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Titi Branch

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Q: My hair problem is for the last month or so my hair has been feeling like straw. I've tried everything possible to soften it up, but nothing works. Yesterday, I applied a protein treatment thinking maybe a lack of protein was the problem. The treatment went well. My hair was soft and I was happy. Then I applied moisture leave-in, and within seconds my hair turned into straw. I couldn't even comb it out it tangled so bad. Any ideas what the problem is?

Titi: It's hard to say. A protein conditioner aids the hair by adding a fiber-like substance to bulk the hair up and protect it. This is generally followed by a moisturizing treatment, which softens the shaft. This should not have turned your hair to straw. So it may be something about the leave-in you're using.

Q: I know this sounds silly, but when does hair start to drop instead of growing up? I know that at some point a fluffy afro starts to fall, the longer it gets. But when?

Titi: It all depends on the density of one's hair. Hair that has a coarser texture (4c) may not ever fall whereas a softer 3b texture may fall after four to five inches.

Q: I would like to get some help in the use of extra virgin olive oil (my hair loves this stuff). I started using it with my deep conditioner and the difference in my hair is dramatic. After further research, I found that many people use it right before you apply your moisturizer or right afterward. My question is whether I should apply it before or after? Also, is it beneficial for my hair to do oil rinses if I use oil with my deep conditioner with great results?

Titi: It depends on the ingredients in your moisturizer. If they are oil-based, you can apply olive oiil either before or after. If it's water based, I would say apply the olive oil after your moisturizer so that you give your moisturizer a chance to absorb.

In terms of oil rinses, it sounds like you really love oil! And for good reason. If your hair is dry, extra-virgin olive oil is a great complement. I would say an oil rinse is fine as long as you do a water rinse directly afterward.

Q: I'm biracial with 3b (well at least I used to be) hair. I'm a mommy to a 1-year-old (my hair was amazing during pregnancy and, well, I'm trying to not only transition to curly but to also grow my hair out as well). I've been straight-ironing once or twice a week. Now I'm not really sure what kind of hair I have. I have some loose curls, some tight curls and some straight hair. Can I transition without looking like I have CRAZY hair? i want to let my hair finally be natural. Are there vitamins I can take?

Titi: Transitioning after you've been straight ironing once a week is challenging, but not impossible. The first thing you must do is stop straight ironing. All it's doing is eliminating your natural curl pattern. So what to do as an alternative? Twist set your hair so that your entire mane looks consistent. The more you keep heat away from your hair, the more your curls will respond. Twist set them at night and take them out during the day. As for vitamins, they are always good because you are what you eat. But I think you will get the most benefit from eliminating the straightening iron.

Q: I have one patch of hair in the middle of my head that is a different texture from the rest of my hair. It's also a lot shorter. I guess it doesn't grow fast like the rest of my hair. My new growth is wavy/curly, while the patch, which is half the size of my new growth (patch is longer), is straight. I never bothered with it before because I always got relaxers. But now that I am going through a transition, it's infuriating! Not only is it a different texture, but my scalp also gets really irritated in this spot. I think I have new growth underneath it. What am I supposed to do with this patch of hair?

Titi: We all have different textures of hair on our head. That may be due to the shape of the hair follicle in any one given section on our scalp or it could be another reason. Because you are experiencing an irritation, I would say visit your dermatologist. There may be another reason for your condition.

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