Hair Liberty’s Nicole Hollis, our Resident Curl Chemist, is back from hiatus answering your most urgent hair questions. Got one for her? Email me at [email protected] using “Hair Liberty” in the subject line and she may answer your question right here on the blog.

What’s the best way to cleanse my hair? Is the shampoo free method or Low-Poo method better than regular shampoo?
The point of shampoo is to clean your hair and scalp. Everyone needs a regular shampoo! Think of washing your hair like washing your face. Shampoo free and Co-washing are like the Oil cleansing method, Low-Poo is like using Cetaphil or some other lotion-like cleanser, and regular shampoo is every other face wash on the market. If you have acne prone skin, or you wear a lot of makeup, or you sweat a lot during the day, you choose a face wash with those things in mind…same thing with shampoo. We all know the kinks in our hair prevent the natural oils from traveling down the hair shaft. But, think about that. That means the oil is left sitting on the scalp, mixing with sweat, and dirt from the environment. The excess oil needs to be cleansed away regularly for your scalp to stay healthy. Plus, leaving product residue on your hair will cause tangles and breakage. You have to cleanse thoroughly, but gently, and there are plenty of shampoos that can do that. Some of the shampoos that earned the Hair Liberty “Highly Recommended” status are Jane Carter Solutions Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, Kinky Curly Come Clean, and Motions Weightless Conditioning Shampoo.
I’m finding little pieces of my hair on the sink. Please help me keep my hair from breaking off!

Many people try to stop breakage with extra moisturizers and/or protein, but you really have to pay attention to every step of your hair care routine. You have to use a gentle shampoo and a conditioner that contains hydrolyzed protein and good detangling ingredients. It’s equally important to only comb damp or conditioner-saturated hair. The more kinky the hair, the more it will break when it’s combed and it should never be brushed. Brushing isn’t for hair health, it‘s just for styling. 50 strokes a day to help hair growth is a myth and even then it was never meant for kinky hair.

If you’re not sure why your hair is breaking, it’s best to get a trim. Everyone hates to lose hair, but even if you turn your whole routine around you won’t be able to drastically improve breaking ends. It’s better to “start fresh” and maintain your ends from there. If they start to get thin and tangled again soon after the trim, you’ll know you’re still doing something unhealthy. You want to be able to go at least 8 weeks before your ends start to feel like tangled threads. Remember, your hair is always being damaged. Your goal is to slow down the damage cycle so you can enjoy each inch of hair for as long as possible before it needs to be cut off.

It can take a while to find a routine that reduces breakage, but once you have the right products and are doing the right things, don’t stop! Don’t look for cheaper substitutes for your holy grail products and don’t start heat styling or combing more because you think your hair is stronger. Kinky hair will always be fragile and it will always need the best care you can give it.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself. For more info, visit www.hairliberty.org