Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Girl With The Curls

I was born with incredibly curly hair. From a mass of white/blonde ringlets in childhood, the curls remained as my hair gradually darkened throughout my teens until I started messing around with colours and lightened it again.

Ever since that daring first discovery of ‘Sun In’ at the tender age of fourteen, my hair has been the subject of much experimentation. I have sported various hues over the years including red, blue and green; although admittedly the early trials of blue and green were based on household food colourings (nb - does not react well with rainwater. Has potential to wipe out street cred in one short shower and reduce subject to embarrassing mass of stripey teenage mortification).

The curls however are a different matter altogether. You must bear in mind that I was a child in the late 70’s/early 80’s, a time when ultra cool, straight-locked Phil Oakey, he of Human League fame, beseeched us “Dont you want me baby?” A heartfelt plea which could only truly be answered by a female blessed with an equally glossy mane.

Alas I was not that female. Throughout my multicoloured history the curls have been a constant presence and no product or process has ever managed to cure the curse of ‘Big Hair’.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am no ‘curlophobe’ in general and indeed there are many curly haired ‘do’s’ that I admire a great deal. No, not at all, lovely reader. The ‘problem’ is entirely confined to my own personal birds nest which is constantly perched atop my unappreciative head.

I have literally tried every ‘cure’ over the years. It started around the age of ten when I stole my Gran's perm solution, covered my head in it and then forced two friends to spend almost four hours, stationed on either side of my head, relentlessly combing over and over until the product dried and my hair would be ‘permed’ straight. It didn’t work by the way (in case you’re thinking of trying it yourself).

Fast forward to the late teenage years and the discovery of nightclubs and you will find me doubled over the ironing board, patiently and methodically ironing my hair in anticipation of the ‘big night out’.

Fast forward again and as the years progressed and my jobs improved, so too did my my salary increase and I found within myself a daring aspect to my character which, once unleashed, spurred me onto ever more expensive ‘cures’. Some of these cures were so expensive that I daren’t write them down here for fear of reprisals from villages full of starving people, kennels filled with one legged dogs or other more deserving groups and projects.

My ‘moment of clarity’ occurred around the age of 35 when I found myself in a swanky hair salon with my hair laid out on plastic boards around the sides of my head and shoulders and a stylist on either side, relentlessly combing over and over for almost four hours until the product dried thereby allowing my hair to miraculously straighten of its own accord.

Ring any bells? That’s right! I looked at myself in the mirror and realised that I’d come full circle and could so easily have been ten years old all over again. Only this time, instead of stealing my Gran's perm solution, I was being fleeced to the tune of £250 smackers for the privilege!

From that point on, I vowed that I would learn to accept my mop and live with it. I still mess around with colour but generally, my hair is left to roam free, whatever the consequences. My life is full and I really don’t have the time or energy to mess around too much. I also prefer to save my money for more interesting activities these days. Perhaps I've matured? *cries of "surely not?!" heard from the back of the room*

Apart from one day every two months when I visit my long-suffering hairdresser, Tracey. Tracey has the unfortunate task of cutting my hair and sorting out my colour every two months but the bit I really enjoy is that she blow dries it poker straight after cutting it. A feat I could never manage alone and which I love as it allows me two whole days (unless it’s raining) of swishing around town like an overgroomed, incredibly vain thoroughbred horse.

It has to be enjoyed to the max as, by day three, it has to be washed again and the curls immediately jump back into action, their enthusiastic springiness in no way diminished by being forced to lie flat against their will for two days.

And so a routine of sorts has emerged over time. I spend two days out of every two months ‘swishing’ my glorious mane and pestering my better half to repeatedly confirm its beautifully straight fabulousness. The rest of the time I look like a crazed lunatic who had to crawl through many shrubs and bushes to escape the clutches of the asylum.

Until this week that is, when Tracey rang to tell me she’d found a ‘miracle’ product for chicks with massive hair. Notoriously cautious and cynical of miracle claims in general, she is the last person I would ever expect to make such a claim and I know you will understand how I therefore allowed the first flickers of excitement to develop into a fully blown frenzy as the week progressed. Until today. The day I may FINALLY get my miracle...

Big Hair

I'm at the haidressers as we speak and the fun has already commenced. I know you’ll want to see this for yourself dear reader so I have posted my ‘before’ picture and will offer updates as the process uncurls/unfurls.

Stay tuned!

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