The writing of a girl who likes heavy metal and dolls houses, making things and charity shopping

Friday, 3 December 2010

An Invaluable Guide to Nightmarish Hair

Ever since my hair was first long enough to tangle, that's exactly what it has done. As a child there were many tears shed as it was brushed. My mum might deny it, but I'm sure it was she who told me it was the fairies that tangled it up as I slept. I can remember lying in bed (about the age of five) begging the fairies not to tie it in knots, being sure that the next morning my hair would be silky smooth. Oh the disappointment. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

I had my hair cut today. I used to hate going to the hairdressers, perhaps in the same way some people hate the dentist. Appointments were avoided, dreaded and then endured. Since then things have progressed, but are still not completely stress free as my hair has retained it's magical ability to tangle like there's no tomorrow.

I couldn't get an appointment with my usual hairdresser but knew another at the same salon (familiarity is important when you are a recovering phobic). It was all going well until the young trendy going-to-be-a hairdresser washed my hair, which, was of course the beginning of the whole process. Hair washed Vicky came over, to which trendy boy said "I'll leave this to you then..." I did not fail to miss the raising of the eyebrows or the smirking at my mane of tangles, I was after all, trendy boy, sitting in front of an 8 foot mirror. 

So, for all other hairdressers in training I have created this guide.

The Invaluable Guide for Hairdressers Presented with Nightmare Hair

Above all else you must remember that those cursed with nightmarish hair have not done so by choice. They have not sought out unruly, spider web like tresses to test your hairdressing skills and challenge your patience. It is also likely that they feel self conscience about their hair and it's bad behaviour. As a professional is it your duty to take all the tangles and knots in your stride, no snidey comments or raising of eyebrows here please. You must strive to put your customer at ease, no matter how snarled and matted the hair may be, remain a serene blank canvas projecting an air of confidence, no tangles can get passed you, you've seen it all before and it's all completely normal.

The following points were devised by a veteran survivor of nightmarish hair. They have been developed over decades of bravely enduring knots, snags and tangles and should be applied to every customer with compassion and empathy.  

Stage one-
Hair must be brushed. Choose a wide toothed comb as your tool and begin by teasing hair apart with fingers. Do not attack it, clients do not want to hear their hair being ripped apart, and unless requested bald patches are best left for later life. 

Stage Two-
Washing hair. Conditioner is the key here, as is technique. Water needs to be flowing downwards. Yes, it sounds obvious but some hairdressers seem keen on a swirly washing method, resulting in a swirly tangled mess of hair. A generous amount of conditioner should be applied, with hair then combed through before rinsing. After rinsing, gently comb again.

Stage three-
Drying hair. For the love of God, avoid rubbing hair with a towel to dry. To do so is tantamount to backcombing and setting with superglue. Gently wrap hair in a towel and press gently.

Stage Four-
Remain calm when unwrapping hair to find it has knotted into a ball. Spray liberally with leave in conditioner and begin the process of teasing hair apart as per stage one.

The end.

That, trendy boy is how to manage unruly tangly hair.

Hair trauma aside, the reason for my visit was because I am going to see the Scissor Sisters tonight. Yes, it's completely different to what I usually listen to, but I am expecting great things! I'm half way through sorting out my outfit, at the moment I'm wearing thermal ski leggings, knee high pirate socks, an old petticoat from Portabello Road underneath a 1970s red polyester french skirt, a vest top, my fluffy gray dressing gown and my mums black boots, because that's how cold it is, and that's how cool I am.

Can't find my Scissor Sisters cds so have settled on Rancid, similar, no?


  1. I like your lesson to the trendy boy :) serves him right! I have been blessed with hair that stays relatively straight when i straighten it and can go curly when i put mousse through it when i've washed it!

    I hope the gig is good for you tonight :) I like your costume, going for the warmth!!

  2. Your hair sounds perfect, mine does neither of those things!

    Scissor sisters were great! I was nice in warm with my thermals on, although I did change out of the weird polyester skirt.

  3. He he, my hair isnt always perfect he he..

    Btw I was thinking of sending your parcel down between monday and friday this week coming :)

  4. Clearly, Hazel got the good hair genetics. The only time mine even vaguely behaves is when it is short.

    For some reason, I am still trying to grow it though!

  5. Have you ever used the hair growth treatment by lee stafford? (I only buy it on 3 for 2 at boots, it comes around often) I'm sure there's no scientific proof it works but I used it religiously (it seemed to suit my dry hair) and my hair is pretty long now. I struggled for years and years to get it to grow before. I also stopped dying it and try not to straighten it too much, that probably had more of an effect on it's growth!

    Hazel- I'm hopefully going to post your parcel tomorrow! I will try to keep paint out of it, I'm decorating and it seems to be everywhere!