“Much of the satisfying work of life begins as an experiment; no experiment is ever quite a failure.”

Alice Walker


Hi there! My name is Shelli and I’m a little quirky, talkative, silly, enthusiastic and, hopefully, entertaining! I’ve been wearing my hair in its natural state since 2000, when an over-zealous stylist decided to put relaxer on more than my new growth. I was already wearing my hair curly, so the resultant breakage caused by the overlapping perm made my decision easy. I big chopped well before I ever heard the term and have been wearing my hair curly ever since. I started this blog at the encouragement of friends, because I love reading, writing and talking about natural and curly hair. I don’t think that we ever know it all. But, I’d like to share what I’ve learned over the years and the things I continue to learn every day. Along the way, you’ll probably learn a little more about my other interest as well (like my borderline obsessive love of cartoons and comics;). Hopefully, what I share here will help those who are new to this natural thing, as well as those who’ve been in the “game” a while and are seeking new techniques and/or styles or just love surfing the “hairyverse!” I also hope to share your stories and experiences as Hairscapades isn’t just about me, it’s about all of you too!!

A few notes about the site:

  • The abbreviations that are used on natural hair sites can be mind boggling. But, they make writing a lot easier;-).  To help those new to this world decipher the ones that are used most frequently on the web, I’ve added a Lexicon under the “Home” tab.
  • I’ve provided tabs for categories in which I think you might be most interested in accessing quickly, such as the Style Library, Reviews and HairStories. These categories all contain several sub-categories as well. I’ll continue to add categories and pages as needed in order to make the site easy to navigate.
  • I try to respond to all questions and comments as promptly as possible. That may be a couple of days, if I have to give creating new posts priority. However, I make every attempt to reply in a day or two. If I don’t respond, I apologize. It’s not intentional. Sometimes it’s just hard to keep track of when/where comments are made here, especially when several are coming in at the same time. So, just give me a shout if I missed you and you have a burning question.
  • I try to generate 2-3 posts every weekday and use the weekends to work on posts for the upcoming week. I also have a Youtube channel and try to upload styling tutorials,  technique and review videos periodically. If there’s anything you want to read or see, let me know. I’ll do my best to accommodate the request!


If you want to contact me directly with a question and/or to submit a post for the site (check out Be on Hairscapades for Guest Feature topics), please feel free to e-mail me at hairscapades@gmail.com.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!!  I truly appreciate it! And, if you enjoy what you read and see, please tell a friend (or two or three or four … ;)), “Like,” “Twitter,” “Share” and comment! And, if you really, REALLY like me (check “yes” or “no” … *lol*), you can subscribe to Hairscapades.com, my Facebook page, and/or my YouTube channel!!



Would you like to contribute to support Hairscapades? You can make secure donations via PayPal by clicking the donate button below. I truly appreciate any and all donations!!  Thank you!!


51 responses »

  1. Hey shelli, I wanted to give you some suggestions for your site:

    Add a Tweet Meme plugin so that others can tweet your posts.
    Add a FB like button
    Add an RSS feed icon to the top of your site so people can subscribe to your site by email or add to Google reder.
    If you haven’t joined a blog network, Networked blogs from Facebook is good, Then you can get the widget and add it to your blog so other bloggers can follow
    Add the Google Friend Connect widget so Blogger bloggers can follow

    these will greatly increase your readership 🙂


    • Perfect timing as I was planning on spending a portion of tomorrow working on the structure/logistics of the site. I have FB like, share and tweet options that already that appear at the bottom of each post. Do you mean something else? As to the RSS, what’s that and how would I add that? AS to the last two things, how do I accomplish? Are those things I need to google and find or are they under the Appearance menu? Thanks for all of the advice!!


      • Hey Shell,

        I see an FB and a Twitter log in. There’s a widget though called Tweet Meme. It puts a Retweet button at the top of your post.
        For the Google Friend connect, you can go to Google and search for it and then sign up there. They will give you the code to add the widget like what you did with Networked Blogs. Speaking of which, normally when you have he Networked Blogs widget there is pics of all your followers. (check out how it appears on my blog – bottom right) Maybe you chose a different option for display? Go to the Networked Blogs page on FB and check the code that you are using for the widget.

        To set up an RSS feed, go to feedburner.com and then follow the steps to add your blog. Then you need to just add the code and the widget. It appears you have the RSS widget. It’s just that it doesn’t take you to a sign up page to sign up to receive your updates. The RSS widget is that orange looking button.

        K, let me know if you need anything else.


        • In regard to the Networked Blog widgets, I don’t think I can get pics of followers because it’s wordpress hosted versus self-hosted (I’m assuming it doesn’t work because I have wordpress in my web address whereas you don’t?). I was trying to figure that out yesterday because I had the widge like you and 3 followers, but none of them were showing, so I changed it to the badge so it wouldn’t take up so much space with no images. Now I have 6 followers, switched back to the widge and still no images. So, I think maybe it’s because I’m on wordpress and the help screen says that they don’t support Javascript widgets. As to the other items, thanks so much Michelle. You are so helpful and I’m pretty clueless in regard to all of that stuff. I can right a post, but “infrastructure” is beyond my area of expertise=).


  2. Hey there,

    I absolutely love your curls! After a houseful of boys (5), my husband and I finally have a baby girl and she has exactly the same hair as you. Whenever you get a moment, please post more pics of your self as a child. If you could leave some tips that would also be great. She’s such a fine, curly (2, 3) that I can barely get a cornrow to stay and no other hairstyles stay put for longer than 5 minutes. She’s only 9 months old, so I won’t be doing anything too involved, but any advice you can give will be most definitely appreciated.

    Thank you!


    • Hi Janae,

      Thank you so much! I actually don’t have many pics of myself as a child. They are mostly at my parent’s house. The couple that I have really don’t show my hair. My mom kept my hair in ponytails or cornrows as far back as I can remember other than styling it out for special occasions like Christmas and Easter. I don’t think she did much with it when I was the age of your daughter as it was very soft. Think she just kept it greased … and it would be grease back then=), and that’s it. I’d suggest using a little tiny, tiny bit of coconut oil on her hair and leaving it alone=). I have a friend who has a daughter with long, luscious curls now (she’s 5). My friend really like’s Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk (a teeny, tiny bit) and the Kizzy Pomade for her hair. So, maybe that might work for you. But, as you said, she’s too little to do much with it. I’d suggest just keeping it moisturized and leaving it alone until she’s around 2. Around then, it may still be soft, but it’ll probably be a lot longer and get a little more density and texture to it. Hope that helps!


  3. Greetings Shelli! So good to find your voice and point of view on your own blog! I’m totally on a mission to connect in the blog-sphere with other like-minded minority bloggers! Here’s is my site and let me know if you would like to connect, I would love to provide “links” in my blog posts that will take readers to your blog as well!

    Enjoy & Blessings!


    • Okay, thank you. I’ll check out your regular blog soon!! I’ve been so crazy with just trying to work, get these posts done and work-out, I haven’t had much time for checking out other blogs! Hopefully I will soon though! Thanks again and congrats and good luck on your blogs!!


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  5. Hi Shelli,

    I love your creativity and versatility in styling. You have definitely given me some ideas to try on my 3b, 3c hair!

    I have a question or two: (1) How did you achieve the pseudo bob look above? This style would work great for me as I am heat adverse but twist/braid outs (for some reason) don’t work for my hair. The pics look like you pinned it all under, but, how did you manage to do this given the length of your hair, without exposing the pins (my hair is armpit length but with one long layer in the back that is BSL when stretched)? and (2) I know you are a fan of JBCO to seal, but what do you use to moisturize prior to sealing (specifically your ends)? Coconut and Vatika Oils leave my hair straw-like, shea and Qhmets are pretty heavy for my fine strands. Any suggestions?

    Thank you for all that you are providing our natural hair community!

    ~Rhonda C


    • Awwww, thank you Rhonda :)!! In regard to your questions:

      (1) I part my hair and then just gather my hair like i’m going to secure the ends all together (so, as low as possible but at the point where I can secure all the ends – i.e. little to no stray hairs hanging loose). Then, I start rolling the ends and keep rolling until I get to my nape. Then, I secure with a couple (maybe three) doobie pins. Once the ends are secure, then I just smooth and shape a little. This video by Lilith Moon shows another option for creating a faux bob. I haven’t tried it this way, but I like it!

      (2) Oils don’t moisturize, they only seal and I get the same straw hair when I apply Vatika or coconut oil to seal. I only use those for pre-poos. I use the Kimmaytube leave-in or DevaCare One conditioner to moisturize prior to sealing my ends. Kimmaytube provides a very smooth, shiny, but flatter appearance to my hair (between the oil in the recipe and the pH balance, it really smooths the cuticle). DevaCare provides me with fluffier, bigger, not as shiny, but moisturized hair, which I really like. Your moisturizer should have water as the first ingredient. OIls and butters seal the moisture into your hair. Also, I think weekly pre-poos really help my hair retain moisture between wash sessions. I wrote this in an earlier posts. My hair LOVES Vatika and coconut oil for pre-poos, but it does NOT like it for sealing ;)! LOL!


  6. Shelli, Thanks for your response! I really like your blog!

    Just a quick question(s). I was wondering if you apply the Kimmaytube to your dry hair to remoisturize? Once I stretch (roller hair) and twist my hair, I dont like to rewet it (too much tangling). Are there other moisturizers that you recommend? I have pulled my Qhmets product back into rotation, but it is alittle heavy for my fine strands. What oils do you use to seal? I know Nik is a fan of castor oil based products and you use JBCO but are there any others?

    ~Rhonda C


    • No problem and thank you! As to your questions, no, I don’t use the Kimmaytube leave-in to remoisturize. I don’t tend to need to remoisturize too much. But, if I do, what I use depends on the type of set/style I’m wearing. If I’m going to retwist, after I twist, I might spritz lightly with water or DevaCurl Set It Free. But, sometimes I’ll just use a cream. Right now, I am using a variety of things. I might use WonderCurl Butter Than Love, Shea Moisture C&H Curl Milk, Qhemet Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee or Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter (yes, product junkie as all of these are under my sink;). These are creamy, but water is the first ingredient in all. With fine hair, you do have to find something light or go very light with the product so as not to weigh the hair down excessively. So, I use one of those moisturizers first, then seal with JBCO.


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  8. I wanted to thank you.. I finally found someone who has my hair type, wooo weee. I have had so many problems with products and styles. i have tried some of your styles and they work. Trying to use most of my products before I buy more, don’t no if thats going to work, lol… Within the next week or so, im getting the puffy twist, just to take a break. I hope they stay in… Have a Good One 🙂


    • Awwwww, you’re welcome Tameshia!! I’m so happy to learn when something I have suggested or posted has helped someone!! YEA!! Good luck with the twists!! I ADORED them and they definitely will give you a break. Just make sure to protect your hair before and during the install!! I’m assuming you’ve read my review of them and are going armed:). Thank you again!!


  9. I just found this blog today (via Curly Nikki) and I absolutely love it. I think I have become obsessed with natural/curly hair blogs, sites and youtube videos even though I have been natural since the 90s. It seems so new to me with all the products, forums, and groups we have now. So glad I found this blog, and boy oh boy do I have some hair stories!!!



    • LOL!! Cicely, I was natural for 10 years when I discovered this world and became obsessed/addicted and, a year later, I started the NC.com blog, a year and a half later, Hairscapades was “born.” So, I know exactly what you mean;)!! I’m so happy that you are loving it and can’t wait until you share those hair stories:)!!


  10. I totally love all your beautiful hair updo pictures. I often look for signature updo styles to practice on my natural hair. I truly appreciate you sharing your hair journey with us.


  11. I really really love the hair styles. I often find myself looking at the pictures of natural hairstyles that are during the 30s, 40s and 50s. I am totally in love with how the ladies in that era adorned there hair. The way that you style your hair reminds me of those beautiful classic pictures. I have been a natural curly girl for a little over 9 years.I find myself struggling with styling my hair. By watching your videos, it has really helped me with protective styling techniques.


    • Awwww, thanks Timber!! I’m so happy that you find the videos helpful! I need to make some more time to be creative as I’ve been rocking a bun a lot lately. But, I love the hairstyles of those eras too and I would like to experiment with some more of them, as long as they aren’t too involved;)! Thanks again, comments like these make my day:)!!


  12. Hello Shelly! I have been addicted to your blog for a week now, and Im telling EVERYONE! LOL. If you have a moment, I have a little dilemma she mentioned you might be able to help me with.

    I have had 2 keratin treatments done, one in Oct 2010 and one in Sept of 2011 and it seems as though my hair (ends mainly) has lost ALL of its natural curl. Might you have a remedy to help my hair curl again? Even with a two strand twist and a bantu knot its still very straight. If you have any ideas I am open!

    Thank you in advance.


    • LOL!! Awwww, thanks Robyn!! I appreciate it:)!! As to your dilemma, I’m not really familiar with keratin treatments and there are a variety out there. Regardless, if your hair hasn’t reverted in 7 months, you may potentially have permanent straightening. If that is the case, you may have to transition out the straightened hair as if you were growing out a relaxer or heat damage or big chop. Of course, this is if you want your curls to return. Did you use heat on your hair often or only got the treatment to style your hair without heat? If the former, you may have a combo of a chemical change and heat damage. However, before you pull out the scissors, let me ask these questions? Do you deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner regularly … meaning, at least once a month or more frequently? Also, do you use protein treatments in your regimen. If you do neither nor …. you may want to start with those and see how your hair responds from there. Oh, and one last thing, do you clarify your hair if you use products with cones? If not, you may have product build-up that needs to be removed and that tends to help the “liveliness” of curls.

      Hope something in that helps!


      • So! First let me start by thanking you for your response. To answer your questions, I got the Keratin treatment for my wedding, so I wouldnt have worry about sweating my hair out, or preforming surgery on the honeymoon. Once I got the treatments, I used heat on it until recently (end of Feb). I have just recently started looking for a solution, and returning to my regular routine of twisting and washing and GO! Its been about a month. I have been deep conditioning, I think and doing my best to get as much moisture as possible. Also, I have been finding blogs, and videos to help me figure this out. I have been natural since 1997, but wore locs for 7 years. So I am really not totally used to dealing with my hair naturally – not in locs. Tonight, I did your pre-poo procedure (waiting the 30 mins now). And I will wash and twist/braid after. My hair is about 3-4 inches shorter than yours, and the roots are fine (curly), its really just the ends that are barely wavy. I would not mind a chop, since its only about 4 inches. Its only hair. I have tired henna 2x, no protein treatments (I think you’ve suggested ApHogee – must do some reading). Not sure what clarify means or what cones are (EKK)…Ive used apple cider 2x. I am hoping it’s a build up, and just needs to be washed you. Since I had been blowing out, my ends were a little straight anyway. Fingers are crossed that more washes and conditioning will take care of the this. Off to wash out the pre-poo! Thank you again. If you have any other suggestions, I am open. you can email me at robynicolrobertson (at) yahoo (dot) com, if it is easier. Oh and hug Weusi for me!


  13. Hi Shelli! I am a new and very happy reader/follower. I found your site via CurlyNikki and I am totally hooked! I mean, checking it every day (ok, for a few hours a day), watching the vids, digging in archives – total loon. You are beautiful (inside and out) and I really appreciate that you are sharing your experiences and journies with us. Thanks for the tuts, vids, reviews and the OOTD – I put an outfit from the back of the closet together thanks to one of those posts! Haha! Keep it coming! I am transitioning (4 months) and am enjoying trying all of your updos and accessory ideas on this long mane of relaxed hair while I wait to get the full courage to big chop. Your blog is the right ‘fit’ for me and I wish you much success with it and many, many more readers!


    • Nicole, how sweet are you?!?!? Thank you sooo much for the kind words and the encouraging feedback!! It is so rewarding to know that something I shared helped you!!! Okay, what OOTD helped inspire you?!?!


      • Haha! It was the floral dress that you layered with a black top! I have a boho-ish top with a similar floral – so I layered it over a black tank and pencil skirt and belted it. Never would have put that together before. Now, if I could only rock some of your awesome shoe collection! Inspiration, I tell ya! 🙂


  14. Hi Shelli,
    It was very interesting to read about your hair journey. It’s sooo funny that I had a very similar relaxer incident. I went to a salon to get a retouch for my japanese straightened hair. and you guessed it, she did ALL of my hair and not just the new growth. after that my hair kept falling out. I didnt know they called it transitioning, but I grew it out. i felt some soft curls underneath but i ignored them and sometime later used the conair steam straightener to straighten them. worst decision ever. it made it soooo damaged… i decided to go natural. i cut off all my straightened hair in january. now its 4 months going strong. ive been trying to find info and styles for natural hair. im glad i found your site. it encourages me to see others trying to achieve healthy hair. thanks!


  15. I have dark brown hair that turns red-brown in the summer from the sun. I want to start doing henna, but I am scared. Will my hair turn red? It would be great if we had pictures of various black women’s hair before and after henna so we can see what the color of henna does for those that are not wanting to change our actual hair color.
    Love your site. It’s my “fave” on my phone.


    • Hi Kesha, henna won’t lighten your dark brown hair, but it will give it a red tint in the sun or under light. If you look under the HairStories tab, there is a category, “Henna and Me.” You can see the stories and pictures of a few ladies who use henna. The ones who have red hair are the ones with a lot of grey, like me. Hope that helps and thank you for making me one of your faves:)!!!! Yea!!!


  16. Spreading The Sunshine: Hello! I just wanted you to know that you inspire me in so many ways and because I think that your blog is so Fan-tabulous I have nominated you for the “Inspiring Blog Award” … Share the love by visiting http://t.co/2eRwqwDj to view the details. Much Love & Many Blessings 🙂


    • Awwwww, thank you Sunshine!! Unfortunately, I’m very bad at doing these!! I’ve been nominated a couple of times and I always mean to do my own post, but I’m always running and never get around to it! Please don’t take it as a slight if I don’t get to this. I really appreciate it!


  17. Hi Shelli, Ive been seeing you for so long being featured on Curlynikki.com. It is good to see your own blog. I know that you like to use Henna- do you still use it? Im interested in trying it, but I’m worried about losing curl definition…whats your advice?


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