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!
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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.

      Relaxing at night unplugged(ish)

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

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

      … 10:36pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Anonymous no more!

      Happy Sunday word press!

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

      The original title was “I am not my Job”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      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 🙂

       

      Summer Holiday Haircare tips

      1. Always wear a sunscreen for your hair & skin.
      2. Always saturate the hair before swimming.
      3. Head scarfs & Hats are a must, they protect the hair from the aggression of the environment and look super cute.
      4. Do not be afraid of silicones, they do help protect your hair just make sure to remove them well after the holiday is over.
      5. Co-wash if you intend to use the pool or swim at the beach for several days in a row.
      6. Keep at hand a spray bottle with either water only or water mixed with your fave conditioner.
      7. Take a travel kit with a few curl essentials either repack in small travel bottles your holy grails or buy one with a full set of products. I will try to review my favorite travel kit on a future blog post.

      There are many ways to saturate the hair before swimming

      1. Water only: this is particularly useful when using public pools where conditioner might not be allowed and/or as a courtesy to fellow swimmers.
      2. Apply deep conditioner before swimming or any kind of conditioner for that matter just let it get absorbed into the hair and coat it very well. I like Aussie hair 3 minute reconstructor because it’s a good one for on the go.
      3. Seal with oil before swimming so that way you reduce the amount of external agents that can enter the hair shaft, you can saturate with water 1st and then seal or just seal with oil if you like (I don’t do this as I use products with silicones that have a similar function but I think it is not a bad idea)

      After Sun Hair Care

      Apply a good conditioner right after swimming even if you don’t wash or co-wash your hair right after your swim, this step will prevent your hair from drying out more until the time that you do so and at the beach it would give you a very nice “summery look” and maintaining hydration while you enjoy the sunny days by the pool or at the beach.

      Once back home

      Clarify with a deep cleansing shampoo. I like kinky curly come clean and if this step is not enough you can also use clay masks such as bentonite clay to remove any traces of product and keep your scalp clean and free from build up.
      Deep condition as soon as you get back home, and more frequently, 2 times a week would be ideal; your curls will thank you for that.
      Consider doing a protein treatment if your curls are still feeling off balance after deeply cleansing & frequent deep conditioning.

      It seems like a lot to do but you can pick & choose how to protect your hair, this is just a collection of things I have found useful and I hope they can help you too.

      Big big big hair Curly Hair Routine

      About the wash

      Prepoo/Detangle with a conditioner with good slip, I used L’oreal Botanicals Fresh Care Camelina.
      Massage scalp with a shampoo brush.
      Alfa Parf Volumizing shampoo, focusing on the roots and avoiding piling up the hair on top of the head.
      Alfa Parf Volumizing conditioner for about 3 minutes
      Then applied more conditioner while still in the shower, using the squish to condish method, in which you take soaking wet hair and scrunch in conditioner without rinsing it out so it works like a leave in conditioner, you should hear a squish-squish squishy sound. The idea behind this is that the water provides the hydration pulling the conditioner along with it into the hair fibres.

      Styling wet in the shower

      Without removing the excess water I applied all my styling products with my head flipped upside down.
      First use a primer like condition & sculpt from Jane Carter Solution, which helps to set your curls but without weighing them down; something very important when going for really big hair.
      Then I applied a small amount of Jane Carter solution curl defining cream specially in the lower layers and scrunched very well with my hands.
      This seems a bit complicated but honestly it was quite fast, the whole process took no longer than 15 minutes.

      Drying

      I carefully scrunched some more with a soft tshirt, this removes excess product and water, you can also use a microfiber towel; just make sure it is a soft fabric as this step can encourage too much frizz, this big hair routine takes advantage of frizz but it also needs some curl definition to work, at least for me.

      I set my curls using a hair dryer with a Remington diffuser attachment but any conventional one should work to be honest.

      Start with low heat alternating with cool shot, then you can either use a devafuser attachment to lift the roots using cool mode or skip this step and continue using your conventional attachment at medium heat alternating with cool, dry until about 60% dry without any attachment only medium heat.

      Tips & tricks

      At about 60% dry I like to spray a volumizing mist like Shea Moisture yucca & baobab Volumizing Moisture Mist for fine thin hair focusing on the roots, I find that if I use a Volumizing mist, I can really give that extra hold to my hair strands so they go up and stay up.

      I continue drying the roots using my deva fuser attachment low speed/low heat until 90% dry and then finish off by removing all diffusers and drying at medium heat/low speed and a final with a cool blast all over.

      About the Volume

      Once the hair is 100% dry you can use a hair pik to increase the volume of the top layer, you can encourage frizz if you do it vigorously (this is how I do it) or preserve the curls if you go more delicately, just make sure it is 100% dry or you wont be able to control the desired texture.

      I also use my fingers to fluff some more. I used a pea size amount of nourish & shine to not frizz to much while fluffing, but any lightweight oil or butter is fine.

      My hair type

      I have high density, fine-medium thickness, low porosity hair and it is quite frizz prone so this routine also allows to take advantage of the frizz for a lot of volume while still retaining some curl definition.

      The haircut

      FYI: I have a layered cut with short layers on top to be able to create a voluminous final result and long layers in the back.

      ….And that’s it big hair for short-medium length hair in less than an hour!
      If you have any questions or comments please let me know, I’d like to hear from you. I preferred to take a video so you could see the texture but for more pictures & routines feel free to visit my IG: The Hair Lab PS. I did not manage to take many pictures that day so I included a texture snapchat vid…and the only selfie I could find. I will write another post using the same routine with different products where I did take a proper selfie 🙂 let me know what you think of this routine!

      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.