Love Your Wigs? Here Are 5 Ways to Ensure the Hair Beneath is Healthy

Whether you are looking to experiment with various hairstyles and/or colors, revamp your look and boost confidence; or you are compelled to wear it to hide a receding hairline or copious hair loss, there is no denying that wigs are lifesavers. Wigs have a way of cutting out the stress of styling your natural hair, and giving you an easy way to protect your hair from daily treatment and breakage.

The thing about wigs, though, is that while it certainly makes your life easier, if not worn properly, it can actually do more harm to your natural hair than good.

So, how then do you get the most out of your wig, while keeping your natural hair healthy and damage-free?

Wear your hair dry and neatly wrapped or braided under a wig
A number of people tend to neglect their hair when wearing wigs. They do not even bother to prepare their hair for the wig. They just bunch it up or fold it under the wig and go on with their lives. But the thing is, this bunching up or folding of hair can actually cause breakage and damage to your hair. Rather than do those, it is advisable to either braid or wrap your hair, so as that way you keep your hair healthy and also get a better fit with the wig.
In addition, do not wear your wig over wet or damp hair. No matter how short or scanty your hair is, allow it to dry before putting on your wig. Wet hair provides a breeding ground for mildew, bacteria to fester and you don’t want that mess on your wig or scalp.

Moisturize your natural hair and scalp daily
Wigs may be protective but they have a way of sucking up the moisture out of your natural hair- especially if they are made with cotton or nylon caps; thus, leaving your scalp dry and your hair prone to damage.

Remember to moisturize your hair at least 3 times a week. You do not necessarily have to go under the shower or drench the hair in water. Every time you take off your wig, simply spray your hair with some water or leave-in conditioner and work it into the hair. Make sure the water is not too much – no dripping down your face or neck.
You just need a little to replenish some moisture into your strands. After you have done this, allow your hair to dry before putting on the wig again. If you do not have the patience to spritz water on your hair, you can alternatively use a dropper to apply moisturising oil directly to the scalp daily, or use a light oil spray to hydrate the strands of your hair.

Massage your scalp
The scalp plays an important role when it comes to keeping your hair healthy; neglecting your scalp while wearing a wig is probably a bad move. Aside from the fact that you run a higher risk of having severe dandruff -a side effect of regular wig-wearing, the scalp receives less stimulation during wig wear. It reduces the chances of scalp circulation, as well as the eventual healthy growth of hair.

Avoid product buildup on you hair
While you want to keep your hair moisturised underneath the wig, you have to make sure you do not use too much product on your scalp. Overloading your scalp with products can lead to product buildup, clogged pores, and eventually, hair loss. To avoid product build up, you can moisturise your scalp with light oils such as jojoba or almond. If you feel that you have amassed a build up at any time, use and Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to remove the product buildup.

Protect your edges
When wearing a wig, you want to make sure the wig cap isn’t too tight and the hair clips used to keep the wigs in place is properly installed. This is so that you avoid snatching and snagging of the hair during removal, especially around your edges.
Again, you want to braid your hair for the wig; try not to braid the hair too tightly along the hairline as tight braids can lead to “traction alopecia”. You hair follicles come out at the root, and you are faced with permanent hair loss around the edges. Wear loose braids and keep your edges well maintained and moisturised with conditioner.

Can you Drink your Way to Healthy Hair?

Fiona of is sharing one of her secrets to healthy hair and it’s drinking smoothies, can you believe it?

There are three major things that contribute to the health of your hair and they are;

  • Genetics
  • External care (this includes manipulation, conditioning, styling etc)
  • Internal Health (what you eat and drink etc)

You know what they say… Garbage in, garbage out! So ultimately, whatever you eat or drink has an effect on your body’s health, including your hair, skin and nails. Read what she has to say about ‘internal health’ below.

Hey guys! So, I’m finally dishing the scoop on one of the most impactful aspects of my hair care journey that has contributed greatly to my hair growth and natural hair health over the past 2 years… Highly nutritious smoothies!

Today I’m sharing my tip on internal health and how what you eat and drink can impact the health of your hair. Here are 3 of my favourite smoothie recipes, rich in Biotin and full of amazing hair health-boosting vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Biotin Rich Green Smoothie (500ml)

  • 50g Chard
  • 1 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • Handful Red Grapes
  • 1 ½ Cups Almond Milk
  • 50g Frozen Spinach
  • 1 Frozen Banana

Tropical Mango & Strawberry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 50g Chard
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Oat Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseeds
  • 100g Frozen Mango

Highly Nutritious Mixed Berry Smoothie

  • 1 Cup Frozen Berries
  • ½ Avocado
  • 50g Frozen Spinach
  • 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1 ½ Cups Pineapple Juice

When Women Let Their Hair Down

A woman’s hair is her identity and gives an insight into her essence and self. Our hair culture has evolved through time; from the days of beautifully crafted weaving styles of didi, high strung threads/ rubbers to the times of cheri curls, Bob marley, Anita Baker, curling piece, gel, braids, Ghana weaving, relaxed hair, Brazillian/Peruvian wigs… and more recently, the natural hair movement. These style trends were propagated and transfused to the society through your local hair salon. The hair stylist that seems ubiquitous and yet obscure at the same time, has redefined a core part of our culture.

The typical hair salon brings together women and girls  from all facets and stages of life literally:

The maid who despises her madam

The madam who is struggling with a business, a husband and six children

A runs girl who is gearing up for her next catch

The lonely housewife who seeks companionship

The  girl who just fell  in love

In all these seemingly disconnected circumstances and personalities, there is all but one purpose…to be attractive and beautiful.

I can’t quite put a finger on what makes women identify and blend with other women at the salon; competitive tendencies, kitty claws, airs, envy, foreign accents (real and imagined) are all shelved. Social class, privileges and status seem to be non-existent. In replacement is, this hive of women who want to be more beautiful. They are chatty, and they bond faster than could ever be imagined in other circumstances.

The sister spirit that I always witness in salons is truly inspiring, but it does not seem to last beyond that environment. Why is this so I wonder?

Maybe there is something about a group of women together enhancing their physical appearance that invokes a certain affinity to themselves that usually wouldn’t occur, but that’s for a human behavioural scientist to investigate this weird phenomenon that occurs in hair salons.

In our culture, it’s atypical for people to discuss or seek professional help pertaining emotional issues. It is my prognosis that part of the reasons why this is so, is because the hairdresser has indeed filled that gap adequately in so many ways. On more than one occasion, I have witnessed true tales and confessions from women in hair salons; it is strangely similar to a pictorial view of a client and the therapist/psychologist.

Then there is never a lack of stories and drama! You hear genuine down-to-earth tales that either bring you tears, laughter, or leave you amazed, at the tenacity of the African woman. Truly, our hairdressers are an invaluable part of lives; mores that they hold and hear so many of our deepest and scariest thoughts, while trying to make everything better with the latest hair rave.

You are also interwoven into a world of feminine experiences, which is a  colourful experience of a collection of diverse women handling their struggles, triumphing in battles, birthing every year, heartbreaks, being broke, being in love with the wrong man and surviving. It’s all there, with room for a whole lot more. It is a subtle reminder that you are not the last crazy woman to walk the earth. Through this hair bonding experience, most women have found their voice, solace and even lifetime friends and confidante.

Ironically, for the male folk, this strange group bonding does not apply to them, when they are getting a new look. You don’t observe them band together thick as thieves conspiring on all women – dead and alive. Nah! They mostly keep their business simple and move on.

I can’t tell if men can sense that the hair salon is a women’s sacred ground, because majority of them are weary to step in one, and even when they do they are out faster than a bat out of hell. Talk about knowing where you are not wanted.

Most men usually groan that the only output of a woman’s visit to the salon is the subsequent drain on their resources. This comes in handy if you move into a new area and you are at your wits’ end on what the place is all about. Please let your wife visit the nearest salon, pick a hairstyle, that will take at least 6 hours to finish. You’d be blessed with information that will not only save your money on household items, but also on niggling neighbours to avoid. Thank me later.

There is another dimension of having the male hairdresser which seems to be catching on with more hair adherents. Is it just me or opposite sex hair dressers are more effeminate, compassionate and seemingly caring than the other men you know?

I like a good story like the next person out there; so whenever I want to put my hair down literally and metaphorically and acquire a fantastic look to uplift my spirits, I book my next hair appointment as I know it’s going to be a fun filled experience.

Oluchi Madubuike: 3 Steps to Prevent Hair Breakage on Your Child’s Natural Hair

Hair breakage or infant balding is very common amongst children with textured natural hair and sometimes it is a normal and biological process. Also, most babies will naturally lose their birth hair, no matter what kind of hair texture they have. However, hair breakage or balding in infants is mostly the result of inadequate nutrients in your child’s diet and/or poor choice of hair care methods. Have you ever wondered why some babies have bald spots at the back and sides of their heads? Or did you ever consider where all your baby’s hair went, after being born with a full head of healthy baby strands? The appearance of sudden baldness in babies can cause you to panic and is usually a gradual process that goes unnoticed until it becomes extremely obvious to the human eye.

One of my biggest fears for nurturing my own baby’s hair when she was born was infant balding and I made sure I did all the research I could, in order to prevent it from happening. So when she was born, I implemented these three main things, and they worked out well for her hair. Again I have also recommended these three simple tips to a lot of mothers, who applied them to their daughters’ hair journeys and I am pleased to say that they have equally gotten similar results. In this post I will be sharing the details of these 3 practical steps you can take to prevent infant hair breakage or hair loss in your baby’s hair journey. These steps will also work for you if you already have a baby whose hair is going through excessive breakage or has infant balding.

Step 1: Ensure Your Child is on a Healthy Diet
If your child is 6 months and under and is still on a milk diet, ensure that you are feeding him/her exclusively with breast milk. Now if you are like me and for some reason, you are unable to feed your child breast milk exclusively, you would have to get very good quality formula milk that you know your child does not react to in any way.

I say this because, I recently got a distress call from a mother whose baby was born with a full head of hair, but suddenly started developing very smooth bald spots when he was about two months. I put a call to one of the Trichologists (hair and scalp care specialist) in town and the first question she asked was whether there was a change in the baby’s diet and the mother said yes, that she had changed the baby’s formula milk from one brand to another one. And guess what, a couple of weeks after going back to the formula brand she first gave her child, her baby’s hair started growing back and right now, all the bald spots are gone!

If your child is over 6 months, you should introduce a variety of different foods that constitute a healthy diet, full of water, proteins and vitamins. This will ensure that your child’s hair is nourished form the inside.

Step 2: Keep Your Baby’s Hair Moisturized Daily
Moisture is essential if you are serious about growing healthy, long natural hair for your little one. While younger babies are usually in restricted conditions, such as their bouncers, cribs or care seats, the toddlers and bigger kids are constantly running, tumbling, swinging, and jumping into sand, dirty water, piles of leaves, the list goes on. They play outside, put on all kinds of costumes, wear sports gears and engage in all kinds of rough play that make our hearts skip. All these activities put their strands in a position that could strip your child’s hair of moisture, leading to dryness and eventually breakage.

In order to prevent this, you must ensure that your child’s hair comes in contact with water, a cream based moisturizer/leave in conditioner and oil. While moisturising your child’s hair, it is essential to also squeeze in a few seconds of scalp massage in order to improve blood circulation in your child’s scalp, thereby stimulating the hair follicles which ultimately promotes hair growth. One other thing you can do to ensure your child’s hair does not dry out is to alternate shampoo washing with conditioner only washing, this is called ‘co-washing’. Co-washing means washing your child’s hair with only a silicone-free, rinse-out conditioner or a sulphate free cleanser.

Additionally, if you notice that your child’s hair is constantly getting dry easily and is prone to breakage, you may need to introduce a regular deep conditioning treatment to her hair care regimen. Regular co-washing and deep conditioning will help infuse long-lasting moisture to your child’s hair.

Step 3: Protect Your Child’s Hair at Bedtime with Silk or Satin Headrests
Afro hair is delicate, it is super fragile and just wants to be treated with tender loving care. For the first few months of a baby’s life, he/she will spend of his/he time sleeping on their backs, as advised by The American Academy of Paediatrics to minimise the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In addition, babies also spend quality time on their car seat and bouncers which present a rough surface that cause their delicate hair strands to wear, tear and get excessively dry and begin to fall off from the back and also the sides. To prevent this from happening, you need to cover the landing area of your child’s head with satin headrests such as, a satin crib headrest, satin car seat headrest and satin bouncer headrests.

Satin and silk materials are smooth and present a soft, slippery landing surface for your child’s hair strands. Another great thing about the satin and silk material is that hair strands do not rub against them, they slide through them without causing any kind of wear, tear or breakage. When my baby was under 12 months, I placed a satin material everywhere she puts her head and she never had any bald patches or hair loss in those areas. For times when she sat on her bouncer and I got lazy and did not put the satin material, I would always see tiny curly strands in the head landing area after she spends a couple of minutes on it. If your child is 12 months and older and has very good control of their neck, then it is time to get her a satin bonnet. For boys, you can go ahead and keep using the satin headrest, otherwise, you can go ahead and get a satin bonnet for him if you are not worried about how he will look it, he just might like it!

Did you find this helpful? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Natures Gentle Touch Hair Institute takes us through 5 Causes of Dandruff & their Appropriate Remedies

It is estimated that over 50% of the world’s adult population suffers from dandruff. This is a whopping sum! Studies have also shown that 70% of Nigerians suffer from dandruff and a majority of this number are women.

Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear and is often accompanied by itching which can be in many cases quite embarrassing. Dandruff is said to be more common in people with oily scalp. This is beside several other factors that can lead to this common scalp problem.

Even though the precise triggers for dandruff are widely unknown, it is, however, a fact that individuals vary in their susceptibility to developing this problem and not just the level of yeast colonization which causes dandruff. Other factors such as an excessively oily scalp, dry weather, fatigue amongst others are triggers as well.

Below are 5 things no one has probably told you about your dandruff problems.

Stress & Fatigue can cause Dandruff

Even though there are stressors all around us and some level of stress is good, it will interest you to know that mental stress can be a trigger for dandruff problems. In the year 2007, a study was conducted on 82 people who suffered from depression as well as anxiety. It was found that more than 80% of the patients had scalps that flaked excessively!

According to health experts, when we are under stress, our body produces glucocorticoid which is a substance that helps us calm down. Glucocorticoids have the ability to alter the make-up of cells that are present on our scalps. This ability may leave us prone to the fungus Malassezia which causes Dandruff.

Dandruff solution does not come in just one product type

There are several product propositions and opinions where several brands make curative promises, for example, an anti-dandruff shampoo which only promises to cure dandruff. This can be misleading as a simple anti-dandruff shampoo is likely going to relief you for only a moment but does not eliminate flakes and itching. A proper and effective management of dandruff will be a use of complete product range from shampooing the hair, deep-conditioning and a frequent treatment for maintenance as well as protecting the scalp from the re-occurence of dandruff.

Some after-care products are loaded with chemicals which can cause dandruff

Several after-care products can be loaded with chemicals that imparts short term gloss to the hair but can be excessively drying to the scalp. This can definitely cause Dandruff to the scalp because of the dryness of scalp. It is advised to use a product range from the same brand as opposed to using different product types from different brands Product choice is, therefore, important in the effective management of Dandruff.

A good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle can reduce chances of developing dandruff

Some studies have suggested that a healthy lifestyle has been shown to reduce the re-occurence of dandruff.

Call this number – 09083411912 today for a free hair consultation at the Natures Gentle Touch Hair Institute.

Amazing Benefits Of Shea Butter For Hair And Skin


Shea butter is an amazing butter grown primarily across west and central Africa, and the east to some extent. The butter is extracted from the shea karite fruit of the Vitellaria paradoxa tree. It is a tree which can be found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, among others.

It is a tree which can be found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, among others.

Shea butter has been used in the cosmetic industry for years. From hair creams to shampoos, body moisturizers and soap bars, shea butter can be found on the ingredient list of many beauty products.

There have also been accounts of the famous Queen Cleopatra who is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in history and the addition of shea butter to her beauty regimen.

Shea butter has an off white color that is slightly yellow. Although some come white in packages, these types have been altered or bleached to get it odorless and white. It has a faint earthy smell that can be rid of with the addition of essential oils like lavender oil. However, the smell from the shea butter isn’t so pungent as it fades off after application to hair or skin.

benefits of shea butter for hair and skin

To get the full benefits of this wonder butter, we recommend getting unrefined Grade A butter. This type is processed without the addition of chemicals and other whatnots. Some might still contain impurities but various grade A  shea butter are painstakingly filtered to get rid of impurities without chemicals.

Amazing Benefits of Shea Butter For Hair And Skin


So What Makes Shea Butter Amazing?

It has healing properties

Shea butter is used for its medicinal properties. It can be used in getting rid of wrinkles, blemishes, pregnancy stretch marks, dermatitis and so on. In some African countries, it is also used to relieve nasal congestion. Different researches have also proven that it contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to increase collagen production, meaning it makes a good anti-aging product.

Hair protection against UV rays 

Over exposure to the sun’s Ultra-violet A or B rays are equally damaging to the hair as to the skin. On the skin, it could cause cancer. On the hair, UV rays can cause a discoloring effect, leading to hair loss as a result of cuticle damage. It can also cause dry brittle hair that is vulnerable to split ends and other hair damages.

Although there are various sunscreen products for skin, finding one for the hair is hard to come by. With an SPF of 6, Shea butter could suffice for a sunscreen hair product.


This is the major benefit of shea butter for skin and hair. For centuries, shea butter has been used to soften Afro-textured hair. It is also used to soften the skin and get rid of dryness during the dry harmattan season in west Africa countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. It has emollient properties which penetrate the skin and hair.

Hair growth

With high amounts of stearic, linoleic and oleic acids, vitamins E and A, shea butter is infused with nutrients that pose great benefits to the hair. Combined with its anti-inflammatory attributes, it helps fight dry, itchy scalp, dandruff, seal in moisture and nutrients, all which will improve hair growth in one way or another.

Can A Cold Shower Really Benefit Your Hair, Skin and Metabolism?

Cold showers are said to boost metabolism and even deliver beauty perks. But are the benefits for real? We asked doctors to weigh in.

A blast of chilly water may do the body good—but are the shivers worth it? Of all the beauty trends out there right now, this one might take the cake: searches for “cold showers” are up 75% on Pinterest, according to the social platform. Proponents claim the brrr-inducing temps help increase metabolism, boost mood, and even lead to healthier skin and hair.

But showers aren’t just about getting clean (hello, relaxation!), so a cold one better offer real perks. But does it?

Well… maybe. First, let’s talk beauty benefits. In terms of your hair, “the cold will flatten the ruffled cuticles and lock in moisture to prevent breakage,” says Jessie Cheung, MD, a dermatologist in the Chicago area.

Cold water will initially help constrict blood vessels in your skin to temporarily tighten pores and decrease redness and puffiness, she adds. What’s more, cold temperatures boost circulation (it’s your body’s way of keeping warm). For your face, that might mean a healthy glow.

A cold shower is also said to help boost mood, but the evidence for this is slim. One study from the International Journal of Circumpolar Health looked at the practice of “winter swimming,” which is popular in Finland. Their findings suggest that regularly taking a dip in cold water (the participants swam four times a week) might improve energy and overall well-being.

And a 2007 study published in Medical Hypotheses found that short 2-3 minute cold showers may help relieve depressive symptoms—but the researchers noted more widespread studies on this are needed.

There has been some emerging research suggesting cold temperatures may stimulate brown fat, a type of fat that burns extra calories. In a small 2014 study, men exposed to a cold environment had an increase in brown fat volume as well as corresponding fat metabolic activity. But again, there’s not enough research to suggest that taking cold showers can lead to weight loss.

The real benefits may come from avoiding super-hot showers in the first place. Hot water might feel good, but it does a number on your skin and hair, explains New York City-based dermatologist Lance Brown, MD.

“Hot water will strip away some of the natural, protective oils that your skin makes,” he says, which can leave skin feeling dry and itchy and possibly exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. This is especially problematic during the winter months, when cold air outside and dry heat inside naturally make skin more parched.

The good news: “You don’t need to be in the cold for too long to see skin and hair benefits,” says Dr. Cheung. “A short blast—aim for at least 10 seconds—at the end of your shower will do.”

If that’s just not going to work for you, don’t feel guilty about skipping the cold shower altogether. Dr. Brown recommends short, 10-minute showers in lukewarm or mildly cold water. Lather up with a gentle, fragrance-free soap, pat your body dry with a towel, and follow up with a moisturizer on still-damp skin. Enjoy the glow!

Tried and True Tips for the Natural Hair Traveler

Tame your curls in even the most unforgiving conditions.

Traveling can be a real nuisance when it comes to hair care. And for curly-haired travelers, it can be even more of a struggle. Who wants to spend their beach vacation stuck in front of the mirror with a flat iron? Or feeling like their curls didn’t get as much TLC as they needed?

As a woman who loves her natural tresses, I want my travel photos to show off the beautiful scenery and an impeccable fro to match—but anyone with 4b curls knows that this is much easier said than done.

From essential styling products that slip easily into your carry-on to natural protective serums that combat dry airplane conditions, we have all the things you need to stay carefree and curly on your next getaway.


Your Style Essentials

There are a few styling products that are must-haves to ensure your curls stay hydrated and fresh throughout your trip. The first and most important is a curl cream. If you’re looking to refresh your twist-out overnight, then styling it with curl cream the night before will have you feeling like you just stepped out of the salon. A personal favorite product for this is As I Am Twist Defining Cream. With ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, and castor oil, it minimizes frizz and promotes healthy hair growth for a style that’ll last for at least a week.

If you’re worried about items taking up space in your carry-on, opt for the travel-friendly sizes of your favorite brands or invest in a travel bottle kit to fill with your products. Some favorite creams include Eden Bodyworks Medium Hold Curl Defining Crème, and Bb. Curl Defining Crème.

Styling Your Curls

If you’re natural, you’ve probably heard of the “2-strand twist out” method, which makes for cute and manageable curls. Take it up a notch and try a “3-strand twist out.” It’ll leave you’re curls even more defined and moisturized, perfect for the natural girl on the go.

To achieve this style, use the LOC method. Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair, part hair into four sections and apply a leave-in (L), an oil (O), and then a cream (C) to “LOC” in all of the moisture. Section again and twist hair using three strands. It’s important to let the twists dry completely or you’ll end up with a frizzy afro, which is cute, but not the look you may be going for. This popular style is ideal for beach trips if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to spend time in the pool at the hotel without worrying about the water (and chemicals) destroying your hair.

On days where the humidity is unbearable or you’re just eager to get out of the hotel room, a simple top-knot is the way to go. To achieve the look flawlessly you’ll need Eco-Styler Gel, edge control, and a toothbrush (really!) for taming pesky edges and laying those beautiful baby hairs. I never leave the house without one in my purse. The key to this look is to start with wet moisturized hair, apply a liberal amount of eco-styler gel, then edge control and brush into a high bun. Finally, wrap your edges with a satin scarf and leave on for 10-20 minutes. This will leave your bun sleek, shiny, and flyaway-free. Finally, use the toothbrush on your edges and you’re done.

Consider carrying a small detangle brush or Denman brush in your carry-on for touch ups in the airport, along with your emergency hair band when you need to style your hair quickly so you don’t miss your flight. If you want to rock your straight hair during vacation, be sure to bring a travel-sized straightener for your carry on, like the Revlon Perfect Heat Travel Pro Mini Straightener. Don’t forget to bring a satin cap to sleep with at night to keep your hair fresh overnight.

In-flight Hair Treatment

Being 30,000 feet up can really take a toll on your curls. You learn the hard way that a twist-out doesn’t agree with the temperature (or lack of moisture) on the plane, which quickly dries it out. By the time a long flight is over, curls are fallen and frizzed.

To keep your hair fresh for those long trips in the air, it’s best to either wrap your hair up and cover it (which can look stylish with a pretty silk scarf!) or pull it into a bun. I also like to twist my hair before the flight, cover it with a hat or scarf, and by the time I get to the hotel, my twists are dry and perfectly defined and moisturized. Use a hair lotion to keep your hair hydrated during your flight. Go for the Elasta QP Anti-Breakage Oil Moisturizer—or keep it simple with some old-fashioned organic coconut oil.

Wrap ‘N Go

Sometimes you just don’t have to energy to braid or twist your hair. Head wraps can make a lazy style look effortlessly good. Plus, hair wraps are great ways to experiment with accessorizing. They’re also perfect for long waits in the airport, so you don’t have to worry about the temperature in the terminal frizzing your fresh curls. A great place to get head wraps is the Brooklyn-based online store, The Wrap Life.

Keeping Up With Your Curls

While traveling, the last thing a girl wants to worry about is having a bad hair day. Make sure you either re-twist your hair every night before bed or sleep in a “pineapple.” This is a simple but effective magic trick to get perfect second-day hair. Simply pull all of your hair up into a high pony tail so your curls aren’t smashed while you sleep and voila. Refresh them in the morning with WEN Sweet Almond Mint refresher spray. It’ll give your curls just the pick-me-up they need without having to re-wash your hair.

Check Your Weather Forecast

Are you going somewhere cooler or more humid? Because of our hair textures, certain protective styles work better (or worse) in particular climates. For example, you’ll probably want to reconsider getting an 18-inch weave down for a retreat to Bali.

On a recent trip to Martinique I wanted to sport my curly fro, but knew the island’s humidity would laugh at my attempt to be a carefree black girl in vacation mode. When it comes to destinations with a lot of humidity, it’s wise to use a heat protection spray to protect your curls from the harsh UV rays—my favorite is ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer. You can also keep your curls shiny with Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss and Shine Polisher. Happy styling!

Dermatologist-Approved Tips For Your Most Common Hair and Scalp Issues

Here’s everything you need to know about treating thin edges, alopecia and other common hair woes.

As a professional hairstylist, I’m often asked about cures for hair loss, bald spots and lack of growth. The reality is that sometimes, we do things that need to be remedied in a dermatologist’s office instead of the salon chair. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin, hair, nail and mucous membranes (e.g. lining inside the mouth, nose and eyelids.).

These experts are able to diagnose scalp conditions, prescribe medications and perform procedures that can assist in our hair, skin and nail journeys!  We spoke to NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, MD, and got answers to your most pressing questions about Black hair. Let’s get started:

Dry Scalp

Definition: the loss of moisture to the scalp, characterized by small white flakes

What causes our scalps to become dry?

Anything that can cause dry skin on the body can cause dry skin on the scalp. This includes soap, medicated shampoos, detergents, cold weather, product build up, hard water and diet (example: caffeine).  In addition, products applied to the hair that are gel formulations tend to contribute to greater dryness and build up as compared to creams, lotions and more hydrating gels.

Are there certain foods/drinks we should avoid to combat dry scalp issues?

It’s recommended that you avoid inflammatory foods, such as processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts and alcohol, to name a few. Fill your diet with anti-fungal foods, such as garlic, apple cider vinegar, bananas, avocado, flaxseed, ginger and coconut oil.

Any product recommendations or natural remedies for dry scalp?

Apple cider vinegar rinses help restore the pH on your scalp and remove build up left behind by shampoos, conditioners and other hair products. Use natural oils such as argan oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, etc. to gently massage the scalp and natural hair masks like yogurt, honey, banana and avocado to hydrate and bring moisture.

Itchy Scalp

What are common causes?

Dry scalp, dandruff, irritation/ allergic reaction to something applied to the scalp are often common causes. Additionally, autoimmune diseases such as lupus, thyroid disease, anemia, infections and infestations caused by bacteria, ringworm, yeast and lice (uncommon in curly and textured hair) also cause itchy scalp.

How can we recognize the difference between an “itchy scalp” and irritation?

You can recognize a scalp irritation by taking a close look at products you use and identifying any symptoms associated with use of that product. If whenever you use it, you experience swelling, redness, burning sensation, then that’s an indication that the scalp is irritated and you should discontinue use.

Any product recommendations or natural remedies for an itchy scalp?

The same remedies used for dry scalp can be used for itchy scalp. However, in the event of medical problems, such as allergic reactions, infections, seborrheic dermatitis, etc., it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist and your primary care physician as needed.


Thinning Hair

What is the difference between “thinning hair” and “hair loss?”

Thinning hair is one of many manifestations of hair loss and is usually temporary. Hair loss may be caused by a number of factors, including medical conditions, medical treatment, medications and radiation therapy to the scalp.

Telogen effluvium is also a type of hair loss that can be triggered by for several months after an intense emotional or physical shock such as death of a loved one, long periods without sleep, sudden and excessive weight loss, intense exercise, divorce, a severe illness, high fever, giving birth or a surgical procedure.

What are common causes of thinning hair?

Practices that can lead to hair thinning are excessive manipulation that includes, but is not limited to, excessive pulling and twisting of the hair and excessive use of products, heat and chemicals.

Hair Loss/ Scalp Conditions

From your experience, what is the top non-hereditary scalp concern that comes into your office?

It is a close tie between Seborrheic Dermatitis (often referred to as dry scalp, itchy scalp or dandruff) and Traumatic Alopecia from styling practices and use of chemicals and products.

Seborrheic dermatitis is very common and when mild, can often be successfully treated at home by avoiding overuse of products, washing more frequently and with the use of over-the-counter products that contain ingredients such as selenium sulfide, zinc and ketoconazole.

However, if hair loss is extensive, the threat of permanent hair can be a devastating prospect and one should seek the guidance of a dermatologist.

What is alopecia?

The word “alopecia” refers to hair loss and is experienced by everyone at some level, even if minimal. Harmful forms of alopecia include traction alopecia, from excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as ponytails, braids and cornrows.

How can women avoid obtaining alopecia or traction alopecia?

Traction (or pulling) alopecia should be avoided to prevent eventual permanent hair loss. This is achieved by avoiding excessive pulling and tightness overall during styling and with hairstyles, and by alternating your hairstyles and the direction of pulling forces if there is pulling.

Are hormone shots an option for anyone experiencing hair loss? If so, what makes a person a good candidate?

Cortisone injections by an experienced dermatologist can be very helpful. These injections can help stimulate hair growth and reduce/clear the inflammation that surround the hair follicle. Most patients can benefit from these injections and the dermatologist will evaluate you to determine if you are eligible based on your history, physical examination and associated factors. For a favorable response, there should be a presence of some hair follicles in the area being treated and the lack of evidence of a chronic related condition.

Product Ingredients/ Medications:

What are some common ingredients found in products or OTC medication that may contribute to our scalp concerns?

Ingredients to avoid are shampoos with Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), Ammonium laureth sulfate, Formaldehyde, as well as hair gels and sprays, especially those that contain high amounts of Alcohol.  Also, there’s a long list of oral medications that cause hair loss. A few of these are commonly found in our medicine cabinets and include drugs to treat and prevent stomach ulcers, indigestion and weight loss.

Does caffeine help promote growth?

Some shampoos and conditioning treatments use caffeine as an active ingredient to reduce hair loss. Claims state that the caffeine can help prevent hair loss, extend the life cycle of the hair and encourage regrowth. Although caffeine can stimulate the nerves when consumed in a beverage, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that drinking caffeinated beverages or applying topical caffeine treatments improve growth.

When do you recommend clients with scalp issues graduate from seeking the help of a professional hairstylist to coming to see a dermatologist?

After almost 30 years of treating thousands with hair concerns and loss, I recommend the team approach. I have researched and sought out stylists who are highly trained and recommend seeing both at the same time. The knowledge is synergistic and the care and treatment can be complimentary. I immediately investigate if the patient has a regular hairstylist with whom they are comfortable and can also make a recommendation. It’s important that the dermatologist and the stylist are on the same page.