Frequently Asked Questions
Why are your products fragrance, scent and masking agent free? According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), 'Fragrances cause more allergic contact dermatitis than any other ingredient.' Skin is a vast portal for allergens, and the irritations allergies bring can weaken skin even more. Studies suggest there is a trend of increasing sensitization to fragrances worldwide. Using fragrance free and allergy-tested products reduce your risk of skin irritation (allergy-tested does not equate to hypoallergenic). The addition of fragrance to a product, whether to enhance the appeal of the product, or to mask an unappealing odor, creates an avoidable risk of irritant or allergic reaction to fragrance-sensitive persons. (Source: AAD). Almost 20% of the general population is sensitized to at least one allergen, and studies find that fragrance is one of the most frequently identified substances causing allergic reactions. Fragrance allergy affects 2-11% of the general population. This translates to tens of millions of people globally affected by fragrance. Women are disproportionately impacted by fragrance allergies, and the rates in children have been rising dramatically in the last few decades. (Source: WomensVoices.org).
What is contact dermatitis? Dermatitis is the general term used for any form of inflammation of the skin causing itchiness, dryness, redness, and, over time, possibly cracking and coarseness. When this is caused by something coming into direct contact with your skin, such as a cosmetic, chemical, plant, or item of clothing, it is called contact dermatitis. (Source: SkinsMatter.com).
What is irritant contact dermatitis? Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis (about 80% of all dermatitis cases). It does not involve the immune system and is not an allergy. It can be an acute response (a quick inflammatory response within hours or even minutes of contact) or chronic response (delayed response which can take days or months to develop). (Source: SkinsMatter.com).
What is allergic contact dermatitis? Allergic contact dermatitis is a less common type of contact dermatitis. Its reactions usually worsen with increased exposure to the allergen. It is a delayed allergic reaction, occurring between 24 and 72 hours after exposure, caused by chemicals such as perfumes or preservatives coming into contact with the skin. (Source: SkinsMatter.com).
- What are masking agents? Masking agents are chemicals (including fragrances) used to alter or neutralize an unappealing odor. Examples include (but are not limited to) citronellol, limonene and linalool. (Source: SkinsMatter.com).
- Why not use existing products that are fragrance, scent and masking agent free? Fragrance free products do exist, but the market for them is very limited. Studies of currently available personal care products in the US indicate that fragrance is included in the vast majority of many types of products. For example, hair care products almost universally contain fragrance. Ninety-six percent of shampoos, 98% of conditioners and 97% of hair styling products contain fragrance. Finding a fragrance free hair care product that also meets the needs and desires of the fragrance-allergic patient can be exceptionally difficult without the disclosure of fragrance allergens. (Source: WomensVoices.org)
- Why do you use premium ingredients in your products? I believe handcrafted and wholesome products made with premium ingredients result in ideal products. I source only the finest natural ingredients, free from harmful, unnecessary synthetic chemicals and phthalates found in so many hair care products. All ingredients are value-added, concentrated and purposeful. And, even though handcrafted, wholesome, and premium ingredients result in higher price points, I truly believe it is the optimal approach.
- What types of preservatives do you use in your products? Preservatives are ingredients that prevent or retard bacteria, yeast, mold, and fungus growth which protect products from spoilage. The common preservative types are parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, isothiazolinones, phenoxyethanol, and organic acids. (Source: CosmeticTestLabs.com). I use gluconolactone (and) sodium benzoate as a preservative. Gluconolactone (and) sodium benzoate is accepted by ECOCERT as a preservative in certified organic cosmetics, offers broad spectrum preservation without parabens, formaldehyde, isothiazolinones, or phenoxyethanol and is natural (derived from nonGMO corn via a fermentation process).
- What is the importance of product labeling? Labeling of cosmetics is subject to provisions of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. The Act requires that ingredients in cosmetics be listed in descending order by quantity. Fragrances, unless voluntarily disclosed by the manufacturer, must only be listed as 'fragrance'. There is no requirement that the specific content of a fragrance be disclosed. (Source: AAD).
- What is behentrimonium methosulfate and cetearyl alcohol (BTMS)? BTMS is a self-emulsifying wax that allows water and oil to stay mixed and is an exceptionally mild conditioning agent. Methosulfate is not related to the drying sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Cetearyl alcohol is not related to the low-molecular weight drying alcohols like ethanol alcohol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol and benyzl alcohol.
- What is a cold pressed oil?: A cold pressed oil has been expeller extracted in a heat-controlled environment and processed at temperatures that never exceed 120 degrees. Any generated heat results from friction and not from an external source. Cold pressed oils retain most of their subtle flavor, color and nutritional value which is then passed on to your hair and skin.
- What is an expeller pressed oil? An expeller pressed oil has been expeller extracted but processed at higher temperatures than cold pressed oil, typically around 210 degrees. Expeller pressed oils still retain flavor, color and nutritional value, but not as much as cold pressed oils.
- What is an unrefined or refined product? Unrefined oils are minimal heat processed oils (cold or expeller pressed) that have not been bleached or deodorized after extraction. Refined oils have been bleached and/or deodorized and processed at temperatures of up to 400 degrees (significant heat temperatures degrade oil quality and require further processing methods such as bleaching and deodorizing). 'Raw', 'pure', 'virgin' and 'extra virgin' oils indicate number of pressings and unrefined status. Unrefined oils tastes like the fruit or seed or oil they are extracted from.
- What is wet-milled fermentation? Fresh, whole, sound, ripe coconuts are shelled, then pared to remove the brown skin.The white meat is milled to fine shreds and dried. After drying, the milled coconut is passed through a customized, cold process oil press to separate the coconut oil. The oil is collected in a receiving pan and pumped through a series of filter cloths, which results in a 'clear' coconut oil, known commercially as virgin coconut oil.
- What is hair density? Density is the measure of the number of hair strands within a 1 square inch section of your scalp.
- What is hair width? Width is the measure of the thickness of your individual hair strands.
- What is a film-forming or porosity-filling product? Higher molecular weight proteins have more of a coating effect during use. For high porosity hair, higher molecular weight proteins will porosity-fill (fill in gaps on the hair surface) and film-form (lightly coat the surface of the hair). For low porosity hair, higher molecular weight proteins will film-form (lightly coat the surface of the hair).
- What is hydrolyzed oat protein? Hydrolyzed oat protein is a liquidized or soluble form of whole oats. Hydrolyzed oat protein has been broken down into its component amino acids to enable penetration into the hair shaft and to adhere to damaged cuticle layers providing strength and moisture. Generally, whole proteins are too large to penetrate the hair shaft.
- What are silk amino acids? Silk amino acids are produced by breaking apart silk proteins into smaller peptide chains. Silk amino acids have a lower molecular weight than silk protein powders and are more moisturizing to skin and hair. Silk amino acids are also known as sericin.
- What is moisture and hydration? Moisture and hydration are required by all hair textures. Moisture is derived from water-based products that can be absorbed and retained by your hair. Hydration is derived from products that simultaneously reduce moisture loss and increase moisture content (i.e., from products containing hydrolyzed proteins, silk amino acids, hydrolyzed oat proteins, clays, humectants, etc.).
- What is Potential of Hydrogen or pH? pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkali a substance is. It is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything between 0 and 6.9 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything between 7.1 and 14 is alkaline. Human hair and scalp oil, sebum, has a pH balance of between 4.5 and 5.5. This natural hair acidity prevents fungi and bacteria in the hair and scalp, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy. Many of the hair products that people use disrupt the natural pH of the hair. A substance that is too alkaline will cause the hair cuticle to open, while a substance that is too acidic will cause the cuticle to contract.
- Do all hair types equally benefit from protein? Generally, yes. Protein is a hydrating conditioner. Protein is hygroscopic, meaning it grabs and retains water. Porous or damaged hair needs protein more than low porosity or healthy hair. Kinky or curly hair types sometimes have porous hair simply because of uneven cuticle surfaces and friction from other hairs or clothing. Regardless of the reason for porosity, porous hair loses water and protein film-forms (coats hair) and porosity-fills (fills hair gaps) to counter water loss. Even so, very coarse hair may not tolerate protein frequently or may only tolerate low molecular weight proteins. Coarse, high porosity hair may benefit from protein more than coarse, low porosity hair. Protein is substantive to hair, meaning it bonds to hair. Higher molecular weight proteins have more of a film-forming (coating effect) and porosity-filling (filling effect) effect during use (resulting in repaired hair). Lower molecular weight proteins have more of a penetrating and conditioning effect during use (resulting in softer hair). Hydrated hair has shine, flexibility, and defined waves, kinks and curls -- which means less frizz! As protein is important to all hair types, the optimal protein type and frequency needs to be determined. The optimal protein type and frequency may vary over time and during initial use. Product residue will negate protein effectiveness, meaning clarifying shampoos will enhance protein treatments. As combined protein and moisture treatments will compete for binding sites, protein treatments should always be followed by moisture treatments rather than combined with moisture treatments. (Source: science-yhairblog.blogspot.com).
- How can frizz be avoided? Generally, leave in products should be applied to cleansed, saturated hair. When hair is air drying, avoid non-essential touching of hair. Blow dryers, including blow dryers with diffusers, will cause frizz for some hair types and styles. When applying leave in product, ensure each hair strand is adequately coated from root to tip and ensure product actually melts into hair rather than letting product sit on top of hair. When extending styles, dampen hair with water to reactivate existing product. When wearing defined styles (2 or 3 strand twists, bantu knots, curlformers, flexi-rods, etc), gently separate curls, coils and twists. Only use 100% cotton t-shirts for drying hair as both regular and microfiber towels will cause frizz. If needed, wrap t-shirt around hair like a turban, but avoid rubbing hair with t-shirt as that will cause frizz. When sleeping at night, use a satin scarf and/or cap and sleep on a satin pillowcase as cotton will dehydrate hair. Dehydrated or malnourished hair will look frizzy and dry. Always ensure hair is appropriately nourished with protein, moisture and hydration. High porosity hair (hair absorbs but does not retain moisture and hydration as cuticles remain lifted) and hygral fatigue (usually caused by high porosity - frequent swelling and contraction of cuticle) will cause hair to look frizzy and dry. Low porosity hair (hair resists moisture and hydration as cuticles remain closed) and sole use of conditioning washes (co-washes) will cause hair to look frizzy and dry as product buildup is occurring.Using products with high pH levels (power or potential of hydrogen - measure of acidity or basicity of a product) without appropriately lowering pH, will cause hair to look frizzy and dry. Products with pH of 7 or higher cause cuticles to rise (high pH products are used when altering the chemical structure of hair - like chemical relaxers and hair dyes). Use friction-free tools (combs and picks). As butters increase combing force, products with significant butter concentrations will cause frizz.
- What is hair porosity? Porosity is the measure of how well your hair absorbs and retains moisture. Porosity is affected by the outermost layer of hair known as the cuticle. Low porosity hair: has a tightly bound cuticle layer with overlapping scales that lay flat. This hair type is usually considered healthy, and is often very shiny, especially when dark in color. Low porosity hair repels moisture when you try to wet it and is hard to process since it resists penetration of chemicals. Low porosity hair is also prone to build-up from protein-rich deep conditioning products, which can leave it feeling stiff and straw-like. Use protein-free, daily conditioners with humectants. Use appropriate-pH products to help open the tightly bound cuticle. Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients and humectants, which attract and hold moisture to your hair. Choose lighter, liquid-based products such as lotions that will not sit on your hair and leave it oily or greasy. Medium porosity hair: often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser, allowing just the right amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping. Hair with normal porosity tends to hold styles well and can be chemically-altered with predictable results. Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen. High porosity hair: can be either an inherent property of hair or the result of damage from chemical processing, rough treatment or environmental damage. High porosity hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which let too much moisture into your hair and leave it prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather. Even simple acts such as bathing, swimming and shampooing can create more damage and breakage due to the sheer amount of moisture highly porous hair can absorb. Be sure to use anti-humectants in climates with high heat and humidity. This will help seal your damaged cuticles and prevent them from absorbing excess moisture in the air. Because highly porous hair can also lose moisture easily, it is important to use leave in conditioners, moisturizers and sealers. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you are giving it. You can even follow up with a heavy hair butter to help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and further protect your hair from losing too much moisture.
- Should you add water to 'stretch' a product? No. Adding water will shorten the product life and encourage product spoilage.
What is your shipping policy? Purchases are shipped within 2-3 business days after orders are placed. Packages are shipped via USPS priority mail and will arrive within 3-5 business days. Shipping fees are either flat rate or weight-based. If orders need to be shipped via an overnight service (Fed Ex or UPS), please contact Angela for assistance.
What is your return policy? Satisfaction is guaranteed! Please contact Angela for assistance.
- Are your products tested on animals? No.
- Are your products certified gluten free? No.