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.

      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

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      I wish my shelf was as tidy XD

      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

       

      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

       

      10 Datos Útiles para Sobrevivir y Disfrutar la transición a Cabello Natural

      1. Tener paciencia:
        El cabello toma cierto tiempo para crecer así que cambios dramáticos normalmente no suceden, no olvidar que otros han pasado por allí y que no estamos solos hay muchos en esta jornada. ¡Animo!
      2. Acondicionador: Mascarilla profunda hidratante al menos una vez por semana.Siempre usar leave in conditioner.Aceites para sellar la hidratación del cabello.Método LOC ó LCO (L eave in liquido O leos,aceite, C rema de peinar) el orden depende de cada persona y como se siente mejor, a mi LOC no me funciona pero al inicio de la jornada si me ayudo bastante es cosa de ir conociendo el cabello de poco a poco. Lo importante acondicionar, bien y frecuente.
      3. Desenredar: Usar acondicionador para desenredar el cabello antes de lavarlo (mojar un poco poner el acondicionador mezclado con algún aceite, el de Oliva es bastante bueno, no usar más de 1 vez por semana y desenredar para luego lavar; así protegemos el cabello de ruptura).
        Usar los dedos preferiblemente (toma tiempo).
        Si no hay tiempo peine de dientes anchos de buena calidad. Yo utilizo un Tangle Teezer pero cualquier peine suave flexible y manejado con cuidado puede funcionar
        Empezar de la punta a la raíz.
      4. Corte de puntas:
        1-2 pulgadas cada 6-8 semanas hacerlo de forma regular y si aparecen muchas puntas quebradas cortar tan pronto sea necesario. Esto es si optas por hacer la transición como yo lo hice, otros se hacen el big chop y listo!…bueno tiene su ciencia pero yo no pasé por el big chop, solo he leido la experiencia de otros.
      5.  No usar calor:
        Secar al natural siempre para no maltratar el cabello de por sí frágil (muchos recomiendan evitarlo los primeros 1-2 años, en realidad depende de la salud de tu cabello).
      6. Peinados sin calor:
        trenzas
        twist outs, Bantu Knots
        rollos, rulos, rollers magnéticos o de foam cubiertos en satén
        Esto permite mezclar las dos texturas y que se vea más bonito el look.
      7. Peinados protectores:
        Cornrows
        Buns
        trenzas
        pelucas
      8. Educación:
        Me recomendaron un libro que al parecer facilita el periodo de transición y al empezar a leerlo realmente inicia muy bien. Explica un poco de la base científica de nuestro cabello.
        “The science of Black hair” si leen inglés tal vez sea buena inversión. Lo pueden encontrar en Amazon.com
      9. Ser Feliz contigo misma, aceptarte como eres y no tener pensamientos negativos hacia tu cabello, ni hacia ti misma.
      10. Compartir en comunidad y no desesperarse para cumplir nuestro objetivo de vivir una vida libre del Alisado, si así lo deseamos o de decidir seguir con alisado si pensamos que nos conviene más.
      11. Tomarse Selfies: Ok, Ok no es vanidad…la idea de las selfies es solo para que puedas seguir tu propio progreso, no tienes por que publicarlas si no quieres yo hasta ahora es que publico los cambios para motivar y aunque mi cabello no esta de propaganda igual lo quiero tal cual es y no me da vergüenza compartirlo y si ayuda a alguien mas a decidirse por aceptar el cabello rizado sobretodo a las chicas mas jovenes tanto mas mejor.

      2016 vs 2017

      Mi cabello me gustó desde que me corte todas las puntas con keratina pero la verdad si comparo las fotos tenía mucho maltrato por calor. Yo pensé que nunca dejaría la plancha pero la dejé y mis rizos cooperaron. Si yo pude, tú también puedes!

      Animo la dedicación a aceptar nuestro cabello como es paga 🙂

      Actualizado Septiembre 2017

      The Hair Lab: Se habla Español

      imageBienvenidos a The Hair Lab:

      Este es un espacio para compartir tips de cuidados para cabello en transición de alaciados químicos a naturalmente rizado. Sigo consejos de bloggers y peluqueros que admiro y además le doy un twist científico buscando las evidencias en “journals” médicos que apoyan esos tips o los contradicen, según sea el caso.

      Aquí experimentamos, cuestionamos y sobretodo nos divertimos aprendiendo cómo amar nuestro cabello en todas sus formas. En Panamá es muy común utilizar el cabello alisado químicamente por muchos medios y esta página quiero compartir mi re-descubierto amor por los rizos 100% naturales.

      En general me es más fácil escribir en inglés, debe ser porque desde que tengo memoria trabajo en inglés; pero haré mi mejor esfuerzo por escribir también es español. Todas las sugerencias sobre temas para compartir son bienvenidas.

      Esto para mí es también un experimento porque es mi primer blog e igualmente sigo aprendiendo algo nuevo de mi cabello básicamente todos los días y es simplemente fascinante.

      Sobre qué tema te gustaría que escriba en Castellano? Da una vuelta por el blog y ayúdame a escoger qué tema traducir para tí.

      Go Team Natural!

      Dr.L