From bushy to straight hair in one hour: a journey

It’s the age-old story: the grass is always greener on the other side. This well-worn saying can be applied to many situations, including hair envy. Some women with straight hair want curly locks, and some with curls desire the feeling of glossy, straight stands. 

I have been known for years for my hair, probably because it enters a room seconds before I do. In fact, my nickname of “Big Hair Vicki” is thanks to genetics and a mass of almost dreadlocks that resembles a cross between what Chaka Khan and Maxi Priest sport on their noggins. I was always wary of doing anything that might change the chemical composition of my hair, but what I discovered is that you can get a taste of how the other half lives without making a long-term commitment. 

Hair straightening treatments run the gamut from flat-ironing to the Brazilian Blowout and the Japanese straightening process. They can last for days, weeks or months, depending on your time and financial investment. Me, personally, I prefer a short-term change, as I had a bad experience with something that was supposed to last a month, but ended up with me going through a heinous SNL Roseanne Rosannadanna stage for a long time. 

I decided to book an appointment at Utopia salon for a wash and flat-iron treatment, and even though I’d tried it before, the results didn’t fail to amaze me. The fact is that when you have curly hair, you simply don’t realize how long your hair really is until it’s straight. 

They washed my bushy mane, and then blow dried it straight before bringing in the flat iron and the magic of Brazilian Blowout. It only took about an hour from start to finish, otherwise known as “from bonkers to blissfully straight.” I had forgotten what a remarkable difference it made to my appearance. I looked like 1970s Cher, and felt shorter, probably because my natural hair adds about 3 inches in height when it’s brushed. 

I walked out of that salon a-swingin’ and a-swishin’ my new mane, and posted images on my Facebook when I got home. There were gasps all around from my community of friends, many of whom were so complimentary that I was picking up some not-so subtle hints. 

Now, one thing to remember with this treatment is that it doesn’t react well to water. I began running from the rain like the Wicked Witch of the West bleating “My hair! My hair!” I worried about sweating too much at the gym, and generally turned into the high-maintenance kind of person that I am usually anything but. So sure, it had its drawbacks, but there’s something to be said for being able to brush or even comb my hair when it’s dry. 

The next time I washed my hair, it went right back to its “normal” state, and that suited me just fine. What’s nice to know is that I can completely change my look whenever I want without it lasting forever. Now all I need to do is find my Sonny Bono … 


No, this is not a wig. – Photos: Chris Court


The extraordinary transformation.