I don’t know what life was like for other little girls growing up, but chez nous, The Mom was not particularly forthcoming when it came to the care and maintenance of one’s locks. The Mom has always had short hair – not a bob or anything like that, I mean short like a five-year-old boy’s haircut. Short. Super short.
And for most of my life, I have had a similar hairstyle. Super short. Easier to deal with. Takes two seconds to dry and you don’t have to brush it. Ideal for me, really. Only thing is with that kind of style, you’ve got to get it cut frequently, which is a problem for me. Mostly because I haven’t yet found a barber shop that will cut my hair. Most of them won’t take you unless you’re a man. Even if you want what is essentially a man’s haircut.
Apparently, and I have only a few blurry photos to prove this, but when I was a little girl I had longish hair. Down to my shoulders if the pictures are to be believed. Very fine, sort of gingery hair, with a fringe or bangs (depending on whether you’re North American or British). I remember The Mom trying to brush my hair as a girl and how awful it was. You see, during the night, some kind of malevolent faries come into my room and do something horrible to my hair. Tie it up in knots, twist it in loops, so that when I awake each morning it looks like I’ve been trapped in some kind of tornado or hurricane. It looks like Russel Brand’s hair did back in the day: some kind of advanced squirrel’s nest situation.
When faced with that, I can’t bear to brush out the tangles. I really cannot. Couple that with the horrible scraping of the brush or comb against my scalp, and the whole idea of brushing my hair becomes untenable. I would simply rather have knots and a disaster than anything else. Which is why I’ve always had it cut very, very short.
But recently it’s gotten long. This is not because I decided that I fancied long hair, but really it’s a consequence of not having gotten it cut. Sometime in the summer, before I came home to visit, I ought to have gone to the hairdresser but didn’t.
I like the man who cuts my hair because he’s very much able to cope with me. When I arrive and he asks me what I’d like done my usual answer is something along the lines of: “I’d like less of this and would very much like it to look not like this.”
“Did you have a certain style in mind?” He’ll ask.
To which I’ll reply, “Nope. Don’t really care. You’re the expert. Do whatever you think is best.”
I suppose most people – and this surely includes The Mom – have fairly firm ideas of how they want their hair to look. I just want mine to look nice and require little to no effort on my part to get it that way.
Anyhow, I’d been avoiding having it cut because though the hairdresser man is lovely, he works out of an Aveda salon where there are nice people who come round during the haircut and ask if they can rub smelly creams into your hands. Why on earth would anyone ever want that? There is also some kind of Indian head massage that’s done which I don’t care for at all and suspect has nothing whatsoever to do with India. Though I can’t say for sure as I’ve never been. There’s also the required chat one has to have with the people in the salon. My hairdresser man knows I don’t want to chat and so we don’t. Which is really nice.
So at some point in July when I ought to have got my hair cut, I didn’t, and then I came home for a few weeks, and it got past that funny stage, and just kept on going, and then when I got back to the UK I decided I had much better and more interesting things to do than spend an hour having my hair fussed over (I mean, even when it comes to the drying bit there’s always an argument over whether or not I’ll tolerate any kind of product – I mean, I’m just going home to my flat, nobody cares what my hair looks like so to me it seems a wasted effort).
The result of all this ignoring of my hair means that now it’s long – for me at least. Long enough that I really do need to brush it if I’m to leave the house and not freak people out.
So The Mom and I went to a local beauty supply store and found some kind of Alice in Wonderland world of things we didn’t know existed. The Mom was enthralled. And I got the second hairbrush I have on-purpose purchased (instead of just stolen from The Mom’s bathroom).
It is very soft and mostly ineffective. The lady at the shop advised choosing a different hairbrush, one with some sharp-looking bristles, and I ran it against the back of my hand and knew immediately it was not for me.
Now I have sort of smooth on top and completely tangled underneath hair. When I cast around the house asking The Mom if she had a hair tie she suggested a rubber band from the newspaper.
And that, dear readers, is the extent of my hair instruction from The Mom. Tie it up with a rubber band from the newspaper and be done with it. It’s a miracle I’ve managed to get this far.