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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: 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: Tight, Poufy Ringlets

June 2, 2009 | Color-Treated Hair, Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I have color-treated, baby-fine curly hair that barely seems to grow! As much as I enjoy the ease of wearing my hair curly (I usually let it air-dry), my ringlets always look frizzy and tight. Plus, they really shrink up by the end of the day. Any products that might relax my hair a bit and prevent frizz?

The trick is to load your hair up with the right blend of products before it dries: The more moisture you add initially, the less likely it is to expand and frizz. I suggest mixing some leave-in conditioner (like Lovin’ Leave-In Hair Conditioning Creme) with my soft-hold Styling Gel to make your curls supple and bouncy. If you see any flyaways, tamp them down with a touch of Anti-Frizz 57. (Simply rub a tiny bit between your fingers and smooth it over the surface of your hair.) As for maintenance, use a gentle shampoo like my African Shea Butter for All, and a Rejuvenating Oil or Katira Masque treatment once a week to boost strength and shine.  And finally, my cardinal rule: Try not to touch your curls once they’re dry — that’s a surefire recipe for puffiness and frizz.

ISSUE: Dry Hair & Daily Workouts

June 2, 2009 | African-American Hair, Dry Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I’ve been using your products for a month now and I am astonished by the results. My hair is supple, shiny and moisturized. I’m an African American woman and my hair is chemically relaxed, very dry and fine. I’ve been washing my hair twice a week, once with the 4-Step Hair & Scalp Treatment followed by the Katira Masque; and once with the Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo, also followed by the Katira Mask. The issue I now have is that I exercise 5 times a week and I am a serious sweater. I need to wash my hair but it takes a lot of time to follow this routine. Any products I could use that I could use daily and quickly after I hit the gym?

I’m so happy with the program you’ve chosen — it sounds perfect for your hair type — and proud of your dedication. It’s terrific to hear that you’re getting such awesome results. Since your hair is dry and chemically treated, I’d recommend using a super-gentle shampoo like the African Shea Butter, White Truffle or Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo after your workouts. (Focus on washing your scalp and just let the lather float through the ends of your hair.) Or, if you have an easy gym day, simply rinse your hair and apply some conditioner to the ends. That should keep it feeling fresh — and as healthy as the rest of you!

ISSUE: Fading Red + Highlights

June 2, 2009 | Color-Treated Hair, Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

My hair is very fine, a mixture of curly and wavy. It’s also flat on top with overall puffiness and the ‘ear muffs’ on the side. Recently I’ve noticed some thinning along my hairline and at the crown of my head: I used to have to search for my part; now it’s a bit more apparent. (I attribute the hair loss to peri-menopause — I’m in my late 40s — and heredity.) I want to nourish my hair and scalp and get it in the best condition possible. I like to wear my straight on most days, but want to be able to wear it curly (without frizz), too. What products do you recommend?

I love fine, wavy hair because it can look so angelic — while it’s silky, the natural bend gives it built-in volume. The catch, as you’ve found, is that it’s crazily prone to frizz. To keep the poufiness factor to a minimum, you need to plump your hair up with moisture before you style. I recommend a 4-Step Hair & Scalp Facial to start, followed by a Katira Hair Masque. Here’s how to do it: Once you complete Step 3 in the 4-Step kit, rinse off the Light-weight Deep Conditioning Creme and comb a generous dose of Katira through towel-dried hair. From there, blow it dry or let it dry naturally till the masque hardens; then rinse. Finally, spray on a bit of the pH Detangling & Toning Mist (included in the 4-Step Kit) and style. You won’t believe how manageable, thick and unpuffy your hair will be.

A side note: If your hair loss progresses, please see your doctor to make sure there’s not a hormonal issue or underlying medical condition at fault. And talk to a dermatologist, too: There are a few promising hair-growth treatments out there; used consistently, they might help stop your thinning or even reverse it a bit.

ISSUE: Fine and Wavy Hair

June 2, 2009 | Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

My hair is very fine, a mixture of curly and wavy. It’s also flat on top with overall puffiness and the ‘ear muffs’ on the side. Recently I’ve noticed some thinning along my hairline and at the crown of my head: I used to have to search for my part; now it’s a bit more apparent. (I attribute the hair loss to peri-menopause — I’m in my late 40s — and heredity.)  I want to nourish my hair and scalp and get it in the best condition possible. I like to wear my straight on most days, but want to be able to wear it curly (without frizz), too. What products do you recommend?

I love fine, wavy hair because it can look so angelic — while it’s silky, the natural bend gives it built-in volume. The catch, as you’ve found, is that it’s crazily prone to frizz. To keep the poufiness factor to a minimum, you need to plump your hair up with moisture before you style. I recommend a 4-Step Hair & Scalp Facial to start, followed by a Katira Hair Masque. Here’s how to do it: Once you complete Step 3 in the 4-Step kit, rinse off the Light-weight Deep Conditioning Creme and comb a generous dose of Katira through towel-dried hair. From there, blow it dry or let it dry naturally till the masque hardens; then rinse. Finally, spray on a bit of the pH Detangling & Toning Mist (included in the 4-Step Kit) and style. You won’t believe how manageable, thick and unpuffy your hair will be.

A side note: If your hair loss progresses, please see your doctor to make sure there’s not a hormonal issue or underlying medical condition at fault. And talk to a dermatologist, too: There are a few promising hair-growth treatments out there; used consistently, they might help stop your thinning or even reverse it a bit.

ISSUE: Thin, Fine Ethnic Hair

March 15, 2009 | African-American Hair, Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

What products are best for my thin, fine, curly, black hair? I’ve been using Samy Big Curls Curl Defining Creme. It works pretty well, but I’m over 50 now and would like more volume and curl definition.

It’s not always about the finishing product. Your situation is a case in point: Volume and defined curls start at the roots and with the condition of the hair itself. First, please give it a strong foundation with weekly deep conditioning – a Rejuvenating Oil treatment followed by the Katira Masque. That combination will make all the difference. And finish your hair by putting a leave-in conditioning cream like Lovin’ Leave-In on the ends. Alternately, try Anti-Frizz Formula 57: Rub 2-3 pumps of it between your palms, work it through wet hair, and let it air-dry. Your curls will look soft, bouncy and shiny – in other words, naturally gorgeous.

ISSUE: Fine & Fluffy

March 15, 2009 | Fine & Limp Hair, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m looking for products – including shampoo and conditioner – to make my hair sleek and shiny. My hair is shoulder-length and fine, although I have a lot of it. I think it’s in reasonably good condition, but no matter how I try to style it, my hair always seems to look fluffy.

To take the fluff out of fine hair and make it look shinier and healthier, the way to go is with some light conditioning agents. The African Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner would be perfect for you – nourishing but not at all heavy. I’d follow up with a nice lightweight styling cream like Lovin’ Leave-In or Anti-Frizz 57. Just rub some into your hands after you blow-dry and work it through your hair from the mid-section to the ends. If you need even more sleekifying, try the White Truffle Conditioner – you’ll go from poufy to polished in no time.

ISSUE: Curly Hair On The Thin Side

February 14, 2009 | Curly Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

What do you recommend for fine, curly, mixed-texture hair? I live in North Carolina and the weather is mostly warm.

Your hair needs moisturizing shampoos and intensive conditioners that don’t add extra weight. I think you’d see great results from the White Truffle Ultra Rich Moisturizing Shampoo and Nourishing & Conditioning Creme. They both contain over 22 percent pure botanical extracts – a level that’s unheard of in the beauty industry, and means that you get a serious dose of emollients that come from plants and flowers instead of animal fats. So your hair will be light and bouncy and moisturized – not heavy or flat. The Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo (an all-in-one cleanser and revitalizing treatment), the African Shea Butter Gentle & Conditioning Shampoo, and Scent of Santa Fe Balancing Shampoo would all be great for you, too.

ISSUE: Baby-Fine, Limp Hair

January 14, 2009 | Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I have very fine hair. What hair products would you recommend for me? (I do not, at this time, have any chemicals in my hair.)

I suggest using the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoo and the pH Restorative Detangling Toning Mist in place of conditioner. The shampoo will clear away buildup to give your hair as much fullness and lift as possible. Meanwhile, the spray won’t weigh hair down: It seals the cuticle not by adding a layer of moisture on top but by giving it the proper pH balance, so you’ll have fewer tangles and plenty of manageability and shine. As for styling products to help you maintain the look of fuller, thicker hair throughout the day, you can go with one of two options: the Maui-Wowie Beach Mist, which lends fine hair a casual piecey feel; or my new Self-Adjusting Hair Spray, which ensures a more polished finish.

ISSUE: African-American Hair That Needs A Shine Boost

January 14, 2009 | African-American Hair, Fine & Limp Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m African-American and am interested in your Shinade Pomade. I have fine hair that’s relaxed. It seems to always look dull. Can you suggest which of your products would be good for my hair? Do you have experience working with African-American hair?

Yes and yes. My Four Step Hair & Scalp Treatment will restore life to your hair right away. It’s not only great for clarifying hair and removing buildup, but also moisturizes each strand from the inside out, putting back the shine in hair that’s been beaten down by chemicals and heat styling. For exta glossiness, follow that with an application of the Katira Masque. And you’re right: Shinade Pomade would be perfect for your fine hair – it’s a soy-based wax and amazingly light.

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