5 Errores que cometí durante la Transición

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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.

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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.

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

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Credito: Tallncurly.com

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

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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

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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.

Silicone Free Challenge for Natural Hair

As you all know I am a naturalista that uses sulphates and soluble silicones after determining they are safe and effective products for me that are as long as the mix of ingredients is not overly drying and they are pH balanced. That being said I love a challenge here and there.

I checked my product cabinet, and to my surprise I have more products with silicone than not so I sorted the products to see what I had to work with. Yes I wrote cabinet in the previous sentence OMG I have a “cabinet”, when I had keratin blow outs or relaxers or creamy crack on my hair I simply used shampoo, deep conditioner and a rinse out conditioner that also functioned as a leave in, Oh!the simple times LOL.

My product cabinet is now divided in products with silicone and without silicone so I decided to simply use only the products that were silicone free as part of my challenge. I also purchased a few new silicone free products and was actually amazed.

My original intent was to also co-wash during the entirety of the challenge but I had to stop at the 2 week point mark because of product build up and reintroduced anionic surfactants such as coco-sulphate and sulfosuccinates and my hair was still very hydrated towards the end of the challenge, the key to that I think is the pre-poo.

The results

After a week of unmanageable frizz my hair started to show more curl definition and so far product build up was not an issue. After that while it looked great my scalp was not feeling fresh and I was getting more tangles than usual so I switched back to shampooing on an “as needed basis” for last 2 weeks of the challenge.

Some products I used during the challenge were Devacurl One Condition Decadence line, Cantu (Co-wash and Leave in), Curls Blueberry Bliss Leave in conditioner. In terms of price Cantu is the cheapest, in terms of final results I preferred Decadence plus Blueberry Bliss; but all products I used made my hair feel happy :). I will start writing product reviews sometime next month once I have a little more free time.

Tips for a successful Co wash. My Silicone free Challenge experience

  1. Shampoo or clarify with a Deep cleanser before starting the Challenge
  2. Be 100% sure the products you are using do not contain any form of silicone
  3. Shampoo if you get product or dirt build up
  4. Do it with an actual co-wash product, that way you can experience the maximum benefit and if you like it you can then either change to a regular conditioner with similar ingredients or stay with the co-wash.

 

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The Hair Lab: Week 4 Silicone Free Challenge

Is “No Poo” healthy? A medical opinion

One thing that is extremely popular on the internet are mentions to the “No poo”method and products.

The methods:

1. Only water cleansing: Only water

The purest variant is to wet your hair with spring water. Advocates say that, although your hair gets greasy in the first few weeks, its appearance subsequently improves greatly because sebum production eventually regulates itself.

I have nothing to say about this except that water is not a cleansing agent and even if you never use hair products, you are exposed to pollutants, your natural oils or sebum and sweat which water does not have the ability  to cleanse.

2. Baking soda/ apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Natural is not always better. Just because it is in your pantry it does not mean it should go on your hair and skin.

Baking soda has a pH=8, ACV has a pH=2-3 one is too alcaline and the other one too acid.

The alkaline pH causes hair shaft swelling. This swelling loosens the protective cuticle predisposing the hair shaft to damage. It can also cause irritation of the scalp, hair loss and bleaching.

Don’t do it.

Even if it “looks good” a few times, it will eventually have a rebound effect and even increase the production of sebum, defeating the purpose of being a cleasing agent.

ACV is not as harmful as baking soda but still is not a good idea if you want tight curls.

3. Cleansing conditioners or cowash products and regular conditioners:

They contain cationic (positively charged) surfactants such as stearalkonium, cetrimonium, behentimonium chloride, behentrimonium methosulfate, and stearamidopropyl dimethylamine which soften the hair and stick to it (because hair has a slight negative charge), which in theory could lead to more buildup. But at the same time, they do possess some capacity to gently lift dirt and oil.

*Also another worthy molecule included in cowashes is cocamidopropyl betaine (amphoteric), but this one deserves it’s blog post.

My opinion as a medical doctor:

The no poo trend is probably not what it is hyped out to be and can be harmful, but using conditioner or cowash products to cleanse the scalp can be an aid to refresh hair in between shampoos, that can be as separated as 4 weeks depending on lifestyle and baseline dryness of hair.

In fact there is an old “guideline” from the american asociation of dermatology for afro hair care recommends washing it every 1-2 weeks, with the option to cowash you can still enjoy the benefits of cleansing your scalp and hair without drying it out more.

Natural is NOT always better.

Please don’t put baking soda and apple cider vinegar (undiluted) on your scalp and hair, it may look good at first but you will in general have problems down the road and it will take a while to solve it.

They may be in the pantry but they are not good for the hair or scalp.

Water never hurt anyone but all it can do is hydrate, it really does not clean properly.

In principle it is not harmful to only use conditioner (regular or the more expensive cowash products) and they can mildly cleanse the scalp and hair if left on and massaged in the scalp and then rinsed out as any other shampoo would be, yet eventually you should shampoo (succinates are a great alternative to sulfates, if you dont like sulfates look for this) for clarifying.

If you want to “no poo” prefer cowashing with products (I cowash sometimes because I work out regularly), either with high end cowash products, if you have big pockets or an ecofriendly condish (like the one From bodyshop) or a good ole cheap condish like Aussie and shampoo at some point.

A mix of dedicated cowash & conditioners

Is it necessary to buy a special cowash product?

Probably not, I compared a few cowash ingredients on various products and the cleansing agents are the same the difference are the specialty ingredients and the formulation (cream, foam etc) same as in any cosmetic product a part of the effective marketing, and better performance.

You dont need to buy a conditioning cleanser, but if you can afford it and want to do so you totally can.

Conditioners that work well as cowashes ingredient wise and that I have tried:

Aussie Moist, Tresseme Naturals, rainforest coconut oil by the bodyshop. The absolute on a budget condish with great smell the white rain Coconut or even better the lavender one, I cant get it in Germany but its so good.

Cleansing conditioners I have tried:

Macadamia cleansing cream.  I liked the fact that it is a foam and smells so fresh but the price of about 20 euro for a 100ml flask it’s not worth it in comparison to less than 10 euro for 400ml of aussie or 200ml of coconut rainforest for the same results.

Trying this product will be my guilty pleasure

What do the experts say about shampoo?

The Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV)

“… shampoo removes the oil produced by the sebaceous glands that traps dead scalp cells, dirt and other substances we apply, such as sprays, gels, etc. This oil or sebum must be removed periodically for reasons other than the merely aesthetic, as it is an important source of microorganisms that could induce infections.”
The Dermatolology times Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos (she has written really good scientific review papers about hair care products)

“The frequency of hair washing depends on the sebum and sweat production of the individual and the geometry of the hair. Hair that is straight will rapidly wick the sebum and sweat from the scalp while tightly kinked hair wicks very poorly. For this reason, individuals with very straight hair usually prefer to shampoo daily while individuals with kinky hair shampoo once every one to two weeks. It is likely that most Americans shampoo their hair too much, accounting for the huge sale of hair conditioners designed to replace sebum with a more cosmetically acceptable synthetic ingredient.”

Dr. Robert Dorin, a board-certified hair transplantation surgeon in New York City.

“the scalp beneath the hair needs to be regularly cleaned of oil, dried sweat, dirt and dead skin cells, Those using “no-poo” products “aren’t really cleaning their scalp,”.  “They’re not taking off the environmental impurities.”People who don’t use detergent shampoo to clean the scalp run the risk of developing fungal and bacterial infections”

Stop using too much shampoo😂😂😂

The bottomline:

Eliminating shampoo from the hair care routine is probably a bad idea, but reducing its frequency of usage (instead of eliminating it) might be beneficial and all you need to do.

Choose the right shampoo for you (even if it has sulfates a pH balanced for dry hair shampoo can be good, the mix of ingredients is more important, don’t like sulfates then use a different surfactant)

Shampoo correctly with small amonts of product also, only your scalp needs a cleansing massage, the hair just gets cleansed with the foam.

No poo in its purest form( all natural no product)is unhealthy, since it can lead to sebum, dirt, oil and environmental pollutants build up which then can lead to scalp diseases such as fungal and bacterial infections or can cause damage to the hair shaft by exposure to caustic agents such as baking soda ultimately causing breakage.

Wash day! Is your wash day too complex?

How long is your wash day?

Sometimes for the fun of it I follow all the steps I can find for my wash day and I have found that for me simple and “short” (if you can call short any curly girl full wash lol) is better.

My 45 minute wash day is a little like this:

  1. Coconut oil pre poo night before
  2. Shampoo (in 4 or less sections)
  3. Deep condition (10 mins with hot towel)
  4. DETANGLE (once with tangle teezer, wide tooth comb and finger detangle)
  5. rinse out conditioner.
  6. Styling

My 90 min wash day

  1. Overnight pre poo night
  2. Conditioner DETANGLE-1 (finger detangling + wide tooth comb)
  3. Shampoo (in 4-6 sections)
  4. Deep condition (30 mins with hair cap and blow dryer)
  5. DETANGLE-2 (with tangle teezer, wide tooth comb and finger detangle)
  6. rinse out conditioner.
  7. Styling

My 2 hr plus wash day

Hot oil treatment for 30 mins leave in it on for up to 2 hours with no heat and then add the 90 min wash day or deep condition for 2 hrs.

The crucial and most time consuming step is detangling and it should be present in all curly hair wash routine at least once. It is really not necessary to detangle more than once as long as it is super well done or the hair is not too tangled, if you wash your hair twice a week and refresh with a cowash chances are your hair will get less tangled and the need to detangle will be less. So its a matter of either doing shorter wash days more often, as long as you deep condition your hair (up to 2 times a week is is perfectly fine), this is not a problem and is actually great for refreshing from the summer time heat and activities.

Experiment #2:Carefree Hair or Naked Hair

In my first post I wrote about observation being the first step in the scientific method, well in the natural hair community is very common to use a lot of products in our hair, who does not love to discover new ways to get our hair on point? Well today’s experiment will help you do that and it’s not as pricey as you think.

In general knowing how to care for our hair comes with a lot of trial and error, but knowing some information can help us make it a more efficient and pleasant task (and as a byproduct reduce the curly hair tax every naturalista has to pay, a.k.a. The 47 Million hair product tax)

  1. Type of Shampoo
  2. Type of Conditioner
  3. Type of Weather conditions we live in
  4. Humectants
  5. Antihumectants
  6. Gels
  7. Hair cream

…and I could keep going, but the number one thing we need to know is our hair.

There are many hair properties we should take into account:

  1. Hair density
  2. Texture
  3. Curl pattern
  4. Porosity
  5. Length

…and the best way to get to know those things is seeing how our hair behaves when it’s in a clean undisturbed state, for this purpose I decide to try simply washing and conditioning my hair with basic Suave Shampoo & Conditioner.

The pros

  1. Short styling time
  2. Fast air drying
  3. Super defined curls, coils and waves

First day hair was simply amazing, it dried it a way I had not seen before and I really liked the shape, also it took very little time to be ready and it was dry after about 2 hours which for low porosity + High density hair is quite fast. I saw a lot of S patterns of curls and O patterns and an amazing curl definition.
The cons

  1. Too many tangles
  2. Dryness
  3. Longer time in next wash day (oops detangling time)

After day 2 hair it as simply downfall in the sense that the hair was very tangled, it felt somewhat dry and could not stay any longer without product so I oiled the hair in the 2 and used a hair cream to style on day 3. Left the hair undisturbed for as long as I could bear with it and washed it again after 6 days. I normally wash my hair every 3 days but was curious to see how long I could prolong the wash day.

The Conclusion

Asides from learning certain qualities about my hair such as:

  1. Hair prone to tangling
  2. Dry hair
  3. Multiple curl patterns: loose curls on the front and crown area, well defined curls on the sides and perfect coils on the nape of the neck

I also liked the aesthetics of my hair without leave on hair products.

I liked naked hair because my hair actually looked really pretty and I reduced my styling time considerably and probably will try it again but with a few modifications:

  1. Add deep conditioner to the routine (to tackle dryness)
  2. Blow dry instead of air dry (reduce the tangles)
  3. In case of tangles or excessive dryness cowash on second day hair

The reason I have 2 names for it is that after I saw the results I found a couple videos on YouTube with “naked hair” vs my “carefree” and the ideas to improve it next time came from this video in particular.

Naked natural hair
Honestly, I decided to not follow any natural hair “must dos” because  I was starting to get tired of the excessive amount of care and time it takes and wanted a change.

I did not  expect my hair to look good enough, but to my surprise it was one of my best high volume hairstyles ever!

On my next post I will write about my next wash day and the reason why is probably better to use natural hair as a one day thing and not a full week like I tried.

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