Q: I love wearing a weave or braids, but now my hairline seems to be receding. Is there anything I can do?
A: Treat your hairline gently – avoid rubbing your hands against the hairline when washing your face; and avoid brushing the area. Also, massage it with “hair food” – a hair balm that promotes hair growth. We love Dr Miracles Stimulating Moisturizing Gro Oil, R59.99. Stay away from chemical treatments, tight plaits, and hair-styles that require you to pull and brush your hair into a ponytail. If you can, it’s a good idea to visit a reputable salon for deep-conditioning treatments every second week. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to restoring a receding hair line. Follow a healthy lifestyle with a good eating plan that includes plenty of water, vegetables and oily fish. You may need to cut your hair short and keep it natural until your hairline is restored.
Q: I seem to have dandruff; what is it and what can I do about my dry and flaky scalp?
A: Dandruff is a scalp condition where the flaking of dead skin occurs at a fast rate – which is what causes the characteristic itchy scalp. Invest in a shampoo specifically formulated for treating dandruff (there are plenty on the market) and a moisturising conditioner suitable for dry scalp conditions. Massage your scalp regularly to release natural oils. Use an oil treatment like olive oil to rub into your scalp, then wrap your hair in a towel and leave for 30 minutes. Thereafter, rinse with luke-warm (never use hot) water and shampoo. If the problem is persistent, it may be necessary to see your doctor or a dermatologist.
Q: My hair is brittle and dry; how can I improve the texture?
A: Deep condition your hair. Choose a moisturising shampoo, leave-in conditioner and moisturising after-care products. Use a hot oil treatment, then wrap hair in a towel and leave for 20 minutes. You can also apply mayonnaise on your hair and leave for five minutes. Rinse and shampoo after deep-conditioning treatments. You might like to go to your salon for fortnightly deep-conditioning treatments. And if you can possibly bear it, try to avoid using hot styling tools. Sadly, sometimes, the best thing to do is simply trim the brittle ends away.
Q: How often can I relax my hair?
A: You should only relax your hair when it has re-growth. It is usually necessary to relax ethnic hair after six to eight weeks, depending on the hair texture. Avoid relaxing your hair too often as chemical treatments can damage hair (Dr Miracle’s has a no-lye relaxer, R79.99).
Q: How can I prevent my relaxed hair from breaking?
A: Use good quality hair products – there are now products specifically formulated to prevent breakage. Always follow your weekly shampoo with a conditioner; and let hair air-dry whenever possible. Don’t over-load your hair with styling products. Massage your scalp with a deep-conditioning product three times a week. Go for deep-conditioning treatments twice a month; and trim split ends regularly. When styling your hair, use a large-toothed comb and keep heat styling to a minimum.
Q: What’s the best way to grow my natural hair long and strong?
A: Add moisture by wetting it regularly. Use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner once a week – shampooing too often can strip hair of its natural oils. Massage scalp regularly with a deep-conditioning product or natural oils. Use a moisturising spray (try Motions 3-in-1 Oil, R35.99) when your hair feels dry. Always choose water-based products for maintaining natural hair. Go for products that contain ingredients that enhance naturally curly hair such as olive oil and glycerine. Opt for products that are specifically formulated for dry hair.