Written on: May 24, 2018 By: Shari Hicks-Graham
As a dermatologist, one of my main objectives is to share best practices to ensure skin and hair health. So why don’t we talk about protective hairstyles? Do protective styles actually protect your hair? Yes, they do! How about your scalp? Well, it depends. When worn with care and brevity there are few, if any, major conflicts between protective styling and scalp health. However, there are a couple of different factors to consider when wearing a protective style, 1) scalp cleansing limitations and 2) tension on the hair follicle. Let’s discuss!
Wigs, braids, weaves and updos, cover the ends of your natural hair from frequent manipulation and external factors that may cause damage. It can be an advantage to protect textured hair in this way and effectively rest the hair from the root to tip, reducing opportunities for breakage. Moreover, heat, humidity, exposure to salt water or chlorine are troublesome external factors for natural hair that protective styles help protect against. Protecting natural hair for a while can theoretically allow for a growth period. It is also worth noting that wigs are the most flexible protective styling option as they can be removed quickly and easily.
Most protective hairstyles require a significant investment in both time and money, so it may be hard to justify wearing the style for only a few weeks. However, I argue that keeping the style for longer than a couple weeks, despite how much it cost or how beautiful it looks, may be counterproductive to the health of your natural hair. Protective styles limit wearers from completely washing, exfoliating, or moisturizing the scalp, which may allow bacteria from sweat or other pollutants to grow rapidly and/or clog pores. While I personally love the look and appreciate the dynamic aspects of protective hairstyles, I believe the best practice is to avoid long-term use if possible. Wearing a protective style for up to two weeks at a time with breaks (a couple months) in between to allow for regular cleansing is recommended. Although, wearing protective styles for short periods of time should allow for the prevention of scalp irritation, high tension of the braids associated with the style, even for a brief time, can also have undesirable side effects.
One common side effect is traction alopecia. It occurs when tightly-pulled hairstyles such as braids, ponytails, dreadlocks, weaves and extensions damage the hair follicle and lead to hair loss. I see it frequently in patients in my practice but it is fairly easy to recognize and prevent. Importantly, traction alopecia can sometimes be reversed if detected early and if gentle, tension-free hair care practices are implemented consistently.
How do you know if your braids are tight enough to cause damage? If you see tiny bumps near your hairline or if your hair is painful to the touch, your braids are likely too tight and damage to the follicle may ensue. The tiny bumps are called folliculitis and reflect physical trauma to the hair follicle. It may be true that the tighter your braids are, the longer your style will last. But if you feel a lot of pain, the damage may exist beyond the period you are wearing the hairstyle. Your choice of hairstyle should never hurt! Crochet braids and updos are alternatives to traditional sew-in weaves or micro braids that may place individuals at a higher risk of traction alopecia. These alternatives are typically applied with less tension on strands and the hair may also be not as heavy on the scalp.
I want you to enjoy the freedom of wearing your hair in whichever style you prefer and protective styles are great for certain occasions and provide great variety for brief periods! Knowing how to protect your hair and skin while making choices that allow you to live your best life is what this blog post is all about. Have a healthy and stylish start to the summer!
Live free and clear!
Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham
Of course, all of our products are carried here at livso.com. Alternatively, you can also purchase our products at the following retailers, salons, and barbershops. Check back frequently as our stocklist continues to grow.
Ambushed Salon - Gahanna, Ohio
Adrian Fanus Grooming - Brooklyn, New York
DTLA Cuts - Los Angeles, California
Downtown Dermatology - Columbus, Ohio
Ms. Melanin Beauty Supply & Salon - Canal Winchester, Ohio
Panache Hair Designs - Oak Park, Illinois
Skin Specialty Dermatology - New York, New York
Skin Wellness Center of Alabama - Homewood, Alabama
Willis Beauty Supply Co - Columbus, Ohio
W Style Lounge - Columbus, Ohio
If you are a professional stylist, barber, or retailer and would like to carry our LivSo products please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes! We offer samples for $1 each on our website. Each sample includes a 0.33 oz package of each of our three products. There is no limit to the number of samples you can purchase. You may require more than one sample depending on the length and thickness of your hair and how many times you would like to use each product. Samples are a great way to introduce friends and family to the product line as well!
We fulfill orders within 48 hours and once an order is shipped, shipping time is typically 2-3 business days.
Moisturizing Shampoo - Apply to wet scalp and hair, lather and rinse. Repeat once or twice as needed. Our gentle, sulfate-free formula is intended to effectively cleanse without overdrying your hair and skin. Massaging the scalp while applying is also recommended to improve circulation throughout the scalp. Use at least weekly for best results. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View a quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Conditioner - Apply to scalp and hair for at least three minutes, detangle or comb gently using a wide-toothed comb, then rinse out completely. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Lotion - Apply to scalp after washing and conditioning, before drying & styling hair. May also apply to scalp daily as a moisturizer. This product also works well on the hair itself for extra moisturization to improve manageability. View a quick tutorial video here.
The products are designed to be used at least once per week but may be used as often as three times per week depending on your hair and scalp condition and moisturizing needs.
Yes! The Moisturizing Lotion is a versatile product. Although it is formulated to be a light moisturizer applied directly to the scalp to alleviate dryness and itchiness, many use it directly on the hair for additional hydration from the roots to the tips. Men also find it useful to moisturize their beards without leaving their hair with an oily finish or strong fragrance.
Yes. Although we did not do a unique test for color safety, we are familiar with all of our ingredients and have yet to receive feedback relating to issues with use on color treated hair.
Our independent clinical trial consisted of only adult participants. Please be advised that our products do not have a tear-free formula and they were not studied for use on children. Be careful to avoid direct contact with the eyes.
LivSo was designed for people with dry itchy scalp and curly or textured hair, regardless of ethnicity or gender. If you have a textured hair type that dries out easily with typical dandruff shampoos or sulfate products, this product is for you. Curly or textured hair, by nature, requires more moisture to prevent breakage, splitting and ensure its luster. The cuticle of curly and textured hair tends to be more ruffled as opposed to flat, which prevents oil from the scalp from wicking from the root to the tip of the hair causing it to look and feel drier.
Beyond those who have dry, itchy scalp, if you have dry curly hair, our products were expertly crafted to promote scalp health and meet your hair cleansing and moisturizing needs.
To our friends with straight hair and dry, itchy scalp, LivSo products are formulated to meet your needs as well. Our line of products may feel more moisturizing than alternative products without a focus on hydration, but they will still work to alleviate dry itchy scalp.
Creating products that are safe and gentle for your skin and hair without compromising efficacy is our highest priority. We include numerous natural ingredients in all of our products but we do not focus on being all-natural because natural elements and therefore natural products may not necessarily be safe and gentle. Our products are gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and are not derived from animals in any way.
Acetyl alcohol will not dry out your hair, in fact, it does just the opposite. Acetyl alcohol is a conditioning agent and a fatty alcohol, which actually has a moisturizing effect on the hair and skin as opposed to isopropyl alcohol, which is your common rubbing alcohol.
Glycolic acid is a valuable and effective ingredient included in our Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner and can increase photosensitivity on the skin. As such, we want to ensure that those with sun sensitivity are aware of its presence. We believe sunburn risk from using these products is still fairly low because the hair on the scalp protects the scalp from being exposed to direct sunlight. If you are wearing a protective style where parts of your scalp is exposed or if have a very short haircut, we advise that you apply sunscreen on any exposed areas.
Roughly two years.
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