Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Essential Wig Tool Kit

To keep Remy or Virgin hair looking fabulous at all times, it's important to have the right products in your wig tool kit. Yes....we should all have a tool kit if you wear wigs and/or hair extensions. I will share with you the products that are in my wig kit that helps me extend the life in my lace crowns. Being that I have alopecia totalis, I treat all my wigs like they are my best friends. I went through trial and error to find the right products that worked great on my Remy and Virgin lace units.

Snapshot of some of the items in my Wig Kit

Nicole's Essential Wig Tool Kit
  1. Nunaat's Silicon Fortifying Shampoo
  2. Nunaat's Leave-in Conditioner
  3. Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
  4. As I Am Coconut Cowash (Use on my virgin units)
  5. Pump it Up Freeze Spray (Great Knot Sealer)
  6. Moroccan Oil Treatment (This serum is awesome & smells good too)
  7. Comb
  8. Paddle Brush
  9. Duck clips
  10. Bobby pins
  11. Hair bands
  12. Satin bonnet
  13. Satin scarf
  14. Shower cap
  15. Foam Mannequin head
  16. Mannequin stand 
  17. Spray bottle (used for conditioner/water mix)
  18. Scalp protector
  19. 91% Rubbing Alcohol
  20. C-22
  21. Cotton balls
  22. Q-tips
  23. Mini brushes 
  24. Supertape strips
  25. Walker's No Shine strips
  26. Salon Pro 30 Second Lace Wig Bond
  27. Scissors
I think I just about covered every essential item I have in my wig kit aside from the flexirods, blow dryer, curling iron and so on. Most of these items you can purchase at your local beauty supply store, Walmart, and online. So when you invest in your lace unit be sure to have similar items in your wig kit to care for your lace unit.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are Lace Wigs Worth The Investment?

"Lace wigs are the Rolls Royce of wigs" - Essence November 2011 Issue

The above statement from Essence is soooo true and should answer the surface of the question on if lace wigs are worth the investment. I am writing this post because I am always finding myself educating others on why lace wigs have such an high price tag. I had a client the other day tell me that she was looking for a 16" or longer full lace wig with Indian Remy hair under $100. For as long as I have been wearing lace wigs I have not ever seen an Indian Remy full lace wig over 16" priced under $100. Not even the manufacturers overseas will go that low! After educating the client about lace wigs, she had a whole new view about them and no longer consider them as a regular wig.  

Lace wigs are incomparable to machine wigs because they are designed to look like the hair is growing from your scalp. The creation of lace wigs are labor intensive because the hair is knotted by hand strand by strand to a lace base, and can take between 30 to 60 hours to complete.

Benefits of Lace Wigs
For individuals like myself who suffer from Alopecia, lace wigs are worth the investment! I've been wearing wigs for a total of nine years and five of those years I have been wearing lace wigs. When I was introduced to lace wigs, I immediately became addicted because I was able to see all the benefits of wearing them. I instantly regained my confidence from losing my hair and I was able to style the hair they way I wanted. I was no longer limited to wigs that didn't fit properly and couldn't style. Below are the benefits of lace wigs and why they are worth the investment. 
  • Light, Breathable, and Undetectable
  • Natural hairline
  • Can instantly change your style and color any time you want
  • Easy to maintain and care for
  • Can wear in a ponytail and updos
  • Fit for any lifestyle
  • Last up to a year or longer (depending on care)
  • When averaging yearly cost, a lace wig is more affordable than weaves and machine wigs. 
Pricing of Lace Wigs

The actual price of a lace wig varies because it depends on the components that make up the complete lace wig package. The cost of a lace wig depends on the of the hair quality (synthetic, virgin, remy), hair texture, hair type,  length, density, cap type, and hair color. Inside of Essence's November 2011 issue was a resource guide to help you understand the pricing of lace wigs:
  • Under $100 -  Short styled Synthetic lace wigs
  • $101 - $400 - Long Synthetic and Human Hair Lace front wigs
  • $401 - $700 - High-end Human Hair in a full lace and lace front wig
  • $701 & above - Consulting a stylist to customize a unique lace wig
From looking at the list above, if you find a long Human Hair full lace wig priced under $100 who should question the seller before buying. As the saying goes...You will get exactly what you paid for.

It's All Chicagolicious!

Chicagolicious has become one of my favorite reality hair shows to watch during week along with L.A. Hair and Jerseylicious. I am so inspired by all of these hairstylists and Salon owners. Aj (owner of AJ's of Chicago) has the most talented people employed in his hair salon and one being MaCray the Weave Specialist/Hair Stylist. If you are keeping up with Chicagolicious, you will see why MaCray is the Weave Specialist. I love all the work that MaCray represents on Chicagolicious. I wanted to share this video with you on the tips McCray gives to help you maintain your weave and how to style your hair before going to sleep. These same tips apply to wig wearers as well. One tip to always remember: To have the perfect hair you have to invest in good hair! Also check out Katrell's flawless makeup look. Katrell is the Lead Makeup Artist at AJ's of Chicago.
Enjoy and remember to tune in on Monday nights at 9pm to watch Chicagolicious on The Style Network channel!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alicia Keys' New Do

Alicia did it!!! After all these years of having long tresses, she decided this was her time to go short in a sassy haute bob. I have to say that she is even more beautiful with short hair. Her look is more sophisticated & classy on top of all the glam. Take a look at the pics below to see for yourself.
Source: Essence.com
Source: Essence.com - Early in 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beyonce's Huge Braided Bun

Beyonce’s hair makeover: braidsBeyonce's at it again with her fearless hairstyles. This time she took it back to her old Destiny Child days with the box braids. One thing she hasn't changed is her signature color honey blond, which looks great on her because the color gives her an instant glow. I personally love the style and can understand why she went the braided route. Being a mother, wife, and managing a huge career....who has time to focus on hair.

So do you think Beyonce's trying to start a new trend or just trying to have less maintenance now that she has entered the world of motherhood?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Affects of Alopecia as a Woman

Last week, I spoke to a few of my alopecian sisters and it felt good to be able to relate to each other. At times, you can really feel like you are the only person in the world that has alopecia. The topic that was very interesting was how we as women deal with alopecia. Some of us developed alopecia as a child and a teenager, so dealing with it back then is quite different than being a woman in today's times. It can be difficult to measure up to what society calls "beautiful" when you're a woman with alopecia. Flawless hair, nails, skin, eyebrows, and lashes seem like some of the best assets on a woman if you are reading magazines, blogs, and watching television.

When a woman has been stricken with alopecia, her whole world comes crashing down where it truly feels like the end...at the moment. The hair loss causes the woman to literally shut down from not only society, but her friends, family, and herself as well. I will personally share how alopecia affected me over the years emotionally, physically, and mentally since having the autoimmune disease from the age of 19. If you are a women who is currently suffering from any forms of hair loss, this is to let you know that you are not alone. I know exactly what you are feeling and the emotional roller coaster you ride on everyday.
  • Self-conscious 
  • Lack of self-confidence 
  • Embarrassed 
  • Depressed 
  • Unappealing 
  • Unfeminine 
  • Alone 
  • Loss of self-image 
  • Hide from society, even in the workplace and family/friends
To overcome some of the challenges with Alopecia, you have to hit rock bottom. What caused me to hit rock bottom is when my alopecia areata progressed to universalis where I lost every hair on my body from head to toe. During this phase of alopecia, I prayed and talked to God a lot (And I mean alot) because not only was it my alopecia, but my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and my son was born with an congenital heart defect. Facing these life-changing situations caused me to look at my condition as not being such a huge big deal because it was not life-threatening.  

Living with alopecia today, I can say that I do not have much of the psychological affects but I am very self-conscious. I am addicted to cosmetics and hair, and I spend hours in the mirror making sure I look my best before walking out into the world. I can admit that I overcompensate with makeup to mask the appearance of hair loss of the eyelashes and eyebrow. Being all glammed up & smelling good makes me feel extremely good about myself and I feel like a woman who is full of confidence. The things I normally worry about on a day-to-day basis is whether my wig and eyebrows are still in place, face isn't too oily, hairline looks natural, and most of all I look my very best. I do have my bad days, but the good ones outweigh the bad. I start & end each day with the Lord and count my blessings everyday.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Choosing the Right Hair Style for your Face Shape

Many of us flip through magazines or online photos trying to find that one hairstyle that will enhance our beauty. Most of the time when we achieve that style, it just doesn't look right on us as it did on the model or celebrity. Our face shape is the reason why some of these hairstyles does nothing for us. We have to consider the shape of our faces when chose styles that will bring out our beauty. Sheldeez's Hair Salon located in Herndon, VA (Washington, DC Metro Area) gives a few pointers to help you choose the right style:

  • Square face - a hair style that is highly textured and has soft edges will work best on your face. Also, because this shape of face tends to feature a prominent and angular jaw, you will want to have your hair in longer layers.
  • Round face – try and de-emphasize that roundness. People with round faces tend to have very wide cheekbones. By styling the hair towards the face and adding volume to the bangs (fringe), you will achieve a better balance.
  • Heart shaped face - will look best with chin level hair. This shape of face will also look good with bangs if the hair is short as it will minimize the forehead.
  • Triangular face - look for a hair styles that provide volume in the crown. This helps the face look larger and more even.
  • Oval face - you are one of the lucky ones! Because your features are even virtually any hair style will look good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Love of Ombre

This is a style that I did not think I could get used to, but the more I see it the more I want the style. I am talking about the hair color technique called Ombre. Ombre is known as two-tone colors where the base is a dark color and gradually turns to a light color at the bottom. The people that comes to mind that two-toned their hair back in the day was Pepa from Salt 'N Pepa and Aaliyah. Now today just about everything is being Ombre from hair, nails, makeup, clothes, bags, and shoes! Some people are getting jazzy with it, where multiple colors are being used to give the over the top fabulous & glamorous look.Yesterday, I watched a video with celebrity hairstylist Kiyah Wright using sidewalk chalk to color her client Ariana Pierce (who is an Entrepreneur & CEO of Superstar Nail Lacquer) ombre hair PINK! Yes I did say sidewalk chalk. Click here to see the video. It's amazing all the styles you can achieve with hair!
Source:  http://arianapierce.com/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Healing Your Lace Adhesive & Tape Burns

Adhesive and tapes burns usually occur when your skin is sensitive or when your lace wig has been attached for a long extended period of time. For me, I only have my wigs attached between two to four days because of the sensitivity of my skin. I normally go glueless and leave the attachments for special occasions. Trial and error is the only way you will know how long you can have your lace wig attached. I usually recommend that lace wigs be attached for up to two weeks and this is for women who do not have overly sensitive skin.

If you notice dark areas around your hairline when removing your lace wig this is a burn reaction from your adhesives and/or tape. Immediately clean the area with peroxide using a cottonball and follow up with applying Aloe Vera, A & D ointment, or Vaseline to help aid in healing the burn mark. Body Jelly by Carol's Daughter is another great product to use that helps the advance the healing process of burn marks. I have personally used this product. Continue this method everyday (Morning & Evening) until the area has healed and refrain from applying any adhesive and tape during this time. The healing process usually takes a couple of weeks or up to a few months. During the healing process, you can opt for a glueless lace wig.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Caribbean Beauty Rihanna Graces the Cover of Harper's Bazaar

Rihanna is gracing her beauty on the cover of Harper's Bazaar August issue, which will be available on July 17th. This is a must in your magazine collection!! I am loving her hair and makeup look in all the photos. Rihanna looks uber sexy in black hair because it brings out her natural beauty and gives her skin a gorgeous glow. Rihanna's hair was styled by Ursula Stephen for Motions and makeup by Mylah Morales for Nars. Take a look at a few of the photos below. My fave photo is her closeup shot. To see more photos of Rihanna's cover shoot and her interview visit Harper Bazaar.
All Photo Credits: Camilla Akrans for Harper's Bazaar

Friday, July 6, 2012

Keeping Your Beach Hair Smooth & Silky

Hey Couture Beauties!
I know I haven't blogged in a minute and that's because I was on a short beach vacation. All I can say is that it was a very relaxing and fun trip! Dealing with my hair around salt water was the least of my worries!!! Ladies, you know how some of us can be when it comes to our lace wigs getting wet & ruined. I did not experience a bad issue at all with my Brazilian Virgin unit. I used Nunaat Silicion Leave-in Conditioner prior to the beach and cowashed my unit with As I Am Coconut Cowash. My unit looked brand new and was still attached that same way I had applied it. While I was in the ocean, my hair looked and felt silky and smooth. The curls looked so pretty as well. After I cowashed my unit, the curls snapped back and the softness remained. Ladies, it's extremely important to properly care for your lace units for them last a long time.
Hair before going to the beach

Hair prep with Leave-in Conditioner 

Hair after cowash & letting it airdry