Q. Would you ever consider getting in experts to use organic products on black hair? I have found to my horror that nobody tests any organic products on black hair and experts in this area are very few and I would be grateful for any advice in this area especially since black hair is the most fragile type of hair…
A. We’re not quite sure where you got the info that ‘nobody tests any organic products on black hair’ – but we will say that considering the huge value of the ethnic beauty market, we marvel at the fact that there are relatively few brands (for hair, skin – or make-up) which target the very specific challenges you experience… But reading between the lines, we think you’re probably trying to find help with your own fragile hair – so we have some suggestions. First of all, you may want to know that there’s a true specialist, Renée Lagrange, who runs her own Black Hair Clinic at 10 Harley Street, London W1G 9PF/020-7467 3841 (by appointment only). We also found quite a lot of info about caring for black hair that we think you may find useful on a site called www.hair.lovetoknow.com, and you can click here to find the page. The Ojon haircare range is based on the oil of the ojon nut (see Sarah’s Health Notes for September 13th, for more information) and this relatively new brand is apparently becoming a great success among African-Americans (and now it’s available in the UK, too); you could start with the Ojon Hair Care 4-Piece Hair Kits, which offer Dry Recovery and Damage Reverse options. Meanwhile, you might like to know that our own trials are carried out on a mixture of ethnic backgrounds (except where products – for instance, pale make-up shades – mean that’s just not viable). So we believe that our top-scoring hair masks would offer benefits for all types of fragile and thirsty hair – so why not check out two of the winners? Louise Galvin Natural Locks Deep Conditioning Treatment, also qualifies as a ‘Beauty Steal’ (and appears in our book of the same name), while we have heard great things from our testers about John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor, from the natural NY hair guru.
• Louise Galvin Natural Locks Deep Conditioning Treatment, £10.98 for 300 ml at www.johnlewis.com; buy here
• John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor, £28 for 118 ml atwww.lovelula.com; buy here (NB don’t forget to enter the code bb12 at the checkout to receive your exclusive 5% ‘insider’ discount)
Q. I am of African background and started relaxing my hair in February. What started as a long bob has now turned into a scalp-cut. My hair is breaking massively and I had made the decision to go back to natural hair. The advice that I need is about the shampoo and conditioners to use: I was using Tresemmé for two years but have found that my scalp is now very dry, flaky and itchy, and that range is doing nothing to help. Please can you recommend product to help these symptoms?
A. The chemicals used in hair-relaxers are incredibly strong and to be honest, we’re not that surprised that your scalp is rebelling, and can’t take your usual haircare. We recommend that you switch as soon as possible to a formulation that avoids Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in particular, as this widely-used detergent can be very irritating for some people. Go for a shampoo with a much more natural detergent: we particularly recommend Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Hair and Scalp Rescue Shampoo, and S.O.S Hair and Scalp Rescue Conditioner, which are specially formulated to be scalp-calming. You won’t get the sudsing familiar from a traditional shampoo, but don’t worry: your hair will be perfectly cleansed. The conditioner is gentle enough even for eczema or psoriasis sufferers, and can be massaged into the scalp so that the elements of lavender, tea tree, yarrow, marigold and nettle work their soothing magic.
• Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Dry Scalp Shampoo, £12.95 for 200 ml at www.victoriahealth.com – buy here (NB Don’t forget your exclusive 5% discount as a visitor from our site, it will be automatically deducted at the checkout)
• Barefoot Botanicals S.O.S. Scalp Rescuing Conditioner, £12.95 for 200 ml at www.victoriahealth.com – buy here (NB Don’t forget your exclusive 5% discount as a visitor from our site, it will be automatically deducted at the checkout)