Curly hair and Hot Rollers! Your new addiction.


I Love hot rollers for naturally curly hair! I have always been a fan of the retro glam mod, but with curly hair it goes to another level, and no matter how much I google “hot rollers curly hair” I don’t find much about the topic in the natural hair community, so I decided to make my own post.

Some iconic women who can really rock the hot roller sets:

Dita Von Tesse


Her hair is bone straight and she gets this beautiful results, imagine what you can do with naturally curly hair.

Angelique Noire


Simply gorgeous, adding diversity to the pinup scene.

After seeing these lovely ladies I hope I have motivated you to try this wonderful tool.

How to roller set:


Above is a standard illustration of the basic roller set, depending on what you want to achieve it can vary, but for begginers this is easy enough.

Part your hair in 3 sections right, middle, left and create 3 more subsections for a total of 9. Most hot rollers sets contain 20 or so rollers so you can then subdivide those 9 sections in 2, becoming 18. I use all 20 rollers, but Dita von Tesse recommends 24 (need to buy a few extra ones)

Hair must be clean and can be either air dried or blow dried. Blow drying gives sleeker results but if you dread heat a stretched air dried style or even a yesterday’s wash and go is ok. Use heat protector (oil based, since hair must be 100% dry before rolling).

Leave the rollers in place until they have cooled down, in the meantime eat breakfast, do your make up, pack up lunch, get dressed and voilà you are ready for a glam day.

My hot roller set


Remington Style KF20i ionic rollers

They take about 15 minutes to heat, so in order to save time I connect them while I shower. I like using a heat protect glove, since the corners of the roller can get a bit too hot for my liking, but it is not mandatory you won’t get burnt easily or anything.

For more info on setting techniques visit this link  How to roller set!


Some thoughts for natural curly hair:

  1. You already have natural volume, use it! No need to back brush to get the same effect as straight hair.
  2. Brushing if you want a very sleek look should be done carefully or you will end up with frizz, I prefer to smooth with my slightly oiled hands.
  3. If the humidity is high use lots of antihumectants and hairspray (I currently use osis+ antifrizz serum, loreal elnett hairspray, and for the rainy season I am trying new things but more on another post).
  4. Use heat protectant, non water based, I have used garnier wonder oil.
  5. Oil your hands slightly when removing the rollers to avoid frizz.
  6. When a wash and go comes out crappy, cover your ends with oil over night, sleep with loose braids and detangle gently in the morning (I used fingers and tangle teezer).
  7. Bad wash and go? No problem save it with a quick next day retro glam set!
  8. Be a full, confident, retro glam, glamorously fabulous Diva!

Let me know if you are also a vintage hair lover with natural hair.

Dr. L aka HairLabMD

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The Mystery of the curls

Some hair facts and why I think Curly hair specially afro hair needs more research.

Our hair strands are composed as follows:

Cuticle (outer layer)

Cortex

Medulla (innermost)

Source: Google

Let’s talk about the cuticle!

The cuticle is a chemically resistant region and consists of a flap of overlapping scales (keratinocytes) that look pretty much like shingles on the roof.

The shape and orientation of the cuticle cells are responsible for the differential friction effect in the hair,which translate on how likely the hair strands are to break, when in contact woth other surfaces for example brushes or other hair strands.

The cuticle is generally 6–8 scales thick for Asian hair, slightly less in Caucasian hair and even less in African hair. I was unable to find info on multicultural hair, but we can guess a wide spectrum.

A thinner cuticle layer makes African hair more prone to breakage, another feature unique to African hair are the multiple torsion points (because coils and kinks are smaller in size) that can result in breakage due to even simple Manipulation.

Cuticle, breakage and African hair

The apparent slower speed of growth is a source of frustration for people with African hair but the data is insufficient as to why this happens, a plausible explanation for this could be breakage; because traditionally African hair has been exposed to damaging agents such as relaxers, and physical aggressions such as tight braiding.

Even though the raw data is insufficient, in the clinical practice alopecia due to traction and chemical relaxers (lye or no lye), capillary botox, and Brazilian blowouts is common among individuals with African Hair because this hair is the most delicate of the spectrum. The cuticle protects the medulla of the hair and all these procedures require chemical bonds to break to reach the cortex and if not performed with the utmost care they can even affect the medulla which results in breakage and irreversible damage.

There is still so much to learn about curly hair and I do hope that the interest in embracing naturally curly hair provides us with a deeper understanding of our long overlooked locks from a science point of view. In the meantime I will continue to follow the development of my own multicultural hair following the one tool of the scientific method we all have available: Observation and I encourage you to do the same!

Final comments on Hair science

I started transitioning following mostly what I knew from medicine about hair and to be honest healthy hair is often overlooked. Things are changing and some information can be found in academic journals & dermatology books but mostly about scalp health. Healthy hair information is out there too, just not for people with curly hair since most studies are done on straight hair . We need information for everyone and not just a part of the population. That being said I feel things are looking good and I am very optimistic about the future of the curly hair community.

From brushed out hair for volume in June 2016 to an actual curly fro in August 2017, I think this year in hair has been OK

Draft from July 2016 (Updated September 2017)

PS. This is the last day of my one week daily blogging challenge. Let me know what you think in the comments section! Would try a challenge like that? I found it difficult, but rewarding that I was able to complete it, despite having so many other things to do. The best tool for me was the post scheduling option, which I think I will continue to use in the future.

Windblown

The rain has been constant in Germany since Monday, which is a good thing as I am not tempted to go spend my free time outside enjoying the sunshine.

This weather has allowed for some “experimentation” in terms of photography which I had not considered before. It has also allowed for more time to mull over my proposal 🤔

Back to hair like these dark stormy edits using the tools on my iPad. Nothing fancy but I liked it. Do you like this type of edits? If so then I will take the time to properly photoshop my photos in this style from now on.

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curls right before a Storm.

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or 3 curls not sure but same wash day.

Do you feel a "change", when the seasons change? Last year I felt like wearing my hair straight and I did, but this year I feel more like letting it fro as much as I can.

Cheers.

Tomorrow is the last day of my Daily blogging challenge. I will try to write something "Scienced up" & good but no promises. Blogging is not easy.

Dr. L

Relaxing at night unplugged(ish)

Disclaimer: I scheduled this post for 7:00am, it is near 11:00pm now and I figured I do want and need to sleep a little longer, so no early morning workout and no blog post in real time.

Yesterday’s post was full of typos and mistakes that I haven’t fully corrected yet. I was tired when I wrote it upon waking up. I kept it short and shared a photo of products I like and this started a small conversation in the comments section that I enjoyed…all this to say I used a Shampoo because I remembered it and yes I am also very sleepy right now, yikes! 7:30 am update, I was so tired last night that it got scheduled for 1:00am instead of 7:00, surely I must have been very tired indeed.

… 10:36pm

Tonight I kept it simple no Instagram, just a wash night for me with no worries about the outcome.

I found myself enjoying a very relaxing time, I felt all my day tiredness just melt away as I cleansed my hair with no selfie or intastory present in my mind. No prepoo, no deep condition. No extras, minimal effort maximum relaxation.

I added a few drops of essential oils just for fun, inspired by my fave Conditioner, to the Low Shampoo of the Boucleme line I posted yesterday, mixed them in a bowl and diluted with a little water to make washing easier and it felt really nice.

I followed with Giovanni tea tree triple treat rinsed it out and then reapplied as a leave in because it is so light weight that it can be used like that. I followed with Mielle organics gel, it is almost empty and while it’s not the absolute best in performance, however very good, just is the wonderful happy smell that makes me pick it up even if I have “better” choices.

I wanted to air dry, but this rarely works for me. Ended with a flat top and decided to diffuse some and finish drying overnight with my hair on a high bun wrapped in a satin scarf.

I still wanted to document this new wash day and since I needed a blog post for tomorrow I did it today and used the tools that WordPress gives us to make life easier.

These 3 essential oils are always in my aroma diffuser, it was funny to feel myself life a human diffuser when I was using the hair dryer.

Do you like essential oils and if so how do you use them?

Early bird blogging…not so easy

Good morning and I need coffee, normally I would use a vacuum but today it will be the french press. This challenge is exhausting, I won’t workout today, but I blogged or at least tried to.

In the spirit of Product Junkie Club I present you with my favorite gel & conditioner combo of the last few months

Want to know more about these products let me know in the comments section! Or my InstagramThe Hair Lab !

Have a happy and productive day.

Cheers,

Dr. L. aka HairLabMD

Early Morning Challenges are well Challenging

I am trying to get back into the habit of wake up early, do things, workout, be productive.

I am quite tired and I’ve only been at it less than a week.

The challenge includes daily blogging. To be honest it’s just too early for me to write a full blog post, or edit drafts (my original intent) so instead I share a #transformationtuesday photo I posted yesterday on Instagram

Well that’s it, Good Morning Europe and I need coffee…would it be acceptable if I also blogged about coffee here?

Back to curls, I hope this motivates you to believe that your curls are magical and that can come back if you just treat them with love.

Cheers,

Dr. L

Anonymous no more!

Happy Sunday word press!

This draft has been sitting on my notes, for well, more than a year and the final product does not resemble the original post because a lot has changed since.

The original title was “I am not my Job”

It took a lot of encouragement from a friend outside the medical profession to get this blog started and I was adamant on keeping it private, anonymous; because this is not what “doctors do” but I am not just a doctor, I am a person.

I saw the prompt Overcome and decided to finally overcome my fear to post this opinion, that I always shared with my colleagues or classmates but being the youngest in my class by several years (advance class misfit here💪) my age was always a reason to dismiss certain “radical opinions”.

I am still not ready to share my full name but I have slowly transitioned from Anonymous to Hair Lab MD to L.

I am not my job, what inspired this post was a common saying in the Curly Community “I am not my hair” and I was like well I may not be my hair but my interest is hair now, natural curly hair.

I currently have no sponsors for the next medical congress I want to attend, because being in Germany, still on my Journey to validate my medical license, I do not work at a clinic that would sponsor my trip. This congress is exclusive to Hair Research and while my areas of interest and experience are more focused towards facial rejuvenation and anti-aging, my hair Journey has influenced me to want to work from a medical profesional point of view with hair, all hair types but specially curly hair; where from my sometimes frustrating searches of peer reviewed articles, I have noticed a lack of research focused on hair types other than caucasian straight hair and that is why my medical/science blog has been stuck for so long.

Now, cosmetic chemists they are publishing but again the approach is different; still my current inspirations are cosmetic chemists and I fantasize about what would it be like to sit among kids in their late teens doing a BA in Chemistry…the results of these fantasies are always awkward interactions and an absurd generational gap, but I remind myself that age is just a number which I will continue to not reveal because I truly believe age should not matter in the professional world. Qualifications and results matter more than how old or young you are.

My question for you is shall I “crowdfund” my Hair research congress attendance by rushing a side project I started recently and that has a clear long term timeline?

My idea is simple on stage 1: spread positivity using Curly hair tees, create awareness, mix in a little science, then go a bit more academic; is it wise to change plans? My own answer is not, but 15 year old me would have said well duh! Do it what gives…

I have until September 29 to register to attend the International Hair Research Congress, but the congress is not until November, so I would think I have time to sell a few tees instead of asking for “donations” but promoting them in a way that the proceeding would finance this congress attendance fee. It would give it, to me, somehow a feeling of community and a certain emotional value. I find the idea weird, but I also like it. So here are I am asking WordPress bloggers their opinion.

I want to attend and learn from what others who are in the field are doing.

My final goal is to be able to submit an abstract for a future European Hair Research Society Congress or any of it’s sister societies focusing in understanding the biology of multicultural and afro hair and get a grant for such purpose.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
b, yes I am not my hair but rediscovering my hair has also helped me rediscover my love for medicine & research. I have found new ways to love my career through hair.

Curly Hair Product Shopping in Germany

I was recently asked about tips for curly hair shopping in Germany and while I am no expert and it took me sometime to get used to it, here I share what I have learned so far. I figured I will compile a little list of the places I have shopped at, as it really is little because when I find something that consistently works for me I simply keep doing it.

In store shopping

Afro Shops/Asia Shops: So far the best places I have found for buying curly hair products are the “afro Shops”or “Asia Stores”, which basically sell a variety of import products and fresh produce. I have shopped so far in 2 stores one in Hamburg near Altona Station which functions as a Hair salon too and it is like curly hair heaven they have the well know heavy hitters such as kinky Curly, As I am and Jane Carter Solution and many more brands to choose from. I do not live in Hamburg but when I have to travel north this is a Mandatory stop. Unfortunately the smaller the city the less chance of these type of stores & the higher the prices.

Basic Hair Shop: Another store I liked is called  “Basic Hair Shop” located in Post Galerie in Karslruhe. Karlsruhe is a smaller city with a lot of start ups and a lively and millenial oriented city, basically a university town where you can find a lot of things to do and see but curly hair products not so much, in this store I was able to find great hair salon brands such as living proof, Morocan oil, Rene Furterer, and the customer service was great.

Dm: Is a drugstore chain that you can find anywhere in Germany and recently they have started stocking up on curly hair brands such as Maui Moisture and in their online store has a few products of the Cantu range available if you like that brand. In general I have tried quite a few products from Dm and have found many of them to be great. Ahh and they also carry Aussie and OGX a very wide selection (the coconut water line is one of my faves).

If you prefer online shopping or live in a smaller town with limited options & want more variety keep reading!

Online shopping:

This gets a bit more interesting because it is my main source of product shopping.

Feel Unique: I found this store randomly while looking for skincare products, they have regular sales and actions and offer free shipping in Germany for purchases over 40 Euros, the most famous curly hair brand they carry is Shea Moisture, but I have also found other great brands such as Yes to, Bumble and Bumble, A’kin, Balance me and to my surprise Aussie! I absolutely love Aussie, it is affordable and performs very well on my hair and it is cheaper than in Dm 😅.

Naturalistic Products: If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I order a lot from the UK, because a few product lines that I really like, like the Blueberry bliss curls are rather hard to find in Germany. I have yet to find it in a local store or online that carries them. The selection is impressive and if you do not live in a big city like Hamburg in it super convenient not to mention great Customer Service! They also ship to other countries in Europe as well.

Disclaimer: I will link the online stores I mentioned for your convenience, but FYI this is not a sponsored post. I just listed a few stores that offered reliable service and an efficient delivery system. The feel unique link does include a referral code with a 15% discount for your 1st purchase in case you would like to use it, the other links are just regular links to the stores. I will keep updating this post as best as I can if you find it useful.

Direct links to stores & product lines

Feel Unique Online Store German site They offer free shipping on orders over 40€ and shipping and it is quite fast and reliable.

Naturalistic Products Online Store in UK They offer shipping to Germany and all over Europe which varies according to the weight of the package and include samples of products.

Dm Online Store Germany Cantu Products

They options for DM are quite varied, they deliver for a cost if €4.95 countrywide

If you are lucky enough to live in cities like Hamburg or Karlsruhe you can request for pick up in a store even if it is an online only product like the curl lines they hold. Most stores allow this service with a few exceptions which are listed on their website.

They also stock Aussie Hair Products popular in the curly hair community.

Where are you from?

Do you find it easy to find curly haircare products where you live?

Do you have any favorite online stores you like to shop in? Let me know in the comments.

The shock prevented me from getting angry.

Picture this a nice restaurant, at dinner time, a full house, a party of 6 having enjoyed a wonderful meal and as we are satisfied with our food we are happily drinking coffee and having a generally nice conversation about Japanese culture, traveling in Asia and sharing pictures of lovely puppies a pair of adorable Chihuahuas.

Then silence ensues, the unthinkable has happened. Someone pulled one of my locks of hair.

I was unaware of the fact at first but a pulling sensation made me turn around and as I do so I see the smiling face of a waitress with a handful of dirty dishes quickly drifting away from our now silent table.

The shock at the realization of what had just happened prevented me from getting angry: sanitary regulations had been broken, a food handler was manipulating aloe vera covered hair! How can this be? This is a restaurant sanitation must be respected! The rules must be observed. Meanwhile my husband was getting very very pale, I never expected he could be paler but he could. He expected rage, indignation or something terrible unleashed towards the waitress. What followed was more silence, and subsequently the half of the table that belong to the healthcare sector, myself included, started to discuss the many levels of disgust at the situation that had just happened. We wondered whether or not and how often she washed her hands and what madness overcame her to do such a thing as to handle hair & food at the same time, trying to divert the real issue. She touched me without my permission and that was incredibly rude.

Meanwhile my husband continued to be silent waiting for the dragon to awake.

Dracarys

dracarys2

I wrote the above story, because I truly did not get angry because of the social situation in which it happened, but it did bother me and I wanted to express my discomfort to the waitress regarding her actions in regards to my hair.

I felt bad about my husband because he might have needed to translate in case I could not communicate my point effectively and he truly expected me to feel bad about what she did because well it was not OK and we have talked about natural hair/ curly hair related issues in other countries.

I wish this was fictional story, but it is not. Ok I am not the mother of dragons or anything else but I did feel my personal space violated and I found it very offensive having my hair touched, this had never happened to me before and now I truly understand all the memes about “Don’t touch my hair”

Here is how I handled the situation

I am a patient person, but I do not tolerate disrespect and I felt disrespected. I had time to process and think. Instead of blasting her or complaining to the manager I kept looking for her to explain to her, personally, what she had just done and why she should never do it again; she had straight hair in a messy bun.

It turned out she did not speak English nor German fluently and from what I understood she is from Hungary and said the word beautiful in German, so maybe her actions did not come from a bad place, but definitively disrespected me and my party and invaded my personal space. She remained quiet and with a neutral stare as I explained the best way I could, in German, why she should not touch my hair an how in doing so she was invading my privacy. I obviously did not go into details about the cleanliness issue, but I highlighted how disrespectful it is to touch another person without their consent and with no previous notice. Once I told her to never ever do something like that again if she encounters another person with curly hair she started looking worried & uncomfortable, maybe she did know german after all, my intent was not to make her as uncomfortable as she had made me and my husband;  but to educate her in the hopes that she does not do this to any other person she encounters that has curls.
This was an unpleasant situation for all of us but we paid our bill in peace and did not allow it to ruin the rest of the evening. I asked the rest of my party their thoughts and everyone agreed that I did the right thing. I felt the need to help least one person Overcome their fear of causing discomfort, and that person was me.

What would you have done? Would you have stayed quiet? Would you have gotten angry?

Has anybody ever touched your curls without your permission?
How would you have responded to this situation?

I am Khaleesi crowned in my curls.

PS. I am a Game of thrones fan as you may have noticed and I used that context to lighten up the mood of this very real issue for people with curly hair.

Cheers,

HairLabMD

Happy Saturday WordPress!

Today I decided to wake up “early” (for a Saturday) and just post a simple blog entry.

I always want to have everything perfect so I write drafts of product reviews, science based opinions that are more like educational posts based on facts rather than opinions but nowadays it seems like everyone thinks opinions and facts are the same, so I will call them “opinion pieces” that never make the cut; mostly because I don’t want to offend anybody or cause distress.

What do you think about the above statement?

I have 3 more questions for you today in this rainy Saturday Morning.

First question: Is it the same an opinion “I think this or that” without knowledge on the subject versus a “fact based opinion” i.e. Academic papers, peer reviewed scientific articles?

Second question: How many Drafts do you have pending to publish on your WordPress editor?

Third question: Are marketing claims more important than scientific evidence?

Disclaimer: I won’t judge you, neither attack you for thinking differently. I just wanted to start publishing my drafts and this was one of them and decided to start today. I edited the draft more or less following an idea I got from another blog, but the core content remained the same.

Kindly.

L. Maria aka HairLabMD