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Q & A

Here are some of the commonly asked questions we've received over the years.
We've organized them by category so you can easily find answers.

ISSUE: Styling Tips for Fine, Wavy Hair

February 24, 2010 | Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m using the Russian Amber, Katira, Lightweight Deep Conditioning Creme and Lovin’ Leave-in and I’m very happy with the products. I’m adding more as I go along. My question concerns styling products. I have fine, curly/wavy hair and I need something that will give my waves definition without making them feel crisp. If I don’t use a styling product, I get overly-soft hair that either lies flat if I straighten it or just limps when I air dry. I’m wondering if I can use the styling gel for this and cocktail it with the leave-in to counter any stiffness. Any other suggestions are welcome!

You’ve described the challenge of fine, wavy hair perfectly: Without the right styling products, it can look puffy and undefined. Or flat and undefined. Either way, the trick is to keep the softness and touchability while creating definition and movement. So your instinct of cocktailing the Styling Gel and Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner is right on. Comb the mixture through damp hair and shape the waves with your hands; once your hair is dry, run your fingers through it to create a sexy, casual pieciness.

ISSUE: Taming a Toddler’s Ringlets

December 2, 2009 | Curly Hair, Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I just found your site! I’m looking for hair products for my 2-year-old son. He has very thick red curly hair (ringlets) that tends to be on the dry side. I’m only given a limited amount of time to work with his hair before it becomes a battle and he runs off screaming, so what do you suggest? I usually let his hair dry naturally with a leave-in conditioner once I comb it through. Do you also have something i can use in-between washes — something I can rake through with my fingers that won’t leave his curls crunchy.

Apple Cider Vinegar Spray — it’s natural and gentle and will close the cuticle of your son’s hair, making it easier to comb and less likely to frizz. I’d use it as a finishing touch whenever you wash his hair, and then mist the spray on every day in between. It’s totally easy and fast — no hair battle required. And if his ringlets feel drier in the winter, you might want to use the African Shea Butter Shampoo, too.

ISSUE: My Hair is One Big, Dry, Frizzy Mess

September 21, 2009 | African-American Hair, Curly Hair, Dry Hair, Thick Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m so unhappy with my hair. People tell me all the time that I have lovely thick, curly hair; that they (women) would love to have it; and I should love and appreciate it. But I don’t. I have very, very thick Afro/Caribbean hair with tight curls and a lot of volume – when it dries, it starts to pouf out. I’m 27 and have rarely worn my hair down: My confidence suffers and I always end up putting it back up. I’ve spent lots of money on products that don’t work.

It sounds silly and people always tell me, “It’s just hair and there’s more to life,” but I feel like I have to do something about it. The only time I like my hair is when I’ve just stepped out of the shower or when I’ve just had it styled and the volume isn’t big and my curls fall long and loose. But once it dries, it expands and you can’t see the lovely curls – just one big, dry, frizzy mess. I don’t want to keep battling with my hair. Can you recommend the right products and give me some tips?

Absolutely. Hair like yours is tricky, but with a little know-how and the right products, you really CAN learn to love it, I promise. Let’s start by giving you a new hair-care mantra: Moisturize constantly. That means not shampooing your hair often – once a week, tops – and building moisture into every step of your regimen.

  1. Start with a Rejuvenating Oil treatment. Saturate your hair with the oil, apply heat, and leave it in for an hour (or all night).
  2. Follow with a gentle shampoo, like the African Shea Butter or White Truffle shampoo and follow with the Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Crème Rinse (Classic or Paraben Free) and Katira Hair Masque. Leave the Katira on your hair for an hour or so until it dries completely (it should feel hard and helmet-like). Then rinse.
  3. When you get out of the shower, pat your hair dry (no rubbing), spritz on a bit of the pH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist, which will help seal the cuticle of your hair and ward off frizz.
  4. Next, mix a dollop of Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner with a drop or two of Anti-Frizz Formula 57 and run the mixture through your hair. Comb it through, shape your hair with your fingers and then DON’T TOUCH IT. AT ALL. (Every time you handle your hair, you rough up the cuticle and encourage frizz, so a strict hands-off policy is crucial.)
  5. To style your hair between shampoos, just smooth some more Lovin’ Leave-in Conditioner over the surface. And try to go easy on the heat styling. The more moisture and pampering you give hair like yours, the more gorgeous it will look.
  6. Use the Rejuvenating Oil and Katira Hair Masque regularly – every time you shampoo, if you can. Your hair will love you and vice versa!

ISSUE: Russian Amber & Keratin

August 13, 2009 | Curly Hair, Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I just had a Keratin straightening treatment. Is it safe to use the Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo without ruining the treatment?

Absolutely. It will heal and protect your hair and bring out the best in your treatment – shine, shine, shine!

ISSUE: Humidity = Frizz

August 13, 2009 | Color-Treated Hair, Curly Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m a 56-year-old Caucasian woman with very fine, thinning (peri-menopause), naturally curly hair that ALWAYS frizzes. I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida and we have very high humidity and temperatures for most of the year. My hair is home-colored, very dry and brittle and I’ve been blow drying it for 30 years. I’d love to get it into better shape and control the frizz and the pouffy swelling that I get whenever I step outside. I found your website, but am confused by your huge product line and don’t know where to start. (I also don’t like smelling like a vanilla bean or a coconut!)

Keep in mind is that frizz happens when your hair pulls moisture out of the air. If you fill each strand up with moisture from the get-go, you hair will stay smooth and glossy. In your case, a Four Step Hair & Scalp Treatment will do the trick beautifully: The Rejuvenating Oil in the kit contains molecules fine enough to slip under the cuticle of your hair, so it plumps up and nourishes hair from the inside. From there, the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo will clean away the excess oil from the surface of your hair; the Lightweight Deep Conditioner will soften the ends (use it only from the mid-shaft down); and the pH Balancing Mist will seal the cuticle shut for extra shine and bounce. On fine, dry hair, the results are a wonder to behold.

ISSUE: Curly/Kinky Hair Fix

June 26, 2009 | African-American Hair, Color-Treated Hair, Curly Hair, Dry Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m curious to know what kind of conditioner I need for my curly/kinky hair. I’m African-American and I have usually fragile hair and a sensitive scalp – I can only use peroxide-free hair color and I sometimes get rashes from very strong products. Since ends of my hair are very dry and break off, I have to have a shorter style, but would love a little more length.

The Rejuvenating Oil would be so healing for fragile hair like yours; so would the Katira Masque and White Truffle Nourishing & Conditioning Crème. (Bonus: The extra-gentle formulas won’t aggravate your sensitive scalp.) As for cleansing, I suggest our number-one bestselling shampoo: African Shea Butter. It will restore your hair’s elasticity and much-needed moisture like that.

ISSUE: Frizz Control

June 26, 2009 | Curly Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I have fine hair that is curly and dense. I wash it every day; otherwise, it gets too oily. What’s the best way to keep it from drying out and frizzing? Right now I am using your Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner and letting my hair air-dry, which works well. What else should I try?

Start with the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo: That will give you a clean, fresh feeling at the roots and help minimize oil. From there, I’d use a light misting of Shin Shine, sculpt your hair into shape, and let it air-dry. (You can use the Lovin’ Leave-In, too: That and Shin Shine make a great combo for curly hair.)

ISSUE: Curl Remedies

June 26, 2009 | Curly Hair

Dear Philip,

I’ve always straightened my hair but I’d like the option to wear it curly now and then. Is there a product that can control the curl and frizz without making my hair look wet and stiff?

A combination of Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner and Anti-Frizz Formula 57 will work beautifully. Rake a little of the Lovin’ Leave-In into damp hair, add a touch of Anti-Frizz, and shape with your fingers into the style you want. It will dry into beautiful, undone waves. (Just try not to touch it too much: Frequent handling = frizz.)

ISSUE: Curly, Frizzy & Dry

June 26, 2009 | Curly Hair, Damaged Hair, Dry Hair

Dear Philip,

I am a guy of Asian-Indian origin. I’ve straightened my curly hair and it looked great for a while — but now that I’ve stopped, I try to keep my hair short. I apply styling cream and gel when I get out of the shower, which works well for an hour or so. But given the humidity, my hair soon turns frizzy and dry. Someone suggested that I use a leave-in conditioner, but I’m confused. How can I maintain my style and a damp/wet look? Please help!

It’s tricky to find the right combination of products for hair like yours, but it’s possible. My guess is that a leave-in conditioner would soften your curls but for hold, you’ll do better with a cream pomade and gel mix. Don’t fear a little oil: Remember that your hair is dead and dry – you just need the right balance of moisture so it won’t feel greasy but will look healthy and supple. When you get out of the shower, mix a little Cream of the Crop Pomade with Styling Gel and work it through your hair. The less you use, the drier the effect.

ISSUE: Summer frizzies

June 26, 2009 | Curly Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I have the best hairdresser – in fact, I think he has the only salon in Wisconsin that carries your products, which I LOVE. Here’s my question: I have very curly hair that’s on the thin side, and it tends to get annoyingly FRIZZY in summer. I’ve tried using your Gel and Drop Dead Straight mixed together, but it doesn’t always work. I’ve also tried using your Hair Spray before/after I dry my hair with my diffuser. Any suggestions?

Yes: The Katira Masque will help relax your hair and make it more manageable. Because Katira fills in and smoothes uneven, rough spots in the cuticle, it will ward off poufiness, too. As for styling, I recommend using Anti-Frizz Formula 57, either just after a blow-out or on damp hair: Just work it through and let your hair air-dry for healthy, shiny waves.

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