Curl Power

A spunky STL-bred personality goes national with the message of natural beauty.

 

Forming a sisterhood of natural hair enthusiasts, STL native and popular blogger CurlyNikki’s following consists of more than 120,000 “curl-friends” on Facebook and Twitter alone. Add in her amazingly successful readership—did we mention she’s a bestselling author, too?—and you’ll soon realize the influence this former St. Louisan has on the beauty community.

So far, book sales of “Better Than Good Hair” have exceeded the expectations of both Nikki Walton and her publisher Harper Collins. In addition to Walton’s already supportive online fan base, national appearances on “The Tyra Banks Show,” “Katie” (Katie Couric) and “Steve Harvey” have only bolstered sales. According to Walton, the book is a resource that contains all of the basic hair care information a newbie will need to get started on the path to natural hair. “It's a very easy, witty and fun read. Pretty much anyone who's read the book has said that they read it in two days, but they refer back to it all the time,” Walton says.

So what makes Walton an expert on hair? As a certified psychotherapist, Walton has seen her fair share of patients with image issues—not to mention the author's own struggles with self acceptance. After driving for miles each month to have her locks ruthlessly scorched into submission, the stick-straight results Walton coveted only lasted about a week. Frustrated, and further encouraged by her now husband, Walton left the damaging heat behind and decided to go natural—and so CurlyNikki was born. Her original creative outlet, curlynikki.com, is full of tips, tutorials and unpretentious product reviews—like the one she did for a new handheld steamer, The Q-Redew: “Used as a steamer, it’s pretty dope. It left my hair noticeably soft and my biceps burning, lol!”

It’s obvious from Walton’s growing popularity that readers only want more of her down-to-earth candor and quippy modern lingo. But even with all of Walton’s recent success, she hasn't forgotten her childhood home of St. Louis. In fact, she just visited in April for a book signing sponsored by SheaMoisture at The Coliseum. “I grew up in St. Louis; I love St. Louis and I go home as often as I can,” she says. For those who missed her local appearance, you can find Walton's weekly updates as a regular columnist at essence.com, as well as on her site curlynikki.com.

 

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Nikki Walton, CurlyNikki

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“Better Than Good Hair” by Nikki Walton

 

Photo credit: Book cover courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers. Curly Nikki photo by Topshelf Junior.

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