Winter is the season that wreaks the most havoc on curly tresses. From the seemingly instant change in climate to the daily assault of dry, brittle wind and frizz-producing rain — a curly girl just doesn’t have a chance! However, you can counter the evils of winter by incorporating a good hair regimen and using only quality products for your angel’s hair.

Useful winter tip

Over-shampooing and under-conditioning are common culprits for dry, frizzy hair.Therefore, shampooing more than once a week is not recommended. I recommend shampooing two to three times a month, for dry and/or damaged hair, and once a week for undamaged curly hair with our Hydrating Shampoo. On the other ‘shampoo-less’ days, do a conditioning rinse — rinse hair to remove styling products (this is where using the right products that are water soluble comes in), apply an ample amount of our Curly Q’s Coconut Dream conditioner, comb through, rinse and proceed with styling. Doing so will pump much-needed moisture back into her hair without stripping away essential nutrients and will rinse away unnecessary dirt and oil and give her hair a fresh, clean start.

Q: I hope you can settle a difference of opinion between a co-worker and myself. Naomi and I have a mutual African-American acquaintance whose 4-year-old daughter cries when her shoulder-length hair is cared for. I commented how I would rather shorten the little girl’s hair rather than put her through such daily torture. However, since doing some research on the Internet, I’ve learned that short hair would be considered totally unacceptable by other children and the African-American community in general.

Here is the question which we are trying to settle. Naomi is strongly of the opinion that cutting a child’s hair before the age of five is greatly harmful to the child’s hair. She explained that a child’s

hair is replaced twice and the length of the hair determines the quality and health of the child’s hair in the future. If I remember correctly, she mentioned that a short hairstyle would result in more fragile hair and be very difficult to deal with when she’s an adult and that ‘anyone who knows hair will tell me this..’ It has always been my understanding that the hair follicles are based on genetics and that the length of healthy hair does not alter how the hair will grow out. Is she correct? And if so, does it also apply to boys? I thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this subject and I look forward to your reply. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Mahisha: I can honestly say, I have never heard such a wives tale! Your co-worker’s claims are untrue. Her 4-year-old old daughter can ‘safely’ get a hair cut without worrying about making her hair more fragile. Short or long, African-American hair needs to be treated with tender loving care to thrive….the length of her Nubian princesses’ locks have nothing do with how difficult her hair will be as an adult.

To some extent, your research is correct. Most African-American girls do have a ‘hair complex.’ They long for naturally long, flowing locks that their Caucasian counterparts posess. Contrary to popular belief, African-American hair does and can grow…however, because it is THE most fragile hair texture (next to baby fine newborn hair) it tends to break off rather easily if not treated like a fine silk blouse. Because a lot of African-American girls get relaxers before they get their menstrual periods, they realize a lot of breakage, which results in short hair.

I would like to say that I hope your friend does not cut her princess’s hair out of frustration. I would advise her to seek the advice of a local African-American stylist to help her learn more about caring for her delicate tresses. After all, our hair is our crowning glory.

Q: I’m not a parent, but a teenager who is frustrated with my curly hair. Please help me. I have tried so many products and nothing helps. It’s probably because my hair has too many problems. My hair is dry, thick, poofy and frizzy. Even when it’s wet it looks bad. Recently, I’ve been using grease and mousse to help tame it and keep the curls in but still it’s hard to manage. I think I’m going to cut it short. Maybe that will help me, but I really wanted to let my hair grow. What do you recommend I should do?

Mahisha: Well, I see what part of the problem is. You are using the type of products that perpetuate the problem. Avoid products that contain mineral and/or petrolatum oil as an ingredient. Do not use products with these ingredients for your hair or scalp. Both of these synthetic oils coat and suffocate the hair shaft blocking out moisture. Further, they clog pores in your scalp and can retard hair growth. Also, most mousse formulations contain drying alcohol that, again, dry out the hair.

Remember this. Curly Hair minus Moisture equals Frizzy Dry Hair. Adding moisture every step of the way is critical – from the shampoo/conditioner to the styling products you use. Are you currently using a daily moisturizer? This is very important. Our Essential Elements moisturizer is a great daily option. It softens the hair, eases combability, moisturizes and conditions, preps it for the next step, and leaves a little goodness behind.

Also, read your product labels. Remember, the ingredients are listed in order of volume.

Q: I got my curly hair from both of my parents. You can probably imagine how curly that is. Could you please help me find something to unfrizz my hair? Do you know if it will work if I chemically straighten my hair ? I would really like to try that approach!!!!!

Mahisha: I do not advise on chemical processes for a few reasons. I prefer for curly girls to find alternative ways of caring for their locks without resorting to chemicals…and I do not want to assume legal responsibility for ‘perms gone bad.’

However, I can say that your daily ritual can help debunk and defrizz your locks. Are you moisturizing daily? If so, what are you using to do so? How often do you shampoo and condition your hair? What styling products are you using? Feel free to email me personally at [email protected] with your answers.