YCS Hair: The Trouble with Traveling (and a Product Review)

By Sara, Hair Goddess

Hi Curlies!

We all know the trouble of traveling when we need loads of products to keep our curls in perfect form. I personally find the 3 oz product rule a little curl discriminatory because our straight-haired friends can get away with either minimal products or being fairly sure that they’ll find a viable alternative upon arrival. But we can’t be sure that some random store will have the perfect combination of gel/oil/leave-in conditioners, or the “all natural” version, or a conditioner with just the right weight. And who wants to buy all that product just to leave it behind a few days later? I’ve been known to get a blow out or suck it up and pay to check my bag, but lately I’ve been thinking, there has to be a better (read: cheaper) way.

To be clear, I’m talking about short trips. That longish weekend that’s stretching passable day 2 or 3 hair into a frizzy mess. Now you can always pull it back into the old standby poof or try to go the spray bottle route, but what’s a girl to do when you want full out fabulousness?

A few weeks ago, I took a 5-day trip to Florida. The locale and duration made for a perfect one-two combo of too humid for a blow out (plus hello, swimming) and that funny length of trip where I didn’t need to check my bag, but was going to need hair products. Scouring my local grocery store for possible solutions, I found this:

DrMiracles

And what a miracle it was! A flat package meant no little baggies and the 1.75 oz size meant I was well under acceptable airline limits. My only concern was how a deep conditioner would work as a styling product. The general principal behind deep conditioning is the longer you leave it on, the better. If you can add a little heat in the form of a hood dryer or hot towel wrap, you’re supposed to be doing your hair a world of good. So I figured I’d be pretty set, knowing I planned on both extended wear and a little blow-dry styling.

Four packages of Dr Miracle’s later and I was good to go; I had no idea how much I might need, but with thirsty curls, I err on the side of having more product on hand. I got through the security checkpoint without a hitch (well, they did toss a full size bottle of sunscreen I forgot I packed, but you can’t win em all). But the real test came the next day. After a full day on the beach, the boyfriend and I were heading out to dinner. I co-washed and detangled all with only about a half package of Dr. Miracle’s. Then I lightly rinsed a bit out, finger combed and styled as usual with a blow dryer. Here’s how it looked:

This is day 2 hair, back on the beach after my night out.

This is day 2 hair, back on the beach after my night out.

Not bad, right? In fact I’d say pretty darn good! Dr Miracle’s has mint undertones so there is a bit of a tingle as you dry. I also didn’t find it to be the most moisturizing after extended wear. Suggested use time is up to an hour, so I completely accept that the dryness may be my own doing. On the whole, I’d recommend Dr. Miracle’s. I’d like to give a test under normal conditions as a deep conditioner. And you know I love a good tingle. The real take away though? Hair companies, especially smaller brands, ought to consider making flat package versions of their products.

I’m traveling more and more these days, so I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!

XO,

Sara

Lunch Date Outfit: Conservative Business Environment

YCS Hair: The Quick ‘n Clean Guide to a Wash ‘n Go Routine

By Sara, Hair Goddess

I’ve been thinking a lot about my first hair post for YCS, because I’m obsessive like that, and there is SO much to talk about when it comes to being curly, from products, to styling dos and don’ts, to how to score a great curly cut.  I plan on bringing plenty of intel on products and styling in the months to come, so for today I will focus on every curly girl’s fingerprint: my basic hair routine (aka the Wash ‘n Go or WNG).

If you’re completely new to the curly game, I highly recommend you check out Naturally Curly’s guide to find your curl pattern. The methods and products that work best vary somewhat by curl pattern/hair type, so while this works very well on my 3B/3C hair, some variations are necessary for other hair types. Steps 1 & 2 are largely the same, though those with type 4 hair may want the help of a comb or tangle teaser for detangling. Products are trial and error for all hair types, and type 4s will want to consider a braid/twist out, bantu knots or a similar style for defined curls in the styling phase (more on styles in a later post). Feel free to let me know your hair type in the comments and I will include variations in future posts!

Step 1: Cleanse

No shampoo! Cleanse by co-washing with a conditioner of your choice. I like minty ones for a tingle, but you can use anything as cheap (or not) as you’d like. Just try to get something moisturizing or for curls. It’s also a great way to use up conditioner that doesn’t work out for detangling. As long as you make sure to scrub your scalp to remove product build up, you’re cleansing!

Product Suggestion:

Every Day Shea Moisturizing Conditioner in Vanilla Mint (Whole Foods)

Step 2: Condition & Detangle

Your detangling conditioner should be heavy weight, very creamy and as moisturizing as possible. To find the perfect detangling conditioner takes a little trial and error (and if it doesn’t work out, see step 1). Wet your hair in the shower, and then ring the water out of your hair so it has room to absorb the product. Saturate with conditioner, clip hair up for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse about 95% out. Detangle by finger combing your hair in sections, beginning at the bottom of each section and working your way to the scalp.  I divide my curls in quarters at the scalp, use a butterfly clip to pin it up and a heaping palm full of conditioner on each section.

Product Suggestion:

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner (any grocery store)

Step 3: Style

Keeping your hair soaking wet, apply your leave-in product (you can do this in or out of the shower, but you won’t be rinsing it out). Depending on your hair type, this may be oil, leave-in conditioner, gel, mouse or any combo thereof, based on your hair type, the weather, and personal preferences. Finger comb a generous amount through your hair, focusing extra product on the ends to keep them from drying and splitting. I divide my hair into quarters, emulsify oil and leave-in conditioner, and use about 1-2 silver dollar size amounts on each section.

Product Suggestions:

Macadamia Natural Oil Leave-In Cream (Target)

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Curl Defining Crème Glaze (Target)

Organix Penetrating Moroccan Argan Oil (most grocery stores)

DevaCurl Light Defining Gel (online)

Step 4: Dry

No towels! For a true WNG experience, air dry. Expect this to take 1-3 hours, depending on your hair length and density, the humidity and temperature. Once fully dry, flip upside down and gently shake hair for added volume. If you can’t or don’t want to have wet hair for that long, scrunch out excess water with paper towels or an old t-shirt. This also does wonders for clumping your curls and adding definition. Attach a larger defuser to your dryer, and start drying your hair in sections. I shake my hair lightly as I go, but too much touching/movement will cause frizz. Once your hair is about 75% dry, flip upside down and dry from the bottom. This will give lovely volume. Dry to about 90% to avoid frizz and air dry the rest of the way. Once completely dry, do the flip and shake described above.

Product Suggestions:

Any of these microfiber towels will also work well in place of the paper towels or t-shirts

Here’s the WNG routine on my 3B/3C hair!

curly_SaraAlloy1

YCS Updates: Meet the YCS Team!

If you’ve been following YCS on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook then you know that we’re in the process of making a lot of new and exciting changes around here. First up, our new logo (thanks Veronica Marche) which we unveiled two weeks ago! This logo is sleek, clean, crisp and elegant (I like to think of it as our YCS version of the iconic Chanel font). It is also gender neutral.

Logo_black_200

Which gets to our next big change.

We are in the process of transitioning the YCS brand to encompass your lifestyle, not just fashion. I alluded to this in the Thirteen in ’13 post when I mentioned YCS would be doing more reader events and adding diversity in our posts. What does that mean exactly? We want YCS to touch all areas of your life – whether you’re female or male. So, we’re adding a second men’s style contributor (don’t worry, we didn’t kick Donte’ to the curb!) and a hair contributor. And, of course, we’re keeping Torrey, our make-up guru!! As we transition the brand we’ll also be updating the website (eeek!) and launching some really cool adventures!

But, before we get to all of that, let’s take a minute to get you re-acquainted with me, Torrey and Donte’ and, introduce you to our newest YCS contributors, Sara and Ean. Below, check out a bio and some fun facts about your fave (old and new) YCS contributors. Also – be sure to follow us on Instagram, as all YCS contributors will be posting from the account. That’s right – you’re totally going to get a sneak peek into how all of us show our chic all day long!  Oh, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest and like our Facebook page as well!!

All of us are so excited about the changes at YCS and we’re so glad that you’re coming along for the journey!!!

Your Chic is Showing,

With Love, Erika

The Old Heads

IMG_4455Erika, Founder/Resident Fashionista

Erika, our resident fashionista and founder, thinks every hallway, sidewalk and subway platform is her runway and struts accordingly. She works in corporate America by day (and enjoys it) and practices her “smize” by night. She believes in making people feel special, writing hand-written thank-you notes, Instagram selfies and veto rights to all (OK, some, she can’t control all) Facebook photos posted of her. She loves Jay-Z, the city of London and trashy reality TV (RHOA and the Kardashians are among her faves). And, of course, she is always on the look out for anyone whose chic is showing.

1. What one word best describes you?

Bold.

2. What were you like as a kid?

Really, really, bossy. And super imaginative. Both of which I pretty much still am.

3. What is your secret fashion/make-up/hair weapon?

An expensive handbag. It’s highly likely that I’ll wear an outfit that cost $50 total with a $400 bag. A good bag will instantly upgrade any outfit.

4. What makes you laugh uncontrollably, without fail, every time?

Made-up words used in serious conversation. It’s the inner grammar snob in me. But I love it. And I will use them until my spell check is convinced it’s a real word.

5. What is your favorite food?

My dad’s cheesecake and my mom’s meatballs.

6. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Have one more drink. Don’t cut your hair.

7. What 3 movies can you watch over and over and over?

Sister Act II: Back in the Habit, Forrest Gump and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, I almost missed church messing around watching Forrest Gump the other day.

8. Favorite cocktail?

Gin and tonic. Classic with a little bite. Just like me!

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

Pay off my mortgage, buy a BMW, put some in a trust for my niece and nephew and fund dream businesses for me, my mom and my brother. Really, a million dollars doesn’t go that far. Can I have five?

10. What are your words to live by?

“Happiness doesn’t mean everything it perfect; it means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.”

“For I know the thoughts I think towards you,’ says the Lord. “Thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11

11. What is your website, twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, etc. (any applicable social media you’d like to share)?

You can find all things YCS to your right!!! Go ahead, follow us! I’ll wait!

imageTorrey, Make-Up Maven

Torrey, a.k.a., The Corporate Beauty is just that: a young beauty in corporate America with as much of an eye for numbers on a tax return or balance sheet, as the ones on a bottle of foundation at MAC. Though at one point, when it came to makeup, she had absolutely no time for that. One day she decided to experiment “just a little” and soon found herself with more lipsticks, eyeliners, blushes, and bronzers than she knew what to do with – at first. Now the Toledo, OH, native and Chicago transport runs the site, “The Corporate Beauty” and spends her free time painting faces. And when she’s not working on her day or side job you can catch her acting a fool and uploading selfies to Instagram with hashtags for days. #imathugoutchea

1. What one word best describes you?

Passionate…

2. What were you like as a kid?

Quiet, yet goofy. I was always the one that laughed hysterically at the class clown, but could never be the class clown.

3. What is your secret fashion/make-up/hair weapon?

lipstick! I’m so happy I’ve finally embraced bright lippies. It can make me feel so feminine.

4. What makes you laugh uncontrollably, without fail, every time?

People falling. Every single time.

5. What is your favorite food?

Chicken, should I be ashamed? Actually, I don’t like fried chicken because I don’t like the skin.

6. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t have kids or get married. I hate when people who are miserable in their situations try to deter you from relationships and kids.

7. What 3 movies can you watch over and over and over?

Any movie I like, I can watch over and over and over. I have a bad habit of doing this and memorizing the entire script.. Now sitcoms… The Bernie Mac Show, Scrubs, and Martin. I have gone DAYS watching different episodes of a single show.

8. Favorite cocktail?

Hennessy and coke… what does that say about me :-/

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

Pay off these student loans, buy a condo, an Audi A4, and a Louis Vuitton messenger bag. Then put whatever’s left up for later. I don’t like spending money.

10. What are your words to live by?

Be happy.

11. What is your website, twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, etc. (any applicable social media you’d like to share)?

Blog: www.corporatebeauty.wordpress.com

Instagram: thecorporatebeauty

Donte, Men's Style ContributorDonte, Men’s Style VIP

Donte’ provides the male perspective on showing your chic and enhancing your signature style.  His blog, Visions of a V.I.P., is the ultimate guide to living the urban lifestyle.  From music and event reviews to style and general life advice, you can find a little bit of everything at his one stop shop to urban living.  Although a native of Baltimore, Maryland, he has lived in five different cities over the past eight years.  He now makes his home in Jersey City, New Jersey and makes his money at the Department of the Treasury in downtown NYC.  Always on the scene, he can teach you how to be a true V.I.P.

1. What one word best describes you?

Patient

2. What were you like as a kid?

Disciplined…and busy. My mother and grandparents always had me involved in sports and other activities that required me to be quiet and focused so that my time would be occupied. I guess whatever they were going for worked because I stayed out of trouble. I also maintain the same busy schedule as an adult.

3. What is your secret fashion/make-up/hair weapon?

Crest Toothpaste. Not only does it make your teeth white, it’s good for getting rid of those pop up pimples. (It’s supposed to be a secret though, lol)

4. What makes you laugh uncontrollably, without fail, every time?

When my friends imitate other friends.

5. What is your favorite food?

Crispy Orange Chicken

6. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

To step out of my comfort zone and take the lead in pursuing someone I was interested in. I got rejected not only once, but twice and then again by another person shortly after. Now it’s awkward when we are around each other and I wish I had just kept my feelings to myself.

7. What 3 movies can you watch over and over and over?

Dirty Laundry; Think Like a Man, Act Like a Lady; and Law Abiding Citizen

8. Favorite cocktail?

At home: One of my creations; Out on the Town: Vodka & Sprite

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

Pay off my debt; Give my mom a couple hundred-thousand; Donate some to my old church; Donate some to charity; Give some to my closest friends

10. What are your words to live by?

“The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step” – Confucious

11. What is your website, twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, etc. (any applicable social media you’d like to share)?

Blog: http://visionsofavip.wordpress.com

Twitter & Instagram: mrhistorymaker

The Newbies

20130412-043940.jpgEan, Men’s Style Master

1. What one word best describes you?

Extrovert

2. What were you like as a kid?

I was always the center of attention. My height had a lot to do with it.

3. What is your secret fashion/make-up/hair weapon?

Pocket Squares. Even if you have a casual look, a pocket square always gives your outfit a touch of class when wearing a sports coat.

4. What makes you laugh uncontrollably, without fail, every time?

People watching at a night club. Working as a bartender part-time you see what you normally would not when on the other side of the bar.

5. What is your favorite food?

Crab Cakes but only made in Maryland!

6. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

I can’t remember!

7. What 3 movies can you watch over and over and over?

Color Purple(Don’t Judge!), Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Matrix

8. Favorite cocktail?

I am firm believer or keeping your cocktails simple. My “go to” is Bacardi Limon on the rocks with a simple splash of Sprite.

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

First of all, I would have to donate some money to church and also to some local charities that help the community in need. With the left over money, I would create a business in which I could employ some members of the community being that the economy is so rough right now.

10. What are your words to live by?

YOLO!!! I’m just playing, but I’m a firm believer if you put positive energy out there something good always comes back!

11. What is your website, twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, etc. (any applicable social media you’d like to share)?

Twitter: immalaughatu83

Instagram: Im_A_Giant67 (why 67? because I’m 6’7)

20130412-043948.jpg

Sara, Hair Goddess

Sara believes curly is a state of being, not a hair type. A quintessential nerdy girl who spends most days making the web a more usable place to be (you’re welcome), Sara is also a professional plus sized model. After years of a chemical love affair, Sara decided natural was the way to go. And since she’s being doing it long before the “natural movement,” she’s tried the gambit of hair fixes for curly and straight hair and everything in between. As a model, Sara knows a thing or two about fashion, but she’s here to help you help you have a good hair day, every day. Outside of hair and modeling, Sara spends time traveling, cooking, and being entertained by her two funny cats.

1. What one word best describes you?

(currently? tired) I’m not good at this…um…32 flavors. Does a number and a word count as one word? 🙂

2. What were you like as a kid?

A huge nerd. I still am.

3. What is your secret fashion/make-up/hair weapon?

Wedge heels, mascara, and leave in conditioner.

4. What makes you laugh uncontrollably, without fail, every time?

Cats doing just about anything on the interwebs.

5. What is your favorite food?

Ethiopian

6. What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t apply to the University of Michigan…I did anyways. The rest is history.

7. What 3 movies can you watch over and over and over?

The Fifth Element, Kung Fu Hustle, Snatch

8. Favorite cocktail?

Mint Mojito

9. What would you do with $1 million dollars?

Pay off as many loans as possible, invest like crazy, and work part time (for the fun of it) so I could work on my young adult series.

10. What are your words to live by?

This changed for me recently: “Be so good no one can ignore you.” – Steve Martin

11. What is your website, twitter, instagram, pinterest, facebook, etc. (any applicable social media you’d like to share)?

Twitter: @Sara_Alloy

Instagram & Pinterest: CurvyConquers