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 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 from afar and who are great role models for the younger girls out 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.

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! 

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

A product Junkie Rehab: The Cantu case

Hello Again Curl Friends. I had the idea of write this a detective story but I utterly failed so it will be factual.

Lately the Hair Lab is conducting financial planning experiments, aka trying to control the full blown Product Junkie in order to not go bankrupt.

Today I will share with you: The Cantu Case.

This is the 1st brand all curlies want, because everyone loves it. I only heard of it 3 years after the beggining of my journey. So I imported from the US and spent a lot of money on a relatively cheap product.  I had it imported because I thought it was hard to find it here in Germany so imagine how disappointing it  was when it did not work for me as a Leave-in for wash and go (my basic style) so I left it on the “products I hate” shelf, but somehow it felt wrong since this is top on curly girl product love, also the smell is just too pungent for me. 

Twistcantu

The Hair Lab: Twist out with Cantu

I still wanted to love it so I tried it again as a styling cream for a wash and go and my hair looked amazing for 1 day, then used it again for a wash and go, it was not good at all and I just gave up for about 3 weeks.

I started using it as an overnight prewash detangler and it worked wonders in making my wash days faster because of how detangled and soft my hair was the next morning.

A few months ago I was finally able to get good results with Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Cream for my wash and go.

cantuedit

The Hair Lab: Wash & Go Preliminary Result

Things I did different:

  1. I Used less product.
  2. Applied only in the sections of my hair that do not curl well and finger coiled (this product is great for finger coiling because of the slip and quick definition it gives)
  3. Tried my best to overlook the smell lol.
  4. Used it as a stand alone product, I did not used the LOC method.
image

Finger curling only the upper layer of the hair

After it was 80% dry I lifted with a wide tooth comb and an afro pik and shook my head a LOT

My latest test included using 2 cantu products as follows:

  1. Conditioning cowash
  2. Cantu beauty leave in conditioning CREAM: the cream part is important to note as cream my low porosity high density, fine-medium very curly afro hair can not stand it, it is too heavy. Instead I used it as a very rich rinse out conditioner using the squish and condish method, this also deals with the scent issue.
  3. I oiled the hair with a coconut oi blend from the body shop
  4. I used Jane carte solution revitalizing conditioner as the only leave in product to heat protect.
  5. I used the diffuser in medium heat low speed and was ready in 15 minutes.

It def is not a holy grail product for me but I feel better knowing that I can get good results with it. Not all curlies are created equal and what one person might love the other might think meh. Still I enjoyed playing around maybe next time I can use it as Leave in again just to see what happens.  

 

 

 

 

5 Errores que cometí durante la Transición

image

5 errores que cometí durante la transición a cabello Natural

1. Me hacía y me hacían plancha, ojo yo amo los rizos pero tb mi look lacio, para mi todo cabello natural es bonito, dicho esto plancha en la transición es mucho riesgo de ruptura capilar y big chop obligado yo tuve suerte y con buena técnica pero el cabello es frágil en ese estado. NO NO Lo haga.

image

Just say NO asi sea la super Ghd ultimo modelo NO

2. No leer blogs de cabello natural, error grave y por eso 🖕🖕🖕eso pasó. Lea blogs no sea como yo.

image

3. Querer complacer a la Jefa, no diré más de esto pero mis colegas me entienden.

image

Credito: Tallncurly.com

4. Hacerse alisado en las raíces para que la plancha quede mejor. ¡Cringe! Esto es consecuencia de la 3.

image
5. Vivía debajo de una piedra. Nadie nace sabiendo, conecta pregunta en redes sociales todos somos humanos buscando mejorar y juntos somos mas fuertes. No seas como yo en mi transición a menos que te guste hacer todo a lo loco entonces sí lol 😹😹😹😹 no seas una isla se un archipiélago, pero créeme los vlogs y blogs ayudan. No todo es correcto pero para eso esta el señor Google.image.jpeg

 

Curly Girl Chemistry: a Mini Guide!

The curly girl mini guide to deciphering the ingredient list on haircare products, is a bit of a blogging experiment for me. The idea is to translate a little bit of journal science into everyday information readily available for all curlkind.

Today Shampoo & Surfactants

img_1292

What are all those things in the ingredient list?


This post will be about surfactants which are basically detergents which clean and/or condition the hair and scalp in some cases.

To sulfate or not to sulfate? That is the question. A very common question for curly girls. Sulfates are part of the anionic surfactant group, are deep cleansers and are the cheapest products in the haircare industry.
The answer is maybe, it depends, not too much.


In the above table you can see the 4 types of surfactants or cleansing agents found commonly in Shampoos, conditioners, nopoos or cleansing conditioners.

Deep cleansers = anionic surfactants.

They usually lather and clean the scalp very well, but they have as a negative for curly hair a drying effect so if you are curly these agents should not be used everyday, once a week seems like a good enough frequency.

One reason a shampoo can be extremely drying is that it has a mix of 2 or more deep cleansers (as a curly girl this is something I avoid completely). I saw a shampoo that was called moisturizing but had sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate of course it will dry the hair, that is a no no no for curly hair.

Sulfates are known to cause irritation in some people, specially sodium lauryl sulfate which I have excluded from my haircare but other than that one most anionic surfactants do a pretty good job without causing problems, my favorites are sulfosuccinates & sulfonates because they have a smaller molecular size, hence less chance of causing scalp and skin irritation. I find Sodium laureth Sulfate ok as it does not irritate my skin either, but a lot of peopleavoid this ingredient.

Mild Cleansers = nonionic, amphoteric or cationic surfactants.

They usually don’t lather and are either added as a conditioning agent to make deep cleansers softer.

They are commonly used as the main ingredient in no poo products and conditioners.

The best ones as stand alone agents are the nonionic ones like cetearyl alcohol or any other fatty alcohol (these are hydrating alcohols unlike denaturalized alcohol which is drying) and the amphoterics like betaines, because they do a better cleaning job than cationic or natural surfactants.

Deep cleansers remove silicones, contamination & sebum while Mild cleansers can’t remove silicones, oils or butters.

Before starting to use a cowash or no poo product always wash your hair with a shampoo of your choice to remove any trace of hair products and dirt and make sure to not exclude shampoo completely from your routine in order to keep your scalp healthy.

Another good tip for successful cowashing is to avoid all silicones, butters and oils…and if product build up appears use a deep cleanser and then follow with a good deep conditioner.

No need to be afraid of deep cleansers just use them in moderation.

I hope this mini guide helps you and if you have any questions, just ask I am happy to help!

Let me know in the comments your thoughts!

Caring for Curly Hair can become expensive , so when buying products it is important we are selective about it.

The Best Hair Tool for Curly Hair!

image

The Hair Lab

Have you tried a Hair Diffuser to dry your hair?

If the answer is no you must! Yesterday I finally tried one and OMG! I loved it.

How to use

  1. Style hair as usual
  2. Dry with a microfiber towel or air dry until hair is not dripping wet
  3. Flip your head upside down and gently place curls on the diffuser attachment
  4. Always use low/medium heat or cool air to diffuse (Do not use high heat it will cause frizz and Damage the Diffuser)
  5. Dry the roots fully to minimize frizz
  6. Pick the roots and shake for more volume.

I absolutely love drying my hair using the diffuser attachment, it controls frizz, increases curl definition to another level, makes the wash and go last longer and if you have low porosity hair like me and workout a lot and need to wash your hair at night for some reason this is definitively a must have in your curly hair care cabinet!

Here a video on how to use a diffuser Curlyhair Routine

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…

View original post 148 more words

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 is some hair inspo

image

Sunkissalba

I’m bored of my hair, let’s get a haircut!

Not everything can be science and factual, some things are just well they just are.

I’m bored with my hair even though it feels healthy and it is well hydrated, I want to change it. Usually when I get bored with my wash and go I blow dry it or use hot rollers, but the humidity is high right now and I’m trying to avoid heat and coloring so the only option left is a haircut.

I always think I will style my hair with bantu knots or twist outs, but I dont have patience for it so when Im bored I always blow dry or hot roller set, but with the current weather change well heat styling seems a bit pointless. It’s officially been a month since my last hot roller set so why break my streak of no heat, cutting it is! Yikes.

My last haircut was in February and at the time I wanted an afro volume cut and finally now that I have gotten the hang of that style,  I want to try getting bangs lol why can’t we just be happy with the way things are. Humans we always want to change things up, the problem is I can’t go to my regular hairdresser for geographic reasons…

Here is a list of tips and advice for DIY curly haircuts with video tutorials I have been watching in order to trim my hair that I found most useful.

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-salons/2-ways-to-give-yourself-a-deva-cut/

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/haircuts/tips-for-trimming-curly-hair/

MissCharmsie Haircut DIY

On freshly washed and detangled hair with leave in conditioner, I started smoothing my fingers in the most straight looking ends first and I noticed I had way more than I expected I only did face framing since I was not confident to tend to the back of my head, then I washed my hair and hoped for the best.

I Ultimately decided to follow more or less, MissCharmsie DIY devacut tutorial while searching and destroying a few ends and I like the results my hair is a little more shapely and while is not a big change I am pleased with it.

Do you get that feeling of boredom with your hair sometimes too, even if its healthy and looking good? Would you cut it yourself? Do you think it is scarier to cut it in the salon or at home?

PS. I started writing this post 11 days ago and just now managed to pick up the courage to actually cut the few strands I did

Misscharmsie my hair inspiration