Taming the Beast…the BEAST?!

Women of every ethnicity under the sun ask me how I straighten my hair and how long it takes to get the job done. “All of those curls! It must take forEVER to straighten them.” “Can you even COMB your hair?” “You must have some strong arms to deal with all of THAT hair…” (Don’t you just LOVE all of the emphatics?) I have strong arms because I lift weights, not because my hair is tumbleweed (my hair isn’t even close to being such a thing). Trust and know there’s a lot less to straightening my hair than meets the eye, as I will describe herein.

Since I don’t have video capabilities set up yet, the following pics and my deft use of the English language will have to suffice for the time being.

image

Firstly, I always straighten my hair a day after I wash it; for some reason, flatirons are more effective on [at least] day-old hair, in my experience. The process starts by gently using a wide-tooth comb to address any tangles. Next, I mist heat protectant all over my hair and run the comb through it one more time to make sure the spray has been evenly distributed and not one strand has been missed. I have very fine hair that is quite damage-prone without proper care.
After separating my hair into four quarters, I begin the straightening process on a small section of the first quarter with my pre-heated flatiron, placing my comb underneath it as a guide and to keep my strands in place; the smaller the section of hair, the easier and quicker the task becomes because the heat penetrates the hair shaft more effectively and thoroughly.  I repeat this step until one half of my head is completed, usually about 10-12 minutes, then mist the straightened hair with shine spray while the strands are still warm. I repeat these steps with the other half, making the entire process clock in at less than 25 minutes. To finish it all off, I slap on a headband to tame any fly-aways; I don’t want to look like I stuck my finger into an electric socket, I mean c’mon. I might be crazy, but I don’t have to look crazy!

image

…And then I make myself look crazy anyway.

All Banged Up

Getting a new hairstyle is a big commitment, especially when it involves bangs. Being that I have naturally curly hair makes creating bangs all the scarier; there are endless possibilities on how to botch the job. After mulling this decision over in my mind for months…fast-forward to Saturday, January 4th, 2014: I finally decided to get bangs! (Translation: I have decided to take the easy route and buy a clip-on set.)

On a whim, I took the express train to Harlem to visit all of the beauty supply/hair stores on 125th Street in order to understand all of my options. Having never delved into the weave/wig/extension world, I really didn’t know what I was looking for; all I knew was that I wanted my bangs to look “real,” and that I didn’t want to spend a small fortune on them. I spoke to the Korean and African “experts” behind the counter at my very first stop and they steered me in the right direction. For the mere price of $17.99 I was able to procure this lovely little piece that they guaranteed would look like my own hair that I grew myself:
image
Honestly, I didn’t believe them. Regardless of the package’s claim that the clip-on piece was 100% human hair and that it was part of Vivica A. Fox’s hair line, it looked rather fake to my untrained eyes. The women behind the counter were nodding their heads so enthusiastically that I felt compelled to go for it. Hey, for under $20.00, why not? I could afford to take this little gamble.  After I finished all of my skincare, beauty, and clothes shopping, I hopped on the train back home, super excited to start experimenting with this creature (which is exactly what it looks like if you come across it lying on a surface). Don’t fail me, Vivica!

Since my hair was curly that day, I slicked it into my usual bun so that the bangs would blend in more seamlessly. Here’s the result:
image
Did I pull off Kourtney Kardashian’s look successfully? Albeit a little bushy/thick,  I’d like to think I did! Maybe I’mjust not used to bangs, and they really are supposed to be like this…? I consulted a friend who confirmed that this is indeed the desired length and density women seek out when getting bangs. This made me more confident about my new look. Check out the side view and you tell me if these bangs are convincing. I want to make sure my friend isn’t lying to me.
image
Don’t you just feel the confidence in my pose?! I’m going to give it a road test this weekend to see people’s reactions to them. If agreeable, I’ll be able to change my hair like I change my lipstick!
image
Smooches!

P.S. I do know that there’s a way to use my own hair to create bangs by leaving fringe out of your top knot and styling it to hang over your forehead, but my hair isn’t long enough to do that when it’s curly, and again, this is so much easier!

True Love

Brazilian Keratin: Where have you been all my life? This treatment is my new love, one that will most likely last a lifetime. It takes only 15 minutes to flatiron my hair once dry and the results are salon quality, even with my untrained hand.

image

The entire process at the salon only took 1 hour and 15 minutes, but I was prepared for it to take 3 hours like everyone had warned me. First, they washed my hair and sat me under a dryer for a few minutes. Next, the stylist sprayed keratin on my hair in small sections to make sure every strand was saturated with it. Then she blew my hair dry with a round bristle brush. The final step was to flatiron my hair stick straight in order to seal in the keratin and flatten my curls into submission. I washed it out after the 72-hour required time period and am amazed with how my hair looks and feels! This was totally worth missing three workouts, even though I felt guilty at the time. Never before have my curls been so loose and soft. I thought they were pretty soft before, but now they are positively silky and smooth (boy, was I delusional). Take a look below to truly see the difference:

image

Before, my curls seemed more firmly in place like natural ringlets, chunky curls if you will. Mind you, I wasn’t using gel, mousse, or hairspray, only curly hair pudding. And you can see how short my haircut seems due to shrinkage.

And then voilà!

image

They have magically transformed into loose curls, almost waves, and I am still using the exact same hair pudding, Aunt Jackie’s. This pic (directly above) is of my hair the morning after the initial washout, un-styled (I gave it a side-part when it was still wet the previous night). I’ve never known what it was like to have frizz-free hair, no shrinkage, or concern about curl patterns being dependent on the weather. My hair has always changed from one moment to the next, subject to whatever atmosphere/air it absorbed. Today, it is super humid outside and I was sweating like crazy on my walk to work, worrying about how my hair would react the entire time. Wonder of wonders, when I got to the office and looked in the mirror I saw that my hair had totally kept its fabulosity! I can even run my fingers through my hair without destroying the curls or creating frizz and poof!

Seriously, who needs men when keratin, dark chocolate, peanut butter and working out exist in this world? Ok, ok. I exaggerate…a little…

Say Goodbye to My Little Friends

image

Yup, that’s right. After being on “Team Natural” for practically my entire life, I’m crossing over to the dark side today and getting a Brazilian keratin treatment. I have always loved the feeling and the look of straight hair whenever I decided to do some manual labor with the flat iron; straight hair always made me feel more put-together, polished, grownup, sleek, chic and sophisticated. My curls have always garnered comments like,  “Oh, you’re so cute!” “Your curls are aDORable!” Getting your [face] cheeks pinched at the not-so-tender age of 35 is not cute. I’m over it.

So here I go, off to take the plunge at the salon to have someone make me over into the adult people so often forget I am. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, but now that it has arrived, I’m getting cold feet!

image

When my hair looks like it does above, I’m happy as a lark. However on most days, I look like Einstein with a jerry curl; not a good look. Yet going “all the way” has me feeling hesitant. A girl like me likes having options and variety!

Oh well, on with the adventure (because a girl like me loves those, too)…

Multitasking

As some of you may have seen on my Instagram page (Thevickylicious), I put up a little teaser pic up to show what little experiment took place in my bathroom tonight.

image

While deep conditioning my hair, I decided to try tinting my eyebrows during my wait. With a box of Bigen #59 (their most popular color) and my beat-up old Clinique free gift brow brush/lash comb, I hoped for the best.

image

After washing everything out 20 minutes later, the mirror told me my experiment wasn’t for naught. It worked, and I now have groomed-looking eyebrows! You can’t even see all of my new growth (a.k.a. procrastination and laziness).

image

Mission accomplished, my flat and round face now has added dimension…without makeup!  Now all I have to see is how long this effect lasts. Thanks, Bigen.

New Year, New Blog

Thirty-five years sounds like enough time has passed that something new should occur in one’s life—a career shift, a lifestyle change, or maybe something smaller like a new hairstyle, a different look, or possibly even a new blog. This past year leading up to my personal holiday (today), I have achieved them all except for the new blog…until now! The quarter-life crisis has been overcome, now it is time for some sort of third-life renaissance. After vacillating over this decision for months, the pros have outweighed the cons and The Vickylicious has come to fruition. For those that have been following my Instagram page (instagram.com/thevickylicious), this site will be much more in depth than just pictures with hash tags. Here, the hash tags and images will actually be explained so you won’t think my mind is as muddled as each waffle (#) I throw up. Since my brain isn’t syrup just yet and I can still write coherently and form rational thought, please enjoy my ramblings, discoveries, experiments and the miscellany that compile my life.

image