What inspired you to begin blogging at NapturalNicole.com?
After spending years as a student, with my hair ‘fried, dyed, and laid to the side’, I finally joined #teamnatural in November of 2011. NapturalNicole.com began as a personal journal of my natural hair progress. Then the questions started, my obsession with beauty products grew, and the online lifestyle guide NapturalNicole.com was born.
Tell us about the health journey that led to your losing 60 lbs, and how you use that to inspire the readers at Naptural Nicole.
It wasn't meant to be a 'journey'; it was like a light went off in my head one day, and I just KNEW I wasn't at my best health wise. I have lost 60lbs without stepping foot in a gym, and kept off the weight loss for a year and a half! YES! No magic pills, no trick, no cash--nada! I just made some shifts to my eating habits to embrace eating more vegetables as part of my daily diet. I share all aspects of my life with my Curlies at NapturalNicole.com; because of this, it was natural for me to share my new healthy change, especially because I was seeing such fantastic results. My Curlies also inspire and motivate me, so it's been wonderful to have thousands of 'curlfriends' losing weight, and feeling great with me!
Congratulations on having been recently selected as BEST BLACK BEAUTY BLOG 2014 by popular vote in the Black Weblog Awards! What would you say has been your proudest achievement since you began blogging?
I am still so humbled, flattered and honored to be selected. I try to bring my very best with beauty and lifestyle to my Curlies, and to be recognized for this is wonderful. However, my greatest accomplishment in this 'blogging world' would be every moment, email, hug, comment, and like I receive from my Curlies whenever they try a new recipe, embrace a healthier lifestyle, or learn to love their beautiful hair. That makes me feel like a winner every time!
Please describe your natural hair and tell us the one product you cannot live without.
Zola the Fro’la has a mind of her own. Fortunately, after 2 years of natural hair everything, we have a pretty good relationship! To use 'standard' typing terms, she's a 4a, low porosity, fine textured, spiral curl, with too much sass and a lot of attitude. Ha! My must have, can’t live without, store product is Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in Conditioner/Detangler! Zola drinks up this yummy all natural concoction, and it's a staple since day one, in my regimen.
Do you have a Sunday night or weekend hair ritual? If so, please share it with us.
I definitely used to! I was ALLLL about having one on one 'girls day' with Zola the Fro'la every Sunday! But with blogging, and my 9-5 career, I've had to squeeze in a co-wash and adapt my regimen to fix my schedule. It's been a learning process, but I've adjusted accordingly. Hey! That's a great blog post idea! Ha!
What are your beauty resolutions for the New Year?
I've got big plans for Zola the Fro'la in 2015! I just announced that I will be starting a YEAR LONG protective style challenge, in order to test the oft argued notion that "Protective Styles are key to long hair growth'. I always love stepping up to a challenge, and I'm happy to put my fro to the test, and get an answer for my Curlies. This means I will keep Zola under wigs, weaves, braids, and hats for the majority of 2015, with brief appearances for hair treatments, and beauty days--and of course, length checks. I can't wait to see (and share) the results!
What cosmetic ingredient(s) do you avoid and why?
My big product no-no is silicones. This is hotly debated, as some Curlies love the result of silicones in their natural hair, and the slip/shine they provide. However, for my curls, silicones block out moisture, and are impossible to remove without sulfates, and that's an even bigger messy ingredient I'd like to avoid.
What three products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal--those Holy Grail items you just can't live without?
MAC Cosmetics- Ruby Woo: it's the holy grail of vibrant, red lipstick for brown girls everywhere. This red will make your teeth look pearly white, highlight the rich undertones of your skin, and play beautifully in the lighting of any photo- it's a beauty MUST for every girl.
Kinky Curly's "Knot Today" Leave In Conditioner/Detangler: This ultra hydrating, water based moisturizer has been a staple in my curly hair care regimen since day one. I recommend it for all curl textures, and its all-natural ingredients leave my curls soft, and springy for days!
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: This off the shelf multipurpose item is in my arsenal as a pre-shampoo hair treatment, makeup remover, cuticle softener, and skin hydrator. When all else fails, grab some coconut oil- it'll probably work wonders! ;)
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Yes! I've announced my yearlong protective style challenge--but wanted to share that it’s in partnership with the team at Private Stock Hair.com! They are a luxury virgin hair distributor, and they have the most amazing, and the largest collection of all natural kinky hair textures to blend for every fro! I've been named as their brand ambassador for 2015, and will have all sorts of styles, deals, and more in the coming year! So stay tuned!
Learn more about Naptural Nicole when you visit her site, and follow her on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.