How Dr. Gaby Longsworth Is Changing The Way We View Curly Hair Products & Their Connection To Our Overall Health

In this post you will learn how to take care of curly wavy hair, as well as what to look for in the ingredients list of curly hair products and more. Tune into the podcast or view the transcription now!


Dr. Gaby Longsworth with curly natural hair


Updated June 3, 2023– In today’s episode, I sit down and catch up with Dr. Gaby Longsworth. She is a PH. D Scientist, Certified Hair Practitioner, Biotech/Pharmaceutical Patent Attorney and the owner of the natural hair blog Absolutely Everything Curly.

Dr. Longsworth had a natural desire to learn why certain hair products worked well for her hair but others did not, so she started devouring scientific articles about hair, reviewing hair products, and understanding ingredients, all while scouring the web for information. After realizing the amount of misinformation and the disappointing marketing tricks companies used, Dr. Longsworth is deeply passionate about sharing her knowledge and research while continuing the movement of cherishing, embracing, and discovering natural beauty.

Through her blog Absolutely Everything Curly, Dr. Longsworth created the unbiased and science-backed go-to source, for people with all types of curly and wavy hair. Absolutely Everything Curly is a subscription-based educational space, created to help those with all types of hair textures to discover and embrace their hair in its natural form while saving time and money in the process.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How toxic ingredients in hair products can affect your overall health over time
  • The different marketing tricks used by companies to get consumers to buy products that can still be harmful
  • How to use Absolutely Everything Curly as a database for finding a curly hairstylist near you in the United States, Canada, the UK and the Middle East.

I had such a great conversation with Dr. Longsworth and I know you’ll enjoy it too, so tune in now!

This post is all about how to take care of curly wavy hair.

Audio Transcription Of Episode with Dr. Longsworth:


Hair’s The Scoop  3:17 

You’re a Ph.D. scientist, a certified hair practitioner, a patent attorney, and the owner of a natural hair blog ‘Absolutely Everything Curly.’ But before we get into all of that, let’s get into products and ingredients because this is super important.

So, let’s talk about endocrine-disrupting chemicals, we’ll start with that. What are they, and what should we be aware of?


Dr. Longsworth  3:41 

Okay, that’s a super good question. So endocrine-disrupting chemicals are basically mimickers. They kind of mimic the body’s natural hormones or they can also interfere with the hormones that are made by our glands and our organs. And this is collectively usually referred to as the endocrine system.

They can be both natural or they can be man-made EDC and the reason why they’re referred to as endocrine disruptors is because they are linked with certain problems such as developmental problems, reproductive problems, immune problems, and other similar problems. Very important.


Hair’s The Scoop  4:27 

Yes. And are there any specific ones because you mentioned there are natural and synthetic, like, would we see natural hair products have a naturally made endocrine disrupting chemical, and then be labeled natural?


Dr. Longsworth  4:42 

Yeah. I don’t think this is well-known by a lot of people. And I’m only aware of it because I saw some of the studies that some essential oils, which we typically believe are all natural and healthy, but some essential oils such as lavender oil and tea tree oil, very popular, have been shown to have estrogenic and anti-androgen components.

They’re complicated oils, so it’s not like there’s a single ingredient in there. Within the oil, there are all kinds of chemicals. And researchers have noticed that when lavender oil and tea tree oil, for example, are used early on, in infants, that some of the infant girls develop early breast development, and the same with boys.


Hair’s The Scoop  5:37 



Dr. Longsworth  5:38 

Which is terrible, right? So it’s knowing about these things that will make a person or informed consumer to be aware of what the ingredients, the EDCs are and how to avoid them during certain time periods.


Hair’s The Scoop  5:52 

And that’s so interesting because a lot of women and men who suffer from hair loss, you’ll Google and the first thing you’ll see is, “Use lavender essential oils, and tea tree,” and things like that. But, I guess, they can interfere with things, so that’s very insightful.


Dr. Longsworth  6:11 

That’s right. Now maybe it’s less of an issue as an adult, but still very important to know because a lot of baby products often have lavender in the title. It’s like this nice, soothing, natural lavender body wash.


Hair’s The Scoop  6:29 

Right. What are some of the key ingredients that are linked to be contributing factors of certain health conditions in hair products, such as fibroids, cancer, or preterm birth, that we should be familiar with?


Dr. Longsworth  6:41 

The most common one that is well known out there are phthalates. They’re spelled P-H-T-H-A-L-A-T-E-S. They’re a group of chemicals. And the issue is that they’re used in a whole host of products.

Not just hair products, but also toys, baby toys, vinyl flooring, detergent, food packaging, other personal care products, and cosmetics. So, in a lot of nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, they’re everywhere.

And they have been linked in studies to issues with early, again, early or abnormal development of sex organs. So, this is a big one, which is why, oftentimes, in hair products, it will say, ‘phthalate-free,’ or it will say that the fragrance is phthalate-free, and I’ll get back to the fragrance issue, I think, later on.


Hair’s The Scoop  7:50 

Yeah, you can talk about that now.


Dr. Longsworth  7:53 

Okay, great. So, the thing is that, with ingredients on cosmetics, there are regulations that require manufacturers to list the ingredients that are in the product, and typically, from the highest concentration to the lowest concentration, however, the fragrance, you do not need to specify what is in your fragrance.

And so, everything else can be phthalate-free, but the fragrance may still have phthalate in there, which is a problem. So, unless it says that the fragrance is phthalate-free, and, of course, you can see that the rest of the ingredients are fine, that’s the only way you would know that you don’t have phthalate in your hair products.


Hair’s The Scoop  8:37 

Yeah. Because that goes into another question I had, which was, do companies have to list everything that a hair product is composed of?


Dr. Longsworth  8:45 

They do not have to list every single item. They do have to…


Hair’s The Scoop  8:51 

And they can still put a natural label on it?


Dr. Longsworth  8:55 

Absolutely. They can still put a natural label on it because, if the ingredients are natural, even though they may have issues, they could put that label on there. That’s right.

So, this is why a lot of folks who are sensitive, or have allergies, or other sensitivities, and try to use fragrance-free products, they ended up not having those allergies and sensitivities because there are a lot of things in the fragrance that may cause issues.

And we would not know as the consumers because, like I said, the manufacturers do not have to list, they do not have to include what’s in the fragrance. That could be proprietary.


Hair’s The Scoop  9:40 

Yeah. And which hair products on the market typically carry, I guess, I’ll say, the most of these toxic chemicals in your opinion? Is it like hair sprays, is it shampoos, which hair products?


Dr. Longsworth  9:53 

Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say, in my opinion, the worst ones are probably the bleaches, the chemical straighteners, the hair dyes.


Hair’s The Scoop  10:04 

Okay. Good to know.


Dr. Longsworth  10:07 

Yes. Those are pretty… We can sometimes tell. I’ve gotten chemical treatments, my skin burns, things are itching for a while, stuff like that. Of course, they can also be in the other generally used products like shampoos, conditioners, mousses, in some hair sprays, but not as much, in my opinion, as to other chemical alkaline treatments that have a whole host of issues, really.


Hair’s The Scoop  10:35 

Right. And why do you think the products with toxic ingredients are geared or are more marketed towards black women when compared to other demographics?


Dr. Longsworth  10:47 

So, I’m not sure if I agree with the statement that it’s geared or marketed specifically towards black women, to be honest, because permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners, for sure, are not health friendly, but the thing is that black women are more likely to use chemical hair straighteners compared to other racial groups, right?


Hair’s The Scoop  11:11

That’s true.


 Dr. Longsworth  11:12 

So, a lot of those hair products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can mess with hormones. So, there’s actually been a lot of studies done by scientists at the NIH, the National Institutes of Health, for example, that show that women who use permanent hair dye, which can be in a black and white women, but also chemical hair straighteners, which is typically black women, have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t.

This was a 2019 study. And I think it might be the first study that I saw that actually demonstrated it because there were some rumors going around, like, “Oh, if you use hair dye, you can get cancer,” but there was never a specific study that you could point to. But this study specifically pointed out, which is also one reason why I stopped coloring my hair, and I’m going gray.


Hair’s The Scoop  12:07 

Yeah, it’s beautiful too.


Dr. Longsworth  12:09

Thank you.


Hair’s The Scoop  12:12

Now, is there a difference, you think, between using the hair dye that requires bleaching and then just doing a rinse maybe, or like a gloss, or they’re all the same?


Dr. Longsworth  12:21 

Absolutely. There are so many levels of hair dye. There’s the temporary hair colors, which just sit on the outside of the hair, don’t have any kind of alkaline components, or any kind of harmful components, they wash out after a couple of weeks.

Those are fine, those are perfectly fine. Then there’s the semi-permanent, that gets a little bit more into the opening up the cuticle, and getting some alkaline components in there.

Still not as bad, of course, as the permanent, which I had been using for 20 years, coloring my hair for 20 years. So, the permanent ones are bad because just all the chemicals that are used, besides the fact that they damage the hair cuticle and the cortex of the hair, they also are associated with all these chemicals that are in hair dye, especially.


Hair’s The Scoop  13:11 

Yeah. And now we’re seeing a lot of people returning to natural. But there was a time where it was like clockwork, you get your hair relaxed, and you would color it too. And that was the thing.

So, I think people are possibly coming up with all these health conditions now. Like I know a lot of my friends, I’m in my ‘30s, and some of my friends, and they’re talking fibroids, and things like this, and endometriosis, and all that. So we’re seeing the effects because we started relaxing our hair from young.


Dr. Longsworth  13:45 

Exactly, exactly. And I know we’re going to get to it later, but this was exactly one of the reasons why I wanted to start my website to really educate women, to really understand what they’re putting on their hair and why it makes sense to go natural and how you can do it without sort of the hype.

There’s a lot of talk that it’s just way too difficult to go natural, and all this stuff, but it doesn’t have to be that way.


Hair’s The Scoop  14:13 

Yeah, it’s all mindset. We’ve been conditioned to think that we can’t, and you need a stylist, and you really don’t.


Dr. Longsworth  14:21 

Exactly. You really don’t. It’s easier, and you’ll save all this money.


Hair’s The Scoop  14:26 

Yeah, it’s so true. So, I want to get into the next question, which is, how long do harmful ingredients tend to stay in the body once they’re absorbed?


Dr. Longsworth  14:39 

So, of course, it depends on the chemical, some have a very long half-life, meaning they will stay around for a very long time. For example, there is EDC Bisphenol A or BPA. It’s commonly known as BPA, it’s found in plastics, plastic bottles, and all of this stuff, which, unfortunately, we use a lot of plastic water bottles in my house, but I’m worried about BPA.

But that can hang around for a very long time because, in some studies of folks in their 70s, they had measurable amounts in their blood. But then, sadly, luckily, sadly, as soon as you stop using them, the levels come down, so they have a shorter half-life. So, it really depends on the chemical, but some can stay around and sit in your fat layers.

A lot of the toxins are lipids-friendly, lipid-loving, and they will sit in your fat tissues, and then if you lose weight, all of a sudden, you get sick because all these things are exposed.


Hair’s The Scoop  15:44 

Right, I never thought about it like that.


Dr. Longsworth  15:47 

Mm-hmm. Yeah.


Hair’s The Scoop  15:48 

Why do these companies use phthalates? What is the purpose of a phthalate in a product, do you know?


Dr. Longsworth  15:56 

I believe that phthalates make the products most soluble. So, they have beneficial… Yeah, especially for, not so much I think for hair products, honestly, but for making bottles and things like that. It makes those [Inaudible 16:10] malleable and soluble so that it can form these different structures. And then, other things like triclosan is another one, it’s a preservative.

It’s an antimicrobial, so, of course, in a lot of products, they put antimicrobials in there. I see it sometimes in some hair products. Triclosan, avoid those because any preservative or anti-microbial likely has some sort of EDC in it. So, you have to be really careful.


Hair’s The Scoop  16:41 

And for… Because I’m pregnant, I’m sure for those who don’t know that, I’m pregnant. So, is there a link between the neurological effects on a fetus in utero and a mother who’s still using hair products with toxic chemicals during her pregnancy term?


Dr. Longsworth  16:58 

Unfortunately, there definitely is. So, sadly, for sure it has been shown that if the fetus is exposed to phthalates, it may be associated with fetal growth restriction, or smaller babies, which is bad.

And then, also, it may also set up the fetus, once later or after birth, and they’re sort of early adult, that they may have all kinds of issues that then come out, which is also extremely unfortunate.

Because it affects sort of sex steroid level, then it may affect the way the genitalia develop. So, that’s a big issue.

There’s a host of other EDCs that are not typically found in hair products, like lead, and mercury, and cadmium, and those types of things that also affect the immune system and inflammation. And then, there’s also paraben.


Hair’s The Scoop  18:06 

Right. I see that on the labels too. No parabens.


Dr. Longsworth  18:11 

For sure. Those are all preservatives. Now, I have to say, they are regulated.

From all the studies in Europe where they started really restricting how much of the parabens, for example, you could have in hair products, the amounts are very, very small.

So, the amounts that are allowed, they shouldn’t have a negative effect, but some people are exquisitely sensitive to Parabens. And so, any amount may have an effect.

And the thing is, we don’t know what the amount is in some of these hair products because there’s no percentages listed.

You just see a list of ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben. We don’t know how much is in there, so better safe than sorry, is what I say. And if there’s so many other options, why not take another product that doesn’t have these?


Hair’s The Scoop  19:02 

Exactly. Which is why you got to do your research, you got to take the time to find out where it’s being made and look at the ingredients list. So, what are some marketing tricks that companies use when it comes to hair care products?


Dr. Longsworth  19:20 

I think, predominantly, it’s in the name of the product. And this is kind of a little bit more general, but let’s say a product says, “Shampoo with peppermint and apple cider vinegar,” that’s somehow in the title. And then, you look at the list of ingredients, and you see that there is apple cider vinegar in there, but it’s almost towards the end of the list.

So, that means that’s a very small amount, probably so small, it’s not going to do anything, but it’s in the title. You may have bought the product because you wanted ACV in it. And then, when you compare it to another product that has a similar name, and you see ACV is listed in the top five, now that one truly has apple cider vinegar in it.

That’s meaningful. So, if you do not read the ingredients list, if you do not become familiar with it and treat it like your best friend, you’re just going to end up buying stuff that’s promised or won’t even work for you because you haven’t figured out ingredient lists. So important.


Hair’s The Scoop  20:25 

So, there’s a ton of things, typically, on an ingredients list, what the top number that we should be looking for when we’re looking at the list? Like, how many?


Dr. Longsworth  20:34 

Yes. I would say, after the first one, which is typically water or aloe, some sort of aloe, the first five after that. So, the first six, including the water, those are the ones that are typically present between like 50 to 85% of the total, and then everything else is in much smaller amounts.


Hair’s The Scoop  20:58 

So, this is an interesting question that I have, but why do you suspect that there’s been minimal lawsuits against these companies that clearly contain harmful ingredients even though we’re witnessing and living through the side effects, especially after the relaxer period, and things like that?


Dr. Longsworth  21:17 

Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think the main reason is because it’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly which ingredients, some hair products, or anything else are the culprit. There are over 85,000 chemicals in the world that we’re aware of, and they’re everywhere, as I mentioned.

So they’re in our food, they’re in our water, they’re in cosmetics we use, how would someone be able to prove that something in their hair product caused a certain issue? Now, if you have hair loss, or something like that, okay, maybe there is, it’s very targeted to the scalp and the hair, but it could still happen from anything else that you ate.

You know what I mean? Like, it could be… A lot of people say, “Okay, I’m not going to have parabens in my hair products, and I’m not going to have all these other things in my hair products,” but they don’t realize that they’re in their lipstick, they’re in their other cosmetics that they put on their face, so it’s still getting in.

Or they may even eat it. They may even eat all kinds of packaged foods, which have all kinds of bad things in there, including, perhaps, parabens, so you can get them in through so many other ways.

So, it’s very difficult to pinpoint. And some studies still don’t show definitively that they cause any harm. When you read the studies, they’re always suggestive. They’re like, “Well, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, we suggest you avoid these.” They never say, “This will cause X.” It’s always like correlations.


Hair’s The Scoop  22:50 

Yeah, that’s why I’m always surprised when I do see that on the label. And when I do see it, it’s usually from products that are outside of the US. Like if you’re getting something from elsewhere, l they’ll put it on the label, like, “These causes birth defects,” or something like that.


Dr. Longsworth  23:08 

Exactly. Yep. Yep.


Hair’s The Scoop  23:11  

So, what do you think needs to happen in order to get these products containing harsh chemicals off the shelves?


Dr. Longsworth  23:19 

Yeah. This one is a tough one because a lot of scientists are on board, a lot of endocrinologists are on board.

We have the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Toxicology Program, which is housed there, there’s the Environmental Protection Agency, they all have experts in-house that, literally, develop tests to detect substances that could interact with hormones, and then they have like… It’s on their website, they have huge lists, comprehensive databases from thousands of studies on how different substances interact with hormones.

So, they’re clearly trying to do all the research right to be able to say, “Okay, this should be the regulation and FDA, you should require XYZ.” But, if you think about it, it’s very difficult to regulate because this stuff is in our toothpaste, in our deodorant, in our polishes, in our makeup, it’s in everything.

So, you can’t outlaw plastic even though it has BPA, you can only say, “Try to reduce your use of BPA.” But if the government said “Okay, no more plastic and no more canned food,” we would all be in an uproar. What are we going to use?


Hair’s The Scoop  24:38 

I know. It’s hard even when they took the shopping bags away. It was like, “What?” (Laughs)


Dr. Longsworth  24:43 

Exactly. And then, the other issues, we talked about this earlier, with the straighteners, the chemical straighteners, if we said, “Okay, we’re going to remove all the chemical relaxers, straighteners, the bleaches off the market,” there would be even bigger uproar.


Hair’s The Scoop  24:58 

Yeah, you’re right about that.


Dr. Longsworth  25:01 

So, it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s very complicated.


Hair’s The Scoop  25:07 

So, in your opinion, what are some of the treatment options that could help someone who is losing or has lost their hair after years of damaging results from toxic chemicals?


Dr. Longsworth  25:18 

Right. So, I guess the first question would be, well, is it reversible? Is it reversible damage or is it permanent damage? If it’s permanent, that’s one thing, that’s the whole nother ball game.

But if it’s reversible, which typically it is, I would say some of the toxic chemicals, like, as we talked about earlier, that most toxic ones are the chemical straighteners, the bleaches, and all of that stuff, you would have to go natural, partially natural, or at least embrace natural.

Understand how to take care of your hair, which products to use, which ones to avoid. And really focusing on those brands and those products that are truly all-natural, organic, clean, and green, they’re not that hard to find. But you have to stop dyeing your hair, you have to stop chemically relaxing your hair, you have to stop bleaching your hair, do people really want to do that?

Are they going to do that? That’s my hope that they will. Because if you are truly… A lot of people are very healthy. They really watch what they eat, they exercise, and all these things, but they still put chemicals on their head. And your scalp is still skin.

So, it’s still seeping in that way. That’s really what you can do is you really have to stop doing the things that are causing the damage.


Hair’s The Scoop  26:41 

So, I like that you said that because, perfect example; my mom, once I went natural, she decided to go natural. And so, she stopped the relaxers, but she still continues to color her hair. And I try to tell her, “You’re not natural because you’re still using chemicals.”

Her concern is the gray. So, what are some key tips for women that are transitioning to gray? And you can tell us about your natural hair journey before you start that.


Dr. Longsworth  27:13 

Oh, okay. Yeah, well, one thing was my mom also, in her entire life, chemically straightened and colored her gray up until the day she died. So, that’s what I was… All my aunts did the same thing.

So, when I started spotting some grays in my 20s I was like, “Oh my god, I got to start coloring.” It’s just something you did. But, when I was a teenager, I actually grew up in a very tropical place in South America.

So, if it was tropical, it was humid, it was hot, and I only knew how to use sulfated shampoo, so you can imagine what my fro looked like. I had the giant frizz bow because I didn’t know what to do with it as a teenager.

And then, I started doing sort of relaxers, mild relaxers to try to get the curl to calm down, and I did the flat ironing, and the blow drying, and oh my gosh, all that stuff. Chemicals with dye, the itching, the black color under my fingernails.

I’m surprised it took me this long, honestly, to finally say, “Wait a minute, what am I doing?” And sort of started figuring out what products worked for my hair, and why they worked.

There’s a why behind it always. And then, now embracing the gray, and actually loving it. I didn’t realize I was this gray because I have been coloring for so long.


Hair’s The Scoop  28:44

It’s beautiful.


Dr. Longsworth  28:46

Oh, thank you. But some tips for women that are transitioning to gray. So, gray hair, first of all, it’s transparent.

It’s not actually gray, it’s transparent because you’ve lost the color, but it also means that it’s more absorbent than colored hair. So, that means if you use products that are not white in color, but are like yellowish, or purple, or some other colors, it can actually be in your hair.

Then it’s not white anymore, it may become literally gray, or other colors. It could become yellow, which is a big problem.


Hair’s The Scoop  29:28 

Like we use henna, I know a lot of people use henna.


Dr. Longsworth  29:32 

That’s right. And if you’re in the sun a lot with gray hair, it turns yellow a lot of times. It also, when you get older, which doesn’t necessarily mean because you’re older you’re gray, you could be great in your 20s, but typically, gray hair also the follicles make less sebum.

The scalp makes less sebum, so it’s a little bit drier. And if you have curly hair, that means you’re double dry because curly hair is already dry. So, gray hair needs a lot of moisture, a ton of moisture.

But typically, it can also be a little bit more low porosity, medium porosity because it’s healthy. You haven’t done any treatment to it, so the gray hair becomes healthier.

So, the techniques are really trying to get the moisture in and really sealing it in with an oil, healthy oil. Obviously not lavender or the other ones, but like a broccoli seed oil, that’s a really good one.

It actually acts like a silicone, but it’s not a silicone. And some other techniques like that.


Hair’s The Scoop  30:41 

What do you suggest for women who they want to feel comfortable wearing their gray out, but they just can’t get past that stigma of, “Oh, I feel like I look old”?


Dr. Longsworth  30:53 

Yeah, that’s definitely a mental process, I would say because, if your face looks young, it honestly doesn’t matter what color your hair is. It could be purple, blue.


Hair’s The Scoop  31:04 



Dr. Longsworth  31:04 

It could be anything. So, it’s really focusing on your skin, keeping your skin healthy, like hydrating, drinking tons of water, using the proper sunscreen all the time, putting your serums in the morning and your whatever other serums in the evening, really taking care of your skin. It’s for sure one thing.

But also, staying light at heart, like changing your lipstick. Maybe you never used a red lipstick, red looks great with gray hair. It looks awesome with gray hair. And changing the colors of your clothes. Forget the blacks and the grays, wear colorful clothes.

Fnd colors you love and embrace those. So, it’s like a mental thing on one hand. And if you truly cannot, you just cannot live with it, you can always do a fun, colorful streak with a temporary hair dye, like a purple streak, or a lavender streak, or a pink streak.

It looks amazing on gray hair.


Hair’s The Scoop  32:03 

Yeah, I’ve seen that before. So, you’re the founder of the hair blog ‘Absolutely Everything Curly.’ So, please talk to us about that and what your mission is with that blog.


Dr. Longsworth  32:17 

Oh, yes. It’s definitely a passion of mine. And I guess it started occurring to me when COVID started, which I can’t believe it’s been two years.


Hair’s The Scoop  32:30 

I know.


Dr. Longsworth  32:32 

Where I just had a little bit more time on my hands, I guess, because I didn’t have to travel. I used to travel to my office in Washington DC from Florida every other week.

So, I was at the airport a lot, and flying a lot. And that didn’t happen, so I had a little bit more time on my hands. And I started discovering sort of all these groups; Reddit, Facebook, whatever groups about curly hair.

And I was surprised how many women would say, “I tried these products, they don’t work. I don’t know what to do,” or, “I have wet frizz, I don’t know what to do.” “Please help me, please help me.”

It just seemed like there wasn’t really a place where women could go and get accurate, science-backed, unbiased information about how to take care of their natural hair. So, that was really my goal because I was doing a lot of research myself as a Ph.D. scientist.

I can dig into a lot of research and understand what I’m reading, and realizing that there’s just a lot of misinformation out there, out there in groups. And I wanted to make it as comprehensive as possible, the website.

So, that’s why it’s called ‘Absolutely Everything Curly’ because it’s about ingredients, how to read a label. It’s about techniques, styling techniques. It’s about hair care.

It’s about hair care problems. And then, as part of the website, I recruited my two teenagers. They weren’t that happy with me when I did that, but I put them to work all summer.

It took them two months, literally working on it every day, both of them, to basically prepare, develop a database of over 7,000 hair products with ingredients.


Hair’s The Scoop  34:23 



Dr. Longsworth  34:24 

So, it allows me to search for anything in this database, which is like 2,000 pages long. Yes. And, from that, I developed the ultimate guide. So, for example, let’s say you want a deep conditioner, but you have low-density hair and you’re allergic to coconuts, okay, how are you going to find something to try?

Either you have to ask people, try to search on Google. It’s not that easy to find because you can’t really search the ingredients list unless you dig into things.


Hair’s The Scoop  34:59 

Right. And it’s so time-consuming.


Dr. Longsworth  35:01 

It’s so time-consuming. So, I put together, I would search my database of 7,000 products, pull all the deep conditioners, which usually is about 100 you typically get of all these different brands and deep conditioners. And then, I put them in this ultimate guide. And then, I mark it up, like, this is for low-density hair, high-density hair. Is it curly girl method-friendly, if you’re into that? Does it have aloe, protein, coconut, etc, etc? So, you can very quickly scroll everything immediately, identify what might work for your hair, and see the ingredients, and then, go from that.


Hair’s The Scoop  35:41 

Wow. That’s a great idea, I love it. And thank you for incorporating that into your website. So, because I did go on the site and checked it out. It’s beautiful, I love it. But is it a subscription-based model? How does it work?


Dr. Longsworth  35:58 

Yeah, so there’s two ways. If you get a subscription to the site for a year, you have access to all the ultimate guides, we have a new one every month.

And with feedback, we could prepare any guide of choice because we have access to this database.

You also have access to the ‘Find a salon’ feature which has over 1,200 curly hair stylists and salons, vetted, that we’ve identified literally searching the web groups recommended by other people from the US, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and the Middle East.

So, it’s searchable. So, you get access to all of that for free if you get a subscription.


Hair’s The Scoop  36:38 



Dr. Longsworth  36:39 

And the subscription is only… It’s based on 2.99 a month, so $3 a month, but you do have to get it for one year because, if you get it for one month, you have access to everything, that kind of defeats the purpose.

If you don’t want to get a subscription, you can just… A lot of the ultimate guides are free, you can just download them for free. And then, some of the major ones that took quite a while to put together, like the kid’s hair products one, it’s over 200 kids products.

And I also indicated, are they cruelty-free, organic, etc, etc? Shampoos, conditioners, everything for kids. So, it’s like over 200 pages. That one, for example, you can purchase for 14.99 or 9.99, or 4.99. There’s different price ranges.


Hair’s The Scoop  37:25 

Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for that, I can’t wait to check that out.


Dr. Longsworth  37:30 

Awesome. Thank you.


Hair’s The Scoop  37:31 

And then, just to dive into you being a patent attorney. So, for all my people starting their businesses out there, when it comes to patenting, what’s the first step to take, and what are the key reasons why creators should consider patenting their products?


Dr. Longsworth  37:49 

So, let me answer the second part first. The key reason why a creator should consider patenting their product is because, if you don’t patent it, and it’s easy to duplicate, or replicate, then someone can just copy what you did. And then, they’re your competitor very soon after you launch your product, and you have no recourse.


Hair’s The Scoop  38:13 

Really, even with dates, and stuff like that?


Dr. Longsworth  38:16 

Even with dates. That’s right. If you do not have a patent protecting what you invented, there is no way you can stop someone. You have to have a patent to be able to enforce to keep someone else off the market. So, that’s if it’s something very easy to replicate, like a kid’s toy, a baby toy, or something like that.


Hair’s The Scoop  38:36 

So, these are more like physical products.


Dr. Longsworth  38:40 

Physical product. Let’s say it’s a hair product. You’ve come up with a hair product with a specific blend of ingredients, you have two options. One option is getting the patent. But if you get a patent, you have to disclose in your patent application everything that’s in this product and how you made it.

You do get 20 years, you get 20 years of exclusivity from the date you filed it once your patent issues, and then, you can enforce it against someone who’s trying to copy your product. But what if you don’t want to do that because you’re giving away the secret formula if you do that? So, let’s say you think to yourself, “It’s going to be fairly difficult for someone to figure out what’s in my product.

They’ve got to do some reverse engineering or try to do it, but they’re not going to be able to get the specific percentages of each specific ingredient. So, I’m going to take a chance and just keep it a trade secret, and hopefully, someone can’t figure it out.”

That’s typically the analysis that you do. Now, I have to say, for the most part, for many things, it’s fairly easy to reverse engineer. You can have it chemically analyzed, and if they can figure it out, what’s in this and they could still replicate it.

But, like, for example, Coca-Cola, that formula is still trade secret. Nobody has seen it or figured it out for over a hundred year. So, that’s the first thing. And it’s not cheap, typically, to get a patent. And if you have to enforce it, that’s litigation, that’s a very complicated, expensive process.

But if it’s something worthwhile, it’s worth getting a patent. Like the Puff Cuff. I use the Puff cuff when I go to sleep to put my hair in a ponytail. She has a design patent on that, which is super cool.


Hair’s The Scoop  40:36 

I think I did hear that.


Dr. Longsworth  40:39 

Yeah. So, like you said, it’s a physical product so you really need to get a patent, a design patent, or utility patent on that to be able to stop copycats. Otherwise, they just start making it, and pretty soon, they take over and you’ve lost your market.


Hair’s The Scoop  40:52 

And how easy is it to apply for a patent? Do I need to go out and get a lawyer, or is it something I can do online to just file? What do I do?


Dr. Longsworth  41:01 

Yeah. So, if you want a patent that’s worth something, you really need to talk to a professional, but there’s a lot of… The law is pretty specific on what you need to have in the application to begin with, and it’s not intuitive at all. If it’s something very, very simple, I think a smart person, you can talk to a lot of people.

You can actually probably put it together and try to file it with the patent office, and you are allowed, even if you’re not a patent attorney or a patent agent, you are allowed to prosecute, what we call, prosecute your patent application with the patent office if you’re the sole inventor, or sole person on it.

But typically, it’s very complicated, and you should definitely talk to a lawyer, a patent lawyer, or a patent agent.


Hair’s The Scoop  41:50 

Okay. Good to know, thank you for that. So how do you balance your work life with family life because you seem like a very busy woman?




Dr. Longsworth  42:02 

Oh, my gosh. Teona, I think I’ve lost that battle. There’s always five balls in the air, and I try not to drop any of them.

Very challenging. It’s really very challenging. Yeah, my full-time job keeps me very, very busy. And then, I kind of have my passion project, my website on the side.

And I try to get to that on the weekend in the evening, whenever I have a chance. But I love what I do, I think that makes the difference. I really love what I do. I’m so thankful to be alive. I’m thankful for my kids, my husband.

So, it’s just balancing out which fire do I need to get to first? Who needs my attention?


Hair’s The Scoop  42:51  

Right. But I love that, even though you’re busy working full-time, you still have time for your passion projects and making a difference out here. So, thank you so much. Dr. Longsworth, thank you so much for being on the show. I

t’s a pleasure. You’re very insightful. And we just want to say thank you for all that you’ve contributed to the community.


Dr. Longsworth  43:13

Thank you.


Hair’s The Scoop  43:14

You’re welcome. Please tell the listeners where they can find you on socials.


Dr. Longsworth  43:17 

I’m @absolutelyeverythingcurly on Instagram, on Pinterest, on Twitter, on Facebook. And my website is the same; So, please go and find us and follow us, please.


Hair’s The Scoop  43:36 

And are you taking clients, people who are interested in patents, or things of that nature?


Dr. Longsworth  43:44 

So, I’m trying to keep my professional life and job separate from my passion project because I’m a partner at the law firm, so everything would have to go through the law firm.

 I am interested in doing consultations for people on the hair side of things because I feel like I have finally figured out what works, why it works, how to do it, how to make your curls pop, how to make them last for five days, all of that stuff.

So, I am very interested in sharing my knowledge with folks who are interested and who could reach out to me on the website, on the contact page.


Hair’s The Scoop  44:28 

Oh, perfect. Dr. Longsworth, thank you so much. And until next time, bye.


Dr. Longsworth  44:34 

Bye-bye. Thank you so much for having me.


[End Of Audio]






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