Hair

As part of my Girly Day last week – clothes and cosmetics, wheee! – I also got a hair cut. I was way overdue – I could get it back in a ponytail!

I used to have very long hair – in Belfast it grew to waist length, and was naturally glossy, wavy, full, lush … a bountiful mane worthy of a hair commercial of which I was naturally very proud. When I moved back to Perth all that changed; my best feature got dry and ratty and started falling out in huge handfuls. I was going bald!!! The only solution was to get it all cut off, I nearly cried. (Confession: I did cry. Do you have any idea what care and love goes into growing a full mane like that? I felt like Samson … losing my powers and prowess *sob*)

I hadn’t had short hair since I was a kid, as in about 12 years old. I grew my hair specifically because it was some way of indicating I was, despite my skinny runt flat-chested no-hipped form, in fact female. I didn’t need a bra until I was seventeen, okay? I kinda made up for it by going from Bonds singlets to a 10D bra overnight. So … short hair. Hmmmm. The unknown, the uncharted territory. The terrors of the deep …

As it turned out, my fears were well-founded. I looked bloody awful with short hair. It was supposed to be a neat layered bob but on me was a limp distressing mop. For about a year I experimented with different lengths and styles, all absolute failures. Then an amazing thought occurred; go to a decent hairdresser!

I made my appointment at a Toni & Guy salon (clear symptom of my desperation; $60 for a haircut? Fuck no.) and bleated pathetically at the cutter. She was gorgeous, glossy, funky in a very classy way and thus totally intimidating. I cringed. I was going to get The Haircut She Wanted To Give Me, not the haircut that might possibly complement me. I was going to have to style it, use a hairdryer, even … oh please no … product.

I exited with a very cute low maintenance cut that made me look … good. That hairdresser knew her job. It suited me. It followed my hair’s own growth and curl, and was easy to manage. I couldn’t stop myself peeking in mirrors that I’d normally avoid at all costs – I can apply perfect make up from foundation to mascara without so much as glancing in a mirror. It was even kind of trendy – a word that does not, has never ever applied to me. In following months and a couple of changes in stylist, The Cut developed. It’s now more layered, shorter (as in just below ear lobe length, which is considered long in the hairdressing trade) and even curlier. It’s real cute. And I don’t look like a boy, either, always a plus.

As for the rest of me, well I’m exceedingly low maintenance. Tuxedo, as a cycle geek, owns more lycra than me, in colours usually associated with poisonous Amazonian tree frogs. He also gets waxed. Pretty much all over. Ouch. (The rationale is not so much aesthetic or aerodynamic but because cycling kit sticks and rips hair out like electric tape; also a de-haired limb/torso is a more favourable environment for swabbing gore, removing bits of gravel, chunks of flesh and ground in synthetic fabric and then applying iodine and bandages after unplanned contact with road surfaces at high speed.)

Aside from head hair I am freakishly hairless. I don’t wax. I shave my legs once every three months (and even then the hair is barely visible to the naked eye). I have no hair under my arms at all. TMI Alert: I couldn’t get a Brazilian if I asked for one; there’s not enough there to work with, a few fine stragglers maybe but that’s all. This used to cause me extreme embarrassment (freak!) but I have been assured that this state of affairs can be an advantage in certain circumstances.

At least it’s one less thing to think about. And the money saved on not getting my legs and bits waxed can be spent at Dymocks and Amazon.co.uk. And on more frequent haircuts and even *gasp* the occasional pot or tube of product. All fears have been faced and conquered.

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