Here are some of the most common questions I get. I will update the FAQ as we go along and keep it as a sticky so that people who are new to the blog can quickly access this information.
Q: Do you feature natural products?
A: The word natural in the title actually stands for natural hair (meaning hair which is not chemically treated). However since then I have noticed plenty of questions regarding natural products which I'm very happy to answer. I am not pro-natural or anti-natural. I think we can benefit from both natural and synthetic products.
Ultimately, this blog is about science and hair and I hope if you are looking for information on this topic that you can find some answers here. The Natural Haven is just a name!
Q: Is this information therefore only for curly hair then?
A: As someone with curly hair, I know how special it is. I am passionate and driven about educating fellow curlies that our hair is normal and can be cared for in its natural state.
That said, the principles of good hair care really do apply to any hair type whether it is naturally straight or chemically relaxed or indeed curly. I certainly have seen that there are some relaxed followers on my blog and I also follow some blogs of relaxed women too.
Q: What are your qualifications?
A: I feel sometimes it is pretentious to list qualifications. I also feel that it has a tendency to isolate me from 'normal' people (I know I'm a little bit crazy but everyone has their nuances!). Anyway, I'm a certifiable geek chic. I have a BSc and PhD in Material Science and I love science, hair and weddings (in that order).
Q: Where do you get your sources?
A: It depends on what you are looking for! If you are studying in university then you must know about web of knowledge, scopus and pubmed. However here is a little tip from me, Google IS the oracle. There is a little known site Google Scholar which quite often lists papers in a more relevant way and faster (meaning if the paper has been recently published, I almost always see it first on Google Scholar). Google Scholar is free too!
Q: What is a good source?
A: For a scientist, there is nothing that matches peer reviewed articles. Journals are magazines for scientists and they have rankings too, just like if you want to know what is on the catwalk, you may pick Vogue but if you want to know what the celebrities are wearing then you may choose US weekly.
Anyway I digress, the reason why journals are good is because the articles or papers that are published in them are peer reviewed. This means other scientists (peers) actually read and approve the article BEFORE it is published. Therefore it takes about 3-5 scientists to write the article and another 3 to approve it. This means the paper will generally have good sound science as it will have to be critically looked at.
After journals comes books for me. Some books are better than others. Some are written with reference to journal articles and these are the best books.
Finally expert opinions come next. These are quite subjective but in areas where there is not much research can be quite useful for example traditional medicine.
Q: How can I contribute to the site?
A: Ok, so I have a ton of emails that I have not responded to but seriously, these emails are where the information on the site comes from. I research the question and sometimes this leads to a different discovery but whichever way, your questions and comments are what drive this site. I am hoping to diversify the site soon for more reader input too, so suggestions are welcome!
Q: Can you give me some hair advice?
A: No, I cannot because hair is individual and I don't by any means consider myself an expert at its care. I also think that in order to get proper advice, your hair should be seen and touched. I think the best advice I can give you is to be gentle with curly hair and hair conditioner is your friend.
I think that the next piece of advice that I can give you is there is a lot of information on the internet. You should not take anything at face value look for sources, look for different answers and challenge yourself to think differently. By collecting different answers, you may end up at the right answer for you and your hair.