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In our new Hair Q&A series with hair experts, we connect Madame Noire readers with various experts and stylists to answer their most pressing questions about hair care. In this edition, Cindy Tawiah, founder of DIVA BY CINDY ,  responds to reader-submitted questions about protein treatments and pressing & flat ironing hair. If you have a hair care issue you’d like to have addressed, Facebook us or email us at 

Question #1: What’s the best protein treatment for natural hair? My moisture level is fine now but I need to strengthen the strands against end breakage.

Cindy: Protein is a complex organic compound that contains amino acids in it’s basic structure. It is found in all living tissue including skin, hair and nails. The hair is made up of 98 percent protein. There are many proteins treatments available. Protein treatments are designed to rebuild strength in hair that has lost it’s elasticity by adding protein to the cuticle and cortex layer. We often become confused about which treatment to use. When selecting a protein treatment ensure that you use a moisturizing conditioner afterwards since most protein treatments will cause the hair to become hard. Protein treatments are needed for extremely damaged hair.

Another way to strengthen hair is to use a deep conditioning treatment every two weeks. It is beneficial to select brands or products from the same line or family since most brands are designed to work synergistically with each other. Split ends need to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks to prevent hair from shedding and breaking. Use a Leave-In Detangler to protect and seal the hair’s cuticle when heat styling.

Be sure to select a professional brand of protein treatments and hair care brand in order to give your hair optimal strength.

Is it okay to press your hair and also flat iron it if you don’t want a relaxer? I see a lot of women doing this and wonder if it breaks off their hair with double heat?

Cindy: Yes it’s alright to flat iron your hair or press it out. In order to prevent damage to your hair be certain to use a heat protectant or leave in detangler whilst blow drying and flat ironing.

Most African-American women want versatility. We desire different looks depending on our mood or the occasion. In order to wear damage free flat ironed hair do not repeatedly apply heat to your hair as doing so can cause your hair to singe. Flat ironing must always be done on freshly shampooed hair. Always use a moisturizing and detangling shampoo and conditioner and apply a heat protectant or leave in detangler before blow drying and flat ironing hair. At night don’t forget to wrap hair or pin curl it and tie your hair with a silk scarf or satin bonnet. This will help maintain your style and help you to resist the urge to apply more heat to your hair. Remember hair needs moisture not grease or oil so when flat ironing refrain from over use of heavy oils.

Cindy Tawiah is the founder of DIVA BY CINDY product line for all women who desire natural based products that will give them longer and healthier hair. A motivational speaker and advocate for women’s rights. Cindy has been featured on WBAL TV, Shecky’s media, Beauty Store business and Hype Hair.

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