Q: I am style challenged. I have been rocking this fro and twist thing for a good minute and I need to switch it up. I was looking at some sites and I saw a bunch of cute styles ( i.e the veil, flat twists with pony puffs. The only thing is they are shown on little kids and by little kids I mean kids that probably cant even tie their own shoe. I am almost 23, but I have been mistaken for a middle schooler more times than i care to have been, so in all seriousness could I rock those styles? And would they be considered protective styles?

Rebecca: Absolutely! These are all great styles for natural hair. They are also healthy alternatives to daily styling. I’d first suggest browsing through a few natural hair magazines and websites, or click here for some styles from NaturallyCurly. If you are looking for a more mature look, try adding a funky spin on the style. For example, try braiding your sides up to create a Mohawk effect. Or, accessorize with hair scarves, flowers, and jewels. Finally, remember to have a healthy hair care regimen. Shampoo weekly with a moisturizing shampoo like Design Essentials Moisture Retention Conditioning Shampoo. Then condition with Express Instant Moisturizing Conditioner. Apply HCO Leave-In Conditioner for additional protection.

Q: Are hooded dryers damaging to hair? I am trying to completely avoid damaging my hair and so I have not been using heat at all. I mostly wear my hair in a twist out. I usually twist my hair in the morning and let it dry all day and night. I then untwist the next day. But with it being so cold, I cannot leave my house with my hair wet so this morning I sat under a hooded dryer for about an hour. My twist out came out beautifully—actually better than when I let it air dry. It feels soft and looks shiny. I'm thinking that this might be my weekly thing at least through the winter. I'm just worried that the heat will damage my hair in some kind of way. What do you think?

Rebecca: As you probably already know, heat should always be applied in moderation...even heat from hooded dryers. I understand your concern about the health of your hair. Using a hooded dryer weekly or bi-weekly will not damage your hair. However, be sure your hair and scalp is hydrated. I’d suggest applying Therapeutics Rx Leave-In Hydrating Conditioner prior to wet-twisting your hair. This leave-in conditioner is excellent for restoring moisture and preventing damage. It also infuses hair with nourishing almond, jojoba, and tea tree oils. Hair is left soft and easy to comb. Keep your scalp healthy with Design Essentials Herbal Complex 4 Hair & Scalp Treatment. It’s a lightweight hair and scalp moisturizer that will give your hair the additional nourishment it needs to stay healthy.

Q: Help! My hair has turned into a fuzzball!! Now that it is getting cooler and my hair is growing some, I've noticed that my stylers are not penetrating and my hair is tight and dry as carpet. Slowly my hair is getting fuzzier and fuzzier with little definition at all, just poof! What am I doing wrong?

Rebecca: This is a common question when it comes to curls. Our hair changes as the season changes. Some of the products that work great for your curls in the summer may not work for your hair in the winter. One of the keys to fuzz-free curls is moisture. And moisture does not start with styling products like curling creams, gels, or mousse. Instead, moisture begins with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, and is maintained with styling products. So here’s my step-by-step recommendation for a Design Essentials fuzz-free mane:

  1. Shampoo with Moisture Retention Conditioning Shampoo.
  2. Condition with Stimulations Super Moisturizing Conditioner
  3. Apply Therapeutics Rx Leave-In Hydrating Conditioner
  4. Depending upon your hair type and texture, use Design Essentials Compositions Foaming Mousse or Wave by Design Define & Shine 2N1 Dry Finishing Lotion to define your curls.
  5. Increase the amount of water of you drink and eat well balanced diet of fruit, veggies, and lean protein. (The health of your hair is often reflective of your body’s health.)

Q: I did a shikakai and amla powder treatment about 5-6 months ago and it totally messed up my hair. Even though I cut most of my hair off awhile ago, it still hasn't been the same ever since.

I'm having a LOT of breakage right now. If I even tug slightly on my hair or lightly run my fingers through it, I will get a lot of broken hairs, no matter what. I've tried deep conditioning with moisture, but that didn't help, so I figured my hair needed protein. (It was kinda mushy.) Today, I mixed an egg and coconut oil together and let sit on my hair for a few hours, hoping that it would get my hair hard and strong. The opposite happened. Instead of strong hair, I got a mess that was even "stretchier" than what I had before. I'm stumped.

Rebecca: There could be several reasons why you experienced breakage. Since I am unable to see or feel your hair, I’d recommend you visit a licensed cosmetologist for a thorough hair consultation…immediately. Natural, organic recipes are great. But, they must be created with a balanced blend of moisture and protein. You also must be conscious of how different products and ingredients interact with one another. Other variables to consider include diet, weather, medication, and your hair care regimen. I also think your hair and scalp need a break. Refrain from using any chemicals like color or any at-home treatments. Lastly, select hairstyles that require very little manipulation, as well.