Q&A: Picking Your Brain Responses

Chelle asks:

Hey Jen, my question isn’t about hair, its about your yoga routine. I see you doing your yogi thing and forearm head-stand. How did you get into yoga and what would you recommend (as far as at home videos) beginners to start with?

Hi Chelle, I got started after falling in love with @laurasykora and @kathy0805’s Instagram accounts. For home practice I recommend yogoaglo.com, or YouTube for free tutorials.

Carla asks:

Hi Jen, I’m at the start of my HHJ from the UK. What do you use to tie back your hair. I’ve been using new hair bands (not sure if you have same word in the US) recently and have been experiencing breakage. Thanks!

Hi Carla, I use Goody Ouchless hair bands. They don’t have the metal clasps that are prone to snagging and snapping hair.

Hysha asks:

Your blog is such an inspiration! I only started my Healthy Hair Journey at the beginning of this year. So far I am enjoying learning about my hair, my major concern though is my itchy scalp! What would you recommend i use to alleviate this problem?

Hi Hysha, thank you so much!! In the past I used to use a mix of oils: coconut, vitamin E oil, eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil. That mix was effective for a while but towards the end of last year and into this year it’s as though my scalp revolted and the mix just stopped working. After reading an article about the importance of maintaining the scalp’s natual pH level and that repeatedly applying oils to the scalp throws off natural sebum production  I started ending my wash days by spraying my scalp with apple cider vinegar + water and that has really worked wonders for me. I haven’t had an itchy, flaky scalp in weeks. You can check out that post here, and the post on my old oil mix is posted here. Hope that helps!

Tasheanna Marie asks:

Hello! I just wanted to know if you have or have ever experienced a dry itchy scalp, and how do you deal with it? My scalp has always been dry and itchy. I moisturize it with olive oil every wash day, and it usually ends up dry and itchy by the end of the week. Please help. 🙁

Hi Tasheanna Marie, check out the responses and links I posted above, I hope they help! 🙂

Bolu asks:

Hey, whenever I wash condition my hair, I see streaks of hair on the floor sometimes a little sometimes many. hair sometimes stick to my finger whenever I moisturize and seal. do you think its a problem? If yes what can I do

Hi Bolu, I’m sorry this is happpening to you you! Are there white bulbs on one of the ends? If there is a bulb then it is a shed hair and you may be experiencing excessive shedding. If there are no bulbs then it’s breakage. For remedies for your shedding, I’ve found black tea, green tea, and coffee rinses are helpful. Your diet and any medications are also factors that could effect shedding. Pre-pooing with garlic, garlic shampoo and garlic conditioner (Alter Ego brand) also help reduce shedding. For more on tea and cofee rinsing, check these posts:

As for breakage, it could be caused by a number of things: manipulation, excessive heat use, lack of moisture (hair that isn’t adequately moisturized lacks elasticity and is more prone to break), or lack of protein (hair is made of keratin, a protein, and needs to be strengthened from time to time). It would be awesome if there was one fix that worked for all but different heads of hair have different needs and respond differently to products. It looks like your moisturizing (regularly? deep conditioning as well?). Have you tried a protein treatment? I’m not sure if your hair is protein senstive, so to play it safe maybe start off with light protein. For more on light protein, check out this post by Black Hair Information.

Aydrey asks:

I am scared to comb my new growth because I am afraid it will mat, any suggestions?

Hi Aydrey, don’t be scared. When new growth isn’t detangled it’s more likely to mat and tangle. You want to avoid detangling dry new growth. Apply oil, or conditioner and use your hands or wide tooth comb to gently detangle your hair, starting from your ends first.Keeping new growth moisturized is really key and will prevent excessive breakage at the line of demarcation as well as matting. Moisturized new growth is happy new growth 🙂 For more one keeping new growth moisturized check out these posts:

Robin asks:

Love your blog! I was wondering if you’ve ever had a problem with producing enough sebum to coat your strands? and if so, do you have any advice? Thanks

Hi Robin, because my hair is textured, it’s harder for my natural sebum to work its way down the length of my hair to coat it. I use a few drops of oil to seal in my moisturizer to prevent my hair from drying out during the week.

Ashley Jones asks:

Hello jen! I love your blog its such an inspiration! The back of my hair grows fast but the top and front grows super slow. I have tried washing my hair 2x a week to remove buildup but wanted to see if you had any other suggestion.

Hi Ashley, aw thank you! Hmm, you could try scalp massages to help stimulate growth in those areas. Frequent washes won’t help increase growth rate though. My edgeds are slow pokes compared to the rest of my hair so you aren’t alone 🙂

Denise asks:

Have you ever had problems with product build up on your flat irons? If so, how do you clean them?

Hi Denise, after each use I wipe the plates of my flat iron with a soft cotton towel to remove any product.

Teenah asks:

Hi Jen, you said that ginger oil reduces shedding but I’ve not seen it in my country so can I use ginger drink *lol* i’ll brew it like black tea. Do u think it’ll be as effective as ginger oil?

Hi Teenah, garlic helps reduce shedding but I admittedly don’t know much about ginger. Check out this post on garlic and shedding.

Jody asks:

Hi, I think I send you this message but I didn’t realise this pick your brain feature. I have two questions:
1. The front of my hair seems to be stuck at one length what can I do to realise some growth in the front?
2. How can I spruce up my regimen to move from neck length to shoulder length?

Hi Jody, (1) do you experience more breakage at the hair in the front? Topical growth aids and scalp massages may prove helpful. (2) Protecting my ends, keeping them moisturized have helped me retain length. Faux bobs and buns (or even just clipping my hair up) continued to be two of my go-to styles to keeping my ends away from my clothes. When our ends rub against our clothes, they are more prone to break and dry out.

A reader asks:

I’m looking to buy a new blow dryer, you have any suggestions of good blow dryers?

I haven’t tried many dryers while on my HHJ. I’ve only had two over the last 5 years: GVP Pro 1800 (1800 watt, the generic version of CHI Pro Lo EMF Turbo Dryer) and Conair Infiniti Pro (1875 watt). They were both under $40 and lightweight. Both came with concentrator nozzles and diffusers and have a cool air switch. These aren’t “fancy” blow dryers, but they get the job done.

A reader asks:

Does your new growth grow in tight coils like 4c and if so how do u detangle it?

My hair at my edges grows in tight, small curls. I’m very tenderheaded so this area is the absolute favorite to detangle because no matter how gentle I am, it still hurts haha. I approach thhe hair at my edges as I do the rest of my hair: after applying leave-in conditioner & serum (and working in small sections) I gently start detangling from my ends and work my way up. Because the coils are so tight (especially at my temples) I use my fingers to first separate the coils and remove shed hairs. Once I’ve detangled wiith my fingers, I use a wide-toothed seamless comb, agains starting at my ends and work my way up.

A reader asks:

How do u get your hair light fluffy and soft when u moisturizer and seal at night because when I moisturize and seal and wrap my hair I wake up with hair that does not move. And I am thinking about self-relaxing and I am a amateur. Do u have any tips or videos to help?

The moisturizer and the amount of product used are two factors. I like to use moisturizers that are not heavy and will sink into my hair. This prevents my hair from being weighed down by product.

For tips on texlaxing, check out these posts, and video of how I texlax my hair below:

Update: the wrong video was posted, whoops! Here’s the correct video. Sorry about that!

A reader asks:

I’m transitioning since I have low porosity hair I’m prone to protein overloads more than others and I need to strengthen my demarcation line since that is the only place that seems so be breaking How often do you think I should spray my hair with the aphogee green tea and keratin spray for protein?

Hi there, to be on the safe side, start off with once a week and increase depending on how your hair reacts.

A reader asks:

Hi Jeni! I basically wear my hair in buns all the time and I want to switch it up while still doing styles that wont damage my hair. Ive tried braid outs but I feel like my hair is still at an awkward length and look awkward to me. Any hairstyle suggestions for medium hair?

Hi there, bantu knot outs, curls from flexi rods or curlformers, faux bobs, box braids, sengalese twists are a few protective styles to try.

Miranda asks:

Hi Jen! If I have low porosity hair is it bad for me to use pH balanced shampoos, conditioners, leave in, etc. because since my cuticles are already tightly closed they would just sit on my hair? Or would it just help keep my hair smooth if I was to air dry for example?

Hi Miranda, you’re correct–because your cuticles are already tightly sealed I wouldn’t recommend products with low pH.

Katie asks:

Hi Jen. When I air dry my hair feels soft while damp but if I go to bed with it in a bun or leave it out with a satin bonnet/ pillow to finish dry by the next morning the surface is smooth but the inside and bottom is completely matted and tangled.I m&s all week to help w/ no avail. Whats happening?

Hi Katie, do you detangle prior to letting it dry overnight? Do you stretch your hair prior to letting it dry? When I don’t thoroughly detangle my hair or stretch it, as it dries it will shrink right back up and mat together as it dries.


  1. hi Jeni
    Started my Journey in Jan. I have low porous hair so i deep condition often and once a while I do a few protein treatments. Thing is my hair still always feels dry. By the way i moisture and seal on a daily basis as well. i experience shedding and have started the tea rinse as well but im no so sure whats happening because i never really experience shedding prior to my hair journey. Please i need your help dont want to give up

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