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Dear Mosetta: I have decided to go natural. My hair has been shedding and I feel that a combination of perming, coloring and age may be the cause. I want a style that will be easy to manage and will look good, too. What products do you recommend to soften my naps so they won't feel so hard after washing?

Also, is there really a product called Creamy Crack? If there is, would you recommend it for my problem and how can I get some? — Cassandra from Austin

Dear Cassandra: There are countless products on the market that are formulated to moisturize naturally nappy hair. The names of the products aren’t as important as the ingredients. Look for products that are alcohol free and have natural ingredients. If you plan to go natural, “Creamy Crack” is the last thing that you’ll want to put in your hair. Creamy Crack is not a brand name for a hair product. It is the slang term for chemical relaxers. Since you are a ‘recovering permie,’ stay off the stuff.

Dear Mosetta: My hair grows fast. When I pull it out, it is about six or seven inches long. I wear a ‘fro or twists. But the twists are so coiled that my hair dries to about three or four inches. What products can I use to make it softer and look longer? — Inger from Indiana

Dear Inger: Shawn Thompson, a natural hair stylist in Austin, offers this advice: “Wet natural hair typically shrinks 50 to 75 percent of its actual length when it dries. Consider wrapping a towel around freshly shampooed and conditioned hair to absorb excess moisture. Then apply the styling agent and use good tension when twisting from root to end. To help the hair shrink less as it dries, use hair clips at the end of the twist to keep it stretched. Also, braiding your hair, letting it dry, then releasing the braids will give more length than releasing twists will. To help Afros maintain more length, braid the hair into about five or six large cornrows at night, then pick them out in the morning.

Ample conditioning and moisture are the keys to soft tresses. After cleansing the scalp and hair, use a deep conditioner such as cholesterol and apply generously to the entire head. Hint: Moisturizing conditioners usually say "for permed, dry or color-treated hair". Cover with a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer or wrap with a hot towel for about 30 minutes. Adding olive oil to the conditioner can provide additional moisturizing benefits.

Dear Mosetta: I have micro braids but I was thinking about growing my hair out naturally. My hair is thin. I want it to be cute and healthy. What should I use to grow it out? I know I need organic things but I’m not sure what I should use. — Alexzandra Nicholson

Dear Alexzandra: According to Gretchel Johnson, a stylist in Euless, Texas: “Cute and healthy begins with taking care of what goes inside as well as what goes on the outside. Start with vitamins A, B complex and horsetail herb. Biotin is a B vitamin and is excellent for the hair and nails.

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