December 14, 2022
EP. 295 — How Stunning Are Our Listeners? with Jonathan Van Ness
For our last new episode of the year, we’re turning the mic on the Getting Curious community. Jonathan is answering your questions about all things hair—including dry shampoo, hair loss, highlights, and staying sleek while getting sweaty. And one thing is clear: curiosity looks good on you!
We’ll be re-releasing two of our favorite beauty episodes from the Getting Curious archives to round out the year. And we’ll be featuring more of your questions about beauty and beyond in just a few weeks as we celebrate our 300th episode of the show.
Here’s to all of our gorgeous listeners, and to another year of Getting Curious together!
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.
Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Erica Getto is our Executive Producer. Zahra Crim is our Associate Producer. Andrew Carson is our Editor.
Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.
295 — How Stunning Are Our Listeners? with Jonathan Van Ness
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness. And every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. You know I love to talk about hair care, skin care and self-care. But rarely do we ever get the chance to do so on Getting Curious. So today, in our last new episode of the year, we are turning the mic on you, our listeners, for a very special Q&A episode focused on beauty. I’m your hot, gorgeous expert, Imma answer all your questions. We raise a glass, settle in, and let’s get going on a gorgeous conversation. Our first question is from Carrie about staying sleek while getting sweaty. Ah, I can’t wait. Roll the question!
Carrie [00:00:45] Hi. My name is Carrie and I have a beauty question. But first I just want to say thank you to Jonathan and the JVN team for putting out such thoughtful, entertaining, and open content. It truly, it highlights my day when I see it. So my question is one that I Google and I genuinely find 15,000 different answers to this. So I would love your perspective on washing your hair while working out. All I know is you here, wash your hair maybe two times a week, but if you’re working out five times a week and sweating like I do, what’s the right balance? What are the products? Please help. I hope you take this question. I wish you guys the best. Thank you.
JVN [00:01:35] First of all, what a gorgeous compliment from Carrie. And I love that you said that there was, like, 16,000 responses. And actually the right balance is as unique as there are people who work out and wash their hair, like, everyone’s hair is going to need, like, something, like, a little bit different. So that’s the first thing to understand, is that, like, this is a whole spectrum. It’s not, like, a right or wrong. I do wish that I knew a little bit more about Carrie’s hair. She didn’t leave her phone number for us to call her back on the fly, did she.
Erica Getto [00:02:03] Yeah, we do have a callback number. Should we pull it up?
JVN [00:02:08] Oh, my God. I can’t believe we’re calling Carrie! [PHONE RINGS] Oh, my God. [PHONE RINGS] This is the most fun we’ve ever had. [PHONE RINGS]
Carrie [00:02:21] Hello?
JVN [00:02:22] Carrie, darling, it’s Jonathan. How are you?
Carrie [00:02:25] Hey, how are you?
JVN [00:02:27] We didn’t see this coming, but your question was so fucking good, queen. It made me have a question so that I can, like, thoroughly and completely answer your question. My question for you is, what type of hair do you have? Is your hair on, like, the straighter side? Is it curlier? Do you color treat your hair? Like, what’s happening with your hair?
Carrie [00:02:45] So I have bone straight hair. I would describe it as thin, but I have, like, a lot of thin hair—
JVN [00:02:53] A lot of fine hair.
Carrie [00:02:54] Yeah. So, like, I get my hair highlighted and my stylist, every time I do it, she’s just, like, “I forget how much hair you have.”
JVN [00:03:01] Yes. Okay. I love that. I love that hair type. Okay. So that helps me a lot. So how often do you get your hair highlighted? Like every other month? Like eight weeks? 12 weeks.
Carrie [00:03:10] Twelve weeks. I’ll alternate between full head and half head.
JVN [00:03:14] That has so much to do with, like, how much you should be trying to wash or avoid washing the hair. If you highlight your hair, it’s just putting it through a chemical process. So you want to, like, try to be a little bit easier on it with the washing, making sure that you’re, like, doing something that’s, like, sulfate free is really important as well. And then also I would say the most important thing is: if you’re going to wash every day, you’ve got to use a heat protector when you dry the hair. And I would also say that you should try to avoid actually air drying, if you do wash every day. Air drying can be, like, a part of the story. Like, it can be something that you do sometimes, like, you know, two or three times a week. But if your hair is bleached, for your highlights, your highlighted hair is going to have one amount of porosity, like, it’s going to absorb one amount of water and then your virgin, like, un-color treated hair is going to have, like, a different amount of porosity. Your hair is a lot like fabric. So, like, think about what your t-shirt would look like soaking wet and water and then just, like, let it air dry every single day. Like, depending on how you hang it, it’s going to get a little tattery. It’s going to be a little bit stretched.
Carrie [00:04:19] I would have thought of it the totally opposite way. I even recently changed my hairstyle from being quite long, like, beyond the middle of my back, to within an inch of my shoulder. So I feel like I have to, like, use heat to style it. Like I can’t get away with the air dry as much.
JVN [00:04:37] It also kind of depends on, like, what your goals are like. If your goal is to have your hair, like, as long as possible, then, like, washing less is better because you really want to, like, not expose it to so much like wetting and drying of the hair. There’s, like, two main types of bonds of hair and, like, one of them is called the hydrogen bond. And that’s the one that, like, is affected by, like, heat styling. And that’s kind of, like, that whole fabric analogy. Like, it’s just too much, like, wetting and drying of the hair if your goal is, like, to have as long as possible. Once you take some of the length off and you get more regular haircuts and it doesn’t need to be so, so long, then you can kind of get away with, like, washing it more often because as it gets damaged, you’re going to be cutting those ends off. And so it’s kind of a little bit more okay, but you really want to have a combo of, like, heat styling sometimes so that your hair isn’t spending three and four hours wet, like, air drying after washing every single day. But you could air dry, like, a couple times a week and then heat style a couple of times a week. It’s that sort of thing. And then also you really want to make sure that you’re using heat protection for when you’re heat styling, especially if your hair is finer, and especially since you color treat your hair. And really you should use heat protection all the time, even if your hair is, like, not color treated.
And then the other thing I would say is this: sweat is not bad for your hair. If it’s physically dirty because you, like, laid it in somebody else’s sweat or, you know, you touched on something that was gross, that’s one thing. But if you’re just working out at home or even working out at the gym and you didn’t lay your head back on something. Like, I would always, like, put one of those, like, hand towels on the ground and then, like, lay my head on that. So you’re not, like, pulling, like, the back of your ponytail, like, right on that ground. And then that would make me feel like I could get away a little bit more. So, like, even if you get sweaty as shit, like, Bikram-ass sweaty, like, if you are just sweating, like, just fucking so goddamn sweaty, what I do is like, I will come home, I’ll spray some Complete Conditioning Mist in my ends to kind of get my ends a little bit more wet, you know, because it’s like my roots are more wet and my ends are kind of dry. So I’ll kind of refresh it with, like, a leave-in or like a detangler just on my ends.
And to reapply a little bit of heat protection, I might do a little bit of instant recovery serum on my very ends, on top of that, even on day two and three, if I’m between haircuts, but then you just rough, dry it and you just blow dry your sweat right back into your hair. Then you can run, like, a curling iron over it, do a flat iron, you know, put it up. But the oils that your scalp makes, like, the sebum in the oil that your scalp makes is so good for your hair. And you actually really don’t want to wash it out, like, it’s Mother Nature’s conditioner. It’s, like, actually really good for the hair. So especially since you do highlight your hair, I think really washing, like, two to three times a week, you’re fine. So every day. Do you think is too much? But if you must and you just can’t not do it every day, make sure you using sulfate free. Make sure you’re not doing air drying every single day. And then because you will be heat styling, make sure you’re still using heat styling. Now I feel like I could more accurately answer your question, Carrie.
Carrie [00:07:32] [LAUGHING] You have 100% answered my question. Thank you so much. And I will say, I mean, it’s obviously because I’m a fan of you. And so you’re plugging, but I do use your Air Dry Cream and conditioner have not used the heat styling cream only because it’s sold out at the Sephora by me.
JVN [00:07:52] All the other things I do love like our Embody shampoo. And then because your hair is highlighted the Undamage conditioner could be really good. Also pre-wash scalp oil is your best friend of all time, so super good. Like sorry I’m so obsessed with my own products but I really am. And then also randomly because you said that your hair is board straight, does it have trouble holding a curl? Sometimes if you do run a curling iron through it?
Carrie [00:08:10] Oh. I, I literally don’t even try anymore.
JVN [00:08:14] Okay. Some someday try this because this is one of my favorite rule breaking things with air dry cream. Are you ready? Okay. Because air dry cream, it’s actually, like, a texture enhancer. So it’s going to, like, increase hold. It’s great for, like, people with afros or like my curly hair and you can totally air dry it if your hair is straight as well. It’s just going to give you a little bit of, like, piece-iness, like, a little bit of texture on your air dry, you know, which is cute? It’ll give it, like, a little bend. I never suggest for people to, like, round brush with it. But if you have that finer hair that doesn’t hold a curl, I love putting, like, a quarter of air dry cream on wet hair, then just rough dry the shit out of it with, like, no nozzle on your blow dryer. Like, just, like, rough, dry it upside down, get it as big as you can, then curl it. And don’t really brush it. Like don’t take the paddle brush to it, just detangle it before you put the air dry cream in there, and then just flip your head upside down, blow dry it big and fluffy, and then run a curling iron through there. And I find that hair that does not like holding a curl will actually kind of hold a curl because it has chia seeds and linseed. It’s a plant-based fixative, so it’s going to give you more hold. Once you, like, blow dry it into the hair, it doesn’t feel like a gel anymore, but it keeps that hold. And I think for Blowout Milk that would also be really great for you for when you wear it, like, sleeker and smoother and you’ll be able to get away with using, like, a half a pump for your whole head. But that air dry cream to, like, create texture and hold on here, that typically doesn’t hold it. I love it for using that. It’s just a really good, like, little rule breaker technique for that one.
Carrie [00:09:36] I will 100% try that because I—, what I used to do it to hold a curl as I would sleep with my wet hair and like I was, like, old grandma style.
JVN [00:09:46] I love that too, though!
Carrie [00:09:48] But that gets it like super really. I use just, like, give myself a day to let it calm out.
JVN [00:09:52] Those hairless waves are cute too. Like if you put air dry cream in and then do those, like, heatless wave things that you wrap around your hair and then that doesn’t get, like, so Shirley Temple on your ass. Like, it’s a little more like a beachy wave. Carrie, thank you so much for, like, answering the phone and, like, this is, like, literally not part of the plan, but I just, like, loved your voicemail so much. And I was, like, “Oh, my God, did Carrie leave us her phone number? Can we, like, call Carrie?” And then all the producers looked at me, like, “I don’t know, we’ve never done that before.” And I was, like, “Well, let’s just, like, try. Maybe she’s around like,” we’ll just pretend it’s, like, 2000 when people, like, made phone calls all the time, I’ll be fine.
Carrie [00:10:24] I love it and I honestly didn’t expect a callback.
JVN [00:10:26] It’s so much fun. It’s so much fun. So yeah. Yes for us. And you’re the best. Did we have so much fun? We can’t stand it. Our next question is from Kelly in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I wish I had a Minnesotan accent to really do this. Kelly asks, “I love to winter run and walk to embrace the cold and snow here. Is it bad for hair to be exposed to super cold temps? Not wet, of course, but sometimes sweaty. Love your hair care products and podcast. Also amazing packaging on the shampoo and conditioner.” Thank you, oh my God Kelly. Thank you, Kelly! That reminds me of that video of that lady who is like on the local do is and she was, like, “I love running in this snow. It’s so powdery, and not slippery at all.” And then when she runs away, she falls, like, flat on her back. That is, like, the funniest video you haven’t seen. It will put it in the show notes, the episode description. It’s, like, genius. But anyway, back to the question. I would probably say if you’re wearing, like, a hat and, like, a hood over your head, especially if you’re wearing, like, a hood, like, a hooded jacket but not a hat, if your hair is like getting all hot under the hood and, like, rubbing all over that fabric, like, that might be a little bit of wear and tear.
So maybe, like, put a little bit of, like, Instant Recovery Serum on your hair, like, braid it, and then put, like, a hat over the top of your head. Just, like, minimize the friction. And then when you get home from your run, just blow dry that moisture out of your hair. Put some Complete Conditioning Mist on there for heat protection. You could do some Instant Recovery Serum on there for heat protection and then just, like, blow dry that sweat out of your roots or you can just do the Complete Conditioning Mist to kind of, like, revive your hair and then blow dry all of it or diffuse all of it just to get that moisture out. You’ll be good to go. And I think really, like, hydra fatigue, which is, like, when your hair becomes damaged from staying wet for too long, that’s not going to be from getting, like, a little sweaty outside for, like, a short amount of time. It’s more of, like, if you go outside with, like, wet hair or like let your hair air dry and it takes your hair like forever and a day to dry, then hydrate fatigue can be a thing, but just a little bit of, like, sweaty writing outside. You’re going to be good to go.
Okay. So now we’re going to our next question, you guys. I’m also going to eat a sandwich, which I’ve never done before on Getting Curious. But, like, there’s no guest. I’m living my life. [EATING SANDWICH] Mm hmm. What is it? I’m so glad you asked. If you listen to me talk about boom. I used to, like, not eat during the day because, like, I never knew what to eat. Like, sandwiches, you guys, I’m obsessed with, like, toasting two pieces of bread. I do, like, different little meats, and then I do, like, hearts of romaine and then peppers and then cheese. Okay. Actually, Erica, should you want to make your debut of Getting Curious as one of the people who asks a question? Oh, my God, we’re introducing to you Erica Getto. She’s the Executive Producer of Getting Curious. We love her so much. She’s making her debut on our literally Getting Curious right now. Ah! I can’t believe she’s here!
Erica Getto [00:13:23] Hi, everyone. It’s Erica on behalf of one of our favorite guests, Dr. Jessica Hernandez. She has a cold weather question for you following up on our last cold weather question. And she asks: “During the winter times, a lot of beauties out there complain about dandruff. Is this due to hot showers or something else? How do beauties get rid of dandruff?”
JVN [00:13:48] That is the million dollar question. And first of all, Jessica Hernandez, we love you so much—and also Erica! Okay, so I really honestly wish that we could, like, call Dr. Tina Lasisi or, like, call, like, a dermatologist because I am a hairdresser, so I’m not a doctor, but I can make a few hypotheses. I also struggle with very flaky scalp. It’s usually around changes of season. There’s also a difference between dandruff and dry scalp. Long scalding hot showers can dry the scalp out, and that can cause the scalp to make more oil, which can, like, throw off the balance of your scalp. Also, your whole body can kind of freak out when it goes through temperature changes. Like, I can get psoriasis outbreaks really easily during seasonal changes or, like, really dramatic, like, temperature swings. So that’s normal, I think not to, like, constantly plug JVN Hair, but I guess I don’t even, like, have to, fully. Doing something to soothe the scalp a little bit extra during winter or seasonal changes is a good thing because the scalp and the hair can, like, tend to get drier, but especially the scalp. So that’s going to be more of, like, a pre-wash treatment.
So JVN Hair makes one that is, like, obviously my favorite, like, not to be biased. It’s the Pre-Wash Scalp Oil and it uses, like, Neem Oil, which has been used in, like, formulations for, like, 5000 years to help heal, like, burns, like, abrasions in the skin or, like, weak skin or hair. So we have Neem Oil in there. Then we also have turmeric, which is, like, really clarifying to the scalp. So if you’re having any sort of excess buildup or, like, excess sebum or, like, too much oil, the turmeric is going to help to balance the scalp. Then it also has Hemisqualene and Squalane, which are both really nurturing are squalane and Hemisqualene, as opposed to, like, sharks or olives comes from a fermented sustainable sugarcane. It also has bisabolol, which is, like, really good for your actual hair, that comes from Camomile. So that formula is, like, really intensely hydrating and kind of detoxifying to the scalp. So it’s really good for when your scalp gets angry. If you have big, huge puzzle pieces of, like, that dandruff with, like, the holes in it, you might need to go to a dermatologist. You might need something stronger than, like, a pre-wash treatment. You might need, like, more of, like, a really medicated shampoo and conditioner, you know, something that’s more like that. But you could start with just, like, a pre-wash treatment. You could also, like, make one at home. You could use, like, aloe leaf juice on the scalp, maybe, like, a vitamin E thing.
Also dry scalp, sometimes people really will keep their conditioner off their scalp because they’re, like, “Oh, I want more volume. And, like, I don’t wanna, like, weigh my hair down,” put that conditioner on your scalp. That conditioner has a lot of, like, healing benefits and, like, good ingredients in it, which will help to kind of nurture and soothe your scalp as well, especially when you are taking those hot winter showers. Your cuticle of your hair is, like, wide open and, like, ready to take on, like, the nutrition. And your skin is also very, like, open. So put those moisturizing properties and the conditioner, like, right on those roots and let it sit for a second. That’s also going to help with driving the moisture in. And then the other thing would be to try not to, like, overly wash and stimulate the scalp. If you’re, like, a daily washer, that might exacerbate the dry scalp and, like, the excess dandruff. So, like, definitely use a pre-wash scalp oil and I think try not to, like, overstimulate oil production by overwashing.
And then also this is, like, random but, like, if you do have dandruff and you’re just kind of going through it, like, this kind of goes without saying, but, like, try to stick with colored tops. Like, don’t wear, like, you know, jet black ones. And if it does highlight and you are just, like, wearing your black outfits and fuck them, everybody’s seen a little bit of dandruff before, you’ll be fine. Everything’s fine. We’re all hot, sexy sluts. Even if we have dandruff sometimes, we’re fucking human! Wait, I didn’t mean to say that we’re hot, sexy sluts to you, Dr. Jessica Hernandez. I’m just sorry I freaked out. I love you so much. Well, I guess you can be, like, a doctor or a scientist and, like, a hot, sexy, I’m not gonna say slut in reference to Dr. Jessica Hernandez that doesn’t, does that feel right? I love you, Dr. Hernandez. Thanks much for coming on Getting Curious. I hope you still love me. And maybe we’ll edit that out, maybe we’ll keep it in, we’ll see how it feels. We can be a multitude of people and things. Those are really good question, though. So now to answer our next question, as Zara, our associate producer, Azhar Krim, making their debut, I literally get a year or so ago that they’re going to come over to this very microphone because we’re literally in the same room. Welcome to the show, Zahra, who’s going to be asking:
Zahra Crim [00:18:13] Hi, this is Zahra. I’m making my audio debut. So we have received two excellent questions about dry shampoo. The first one is from Mackenzie in Missouri. What’s the deal on dry shampoo? Do you recommend?
JVN [00:18:26] Ah! [CLAPPING] Zahra, you have, like, a really good voice for radio. Get out of here. I do like dry shampoo, but everything has its time and place. So dry shampoo is a great tool to absorb excess oil or absorb excess product. It’s meant to extend the life of your blow dry. If you put on a little bit too much gel, put on a little bit too much product in your hair and you want to salvage that style. Dry shampoo can be really great for, like, just absorbing any excess stuff in the hair. Where I think a lot of people go wrong with dry shampoo, the mistakes that I see with dry shampoo most often are: one, not knowing how to, like, work the dry shampoo into the hair. Generally speaking, you’re going to want to concentrate the dry shampoo on your scalp. I like to go through in sections and, like, use my finger and kind of pick up, like, every two to three inches throughout the scalp. Like, you pick up rows of your hair and, like, you do want to try to hold it like an arm’s distance away, like, don’t hold it, like, right up to your scalp. Try to spray the dry shampoo towards your roots. That’s where it gets, you know, the most build up and gets the flattest. And where you can see that the hair is kind of oily.
Really use your fingers to, like, massage it throughout your scalp, work the product in, you want to concentrate around your face and throughout the crown. Then you want to get on the sides in the back, too. If your hair is curly and you’re using the dry shampoo, you’re obviously not going to want to take, like, a paddle brush and, like, brush it through your curly hair. Unless you’re really wanting to rocket big, you’re going to want to use more of, like, your fingers and really, like, massage it into your scalp and then do, like, a reviving mist for your, like, day two curls. But then you’re going to want to take a paddle brush if your hair is straight. Brush it all throughout your scalp. Then you’re going to want to even take a blow dryer and, like, really work it into the hair. And that’s really how you activate dry shampoos and make it so that you don’t just have, like, a plume of powder, like, right on your scalp.
If you ever see someone with, like, chunky, like, white powder on their scalp, it’s not cocaine. It’s probably not dandruff. It’s probably just, like, unworked in dry shampoo and who’d have, like, that much cocaine sitting on top of their head? That would be, like, a shitload of money, I’m sure. But the thing is, is that like, it’s not you just, like, spray it and then you walk out, like, you got to like work it into the hair. The other big mistake that I see with dry shampoos is, like, relying on them too long. If you are on, like, day 15 and you’ve got white powder falling out of your scalp when you turn to the right too fast, you need to wash the hair. What would your face look like if you just kept spraying powder on it and not washing it for, like, ten and 11 days? It’s going to get bumpy. It’s going to get dermatitis, it’s going to be irritated. Your scalp is actually some of the most sensitive skin on your body, so you need to just wash your fucking hair. I think, like, up to, like, a week without washing is okay. I prefer, like, twice a week. I think that’s, like, the best balance, at least for, you know, my hair and for most clients’ hair. But you can go, like, a week for sure, but definitely, like, don’t be using dry shampoo to control oil production all day, every day for like two weeks at a time.
And then the second question was, “Hello, Miss Van Ness,” hot! “I have a question about dry shampoo. I’ve learned from recent recalls the dangers of high levels of benzene in many products.” You better work. “In addition I have asthma. So worry about butane as a propellant. I don’t want cancer or bad lungs.” Hello. “But I do want to keep my hair looking fresh between shampoos. I tend towards the oily side and I relied on dry shampoo between washes. What do you recommend?” There’s, like, aerosol ones and then there’s more, like, shake powder ones. Aerosol is going to be less environmentally friendly. The ones that are more like powder, shake-based, like you got to work them a little bit more, but I think that they last a little bit longer. I kind of prefer those kind. There’s one by Klorane that I like that you actually have to, like, physically pump the bottle. Like that’s what propels the powder out. It’s not like an aerosol based one and I actually really like that one. You can even just, like, do fucking straight cornstarch, I believe, like, not a ton, which is like put a little bit like work it through your roots. It’s going to give you, like, a similar vibe. I feel like I saw it on TikTok and it makes sense because it also, like, thickens up your hair. I love that question on dry shampoo.
That was a gorgeous start to our Q&A beauty episode. We’re going to take a quick break here from some of our favorite commercial sponsors, and then we’ll be right back after this. We’re back with some questions on hair thinning and hair loss. First, a question from a very special listener, Diane from New York.
Diane [00:22:58] Hi, Jonathan. This is Diane from New York. We have a lot in common. We both are really in love with the executive producer of your show, Erica. Oh, by the way, happens to be my granddaughter.
JVN [00:23:04] Oh, my God.
Diane [00:23:05] And we also have a birthday on March 28th. Just wanted to say hi. Let you know that I absolutely adore listening to the podcasts. They’re fun, they’re informative, and I’ve learned so much. But I do have a genuine question. I’m 87. My hair is thinning and I don’t use any particular products because I’m concerned about whether or not they can affect my health. So I’m wondering, since you’re an expert, if you can give me some guidance, if I should just live with it or if I should take some action. Hope to hear from you soon. Bye.
JVN [00:23:45] So, first of all, gorgeous. I’m obsessed. That’s only, like, the fourth person in my life I’ve met who has my same birthday. Fierce Aries queens. We’re obsessed. Also, I hope that Diane knows that Lady Gaga also shares her birthday. Ah, Erica, we love Diane so much. Okay. I do think that there are, like, certain products that are going to weigh down thinning hair and will exacerbate the look of your thinning hair. And there are certain products that are not great for the environment, volatile silicones, also some, like, PEGs that can interrupt the endocrine system and aren’t great as long as you’re going for a product that has, like, some attention to sustainability and like cleanliness of formula EWG certified or clean it Sephora certified. I think another way to look for that is, like, compared to the United States. Australia has way more strict guidelines for what can be sold there, as does the United Kingdom, Canada as well. So you can always look to see if some of your favorite brands are sold in other countries that have more strict guidelines than what the United States does to see if they pass those kind of more rigorous tests. But I do think that there are a lot of products that do have great formulas that can make your hair look and feel fuller and can also promote more robust hair growth.
Not to go back to it, I just love pre-wash scalp oil so much, pre-wash scalp oil, so good. Could not possibly hurt your health, it’s going to be amazing. Really good for the hair. Really good for the scalp. Also there’s amazing volumizing shampoos and conditioners which are really, really, really do help with, like, the overall appearance of volume and feeling of volume in the hair. Also, I think foams and mousse have become such a far away. We’re actually coming out with one at JVN Hair that I love. That’s a great clean formula. Ouidad has some great clean hair care formulas, some great mousses. There’s so many great mousses that can really bulk up the hair and just make it feel so much fuller. I am also curious about if Diane’s hair is color treated, if she’s all silver or if—, she colors it, right? Is it dark or light? Aw, she’s so cute! So I feel like she’s got, like, a good ass head of hair, though, too. So, like, we got to make sure of, like, how we talk to our hair. Like, your hair is gorgeous, and it’s like, maybe it’s, like, finer, like, as we get a little older, but like, you’re slaying it queen.
It could also be, and I do love blond for people that are, like, naturally grey because, it’s, like, just lower maintenance. But sometimes if the blond gets really light, it can, like, seem finer. But I also wouldn’t go, like, dark dark or, like, brown or anything, like, that because that’s so much maintenance on gray hair. But doing, like, a little bit of, like, honey in there or, like, putting a little bit more depth than the blond, but keeping it blond could also help thicken it up a little bit, but not darker. Just like more gold tones. But don’t highlight it. No highlighting. It can be good if you’re doing, like, a heavy highlight all over the head, so you can’t really see where they start and stop. But if you just do, like, a little bit of highlights on already fine hair, sometimes I feel like it, like, highlights the density of the hair. And even if you do do a highlight, like, tone it back so that it’s, like, almost the same color as the base color. So it’s just like tone on tone variation like not really visible PC highlights. Diane, that was such a good question, I love you so much! Ooooh, Harry! So Harry asks about traction alopecia. Let’s roll the voicemail.
Harry [00:27:07] Hi, Jonathan. My name is Harry. I’m calling because I was watching one of your videos and I saw that you mentioned traction alopecia. I recently have been losing hair at the front of my head and on the back because I didn’t follow your beauty advice and I would put a tight bun or ponytail on my hair after it’s wet. I was wondering if you could give some tips or some advice to combat traction alopecia? I’d really appreciate it. Love your channel and love your advice. Thank you.
JVN [00:27:43] Harry. Okay. Love you. I have a few thoughts. One of my thoughts is when I hear you saying, like, the front and back of your head, is that like the crown back of your head or like the underneath back of your head? If it’s the underneath back of your head or, like, behind your ears, then that sounds more like traction alopecia. Or it could be if it’s the front of your head in the crown of your head. It could be good to see a dermatologist to confirm that this is in fact traction, alopecia, and not hereditary or like any sort of, like, hormonal imbalance or anything like that. So with that being said, either way, tying your hair back wet into a tight ponytail or a tight topknot, not to shame you when you’re already down, but, like, why didn’t you fucking listen to me, Harry? Why didn’t you listen? Because you’re—, we can’t be doing that! And this is why:
When your hair’s wet, it’s going to be more elastic. It’s going to stretch more. When it’s dry, it’s going to not be as stretchy, not be as elastic. So when you stretch it, when it’s wet and you fasten in that position and then you let it dry, the hair is going to start to constrict in that fastened position. And if the tension is too tight, the hair is going to break because it can’t stay. That stretched as it dries. One thing that we can do is cut the hair a little bit. If you want to keep it long enough to put it up, that’s fine. But taking the weight off of the ponytail then takes the weight off of the hairline that’s supporting the ponytail. So going a little bit shorter is going to be helpful. If you don’t need to keep your hair up at all, what would be the best would just be like, go short. Take all the pressure off. Don’t be flicking it up at all. And just, like, let your hair rest. Also, if that’s, like, “Ah, no, like I want my long hair!” Then do, like, what I do and blow dry your hair or let it air dry, but get the moisture out of it. And then you could do, like, a center part and a low bun. So instead of like a ban on top of your head, do like a low slung bun with a center part. Or you could do a side part that gather your hair like the shape of your neck, not the top of your head. And that takes a lot of the pressure off your front hairline, then doing like a pre poo treatment to strengthen your hair and also make sure that your scalp is as healthy as it can be is going to be helpful, like a pre-wash scalp oil, I know we’re talking about it a lot, but it’s, like, so good for so many different reasons.
But also you could do something more aggressive than that from the dermatologist, I think for traction alopecia, sometimes they do like steroid injections into the scalp. There’s hair transplants which are getting better and better and better with technology. There’s also these like things where they, like, take, like, your blood and then they’ll explain the platelets and then, like, inject that into, like, the places where you lost hair. So there are more medical advances that are happening more and more every day to treat these issues. But some of those other suggestions that I made as far as, like, going shorter, don’t do a top by and do like a low slung bind or just take all that off and let it rest are going to be really helpful. And then also for hair that’s experiencing alopecia, doing more of, like, a strengthening shampoo conditioner and then like a volumizing shampoo conditioner is, I think, going to yield you your best results because as your hair is getting finer, you’re going to want to keep the hair that you do have as strong as possible. So it’s not breaking from, like, putting it up or heat styling it. So I hope that helps. We love a dermatologist and we love you, Harry, and it’s going to be okay and you’re hot no matter what your hair is. You’re I’m saying you’re super hot no matter what the fuck your hair is doing. So remember that, Harry. And remember when you met Sally. Ah! Budump-sh.
Our next question comes from Jordan from Wisconsin. Jordan sent us a question that a lot of you have wondered about. Here it is. “Hello, Jonathan and Getting Curious fam. My name is Jordan. I am from Wisconsin and I have a question that I’d like to submit for the Q&A call. I’m always embarrassed to go get my hair done because I have trichotillomania. I know trichotillomania well, which is a form of OCD that causes me to pull my hair, pick up my head, etc.. I find that once I start, it’s hard to stop even if I have things to do or it is painful. Do you have any tricks or tips on how to combat this? I have a horrible habit of picking at my split ends too, so I feel like I’m every hairstylist. Worst nightmare. LOL. Thank you in advance. I’m a longtime listener of the pod and I’m excited to hear this episode.”
I have had so many clients over the course of my career who have struggled with trichotillomania. I think the first thing I would say is that you’re not alone. You’re a fierce bitch. All of us have our things. It’s like my old drag mother used to say, like, every girl’s got to have her hobby. You know, everybody has something that they’re going through. And this is the thing that you’re going through and you’re still a hot, sexy bitch, even if you have to tell a fuckin maniac. So with that being said, when you rip that little follicle thing out like that little white bulb, I think it’s called the papillae. Your body’s got to, like, remake that. So it takes, like, a really long time. And once you atrophy, that enough and you rip it out enough once your spots get. To that space where they are like. So no here that it’s almost like the back of your hand. Eventually it can start growing back because it’s just too much trauma to the skin. So again, like, a dermatologist is a good thing here.
But also, I think therapy could be really good. Hypnotherapy is something to try. Acupuncture is something to try. Mindfulness meditation or something to try. Even like an acceptance or a like affirmation practice. One thing that comes to mind for me like not to compare trichotillomania to getting off meth, but I’m gonna emotion filled therapy. It’s like this thing called tapping. There’s therapists who are, like, certified in emotion filled therapy, but it basically just, like, brings unwanted feelings. I used it for drug cravings. A lot of people use it for cigaret cravings. It’s for any, like, unwanted behavior. And you can tap when you’re having the impulse to do something, and it might not get you away from it immediately. But it’s at least a practice that you can get into that can give you more resources and tools to help to heal that part of you that’s talking. It is like a form of OCD, which is a piece of the mental health world. So I think having a therapist to help you have more resources on how to deal with, like, onslaughts of trichotillomania could be really helpful.
And then also making sure that you’re, like, taking care of the scalp or the parts of your hair that you are pulling off. If it’s your eyebrows, like you could do some castor oil on your eyebrows, which will help to regrow eyebrow hair. It also will help to strengthen your eyebrow. Here is that you do have. So you could, like, apply some, like, oil or, like, brow-enhancing serum for your hair on your head. You could do like a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to try to give, like, more volume and body to the hair around your spots. You can camouflage it a little bit more. You could also do, like, topics powder depending on what your hair color is and depending on where your spots are. I don’t know if you can control, like, where you pick, but like a lot of my clients who had like trichotillomania, like they were able to, like, kind of hide it like, like more underneath. It’s like, not right, literally, like straight on top of your fucking head. But I think the biggest thing is, is to know that, like, you’re worthy, you’re beautiful, you’re worthy of love. Like there’s nothing wrong with you that’s really important. Hold on to your. Thank you so much for asking that question and for being vulnerable with us. And congratulations on reelecting Governor Tony Evers! Our next question is a voicemail from Trish.
Trish [00:35:09] Hi, Jonathan. I love you so much. I saw you in Madison, Wisconsin, and we got Tony Evers elected. So I’m very happy. My question for you is, I am a white woman with no hair. I have male pattern baldness and it’s embarrassing and I would love some help. I’m trying to figure out how to make myself look a little more beautiful. It’s really sad to be a woman with no hair. If you have any chance of reaching out to me, I would really appreciate it. I would love to hear from you. I’m sorry I get teary, but it really is hard to be a woman with no hair. Thank you. I love you. You make me very happy. Have a great day.
JVN [00:35:54] Oh, we love you, Trish. Thank you so much for asking us that question. So a few things. I don’t know if we call it, like, male pattern baldness, like, on anyone anymore. I feel like I need to figure out what the word is, but it’s basically just, like, genetic related, hereditary alopecia. It can happen to you despite your gender. It actually happens to everyone with age. Like everyone in my family loses their hair, like, I’m on borrowed time, genetically. So if you have, like, long hair on the sides in the back, but it’s not growing on top anymore. It’s getting really, really see through on top. Toppers are, like, giving, like, a chic toupee. There are these things that are almost like a little, like, cap that you just, like, kind of clip right on top of your natural hair and what you do have left. And then it kind of blends in with, like, your thicker hair on the sides and the back toppers come in every different color under the sun so you can get one that’s like closer to your natural color if you’re comfortable putting something on like that.
If your alopecia is to a point where like you really, really just, like, do not have very much hair on the sides or the back or like enough that like a topper would be helpful. What you could do is just fully lean into wigs, just like go to the wig store and like, try some on, get a wig or two. Then you literally can take your wig to your stylist and like, get your wig cut, get it right. Like how you kind of like have your stylist help you learn how to, like, put it on and stuff. Typically, the more expensive wig is up front, the longer it’s going to last. So if you get, like, a synthetic wig, that’s not super expensive, it’s not going to stand up to a cut as well, and it’s not going to last as long. But if you can get, like, a human hair wig, it will last longer. It’ll stand up. Better to being cut in, like, manipulated or, like, last longer. But honey, like, so many celebrities, so many people wear full wigs, have absolutely no hair. Like not enough hair to blood with the top or like they have to wear like a full on wig. And then also the thing to do to, I always think that, like, when I lose my hair, cause, like, I’m probably also going to lose mine, I’ll just, like, do more of a face, put a lip on. I’m going to do some lashes. I’m going to, like, accessorize a little bit more, and just really adorn my gorgeous head.
Get a little bit fun and creative with it, and take the time that you would have spent on your hair and do it on your face and express yourself in that way. Like, there’s always a way for us to express ourself. And I think that the more that you can invest in your relationship with yourself and the people around you, having that strong sense of support and community around you is important. And also there are so many support groups for people who are experiencing alopecia. And these toxic beauty standards that we hold people to and make people feel bad about, there are other people that are going through this. And you can get support out there, like, you’re not alone. If you watch the segment of Getting Curious on Netflix with Ayanna Pressley. She has alopecia totally. She like lost all of her hair like lashes, eyebrows, hair on her head, all of it. And she decided that she didn’t want to wear wigs. She speaks to it so powerfully and so beautifully. And I’ve seen women of lots of different races take that approach, just embracing their baldness, embracing their alopecia, and just rocking it. This world can be so cruel, but just know that you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are so worth love. You’re a hot bitch, Trish, with or without hair. You got this girl.
We have a question from Christine in Tipton, Missouri. My question is, “I have alopecia universalis and I hate wearing wigs. I usually go bald or where I bandana my head sweats a lot, like I’m a glass of ice water and there’s condensation on my head and wigs just get too hot to wear at work. My question is, can you recommend a somewhat affordable type of wig that is cooler or perhaps tips on starting bandanas or even dealing with my sweaty head, love you!” For a super sweaty head, and again, I’m not a doctor, but I do believe that you could do Botox throughout your head to reduce sweating like it is a treatment for it. It really will, like, reduce the sweating like Botox in your armpits, like, hyperhidrosis. I do feel like wigs are just hot as shit. They just are, like, I’ve never worn a wig where I was, like, “Oh, this is so breathable and comfortable.” Actually, that’s a lie. I did recently wear this one wig for this one thing that I can’t tell you guys about yet, but when you see it, you’re going to laugh really hard if it makes the edit of the thing that I did. So we’ll see.
But I did wear this, like, a short cropped wig and it was actually very comfortable and very breathable. You don’t need to have a wig that’s, like, super duper long and you can get away with, like, a cute little short one that has, like, a little swoopy fringe or something. So it covers the hairline nicely. So you got to worry about keeping that perfect. That could be nice. I’d just do, like, a cropped, more short human hair wig. Christine, one thing that you could do, really chic wraps. Like there are so many, like, really cute wraps that, like, aren’t bandanas, but they’re just like scarf wraps and they’re, like, way more lightweight and way more breathable. And you could rock that. And I think that should set you up for success. Thank you so much for your question, Christine. And I love you to pieces and you’re amazing and thank you so much for submitting your question to Getting Curious!
And now we are, like, to our literal last question of the accelerator. This is, like, the most fun episode of all time. And our last question today is from Erin, who asks, “When will you be having Tina Lasisi back on? Her episode was one of my favorites,” and mine, too, “you are both so excited and your joy was infectious.” I love Dr. Tina Lasisi so much I can’t stand it. If you haven’t experienced the joy of Timeless. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. We’ll be rereleasing her episode of the show next week, Queens, so you got to catch up on that one. It’s, like, literally so good. It is like a highlight of 2022 for me. Thank you so much again for everyone who called, texted or sent their questions on social media. We’re going to be answering more of your questions related to the podcast and beauty, whoopsie! Because I talked a lot today would be in a few weeks as we celebrate our 300th episode of the show, and we’re going to leave our listener line open in the hopes of doing more episodes like this in the near future. It was so much fun. You can find more information at Jonathan Van Ness dot com.
You’ve been listening to Getting Curious with me, Jonathan Van Ness, our guest this week was me and all of you gorgeous listeners. Hearing from you all has nourished my soul like a deep moisture mask and I just love it so much. This really was so much fun. If you’re still curious about beauty, you’re in luck. Over the next two weeks, we’re re-running not one but two episodes, celebrating beauty from all angles, from science to history to self-care. We’ve got it all. You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @curiouswithjvn. Even our theme music is Freak by Quin. Thank you so much to her for letting us use it. Our editor is Andrew Carson. Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Gotto, and Zara Crim.
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