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.


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  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.