Before and Real Fro (Oh Yes I Did)

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“If you love the fro so much, why don’t you go to the salon and get a real one?” said a whole lot of you. Playing on your suggestion, to host my ROCKIN for ROCKAWAY Sandy relief fundraiser Tuesday night, I did exactly that.

I called up the world’s best beautifyers at Senses: “It is time. I need an afro.” They follow my blog, and they understood immediately. After landing the perfect dress in a 45 minute shopping spree (day of… that’s how I roll), I stepped into the salon with my straight blond hair and butterflies in my tummy for an extreme makeover.

The mission was spearheaded by the wizardly Lysette Drumgold, who is known for many talents among hair and makeup for drag. For this, I trusted her completely. Here’s how the process goes: First, hair is sectioned up into small pieces and figure-eighted around metal hair pins.

getting a real afro

I had a three-hour time limit, so it took an afro army of four to get me all pinned up (Lysette on the left, Yuval Yboogie and salon owner Bruce Conroy on the right).

seneses salon and spa

After the pinning was complete, they added heat via flat iron to set the kink.

how to make an afro Afro how-to

After running the iron over each pin at least twice and letting it cool, then using an abundance of various hair sprays, the unraveling began. Zig a zig-zag aaaaaaaaahhhh!

Real afro in salon

The fire-neon-orange color you see is courtesy of Kevin Murphy COLOR.BUG – I’ve demo’d this before.

Once unraveled, the kinked pieces are then separated and teased out by hand, giving it the utlimate frizz factor.


Watch the ::magic:: unfold…….

And BAM.

Salon afro

This was one of the most glorious moments in my Before and Afro existence. There was no wig on my head… and I had an afro. My very own fro!!!

With hair and makeup by the gods, I jetted uptown to arrive at the vene, Hudson Terrace, just in time. The obligatory cab shot:

before and afro real afro

We had only an hour from when the previous party let out until ROCKIN for ROCKAWAY began. I was as frazzled as my hair in that hour! As I met and delegated stations to a crew of awesome volunteers and met all the lovely people I’d been communicating with for weeks, I realized how much big-hearted support surrounded me and my big ass hair. Everything felt right. “Let them up!” I paged dow to the door. I was ready to rock.

Rockin for Rockaway hudson terrace

Throughout the night my hair settled into various versions of my true fro. Even when it flattened up top, I still absolutely loved the volume. Insta-party!

rockin for rockaway sandy fundraiser

Welcome to ROCKIN for ROCKAWAY.

mark hudson, michelle joni, steve holley

Fro-ing out with two of our kick-ass Beatles jam band headliners Mark Hudson (one of the Hudson brothers, Ringo Starr’s producer) and Steve Holley (of Paul McCartney’s WINGS).

WYATT band

Swaying to WYATT, fronted by singer/songerwriter Maddy Wyatt

afro girl dancing

Boyfriend loved it, score!

before and afro

Solange, whatup?

Lapidos family


bruce senses salon ny

This is exactly how one should look with their hairdresser 5 hours later.

michelle joni afro

Dancing is always better with an afro.

david hyde pierce

Jessica and I with former Wet Hot American Summer co-star David Hyde Pierce. (I’ll explain sometime…)

rockin for rockaway

Your emcees for the evening. This one is clearly towards the end of the evening.

michelle joni before and afro

Karma made its way back to Bruce from Senses, as he won the top prize in our silent auction, a private plane for six to Nantucket + hotel! After coiffing this Before and After masterpiece, that team deserves a getaway AND a cookie.

Two days later, the fro still stands. More to come on my real-fro experience in the next post! 

6 thoughts on “Before and Real Fro (Oh Yes I Did)

  1. Pingback: Real Rock | before and afro

  2. Pingback: Beyond an afro… « Cease and DaSista

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