Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hair-Raising Tales

How many times do you think you’ve changed your hairstyle over the years?  The statistics seem to say that women are constantly updating their look but, if I’m anything to go by, I’d disagree.  I can count my experiments with different styles on a little over one hand, and the women I tend to mix with would say the same.  I think you’re either the type of person who is constantly going for a new look or you go with what you finally decide works for the hair you’ve been given and stick with it

So let’s talk about the history of my hair.

I was born bald.  I also had severe cradle cap which prompted my Godmother’s son to ask why I was ginger.  I wasn’t - it was my affliction.  I remained like a billiard ball (and looking like a boy) until I was about eighteen months when I developed a very attractive duck down - think a softer looking Mitchell Brother of Eastenders fame.

Once my head decided to grow proper girls’ hair, it was the most indistinct colour of mouse you could imagine.  I was given a fringe at a very early age and this has remained with me to this day - more of that later.

As a young girl I had hair down my back - none on my head, just on my back, ha ha!  I didn’t have the thickest of locks so at about twelve I went for the long bob.  I can still remember coming home from the salon feeling like the girl from the Harmony advert!  Suddenly I had a proper style and I felt the imminent possibility of turning into a woman was just around the corner.

The long bob provided many opportunities for diversity - it could be sleek, crimped, braided à la Bo Derek and adorned with beads or flowers.  My mum could also cover it in sugar-water and curl it up in pipe cleaners to set overnight and produce the most ridiculous springy curls.

Sadly that’s what gave me the taste for perms!  Oh boy, from the age of fourteen to sixteen I had the best and the dodgiest perms known to man.  Some would leave me flicking my softly curled locks like a beauty queen and others would have me wailing into my pillow with a bandage wrapped round my head to flatten the fringe.

So eventually the perms were ditched and I discovered the joy of peroxide.  With the new ‘Farrah Fawcett’ style, I had to have the colour to go with it.  When I look back at pictures of myself during that era, all I can say is my parents were a lot more lenient than I remember!  I looked like a tart.

When I finally went back to my natural colour, I didn’t appear to be quite as mousey so I decided to remain au naturel.  As I headed off to drama school, I’d often wear my hair scragged back into a loose bun or pony tail - easier for dance classes or rehearsals.  The fringe always remained in place and my forehead never saw the light of day.  So imagine the dress rehearsal for “The Merchant of Venice”, when I was playing the part of Portia, and I appeared on stage in my male guise of Doctor of Law.  None of my drama school friends had ever seen me sans fringe and the response was not one I expected.  The entire stage collapsed into fits of uncontrollable giggles - it was ‘corpsing’ of the highest order.  Every time someone tried to deliver their next line, they’d take one look at me and splutter.  The director started with his own little chuckle about how odd I looked but after the rehearsal had been in shambles for about ten minutes, he began to lose his temper and at one point we thought my coiffure was about to be responsible for his cardiac arrest.  It was an interesting night at the pub after that!

In my latter drama school years, I opted for the classic short bob.  It was versatile enough for most productions and made my hair look thicker.  The trouble is, as the years have gone by, it’s stuck.

And now it seems to have stuck forever as hubbie says it’s ‘me’ and no other style epitomises who I am.  Expert that he is, he tells me it’s a timeless classic (like me?) and that it best suits my bone structure and facial lines.  I’m not sure which look I’d go for if I did go out of my comfort zone, but for now the bob seems to be here to stay.

I can just see myself as a little old grey-haired lady walking around with my 20’s bob, saying “Yes I wear it like this because it pleases my old man.”

What are your hair story nightmares and have you found the look for you or are you still searching?

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle.  Now also in paperback at Lulu.

1 comment:

  1. Oh God, I have had SO MANY different hairstyles I can't even begin to count them! I've had the bobs, the long layered look, the very, very short (which I loved at the time, but back then I was also very, very skinny!) not to mention that period in the 80's when I so desperately wanted to look like Stevie Nicks! I've tried heaven knows how many colours - I even went burgandy one time, and it was quite nice but faded terribly quickly - but, right now, I'm growing my hair long and that's the way I'm leaving it. Actually, now I've written all that down, do you think my lack of hairstyle direction means I'm an incredibly indecisive person?? A brilliantly entertaining blog post, that's made me look at my hairstyle past in a whole new light!! X