Monday, 20 June 2011

Research time: What questions do you want answered?

Time for you to put in your research requests!! The questions I have lurking in my inbox include

1. How does stretching affect hair?
2. Can using a blowdryer on cool damage hair and how does that compare to a higher heat?
3. Is grey hair (or white hair) different from hair with pigment?

If you have something else to add to my research list, just drop a line in the message box. I have a free Friday and I want to use it productively!!

Thanks all!!

49 comments:

  1. I would love to know more about shiny/glossy hair. what's the best way to amp it up?

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  2. hmm... what is the best source of protein for hair treatment wise. sometimes plant proteins are too light and dont do much of anything while animal proteins seem to be over bearing.

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  3. Perhaps an inquiry into just how the baggy method works? It is the only thing that gets my hair feeling moisturized (and I have tried just about everything; I'm going on my 6th year natural and am just now figuring out how to get soft hair without it being wet). I have my suspicions that I'm low porosity and this may be the culprit.

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  4. Question number 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. I would love to know what ingredients that have been proved as carcinogenic are still used in hair products.

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  6. Does tucking the ends of hair stimulates hair to grow faster? (SW)

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  7. i want to know if a creamy leave in provides longer moisture than a liquid one?

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  8. Hi Jc,
    Not sure if you touched on this topic already but when I have time I will definitely go through your blog to check. Until then here are my questions.

    Can hair be permanently altered without being damaged?

    For example, is heat trained hair automatically damaged hair because it is permanently altered? I ask this question because there are women who heat train but yet they still maintain very thick, long hair that appears to be healthy, and in my opinion damaged hair means hair that is unusually thin, dry and rough, brittle, with excessive breakage and split ends. So this made me wonder if it were possible to heat train without excessive amounts of damage? There are two women on youtube that seem to have successfully accomplish this, which is what sparked my curiosity.

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  9. I want to know if there has ever been any research on how to increase the thickness of the cuticle layer. I know it may sound ambitious but its an idea...

    Oooo, and more to do with the pH of hair and the cuticle n stuff.

    I LOVE your blog, I appreciate the effort you go through to put citations of scientific articles up!!! God Bless

    see some scientific articles on

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  10. Hi Jc, Thank you so much for this.
    This young lady here has a question, which i find interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmBnnx18BLY

    and another question: "how does sodium hydroxide in products affect hair?" should we be worried?

    When we stretch natural hair all the time (as in keeping it stretched every time after a wash) does that alter the hair structure permanently?

    Thank you

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  11. I'd like to know more about coconut oil and medium-chain triglycerides.

    Also, if coconut oil is good for hair is coconut milk also good? worse?? a disaster??? doesn't c-milk have fat AND the protein from the coconut fruit? would that be protein that hair would enjoy? how much would be too much? does coconut milk need to be rinsed/shampood/ conditioned OUT? could adding coconut oil/milk (quantity??) to our diets also increase hair health??

    And: how does red palm oil compare to coconut oil?

    well, you asked!

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  12. Another question: what is chlorine doing to the hair/hair cuticle EXACTLY and is there an EXACT antidote?

    Thanks!!

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  13. Can curlies use non-heat rollers/twisty sticks? I've dabbled with foam rollers, and didn't come out so nice, especially when my coastal humidity kicked in.

    I can't remember what those brightly colored twisty sticks are called, and am getting hardware results when searching LOL, but would those work on curly hair better than foam rollers? Maybe I should just stick with plopping, then braiding later on in the week ^_^

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  14. excellent questions malva I was just about to ask the same thing.

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  15. I'd love to hear the answers to the first two questions. If I think of anything new to add, I will do!

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  16. What are the benefits of rhassoul clay?

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  17. The three you posted are really great questions! I can't wait for the answers!

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  18. I am also curious about chlorine is any SLS shampoo good enough or do I need a special swimmer's shampoo?

    Also what is the deal with moisturizing shampoos? If it contains SLS and certain oils or whatever doesn't that slightly detract from the effect of the surfactant?

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  19. Shreela - Can I recommend that you go to Curly Chellez's blog. She has used flexirods and curl formers to great effect

    http://curlychellez.blogspot.com/2011/04/curlformers.html

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  20. I'd love to read more about question number two. I've always wondered whether heat really makes a difference. The whole blowdrying topic is pretty interesting.

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  21. Hey Jc: How's things? I just wanted to pop in and say "hello". I miss coming over to your blog and commenting. I'm still around but not as much reading the hair blogs (still natural though and enjoying my journey). Take care - virtual hugs :-)

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  22. I've noticed that using heat for 15-20 minutes while "deep" conditioning makes a difference. My hair feels softer. To get the same results without heat, I typically let the conditioner+oil mix sit longer in the hair. Could the heat be causing more deposition of conditioning agents on to the hair or is this just a placebo effect?

    I rarely straighten my hair but I'm also intrigued by this "heat-training" topic.

    Sue

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  23. Is there such a thing as terminal length?

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  24. Thanks for the invitation to ask questions!

    My question is regarding the usage of Essential Oils for hair growth. Many Naturalistas often state that there is nothing that can be applied topically to the scalp that will stimulate hair growth. Yet just as many others swear by stimulating oils like Rosemary and Peppermint for hair growth, and I've heard Aromatherapy experts swear that certain oils (like Rosemary and Sage) can "increase cellular metabolism" and "regenerate cells." Is there scientific evidence supporting either theory? Or lacking actual scientific studies, what is your opinion on using Essential Oils on the scalp specifically for growth?

    For the record, I got my info on essential oils specifically for hair growth here:
    http://www.anandaapothecary.com/aromatherapy-essential-oils-news/2009/05/using-essential-oils-for-hair-growth.html

    Thanks again!

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  25. I combine about 18 different oils at the same time. I am a new natural and I ran out and bought any oil I heard mentioned as good for my hair. I am not a product junkie, I am an oil junkie. I was fortunate to only try a few things before finding out what works for my hair, at the very least, for now. So far, Oyin Honey Hemp, Curl Junkie Curl Rehab, and Trader Joe's nourish spa seem to work so I am sticking with them.

    Some hair context, I don't know what my hair porosity is. I have tried the test and cannot tell if it is low or normal. All I know is that my nails slide through on all 4 strands tested. I don't know how to tell the difference between coarse, medium-coarse. If fine is East Asian hair, it is definitely not fine. As for curl pattern, I have no idea if it is a/b/c. I just know it is Type 4.

    These are the carrier oils I have been mixing together: Coconut, Olive, Jojoba, Castor, Sweet Almond, Wheat germ, Grape seed, Hemp seed, Vatika, Avocado, Argan, with drops Rosemary, Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint. Clary sage, and sweet orange.

    Key question: I use these oils for a pre-poo. I mixed a jar full, put it in the fridge, and lather two tablespoons on my hair combined with unrefined shea butter and honey for 30 minutes before I shampoo. Am I still getting all the benefits of these oils or are the benefits cancelled out? I guess I have gone a bit overboard on the oils and would hate to lose all the benefits. What combinations of the oils above would be most optimal? I can stick with those and not replace the rest when I run out.

    Thank you so much. I feel like I am suffering from information overload. But, I have found your posts enlightening; giving me just the right amount of knowledge.

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  26. Can you do a post on marhmallow root and blue malva? I'd like to know more about them and their effect on hair.

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  27. Thanks for the comments all, I'll be looking them in more detail and making up a reading list.

    Virtual hugs right back at you Calla Lily - miss you loads, it's good to know you are still around :)

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  28. I would like to know more about question 2. If blow drying on cool heat is less damaging then blow drying on higher heat, I will be ecstatic!

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  29. Hi just discovered your blog today from a post on curlynikki. My question is about split ends. I did read your post on split ends, great info-thanks. The last 4-5 inches of my hair have started turning a redish/ brown. It is really noticeable in sunlight. I get lots of gray hairs so I use hair color that washes out after 3-4 washes. I went to a natural stylist and asked about my ends and he told me my ends were lighter because they were split and that was the true color of my hair and I needed to cut it all of that off. I had never heard this before and do you know if that is correct? I have been natural for 4 years and have not applied any heat in this time (except with conditioner and a plastic cap for a deep condition). I trim maybe three times per year.
    Thanks so much I really look forward to all of the answers, especially about chlorine with the onset of summer I can't keep my kids out of the pool. Speaking of chlorine, I read that if you wet your hair prior to getting in the pool the cuticles are already full of water so chlorine can not penetrate as much, is this accurate? Or completely a waste of time to pre-wet her hair? My daughter hates that I make her stand in the shower and wet her hair down before the pool. (She has so much hair swim caps don't work) So she swims with her hair twisted all summer then when she gets out of the pool I put her back in the shower and rinse her hair out then apply a conditioner, rinse, and moisturize with a leave-in or shea butter,jojoba oil, castor oil mix. ~ Keep up the great work, you have a new subscriber!

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  30. Hello Jc. I recently read something about quats ie behentrimonium chloride et al building up on hair over time and drying it out. Is this true? If so what are some ingredients that can be added to a formula to mitigate this effect. I also came across a new book called The Science of Black Hair. Have you read it? i would love to hear your opinion (maybe a review). i also hope we can get a book from you one day in the future :) . Thanks!

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  31. my question is on hair color. I'd been henna-ing my hair but didn't get the dramatic copper color i was going for, so now I will be using permanent hair color. how should i take care of my hair post-coloring

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  32. Hi Anon - Yep lots of people have asked me about The Science of Black Hair. Yes I have heard of it but sorry I cannot review it because I do not purchase hair books.

    I know that many of you have been requesting a book from me and I really have not pursued it because I like the concept of free information. I place everything I know or find here for free for anyone to access because I feel like good scientific information really needs to be freely available.

    I guess I should do a better job of publicising the blog so people know they have a free resource to search for whatever scientific question they would like answered.

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  33. What is msm? Does it really lengthen the growth stage of the hair cycle?

    -Curious Anonymous

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  34. I have 2 nagging questions. Why do dry ends re-occur after you've trimmed and Sealed regularly. And I mean reoccur in days or weeks. Not months. Also how can you tell which phase of growth your hair is in? Anagen, Cantogen, or Telegon. How can you be sure? Also How can you figure out how long your Anagen phase is. 2, 4,6 etc (I'd like to of course maximize my protective styling while in that phase!)

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  35. Hi JC! I recently did a protein treatment (aphogee)for the first time and I noticed a very large decrease in my shed hair. Is this caused by the treatment? How? and what effect does it have on the hair?

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  36. Hi JC. I've recently been told by a stylist that I have been "over conditioning" my hair. That leaving conditioner in after detangling, using leave-ins and deeptreatments have caused my excessive shedding, tangling, breakage and knots. She suggested I use a sulfate free shampoo at each wash, rinse all condish out, no leave-ins or deepcondish. How can I stop the damage done by "over conditioning"? can u address this issue in general? thanks!

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  37. Hello JC,
    I must say thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping this info free and wanting good for others. My questions are does Ayurvedic treatments really work and which ones? I would love to see more diagrams like that which you did on henna :)(Maybe focus on hibiscus) I am also very intrigued about the new steam flat irons could they be less damaging and beneficial for natural hair?

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  38. How long is it safe to leave pure Aloe Vera gel or juice in hair if the product itself has to be refrigerated once opened? Will it go bad in hair if not washed out after a few days?

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  39. I'm curious about HEAT PROTECTANTS. What are the active ingredients? How do they protect the hair from heat?

    I'm also curious about hygral fatigue and issues of how often kinky curly hair can be washed. I work out a lot, and I often rinse my and massage my scalp to get rid of salt and sweat. Is there a limit to this? Can our hair get wet everyday without undue effects?

    Did I mention how much I freakin' love this blog?

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  40. Why doesn't African American hair have the same shine/luster as other races?

    Does the tangle teezer really damaged hair strands?

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  41. What causes our hair follicles on our scalp to produce different textures of hair on the same head? Does this happen to other ethnic groups as well?


    Why is it that relaxed hair can tolerate heat and abuse from curling irons, blowdryers and hair dryers, yet in its natural state be too fragile to even tolerate a brush or comb?


    Why doesn't our bodies produce sufficient sebum/natural oils to adequately coat our kinky curly hair strands to prevent dryness in the first place? Is it true that constantly applying oils to our scalp can train the body to produce less sebum in the mistaken belief that it already has enough, thus perpetuating the cycle of dryness? Or for that matter, why doesn't shampooing our hair and stripping the natural oils from our hair cause our bodies to go into overproduction to compensate? Why doesn't simply applying jojoba oil eliminate dryness?

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  42. The real effects of heat. We know that blow drying causes moisture to be sucked up out of the hair and causes damage, but how about flat-ironing. Doesn't this only change the structure of the hair strand, and as long as you don't use a high heat that melts the hair?

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  43. Saying this blog is awesome is a huge understatement!!! Thank you for all the energy and time you have put into teaching us. Knowledge is power.
    My question is about at home extraction of oils or important ingredients in plants around for hair use. I did 1st year Science major at a university in the Caribbean before changing faculties and I'm aware of the chemical process of extracting an oil from a plant(a a bit rusty tho lol). But minus all the sophisticated equipment, how do we get all the benefits of sage, hibiscus, etc. growing in our backyard using a few pots, pans and spoons? I would am hoping you can do a post on this please.
    I'm ready to take this home recipe thing to the next level! :)

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  44. My ends constantly dry up. what are great ways to get a really deep condition and keep my ends moisturized? I'd really like to retain more length and I'm trying the "baggy method" right now and I'm hoping it does SOMETHING to my ends! I look ridiculous right now lol. O.o

    --Thanks in advanced! :)

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  45. Can you please talk about the science of putting mud or clay in your hair? I keep hearing about how girls use Terressentials or some type of clay and nothing else, and their curls are bouncing around after words. I just wanna know if it's just hype or if that stuff actually works.

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  46. Can you explain the benefits to hair of extra virgin olive oil vs. olive oil?

    I use olive oil to seal water after I condition. My hair loves it and I wonder....

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  47. What is the purpose of steamers? Do they will live up the the claims they make?

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  48. Hi JC,

    Wondered if you've noticed that the formular for Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner (in the tall bottle) has changed. It now contains Behentrimonium (though not the same type of Behentrimonuim as is in the Hello Hydration mask) and the ingredient list is more akin to the mask version you prefer. Do you think this is a significant improvement? Have you tried the new formular? I live in the UK and found it on sale at my local Tesco.

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  49. I have heard a lot of people stating that Grape Seed Oil is a heat protectant because it has a smoke point at 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Does Grape Seed Oil actually serve as protection at all or are commercial heat protectants a better route?

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