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Q: What's the best thing to do with long curly hair before sleeping at night? Most of the time I pull it back in a ponytail but in the morning it's really flat and knotted. That's a problem because I don't like to wash my hair everyday. -- Dee Dee

Ouidad: Pulling your long curly hair back into a low ponytail loosely with a Scrunchee usually works well. I recommend it to my clients all the time. But what I'm hearing in your question -- flat and knotted -- tells me that your hair is dehydrated. A protein-based deep treatment will help relieve this and allow you to go two to three days without shampooing. Remember, you have to feed your hair so it will perform for you.

Q: I have SUPER thick wavy/curly hair. No matter how I style it or what products I use, it forms a triangle shape around my head -- flat on top, and puffy on bottom. I live in Florida, so no matter what I do to it, I feel like my hair is a big frizzy mess due to humidity. Please let me know how I can get rid of my triangle shape on top of my head. I am also very self conscious about my hair and rarely ever wear it down. How do I gain more self confidence with this unusual hair type?

Ouidad: The cut that I developed -- 'Carving & Slicing' -- will actually work very well for your type of hair. It will puzzle the curls into each other while getting rid of your puffy bottom, and if it is sliced properly you can have a good deal of height on top. Get on my website, Ouidad.com, and find a salon in Florida that is certified by me to do Carving & Slicing. You will be able to wear your hair down, frizz free, because they will teach you how to work with your hair. Once you learn to take care of your hair, you'll feel that self confidence. Write me and share.

Q: I am a mature women of 49 years. I have very curly fine hair.When it is first washed, I have spirally, frizzy curl. After a day, the curl is not so tight and not so frizzy. Presently, I have hair that reaches the bottom of my neck, with some long layering around my face. Although I have had very short hair at times, as that is the only way it seems to lay flat and not curl so much, I would like to keep it at this length, at least in the back. Layering in the front and top seem to be the only way I can control it. I would like to have some style or cut suggestions. -- Annette Venditti.

Ouidad: I think if your hair is cut in the Carving & Slicing technique it will puzzle into each other and perform for you. You can actually have it cut to accentuate your features. You can have it flow freely to allow movement for softness. I don't like very short controlled curls. I find them too hard looking. So really, the sky is the limit with this technique. I just came back from the Chicago Midwest Beauty show where I conducted seminars for hairdressers and salon owners from all over the country, demonstrating and explaining my technique. Find a Ouidad affiliated salon to carve and slice your curls. We'll be training more salons later this year.

Q: I'm a 20-year-old college student and I've been blow-drying my hair with a diffuser since about 11th grade. I would say that my hair has soft curls and waves. I've been reading a lot about all different curl products and techniques and blow-drying seems to be really bad for curly (or any) hair. The thing is, I like the way my hair looks diffused dry so much better than when I dry it naturally. It has more luscious curls and more volume. Whenever I let it dry naturally the curls are few, the frizz is high and it's just a poof with some waves. Another factor is that I don't have time to let my hair dry naturally as I usually diffuse my hair and then run out the door to class or work. If I continue to diffuse dry my hair, is it going to be destroyed in a few years? If drying naturally is the way to go, how do I get my curls to be as nice as they are after blow-drying and to dry quickly? Thanks for your consideration.-- Aleesha, Brooklyn, NY

Ouidad: If you diffuse your hair on low heat and do your treatments regularly you will find it will be okay for you. I agree with you that you need to diffuse to accelerate the drying process. But it's also good to stop before the hair is completely dry and let your hair finish drying naturally. So diffuse your hair 75 percent of the way and let the ends dry naturally. They won't frizz.

Q: I have medium-thick curly/wavy hair and I've been concerned about the cleansing agents in shampoos since Iv'e been hearing bad things about sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate. I'd just like to know if there's a difference between Ammonium and Sodium sulfates? Also, out of these surfactants, which one would you say is less harsh and gentler on curly hair? Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

Ouidad: Curly heads should shampoo at least once a week to unclog scalp pores and I generally recommend twice a week. I prefer ammonium laurel sulfate and use it in my formulas. But to break down hard water minerals, you need a combination of sodium lauryl sulfate and fruit acids like in my Water Works Shampoo. This type of cleansing treatment only needs to be used periodically to be effective. By removing hard water residue from the cuticle, you'll make your curls more manageable.

Q: I am 16 years old with naturally curly hair (type 3a.) Is it possible for curly hair to be oily? I feel like my hair has become oily over the last year or so. I thought only straight hair could become oily. What do you recommend I do to combat this issue? -- Liz

Ouidad: An oily scalp condition has nothing to do with the hair shaft itself. It's the excretion of sebum from the pores of your scalp, and it's very normal for your age. I recommend you shampoo your scalp twice a week -- only your scalp. Apply the shampoo in your palms, rub your palms together and use your finge tips to massage your scalp only. Rub the later through your hair with your fingers. Do not scrub your hair. Then rinse thoroughly and apply a water-soluble rinse two inches away from the scalp on your hair shaft and rinse as much as you need out. Remember water soluble products are very important.

Q: Everything I read tells me that brushing your hair, especially when wet, is horrible for curly hair. Yet my hair is so thick and so curly that it is literally impossible and very painful to comb through. I look at the pictures used to describe curl types and my hair falls looks like none of the types. If I brush my wet hair with conditioner still in it, am I still damaging it?

Ouidad: Any kind of brushing is very harmful to curly hair and will only cause more frizz. When you are in the shower and have conditioner in your hair, first run your fingers through your hair to start the detangling effect. Then use a very wide-tooth comb, starting from the bottom up to help to detangle your whole head. Then rinse, and leave about 50 percent of the conditioner in your hair. The rinsing process will reset your curl pattern in. I've yet to run into a head of hair that cannot be detangled with a comb. Remember my saying, 'Less is More'. The less you manipulate the hair, the better results you will have.

Q: I have been using your products for four months and my hair has never looked better. I use the Water Works shampoo once a week, Clear shampoo two to three times per week along with the Balancing Rinse, as a detangler and leave-in, Botanical Boost and Tress F/X. This regime has worked great but I still have one problem -- dandruff/dry scalp. My scalp has flakes and I do not know how to get rid of it. Do you have any suggestions? -- Amy, Indiana

Ouidad: I'm glad that you are pleased with my products. As far as the dry scalp/dandruff is concerned, some times it happens from a change of climate -- from too little moisture in the air due to dry, cold weather and heat in our homes. If that is the case, moisturizing the scalp by deep conditioning does usually work. If it doesn't please check with a dermatologist and they can recommend a treatment shampoo.

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When I was younger I used to have long really really curly hair. I am now 15 and I started doing my hair myself a while ago. I would straighten it all the time and get my mom to relax it for me. Now that I'm older, i've learned to love my naturally curly hair, but it's damaged from all the straightening and relaxing. It's not as curly anymore and parts of my hair is straight so it looks kind of weird. What can I do to get rid of those straight patches and get my beautiful curly hair back?

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