Thursday, March 8, 2012

WOWps: Day One

Hello Gorgeous,

This week I take a break from hair posts, I am in Denver. Today is the official start of  WOWps, but quite a few of us arrived yesterday or the day before. I am kicking myself for not taking any pictures. I am really bad about that. I get so caught up in enjoying the moment, that  I forget to pull out the camera. Which is a shame, because poets have some style. I will really try and remember to take pictures the rest of the trip.

It's been fun so far. Last night was the "Last Chance Slam", which is a chance for poets who didn't originally qualify to win a spot in this weeks competition. There  were some powerfull poems last night, and a little bit of comic relief, and mostly a chance to see old friends.

Last night after the slam, Chantay and I suddenly got a deep craving for dessert. I love that this woman is a food lover like me. Diets have no place on vacation. So we wandered around Denver trying to find somewhere open late with dessert. It took a bit, but we found a little 50s style diner with amazing wings and berry coblers (the baileys and coffee was nothinbg to sneer at either.) We had the cutest little waitress, cheerfull, attentive. And she had cute hair. We took a pedi-cab ride home. It was really fun even though it was colder than a witches boob in a cast iron bra.

Only thing I'm not loving is the cold, dry air. My skin is not looking it's best. I normally have very oily skin, and right now, it is so parched. I feel like It looks cracked and crinkled. I am going to have to overdose on my moisturizer. I also need to make a serious drugstore run. I discovered when I was unpacking at the hotel that I forgot my makeup bag. I keep a small one in my purse, but it only contains powder, chapstick, black eyeliner, nude lipliner, and about 6 lipsticks/glosses. I can pull that off for day, but I really need to pick up some inexpensive make-up and brushes to get me thru.

Make-up free morning, yes, I go down for the free breakfast in my pajamas, no make-up, I have no shame.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just a little quickie

Hey folks,

Sorry I haven't had time to finish part 2 and 3 in the haircare series. I've had a couple of late nights at work and tonite I only have about 5 minutes tonite before I get ready to go hit an open mic downtown.
I will try and finish part 2 and 3 before I leave on my trip Wednesday.

Wow Lynn, where are you going? I'm glad you asked. I will be spending 5 days in Denver with one of my dearest sisterfriends. It is an annual girls trip we make because we all live so far apart. It's hard enough finding the time (and cash) to visit each other individually, so much harder to get the whole gang together. So we chose an event and decided that every year we would go. Husbands, boyfriends, sometimes girlfriends (unless they are involved in the event too), kids all get left behind. So what is the event, you ask? WOWps (Women of the World poetry slam), is a national spoken word poetry competition featuring some of the most bad-ass female poets in the nation. Our little crew met years ago through our mutual interest, formed an artist collective, and a non-profit org, and these women have become like my true sisters, I miss them like crazy all year long. For 5 days it's like one big slumber party. As an added bonus, we also get to see WOWps, which is the most mad, crazy, dope, fly, awesome poetry slam on the planet. Over the years I have made friends with so many poets across the country and many of these chicas come every year either to compete or watch. I have never competed there yet, but our sis Succinct has competed twice, and last year our baby-sis Safia not only competed but made it to finals. During each night the actual competition takes place. In the daytime the host city has open mics, just for fun slams, workshops.
Me and the lovely Legacy from 2010

2010 WOWps champ Eboni

Succinct, Legacy, and Ms. Scorpiana X (a.k.a. me)

doin my thang at an open mic

finals night after party

imani & me

me, legacy, mani, and safia

dinner with the detroit contingency

Attending a large poetry event like this, is a lot like going to a hair show. You get a hotel full of crazy artistic types. A lot of serious partying. And fabulous hair. I love checking out everyone's hair and outfits, poets have just as much style as hairdressers.

As you can see from the pics, I don't wear vintage everyday, and when I don't, I usually have some variation of this choppy layer, somewhat emo haircut, flat-ironed, the lighting didn't do the color justice.

On to something more hair related. Like I said, I don't do vintage everyday, partly because I don't have enough vintage clothing, but mostly because my style is too ecclectic to rock the same look everyday. I maybe wear a vintage/retro looking outfit about once a week. But even in modern styles, I will mix in a vintage hairstyle and red lipstick about 2 to 4 days a week. Like today: skinny jeans, t-shirt, lace-up military/doc marten style boots, shrunken cardigan. The hair: rolled fake bettie bangs, curls, victory rolls, and a red and leopard print hairflower.

I think my first tutorial will be on how I did the bangs. I know there are a ton of tutorials on these type of bangs, but my hair has a unique challenge that i'm sure some of you also face. My real bangs are too long to be real bettie bangs, and most videos of the rolled under bettie/bumper bang are done by girls that either have no bangs or long,long bangs. My bangs arent long enough to roll up properly, even using a rat, so i have to kind of pin the rat in place, comb the bangs over, tuck the ends under the bottom of the rat and use a million pins. It's really very ghetto, but unless you get up close, it works.

Also coming this month: in addition to part 2 and 3 of the haircare series, I have had some topic requests, which I will hit in the order I recieved them. I did promise months ago to do some curly hair articles, so I want to do at least one. I've been asked for a post dealing with Sun In (yes, they still make that crap). And a request dealing with safely bleaching the hair. I won't be showing you how to bleach at home, in all honesty, I believe that should be left to us professionals (and yes I know some of you may have succesfully bleached at home, but at most maybe 10% of home bleachers do well. If you are one of the successful ones, that means you have the potential to be an awesome hairdresser, and might want to consider a career, the industry can always use more fresh talent) but i'll give you tips on how to keep the hair healthy, what to ask your stylist, and how to tell when your stylist has no idea what they're doing (so you can run).

So now I'm off to find a phone booth to change from mild mannered (ha) hairdresser Lynn Brooks, and into superhero poet Scorpiana X


Monday, February 27, 2012

Haircare Regimens (part one)

Have you ever wondered about the difference between conditioner, deep conditioner, and leave in conditioner? What's the difference between a rinse out treatment and a leave in treatment? Are leave in treatments styling products or haircare? What should my regular haircare regimen be?

Have no fear, Auntie Lynn is here to sort it all out. This will probably be a picturless post, I would really rather share some great info than spend time hunting up pics, and since tomorow is a hairwash day, I need to get up early. On the days I have to wash my hair my shower can take about 30 minutes, and it will take me an hour to blow dry, grrrr, the curse of thick hair.

So to break it down, there are 4 basic types of haircare products:shampoo, conditioner, treatment, leave-in.
Redken Color extend shampoo

1) Shampoo: so we all know what shampoo is for, but in case you have been living under a rock, shampoos sole purpose is too clean the hair. Cleansing the hair removes residue, dirt and oil, and enables treatments to penetrate better. For most of us, we want to shampoo everytime we wet our hair (there is an exception for curly haired folks, but thats another blog post)
Redken Time Reset Conditioner

2) conditioner: This is usually the last step in the shower. The main purpose of conditioner is to close down the cuticle of the hair shaft and bring the hair back down to it's proper PH level (both water and shampoo have a higher ph level than your hair, if you raise this level and don't bring it back down. While many conditioners do moisturize the hair and make it feel soft, mostly we want to lower the ph, and lay the cuticle back down so hair detangles easier, and we want to hold in the active
ingerdients in your products. You want to use a conditioner every time you get your hair wet.
Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat(my hair drinks this like crack.

3)Treatments: Treatments are designed to treat the hair, whether to address a specific problem, or just to keep the hair healthy. Most people should have treatments as part of a regular regimen, but these should not be done every time you wash your hair, too much of a good thing can actually cause more problems with your hair. These are usually products that will be rinsed out of the hair. Most treatments are done after the shampoo but before the conditioner, although there are some treatments that are applied to the hair before you shampoo. The two main types of treatments are protein (a.k.a. reconstructing treaments) and moisturizing (a.k.a. deep conditioner). Protein treatments deal with repairing the hair and adding strength back in. Hair is made up of 70 to 85% protein. Imagine that inside your hairshaft there are these spiraling ladders made up of protein, when the protein in the hair is damaged imagine rungs being broken off these ladders. The more protein you lose, the weaker your hair, until it breaks off. These protein bonds can be broken thru perms and chemical straightenening, haircolor and bleach, swimming in chlorine, excessive heat styling. Protein treatments help to replace the damage done and keep your hair strong. Regular protein treatments will also help your haircolor take better and last longer. Moisture treatments help replace any moisture loss we suffer from chemicals, heat styling, sun exposure. Hair is made up of 10 to 15% moisture. Even if you don't style your hair with heat, or get chemical services done, if your hair is naturally dry, you will benefit from regular treatments.
There are also treatments for smoothing hair, refreshing color, adding body, etc.
Alterna Bamboo Kendi Oil

4)Leave-In Products: These are products that are usually apllied to towel dried hair. The purpose is to further support whatever your hair needs. For example, if you have very dry,frizzy hair, a leave-in made for your hair type will give extra moisture and frizz control to your hair. They also help with detangling. Also, if you don't like using styling products, leave-ins will give some protection from the sun and heat styling.

So that's the basics. Part 2 will deal with finding the right products for your hair. Part 3 will deal with how best to use them.

I apologize for the science lesson (boring I know), but I feel it's really important to understand your hair so you can make the best choices as a consumer. I actually held back on the chemistry a bit. But for any of you chem heads out there, here's a quick science/hair lesson.

The composition of hair:
*70-85% Protein: adds strength
*10-15% Moisture:softens and adds flexibility
*3-6% Lipids: keeps the hair supple (oils)
*1% Pigment: this is where the color comes from
*.05-.5% Minerals:attracts and binds the proteins together(a good reason to take your vitamin and mineral supplement)
*.1-.5% carbohydrates: Intercellular cement that binds moisture and protein together.(another reason why low carb diets are bad for you, we need carbs.

And with that, I am off to bed.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The aches (and a coming trend)

So, I have yet to get this blog off the ground. I have a head full of topics, but things keep cropping up. I strained a muscle in my shoulder, neck, and arm right after New Years. Sitting down to do a blog post has been pretty painfull. But yesterday I finally made it to the doctor, and with the help of vicodin, I should be back in the swing of things.

Today will be a little teaser about Spring Hair Trends. Last week I was flipping thru the March issues of a few fashion mags and the recurring theme I kept coming across was vintage hairstyles. Now for those of you that know me, I looooooove vintage, and while I don't do vintage everyday, it is one of my passions: the clothes, hairstyles, hats. I started teaching myself vintage styling a little over a year ago and seeing it as a mainstream fashion trend has me turning cartwheels (well, I would if I wasn't injured).

The thing I really like about this current take is the variety. I have seen hairstyles from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. I have seen them done very authentically, and I have seen modern translations. For spring and summer, we will be seeing variations on 1920s and 1930s fingerwaves and fluffy brushed out waves. 1940s victory rolls and pompadours. Swingy 1950s ponytails, rolled under fake "betty bangs". "Mad Men" inspired beehives, the Bridget Bardot teased crown (not to be confused with the tacky Snookie Pouf". There's even a bit of 70s disco glam complete with frizz (yes, frizz is now acceptable).

Once my shoulder heals, I'm hoping to throw together some tutorials. Possibly some links to hair tutorials from some of my favorite vintage bloggers. In the meantime, if you want to start playing a bit, there are a ton of tutorials on the internet. All it takes is a little practice, some product, and a few tools. The dollhead pics are my own, sometimes when I'm bored I like to style up my dollheads and do photo shoots.

part of the hat collection

 To get you started, for products, you should have a jar of pomade (my favorite is Redken Water Wax 03), a can of hairspray, a thermal heat protective spray (if your using heat appliances).
one of my many vintage looks

For tools, I recomend a curling iron, if you have rollers, you can practice wet setting your hair. long and short bobby pins and open pins. single prong roller clips (for pin curls), a rattail comb, wave clamps, teasing comb, wide tooth comb, a flat bristle brush. If you can get your hands on some foam hair donuts and hair rats, grab those too. There's a ton of other stuff that can be added to your styling kit (I like to refer to it as my hairstyling wardrobe), but this should give you a good basic starting point. Sally's Beauty Supply is a great place to find inexpensive updo and vintage styling tools
My Grandma Eva in the early 1940s doing her pin-up cheesecake, she just knew she was fly.

Grandma Elsie with her half-sibs. The photo wasn't dated but I'm assuming this was late 1920s

Hope you all had a good valentines day!