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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: Thin, Dull, Frizzy – Hair at Age 50+

June 2, 2009 | Color-Treated Hair, Damaged Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m a haircutter from St. Louis, Mo, with over 30 years experience. As my clients get older, I’m faced with a reccuring challenge: Women over 50 with hair that’s getting thinner, drier and losing its sheen. If I use volumizers, their hair gets frizzy. If I use smoothing products, it lies thin, flat and lifeless. Whether or not the hair is colored, it has somehow lost its youthful shine. (It’s difficult enough dealing with this personally, but most of my clients are in the same boat.) I haven’t tried your products, but would love to know what you recommend for women over 50 — especially because we’re such a fast-growing age group.

I’m so glad you wrote. I see this problem all the time and you’re right — the challenge is finding the perfect treatments to moisturize and gleamify your hair without weighing it down. It’s totally worth the effort: Restore the youthful sheen and bounce of a woman’s hair and you take a decade off her appearance, just like that. I worked for years to come up with just the right solution for my celebrity clients, and here it is: My Four Step Hair & Scalp Treatment, followed by Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo and Katira Masque. Take a look at some of my how-to videos; even the models couldn’t believe the results.

ISSUE: Author, Author

June 2, 2009 | African-American Hair, Color-Treated Hair, Curly Hair, Damaged Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair, Hair Masque, Special Cases, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

Is Philip B. going to write any more books?

Funny you asked: I’m thinking about doing a book or a TV show and am gathering material. Please let me know if there are any particular subjects you want me to address!

ISSUE: Extreme Breakage

March 15, 2009 | Damaged Hair, Dry Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

My hair used to be thick and healthy. Now it’s thin, brittle and broken starting about 3 inches from the root. I attribute this to using a flat iron set on 400 degrees for six years now. The sides of my hair don’t grow at all and are filled with split, frayed ends. I’d like to not have to use the flat iron but if I don’t, my hair is so fried and frizzy I couldn’t possibly go out in public!

First off, you need to turn down the heat. I set my flat iron at 160-180; 400 degrees is way over the top – you’re literally frying your hair. I’d prefer that you blow your hair out with a paddle brush or Mason Pearson-type brush, and then go over the hair in sections with a small barrel curling iron. (Glide it from from roots to ends and smooth out the hair with your hands as you go). You’ll get a straight finish with a nice little bend – and all for a fraction of the heat damage you’re currently inflicting on your dry strands.

As for daily care, someone with your degree of breakage needs an ultra-nourishing, restructuring cleanser like Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo (or White Truffle Moisturizing Shampoo) and the White Truffle Nourishing Hair Conditioner. I also recommend a weekly Katira Masque to fill in broken areas of the cuticle with light, oil-free moisture, lending you a smooth texture that never feels greasy. And Lovin’ Leave-In Conditioner would make a nice finishing – and healing – touch that you can use day or night. The bottom line? If you want to have fantastic, long, goddess hair again, soap and water won’t cut it. You need to feed your hair to bring it back to life.

ISSUE: Thick, Prematurely Gray Hair That’s Thinning

March 15, 2009 | Color-Treated Hair, Damaged Hair, Special Cases, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m a 32-year-old Polish American woman with long, ash-brown hair that’s curly and very, very thick. I don’t blow dry it or use any styling products. Nevertheless, in the last year or two, I’ve noticed that while my hair is still thick, the top is thinning in a few places. Also, I’ve had my hair colored in expensive salons, and after the last trip I’m seeing what looks like gray cowlicks, like the hair broke off or something. I’ve very concerned and so is my panicked mother. (She says that I have no reason to have thinning hair or gray hair – all the women in my family gray at 50.) Whatever. I need an exact product prescription, before the family drama kicks in at the next Polish wedding. I’m lean and healthy and have been checked for hormonal imbalances. I don’t take any medications. Help, help, help. Also, should I stop coloring my hair for now?

Ring the alarm for Hair 911. We have two issues here. One is the health of your hair. I’d get a second opinion from a dermatologist and/or endocrinologist, just to make sure there’s nothing going on internally. If not, you might want to look into using Rogaine, an over-the-counter, topical hair-loss treatment that can be very effective when used consistently. My Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo is a very good scalp stimulator – I’d get that for your regular shampoo. And proper brushing – with a boar-bristle brush, from roots to ends – can help, too. The second issue is addressing your breakage. That means Rejuvenating Oil Treatments and the Katira Masque: Both of those will help to replenish your hair’s moisture levels from the inside out, leaving each strand shinier, stronger and more resilient. Finally, I’d recommend a nourishing conditioner like the White Truffle Conditioner. For now, stick to single-process color with built-in conditioners; your colorist should be able to steer you to the gentlest formula. And let me know how it goes. I’m rooting for you.

ISSUE: Damaged, Fried and Frizzy

March 15, 2009 | Damaged Hair, Dry Hair

Dear Philip,

About 7 months ago, my hair left me under the dryer for what I think was too long. Since then, my bangs look fried. I have blonde hair, so I’m sure the bleaching and processing doesn’t help. I’ve stopped using my flat iron but my hair in this one spot is still very damaged – frizzy, fried and crinkly. Do you think the Katira masque is the product I should try first?

You sound like the perfect candidate for a Rejuvenating Oil treatment and a Katira Masque. I’d use them back to back: Apply the oil to your hair, concentrating on damaged areas and ends, and heat it up with a blowdryer so that the oil really soaks in. Next, shampoo your hair, towel it dry, and work in a generous dollop of Katira Masque from roots to ends. For best results, wear the masque all night and rinse it out the next morning. Odds are, you’ll be writing me a thank-you note: Your hair will be transformed!

ISSUE: African-American Hair With Dry Scalp and Breakage

February 14, 2009 | Accolades, African-American Hair, Damaged Hair, Troubled Scalp

Dear Philip,

I just want to say thank you. I read about your products in Vogue magazine and they have changed my life. I’m an African-American woman with chemically treated hair and I suffered with breakage and extreme dry scalp for years. I started using the Anti-Flake shampoo, the Rejuvenating Hair Oil and the Katira Hair Masque and the condition of my hair changed dramatically and in an instant.

I no longer have dandruff, I have little to no breakage when I brush my hair and my hair is bouncing and behaving. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on special treatments, prescription shampoos and high-end hair products. In just one use, Philip B. products corrected scalp and hair issues that neither doctors nor top stylists could resolve.

As a black woman, I often feel that top-of-the-line hair products aren’t designed with my hair type in mind. I can say with confidence that Philip B. is perfect for my hair!

Thanks for your beautiful letter. It not only made my day, but everyone in my company’s day as well! It’s wonderful that Vogue has supported our brand from the beginning, and that you found us. I’ve made it my mission to create intensive rejuvenating treatments for EVERY hair type, yours included. And I’m glad that you discovered Anti-Flake too. That product has a following like you can’t believe.

ISSUE: Curly, Poufy Hair

February 14, 2009 | Curly Hair, Damaged Hair

Dear Philip,

Do you do permanent hair straightening in Los Angeles? I’ve done Yuko, which damaged my hair, and Keratin, which just gave it shine. I hate my hair. It’s always curly and frizzy and I love it straight. The flat iron is ruining my hair.

You’re a Katira girl. My own sister deals with the same issues, and blows her hair out 3-4 times a week. Here’s the regimen we’ve perfected for her – she’s seen breathtaking results with it: 1. Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo followed by Katira Masque – that’s every few days. 2. Alternate that with the Four Step Hair & Scalp Treatment. I should add that I think permanent hair straightening is one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair – it ranks right up there with permanent waves. So please invest in some super moisturizing treatments, and use them faithfully. The more you torture your hair, the more you have to nourish it.

ISSUE: Hair Conditioning for African-American Non-Chemically-Treated Hair

December 31, 2008 | African-American Hair, Damaged Hair

Dear Philip,

I’d like to receive recommendations of your products for African-American hair (non-chemically-treated). I have thick, somewhat coarse hair and normally wear it straight (flat ironed or pressed), yet at times wear it naturally curly. I have some breakage. My hair endures a lot of heat with the flat ironing and curling iron. I’m sure the Philip B Rejuvenating Oil is a good product to use. However, I’d like to receive additional recommendations to minimize breakage, improve the overall condition of my hair, intensify my curl pattern/enhance curls and control and minimize the frizz when wearing it naturally curly.

It sounds like you’re not shampooing more than once a week due to all the intense styling – and understandably so. Here’s my prescription: Every week, use the Peppermint & Avocado shampoo to lift away any styling product residue or debris – that will give you a good, clean starting point. From there, I’d use the Russian Amber or African Shea Butter Shampoo and  Conditioner – and if you have time, a Katira Masque would be so protective. It actually imparts into the hair for up to a month, so when you iron it out, you truly get a Hollywood finish: soft, shiny, bouncy dream hair.

If you’re wearing your hair straight, you’ll want it to look clean and fresh, so use Anti-Frizz 57 on the ends. If you’re wearing your hair curly and need to bind it together, the Lovin’ Leave-in Conditioner would be fantastic.

ISSUE: Horrible Breakage

December 31, 2008 | Curly Hair, Damaged Hair

Dear Philip,

I come from such a racial mix, it’s insane – my ancestors are from at least 14 different countries. Therefore, I have frizzy, thick and curly hair. But my main concern is breakage. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a lot of breakage, all in the front. I’m almost positive there isn’t a piece of unbroken hair on my head!!! I’m at a loss and sick of looking at this wild mane.

Katira Masque is incredible on hair like yours: It makes coarse, curly hair manageable and moisturized. I’d start with a dollop of Russian Amber – smush it into dry hair and lather it up in the shower, adding water gradually. Follow with a Katira Masque (comb it through and let it dry to a hard finish.) Rinse and use a little bit of African Shea Butter Classic Formula Conditioner – it’s particularly good for silkening and slip. And since curly, ethnic hair tends to be fragile, getting the right pH balance is really important, so finish with the pH Restorative Detangling Mist. If you want an alternate shampoo, I’d recommend the African Shea Butter Shampoo – it combines 3 different types of moisture and offers a way to cleanse your hair without stripping it.

ISSUE: Long Hair With Breakage at the Bottom

December 31, 2008 | Damaged Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

My hair nearly reaches the bottom of my back. A day after I shampoo, I find that it’s oily at the top but dry from the mid-section down and the ends break. I have virgin hair and am wondering what products you would suggest and what care regimen I should adopt. I came to the site to order the Shea Butter and Peppermint & Avocado shampoos which I use alternately. I don’t use a conditioner or a rinse as they weigh my hair down, leaving it flat and lifeless.

This is easy. Step 1: Invest in a really good, natural bristle brush and use it before you shampoo. Make sure to brush from the scalp out to bring your natural oils to the rest of the hair shaft. (Even if you have an oily scalp, its conditioning effects usually don’t penetrate beyond the first five inches of hair without help.) And a bonus: Proper brushing helps to normalize the scalp. Step 2: To nourish the lower half of your hair, use my Four Step Hair & Scalp Facial Treatment Kit. The light plant and flower oils will condition the ends from the inside out without added weight; they’ll also soften the natural oils from your scalp. From there, the Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo washes away any excess oil to leave your hair and scalp squeaky clean, and the conditioner and pH Restorative Detangling Mist in the kit help ensure that your hair has the same level of moisturization from top to bottom. Step 3: On a regular basis, the Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo or Scent of Santa Fe would be ideal for soothing and normalizing an oily scalp. (If you have any flakiness, you can integrate Anti-Flake into your regimen too.) Finally, a Katira Masque once a week would be wonderful to keep your roots and midshaft healthy, and to give your hair natural volume and bounce.

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