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