Your Hair Questions Answered by Tasha Turner

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We know you've got hair questions -- and we've got answers! ESSENCE magazine's very own Senior Beauty Editor, Tasha Turner, takes your questions on dry shampoo, thinning locks and the pitfalls of tying up your hair at night... Do dry shampoos work on our hair? --Rachel l., New Rochelle, New York Tasha Turner: Yes. Most were created to zap oil buildup. Dry shampoo also recharges your 'do without using water and keeps hair smelling fresh between washes. But it should never be considered as an alternative. We just need to tweak how we use it on our textured tresses. Tina Pearson of the Tina Pearson Salon in New York City gave me some user-friendly tips: DO brush hair thoroughly after applying dry shampoo (spray from 12 to 14 inches away). Since most of these products are white; their residue can really show up on our hair. DON'T use dry shampoo near touch-up time, because it can increase volume at the roots. DO use it to add body to a set. After applying the shampoo, immediately roll hair and let it set for a few minutes. My locks are thinning at the crown. What should I do? --Diane M., via Facebook Turner: Hair reacts negatively to internal changes as well as poor styling practices. New baby? Change in diet? Recent stress? All could be factors at the root of your problem (no pun intended). Styling culprits such as overtightening or retwisting too frequently can place a strain on your new growth and cause the lock to snap off. Heavy locks can lead to traction alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by constant tension on the hair follicle. "Traction alopecia is self-inflicted hair loss," explains trichologist Kari Williams, Ph.D. "It's caused by hair that's pulled out from the follicle. When the body naturally heals itself, that follicle disappears." The best course of action: Talk to your loctician, a dermatologist or a trichologist for help.   My hair is falling out around the hairline. Should I stop using my scarf at night? --Tameka B., via Facebook Turner: I had that issue and as soon as I noticed my hair thinning I took action. Start by tying your silk scarf over your hairline to avoid friction, which can lead to breakage. And try switching between pin curling, sleeping on a satin pillowcase, and using a satin cap. A trick: Wear the cap inside out so the elastic doesn't irritate your edges. And remember, dry hair breaks easily, so moisturize the nape and hairline before you tie it up. Have a hair question? E-mail Tasha at asktasha@essence.com.