Untitled too 

Flawed? Ugly? Weird? Eww yuk? Who told you that?

Society, your boss, a friend, an adversary a colleague or yourself looking at the mirror and hating what you see?
What you think becomes what you feel.
Think right feel right. Think right and you can cope, adapt and adjust regardless of the external forces against, or in your favor. Think wrong and you may become ill and you will suffer. This is not hopeful woo, this is science, neuroscience and in the same way as it took years of “hard work” for your brain to wire itself in a way that it will work against you (depression, low self esteem, personality disorders,etc) it will take hard work and professional help from a doctor, a therapist, a nutritionist, or a fitness instructor to help you improve your life and come to terms with how you look and more importantly, who you are.

Change can begin from the inside out, or from the outside in. I obviously like fitness, facial architecture & aesthetics, and now I like hair appearance and I firmly believe that if you want to improve yourself you are free to pursue it, but be mindful of the thought behind the emotion.

There is nothing wrong with using modern medicine to be better, it is not weak to get medical treatment for acne, it is not vain to get “work done”, it not arrogant to be fit and eat well; but the thought behind it, is what defines whether it is good or bad thing for you X or Y physical change.

Genetics & culture do play a role, in the perception of beauty, that is undeniable we might wish it would not be so but it is.  Do not aspire to be beautiful, you already are, aspire to be healthy.

How you look does not define you, but the world we live in judges our “look” and that is also a fact. I can’t disclose patient info but I can tell you that the medical profesion is not devoid of sociocultural biases on apperance. A female, beautiful doctor is still expected to be less competent than her fellow men, but so what? It only means she has to work harder to get respect that is all.

The only way to be happy is to be healthy.

InstaCompare? No thanks. Friendship please.

iDisclamer: The only science involved in this post came from the developers of apple that created this iPad and of the creators of the internet, the rest is just my opinion not as an MD or a scientist but as a “Curly Girl”, reader discretion advised.

IMG_9964

Weird disclaimer is it not? Still, I am trying to make a point and I will get there.

I officially joined the Natural Hair Community in March 2016, with my 1st Curly Community fan page post, and my 1st hair instagram account, later on in april the Hair Lab was born.

IMG_9989

I never saw another curly girl IG, or blog or web page until last year after I had cut off all my chemically straightened hair. Why? My 1st contact did not cause a good impression and I left. In 2013 or so I googled about curly hair and the first impression was mostly of a competitive, divided, toxic & overall negative environment, my sources where limited to the USA; but that was my turning point of thinking OK I know medicine, I have the books the journals let’s do this on my own terms, I do not need that negativity in my life. You know what? it was great; it gave me time to understand the anger and decide that to each their own and that there are so many different subsets of Natural Hair Communities not only one. I never googled about hair outside of google scholar since then until 2016. I did my transition alone and yes I made many mistakes and no I do not know how to braid my hair, yet.

ipad3 061

Finger curling pre hair blog vs post hair blog lol 

Find your Element

I clearly did not belong in the community of the 1st encounter I had, I now understand where they come from though and I empathize with some, but it was not my element as Sir Ken Robinson puts it, now I Have found my hair element the part of the community that helps me grow. 

I belong here in what I call the “curly community”, the name is irrelevant but I avoid using certain terms to avoid controversy. I may or may not write about it in the future; but for now about my lovely curly community. Our community is inspirational, professional in our own individual way it includes hairdressers, students, doctors, restaurateurs, journalists, photographers, models, engineers, moms you name the profession and we can find it, off course bloggers and vlogers too. In this group “our clique” we are responsible in the way we share our journey, we promote self-love and growth instead of comparison charts and above all we strive to be are positive, humble and real. 

We always cheer for each other no matter if it is something big or small, we genuinely wish the others success, we do not compete we grow together. Today I can say This hair journey has given me more than hydrated locks it has given me women and friends I admire and who are great role models for the younger girls put there looking for powerful, positive female role models. We do not compare each other, we support each other and learn together, we are friends. 

Thank you for your friendship my (curl) friends. 

 

 

I wish you a 2017 filled with critical thinking & good outcomes

The external circumstances might have been good or bad for you in 2016, but what really matters is how you feel & think about it and what you do with those feelings & thoughts.
Harder to accept & deal with are the outcomes of our personal choices, there are no 100% wrong decisions in this world of infinite #possibilities; only learning experiences. Finally, whether we feel we made a right or wrong choice, we can & should always take action; either to correct the perceived mistake or continue moving forward in the right direction.
Those who have had similar personal circumstances might be able to feel more empathy towards your particular case, so be mindful who you include in your personal support circle.

Do not be too harsh on yourself or others for not understanding X or Y circumstance, yet always keep an open mind to discuss important issues, be respectful and kind but do not stay silent when having factual evidence in contrast to ignorant “play & repeat” opinions. Evidence based statements should be more valuable than ignorantly powerful opinions.
In this post factual era do stick to the facts, but do not insist when the battle is lost, we do live in a post factual era after all and self preservation is key.
High emotional intelligence is a rare trait, if you have it use it positively & wisely; inform yourself to the utmost detail before making a statement on a delicate matter because others will undoubtedly be influenced by you.
Do not fall under the false illusion of transferring your emotions to others and blame the circumstances or others for your current situation of perceived failure. Give yourself credit when you do a good job. Be fair to yourself and others.
No matter what you do or what your limitations & capabilities are, always think critically
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Jedi Master Yoda. The Empire Strikes Back.

Curl Café Buena Gente: Community work

I love coffee, I love hair & I love community work. 

Last summer I tried a little social media experiment: Bring people together with similar interests that also happen to have curly hair via instagram! 

The experiment worked and here is what we did together. 

We first found a common cause that was close to our hearts, most of us did not know each other before the curl café and after that have remained friends and kept sharing our curl tips. Even though it was about drinking coffee, tea, and having curl conversation in the end what really brought us together was wanting to help others even in a small way. 

In total 9 people got together to donate and most went to the coffee shop and a few others due to schedulling issues sent their cash donations via wire transfer in order to purchase the goods for the elderly care home. We even got a spontaneous donation by the coffee shop that hosted us. 

When you have good intentions things do work out! 

The care home sent a list of needs! Here they are plus a card

The curl café team!

Don Vicente Coffee

Hogar Bolivar care home

As I reflect upon 2016 and my complicated relationship with Panama, I realize that my happiest moments there have always been related to volunteer & community work. This community spirit was somehow instilled in me by both my parents, no matter how busy all of us were there was always time to cook for someone or make a special donation or host a free origami workshop, something. 

My volunteering goal for 2017: is find an animal shelter were to work on my free time. Do you have a volunteering goal? Share it with me in the comments! Want to get started? I can help, just let me know. 

Have a happy life! 

Carrie Fisher

I have no words, but I will still make the effort to write something about this remarkable woman and creative mind.
Who is Carrie Fisher? I did not know her personally, but if you follow me on IG you know I do 2 things asides hair, I science and I Star Wars, from my science (neuroscience) point of view she is the prime example of SURVIVAL. Carrie Fisher played princess Leia and General Organa in the Star Wars franchise, but she was much more grand than that.

3 words defined Carrie for me: RESILIENCE, COURAGE & HOPE.

She had a disease called bipolar disorder, which justified her behaviors in her early carreer & she struggled & talked openly about it as an advocate for Mental health and kept working.
People complained about her looks bla bla bla but taking certain medications may affect the way people look & her looks were beside the point anyways.

She made a career later on, after the original trilogy not based on looks but on hard work, harder than most, and she proved that she could be successful despite and because of her disadvantages (gender, mental health,etc) She was great until the last day. I highly recommend watching her interview with Steven Fry (he also has bipolar disorder and made a film about it, I disagree with leaving illness untreated but it was a good film) and also watch the red carpet interviews of the london premiere of The Force Awakens she was THE BEST! She will be missed but never forgotten by so many of us for so many reasons. I will remember her for her Courage to be herself and be a positive role model to anyone with Mood Disorders, the correct term, that you can you should try to live.

A note on Mental Health

The only people qualified to treat Mood Disorders are Doctors.

Not all my patients, had mood disorders but as a Doctor with a Neuroscience background I can treat mood disorders & anxiety on a basic level. I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but I collaborated with them my scope of treatment of Mood Disorders is limited to mild to moderate cases of depression, but what all Mood disorders have in common is the sense of guilt and illness shaming.
I know the biology of depression,due to my background as a scientific communicator and physician; it is an illness where you can see in the brain a down regulation of serotonin receptors and many more things just like you can see blood when you cut your finger but the skin can be seen with the Naked eye and the brain can not.

I worked with a team that assessed the safety profile of an antidepressant drug some time ago and as it was obvious that I needed to know everything brain, to be able to communicate more effectively that was what got me hooked on neuroscience and guided my future academic interests.
My point is that having depression or Bipolar disorder nowadays and talking about it  is like saying you have the bubonic pest, but Carrie used her personal experience, influence and courage to talk about it for everyone who could be afraid to loose their family, livelihood or job for suffering from it. I once read on an interview that she hoped she could have romantic relationships, I will need to fact check this but it does sound like her alright and it made me feel a bit sad for her and reflect upon the need to do more to educate society about Mood Disorders in General.

image

“Depression bipolar or not is a biological illness, it is an illness of an organ that happens to control the rest of the body” I said that.

Most people decide to call mental illness crazy or laziness. Family and friends sometimes are the most unhelpful, because of their poor attempts to “help” (out of ignorance) they either treat them (the patients) like less or blame them for their illness… and at work? don’t get me started about work place abuse and stigma.

About Mood Disorders in the clinical practice: My experience as a Physician

In my country, as a physician you don’t have to disclose in paper always any diagnosis; but what many employers do (unlawfully) is that they ask their workers to tell them, so I always made sure to educate all my patients to disclose symptoms instead of a diagnosis such as changes in bodily function instead of saying they have depression or anxiety. I usually referred my patients after the initial diagnosis and follow up because I  worked as a visiting physician only for a few months 2-3 and I could not do the long term follow up required for managing the brain biochemical imbalances that psychiatrists could, but I also know that more often than not those referrals were not followed up, by my patients because “if you visit a psichiatist you must be crazy right?” another stigma. One patient once told me that Neuroscience sounded better than psychiatry so he would not go see a crazy doctor and he might have been on to something there. The stigma in the society is a problem.
One Mentor gave me that advice (to protect mental health issues diagnosis from employers) when I was a med student, I enquired if it would not be deliberately lying about a diagnosis and she said “it is not lying, if it is the truth” and more often than not depression comes with visible physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal disorders. I only understood why the secrecy was important until years later while sitting in my office with a mother crying because she was afraid that if she took the meds her boss would find out and fire her.

A powerful Carrie Fisher Quote

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”
Carrie Fisher

If you need help understanding mental health awareness, do not hesitate to contact me on my IG:Dr_vasquez_MD

May the Force be with you.

Rest in Peace Carrie Fisherimage

My Xmas of Blog: December 27

May the force be with Mark Hamill and the ones who loved Carrie personally. Carrie is Already one with the Force, I worry about the ones left behind. If you have followed me on IG you woukd know I scienced and I Star Wars

I know how it feels to loose a “favorite” one in the end if December, it changes you. There no way to overlook the things that are not about Xmas, or New year’s and it grinchifies you, but today is not about me it is about what Carrie Fisher represented and about how her Space Sibling must be suffering her loss

image

 

 

My Xmas of Blog: December 24 

Xmas eve is just around the corner! Here in Germany that means more Glühwein & more Xmas markets, the celebrations here extend to December 26th so tonight is going to be a more relaxed Xmas eve that what we are used to in the American Continent while still having all the festive spirit with shopping & fun deco with the added benefit of the Weihnachtsmarkt in the bigger cities such as Hamburg, where my husband’s Family is from. 

The plan for today, a relax family breakfast and then off to theWeihnachtsmarkt   to drink all the Glühwein and eat all the fuerwurst! And just rejoice in the lovely, jolly and cosy atmosphere of thäe German Xmas Markets! And then another relaxed family dinner. We decided to only give gifts to my second nephew? and focus on the little one! On Dec 26th we will have the formal family lunch with Oma & Opa and the whole family! 


Now, About my last Adventkalendar’s gift: today I got a parfum. I am not a huge fan of trying new fragances so this was a bit of a buzzkiller for the last present but that being said, I remembered what I wrote yesterday about unexpected items and got excited again about trying something I would  not have otherwise. Once I test it I will let you know how it went but for now here is a picture of this cute little parfum bottle, that if I like will last me for quite sometime as it seems to be a full size product. 


I must admit it was a difficult challenge to write about something everyday, I missed day 2, but it was also fun and rewarding. 

I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and he recommends to write a story everyday if you want to be a writer and I can see why; it forces you to think creatively,  to look for clever ideas and more importantly to create a sense of duty & responsability  towards the job at hand, in this case blogging about my 1st Xmas in Germany as a resident of this awesome country since April 2016. I have been visiting Germany since 2009 and moving here was the best decision I made in 2015, snd saying yes to my then german boyfriend was the best decision of 2014! I could keep going back in time but I will stop there and have my eyes set on the future and my goals fixed on making it a bright happy future in my new home country! Prost! Frohe weihnachten!

Are you a Product Junkie?

 

Winter Holy Grail

11 Useful Tips for the Curly Girl Product Junkie

  1. Set up a monthly budget for haircare products according to your income and stick to it. Once I noticed I was spending too much money in products I found this to be the most useful intervention. My monthly budget is 100 Euros per month, if there is a particular product or hair tool that is more expensive than that then I wait until the beggining of the next month to make the purchase. Set a stablished amount and stick to it.
  2. Don’t impulsive buy when you visit the drugstore. Some products might be on sale or very cheap, but it is better to read about it first. Buy according to your hair needs, know your curls, for instance you might be protein sensitive and see a great protein treatment is on sale, but it is not the right product for you so it will only sit on your shelf.
  3. Trade products that did not work for you with friends and family, you both might benefit from the deal.
  4. Keep a list of your stock of products and buy first the type of product that is running out. I keep a shelf for styling and finishing products for example so that I can see if the balance is tilting more towards oils (my guilty pleasure) or leave in conditioner (my favorite product) while I am running low on curl definers or stylers before purchasing a new oil I check if there is not another product that I actually need.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself, if all of the above failed do your very best to keep your hard earned coin together while not feeling guilty about a few moments of product junkism weakness, revisit your goals and strategy and repeat.
  6. Donate barely used products to charity and quantify how much money it is you are giving and consider a fund for donations instead of excessive shelf products.
  7. Shop online in a store with a rewards program or on a beauty supplier and ask for free samples of products you might want to try in the future or join a products subscription box service and keep within budget while still trying new things!
  8. Be alert for the sales of your holy grails and stock up and then adjust the subsequent months budget.
  9. Review your product cabinet when the seasons change, it might be some products that did not work in summer work for winter and viceversa. Try them in a different season and if it is a no no then kiss them goodbye.
  10. If all else fails reset and go back to your holy grails until you find a way to sort out your product junkie cabinet( at least that is what I am doing just now, getting rid of all my products in order to return to a few holy grails that were just perfect for my hair & skin)
  11. Have fun!

When I started his blog in April I was not a product junkie, now I can confidently say I am a product junkie and I need to go back to keeping it simple as a new hair goal. I will try to use all the products I have or try and trade them although I have no fellow curlys in my vecinity for now.

Cheers!

Devacurl One Condition Decadence Results


Dr. L

image

I wish my shelf was as tidy XD

I Have a Crown Now 

I am sorry you can not see, how great I am. I am sorry you were born below me, I always knew I was better than you and now thanks to my crown, everyone knows.

You wanted me to apologize, ok I will write a meaningless statement just to keep the crown I deserve, because I have better skin, better hair and a faker smile than yours.

Get outraged, write about me on social media, I do not care, I am the crown queen or king of the most powerful country on earth. I am the face of racism, discrimination, hate and violence and I am proud of it. I have not changed at all but I will write I did just to weather the storm. Anyways next week Kayne and Kim will be trending instead of me.
***This is what I imagine feels like reading in between the lines of the never ending Apology for saying and writing racists, or sexists comments from celebrities, politicians, teenage beauty queens, social media influencers, anybody big enough to have millions of followers and people they influence.

I cannot understand how systematically we continue to vote, pay for products and merchandise, select services and invest our money in businesses and people who clearly dislike others but their “own kind” whatever that means. This is a global reality it is not circumscribed to one single country like the USA or the UK, because selective crime and punishment also happens in places like Latin America where I grew up. We as a collective of peace loving people should be more supportive and take true actions for peace not just ignore the comments and move on, yes it is scary I get it. It took me months to finish this prompt reply I knew what I wanted to write but not how. 

I choose love, compasion and understanding, non violence and non hate, because as the iconic Mae West once said “It takes two to get one in Trouble”
 

 

 

 

Cabello ondulado, cabello fino, cabello crespo. Parte #1 ¿Qué Onda?

Hace mucho que no escribo en español, pero lo extrañaba y me sentí experimental; así que les comparto este post Fusión.

Para Empezar algunas definiciones para hablar el mismo idioma de cabello y aclaro son un poco prácticas y no tanto “de libro”.

¿Qué es el cabello ondulado?
Un punto intermedio entre cabello rizado y cabello lacio.

Es posible estilizarlo con calor para lograr un lacio marcado rápidamente. Incluye los Patrones de rizo 2A, 2B y 2C (ya saben que esa clasificacion no me gusta pero bueno). Puede ser de baja o alta porosidad.Grueso, fino o mixto.Puede ser Corto o largo.

¿Que es el cabello fino?

Pues para fines practicos es un cabello propenso a la ruptura capilar, muy delicado y puede ser ondulado, rizado o crespo. Debe ser manejado con extremo cuidado y exponerse en la menor medida posible a quimicos fuertes como el vinagre de manzana, el bicarbonato de sodio, los shampoo 2 en 1. No se deben utilizar aceites pesados como el de coco o castor y las mantecas deben ser evitadas. El mejor aceite para este cabello: argan. Jojoba, aguacate y macadamia tambien son recomendables.

¿Que es el cabello crespo?

Es el cabello mas delicado de todos e incluye los patrones de rizo 4a-4c. Tiene tendencia a la resequedad y ruptura capilar, no debe ser expuesto al calor en la medida de lo posible y durante la transición es absolutamente necesario evitar el calor.

El cabello Crespo o Kinky-Coily es un cabello que durante la transición  es “alérgico a la plancha” por lo delicado que es, sin embargo es uno de los mas hermosos en su estado no estirado Natural.

Hoy me dedico al cabello ondulado pero muchos de estos tips también aplican para cabello fino y crespo, de allí esta agrupación tan poco usual.

Tips de cuidado de cabello ondulado

1. Secado con blower a temperaturas bajas: en este punto hay mucha controversia, pero parece tener sentido hacer esto porque al secar al aire puede tender al frizz con más facilidad que los otros patrones de rizo.

✨Siempre usar difusor si se le tiene temor al frizz.

✨secado invertido con el cabello hacia el suelo

✨Secar completamente.

Mi opinión: si no desean usar calor también pueden intentar envolver el cabello en una toalla de microfibra hasta que esté casi seco y ver si les funciona.

2. Decidir el estilo: liso con blower y plancha(o rollos y tubi tubi) o definición de rizo con blower y difusor y enfocarse en un look.

✨Liso: Hidratar bien y usar pretratamiento, protector de calor obligatorio y si el cabello es fino mejor evitarlo.

3. Usar un solo producto para peinar:

🔸Deber ser Ligero: No cremas o butters pesados ni  leave in conditioner en crema, a menos que se desee poca  definición aka beach waves.

🔸Mousse: uno que me gusta mucho es el de marca Aussie

🔸Leave in conditioner: preferible en spray para alta definición.

🔸Se puede usar un fijador hair spray suave para finalizar

4. Cuidados habituales de cabello rizado

✨Secar con tshirt o toalla de microfibra

✨Desenredar correctamente.

5. Dormir sobre seda o satin.

Hay de todo en el mundo del cabello, y lo mas importante es ser feliz sintiendose comodo con uno mismo.

Tschuss

Dr. L