserve to be treated as such. Ultimately, you’ll be less likely to settle for anything other than being treated like the Queen you are!

Alex Elle, a writer and self-care advocate, shares: 
“Sometimes it feels easier to let others do our hard work for us. But at the end of the day, learning how to lean into our self-love, stand tall in our self-care, and understand that we too are capable of loving ourselves just as hard as an outsider may, we have to show up. We have to do the work and become self-aware. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when we don’t want to. No one can love you like you can. Outside love validation feels good, it’s needed sometimes. But that internal self-acceptance matters. Learning how to love yourself when no one is looking or there to say “good job” is necessary as you journey through life. Don’t let the fear of facing your truth stop you from showing up for yourself in the way you deserve.”
2. You’ll be better equipped to handle your relationships. 
Outside of romantic relationships, we all have multiple relationships in our lives with our families, friends, and those we work with. Even though self-care is first and foremost for you, the act of caring for yourself (or not taking care of yourself) directly affects those around you. “Putting yourself first" is a concept that we’ve been taught to deem as selfish, when it’s actually an act that shows you’re considerate of your relationships. You will be less irritable, stressed, short, and sarcastic when you’ve had time to reflect, release, and regroup. That’s what self-care does for you.

3. When you try multiple forms of self-care, you’ll know what appeals to you. There are so many self-care practices. In fact, TinyBuddha.comhas a list of 45 practices for the mind, body, and soul. It could be something as simple as taking a relaxing bath instead of a quick shower, cloud-watching, praying, or writing. Self-care is all about being intentional when life is constantly beckoning for your attention to do something else.

So spend time with you. Make self-care a habit, not a chore. Discover new practices that make you feel loved, refreshed, and at peace. Know yourself, love yourself, and cherish self-care in your singlehood.

Do you take time for self-care?

Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected] 

 By Kanisha Parks

You’ve seen those commercials where they ask the person’s Christmas shopping budget, right? And they’re like, “Um, about $500.00” Let’s be honest—most of us know good and well we don’t have that much to spend! Listen: there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. For some reason, when Christmas comes around, people throw the budget out the window and go all out. And when the next year rolls in, they find themselves embedded in debt. It’s really just not worth it. Yes, it’s great to give nice gifts, but if it’s going to cost you your light bill; it’s time to re-think your definition of “nice.” Remember: you can and will still have an amazing Christmas without going broke. (Besides, it ain’t their birthday anyway!)

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1. Start NOW.
A lot of people think that waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to do their Christmas shopping is the best option, but this isn’t always the wisest idea, especially since you’re on a budget. These two days were created for big purchases—expensive jewelry, fitness equipment, laptops, iPhones, and other high-end toys and electronics. Being out on Black Friday can make you feel to the urge to purchase stuff you don’t really want or need, all in the name of the securing a good deal. Be wise and realize there are already a lot of deals now and even after Black Friday. You just need to know where to look. (See Tip #3).

2. Set a realistic budget and don’t budge it.
This is of the utmost importance. Make sure that when you set your Christmas spending budget, it’s an amount that you actually have to spend. (This is after all of the bills are paid). Remember that when Christmas is over, you still have a life to live.


3. Use cash.
Instead of resorting to using credit, take out cash when you shop. You are more likely to stick to your budget because you’ll be actively aware of how much you spend.

4. Decide where you can shop.
Depending on your budget, you will want to decide what stores are suitable for your coins. A lot of malls tend to be a bit more on the expensive side. Set your sights on stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshall’s, Kohl’s, and WalMart. Believe it or not, even dollar stores have nice gifts sometimes. Check in advance for any deals or sales they may be having. This way, you’ll find so many nice things at discounted prices, you may be able to purchase more than you were expecting.

5. Write a list of who and what to shop for.
When you have a tangible list of who you need to purchase gifts for, you won’t be as inclined to pick up unnecessary stuff just because “it’s a good deal.” When possible, you can also determine in advance what you want to get each person so you can find the best price for the item and avoid shopping on a whim.


6. Shop early (and maybe alone). 
Try to shop when the stores aren’t as busy. When there are less people around, it’s just easier to get in, get what you want, and get on about your business. Also, it’s okay to shop by yourself if it’ll keep you from spending money that you don’t have just because the person who is with you can.

7. Have fun!
Don’t let Christmas shopping stress you out, girl! Enjoy yourself, your family, your friends, and being able to share this holiday season with them. That’s what it’s all about.

How to you stay on track with Holiday spending? 

Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than CurlyNikki.com, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected]