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I think it’s fair to say most natural women are some level of a product junkie. And while most naturalistas attribute their extensive collection of creams, conditioners, and the like to the lengthy process of trial and error when attempting to find what works best for their hair, we can’t deny brands are adding to this type of product buildup as well.

With an onslaught of new types of products, from pre-poos to hair vitamins and more, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage what your hair needs and when. That’s why we took to celebrity hair expert for L’Oréal Paris Kellon Deryck, the man whose hands have worked magic on the likes of Missy Elliott, Porsha Stewart, Keri Hilson, Tiny, Monica, and many, many more, to explain.

We love the way Kellon lays these ladies’ strands day after day, but we also appreciate his attention to hair health, particularly when it comes to making sure that protective style is really protecting your hair. Check out our Q&A with Kellon below as he tells us what products and procedures will truly keep your follicles flourishing this season.

A lot of women are obsessed with length. What’s the best way to retain growth? Can anything be done to speed up the hair growth cycle?

Maintaining healthy hair is definitely the key to retaining growth. Women who hope to grow their hair often seek out “magic” scalp treatments they hope will stimulate their roots, but don’t direct the same attention to the ends of their hair. You also have to keep the ends of your hair sealed to avoid the breakage and splits that keep your hair from looking longer.

If you’re looking for something to incorporate into your routine that promotes growth from the root, try massaging an oil into your scalp 2-3 times a week. Oils are packed with vitamins that are essential to hair growth, and working it in with your fingers will help stimulate your scalp. (Try: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment)

What’s your take on hair vitamins: are they necessary and do they really help?

Just like other parts of your body, your hair is influenced by the nutrients you consume. Providing nutrients for your hair is 100% neccessary, but doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a hair vitamin. Depending on the brand, the same nutrients you’d find in a hair vitamin could also be matched by eating healthy, incorporating iron and protein into your diet, taking Vitamins B&C and drinking tons of water.

What’s one hair product natural women need for the summer?

Natural woman would benefit from having a protective hairstyle such as sew ins and wigs! These both will last you all of the summer months without having to worry about straitening due to humidity or just having fun! Products like L’Oréal’s Paris Magic Root Cover Up will help these protective styles last a little longer by filling in the grown out areas of the extensions.

What regimens are key to take care of your own hair when rocking protective styles like wigs/weaves and braids?

It’s important you remember to moisturize your hair in-between protective styles like weaves. We often forget about our real hair when it’s braided or hidden under a wig/sew-in. Be sure to let your hair breath every-so-often between installs, and get a good scalp and deep conditioning treatment done when you do!

We all know dryness is an issue in winter months, what potential problems should women pay attention to for the summer?

Summer heat can be really intense on the hair, causing hair follicles to seek moisture in the air that it lacks in its strands. You should plan your fight against humidity by coating your hair with a light-weight moisturizer before you style or straighten it. (Try: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Treatment).

Is pre-pooing necessary?

Pre-pooing is a big benefit for women with dryer, less manageable hair. Applying a moisturizing conditioner before you shampoo can be necessary to detangle, hydrate and fight breakage, but isn’t necessarily recommended for all hair types or washes.

What about oils during the summer months?

Yes, you need oil in the summer, too. Depending on your texture, dry heat can be even worse on your hair than cold air.

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