******TOPIC: ALOE & HOW LONG CAN IT BE PRESERVED?******
Question 1) @PttSophisticate ASKS: How long are you able to keep your aloe once opened and refridged? Also, what is your take on Aloe Gel…as an alt & on its own?
As long as I keep my (unaltered, pure as it came) aloe vera juice refrigerated after opening, I’ve found it lasts for weeks. But if I leave it out for an extended period of time (say a few hours) then a weird dark cloud will appear at the bottom the next day. Yuck! And that’s when it gets thrown away!
Aloe Vera (Juice or Gel) is a product that will degrade and/or form mold without anti-microbial preservatives. Some preservatives are nastier than others. For instance, DMDM Hydantoin has received a number 7- 8 on the EWG website because it is a known formaldehyde releaser.
******TOPIC: HAIR GROWTH******
Question 2) @candancemh ASKS: is it possible to retain 6” per year (at 1/2” growth/mo.)? To me, that’s a lot of hair in a year and I want it!
Absolutely! The average human being grows 6” of hair every year. This is not a gimmick, it is fact. Since that 6” per year measurement is an average, some people grow more and others grow less in the same timeframe (just as some people are super hairy whereas others are not).
You will only be able to determine your hair growth rate by carefully measuring it over 3-6 months. Hair is just the result of cell division that occurs under the scalp. The body is fairly consistent in reproducing cells. As long as you are in good health and eating properly, you will crank out a consistent amount and quality of hair.
But! Please keep in mind the difference between growing hair verses retaining hair. Hair is a fiber that can only be preserved or destroyed. Afro-textured, kinky hair is the most delicate hair type of all.
Whether people like it or not (and some seem like they don’t) kinky hair must be “tricked” into growing longer through gentle handling and protective styling. For growing, retaining and sustaining kinky hair, the key is balance. And I’m referring to maximum growth. Some people will grow hair —yes—- but few will maximize retention and see those 6 inches.
******TOPIC: MOISTURIZING & SEALING Hair & Scalp******
Question 3) @FacesAllDolled Hi, I am not sure if it is the ends or the scalp, hair shaft and ends that I am suppose to moisturize and seal. How do you M&S?
Moisturizing and sealing generally refers to the hair strand. However, our scalps are also skin and undergo the same turnover rate as other skin cells on the body. The problem with the scalp is that since it is hidden under hair, it can easily become ignored, mistreated and neglected.
The scalp should be washed on a regular basis, to free up any debris and microscopic dead skin flakes that have accumulated over the course of a week. This helps to prevent the hair follicles on the scalp (which produce our hair) from becoming clogged.
Washing regularly also helps to prevent bacterial infections and moisturizes (water) the scalp in the process.
Generally, all human beings produce a sufficient amount of sebum, the skin’s natural waterproofing moisturizer as long as you keep it healthy. So placing oils directly on the scalp should not be necessary since it is constantly producing its own oils.
But changes in the weather (especially winter time) can cause the scalp to become chapped (again much like our skin) and dried out.
I suggest that you use a scalp friendly pH balanced products (shampoo/conditioner) which will help to keep the scalp in a healthy state. Like the hair, our skin has a pH balance between 4.5 - 5.5. So aim for products in that range.
The same advice goes for the hair strand. Using a hair friendly pH balanced product will encourage the hair’s cuticles to close and then you can add your preferred oil (or leave-in) to seal that moisture in. Some products are all in one and can do the job of both (close cuticles and seal).
Your hair should feel moisturized for 2-3 days depending on its porosity and the weather. Just rinse your hair with water and/or re-apply your products if needed.
******TOPIC: SPLIT ENDS******
Note: Please also see my answers from 11/17/2011.
But the short answer is that split ends can come from a number of sources: I’ll list them in order that are most likely.
a) Hair Tools - like combs and brushes. Hair is not indestructible and therefore can be destroyed gradually through constant combing and brushing. If you see lots of mid-hair shaft splits, it’s likely due to styling tools.
b) Rough handling with your hands —like ripping through knotted ends, or ripping through hair as you untwist or unbraid.
c) Weathering —which occurs over time to a hair strand (hair doesn’t last forever!)
d) Uneven Keratinization - this means the hair sprout from your scalp with weakness built in. Keep in mind that kinky hair often appears nearly flat as a ribbon underneath a microscope. And on top of that it is a ribbon that varies in thickness along the strand. This results in hair vulnerabilities. You can’t do much about this except for handling your hair gently to prolong the strand’s lifespan enough to enjoy it.
******TOPIC: HAIR & HEAT (PRESSING COMBS)******
Question 5) @manurse24 when pressing hair what temp is best and what products to use to make it silky and bouncy?
My Answer: I have never pressed my hair, so I have no recommendations. However, I will say that hair burns at the same temperature as paper “Fahrenheit 451” which is probably the reason people test their hot combs on paper towels before running it through their hair.
Depending on the temperature used, pressing the hair can be more stressful and potentially more damaging than evenly coated ceramic flat irons. A quality flat iron will distribute heat more evenly over the hair than a metal comb (and flat iron has the advantage of a more controlled temperature setting).
My advice? Go to a professional salon that you trust. A salon that balances style with hair care (not all salons share or practice this philosophy) . If you are inexperienced with heat, you could do serious, irreversible damage to your hair.
******TOPIC: HAIR DAMAGE FROM HEAT (PRESSING COMB)******
Question 6) @JoAnnJE for thursday: i got a trim a month ago, pressed my hair 2 days ago. now, ive noticed split ends. what could be the cause?
My Answer: Please consider the answers above (regrading split ends). It is possible that your hair was damaged during the hair pressing process (especially since you’re noticing them after the fact). High heat is very stressful to the hair. It exposes the hair’s vulnerabilities.
Also, if the scissors used on your hair were blunt rather than sharp, this may have contributed to the problem.
All that you can do now is trim your ends again and be super cautious in the future. Contrary to popular belief, heat straightening is not necessary for a good trim. I often trim my hair on a regular basis in its stretched state (3 day old braids, twists). If you want a neat, clean hemline or if your hair is horribly uneven, then trimming while straightened makes perfect sense. But if you wear your hair in its curly/kinky state most often, it makes more sense to trim it in that state.
******TOPIC: PROTEIN TREATMENTS******
My Answer: Summary: As someone with natural, non-chemically treated hair, heavy protein treatments are simply not a big part of my hair care regimen. I personally prefer to focus on protecting and preserving the existing protein in my hair. And I’ve been growing my hair for the past 4.5 years, never once using the most intense protein treatments.
First, let me briefly explain the logic behind protein treatments. The hair’s cortex, which is located underneath layers of cuticle, is comprised mostly of protein (roughly 90%). Throughout the lifespan of a hair strand, protein can be lost due to heat, UV exposure from the sun, washing and chemical treatments (relaxers, texturizers & coloring). Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Just a few causes.
To put it simply, protein treatments are often used to fill in gaps along the many bundles of protein within the hair strand to reinforce strength and longevity.
Note: Look for ingredients like “hydrolyzed protein” on your product labels. They are considered the ideal size for maximum hair penetration.
Protein treatments come in varying degrees of intensity. 1)”Rinse in, rinse out versions”, 2) “apply and sit underneath a hair dryer” versions and 3) “Apply and blow dry until hair becomes hardened” versions. The latter is considered to be the most effective since heat aids in binding protein molecules to the hair strand.
I commonly use and prefer version #2. I “deep condition” my hair every two weeks in the winter and every month during the summer (or warmer months). Why? I’ve found that these conditioning treatments help with the pliability and overall feel of my hair (similar to the effect fabric softener has on clothes).
Remember: Hair is a fiber that can only be preserved or destroyed.
Prior to flat ironing my hair, (which I’ve only done once so far), I will use method #2 with a “reconstructor” protein treatment which is a bit heavier, more concentrated in protein than my normal “light protein” deep conditioning session.
People with chemically treated hair will benefit the most from intense or regular protein treatments because the structure of their hair has been compromised.
I will say that I do not consider myself the “expert” on protein treatments because I have limited personal experience applying them and I’m not a professional stylist (they are used to doing these kinds of treatments due to the chemical treatments they offer their clients.).
Overall, protein to me is like a “band-aid” or a hair “steroid” since it can increase the heft and weight of your hair strands. My personal approach to hair care is “do minimal harm” in the first place. So I use protein treatments in light moderation.
Note: Not to mention that heavier protein treatments can potentially change your hair’s natural curl and kink pattern. Since these results are unpredictable, you won’t know what you’ll get until afterwards. Whether hair can “snap back” is unknown to me. Further research is needed!
******TOPIC: DEEP CONDITIONING/ WHAT IS IT? PURPOSE?******
Question 8) @brichtweets deep condish. is it more so a technique (i.e., using heat) or is there a diff between prods marketed as condish & deep condish?
My Answer: Please also see the answer above.
The term “conditioning” is confusing to people and I totally understand why. It’s an umbrella term that actually covers a lot. Pretty much anything that changes the “condition” of your hair is a conditioning treatment. Gels, leave-ins, mousses, rinse out conditioners, etc.
When people refer to “deep conditioning” usually they are referring to a method that deeply penetrates the hair strand beyond the cuticle surface. As explained above, protein treatments (which come in various intensities) are a conditioning treatment. And since protein binds best to the hair when used with heat, that is probably the best use of the term “deep conditioning”.
Many other ingredients included in hair products for “deep conditioning” don’t actually bind to the hair. Some are temporary fillers that will wash out over time. Some of the fatty acids in certain oils can fit inside the hair strand, but again, they are not proteins and may offer temporary conditioning to the hair.
******TOPIC: KIMMAYTUBE’S NEW HAIR GOAL?******
Question 9) @caprimomx2 Now that you’ve reached your goal length, have you set a new hair goal? Not necessarily length but any aspect of hair care.
My Answer: Now that the longest parts of my hair have reached hipbone length, I plan to sustain my hair by continuing my regimen of consistent care. Pretty much, nothing changes. For me, this is the perfect length because my hair shrinks up 30-50%. In order to achieve the hairstyle looks that I favor, I need longer hair.
Plus, it should go without saying that since hair is literally my business, showing others how hair can be maintained over the long haul is at the core of my brand.
******TOPIC: NECESSITY OF PRESERVATIVES ******
Question 10) @CurvyCurlyTrini Question: I read in Paula Bergon website/book, that Preservatives are need in hair care products? What D difference btw
My Answer: Please check out EWG’s website to find out more information about specific preservatives.
But preservatives are considered necessary for products to increase their shelf life. For consumer health and protection, manufacturers must provide stable products that aren’t breeding grounds for bacteria and mold.
If you have an aversion to preservatives, you should look into becoming a “kitchen chemist” and whip up your own small batches/formulations that can be used within a week or two, negating the need for preservatives (in most cases).
Remember, water is the source and catalyst for life. Anything containing water and other degradable organic materials will have to be preserved.
******TOPIC: HAIR & PH BALANCE FOR MAINTENANCE******
Question 11) @tvshouze How often do u apply a ph balancer 2 ur hair? Is it only after u wash & condish?
My Answer: All of my products are “pH focused” or “pH conscious”. From my shampoo, conditioners to my hair gel. Keeping my hair in the desired range of 4.0 - 5.5pH is key to retaining moisture and pliable (not crispy) hair.
******TOPIC: HAIR EXTENSIONS******
Question 12) @leanciaP139v14 my hair is in single hair extensions. Is this protective style? How long should I keep them in? How do I keep them moisturised?
My Answer: Protective styling involves different levels. Here are a few. Hair should be:
a) Protected from itself (e.g. knots, tangles, clothing, purse straps)
b) Protected from earth elements (wind/air dryness, UV from sun, dirt & debris) and;
c) Protected from daily manipulation (styling tools, combs, brushes)
I could really go on and on. But as you can see, while in single hair extensions, your hair is protected from some things but not others.
The tricky thing about extensions is that they are so costly and time consuming that the wearer naturally desires to keep the style intact and looking good for as long as possible.
Depending on the type of hair used (synthetic or human) regular washing will unravel or frizz out the style. So a lot of people will neglect their real hair because it is difficult to manage the two textures.
I have such little knowledge about single hair extensions that I had to google images! I’m familiar with braid extensions and even sported them a long time ago. So I know all about the “scalp itchies” associated with long term wear.
When striving for hair growth or well preserved hair, it is important to maintain both a healthy scalp and care for your individual hair strands. The scalp must be routinely cleaned of pollutants collected from indoor/outdoor environments and your own microscopic dead skin flakes. So washing the hair is imperative. The frequency is a personal choice.
Personally, I strive to wash my hair every 7 days and at the very latest, 10 days.
On the few occasions I’ve gone longer without washing or moisturizing my hair? My hair becomes dull and dried out. This creates opportunity for breakage or what I call “hair bends”. ”Hair bends” are brittle, creasing points along the strands that will eventually contribute to knots, tangles or breakage.
How long you keep your extensions in is up to you. But please know that even though you are wearing extensions, your real hair is still on a shedding cycle. So the longer you keep those shed hairs “locked” into your hair, the more shed hairs that will need to be removed later. This creates an opportunity for matted hair, tangles and knots.
A healthy human being will shed between 50-100 shed hairs a day.
So if you see a few hundred or thousand strands of hair when your extensions are removed, this is the reason why.
I feel hairstylists should provide their clients with better care instructions for their extensions. A good stylist would show you how to take a tipped nozzle squeeze bottle with a gentle shampoo and gently massage your scalp and how often to wash your hair.
Wearing a stocking cap over kinky twists or braids while washing hair can help to minimize unraveling.
I personally feel that extensions should not be left in for months. I know this is a common practice with braids or kinky twists, but simply caring for our own hair is challenging enough without extra barriers.
Again, if possible try misting your real hair with moisturizer (preferably a product with water as the first ingredient), or cream and lotion forms.
With my limited experience on hair extensions of any kind, that is all I have to offer at this point.
******TOPIC: HEAT PROTECTANTS/ OIL VS. SILICONES******
I know some people use Grapeseed oil but I’ll tell you why I won’t. Silicones are a plastic/polymer protective coating. Oils? No.
Even manufacturing industries use the right (optimal) lubricant or barrier for the job. I treat my hair the very same way.
Plus, I’ve only seen hair studies showing how SILICONES absorb heat from heating tools. Yet to see a study on oils!
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