I’ve been waiting for the right inspiration to strike and enable me to join in the weekly Gallery Linky-thingy hosted by Tara Cain over at the Sticky Fingers blog. So when she announced that this week’s subject was Hair I was delighted. This is something about which I feel I have a lot to say, and the pictures to back myself up! It also gave my Mum the chance to dig out some of the more embarrassing pictures she has of me – thanks Mum!
All my life, people have told me I have beautiful hair. Strangers stop me in the street to compliment me on it. And it’s taken me a long long time to believe them. Because I have spent most of my life wanting different hair. So here, I present to you the photographic story of my hair, and how I came to love it.
I was born with a full head of thick, ginger hair. Both my parents have dark hair, and the only ginger we could find anywhere in the family prior to my arrival was my maternal grandfather’s moustache. Not the hair on his head, just his moustache! And before you ask, the milkman didn’t have ginger hair either. I guess I’m just some kind of weird genetic mutation or something. Anyway, when I was a baby, the one thing people would say to my Mum was “what beautiful hair – of course the colour won’t last”. And yet I sit here, almost 40 years later, proving you all wrong – yes the colour lasted!
When I was very little, there was no hint of the curls to come. My Mum used to brush my hair daily, and kept it cut short, as this picture of me at the age of 4 shows.
As I grew older, my hair grew thicker, longer, more frizzy, and more unmanageable. I was desperate for long, straight, flowing hair like my friends (I’m looking at you here Anita Prosser!), and I spent a lot of time plaiting it to try to keep it under control.
Sometimes the plaits were many:
And sometimes the plaits were more traditional:
And the reason I plaited my hair so much? Because if I didn’t, it looked like this:
I got teased about it, not too badly, but enough to upset me. I tried cutting it short, but it went even more frizzy, so I quickly let it grow back again. Finally a hairdresser suggested I get it layered, and that seemed to work:
And about this point, people started telling me how jealous they were, how they paid a fortune to get their hair to look like that… Yadda yadda yadda. I still didn’t like my hair; it still had a tendency to frizz, was still unmanageable, and I’d still rather have that lovely straight hair that hung down the side of my face like a pair of curtains (yes, still talking about you Anita!). But i lived with what I’d got, pretty much until we got engaged. At which point I decided I’d grow the layers out and see what it looked like. It looked lovely for the wedding and honeymoon:
But time passed, and I didn’t visit the hairdresser, and it just grew, and I kept brushing it, so it stayed frizzy, until finally it ended up looking like this:
And then, for my 30th birthday, my Dad bought me this book off my Amazon wish list:
And I read it. And I adopted the things suggested. And overnight I learned how to work with my hair, and it turned into this:
No layers, no visit to the hairdresser, just a change of hair care routine. Which I still keep up to this day. Since having the kids I’ve had it cut shorter, as hair that long is really not so practical. So today my hair is like this:
It took me 30 years to learn to love my hair, and in order to love it, I had to learn how to look after it. I’ve got my haircare routine honed to a fine art, and it really works! Here’s how I look after my hair:
- No shampoo. Not ever. Never. I wash it with carefully chosen conditioner, and a little dash of honey
- No brushing. Ever. Comb through with fingers or a wide-toothed comb when the conditioner is in
- Style whilst damp with Boots curl creme and a suitable gel
- Dry by wrapping in a towel (“plopping“)
- Don’t let a blow dryer anywhere near it.
It looks very much like the geekdaughter has inherited my lovely curly hair, and I’m trying to encourage her to love hers as much as I now love mine. I think it’s working. The last time she had her hair cut, the hairdresser started putting a pretty French plait into it as a finishing touch. This prompted a drama queen type outburst of crying and sobbing. When we asked her what was wrong she sobbed “I don’t want my hair plaited. I want my lovely curly hair!”
View the other gallery entries here:
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