I know you do not know 

That is the basic premise people have when engaging in conversations quite often.

That saying “waiting for your turn to talk” or so it goes, is ever more so true for social media interactions covered by anonymity.

I don’t want to read and understand what you say, I do not care about your opinion I already know you do not know any better than me, in fact my opinion is better than yours because it is mine after all and hence I do not have to learn anything from you.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were willing to spend more time listening and reading critically what others say or write and then evaluate the quality of the information we were provided with serious sources instead of preferring always to offend, get offended, ignore and get ignored by others?

Laurel and Hardy

This is my response to my first prompt a

prophecy

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/prophecy/”>Prophecy</a&gt;

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Making Writing Prompts Personal

So I decided to start trying new things while I find the answers to my blogging questions instead of stopping and FYI I am one of those naysayers when it comes to “challenges and activities” but let’s be awed by a temporal change in behaviorz

The Daily Post

Every blogger faces it, sooner or later: you feel an itch to publish. You haven’t updated your site in a while. You put on your lucky writing socks, fire up WordPress, flex your fingers, and…

… sit there, staring blankly at the screen. You’re blocked!

(What? Like I’m the only one who has lucky writing socks.)

When you’re blocked, writing prompts are blogsavers. Many bloggers shy away from them because they don’t like the idea of  responding to a prompt — what if it doesn’t inspire you? What if the topic doesn’t fit your blog? But before turning off the computer and putting your writing socks back in the drawer, try these six tips for making any writing prompt your own:

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Respect to all bloggers out there!

I never imagined I would start a blog, but since I already was working in academic writing content creation and editing I thought why not document my hair journey and add a few sciency ideas along the way.

I am currently editing a botany book and realized academic writing could not be more different from blogging and while both tasks are challenging,  I find blogging harder than academic writing in some aspects specially the topic selection and content creation for blogs.

When presented with a task in academic writing, you can either document your own results, write the results of your group or create a manuscript for a third party. Editing jobs are even better because a raw version of the material is already available and depending on the request you have more or less involvement in the structure of the final product. All these tasks have in common a set of guidelines, a predetermined topic and a structure that should be followed; it might seem like a difficult endeavor to comply with all those requirements but at the end of the day it makes the job clear.

Blogging on the other hand is completely free and unguided, so what do you follow to create content? Creativity is definitively central, but how do you cultivate it?

I have so many questions that I have not been able to write anymore entries to The Hair Lab, it is a Hair blog in theory, but sometimes I feel like writing about other things for instance The floating Piers installation by Christo in Lake Iseo, Italy  because I just don’t know what to write about hair that has not already been covered.

The main questions I would like to find an answer for are:

What makes a blog interesting?

How can a blog be used for educational purposes among a certain group?

Can you have a central topic on a blog and then post unrelated commentary on other subjects, or should the central topic be modified accordingly?

Well that’s it for now, if I manage to find my answers I will definitively continue blogging if not we will see. I am not sure how long I will be able to blog, but I have a great appreciation for everyone capable of creating great content in a regular manner and in such a massive media form as blogging is.

Cheers

Is “No Poo” healthy? A medical opinion

One thing that is extremely popular on the internet are mentions to the “No poo”method and products.

The methods:

1. Only water cleansing: Only water

The purest variant is to wet your hair with spring water. Advocates say that, although your hair gets greasy in the first few weeks, its appearance subsequently improves greatly because sebum production eventually regulates itself.

I have nothing to say about this except that water is not a cleansing agent and even if you never use hair products, you are exposed to pollutants, your natural oils or sebum and sweat which water does not have the ability  to cleanse.

2. Baking soda/ apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Natural is not always better. Just because it is in your pantry it does not mean it should go on your hair and skin.

Baking soda has a pH=8, ACV has a pH=3 one is too alcaline and the one too acid.

The alkaline pH causes hair shaft swelling. This swelling loosens the protective cuticle predisposing the hair shaft to damage. It can also cause irritation of the scalp, hair loss and bleaching. Don’t do it. Even if it “looks good” a few times it will eventually have a rebound effect and even increase the production of sebum, defeating the purpose of being a cleasing agent. ACV is not as harmful as baking soda but still is not a good idea if you want healthy hair.

3. Cleansing conditioners or cowash products and regular conditioners:

They contain cationic (positively charged) surfactants such as stearalkonium, cetrimonium, and behentimonium chlorides, behentrimonium methosulfate, and stearamidopropyl dimethylamine which soften the hair and stick to it (because hair has a slight negative charge), which in theory could lead to more buildup. But at the same time, they do possess some capacity to gently lift dirt and oil.

My opinion as a medical doctor:

The no poo trend is probably not what is hyped out to be and can be harmful, but using conditioner or cowash products to cleanse the scalp can be an aid to refresh hair in between shampoos, that can be as separated as 4 weeks depending on lifestyle and baseline dryness of hair.  In fact there is an old “guideline” from the american asociation of dermatology for afro hair care that recommends washing it every 1-2 weeks, with the option to cowash you can still enjoy the benefits of cleansing your scalp and hair without drying it out more.

Natural is NOT always better: please don’t put baking soda and apple cider vinegar on your scalp and hair, it may look good at first but you will in general have problems down the road and it will take a while to solve it. They may be in the pantry but they are not good for the hair or scalp.

Water never hurt anyone but all it can do is moisturize, it really does not clean properly.

In principle it is not harmful to only use conditioner (regular or the more expensive cowash products) and they can mildly cleanse the scalp and hair if left on and massaged in the scalp and then rinsed out as any other shampoo would be, yet eventually you should shampoo (succinates are a great alternative to sulfates, if you dont like sulfates look for this) for clarifying. If you want to “no poo” prefer cowashing with products (I cowash sometimes because I work out regularly), either with high end cowash products, if you have big pockets or an ecofriendly condish (like the one From bodyshop) or a good ole cheap condish like Aussie and shampoo at some point.

A mix of dedicated cowash & conditioners

Is it necessary to buy a special cowash product?

Probably not, I compared a few cowash ingredients on various products and the cleansing agents are the same the difference are the specialty ingredients and the formulation (cream, foam etc) same as in any cosmetic product a part of the effective marketing. You dont need to buy a conditioning cleanser, but if you can afford it and want to do so you totally can.

Conditioners that work well as cowash ingredient wise and that I have tried: Aussie Moist, Tresseme Naturals, rainforest coconut oil by the bodyshop. The absolute on a budget condish with great smell the white rain coconut, I cant get it in Germany but is so good.

Cleansing conditioner I have tried: Macadamia cleansing cream.  I liked the fact that it is a foam and smells so fresh but the price of about 20 euro for a 100ml flask is not worth it in comparison to less than 10 euro for 400ml of aussie or 200ml of coconut rainforest for same results.

 

Trying this product will be my guilty pleasure

What do the experts say about shampoo?

The Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV)

“… shampoo removes the oil produced by the sebaceous glands that traps dead scalp cells, dirt and other substances we apply, such as sprays, gels, etc. This oil or sebum must be removed periodically for reasons other than the merely aesthetic, as it is an important source of microorganisms that could induce infections.”
The Dermatolology times Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos (she has written really good scientific review papers about hair care products)

“The frequency of hair washing depends on the sebum and sweat production of the individual and the geometry of the hair. Hair that is straight will rapidly wick the sebum and sweat from the scalp while tightly kinked hair wicks very poorly. For this reason, individuals with very straight hair usually prefer to shampoo daily while individuals with kinky hair shampoo once every one to two weeks. It is likely that most Americans shampoo their hair too much, accounting for the huge sale of hair conditioners designed to replace sebum with a more cosmetically acceptable synthetic ingredient.”

Dr. Robert Dorin, a board-certified hair transplantation surgeon in New York City.

“the scalp beneath the hair needs to be regularly cleaned of oil, dried sweat, dirt and dead skin cells, Those using “no-poo” products “aren’t really cleaning their scalp,”.  “They’re not taking off the environmental impurities.”People who don’t use detergent shampoo to clean the scalp run the risk of developing fungal and bacterial infections”

Stop using too much shampoo😂😂😂

The bottomline:

Eliminating shampoo from the hair care routine is probably a bad idea, but reducing its frequency of usage (instead of eliminating) might be beneficial and all you need to do.

Choose the right shampoo for you (even if it has sulfates a pH balanced for dry hair shampoo can be good, the mix of ingredients is more important, dont like sulfates then use a different surfactant)

Shampoo correctly with small amonts of product also only your scalp needs cleansing massage, the hair just gets cleansed with the foam.

No poo in its purest form( all natural no product)is unhealthy, since it can lead to sebum, dirt, oil and environmental pollutants build up which then can lead to scalp diseases such as fungal and bacterial infections or can cause damage to the hair shaft by exposure to caustic agents such as baking soda ultimately causing breakage.

Type 4 Hair, no such thing as types!

I am currently reading an acedemic thesis on the hierachies among the natural hair movement and how the classification creator André Walker might have been a bit biassed, if not discriminatory towards 4b/c hair.

I never found useful that classification having multiple textures, low porosity, high density and a mix of fine and course hair. Those other attibutes influenced my hair health and product choice more than knowing my curl pattern. I know curl typing is the signature marketing tool for texture media (and while I love their portal naturally curly, their choice of hair typing not so much). I dont think it is completely useless, but I agree with the original post in that  it’s a method that yields itself for usage as a discrimination tool (unintended probably). I read post by girls wishing their texture was like someone else’s and the point is self esteem, not trying to “train our curls” to be more “perfect”, you have the perfect curl love it and embrace it as it is!

Keep it healthy and hydrated and it will be the best curl it can be!

Have a happy curly day!

The Hair Lab Doctor

naturallycomplete

I didn’t know that I had a “type” of hair other than Black hair. I heard about the term Type 4 a/b hair in the summertime this year and was still largely clueless as to what my hair type is…since as its getting longer, it is changing from a 4b to…who knows? I don’t think it really matters if someone has nice “3b” hair or someone has coarse “4c” hair. I have seen YouTubers with THE most gorgeous, amazing hair ever and their hair is like a 4b, but I have seen women with 3c hair that grows effortlessly within months.

Especially within the NHM (Natural Hair Movement)…finding a system to separate hair types sounds silly and pompous. It generally has an underlying meaning that the closer you get to the European type (Type 2) then the nicer your hair is…or the more success you have being natural. But it’s…

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I want to love this product, but can’t!

image

This is probably the first “for natural hair” product I have purchased and so far I am not loving it.

The first time I tried it I used it to replace my usual leave in conditioner one that so far I have not seen in the raving reviews honor roll, but that for me works wonders. I purchased this cantu product because is a super beloved brand. My hair felt heavy and oily even somewhat gluelike, I thought maybe it was a bad mix and left it at that.

The Second time did a twist out and the result was great, although it took forever to dry and I thought maybe it was because of my low porosity hair; since the definition and hold was great I started liking the product.

Now I have finally run out of my macadamia oil leave in conditioner, I used it again as wash and go (my staple style, twists are nice and I cant braid for the life of me plus I have no patience). The results where less than flattering, it dried very slowly, its a sticky, oily, frizzy, undefined, tangled mess on day one, will have to wash again tomorrow. The  smell is also fatty and “humid like” hard to describe but not very pleasant, so far the worst smelling product I own. I did not mix it with other products.

Anyone else had similar stories with this or other popular natural hair products? Any tips on how to use this particular cream?

 

Hair Goals! Long hair!

Do you prefer short or long hair?

I just cut my hair a few days ago and I am quite excited looking at how different my hairstyles are now.

I already set a new hair goal and that is maybe not cutting my hair in 6 months to see how much it can grow, maybe I wont be able to resist for that long (my last haircut was 3 months ago)

Here some hair inspo

image

Sunkissalba

Wash day! Is your wash day too complex?

How long is your wash day?

Sometimes for the fun of it I follow all the steps I can find for my wash day and I have found that for me simple and “short” (if you can call short any curly girl full wash lol) is better.

My 45 minute wash day is a little like this:

  1. Coconut oil pre poo night before
  2. Shampoo (in 4 or less sections)
  3. Deep condition (10 mins with hot towel)
  4. DETANGLE (once with tangle teezer, wide tooth comb and finger detangle)
  5. rinse out conditioner.
  6. Styling

My 90 min wash day

  1. Overnight pre poo night
  2. Conditioner DETANGLE-1 (finger detangling + wide tooth comb)
  3. Shampoo (in 4-6 sections)
  4. Deep condition (30 mins with hair cap and blow dryer)
  5. DETANGLE-2 (with tangle teezer, wide tooth comb and finger detangle)
  6. rinse out conditioner.
  7. Styling

My 2 hr plus wash day

Hot oil treatment for 30 mins leave in it on for up to 2 hours with no heat and then add the 90 min wash day or deep condition for 2 hrs.

The crucial and most time consuming step is detangling and it should be present in all curly hair wash routine at least once. It is really not necessary to detangle more than once as long as it is super well done or the hair is not too tangled, if you wash your hair twice a week and refresh with a cowash chances are your hair will get less tangled and the need to detangle will be less. So its a matter of either doing shorter wash days more often, as long as you deep condition your hair (up to 2 times a week is is perfectly fine), this is not a problem and is actually great for refreshing from the summer time heat and activities.