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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: Hair Loss

June 2, 2009 | Damaged Hair, Special Cases

Dear Philip,

What’s the best way to stop my hair from falling out?

The first thing to do is to see a doctor to rule out any hormonal problems or underlying medical issues. If you come out with a clean bill of health, you can do a couple of things: Protect the hair you have by (a) using a gentle yet invigorating shampoo like Peppermint & Avocado Clarifying & Volumizing Shampoo or Scent of Santa Fe; and (b) regularly stimulating your scalp with a nylon and boar-bristle brush. If you need more aggressive intervention, I’ve heard good things about over-the-counter minoxidil, Propecia and red-light laser treatments, too. Check with your doctor.

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: 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: Anti-Flake Shampoo & Breastfeeding

March 15, 2009 | Special Cases

Dear Philip,

Can I use the Anti-Flake Relief Shampoo whilst breast-feeding?

It’s designed to be safe for everyone, but check with your doctor. (As wonderful as it is, Anti-Flake is a medical treatment, so it pays to be extra cautious.) I’d start with another great option: The Four Step Hair & Scalp Treatment. It’s perfectly safe and a surefire way to clear away dandruff and itchiness. The healing, therapeutic levels of pure peppermint extract in the formula act like a natural antiseptic. After just one treatment, your scalp will feel tingly-clean, cool and refreshed. A final word of advice: Be sure to use the Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo in the kit every day until you have the problem under control. Unless you have a very severe case of dandruff, it shouldn’t take more than a week.

ISSUE: Black Hair – Relaxed or Natural

March 15, 2009 | African-American Hair, Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I’d just like to know if your products work well on black hair – relaxed or natural?

Good news: All of my treatments are designed – first and foremost – to nurture and heal, so they’re ideal for black hair. In fact, I get thank-you letters from women of color from around the world. Ethnic hair tends to be very fragile, coarse and porous, so it needs that much more TLC. Treatments with the Rejuvenating Oil and Katira Masque are a must; the African Shea Butter or White Truffle shampoos and conditioners will make a perfect complement. (The Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo would be wonderful, too, especially if you have ultra-delicate hair that’s been relaxed and needs some restructuring.) All of these products are superhydrating and nourishing, so they’ll give your hair back its naturally healthy shine and bounce.

ISSUE: Dandruff

March 15, 2009 | Dry Hair, Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I would like to order the Anti-Flake shampoo, but have some questions: Is it gentle enough to use every day; and which conditioner should I use with it? I have long, colored hair that is dry.

Anti-Flake is wonderfully conditioning and gentle enough to use everyday: It contains 7% pure aloe extract to leave your hair bouncy and silky. That said, I don’t think you’d need to use it that often. If you have an extreme flare-up of dandruff, I’d start with the Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo to clarify and detox your scalp, followed by the Anti-Flake. (Leave each on a few minutes before you rinse, so that the healing ingredients have a chance to do their work.)

From there, you’ll probably only need to use the Anti-Flake every three days; if you shampoo more often, use the Peppermint Shampoo in between. As for conditioning, I recommend that you use the White Truffle Conditioner, focusing on the middle to lower half of your hair. And for extra shine and smoothness, run a little Rejuvenating Oil through your hair and heat it with a blow-dryer (that helps it penetrate) before you shampoo.

ISSUE: Buying Your Products

December 31, 2008 | Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I live in the South Gate area of L.A. and would like to know where I can buy your products nearby.

Please check our website for locations or please feel free to order our products directly online. For the best customer service and selection, I always recommend ordering from our website.

ISSUE: Thin Hair

December 31, 2008 | Special Cases, Thin Hair

Dear Philip,

I’m a 27-year old mother of four and have androgenic alopecia. My hair is very thin and just keeps getting thinner. Will you be making anything that will regrow hair or make hair thicker?

I assume you’re under a dermatologist’s care. Androgenic alopecia is tricky. The leading dermatologist I work with – Los Angeles’s Dr. Ava Shamban – says that the first thing you should do is get your hormones checked. If there’s no clear hormonal imbalance behind your hair loss, consider trying Rogaine for Women. It contains 2% minoxidil, the highest percentage approved by the FDA for women. (Depending on the severity of your problem, you might want to ask your doctor about stepping up to Extra-Strength Rogaine for Men, which contains 5% minoxidil.) A Four-Step Hair & Scalp Facial Treatment would be good for you, too. After the oil and shampooing steps, just be sure to apply the conditioning cream rinse and pH Balancing Mist to the hair only (not your scalp). Towel dry and apply the Rogaine to thinning areas. You’ll have to do this twice a day, morning and night, and hang in there: It usually takes 3-6 months to see results, and that’s with conscientious and continuous use.

ISSUE: Keratosis Pilaris

December 10, 2008 | Special Cases

Dear Philip,

For years, I’ve suffered from keratosis pilaris – also known as bumpy “chicken skin” – on my upper arms. I’ve been to dermatologists and used many lotions and treatments, but nothing worked until I got a sample of your Cucumber & Orchid Hand & Body Crème, which came inside a box of your other wonderful products that I ordered for my hair. I used the lotion all over and was surprised to notice a couple of days later that my bumps were gone! I read that 40% of the adult population suffers from this condition. I am going to tell everyone I know about your products. You are a miracle worker! I’ve already placed another order and will continue to try all that you have to offer. Have you considered creating some facial-care products? I have no doubt they’d be the best on the market.

Wow. Thank you very much! We all appreciate finding successful results with a product. Figuring out the right formula for your body can be such a journey. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with well-known L.A. dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., for eight years now. Studying scalp health has led me to learn a great deal about skin on the rest of the body, too. I choose all of my botanical ingredients for their healing properties. Better yet, I make sure they’re used at a concentration that actually gives results. Case in point: The Cucumber Orchid Crème you loved so much is truly state-of-the-art. It’s made tetropeptide and oligopeptides for cellular rejuvenation, plus a high level of panthenol and phytantriol to provide major hydration and softness. And yes, we’re working on more skincare now. So keep an eye out!

ISSUE: Peanut Allergy

December 10, 2008 | Special Cases

Dear Philip,

I saw the recommendation for your products in the November issue of Vogue and am extremely interested in them. I’m also, however, fatally allergic to peanuts and I see that at least one of your products is made with peanut oil. I’d like to know more about where and how your products are manufactured. Are the products with peanut oil made in the same facility and on the same equipment as products that don’t contain peanut oil?

I sympathize with you — having a severe allergy is such a challenge. While it’s true that all of our products are manufactured in facilities where peanut byproducts are used, our equipment is meticulously sanitized. There are a few products I can recommend to you with confidence, including Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo, Katira Masque and Scent of Santa Fe. You must be familiar with patch testing: I always recommend that an allergy sufferer try a one-inch patch test on her inner arm and check for a reaction with a 24 hours. And if you have any doubts, check with your doctor first.

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