Trying to Get Out The Door Fast?
5 Tips to Tame That Mane

Hello, GEMs!  As you know, we’ve been talking a lot about the natural hair journey but what’s a woman to do when she wants a perfect hairdo, but doesn’t have much time?  Mornings are hectic enough without adding those three dreaded words: Bad Hair Day! So how can we get out the door fast and still look great? We went right to one of my top choices for styling tips and advice, Nikki Walton, the dynamo behind 

Nikki’s got a new book coming out (GO NIKKI!),  Better Than Good Hair, The Curly Girl Guide To Healthy, Gorgeous, Natural Hair that you can order, RIGHT NOW! So we asked her for 5 tips for busy moms that will have us looking great without spending a ton of time.  Look, we have a whole world to conquer; we can’t be derailed by curls that won’t cooperate! Take it away, Nikki!


Start with a great cut. No matter what type of hair you have, this is your base. When your hair falls easily into place, you’re guiding it, not fighting it. Regular cuts keep your ends trimmed, which means fewer raggedy ends and less detangling. If you just can’t get to the salon when you should, at least do regular search and destroy missions for split ends, using scissors made for hair and squirreled away just for that purpose to keep them sharp.

Read more: Better Than Good Hair: Trimming Ends


Adopt a protective style. Keeping your hair braided or bunned, or any other style that doesn’t have the ends flying everywhere, will minimize the breakage and preserve the moisture. If you’re trying to grow your hair, you’ll get there sooner by minimizing the handling and stress. Do this well and you can keep the style all week — imagine four mornings with no hair drama!

Read more: Better Than Good Hair: Protective Styling To Achieve Long Natural Hair


A few minutes of nighttime preparation makes so many morning tasks smoother, and hair is no exception. Minimize the frizz by protecting your curls. If your hair is long enough, gather it in a high loose pony to keep your curls from flattening. Make satin your friend, in a bonnet or a pillowcase (that’s right, we’re rationalizing satin sheets).

Read more: Better Than Good Hair: Nighttime Routine To Keep Curls Intact


Give up? Sometimes it’s just one of those days, and that’s when the kit comes out. Stock your bag with bobby pins, scrunchies, moisturizer with aloe vera, whatever works for you … and a hat for when it doesn’t.

Read more: Better Than Good Hair: Achieving Second Day Hair – Natural Hair Style Tips


Nothing throws Mama’s routine off like a little one with troubled tresses.  If morning hair styling turns into a battle, whether it’s from a tender scalp or just a case of the wiggles, take advantage of every ally you have.  Start while your angel is in the high chair, focused on breakfast or Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. Bonus: It’s easier on your back. You’ll get so much done while the attention is elsewhere. Praise her curls and cooperation, and let her choose her barrettes. You’re building memories and, both for the next round and for years from now.

Read more: Better Than Good Hair: Taking Care Of Natural Kids’ Hair


Thanks for the tips Nikki!

Nikki’s hair journey began in college, when she made three-hour monthly treks home so her trusted stylist could wash and press her hair bone straight, which would last all of a week. Eventually the man she would marry said hey, psych major, this isn’t healthy and your hair is beautiful as it is. She resolved to make peace with her hair, and besides amassing a wealth of care and maintenance tips, she is an expert in decoding the psychological ties between black women and their hair. In addition to the website, she created the Curly Nikki mobile app.  And don’t forget, you can pre-order Nikki’s book,  “Better Than Good Hair, The curly girl guide to healthy, gorgeous, natural hair” here.

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Compiled by Beth Bellor: Beth Bellor is a journalist living in Michigan. She grew up in Kentucky (go Cats!), has been married 23 years and has a 19-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter. You also can find her on Twitter @bethbellor and at