Condition, condition, condition!

3 Steps to Successful Styling:

1. Condition, condition, condition! Use the Deep Therapy Masque at least once a week to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.

2. Have the right haircut for your hair texture and facial features. You should trim your hair as needed to get rid of split ends and encourage healthy hair.

3. Use the right styling tools for your hair texture and know the right technique to achieve beautiful, bouncy curls.

Dear Christo: I have curly hair and I believe it's type 3a. My hair is a little bit past my shoulders and has layers. Every time I try to do it, it just ends up looking too straight, or wavy. I have tried every tip I can find online—diffusers, different products, using wide-toothed combs, and so much more, but nothing seems to help. I want it to be curlier, and cooperate with me every day. I also need something easy and fast because I'm still in middle school. Most of the time, I have to go to school looking like I didn't even try to make my hair look nice, but my entire morning is all about trying to fix my hair. i just want it to be less puffy, and curlier but I don't know how. Please give me some advice.

A: Remember step #1: Condition, condition, condition!

It seems like your hair is dehydrated and that is the reason why it does not hold your styles. You need to start using a Deep Therapy Masque at least once a week to bring your hair back to life. Ridding your hair of split ends by trimming it every 6-10 weeks is also very important. This will keep your hair from ruining your styles. If you don’t know the right styling tools or technique for your hair, I suggest you log onto www.curlisto.com and click on the Styling Your Own Hair Video where you can choose the hair texture that best matches your own and watch a step-by-step instructional video on how to properly style your curls using the right hair products. By following these three steps, you are on your way to successful, long lasting styles.

Dear Christo: I cut my bra-strap length hair to well above my shoulders. With more frequent deep treatments (like 3/week MINIMUM) I've achieved so much healthier hair than in the all the months of going natural. My hair has actually taken on a more 4a curl. But I seem to have lost my curl pattern in the crown area. Now some of it is leftover heat-damaged hair, but the other stuff just sort of....happened! From 1.5" or so past the crown to just past the middle of my head I have no curl or wave....just straight-ish hair. It's frizzy and poofy and dry; won't blend or hold fingercurls or anything. The front/sides and back are curlier than ever. I'm wondering if this loss of patten is from a henna treatment. Yet no other areas of my hair were affected—just this patch in the middle of my head (I've hennaed once before, btw). If it is the henna, is it repairable? If not the henna....is it still repairable??

A: The effects of heat damage and chemical processes can sometimes take a while to become apparent. The loss of your curl pattern must be a result of years of stress caused by heat styling and using the products (including henna). Henna is not good for the hair; it dries out the cortex which will in fact make your hair lose its pattern. There is no quick fix to years of damage so I suggest that you put your hair through Hair Rehab. This amazing system will restore abused and/or over processed hair. The crown area took the most abuse which is why it is taking longer to repair. Have patience and continue to nourish, hydrate and care for your hair. The only way to get your curl back is to restore its health.

I suggest that you send a picture of your curls to prescription@curlisto.com. One of my senior stylists will be able to write you a personalized prescription and provide you with plan to return the healthy your hair. There are always solutions; you just need to have the right team available to help you find them.

Dear Christo: I know it's normal to lose 40-100 strands a day but I am losing gobs in the shower! Could it be because I wash my hair about every 3 days and those 40-100 strands are entangled in my curls and they are coming out all at once? I don't have any balds spots and no signs of thinning but I am fuh-reaking out! It's been happening forever but now I'm thinking maybe its not so normal. Ideas?

A: It is true; you are supposed to lose 70-100 stands of hair in a single day. Since curly women do not need to wash their hair every day, strands accumulate and it seems like there are massive amounts of hair being shed. The lifespan of a hair strand is 4-7 years. It is important to note that factors like a change in weather, diet and stress levels can cause you to lose more hair than normal.

If you don’t feel like your hair is thinning, then there is nothing to worry about. You are lucky to get your hair back. If you are thinning out, I highly recommend that you see your physician.

You should also follow the 3 steps to successful styling because it is something that everyone should do to keep their curls beautiful and bouncy.

Dear Christo: This problem has plagued me for years! I have between 3c or 3b curls (depends on what place on my head you are looking at). Color is the only thing I find that gives my hair body. I get it professionally colored every 6 weeks. And in between I touch up my the roots. So I am coloring it every 3 weeks. I know, I know what you are thinking: "but is it in good condition?" I get to the week before I should be coloring it and it is horrible!

Seriously, I am late for work, I'm in a foul mood because I now it looks bad and I can't do anything about it. It gets real soft and flat, it lies flat to my head. I use more product, I try to lift it with clips while it is drying. Forget it. I HATE IT!!! But then I add color and presto everything is right in the world. It has the body I need to work with it. What is the ingredient in color that gives my hair body? Is there any help for my hair except for color?

A: Coloring your hair will give the illusion of your hair being fuller and thicker because the cuticle will expand 30%. Chemicals in the color will swallow your hair's cuticle which is why it will only last for limited time and your hair starts to feel unmanageable and flat until you touch up your roots. I suggest that you try and find out the right styling products for your hair type.

It seems like you have a very fine hair texture that easily becomes limp, especially in the scalp area. It is important to use the right styling products that will address this problem and boost the root area. I suggest that you use Curl Reform whose expansion technology will make your hair look fuller and less flat.