Thursday, 6 October 2011

Bad Hair Days...Months...Years

Courtsey Google Images*
I am cursed with the family’s rogue genes. My siblings are all tall and handsome, and still draw admiring comments, despite their years. I am shorter, pale (à la Cate Blanchett) with unruly curls that tended to frizz with the onset of puberty and became drier and less predictable on reaching middle age. A theatrical agent could easily cast me in the role of one of the witches in Macbeth without the need for a hairstylist.
In the era of “product”, one would think that this sort of hair could be easily tamed. But unfortunately there is a scarcity of effective frizz-reducing treatments, and then when I do locate one, I develop an allergy after 6 to 8 weeks of applying it to my unruly crown. The result: presentable hair and a bright pink face, similar in appearance to one that is sunburnt…...or to that of an alcoholic.

For years I’ve longed for hair through which my beau could sensually run his fingers and seductively toss aside as he kissed me. Instead, there is a tangled mass of protein springs bobbing about on my skull through which fingers can't penetrate.

My search for a suitable hairdresser, shampoo and conditioner has been a life-long quest.
Before "zis hair cut"
In my very early teens, at an age of great sensitivity when straight hair and no bust was de rigour, the doyen of hairdressing in Melbourne loudly exclaimed that “ zis hair haz to come orf’ and gave me a number 2……decades before it was in vogue. I can still remember the warm tears streaming down my face and my throat tightening as my curls fell to the ground. I wanted to scream “stop” but I was too intimidated to utter the meekest whisper of protest.
After "zis hair cut"

A new hairdresser was sought and a new look obtained -  chemically straightened hair……..until the air was damp! Father, (who had never accepted the change in my hair  from the soft golden locks of childhood to a hormonally-driven frizzy mop), was happier with this new hairdo and consequently compared me with sheep less frequently. 
As I grew older and wiser I decided, despite the angst my hair had caused, I didn’t want potent, nasty chemicals regularly applied to my scalp.

Another hairdresser. A natural look. A success. Unfortunately for me, but more so for him, this talented and rather flamboyant hairdresser prematurely passed away.

Enter Anthony – a sensitive and colourful soul. On our first meeting, Anthony informed me that my hair was of a type that could never look sophisticated and the only acceptable alternative, in his professional opinion, would be funky. So funky I became with varying success. Anthony had relationship issues that used to affect his hands or eyesight, and on occasions, both.  His desperate solution to his growing  problems was to move interstate, which led me to Stephan in 4er Paris. For the first time my heart actually sang after a hair cut, but I was faced with a dilemma. I couldn’t wait 12 months for another cut in Paris.

Finally fate sent me Emma – an English hairdresser (in Australia) who followed Stephan’s cut…….and improved on it! Ce n’est pas possible? A good haircut has a transforming effect on one’s self esteem. It had taken decades, but I finally felt at ease with my appearance. I have accepted that my search for a suitable leave in hair conditioner will be life long…. as will my father’s occasional references to sheep …..….obviously funky ones which are bien dans leur peaux!

Post Script.
The husband has just read the above and wants a “right of reply”. He loves my pale skin, the doona that adorns my head and my height, and rather biasedly claims that I resembled Nicole Kidman in my younger years. Yes, my husband truly loves me ….. for me!
The Artist and His Wife          Andrew Sibley

* If you are the owner of this Google Image, please contact me so you can be acknowledged. Thank you


Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I have laughed and giggled through your post as I viewed the photos and read of your hair issues. Laughing because I always had the opposite problem of extremely straight hair wishing for the full look of "les cheveux bouclés." I did not travel as far as Paris for my cut&color, but getting on a plane to get to a hairdresser every 3 months was killing me.

What a dear husband you have and he is undoubtedly right in his adoration!


Lost in Provence said...

Oh my, can I relate! And as a redhead, my hair is even odder and has turned sadly more sheepesque after 40. Do I trust anyone in France to cut it? Sadly, no. I get as nervous as some do for going to the dentist after some of the tragedies that I have been through here. Since there are so few women with truly curly hair in France--noone knows how to cut it! I swear I am considering getting a Keratin/Brazillian treatment!

Annie at PlumSiena said...

I join you, but from the other side.

Straight. Very straight.
Fine. Very fine.
Thin. Very thin.

Can you say straight, fine and thin?

This necessitates that I must daily curl my hair all over with a curling iron (used to do the electric rollers and before that, slept (!) on rollers) in order to avoid the I-just-stepped-in-out-of-the-rain look. Of course, by 10am, it is back to totally straight but not totally flat, yet.

Wanna trade?

Burlap Luxe said...

First of all I have never been so entertained as I was tonight reading your charming, funny and I am sure not totally true posting about your hair...I can so relate with every word you wrote though, I am the shortest in my family, and the worst hair of the bunch. Through years of stytling it I have discovered a method to my madness and now that I am much older I say to myself why did it take so mant years to have better looking hair when I needed it most when I was a teen :)

This was the perfect post, it really had me relating to you!


Thank you for your beautiful visit and most beautiful comment on your way out.

Keep inspiring us all with bad hair days.

Virginia said...

I just found your blog today and got such a laugh about the trials and tribulations you've had with your lovely locks. As mine is gray now, that brings a whole new game to the table. When it's rainy in Paris, I have what I've now named "Paris Hair". It gets bigger and bigger and takes on a life of its own. I made an appt for a cut in Paris once but my daughter, after asking if I'd lost my mind, talked me out of it. See he spoke no anglais and my French can get me a glass of wine but probably not the right cut! :)

Anonymous said...

You write so well. I loved reading this!!

classic • casual • home said...

You are hysterical! But too critical of your hair....I think your man has good taste.

LaPouyette said...

As I'm such a bad writer, on top of my imperfect English mildly spoken, it would take me a week to write a proper comment to this wonderful humerous post, Elizabeth!

Having all possible experience with hair dressers throughout my whole life. doesn't matter what ones telling them how we like to have our haircut, they just do what they want to do! This is well known allover the world.

Having fine hair and not many, would love to have just very straight ones and not something curling up as soon as there is only a suggestion of humidity in the air, every hairdresser is telling me that I have the most perfect hair - for them! Which probably means that they can obviously do everything they like with my head!

But for me - 9 times out of 10 I,m having a crisis when coming back from a haircut. Whatever country, Germany, London, France... they are allover the same! Nobody seems to concern about my days of depression after a coiffure visit.

Nevertheless - your post is lifting me, up!
The pictures are absolutely lovely! Maybe I should be a sheep or something like it.... to look good 'before' AND 'after'!
And your words! All gave me a big smile!
Thank you, Elizabeth, you are great!


French said...

Too fun, Elizabeth! This was a great post I hated for it to end. My sister swears by the Brazilian thing but I hear it also has formaldahyde in it. I love a good straightening produit, and a lil' flatiron. Mostly I love your husband's sweet comments~

salonseeker said...

it's tough toHair melbourne
decide what to do with the colour - when a dark colour grows out the roots are sOOO noticeable, that's the problem! It does look gorgeous on you though,Melbourne hair

with your porcelain skin!