Tuesday, 19 June 2007

#33 Hey Shorty

Short hair has long been stigmatised - less feminine, less sexy, less desirable - which is probably why I've had waist-length hair for the last ten years of my life. I loved swishing it, loved men commenting on it, loved piling it up into a Hepburn-style knot and tonging it into a sleek wave worthy of Veronica Lake. Then I changed. I looked at my face, saw my long hair - just... hanging there - wig-like and inanimate and I thought, I want hair that does something. Hair that sticks up a bit, gets ruffled, can look messy and shaggy and textured. Unkempt and lived in - rather than... cultivated.

There's no style in particular that I like. Not for me a 'POB' or the new 'Rhianna' or the Kate Bosworth style of blunt bob - I lack the facial structure & chin-jutting confidence to pull any of them off. I want a real style, for my real, kinky-malinky hair and I don't want it to involve hours with ceramics and constant hairspray top-ups.

So, I went to Mathew Alexander and asked him for the hack. 'Take it all off!' I cried - drama drama drama. He wasn't sure. He liked my long hair. He flattered me. I had to convince him that there was a young girl with rather a lot of attitude hidden beneath the Alice In Wonderland hair. He bought it. He saw it. He cut it. I LOVED it. It's just hair, but ridiculously, I felt brand new & looked at myself anew. Carried myself differently. It bounced when I walked. It got messed up but still looked great. My long hair would get tangled so easily - catching on bag chains, in zippers, getting knotted into hairbands - my new, chin-length hair was foolproof. Five minutes to wash, five to dry, a quick whip of the ceramics and ta-da. Mum said it looked 'French' - always a good thing. I know it looks like me. For the first time, I'm not hiding behind my keratin-curtains. My hair is just hair and it needn't be fiddled with, refreshed or restyled. What a weight off.

My hair styling routine has now been significantly reduced. The one product that's my new staple? Kerastase Ciment Thermique. It gives hair 'guts' - something hairdressers love to say - by plumping up frizzy, weak and flyaway bits and giving it improved shine and strength. It's not silicone-y either - so hair stills feels exactly like hair - just easier to style. The perfect product for low mane-tenance girls like (FINALLY) me!

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