My complicated relationship with social media

Good day, WordPress friends!

A few things that you might know about me because they are obvious: if you follow me on Instagram dr_vasquez_md, is that I’m not very good with the social part of media, and with the media part of social as well.

It was fun at first but then it became a chore as I started to follow certain guidelines.

I noticed that creating my posts was taking longer time and to be honest I was not in my element. This does not mean I will give up, but it does pose a question…why was I using Instagram in the first place?

I thought Instagram would boost my readership here, but it did not, rarely anyone clicks on my link in bio. I tried too hard to get the perfect selfies, the product showcases and ultimately ended up neglecting my blog post content creation, which I enjoy more than taking selfies.

I then stopped using Instagram altogether, because it was not fun anymore and I felt that I had no time for that and missed a few good opportunities to do collaborations with people whom I admire. Last December I returned to instagram, and I find myself enjoying it again.

I returned to a book by Sir Ken Robinson and this book helped me to get back on track with my blogging goals. The key point of this book is about finding your element. It’s rather difficult to explain briefly, but it is a good read if you need to refocus.

My Science based Hair blogging goals are to find my element and stay there and produce content there, but also to have fun while doing it.

I share with you now, my first attempt at reinventing myself as a blogger of sorts in a visual media format, as an experimental approach to determine what I enjoy about content creation asides from writing long wordy pieces for this WordPress blog.

I hope you like this raw edit, mixing lots of hair shots & nature to reflect the permanence of things while constantly changing at the same time.

Your essence remains the same regardless of looks, in the same way the cherry trees blossom at a specific time in Spring and they stay the same tree the whole year round.

You will blossom when the time is right and it’s never is too late to bloom.

 

Creamy Cafe latte product review

I wanted to start the year on a good note, so I will be sharing some of my favourite haircare and skincare products for this winter season and the number one is…drum roll please…the Anita grant creamy cafe latte.

🍫Creamy cafe Latte daily Leave in Butter🍫

The Anita Grant creamy cafe latte butter is intended for usage on dry hair and it helps me to break out my gel cast, create bantu knots and to smooth out my hair for braiding, the difference with other products when braiding is amazing, it makes the process easier and the final result a lot shinier and well put together.

It also helps to detangle due to having among it’s ingredients a naturally derived ingredient called Behentrimonium methosulfate, which provides slip. I promise that a label decoding for this ingredient is coming up soon but for now just know that if a product has it, the likelihood of great slip is higher.

The fact that the creamy cafe latte is cacao based and smells amazing is just a cherry on top!

Fabulous product all in all and did I mention it smells great? (I got the unscented one) It does not build up on the hair and so far so good, also works wonders for preserving stretched hair (heatless stretched hair, blow dried or roller sets, etc.).

I rarely purchase butters, however the formulation intrigued me and it delivered so this one is a keeper and lasts a long time, a little goes a long way. It is also Shea Butter free, for those of you who prefer products without Shea butter.

It’s a multipurpose leave in and it has many more uses, especially in winter, so now I will share why I love it in winter.

I really like this product during winter times because it’s full of lovely ingredients such as Macadamia nut oil, Organic Castor oil and behentrimonium methosulfate (you know I love this ingredient, but had to mention it again) which gives it a nice slip that helps in dry detangling, yes you read correctly, dry detangling as in for preshampooing (one of those things we should be doing in Winter). It’s also very moisturizing and boosts shine.

The scent is lovely and yeah it has coffee in it so it was bound to be perfect (my OG curlfriends know about my coffee obsession), but back to the review…I also use it to refresh my curls when I don’t want to rewet my hair but still want to seal in the moisture and get a kick of shine!

Scalp massages with this are also possible and it contains caffeine which has been purported to stimulate hair growth so no harm in trying!

In case you did not know Anita Grant is a British brand with handmade, cruelty free and naturally derived products that ships reliably worldwide, so even after moving to Japan I can purchase their products!

Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this mini review, and if you want more tips for winter scalp care check out this article.

xo

Dr. L.

PS. You can find the Creamy Cafe Latte Here!

Winter Scalp Care

Have you ever experienced itchiness, flaking during winter time?

The answer is probably yes, at least for me it is specially now that I wear my hair naturally curly and pay attention to it!

The reason why this happens is a generally a dry scalp, it could also be due to dandruff but then it would not be a seasonal thing…but we will get to that later.

The scalp is part of our skin complex so the same way the rest of our body is exposed to lower external temperatures, dry heating indoors and overall winter abuse (so much drama XD) our scalp also suffers, but there is hope. I will share with you a few tips that help me keep my scalp happy, my hair growing and my winters carefree.

  1. Keep your scalp clean: It is true that shampoo has a drying effect in our scalp but don’t rule it out completely in this season because we don’t want to end up in a situation where we create so much build up that end up getting dandruff making matters worse.
  • 2. Cleanse your scalp correctly: This point varies from person to person but a few general guidelines can be followed:

    Avoid harsh shampoos for example 2-1 shampoos tend to contain more than one deep cleanser, the same is true for shampoos for oily hair.

      Do not let go too long in between (shampoo) washes, this is the season to cowash midweek or once a week depending on your previous schedule to replenish moisture and remove debris from your scalp at the same time.

        Use warm water to cleanse, avoid hot water as it will only help dry out the scalp even more.

        • 3. Scalp Massages: Consider including oils in your routine even if you normally avoid them, nightly oil scalp massages can go a long way in keeping your scalp healthy and itch free during winter. A few good options are castor oil, black castor oil and jojoba oil.
        • 4. Use scarfs and hats to protect not only your scalp but your hair from the harsh weather.
        • 5. Exfoliate your scalp: You can make a basic sugar scrub with olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil or get commercial scrubs as well.
        • 6. Stay hydrated: Even if we don’t sweat as much in winter as we do in summer the insensible losses from our skin, breathing, etc. puts us at risk of being dehydrated; so make sure to drink plenty of fluids!
        • In case of dandruff all of the above also applies, but make sure to not skip on your regular antidandruff shampoo and if the dandruff worsens or scabs and skin lesions appear on your scalp make sure to visit your physician to figure out the issue.
        • Cheers and Happy Holiday Season
        • Dr. L.

        Thinking about embracing your curls?

        When I 1st started the natural hair journey ( I chemically altered my hair, not only heat damage it) I had a specific look and goal in mind.

        I wanted my hair to be as kinky as possible because that is my father hair type and I absolutely love his hair.

        I simply assumed my hair would turn out like my dad’s. I kept using heat because my curl was not what I wanted it to be, I became instead a naturalista with natural straight hair regularly using my flat iron with heat protection & protein treatments of course.

        Some time later, along came Instagram and thanks to my friend from Curly community. The Hair Lab was born. My blog & IG account became my journal where I logged my progress and my fails always trying to figure out how to fix the mishaps. In no time I started falling in love with the flexibility my hair had to offer, gave up heat entirely and now my curls are as kinky and coily as ever with loads of volume. I adjusted my goals to what I had and it paid off.

        I would not change my frizzy head of curls for anything, it still gets annoying at times the work I need to put into it and it still surprises me how different in can look depending on how I do the wash day routine, but we can get into that once we have the basics in order.

        A few things I wish my fairy godmother had told me before I started!

        1. Take a deep breath, you might be overwhelmed at first, but there is no need to worry we are here for you.

        Do this at your own speed.

        Take it slow if you need to, no judgement, no rush.

        You can either transition and cut the damaged parts little by little or get a big chop and start fresh, but do it only when you are ready.

        No pressure.

        2. Keep it simple.

        If you can’t or don’t want to buy a full set new products at 1st, do it one by one by like adding a good leave in conditioner, styling gel or cream to your routine while you finish the old products and learn to read labels.

        When the journey starts the hair is rather damaged so very fancy products are not an obligation, be comfortable with your own budget.

        Use less heat, or even better no heat at all, this will help prevent breakage in the demarcation line which is the point where your old damaged hair gets in contact with you new natural curlywurly-frowywavy new head of hair.

        3. Take the time to observe your hair.

        Is it fine, is it dense, wavy, curly, kinky?

        I recommend you to not obsess about curl typing, this early on.

        You will learn later as you familiarize with the curly terminology and your own hair.

        If you would like to know how I started to learn about my own hair feel free to read my 1st blog post The Hair Lab Scientific Method

        4. At first the chemical or heat damaged hair will be highly porous so look for deep treatment masks and products with keywords such as repair, strengthen, restore; they usually contain protein and protein is what damaged hair direly needs.

        5. Chemical damage cannot be reverted, I cut my hair gradually for about a year. Heat damage can revert with proper care. I did not chop off my heat damaged hair, instead I gave it super intensive care doing what I call a “partial curl recovery” as I was unwilling to cut the hair all over again.

        6. Be patient, have fun and don’t compare your beginning to the middle of others, surround yourself with good vibes only.

        Embrace your curls be them wavy, curly, kinky, coily or everything in between they are yours and you will learn to love them, I promise it will happen.

        The journey is challenging but it is totally worth it and your curls, waves, kins, and coils will love you back with good care.

        7. Naturally curly hair is for everybody.

        Whoever has it and wants to wear as it grows out of their head can wear it curly.

        No matter the shape, texture or color curly hair is not a problem; it has just been misunderstood for many years.

        I’m here to help you every step of the way in any way I can so don’t feel shy to email me or post your questions in the comments section.

        I will do my best to help you get started!

        If I could do it, anybody can!

        The product junkie club Spring 2018

        We decided to have yet another challenge & I write we because I got brainstorming help from one of my curl friends!

        This challenge is starting to become a yearly thing for me and this time we have more curlfriends joining welcome Hispaneek

        A few ideas for the challenge

        1. This is a freestyle challenge so each one of us brings a personal twist to it.
        2. There are no forbidden products, all you need to do is test your old products and if you need help deciding whether to use them or not ask the rest of the group and we might be able to help.
        3. Organize your products by categories.

        The old products

        • Garbage bin: those with smells or ingredients that We hate and the very old ones, let’s say older than a year must go in the bin. *If you don’t remember when you bought a product it is best to send it to the bin. I ended up with a huge bag of this kind that was discarded.
        • The “I like you, but forgot about you” bin: Self explanatory, basically products we liked even holy grails but stopped using in favor of our excessive hair product shopping. Prioritize to finish these ones first.
        • The Swap/gift box: Here I include products that other naturals loved but that somehow did not become a favorite for me; but that have a good quality and/or overall good reviews. This serves 2 purposes: making another curly happy and if you can’t swap it give it as a present and help to reduce waste, might be your curl friend just found a Holy grail thanks to you. This can also apply to unopened products that you have failed to use due to whatever reason but you think a fellow curly can love. I have received a few nice things from fellow curlies already and it really did make me very happy.
        • This challenge is open to everybody, everywhere. It is more like a club of curly friends who shop too much.

          Our hasthtag #productjunkieclub2018

          Our Ethos: shop smarter & more consciously

          Our Goal: reduce waste and in the process save money or invest our money only in good products suited to our hair type.

          A few ideas to get you started to clear out the old to make room for the new

          1. Group products by brand and use them together on the same wash day according to your hair needs & routines (try the same wash day at least 2 times in a row, if you like it continue the same routine until finishing the products or if you need or want a change).
          2. Repurchase of Holy Grails is allowed, so don’t worry you can keep your curls happy.
          3. Have a budget idea: setting up a budget is up to you, but using the base of another challenge I participated in (& failed miserably at) aim for $30, £30, €30 a week or the equivalent in your local currency, or whatever sum you can afford for hair care products. This is just a guideline.
          4. Buying products to complete existing hair lines is ideal. You can also choose to not buy anything so the budget goes from 0-30 depending on your intent. My personal intent is to reduce waste, so it makes sense for me to purchase less items and aim for zero expense, obviously this did not happen but for a few short months; once my holy grails ran out I repurchased mercilessly but lifestyle changes do take time!
          5. Don’t give up!

          Shopping (saving) ideas

          1. Take advantage of seasonal sales for your favorite products.
          2. Enter giveaways.
          3. Get a subscription box, I joined one for £20 pounds plus shipping & I got at least 5 full sized products in each box to try at an accesible price. I have still have yet to try many of them, but the ones I have tried so far have been very good and at a fraction of their retail price.
          4. 2 empties allow you to purchase one completely new product you have not tried before and empty holy grails can always be replaced as they empty so your curls are always on point.
          5. Look for eco friendly packaging when possible to reduce waste too.

          If you want more info about these shopping hacks let me know in the comments section, or on my instagram.

          Happy, conscious shopping!

          P.S. This is not a competition, but a collective effort to improve our consumer habits as a curly community.

          Share your findings positive or negative but always saying something nice, if you follow me on IG The Hair Lab you know I am all about positive vibes so just be kind when sharing the fails, be kind to yourself & others in this curly hair adventure.

          Other curly girls who have joined me since the beginning in this effort to shop more responsibly are

          Curlymamaxx
          Curlysue291

          Feel free to follow their accounts for inspo & great tips.

          We have had our ups & downs but little by little we are getting there.

          May the odds be ever in your favor” may The Hunger Product Junkie Games begin.

          May the force be with you

          Hi my name is Lelia and I am a product junkie.

          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.

          <<<<
          curls right before a Storm.

          <<<<
          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

          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 Maui Moisture 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.

          Anita Grant: Is a British brand with handmade, cruelty free, organic, small batch products that I simply adore shopping from you can find my favorite products such as the Creamy Cafe latte , aloe vera shampoo, the curl conditioning cowash and the deep conditioning cubes Here.

          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 discount for your 1st purchase in case you would like to use it, the other links are just regular links to the stores or affiliate links at no cost to you. I will keep updating this post as best as I can if you find it useful.

          Direct links to stores & product lines

          Anita Grant They offer free shipping worldwide with purchases over 45 pounds and an excellent customer service, if you haven’t tried this brand yet it’s a must try!

          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

          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 websites.

          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 belonged 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…and then…

          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 respect 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 and 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 a 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

          No Heat Challenge Lite: 2017 Update

          Lite: “A simpler version, or subset, of something (especially software), in which complexity is forgone for the sake of easier application (or modified application); for example: Nintendo DS lite” Wikipedia.

          I have a “problem” I am a flat iron & heat tools junkie and that is unlikely to change, unless I make an effort, but change is difficult;  so I propose a Lite Heat Free Challenge for the impatient Curly Girl. Care to join me? Then, read on!

          The longest I had managed to be relatively heat free, before doing this challenge was 5 months now I can say I have been almost heat free for almost an entire year.

          If you are struggling to give up heat cold turkey maybe the #noheatlitechallenge is for you

          This is how I did it and maybe it can help as a guideline to create your own challenge.

          No Heat Lite Club: The idea is to have a small community of curlies who still use heat because we are still in the heat transition phase or because we like it, while still allowing for some freedom once the need for heat becomes too much.

          Rules of the Lite Club

          First rule of Lite Club: rules are relative, more than rules we have guidelines.

          Second Rule: The flat iron is forbidden, this one is the only guideline that must always be followed.

          Third Rule: If you get bored, feel tempted or need help finding styling ideas always ask for help, the club will always be there for you.

          Rule four: Have fun, try new things & share what works for you.

          The Guidelines

          1. No flat iron during the entirety of the challenge. using it even once resets the “heat free calendar”
          2. Avoid the blow dryer except for diffusing.
          3. Diffusing allowances: Ideally always dry hair on cool, but low heat is allowed no more than once a week. Medium heat should not happen, but if it must then only once per month or it means reset of the “heat free calendar”.
          4. Start the “Heat Free Calendar” with a Complete Wash day Including all your important steps like pre poo, shampoo, deep conditioning and your preferred heat free styling method, mine is the wash and go.
          5. If your own a hooded dryer then try it out on the lowest possible setting, no more than once a week, if you don’t own one like me maybe we can find a good one together.
          6. Hot Rollers are allowed but only once a month and the drying and stretching should be done heat free. Blow drying + hot rollers also resets the calendar so choose this option wisely.
          7. Flexirods, perm rods, magnetic & foam rollers are your friends.
          8. Always protect your hair at night.
          9. Do a Wash Day only when you have time, for example on your days off ideally when you don´t need to leave the house. If you don’t have time try and refresh only or “put it in a bun” or “wrap it up”.
          10. Have Fun and try your best. We promise we wont judge!

          Here are some style inspos for the Heat Free Challenge Lite:

          img_0847

          Style with Hot Rollers 

          img_0407

          Wash & Go

          alliphoneblack 1976

          Curly updo with bangs

          ipadnoviembre-352

          Half up curly do 

          Twistcantu

          Twist out

          ipadnoviembre-680

          Flexi Rods

           

          My last flat iron: Sept 26 2016

          Challenge Start date: Nov 27 2016

          Challenge Duration: 6 months.

           

           

          0b22dd47-1614-425f-9df7-321f8852112c

          4/16  vs. 27/11/16  wash & go

          Let’s see if this Heat tools Junkie can survive six month without the Flat iron, join me and we can motivate and teach each other new tricks to stray true to the Curly life!…I can tell you now that I did survive 6 months & beyond without flat ironing my hair and I think my curks have improved quite a lot since the beginning of the curl journey, with it’s most dramatic transformation happening after I gave up direct heat.

          Today is September 1st 2017 and I have not used a flat iron since September 2016, the 1st few months of the challenge were difficult because old habits die hard, but I found a very supportive group of curl friends to do it with. I followed the “flexible rules” for the 6 months of the challenge, in July I reintroduced medium heat because I needed to dry my hair faster and because I started playing with my texture to create big hair routines and it does not seem to be a problem for my curls, I will post in the future how I dry my hair using a diffuser but in the meantime you can follow my progress on instagram here on The Hair Lab and feel free to use the hashtag #noheatlitechallenge so I can follow your curly hair journey too!

          PS. This is the picture of my last wash day! Would you like a full updated wash day routine & to know which products I used? Let me know in the comments 🙂

           

          Should I fear Parabens?

          The quick answer: no

          For the long answer: I quote the American Cancer Society and the summary is no too.

          “Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives and as food additives. They can be found in many types of make-up (like lipstick, mascara, concealer, and foundation) and skin care products (like lotion, shaving products, and sunscreen). Parabens can be absorbed through the skin.

          Intake of parabens is a possible concern because studies have shown that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties. Estrogen is a female hormone known to cause breast cells (both normal and cancerous) to grow and divide…

          In 2004, a small study found traces of parabens in some samples of breast cancer tumors…there are some points about the study findings:

          They looked only for the presence of parabens in breast cancer samples, it did not show that parabens caused or contributed to breast cancer development in these cases – it only showed that they were there. What this meant is not yet clear.

          …parabens have weak estrogen-like properties, the estrogens that are made in the body are many times stronger…natural estrogens (or hormone replacement) are much more likely to play a role in breast cancer development.

          This study did not contain any information to help find the source of the parabens found in the breast tissue – it’s not clear if they might have come from antiperspirants or from some other source.

          Most people are exposed to parabens…studies have found some form of parabens in the urine in up to 99% of people in the US…so far, studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health problems, including breast cancer…many other compounds in the environment that mimic naturally produced estrogen”

          A few Myths & Facts about Parabens

          Myth: Parabens cause cancer.

          Fact: Parabens have been extensively studied to address this claim and have been deemed safe.

          Myth: Parabens are harmful to skin & hair.

          Fact: Some people are allergic to parabens & fragances in cosmetics therefore those who are sensitive will have a negative reaction and should avoid them. It is important to visit your doctor if you have any skin concerns, a physician is the most qualified person to help you with your skin concerns.

          Myth: Parabens are bad for the environment or “nasty” beauty.

          Fact: In a study published in 2015 parabens were found in Marine life, but there seemed to be no negative effects on the study subjects. The significance of this finding is yet to be determined, and probably more studies will be conducted in the future. As of today no environmental damage can be attributed to parabens, partly because what is known about this compound is that it degrades quite fast so it does not seem to accumulate.

          What is the use of parabens, anyways?

          Parabens are preservatives and preservatives are important to keep our personal care products free of contamination by bacterias or other harmful agents and extend their shelf life, they are not active ingredients but more of an agent necessary to maintain the integrity of a product from it’s manufacturing process until the moment it reaches the consumer and while it is being used by said consumer, basically all of us.

          Preservatives are not a bad thing, fear mongering is.

          Let me know if you have any questions and if you would like to see more posts like this one in the comments section or find me on IG: The Hair Lab