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Hair by Brian
As The Chair Turns

"Combing" the internet so you don't have to

Hello 2021!

Last year was not an easy year by any means. We've loved. We’ve lost. And we’ve  found new ways to cherish what is so dear to us.  I have been reminded time and time again that tomorrow is promised to no one.  This wonderful quote says it so well:

"Tomorrow isn't promised to us. So live as if today is your last day on earth. Love like you've never loved before. Dream deeper than you've ever imagined you could dream. Experience all that your heart desires. If tomorrow you wake and everything still remains, at least your living now!“
- Gregory James Upson

Moving forward, like the photo above says, “We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good.  Be quiet. Don’t. Touch. Anything.”

We are not out of the woods yet so we must continue to be diligent in our behaviors and habits.  We cannot let our guard down.  I am going to do all in my power to remain physically healthy and mentally present.  I wish the same for each of you.

With San Francisco, and the State of California, basically shutting down I headed to Colorado to see my Mother a couple weeks early.  I think I’ll get a full 6 weeks with her instead of the month I’d original planned.  And boy has she put me to work. The two of us together have tackled the many, many projects no one is capable of doing on their own.  Most of what we’ve sorted through and cleared out is being donated to The Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community.  They provide recovery oriented transitional housing to individuals experiencing homelessness.  My Dad was a very generous and giving person so I know he would approve.  

We’ve talked about a day trip or two, but with the current COVID situation any travels will be taken (if at all) with the utmost caution.

My plans are still to be back in San Francisco by the 23rd.  I’m paying close attention to any further extensions of the Stay-at-Home orders.  If anything happens to change or delay my return you will be the first to know.

Not being able to see you in the salon, I’m doing my best to bring you articles I hope you’ll find interesting.

I have 2 different articles on 2021 forecasts.  One on hair color trends and the other on men’s short haircuts for the coming year. The hair color article takes an interesting look at your hair color habits from last year.

Did you know natural red hair was more fragile than other hair colors?   I knew it was rare and tends to be frizzy, but even I learned a thing or two from the Ginger Parrot article I have for you.

I’ve known about this for a while, but didn’t know just how serious the situation had become. Many curlies have been “betrayed” and left in tears by one of the major curl care companies.  Check out the article I have for you about their journey.  If you need a recommendation for your curly locks, let me know.

That reminds me to ask you to check the ingredients in your hair care products. You read food labels, but you should also be reading the ingredient labels of your hair care products. Many scalp and skin issues can be traced back to an allergic reaction from your hair products. Manufactures are continually reformulating their products and the ingredients. On their own many ingredients are harmless BUT when they come in contact with something as simple as water (or heat) a chemical change happens and they become toxic. Case in point is a Class Action Lawsuit against TRESemmé Keratin Hair Smoothing Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo.  You’ll want to check out that article.

I also have articles for you on air-drying fine hair, why some go gray in their 20's, a little reminder to stay in touch with your emotions during this pandemic, iconic hairstyles form the 70's, and more.

Oh, and a few "Best Ofs" from last year. 

As always, I am available by email, text or phone if you have any questions or concerns.
Looking forward to seeing you in the coming year!

Be well. Take Hair! AND #MaskUp 😷

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Hair by Brian and the “New Normal”
*if and when we're allowed to reopen
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Click here for a fairly comprehensive list of COVID-19 guidelines for all of us in the salon.

rev: November 2020

2021 Forecast:
Top Hair Color Trends

Wella colorcharm has released its first-ever “What’s Trending in Hair Color” report, which reveals the latest hair color behaviors and the most-desired trends among American women.

The wild ride that is 2020 will soon be coming to an end; however, even though the calendar may be changing, the last 12 months will certainly have a lasting impact on the professional hair industry. What 2021 has in store for us is anyone’s guess.

Wella colorcharm has released its first-ever “What’s Trending in Hair Color” report, which reveals the latest hair color behaviors and the most-desired trends among American women. The report comprises survey data from 1,000 U.S. women aged 18 and up. In addition, four colorists from Wella colocharm’s Top Artist team were interviewed about the top salon trends and how they can be achieved at home.

According to Wella colorcharm top artist Julie Cornejo (@julie_forhair),

Hair Coloring Behaviors

  • 53% of woman have dyed their hair at home since March 2020
  • 63% of at-home hair color used since March 2020 has been permanent hair color
  • 40% of Gen Z consumers have opted for bold, temporary color compared to 29% of millennials, 14% of Gen X and 8% of baby boomers

Reasons for Dyeing Hair at Home

  • 26% of survey respondents said they dyed their hair at home as an act of self-care
  • 23% dyed their hair at home to save money
  • 14% opted for at-home color as a way of staying safe by skipping the salon
  • The survey found that half of American women agree that video chats and masks have increased the importance of hair looking its best and expressing their personal style

What’s Trending

  • 33% are interested in vivid hair colors, including peach and blue
  • 21% are interested in face framing highlights, i.e., the money piece
  • 21% are interested in going back to their natural hair color
  • 18% are interested in chunk highlights
  • 11% are interested in gray hair

Vivid Hair Colors

According to the Wella colorcharm Top Artist team, shades such as peach, violet and amethyst are all trending, easy to create colors. The report states, “pink, peach and coral hues are easy to recreate at home and are easy to customize the shade intensity. It’s best for hair that’s a level 6 (medium/light blonde) or higher.”


Going Au Naturale

Hair consumers found safety in simplicity amid a turbulent and unpredictable 2020. The report suggests that women are interested in embracing their natural hair color to eliminate complex salon services or regular trips to the salon.

This is from BeautyLaunchPad

How to Air-Dry Fine, Thin Hair So It Looks Like a Blowout

Here’s how to master the heat-free aesthetic.

Air-drying your hair isn’t exactly rocket science, but for a lot of us, it’s also not as simple as letting nature take its course. As an anti-morning person who savors every minute of additional sleep, I try to avoid heat styling at all costs. But as much as I prefer to leave my strands au naturel, it can cause my extremely straight hair to turn limp and staticky, especially as the brutal winter months roll around. But don’t worry—that doesn’t mean you have to resort to frying your strands. With the products and technique, you can style your hair sans heat and just enough effort to look effortless. Below, my exact air-drying routine that will ensure nature dries your hair like a high-powered Dyson.

1 Towel dry your hair

When your hair is soaking wet, it is weaker, fragile, and more susceptible to breakage. To get scientific, hair is made up of protein bonds called keratin that are protected by your cuticles (kind of like a shield of armor). When hair is wet, your cuticles open and those proteins form weaker hydrogen bonds, making it easier to stretch and break. That means you have to take extra care not to manhandle your hair when it’s wet. Friction is wet hair’s worst enemy, so gently squeeze excess water from the ends instead of wringing or rubbing aggressively. Another styling tip? Skip the cotton towel and opt for a microfiber towel instead. Not only does it dry hair quickly and gently, it also keeps frizz at bay for a smoother look post-styling.

2 Reduce air-dry time with air-dry cream

An air-dry cream is a product specifically designed for ditching the dryer. When applied to damp hair, it shaves precious minutes off your dry time and enhances your hair's natural texture. One of my all-time favorites is Joico Zero Heat Air Dry Styling Creme ($20;, which doesn’t require any heat to activate the product. Squirt a dime-sized amount into the palms of your hands and work it through the mids and ends of your hair.

3 Hydrate with leave-in conditioner

Thickening mousses and texturizing sprays work wonders for fine hair, but come with a slight caveat—the dryness and stiffness that follows. Applying a leave-in conditioner prior to styling can prevent that from happening. Think of it like lotion for your hair—it inserts moisture that was lost in the shower back into your hair and doubles as a primer for your other products. Try Aveda Nutriplenish Leave-in Conditioner ($33;

4  Add volume with thickening mousse

Volume is usually the biggest concern for fine-haired folk. Since air-drying can cause your roots to fall flat and limp as it dries, a pro tip for achieving max volume on air-dried hair is to apply a volumizing mousse on your scalp. My big-hair hack is applying an egg-sized handful of Living Proof Thickening Hair Mousse ($29; on my roots to give my 'do that extra tjzuzh. 

5 Prevent split ends with a protective hair oil or serum

Next it’s time to give some love to your ends. I typically interchange between a hair oil or serum to prevent split ends, tame flyaways, and inject much-needed moisture to dehydrated strands. Just be careful when selecting your oil of choice as heavier oils can weigh down your hair—and your volume goals. That isn’t to say you can’t find a hair oil for baby-fine hair; there are a ton of shine-injecting, ultra-nourishing oils on the market that deliver amazing results to delicate strands—if you know where to look. Try customized haircare brands like Mon Shampooing and Function of Beauty, which provide personal formulas tailored to your exact hair type.

6 Boost color with UV protectant spray

Just like sunlight is damaging for your skin, it can also take a toll on your hair by fading your perfect color and drying out your strands. Think of UV protectant spray like sunscreen for your hair—it defends hair from the oxidative stress that happens with excessive sun exposure. My go-to is Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray ($44;, which also has plant-based collagen to make your strands healthier over time (plus, it smells amazing).

7 Add shine with an all-over shine spray

Hair sprays are to hold as shine sprays are to, well, shine (a bit of word association for you). They’re full of light-reflecting agents that lightly bounce off your tresses and impart a luminous sheen. I’ve tried a ton of finishing sprays in my lifetime, but a personal favorite is Color Wow Extra Mist-ical Shine Spray ($29;, which emits a fine mist that evenly coats the hair with a glass-like finish. But a word of advice: use sheen sparingly. While we all love glossy hair, using too much can cause buildup on the hair and scalp, which contributes to bigger issues than dull hair (read: dandruff and itchy scalp).

8 Brush everything out

Try a Tangle Teezer or wide-tooth comb, both of which are gentler on damp strands. My Tangle Teezer of choice is Tangle Teezer Ultimate Finisher ($12;, which was literally designed as a finishing brush to your routine. The teeth on this brush are a bit longer and softer than most standard brushes, which allows you to brush through without pulling at your scalp. And voila! As your hair dries, you should be left with a voluminous blowout quality that looks like you walked straight out of a salon.

From Real Simple

2021 Men’s Haircut Trends
for Short Hair

Are you lagging behind the latest men’s haircut trends for short hair? Then maybe it’s time you caught up! So much has changed this season and style-conscious males can’t just cruise along with a has-been look. So run your eyes over these new looks and get ready to overhaul your manly appeal!

1. High-fashion gray-beige blonde high-top – men’s haircut trends for short hair

Buzzed sides in dual textures of gray turning to black, add plenty of texture to the sides of this super-smart look. The top is styled up and backwards for a fairly long swept-back hairstyle that needs product to control it. But it’s more than that because the trend-setting mix of cool and warm colors marks this out as a totally up to the minute new look! Cool gray, with a hint of blue, is softened with pale-beige balayage!

2. Trendy silver fade with volume of top – men’s haircut trends for short hair

If your dark hair is starting to show gray, embrace it and switch to a full-on silver-fox look! Silver-blonde is the height of hair fashion right now and looks great with deep blue tattoos.  Styled forwards from the crown and then back from the forehead creates fabulous texture and interesting movement. And the height on top adds length to a low forehead or round face shape. It’s a very distinguished and attractive look!

3. Perms for a high & tight look – men’s haircut trends for short hair

Yes, guys, the ‘top’ perm is back! And for those of you who don’t know how it works, it’s a chemical treatment that puts permanent curls into straight hair. The perm will last until all of your permed hair is cut off. It makes hair easier to style with just a diffuser and is the best way to get body and volume into fine, straight hair! Two white-blonde lines add an individual look at the sides on this young, ‘cheeky’ look.

4. Shaggy forward styled – men’s haircut trends for short hair

The shaggy look is going to take over men’s hairstyling this year. It’s perfect for adding interesting volume and texture, without having a perm. Shaggy cuts work best on thick hair. And they give a fabulous contrast with a fade over a bald fade at the sides and back. The tousled look and a little bit of hair over the forehead softens the line and keeps the style relaxed.

5. Top braids with white detail and short ponytail

This guy project the image of a serious type who is extremely neat and well-groomed. The top braids keep hair in place all day, so no need to keep checking your appearance. And the two white fabric strands woven into parallel braids add asymmetrical decoration that contrasts cleanly with the model’s black hair. Faded sides continue down to link up with a precisely-cut full beard and tash to finish a strong look!

6. Short textured top with precise temple and beard lines

When you wear glasses, it’s important to make sure your haircut and beard style complement them. For example, you don’t want so much going on that your face seems to be hidden. And this hairstyle is a great way to get the balance right. The top hair is medium long and simply styled, with neatly shaped temple hairline adding extra fashion flair. And with the glasses dominating the centre face, a light beard and moustache complete a great new look!

7. Flat forward-styled men’s haircut with beard

If you have fine to medium hair that you don’t want to spend hours styling, then try this new look. It just need combing forwards after washing and finger-tousling to add texture. Bangs will focus attention on your eyes and the low side fade softens the overall haircut. The disconnected beard is cut with strong angles along the jaw line, with a clean-shaved neck.

8. Hook curls on permed male hairstyles

This is a trend-setting permed haircut, with unusual pin-curl and hook curls. The tousled curls create fabulous texture and a shaggy look, especially for men with medium to fine hair types. The low fade creates a clear-cut bald line around the ears and side-burns. And a light beard and moustache finish off a high fashion new look!


9. Varied textures on straight black hair for men

This is a great idea for thick hair that can take sliced layers and has plenty of natural volume. Sliced layers cut thick hair into vertical layers, with a tapered tip. And that’s what creates the fabulous triangular texture around the crown and top section. A creative contrast in straightened bangs switches the movement to focus on the eyes. And the bald fade gives a clean-cut back and face.

10. Two highly groomed men’s hairstyles with blonde balayage

Image A shows how to flatter a medium – low forehead with a curved quiff adding length to the face. The colorist has subtly balayaged expertly styled curves with blonde touches – highlighting the movement and texture. Image B shows the hair with a longer, asymmetrical fringe draped down to frame the model’s brown eyes. The height is still there above the forehead and again, you get attractive emphasis on the texture and shape with a touch of blonde.
The Simple Mistake You’re
Making With Your Hair

FYI: You're Probably Not Conditioning Your Hair Enough

How often should you be conditioning for your hair type?
We all condition our hair to gain good measure with our strands: to be smoother, softer, tangle-free, and frizz-free. We’ll even turn to conditioners for preventative measures against further damage and breakage. Needless to say, the benefits of conditioning can seem endless. But during a time when we’ve been encouraged to shampoo our hair less and less, (in true Carrie Bradshaw fashion) I can’t help but wonder—are we conditioning our hair enough?

Between density, porosity, and texture, every one of us has our own unique hair type. Wavy, fine, dry. Straight, thick, silky. Fine hair, but lots of it! And on top of all that, we have to consider our styling habits, our chemical treatments, sun exposure, water filtration, diet, and all sorts of other factors that come into play when considering our hair’s state of health. It’s understandably difficult to pinpoint the right formula for hair care, let alone conditioners, but no matter what you’re working with, conditioner is not to be skimped.

While shampoos manage our scalp health, conditioners are the shields for our strands. Its purpose is to help us fight all of those outside barriers. To get things started on the right foot and simplify the decision making process, we’re here to play matchmaker for your strands' conditioning game.
Thin Hair

If your strands are fine (but you have a ton of hair) you want to be sure you're conditioning every other day. A primary concern with your hair type is avoiding tangles. Conditioning often is so much gentler—and therefore better—for the integrity of your hair as opposed to using a brush to pull tangles out all the time, which can lead to breakage. Instead, comb through in the shower as you apply to your ends.

When your hair is fine and there isn't too much of it to work with, the tendency is to skip conditioner altogether—but you, too can use conditioner to your advantage. Try a volumizing conditioner; they're made specifically for your hair type so they won't weigh your hair down like most other conditioners will. Plump up those few strands 2-3 times a week, and just remember to keep conditioner on your ends—it doesn't belong on your scalp.

Thick Hair

Thicker strands need a ton of hydration, so conditioning plays a very important role in your hair's health and should be used on a daily basis. Even if you're skimping on shampooing your hair, the same rule doesn't apply to conditioner (unless your desired end game is dry, brittle ends). Whether you're a gym rat or just a firm believer in minimal shampoos, your thick mane needs to stay moisturized, so be sure to get it wet and apply conditioner every day.

Color Treated Hair

With color treated hair, we suggest using a deep conditioning treatment 1-2 times a week on top of regular conditioning to help rebuild cuticles from the inside out. Hair that's been colored or bleached has been stripped and its porosity has been heightened by bleach and/or peroxide (meaning, your hair absorb moisture but can't actually retain it). A deep conditioner will keep your strands soft and smooth and will fight against treatment-induced frays and breakage. As for your daily conditioner, there's a slew of them out there that can actually support your color from getting stripped or altered by minerals (or other buildup), and we've rounded them up for you here.

Dry Hair

Dry hair could be a result of heat styling too often, or a reaction to a change in your climate. The key word needed in your conditioner is moisturizing, and it's a word you'll want to frequent in your hair care regime. Moisturizing conditioners are going to smooth out any frailties. You can get away with conditioning every other day, but there are also other protective measures we recommend: Use a conditioning oil, cream, or leave-in spray to add extra moisture to your hair after the shower. You'll also want to do a deep treatment conditioning masque once or twice a month. Sticking with this frequency will keep your hair on the shinier side and provide a barrier against drying out.


Conditioning is a crucial part of our hair's overall health. When it comes to how often we condition—whether it be a leave-in spray, deep treatment, or attempt at breakage prevention—the moral of the story is more is more. 

Recommendations from Byrdie

How red hair is different to other hair shades, and not just because of its colour

From just a passing glance, it’s obvious that red hair differs from other shades. It’s eye-catching, multi-tonal, and has an ability to command attention.

But other than its striking colour, red hair is different to other hair colours in many other ways.

Red hair is more fragile, and in shorter supply

Natural ginger hair strands are much more fragile than other hair types. And, while many redheads believe they have lots of hair, in general they technically have fewer strands.

In fact, it’s estimated that natural blondes have 110,000 strands on average, brunettes have 140,000, while redheads only have 90,000 strands on their heads in total. These fewer strands are usually thicker for redheads though, so the appearance can sometimes be that gingers actually look like they have more hair than other colours.

As you can imagine, this combination of fragility and thickness makes for a somewhat tricky customer.

Ginger hair is prone to frizz and coarseness

Due to the fragility and thickness of red hair strands, this often makes for coarseness and frizz aplenty, which in turn can actually make your ginger shade appear duller than it should. If you think about it, the frizz stands in the way of allowing light to reflect more easily off your hair, so it’s difficult to achieve shiny, bright red hair.

By encouraging smoothness of the follicles and strands, more light can then reflect off it, giving brighter, shinier red hair that reveals the multi-tones of your ginger shade.

Dryness is the enemy

With the above issues of frizz and fragility, many redheads turn to heat styling to try to combat the coarseness and to impose some smoothness on their ginger locks.

While heat styling is a temporary solution to reducing frizz, and indeed does smoothen the strands, what happens is it makes your red hair drier and drier each time. Everyone knows that excessive heat styling is bad for their hair, but for redheads, having already fragile and frizz-prone strands means this is a sure-fire way to cause breakage and split ends.

Moisture is your friend

What red hair craves is heaps of moisture to help encourage strength and smoothness in its follicles and strands.

But don’t mistake ‘moisture’ for ‘silicones’. Found in the majority of hair products, silicones are an artificial way of pumping something that appears to give smoothness and moisture to your hair. Granted, for a time your hair may become shinier and feel more conditioned, but over time it will become accustomed to these silicones, which can cause product build-up and eventual dullness, too.

The reason why silicones are so prevalent in haircare is because they’re often teamed up with sulfates, the foaming agent commonly used in shampoos and soaps. They’re bad news for the hair and scalp in general, and in particular for redheads, as they’re extremely drying, stripping your natural, glossy oils from your scalp and strands.

The answer?

What we’re faced with here is red hair that is crying out for something to combat its frizz, fragility, coarseness and dryness.

By cutting out both sulfates and silicones, either by going cold turkey or through gradual use, you can train your red hair to rely less on artificial ingredients. Instead, use ingredients that enhance red hair and help alleviate its weaknesses, injecting more shine, moisture and vibrancy into it.

Oh, and kick your heat styling habit, too.

I found this information Ginger Parrot
(a great site for you gingers)

The hunt to replace DevaCurl, every curly girl’s fallen savior

Almost a year ago today, I suffered one of the greatest betrayals of my life. 

OK, that's dramatic. But it's hard to overstate the magnitude of shook the curly hair community was back in January 2020.

It all started when influencer Ayesha Malik posted a tearful and scathing video warning her roughly 250,000 followers to stop using the beloved, longstanding golden standard of curly hair products: DevaCurl. Her brunette corkscrews as frazzled as her emotions, Malik explained how she went from proud brand ambassador to boycott leader: Over the course of a year, she started noticing inexplicable damage to her prized, perfectly preserved locks, her thick mane not only thinning but changing texture in a way usually induced only by chemical relaxers.

She was far from the only one.

Why I Stopped Using DevaCurl

Malik's video opened the flood gates. Other influencers and even DevaCurl stylists came forward, culminating in a Facebook support group of 60,000 echoing similar experiences that led to a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit names some of the most popular products, including their entire shampoo cleanser and conditioner line, leave-ins, styling gels, and repair treatments. Influencers who hadn't experienced these negative effects weighed in, too, most with support and belief in the allegations but others to challenge the accusations

Watching this chaos unfold, it felt like the ground fell from beneath me as I realized DevaCurl — the products I once heralded as the divine savior of my hair and beauty — might be the culprit for the damage I'd been literally losing hair over. After years of happily spending thousands of dollars on DevaCurl products and services, I threw away gallons of the stuff in the trash, doubtful that I could ever trust again.

Straight-haired readers might eye-roll at the idea of mourning a brand like this. But fellow curly-haired sisters know the struggle and sacred journey of learning how to care for, embrace, and hopefully even love your curls. It comes only after years of trauma.

While curly hair stigma is pretty universal, as a white Latina myself I've had the privilege of not being subjected to the worst of it. For Black girls and women especially, natural afro-textured curls are politicized, discriminated against, and almost completely excluded from mainstream beauty standards, media representation of all kinds, and literal curly hair ad campaigns. From Mia in the Princess Diaries to country music-era Taylor Swift (whose curls allegedly miraculously straightened due to natural causes right as she became more mainstream pop), at an early age we're fed the clear message that curls are something to be fixed, eradicated, straightened out.

The insecurities of growing up with curly hair are so real that Dove saw a business opportunity in exploiting them in the way they did body image insecurities. Despite knowing it's all bogus (no one recommends actually using Dove curl products), I still cry every time I watch this old commercial

Dove | Beauty standards of hair are a form of bias

For curly women and girls, your hair is the first thing people notice about you. For better or for worse, curls become inextricably tied to your identity. Whether that identification takes the form of self-loathing or defiant pride all depends on finding the right products and styling techniques.

The DevaCurl cult-following went beyond products, too, with a whole oeuvre of essentials like the famed Curly Girl Method and pricey Devachan salons with special Devacuts and Pintura highlights. Despite the high cost, it always felt worth it, an investment into the best ingredients that nurture your curls that need to recover from years of trying every damaging fix under the sun.

Seeing the company's fall from grace felt like a loss of identity. The products once responsible for making me feel beautiful for the first time ever as a young girl were now potentially ruining the locks I'd worked so hard to love.

To be clear, nothing has been proven. In a statement to its "devoted Deva community," in February, the company said it was, "committed to providing the information you need to continue to use DevaCurl with confidence." Pointing to the "rigorous and thorough testing" all their products undergo, it promised to work with "an independent third-party toxicologist to verify the safety of these formulas." (Though expert doctors in this New York Times article question many of the facts DevaCurl presents on its website to refute allegations.)

It's been pretty much crickets ever since, but the damage was already done. The lawsuit is ongoing with no trial date set, but both sides have asked to make their case before a jury, according to court documents.

My trusted longtime hairdressers at CurlsOneonOne (owned by two incredible ladies I met at the now-closed Los Angeles Devachan) are dubious that DevaCurl is to blame for my case. To be fair, I'd been pretty aggressively bleaching my hair Khaleesi-silver since 2014

But when my colorist cut me off in 2019, my curls didn't bounce back like usual during bleaching breaks. The alarming amount of hair fall continued, along with scalp dryness and curl pattern loss after six months of nothing but Olaplex for color damage and deep conditioner treatments.

However, discontinuing all DevaCurl use led to immediate improvement. More damning still, months post-DevaCurl, I had a curl-mergency and only access to the travel-size Ultra Defining Gel (a product listed in the lawsuit) that I kept in my purse. Even a small amount caused that now-familiar burning sensation and unusual shedding during my next shower

Listen, I can't say whether DevaCurl is the cause. But breaking from my religious devotion to the brand opened up new paths of discovery that only made me understand, embrace, and appreciate my curls more. But the process of finding new products and a new regimen was harrowing — and expensive. It takes lots of trial and error.

In August, Malik made her first video since that explosive one in January, her curls miraculously unchopped and more fortified. She says she worked day and night to recover from the Deva damage, and still has a long way to go. But from where I'm standing, it's the hope every suffering curly girl needs to know they can bounce back from this. 

Though I don't claim to be an expert, after dozens upon dozens of products and hours of research, though, I've picked up a thing or two. So here's my guide to replacing DevaCurl. Everyone's curls are unique, so not everything will work for you. But maybe we can learn from each other while on our individual journeys to curl perfection.

[Editor's Note: While the writer independently purchased almost everything listed here, BounceCurl did provide samples for review]

1. Find your curly hair gurus.

Like everything in the influencer economy, curly hair YouTubers get sponsorships and make money the more you spend on products they recommend, which incentivizes lots of bullshit. 

But the best beauty bloggers know the value of their honest opinion is worth more than a #sponcon payday. Trust the ones who are transparent about their relationship to brands and that include unmonetized content and affordable options.

That's why I personally love Bianca Renee. Aside from sharing the same hairstylists, she's never led me astray on general consumer knowledge. She's great for learning how to be a smart shopper, figuring out what's right for you, which products you really need, the no-no ingredients, exploring options, and testing brands for that curly girl seal of approval.

For styling routines and tricks, seek out curl gurus with similar hair textures and concerns.

Fellow 3B-C girls should check Manes by Mell. She has a wealth of tutorials, with videos for every type of situation like changing seasons, sleep-to-wash-to-style-to-refresh regimens, correct product application, essential accessories, mistakes to avoid, budget picks, and technique pros and cons. She was anti-Curly Girl Method before it was cool so I trust her as a zero-bullshit stylist (and notably one of the most vocal influencers denying Devacurl damage).

2. Throw out all those strict rules and experiment instead.

Treat all curl advice and rules from tried-and-true methods with skepticism, including mine. None of us really know anything except what's worked for us. Feel free to deviate and, above all, question assumptions and one-size-fits-all truisms.

In my many years of Curly Girl Method devotion, I was told sudsy shampoos and brushes were sacrilege. But failing to cleanse my roots likely contributed to product build-up that caused scalp issues, hair loss, and stunted growth. Meanwhile, exclusively finger brushing led to uneven product distribution.

I religiously stuck to wash-and-go air drying to avoid heat damage, with no patience for diffusing. But like a curly hair newbie hopping on the latest TikTok trend, I tried plopping for the first time. To my amazement, it cut my dry time in half and created amazing from-the-root volume with zero extra effort.

See your journey as a literal experiment: Make hypotheses, test them, add and subtract variables, and through deductive reasoning learn what leads to more consistent great hair days. 

3. You do NOT have to spend a lot of money for great products.

One of the good disillusionments from this DevaCurl fiasco was realizing some of the best, healthiest products for curly hair are affordable drugstore picks. 

SheaMoisture and Cantu, for example, are always in the $5-$10 range. Cheap, trusted classics help keep your routine affordable, especially when it comes to shampoo and conditioners which wash out of your hair rather than staying on it for days like a styling product. 

Save your money for treatments or fun stuff like Curlsmith's temporary color hair makeup (which worked great on me for Halloween). By saving on products you can also likely budget for great curl specialists and stylists, too, which I still recommend paying top dollar for rather than going to the nearest SuperCuts.

4. Don't underestimate the importance of the right accessory.

The above rule still applies here, but don't blow your budget on products alone.

The three brushes I now can't live without for wash days include:

Also great for your arsenal:

  • An ultra-fine microfiber towel (or 100% cotton t-shirt) for plopping

  • If you like diffusers, research good budget options. No need to drop hundreds on that Dyson monstrosity.

  • A misting spray bottle for refreshing curls

  • A sleeping cap or turban made of gentle fabrics like microfiber or silk so your curls last longer between wash days

  • Better yet, invest in silk pillowcases, which are expensive but did wonders for both my curls and skin

  • If you live somewhere with terrible water quality like me, get a shower water filter! Do research into affordable picks targeting the specific chemicals used by your county that hinder all your haircare and skincare efforts.

5. OK, here's my new routine and DevaCurl product replacement recommendations.

While these are what I like personally, it is not a definitive guide. Others have crowdsourced a publicly edit-able list of alternatives for each product, but note that there's zero vetting involved.

  1. Shampoo and conditioner: I replaced the no-poo co-wash DevaCurl cleansers (all listed in the lawsuit) with actual shampoo that removes product without stripping my natural oils, using it at least 2-3 times a week. Shampoo should only be applied to your scalp — leave your ends alone. People rave about expensive brands like Innersense and Verb, but I stick with this SheaMoisture shampoo and Cantu conditioner. (Check out SheaMoisture's curl type chart for personalized recommendations). If luxury is what you want, Curlsmith's Vivid Tones Vibrancy Shampoo protects my highlights while BounceCurl's Super Smooth Cream Conditioner makes my hair feel like butter.

  2. Curl primer and leave-ins: Similar to how I'm not sure makeup primers do anything, I'm not convinced this needs to be a two-step process. But the important thing here is hydration and nourishment. While still in the shower I flip my soaking wet hair upside-down, raking a small amount of primer or light leave-in that I alternate depending on what my curls need. When they're fragile from coloring, a pinch of Hot Tresses Rehab Leave-In. For hydration, Be My Curl's Mane Squeeze (stylist recommended) or BounceCurl's Moisture Balance Leave-In. For my main leave-in, nothing beats Curlsmith's Curl Conditioning Oil-In-Cream, which woke me up to oil as essential to curly routines. Thicker curl types will probably love BounceCurls' Clump & Define Cream with the Denman brush, but it weighs my curls down a bit.

  3. Styling gel: For me, this step is about sealing with a "cast" of gel that combats frizz and creates strong hold so my curls last three days. Technique is just as important as product here. The reigning champion replacement for my beloved Ultra Defining and Arc Angel DevaCurl gels (again, both listed in the lawsuits) is Dippity-Do Girls with Curls Gelee, applied with the praying hands technique and then scrunched up to my roots. Some popular alternatives like Ouidad's Heat & Humidity Control gave me that same burning sensation DevaCurl did. I can't rely on Be My Curls' To Have & To Hold gel alone, but do love how it hydrates while styling. Though it wasn't right for me, those with wavier, less frizz-prone hair should look into Bounce's Light Hold Creme Gel for touchable, lightweight results. An important lesson I learned for each of the above steps is to avoid putting much of any product directly on your roots (unless it's a treatment or shampoo). I focus almost exclusively on my ends, then rely on the plopping method to bunch all my hair on the top of my head so product trickles down a bit. 

  4. Refreshing method: A key to great styling products that last between wash days is ones that list water or "aqua" as one of the first ingredients. That means when you re-wet your hair with a spray bottle, the product re-activates, so you don't need to add much more and avoid build-up.

  5. Treatments: Since I highlight my hair, Olaplex every other week is essential. But everyone can benefit from the occasional deep condition treatment, and thirsty curls will love SheaMoisture's Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque or more luxury-priced BounceCurls' Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner. Those jonesing for DevaCurl's Heaven in Hair (which, you guessed it, is also referenced in the lawsuit) should try the nearly identical Be My Curl's Seal the Deal. BounceCurls' Hair Detox is great for those with build-up and scalp issues (akin to a DIY apple cider vinegar treatment) but use it veryy sparingly. Don't leave any of these on longer than instructed.

The moral of this story, though, is that finding your personally-tailored curl routine will never be a paint by numbers experience. Just trust your gut, and be confident that you're the best expert on your hair.

This article came to me by way of Mashable

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Why some people go gray in their 20s, according to a dermatologist

  • We asked a dermatologist to explain why hair turns gray, and why it can happen to some people as early as their 20s.
  • According to Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, genetics will likely determine whether or not you will go gray, and how soon it will happen. 
  • Our hair pigment is protected by an enzyme that fights the build-up of hydrogen peroxide.
  • As we age, this enzyme declines, allowing the hydrogen peroxide to break down the melanin in the hair shaft, causing the color to change. 
  • According to Chwalek, factors like stress and smoking that cause oxidative damage could also contribute to hair going gray.
We asked a dermatologist to explain why hair turns gray, and why it happens to some people as early as their 20's. According to Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, genetics will likely determine whether or not you will go gray, and how soon it will happen.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Graham Flanagan: Look at that silver fox. So distinguished, so sophisticated. Wow! But what if I told you that this guy was a millennial? It's true, just barely. According to Joe, he started going gray when he was 16. By 22, he was pretty much totally gray. Why does that happen? And why does hair turn gray in the first place? There's something about a silver fox, if you can pull it off.

Actor: When I got rid of my gray hair, I wanted a natural look. Graham: But many people hate the idea of going gray. There's an entire industry built around fighting it.

Actress: It's like you took off 10 years.

Actor: And in just five minutes.

Man: Just For Men. She'll love the way you look.

Flanagan: So why does it happen?

Dr. Jennifer Chwalek: The process of hair changing from darker color to white or gray with age is mainly due to genetics. It can be inherited from either parent. The color of our hair is determined by the form of hair pigment that we have. The pigment is actually produced along the hair shaft, and there are two main forms of hair pigment. There's eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is what we see in brunettes and darker-haired people, and pheomelanin is what we see in blonds and redheads. The cells in our hair bulb produce a little bit of hydrogen peroxide, which is a metabolic byproduct, and typically there's an enzyme called catalase that breaks this down to water and oxygen. But as we age, there's declining levels of catalase, and this allows the build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair bulb, which damages and destroys the melanocytes, or the pigment-producing cells, of our hair.

Flanagan: So I wanted you to take a look at my colleague Joe here. Joe is technically a millennial. He started to go gray when he was 16, and by 22, it was pretty much gray all over. What happened to Joe?

Chwalek: So when individuals gray early in life before the age of 20, it's called premature graying, and this is due to genes. And we know there's one gene, in particular, that's been targeted called interferon regulatory factor 4, which is important in regulating and producing melanin in the hair. Joe was lucky enough to inherit some genes that predisposed him to developing gray hair early in life.

Flanagan: Obviously, Joe has gray hair on his head. When you go gray on your head, does the hair on the other parts of your body go gray as well? No, no, Joe, Joe! We can picture it.

Chwalek: So you can grow gray hair anywhere on your body. Wherever you have hair, the hair is susceptible to oxidative damage and eventually going gray.

Flanagan: So the main cause of going gray is genetics, but what role can stress play? After all, Obama didn't look like this when he showed up at the White House.

Chwalek: So it's controversial the role that stress has in hair graying. We know that stress creates oxidative damage in the body, and it's been linked to a lot of premature-aging syndromes. So it's thought that the stress, that stress causes oxidative damage, which may cause damage to the melanocytes and may cause us to grow gray earlier. We know that smokers tend to go gray more so than the general population, and again it's felt that it's probably due to the oxidative damage that smoke causes and how it affects the pigment-producing cells in the hair. I think eating a well-balanced diet, so you make sure that you don't develop any nutritional deficiencies, that's another thing that can be done. And modulating your stress. That's another thing you have control over, which over time can cause oxidative damage and, again, make you prone to potentially more gray hair. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in May 2019.

Stay in touch with your emotions to reduce pandemic-induced stress

The coronavirus has ushered in a lot of stress. Psychologists say people can reduce stress by identifying their emotions and taking mindful action to address them. The findings come from a national survey gauging how Americans are faring during the pandemic.

Everybody, it seems, is stressed out to some degree by the coronavirus pandemic.

It may be anguish over the sickness or death of a friend or family member. It may be anxiety over a job that has been altered or eliminated. It may be disquiet over the competing demands of work and family while working from home.

These are natural emotions during stressful times, says Emily Kroska, a clinical psychologist at the University of Iowa. The good news, she adds, comes from a new study she led that shows how people might reduce their distress.

In that study, Kroska's research team surveyed Americans' responses to various situations wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. The team found that those who took stock of their emotions -- be they sadness, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and the like -- and then addressed those emotions with mindful action -- such as calling a friend or family member -- reported lower stress levels than those who steered away from identifying with their emotions or did not gauge the potential effects of their behavior.

"The goal is to try and help people become more resilient by remaining in touch with their emotions and finding creative ways to maintain or build upon relationships with people or activities that are important to them," says Kroska, assistant clinical professor in the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. "People who do that will generally not be as distressed, or anxious, as those who don't."

The researchers in May surveyed 485 adults across the nation, asking them to describe their experiences with various situations arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The respondents identified physical sensations such as sweating, accelerated heart rate, and fear for their own safety, as well as "objective hardship measures," including making rent or mortgage payments, loss of personal income, living apart from family members, or difficulty getting grocery items or household supplies.

"Basically, we wanted to learn about the full sort of adversities that people encountered due to COVID-19," Kroska says. "We found everyone encountered some degree of adversity, which is quite sad but expected."

The researchers used those answers to measure a respondent's "psychological flexibility" or, generally speaking, their ability to roll with the emotional punches inflicted by the pandemic. The researchers determined respondents' psychological flexibility based on three factors: Openness, behavioral awareness, and valued action.

Survey respondents who were open to their emotions and were more aware of how they were responding to those emotions were found to have lower levels of pandemic-induced distress. As a whole, psychological flexibility accounted for a substantial proportion of pandemic-induced distress.

Kroska gives the example of turning to Zoom to connect with someone who's important to you, even if speaking with that person remotely is inferior to conversing face to face.

"If you are creative with trying to talk with your family remotely instead of in person, but you're resentful about it the whole time and think it sucks, that's going to cause more distress," says Kroska. "But if you're willing to say, 'OK, this isn't what we were exactly hoping for, but we're going to make the best of it,' that's the values and the openness piece. It's the combination that's required.

"Really what it comes down to is, can you adapt? Can you do what matters even when it's challenging?" Kroska adds.

Kroska, who counsels patients affected by distress stemming from the pandemic, as well as stress more generally, says it's natural for people to be anxious.

"People don't want to be distressed, but they're going to be during this pandemic," she says. "Being flexible and continuing to do what is important to you even during these difficult times is important and is associated with less distress. I think people are desperate for anything that will help them feel less stressed out."

The study, "Psychological flexibility in the context of COVID-19 adversity: Associations with distress," was published in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.

Co-authors from Iowa include Anne Roche, a sixth-year graduate student in clinical science in psychological and brain sciences; Jenna Adamowicz, a third-year graduate student in clinical science in psychological and brain sciences; and Manny Stegall, lab coordinator for Kroska's research team.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study through predoctoral training grants, along with funding from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

From Science Daily

Psychological flexibility in the context of COVID-19 adversity: Associations with distress. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 2020; 18: 28 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2020.07.011

This year are started a section for the "Follically Challenged".  There are so many conversations and articles on the topic and I want make sure you are getting good information. 

This month I have another article for you.

How to Check If You're Losing Too Much Hair

It can be alarming to look at your comb or the shower drain cover and see a clump of hair. Not only could it clog your pipes, it can cause you to worry that it’s a sign of serious hair loss. But chances are what you’re seeing isn’t anything to be concerned about—and if you want to be sure, there are easy ways to check for abnormal hair loss without visiting a doctor.

The average person loses somewhere between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Yes, that’s a lot, so don’t panic if you see a few strands in your bathroom.

Hair shedding versus hair loss

While we’re on the topic, there is a difference between hair loss and hair shedding. The AAD notes that hair shedding—or temporarily losing a little more hair than usual—is completely normal, and usually occurs after a major life stressor or body change, like losing 20 pounds or more, giving birth, having a high fever, going off birth control pills, or caregiving for a loved one. Excessive hair shedding usually lasts for six to nine months, and then your hair growth and hair loss returns to normal levels.

Hair loss, on the other hand, is when something happens that actually stops your hair from growing, the AAD explains. Examples of this include hereditary hair loss, losing hair because of a medication like chemotherapy, using harsh hair care products, or having a compulsion to pull out your own hair. In these cases, the hair will not regrow until the cause stops—though that’s not possible in every case (i.e., if genetics are to blame). If you still have questions about the difference between hair shedding and hair loss, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor.

That said, if you want to test your own rate of hair loss, here are two ways to go about it:

Pull test

For a simple at-home test, Dr. James C. Marotta suggests you take about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull a little bit as you run your fingers through your hair. It’s normal to see five to eight hairs in your hand. If you have 15 to 20 hairs, though, you could be losing more hair than normal. Marotta explains:

Comb test

Here’s another test to try: Before shampooing, comb from the back of the top of your head forward to the front of the scalp for one minute. Do this while leaning over a lightly colored bed sheet, then count the hairs on the sheet. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Dermatology, you should see about 10 hairs. If you see more, you might be experiencing excessive hair loss.

Of course, there are a few caveats to both of these methods, including that these numbers are approximate and may differ between people with different types of hair. Also, we tend to lose more hair as we age, which, again, is normal. But the general idea is to get a baseline for your own head so you can tell when your hair loss has gotten worse.


This story was originally published in November 2016 and updated on Dec. 2, 2020 to perform a copyedit and align the content with current Lifehacker style guidelines. 

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Savory Apple Naan Flatbread

When apples are abundant and inexpensive in the fall, jazz things up with a savory apple naan flatbread, with a perfect balance of sweet and savory.
  • 3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium unpeeled apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 9x7-inch naan flatbread
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup arugula, or to taste
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Step 2

    Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp and browned, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet.

  • Step 3

    Add apple and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the bacon. Sprinkle thyme over the apple mixture, and stir in balsamic vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 4

    Place naan on the prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Spread the apple mixture evenly on top. Cover with Gruyere cheese.

  • Step 5

    Bake in the preheated oven until naan is golden brown and cheese is melted, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, scatter a handful of arugula over the top, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

If Gruyere is not available, Swiss cheese is a good substitute.

FYI, Aldi carries naan flatbread.

Nutrition Facts
417 calories; protein 20.1g; carbohydrates 43.3g; fat 18.9g; cholesterol 50.8mg; sodium 603.4mg. Full Nutrition

Hair Through History:
9 Iconic Hairstyles of the 1970s

The 1970s was a decade of change. Dubbed "The Me Generation" by author Tom Wolfe, the young adults of the '70s found value in self-reflection and personal empowerment. The counterculture revolution of the 1960s made way for hippie-inspired lifestyles, including free-flowing hair, psychedelic experimentation and increased interest in non-U.S. cultures. As feminism gained momentum, women's hairstyles became somewhat more androgynous, with many of the popular looks being sported by both men and women alike. Many hairstyles that had sprouted during the 1960s, such as the Beehive and the sharp Sassoon cut disappeared almost entirely, while others such as the flipped bob and the mop evolved into new styles. Looks like the afro and pixie cut remained popular through the middle of the decade, but the 1970s saw its share of new, innovative styles that would leave their mark on generations to come.

The 9 Iconic Hairstyles of the 1970s

1. The Shag

Jane Fonda's hairstyle in the 1971 film Klute inspired a nation to follow suit. The short- to mid-length style was characterized by evenly progressed layers from shortest at the top of the head to the longest at the bottom for an overall "shaggy" effect. The look was worn by men and women alike in varying lengths and interpretations.

2. The Feathered Look

This iconic look was made famous by actress Farrah Fawcett, who stepped out in the soft, feathery hairstyle on the set of Charlie's Angels. Arguably the most popular looks of the decade, the style involved mid-length to long hair, brushed back and outward at the sides, giving the appearance of the feathers of a bird. Feathered hair was worn by men and women, celebrities and non-celebrities, and its influence can be readily observed in contemporary hairstyles.

3. Straight and Sleek

Born from the hippie movement, long, straight hair became highly fashionable during the '70s. The look was all about appearing natural—little to no product was used, though naturally curly women were prone to ironing strands in order to get the stick-straight look of celebrities like Maureen McCormick, Ali MacGraw and Peggy Lipton.

4. Facial Hair

Facial hair, in the form of sideburns, mustaches and beards, saw an explosion in popularity during the 1970s. The look ranged from long and unkempt to perfectly trimmed and sculpted, and was very much influenced by hippie culture. Superstars like John Lennon and Frank Zappa helped to popularize facial hair for the first time since nearly the 19th century.

5. The Pageboy

Although this style first began appearing in the United States in the 1950s, it didn't truly take off until 20 years later, when England-born model and actress Joanna Lumley brought the pageboy back into style. The new version was shorter, with hair cut anywhere from shoulder-length to just below the ear. Hair was flipped under, and bangs were a prominent feature of this look. The pageboy was worn mainly by women, but men could be spotted wearing variations of the style as well.

6. The Wedge

Dorothy Hamill took the world by storm when she created new figure skating moves and snapped up national, international and Olympic championships. But she didn't only set new standards in figure skating, she also set a new standard in hair with her iconic wedge haircut, a short hairstyle that featured a general "bowl-like" shape with angled layers that hung above the shoulder. The style was an instant hit, gracing the heads of young and mature women alike.

7. Long Locks for Men

Beginning in the 1960s and carrying over into the following decade, men could be seen sporting longer and longer hair styles. Though still a symbol of rebellion among the youth, longer locks on men became somewhat more accepted during the 1970s as rock stars began to don the look. Bands like Led Zeppelin played sold-out shows, rocking their long, curly hair, and wannabe rock stars and admirers everywhere followed suit.

8. Brow-Skimming Bangs

Bangs were nothing new by the time the 1970s rolled around, but unlike the fringe of the previous eras, '70s women chose to wear the style in a softer, longer and looser manner. Bangs were grown out to enhance and draw attention to the eyes while serving as the perfect complement to long, natural hair. Stars like Joni Mitchell, Olivia Newton-John and Jane Birkin helped to bring the look into the mainstream.

9. Dreadlocks

With a newfound and increased interest in non-U.S. cultures, many Americans began embracing the influence of Jamaican and Rastafarian lifestyles during the 1970s. The legendary musician Bob Marley helped to perpetuate Rastafarian culture in the United States, and with it, the dreadlocks hairstyle. Though dreadlocks had been around for centuries, it wasn't until the '70s that they saw increased popularity among African-Americans.

From Beauty LaunchPad

Unilever Is In Mess But What's New

According to the 49-page case, TRESemmé Keratin Hair Smoothing Shampoo and TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Color Shampoo, made by defendants Unilever United States, Inc. and Conopco, Inc., contain a preservative called DMDM hydantoin, which is known to leach formaldehyde when it comes into contact with water.

Uh Oh!

Given formaldehyde is a “well-known human carcinogen” that can cause cancer and other harmful reactions when absorbed into the skin, Unilever’s use of DMDM hydantoin in the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products is “an entirely unnecessary risk” since safer and natural alternatives exist, the lawsuit argues.

Nevertheless, the suit alleges, the defendants have failed to properly warn consumers of the risks associated with using such a strong chemical on their hair and have even gone so far as to claim the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products are safe.

“Defendants continued to conceal the dangers of the Products by failing to appropriately and fully recall the Products, by continuing to claim the Products were safe when properly applied, and by failing to warn consumers of the dangers attendant to the Products’ use,” the complaint scathes.

The lawsuit alleges Unilever marketed its “Keratin Smooth” line of shampoos to women who “wanted smooth, shiny, manageable hair with no frizz.” Through online marketing and the products’ labeling, the defendants allegedly represented that the TRESemmé products contained keratin, a protein found naturally in hair, and would “deeply nourish,” “gently cleanse,” and “repair hair.”

According to the case, however, Unilever failed to warn consumers that a preservative named among the products’ ingredients has been known by the defendants to cause or contribute to hair loss and scalp irritation. The suit charges that nowhere on the products’ packaging or in advertising did Unilever warn customers of the risks of using DMDM hydantoin on their hair and scalp and instead claimed the shampoo was safe when properly applied.

The lawsuit explains that DMDM hydantoin is a formaldehyde donor, which is a class of preservatives added to water-containing cosmetics to prevent the growth of microorganisms through the release of small amounts of formaldehyde. According to the case, the defendants until recently used the chemical in their TRESemmé Keratin Smooth line since keratin is a protein—i.e., a food for microbes—and has a limited shelf life.

Per the complaint, the use of formaldehyde donors, and particularly DMDM hydantoin, in cosmetic products has been linked to the development of allergies, dermatitis, hair loss and even cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the suit says, considers DMDM hydantoin to be one of the top allergens “that cause the most allergic reactions from the use of cosmetic products,” especially since individuals can become more sensitive to the irritant over time. The case adds that irritation of the scalp is linked to hair brittleness and hair loss.

According to the suit, Unilever has known of the dangers associated with DMDM hydantoin for a decade or more given the chemical and several other ingredients were the subject of prior litigation against the company. Per the case, Unilever’s Suave Keratin Infusion product, which was advertised as formaldehyde-free, was recalled in 2012 following complaints of hair loss and scalp irritation. The lawsuit initiated against the company resulted in a $10.2 million settlement that was upheld by an appeals court in 2016, the suit says.

Though Unilever continued using DMDM hydantoin as a preservative and even publicly asserted that the chemical was safe for use in hair products, the company only recently reformulated its TRESemmé Keratin Smooth shampoos to replace DMDM hydantoin with other preservatives, the case avers.

Given the litigation against Unilever, not to mention the flood of consumer “horror stories,” some of which are cited in the lawsuit, the defendants should have been well aware of “the high potential for toxicity or allergic reaction” caused by use of the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth products, the lawsuit charges. Nevertheless, the company has allegedly “failed and continues to fail” to warn consumers about possible reactions and has even attempted to downplay or conceal the plethora of consumer complaints.

“Unilever continues to this day to advise consumers that these Products are safe to use as directed, without providing any disclosure concerning the complaints of hair loss and with no warnings regarding the hair loss that may result from their continued use,” the complaint reads. “Indeed, despite Unilever’s knowledge and awareness of hundreds if not thousands of complaints of significant hair loss and breakage caused by the Products, Unilever continues to claim the use of DMDM hydantoin it [sic] is safe and permits them to be sold to this day — without providing consumers with any revised warnings or disclosures.”

According to the suit, the defendants’ “reckless indifference” has allowed Unilever to realize “sizeable profits” at the expense of consumers.

This article was supplied by Class Action Claims.

From The Real Hair Truth

More on the Class Action Lawsuit here >>>

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