Contact Form

Please use this contact form to notify me of broken links, pages that do not display correctly, products that are discontinued, or questions about sharing the copyrighted content on this blog.

At this time, I cannot help with questions about creating a hair care routine, or solving problems in general.  I genuinely like to help, but I don't have enough time to do that.

If you have a comment of question that is related to a specific blog post, please put your comment there. I moderate comments so I can delete the "spam" - but I do respond when a response is requested. It may take a little while.

If you need help with hair care that a comment on a blog post will not cover, you can get help from me via my hair analysis service (GooseFoot Prints on Etsy).

I do welcome ideas for blog posts! I want to post content you want to read. But some times of the year I have little time for blogging.


Email Address:

This form powered by Freedback


  1. I have done so much research on box hair color vs professional lines. I still haven't got a straight answer so I want to ask a true hair scientist: is the color ingredients in the 'box' the same as the color ingredients in the professional line as say Schwarzkopf or koleston? I understand the difference in the percentage in the developers, that's not my issue. The box color I'm currently using, L'Oreal excellence creme, uses 20 volume which is the minimum needed to color grays which is the reason I color, only the roots. THANK you.

    1. Hello Tiny Dawg,

      I'm looking at one L'Oreal Excellence Creme ingredients and one Schwartzkopf color (not sure if it's the right one) and the ingredients that have the most activity are fairly similar. For the ingredients that do the actual coloring, you need to know what colors are being compared. I would need the 2 ingredient lists side by side to tell you what you want to know.
      Home hair color is made to be easier to use in handling and timing. There are those basic DIY problems nobody can get around - it's harder to see your own hair on your head and you only have 2 hands to do everything with, and home hair color is designed with those in mind. It's also made for a range of hair types, whereas salon colors can be adapted by the stylist doing the coloring to a person's hair or for a particular shade. Not that you can't buy 2 color kits and mix them.
      I don't think the difference is so much in the formula - you can buy a color-at-home formula for any particular ingredient preference (no ammonia, no PPD, etc.), but in the experience of the colorist in how hair color turns out.
      Assuming you know your hair really well and know what you want with color, you should be able to get really good results with a L'Oreal product. For that matter, a really good colorist should also be able to get really good results with a "box color" - whether they like working with it or not. But they might not get a good result until they've used that product enough times to be familiar with it.
      People who color at home can use penetrating oil treatments before the wash before coloring, can mix a product like Neutral Protein Filler into hair color that doesn't contain protein (if your hair does well with protein) and get creative in helping hair stay strong through coloring too, that's something a good colorist will try to do - protect the porous areas of the hair from damage. Those practices help color "take" well and evenly too.
      My point is that a lot of people emphasize ingredients and okay - those do matter to a certain point. But the basic premise is you need an alkaline ingredient to swell the hair, a dye ingredient to add color, an oxidizer to develop, and everything else is in there to try to give a better result so hair doesn't feel awful after coloring, or to prevent damage or weird color effects. It's up to the person doing the coloring to make the magic happen to the best of their ability, given the product they have to work with and the tools and techniques and tricks they know.
      That's not such a straight answer either. But it's very true - good skills, understanding your hair, confidence and creativity matter as much as products and ingredients. Like with cooking, a good cook can make delicious food with simple, basic ingredients.

  2. are you a chemist. Just wanting your credentials Thank you

    1. Ecologist. 3.5 years of chemistry at University. I work with applied chemistry in my little corner of plant and soil ecology in the lab, sometimes in the field too. I am also a "hair analyst" for what it's worth.
      If you'd like to communicate with cosmetics chemists, check out the "Beauty Brains" guys.

  3. Hi. I would like to ask whether commercial hair conditioner like Pantene, Sunsilk, Loreal etc does create 100% water impermeable coating to our hair? Does it completely repel water? If it doesn't completely coat our hair, to what extent the conditioner is able to do so?
    Hope you would reply my email.. Btw, it is a nice blog..hope you would share more about hair and its science.

    1. Hello,
      Those products do not create a completely waterproof coating. The conditioning ingredients do bond to the hair's cuticles (and don't rinse off entirely when you rinse) - but that's how they need to work. It's like a molecule-thin film of conditioner. You can't even see it with a normal microscope. Any oils or silicones spread throughout that conditioner-film over the surface of hair. Hair can begin to feel like it's repelling water for some people if those products are used regularly - it depends on your hair, your water, and your shampoo.

  4. Hi,

    Can you comment on Opalex? Is it really better and different than other protein treatments? I would be floored to read a post from you on this! I understand I may not get a response as you have stated above and will check out your hair analysis service. I've referred to your site for years, printed out your posts, and made your recipes. In short, a zillion thank you's for the info you've shared and complexities you've explained!!!

    Thanks!! Amanda

    1. Hello Amanda,
      I've answered questions about Olaplex, but because there are not published data about it and the active ingredient is proprietary, the best one can do is read their literature and make educated guesses. Olaplex is not a protein treatment - it works rather differently. It's meant to provide something for broken bonds in hair to bond with instead of bonding with oxygen or anything that would make hair more unstable. It's the same sort of chemistry that is applied to making plastic polymers (linking molecules with a carbon backbone) - to get hair with damaged structural bonds to pull back together. Their active ingredient appears to be small enough to penetrate into the hair shaft - so that's positive. You can some some more info. here:
      Protein treatments work on hydration - helping hair retain moisture or hydration. Good hydration can improve elasticity and flexibility - which are 2 important elements for having healthy, nice-looking hair, both in helping hair behave as healthy hair and also in keeping it healthy and strong. Olaplex claims to work on a different level of repairing the hair internally. It's aimed at people who use chemical treatments like highlighting or permanent coloring, and thus create damage in hair intentionally. That is my "in a nutshell" take on Olaplex. It seems to work very well for some people, and not for others. Best wishes - W

  5. Hello...Let me start by thanking you for all this helpful information. I read somewhere that you do hair analysis. Is this true? I don't know whether I have low porosity hair or high porosity hair. When I do the water test, it looks like I'm low porosity. I've done hair quizzes all over the internet and some say low porosity while others say high porosity. I believe I have more characteristics of high porosity but I'm natural. I don't color or use heat on my hair besides diffusing on low air and low heat. No matter what products and what methods I use my hair still feels dry and gets very frizzy. Can you help?

    1. Hello, If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you'll find some tips to make the float test more accurate for porosity and also tips for interpreting the results:

      You can have hair that behaves as though it is higher porosity (soaks up lots of conditioner and oil) but is lower porosity if examined microscopically. There is a lot more to hair's behavior regarding products and water than cuticle condition and hair care. Things like hard water, your climate (dry or humid?) how thick your hair is, whether it tends to have a more slippery surface or less slippery surface all matter. A lot of times, hair that seems to feel dry or frizzy no matter what is coarse and probably has the medulla present - which makes hair act less flexible. Because we think of dry hair as being inflexible - that's a conceptual problem for coarse hair. For hair like that, regular oil pre-wash treatments (like every wash day or ever other wash day) can help -provided the oil is a good match for your hair. You'll find a lot of products full of shea butter and coconut oil marketed for Natural hair - but those oils aren't ideal for everybody. Some hair prefers sunflower oil or olive or grapeseed - or broccoli seed oil. Deep conditioning helps with flexibility. Steam treatments during styling or deep conditioning often help with flexibility. Adding water to products once they are in your hair also helps with flexibility.
      That's about all I can throw out there making a wild guess. And even with oil treatments and deep conditioning - there are lots of ways to modify to make them work for you. And do read labels carefully. If everything you use seems to contain the same oils and your hair feels dry - your hair may not like those oils! Watch out for proteins too. Even low porosity hair sometimes needs protein, but chronically dry hair may result from products with protein being used too often. Best wishes - W

  6. Hi! Thank you for making a properly sciency site about hair! I wonder if you would include a search function so I can look up articles by keyword. I'm specifically looking for any and all DIY information on living with and caring for a Brazilian blowout (I think it was done with the "Coco Choco" brand.

    Thanks again for taking the time to make a really great and informative website!

    PS: I also just wanted to mention that your contact form doesn't seem to be working (this my posting this in the comments section here

    1. Hi Kim, If you are using a computer, there is a search box in the top-left corner of the page. I'm not sure how it will render on mobile devices. I don't have information about Brazilian Blowouts specifically, but there should be some increased porosity as a result of that. At the right of the page are links to "popular posts" and the one with the red circle "Managing Porosity and Elasticity" might be helpful. Not sure why the comment form does not work. I'll have to work on that some more. Thanks!