The Life Complex® is a breakthrough formula developed by Van Thomas Concepts incorporating three vital ingredients to restore hair and skin to their best possible health.

Keratin Protein – Hair and skin is made mostly of keratin, which we lose every day. Restoring this powerful protein is crucial to repairing daily damage.

Silk Protein – Silk is used to help rebuild hair’s strength and elasticity, and lock in moisture. Known for its ability to hold thousands of times its weight in moisture, silk helps to prevent hair and skin from drying out.

Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is added because it is most similar to the body’s natural oil. It conditions the skin to create a healthy scalp; and healthy hair grows from a healthy scalp.

These three key ingredients make up the Life Complex™ and are infused into every one of our products. So with every shower, you’ll replenish the nutrients your hair and skin needs to look and feel its best.

Why is “sulfate-free” important?

Sulfates are a cleaning agent that can pull color from the hair.
Sulfate-free shampoos are color-safe and will help your color last longer.
Sulfate-free shampoos are also beneficial to those that do not color their hair because it is a milder, gentler shampoo.

Are there any products I can use to repair split ends?


A lot of products claim they can fix split ends. The reality is, once the tip of your hair splits, there is nothing you can do to fuse the ends back together. The only solution is to trim them off.

What can I do to help my hair grow faster?

Unfortunately, nothing can increase the speed at which your hair grows. If you are trying to increase the length of your hair, the best advice is to continue trimming your hair on a routine basis to prevent split ends and maintain an even length. Every six weeks, take just a 1/16 of an inch off the ends. Attempting to grow your hair long without trimming will result in very uneven growth and severely damaged ends. Avoid cutting more off the end by keeping hair trimmed and healthy. By using a product like the Van Thomas Concepts hair care line you can reinforce protein-rich and healthy growing hair.

Does blow drying cause damage?

Yes. So learning to minimize the damage is very important. When selecting a blow dryer for home use, find one with cool, medium and hot settings. Also, use the air directive nozzle that comes with the dryer to concentrate the airflow. Never hold the dryer in one place too long (this also applies to curling irons and flat irons), and be careful not to over-dry. Applying a protective glaze prior to any styling helps protect your hair from heat, UV rays, irons, etc.

Why is rinsing my hair with cool water a benefit?

Rinsing with cool water does a few things. The scalp has pores just like the skin. A cool rinse helps close the pores of the scalp as well as the cuticle layer of the hair. The result of a closed cuticle is more shine and more protection.

How often should I shampoo my hair?

Quite simply, whenever you feel it is dirty. This may be daily, every two days, or once per week; you know your hair and you know when it is necessary.

Do I need to shampoo my hair before I condition?

With the Van Thomas Concepts’ line of products, people are saying they can go longer between shampoos. So the Christine Conditioner is perfect for use between washes. Our conditioner (and protective glaze) is water-soluble, meaning it can rinse off easily in water.

However, some other brands (especially their styling products) are shampoo-soluble. So unless you shampoo regularly, you run the risk of build-up. Please consult your brands for more information.

What’s the difference between a regular conditioner and a reconstructive conditioner?

A regular conditioner works primarily on the outside of the hair. A reconstructive conditioner does everything a conditioner does (detangles, adds shine) but also has proteins that penetrate deep into the strands. These proteins help restore the structural integrity of the hair by replenishing the missing nutrients and proteins of damaged hair.

I would like to save some money. Can I use soap (normally used for skin) to wash my hair?

Any cleanser can clean the hair but many soaps contain harsh cleansing agents that can make your hair dull, dry and lifeless. You will be happiest with your hair if you don’t skimp on what you use to wash and condition it.

Can you wash your hair with conditioner?

No, unless it contains a cleansing agent. That would only relate to 2 in 1 shampoos (shampoo and conditioner in one bottle), which can be counterproductive. Conditioners should be water or shampoo soluble. So, the cleansing agent in a 2 in 1 shampoo is working to remove the conditioner before it can do its job. You will have the best results if you shampoo, rinse thoroughly and then condition separately.

If I pluck one gray hair, will two grow back?

It is a myth that plucking out one gray hair will cause more to grow. Pulling out that one gray hair will only grow that one back. If you only have a few grays, you can pluck them. There is no need to start the coloring process for five to six hairs that have lost their pigment. The problem with plucking is that the gray hair (just one) will grow back, leaving you with a short, wiry gray hair rather than a long one. So if you have more than a few, coloring or embracing the gray is the way to go.

I go out in the sun and I color treat my hair. Is there anything I can do to help my color not fade?

Yes. The UV rays in the sun are lifting the color. Routinely applying any hair product containing a sunscreen before you go out in the sun will drastically reduce the amount of UV damage to the hair.

What can I do about oily hair?

Hair doesn’t secrete oil; it comes from the oil glands in the scalp. So it’s best to start at the scalp. When washing, you might want to try leaving the shampoo on your head for at least three to five minutes. Using products that contain jojoba oil or similar ingredients can help regulate the amount of oiliness you have in your scalp.

Is it true if you braid your hair that it will grow longer?

No. The pulling sensation that braids make won’t make your hair grow any faster. Most people grow about a half an inch of hair a month. Growing anymore than you are already genetically disposed to is not a possibility at this point. Wearing your braids too tight can actually cause the opposite effect of hair growth: Hair loss (Traction Alopecia).

Are your hair care products okay for both men and women to use?

We’re happy to say our products don’t discriminate! Your hair will look great no matter what your gender, race or creed.

Can I leave conditioner in my hair?

It is important to read the label carefully. In general, a conditioner needs to be rinsed unless otherwise indicated. Some conditioners are called “leave-in” conditioners and they will say so on the package. Rule of thumb: if in doubt, wash it out.

Can what I eat make a difference in how my hair looks?

What you put in your body shows on the outside. If your body doesn’t get the essential vitamins and minerals, it can make your hair look dull and thin. It can stop growing altogether or even fall out!

A well-balanced diet is important for keeping hair shiny and strong! Fruits and vegetables (especially ones with antioxidants or iron-rich green ones like spinach) will do wonders for your hair!

Protein is also an important part of your diet and health of your hair. If you are a vegetarian, some healthy alternatives to meat include soybeans, nuts and lentils.

What causes damage like split ends?

Many things can cause damage or split ends to your hair. Some of the top culprits:

Chemical Treatments (permanents and coloring), hair brushes, combs, frequent use of clips and rubber bands, Styling Aides (curling irons, hot rollers, blow dryers, etc. -some may take longer to cause damage), and your environment (sun, weather, chlorinated pools, salt water, etc.).

In typical cases, long hair will be exposed to more causes of damage than shorter hair leading to greater potential of damage. It is also harder for the natural oils of the scalp to reach the ends of long hair to help protect them.

To prevent damage:

1. Hair is most fragile when wet so be gentle when brushing, combing, or styling it – We suggest using a wide tooth comb.

2. Keep up on your haircuts. Damage begins at the ends of the hair, so trimming 1/16 of an inch every 4-6 weeks is all you need.

3. Use a good conditioner and protective glaze to help protect hair.

Why do I need conditioner?

Think of conditioning your hair like putting moisturizer on your skin. You want to protect your hair from becoming dry or brittle. Conditioners also help your hair look its best by smoothing the open cuticles of damaged hair. Since damage is more obvious at the ends of your hair, it is especially important to make sure you condition them too.

Can I have buildup from using too many products?

Some products are water-soluble. Others are shampoo soluble. It is possible that the shampoo soluble products can cause some buildup in between shampoos. However, any product ingredients that are left behind usually have a critical function for damage protection, style foundation or holding power. Quite simply, they are designed to preserve your hair’s health. So don’t worry. Use as many products on your hair as you feel you need. Your hair should resist any buildup with regular shampooing.

How can I remove hairspray build-up?

Any shampoo should remove hairspray from the hair. However, if you find that your shampoo is not quite doing the job, consider trying a clarifying shampoo. Please keep in mind that clarifying shampoos are not meant for daily use. They should only be used periodically as they can dry out the hair with overuse.

Why is the pH of hair care products important?

Anything can have a pH measurement, as long it contains water. pH is an abbreviation for the “potential hydrogen” of a liquid. To put it briefly, pH is the degree of acidity or alkalinity in a substance and is measured on a scale from zero (strongly acidic) to 14 (very alkaline.)

To avoid being overly acidic or alkaline, most mild personal care products fall between pH 4 – pH 9.

What are the white dots on the ends of my hair?

If you are seeing white dots on the end of your hair, then it is time to get a hair cut. These white dots can be the beginning of split ends. Since the frayed ends are the most porous part of the hair, the white you are seeing is a buildup of products caught in these porous ends. If you are seeing white dots, it is probably because you have not had a trim in a really long time.

I’ve always heard that you can “train” hair to stay in place and away from your face by brushing it into place multiple times a day. Is this true?

Unfortunately this is just another old myth with no basis. Hair grows out in a distinct direction and pattern. No amount of “training” will change that. It’s best to get a haircut and style that works with the direction of you hair growth and type.

Is it better to wash your hair with cold water? I know that rinsing your hair with cold water helps to make it shinier, but would shampooing with cold water make my hair look even shinier and healthier?

No. Using cold water to shampoo may reduce the effectiveness of your cleansing. Cold water can make the oils become thicker and harder to remove. The use of warm water shampooing, however, with a cool water rinse, has the effect of helping to remove extra oils and soils and then closing the pores of the scalp. This helps slow natural sebum release and tightens the cuticles to hold in the moisture and conditioning agents in the products you used.

Do hair products expire? If so, how do you know when they are no longer good?

As a general rule of thumb, unopened hair care products have a shelf life of three years. This drops to 18 months once the product has been opened. This is because the customary gels, creams, and pomades that are applied to the hair come in contact with the skin and can become polluted by bacteria and moisture. This accelerates their breakdown.

Spray products and aerosols last longer because they are sealed within their containers and don’t have opportunity for contamination.

Of course, the area where you keep your products also plays a key role in their longevity. Hair care products should be stored in a cool, dry place. If you live in a house without central heat and air, you may find that your hair products will deteriorate faster in the summer months. Also, avoid storing products near heating sources like radiators, or near dryer vents and water heaters.

What is Jojoba Oil and what does it do to hair?

Jojoba oil is extracted from the bean seed of the jojoba plant found in the desert of the American Southwest. Jojoba oil is very similar to the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in human skin.

Jojoba contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Specifically, it has vitamins A, D and E and is very nourishing to the skin and hair.

Because of its similarity to human sebum, jojoba is excellent for all skin and hair types. Its small molecular size allows it to penetrate both skin cells and hair cells easily. Also, jojoba does not spoil unlike some plant and animal products used in cosmetics and hair care products. It is used to dissolve the sebum in clogged pores of the hair follicle. This promotes new hair growth and healthier-looking hair.

What is the difference between a hair reconstructer and a deep conditioner?

They are different products that serve similar but distinctly different purposes.

A reconstructer contains proteins and is designed to help restore the structural integrity of the hair. These proteins fill in the cortex and smooth out the cuticle layer. The result you’ll see: shiny, manageable hair.

A deep conditioner penetrates deep down and adds moisture to the hair. On the other hand, the moisture won’t do anything to help repair damage. The repair comes from the reconstructer.

Why do most hairdressers wear black?

You wouldn’t think it, but there are some very specific reasons that many hairdressers, and salons in general, choose black as a uniform color for their staff:

Black is a timeless color and is usually good for a wide range of body types. It is slimming and creates a stylish esthetic that many people take for granted.

Black is a neutral color and doesn’t alter the take on colors placed near it. Consequently, a hairdresser wearing black can stand behind her client, and look at them in the mirror and know that they are seeing an actual depiction of the client’s color. Wearing any other color might make the client’s hair appear altered because of the refraction of the light and color in the hair.

Black is also a high-contrast against lighter hair colors. This allows the client and hairdresser to see the silhouette that is created by the cut and style more readily. In cases where the client’s hair is darker, the stylist will often stand to the side so that the dark hair doesn’t meld into the backdrop of the hairdresser’s black clothing.

How will iron in my water affect my hair color?

Drastically. Iron leaves a residue on your hair just as it does in the toilet bowl. So, your hair color will be affected negatively. Red hair colors will turn orange. Dark hair colors will color unevenly and have a tendency to be dull and lifeless. Blonde and gray hair shades will take on a brassy tint. The brassiness will vary depending on how much iron is in the water. Your best bet is to keep your locks out of the water until you get a water softener.

I wash my hair daily and it is really starting to dry out. Please help!

If you shampoo your hair everyday without using a good conditioner, it is very possible your hair can become overly dry. Work in a good conditioner into your showering routine and your dry hair should become a thing of the past.

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