Getting to know your hair just became that much easier. Thanks to our COCOBlogger of the Month, Sylvia Kerali of Curls Understood, who provides a thorough breakdown of all things natural hair. This site is dedicated to helping women navigate through the endless world of products and techniques for all hair types. We talked to this curl maven, blogger and author about understanding your curls and empowering aspiring bloggers.
Tell us about your blog Curls Understood.
CurlsUnderstood.com is a platform that delivers inspiration and information to the curly, natural hair community with a special focus on new naturals (those just starting to embrace their curls).
I started the site because even though there are many fabulous vloggers, bloggers, stylists and products out there for naturals, combing through all that information can be downright daunting especially if you’re new to the game. So, I decided to create a site that organized content so you can get to what you need to know quickly.
Our content is sectioned by Texture, Volume and Length with a cool visual Salon Directory.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve been blogging for over 15 years! My first blog was called “I Like Her Style!” and was focused on fashion and style. It was really a way for me to learn more about websites, and later, social media. I worked in Communications but wanted to move into Digital Marketing so, starting a blog was the perfect way to get acquainted with the field!
What do you love blogging about the most?
I love the autonomy. Being able to write about the things that interest me and determining the creative way those topics are presented. I also love the fact that it’s a great way to make a passive income. I make just under $2000 a month from blogging on average – not bad for 5 hours of work per week!
Curls Understood is my second blog and things in the digital world had really changed but I love teaching myself new things like social media marketing and coding so I embraced the challenge.
You mentioned how much you love the income you make from blogging; please tell us how you generate that income.
My blog income comes primarily from advertising with Google banner ads and affiliate marketing. I get a percentage of revenue for products I recommend to my readers and products that I use and love!
You can start earning money this way as soon as you launch your own blog and as your readership grows. If you can get up to 250 unique visitors a day or approximately 7,500 unique visitors you will be on your way.
I’ve also just launched a t-shirt and accessories line. I’m super excited to see how this will increase my blog income.
How do you come up with content for the blog?
I have a wonderful group of Curly Ambassadors who contribute to CurlsUnderstood.com They all have blogs of their own and are wonderful writers. I usually send a list of 10 topics each month that I want covered but they are also free to pitch topics that would appeal to the natural hair audience. We end up with some wonderful and unique articles!
What are the top three concerns that women have about their curls?
That’s an interesting question because 5-7 years ago, I think the top concerns were around what products would make curls “pop”. Now, I’d say the top three concerns are:
- 1. “What are the safest products to use on natural hair?” – That means products that aren’t filled with harmful ingredients with long or short-term effects!
- 2. Many naturals want to grow their hair longer and healthier so I get asked this question a lot on CurlsUnderstood.com! “How can I make my hair grow faster” – The best advice is to use products that you know your hair loves, but more importantly, treat your hair with kindness and patience. Ultimately, your own hands (or those of others) can be your curly hair’s biggest enemy.
- 3. Lastly, avoiding heat damage when straightening natural hair. I always suggest for curly haired women to buy a ceramic straightening iron that you can control the temperature of. 365ºF is the ideal temperature. If you have finer hair go lower. Thicker hair can go a little higher but 365ºF is the ideal temperature to avoid heat damage and retain some moisture within your hair.
What advice can you give to others who want to start a blog?
The best advice I can give anyone is to just start! No one needs to know your blog exists until you’re ready. Just start writing and acquainting yourself with all the technical and creative aspects of blogging and the rest will come over time. I encourage anyone who’s interested in starting his or her own blog to read this article.
In addition to blogging, you have also written a book, please tell us what inspired you to write Know Thy Curls?
Know Thy Curls is a Product Ingredient Dictionary. The first half explains why you should care what ingredients are in your hair products and how different hair types may want to pay attention to different ingredients, e.g. those with fine hair will want to buy products that include light ingredients that don’t weigh the hair down.
I researched 250+ products from the most popular curly hair brands on the market. Ingredient information included in the book is sourced from recognized cosmetic leaders & governing bodies.
The second half of the book shows you how to read product labels and includes an extensive dictionary of all those hard-to-read ingredients that no one can pronounce.
What’s next for Sylvia?
In addition to my t-shirt and accessories line, I also have a few more ideas for eBooks that I’d like to release over the next 12 months. Plus I want to grow the audience of Curls Understood to 500K visitors a month! You can help us by following Curls Understood on all major social media networks: @CurlsUnderstood (See the links below).
What are your top three items in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal?
I can’t live without the following:
- 1. Mac’s Ruby Woo Lipstick– It’s the perfect red and works for all skin tones.
- 2. Shea Moisture’s Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Curling Gel Soufflé– makes my twist outs perfect every time!
- 3. Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub – keeps my skin glowing and it’s affordable.
To keep up with Sylvia and Curls Understood, you can follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.