Hair Care 101


Before I begin sharing my secrets, you must know the golden rule about cosmetic and beauty care – it is constantly changing. As science and technology evolve, so do the product lines we carry, which is why it is my job to keep you up-to-date with the current industry news.

With so many topics to cover, it’s hard to know where to start, so I’ve decided to cover the basics from head-to-toe, beginning first with hair care.  Most people have a pretty good sense of their hair type, but in case you don’t know, there is an easy way to see if you have normal, dry, or oily hair.

How to test your hair type
A simple and effective way to determine your hair type is to take a tissue paper test. First, make sure your scalp and hair are cleaned one day prior to the test. Next, take a piece of tissue paper and press (don’t rub!) it at the center of your head and on the sides behind your ears.

If the tissue paper looks dry after the test, you have dry hair. If there are traces of oil in the tissue paper, you have oily hair. Combination and normal hair types can be more difficult to identify. Usually a person’s skin type can have a telling effect on his or her hair type.

Dry hair
Dry hair can be caused from excessive washing or blow drying, harsh products, or living in a dry environment. Some remedies for dry hair may be to shampoo less often, deep condition your hair on a regular basis, use products with tea tree essential oil to fight dandruff, and avoid blow drying.

Recommended products for dry hair: Giovanni Tea Tree Treat Shampoo and Conditioner (Dry Scalp), BWC Rosemary/Mint /Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner (Dry Scalp), and Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.

Oily hair
Oily hair often results from the overproduction of sebum, a waxy type of substance that our bodies naturally produce to keep hair supple, soft and waterproof. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands.

The amount of oiliness (greasiness) in one’s hair is directly tied to the amount of oil present on the scalp. People with fine hair tend to have more oil than those with other hair types.

Why is this so?

Since there is a higher volume of hair associated with fine textures, there are more sebaceous glands, and thus the potential for excessive oil production. Hormonal changes can also cause oily hair or skin.

Oily hair should be washed more frequently, but you also don’t want to over wash, which can lead to even more oil production in your scalp.  The sebaceous glands have the tendency to overcompensate when the scalp is stripped of its oils.

Tea tree is a moisturizing essential oil that can be used on both dry and oily hair. When used on oily hair, tea tree oil gently removes excess oil and fights bacteria. Lemongrass and geranium essential oils are also effective, natural cleansing and revitalizing agents found in shampoos formulated for oily hair.

Products for oily hair

Recommended products for oily hair: Giovanni Tea Tree Treat Shampoo and Conditioner (Dry Scalp), Giovanni Golden Wheat Shampoo, DE Organics Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner, Kiehl’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, and Giovanni Clarifying Shampoo.

Normal hair
Normal hair will appear shiny, is neither greasy nor dry, and has not been permed or dyed. Normal hair requires less attention than other hair types (lucky!). Gentle cleansing products are recommended for this hair type.

Recommended products for normal hair: Giovanni 50:50 Shampoo and Remoisturizer, Naked Bee Gentle Cleansing Shampoo and Conditioner, Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo and Conditioner, and Kiehl’s All Sport Shampoo.

Combination hair
Combination hair will show characteristics of dry and oily hair. People with this type of hair often experience oily roots and scalps and have dry ends. This effect is common for people with long, curly or frizzy hair because the hair’s natural oils don’t travel far from the scalp. Combination hair care requires special attention to the scalp and ends.

The proper way to cleanse combination hair is to shampoo every two or three days, often enough to remove the excess oil from the scalp, while being careful not to exacerbate dryness for the hair ends. Lukewarm water is less drying on the hair cuticle than hot water.

Choose a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo designed for combination hair such as Giovanni 50:50 or Golden Wheat shampoos. Focus on cleansing your scalp, but not scrubbing shampoo into your ends. Only condition the ends of your hair.

Color-treated hair
Color-treated hair needs special care to help preserve the color and give back lost moisture, as excessive dying can dry out and damage the hair’s cuticle. The harsh chemicals used in hair dye cause hair to lose some of its natural moisture. Proper conditioning helps maintain shiny color-treated locks.

Deep conditioning treatments and regular cleansing with products specially designed for color-treated hair can go a long way in hair dye preservation and shine enhancement.

Recommended products for colored hair: DE Organics Italian Red Grape Shampoo and Conditioner and Kiehl’s Sunflower Preserve Shampoo and Conditioner.

Curly hair
“Curly hair” encompasses wavy, curly and coily hair types. Knowing your wave pattern will help you find the right products, styles and care tips for your hair. Curly hair has a tendency to be drier because it is difficult for natural oils to work their way through the curves of the hair shaft to the ends.  Curly hair is also more prone to frizz than other hair types.

A good cleansing routine for wavy, curly, and coily tresses is to shampoo hair every other day, condition hair every day, and use an intensive moisturizing treatment once a week. It is extremely important to be patient with curly hair because strands break more easily when wet, which can lead to frizz and split ends.

In addition to regular washing, those with curly hair have to carefully select styling products that will enhance their curls and fight the effects of humidity.

Recommended products for curly hair: Giovanni Smooth as Silk Conditioner, KMF Castile Soap, BWC Moisture Plus Shampoo and Conditioner, and Kiehl’s Argan Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.

Ethnic hair
Ethnic hair is naturally dry, more fragile, and more elastic than other hair types. Ethnic hair can go days without needing to be washed, though regular cleansing and moisturizing is needed. Products that contain mineral oil or petroleum should not be used on ethnic hair.  These types of oils can clog pores, limit moisture, and slow down natural hair growth. Instead ethnic hair types should seek out products with Shea butter, pomegranate seed oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil, which all act as nourishing agents to repair and protect dry and damaged hair. We recommend using Kiss My Face (KMF) Castile Soap on ethnic hair.

The bottom line is that there are many different types of hair and many biological and environmental factors (from hormones to humidity) which can affect your hair type. If you have questions about hair care, please stop in or send your inquiry to