NOW 24/7 The sticky haze of summer morphs thick Miami manes into huge, gargantuan monsters. But there is no need to panic. Chaotic coiffures can be tamed. All you need to do is remember two concepts and get yourself some industrial-strength hair goop.
"Protein and moisture," says funked-out hair guru Darren Thompson, manager of the beauty shop at Ricky's NYC, a franchise that recently landed on Lincoln Road. The combination will keep away the frizzes and add some heft so that your locks don't walk through a doorway before you do.
Ricky's aisles are packed with all the high-tech, organic, and frightful products that promise to thin, flatten, volumize, turbo charge, and nuke the #@&K out of your hair cuticles. And there are hundreds of them.
One can spend hours sifting through the jars, tubes, and bottles. Each product promises to alleviate a source of insecurity. Dull hair shines, big hair "scrunches." Even those with no hair have something waiting for them in Ricky's aisles (Jerome Russell Spray On Hair). Oprah Winfrey's favorite line, the organic and pharmacological-sounding Phyto products, is among the top-shelf hair stuff. But the truly fun and hair-raising stuff is sitting in the back aisle, where arcane and weird concoctions sell for as little as $2.
Check out a pink vat of Queen Helene Styling Gel. Placed to the right are tubs of Lamaur Bone Marrow, your grandmother's secret weapon, for sure. Garlic shampoo, carrot pomades, and various types of mayonnaise nurture follicles. Sulfur 8 shampoo scares away dandruff, while Murray's Australian Beeswax clamps your hair in place.
All the answers to your woes are waiting for you at Ricky's, and even if your hair falls out or fries, the shop offers a wall full of wigs for you to choose from.
Ricky's NYC opens at 10:00 a.m. every day at 536 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-674-8511. - Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Good Deed Breakfast
FRI 8/6 A boiled egg, a bun, two Oreo cookies. One can of Vienna sausages, some crackers, and when the bunch is not green, a banana. Every morning, resident caretakers John Hawk and Don Sparley assemble these food items in a plastic sandwich bag. While doing this task they brew tanks of watery coffee, which they sugar and cream for the line of homeless people who gather at 6:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays outside downtown Miami's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (464 NE 16th St.). It may seem like a meek offering to some, but to the recipients, this care package is sustenance, a spark that gets their days going. The food is offered without religious ceremony, perhaps one reason so many people line up outside. Volunteer Vivian Velazquez, a financial executive, works the task into her busy schedule. "You really get to see the difference between writing a check and taking action," she says. Though it requires an early morning wake-up call, the experience can be fulfilling, she says. To volunteer or make a donation call 305-856-1015. - Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Step into the political fray
THU 8/5 Last week at the Democratic National Convention, no other spokesman was more eloquent than Al Gore when he said, "Every vote counts." Surprise, this is an election year! All the signs around town and political ads on television may have alerted you to that. Haven't registered to vote yet? Well, you're out of luck for the primaries and the local election that will take place on Tuesday, August 31. You're supposed to be registered at least 29 days before you must go to the polls. But don't despair, you can still do your civic duty when it comes to electing the next President of the United States on Tuesday, November 2. The Miami-Dade County Elections Department will hold voter outreach events all over the county nearly every day until the registration deadline. They'll also offer lessons on how to use the new electronic voting machines. Call 305-499-VOTE or see elections.miamidade.gov for details. - Nina Korman
FRI 8/6 Everyone seems to be reading either The Da Vinci Code or Bill Clinton's autobiography My Life except for you, who refused to give chain bookstores another dime and wanted a better deal than you could find on Amazon.com. Well, now's your chance to pick up those best sellers and then some. The Friends of the North Miami Public Library is throwing its annual book sale, and it's probably a safe bet to say that works by Bill and even Hill will be marked down drastically. Shell out 5 bucks to attend the sale preview at 5:30 this afternoon and you could score some great reads. Others can still shop tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (children will get help from Little Bo Peep). True cheapos will love the final-day bargains offered from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Monday. The books fly off the shelves at the North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St. Admission is free Saturday and Monday; the books are not. Call 305-891-5535. - Nina Korman