Let me take you on a journey, to a time before GHDs, when curtains and blond tips were all the rage for boys and Sister Unella wouldn’t cry out ‘shame’ behind you if you donned a scrunchie. When crimping was ‘in’ and it was de rigueur to style yourself on Madonna’s 80s look.
So many times I’ve taken myself off to the hairdressers hoping to leave with a do like Rachel from Friends whereas in reality I exit the salon gasping for breath under a mushroom cloud of industrial strength hairspray as though I’m auditioning for a new season of ‘Stars In Their Eyes’; tonight Matthew I’m going to be…resembling Ace Ventura Pet Detective as he prepares to infiltrate Shady Aces Mental Institution.
We’ve all had hair mares over the years, me more than most. I blame mother dearest. She’s had the same style for the past 20 years, probably has her own designated chair! When her beautiful soul departs this earth I think they should arrange a plaque, as they did for Arthur Fowler on the Square, “she loved this place”. Although there is something about the rigidity of her locks that I quite admire, honestly her ‘do’ doesn’t budge, even in the face of inclement weather it remains as starched as Kim Jong-Un’s underpants and as regimented as the husband’s bowel movements, which also baffle me. He goes once a day in a morning without fail, whereas thanks to having the NHS equivalent of Sweeney Todd deliver my first child, I practically break out the confetti whenever Mr Hankey decides to makes an appearance!
I suspect subconsciously I’m always trying to escape the horror of my humble hair beginnings – there’s no easy way to say this, I had a bowl cut as a child! Complete with doorstop fringe! It didn’t help that I have particularly thick hair and a chubby face. I went through the silent treatment and countless bobby pins to grow out that abomination of a fringe!
When at last I entered the world of employment and had a few pennies to rub together I attacked my locks at will. I was a whore for everything hair related. I tried those ridiculous hair mascara wands and those equally stupid jeweled hoops that manufacturers soon realised were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard and swiftly rebranded as belly button rings.
Colour has always been my worst indulgence. I get bored easily and secretly long to rival My Little Pony’s rainbow dash and Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat. But let us not forget the dark days of highlights, the horror of being subjected to wearing a giant condom on your head as your tormenter swiftly sieves through the holes clumps of hair and skin as those tweezers of tyranny peck at your goose pimpled scalp, all the while you sit there looking like Hell Raiser wondering whatever possessed you to pay for this so called ‘service’.
Now I stick to the relative safety of DIY jobbies. You see after my last ‘consultation’ at a salon which resulted in me being £60 out of pocket and having hair so matted the back of my head felt like an RSPCA rescue dog – I kid you not, I’m not one prone to tears but I actually wept, albeit slightly bitter tears, as I cut out chunks of my hair and swore that I’d go back to colouring my own hair. How hard can it be right?! But my downfall was my inexperience in lightening the colour first so that I could get the elusive grey colour I wanted. Did I swat up on how to achieve said result?! No! Of course not. Instead I did what I thought Emilio Esteves would have done on a Stakeout, I stalked people on Twitter who looked hair savvy until I felt I had the measure of the beauty industry and then I took my barnet to task.
In my defence, I did the first part right, I got my hair to go lighter without a hitch. The trouble was, I didn’t realise you had to dry your hair before putting your chosen colour on, and applied it on wet hair only for it to wash straight off. I then spent the next 24 hours resembling what could only be a secret lovechild of Myra Hindley and Chris Evans!
Let me tell you there’s no way of stealthily rummaging the aisles at boots in the middle of summer with a woolly beanie hat on your bonce sweating so profusely one of the clinicians suspected I was going through early onset menopause.
But did this encounter dissuade my passion – did it hell as like! Firstly it’s a fraction of the price buying a little box of joy from the chemist compared to attending the so-called experts; spending the whole sweat inducing time watching the clock and trying to manage my persistent husband’s demands for an update as to my ETA, and, this is the clincher, doing it myself I get to put on gloves and hear that satisfying snap as I ping that cheap plastic material and elude to be Ludacris “bend over to the front and touch your toes” and attempt to pop my grapes back in.
My hair doesn’t know it yet *lowers voice* (you never know when sira is listening in) but according to the print on the cardboard, it’s going to be rose blonde very shortly – fingers crossed.
Anyway I’ve waffled plenty for now – go forth and prosper!