Ever since I can remember I have had big, thick and wild hair. Angry curls that refused to cooperate no matter however much water I sprayed into the tangles to soften the rough blows my mother inflicted with her comb of choice each morning. The length was also a matter of envy, reaching down past my waist even in its mess of frizz, my hair was a matter of pride for mum and a great pain to my mind.
It was too heavy for my head. It was the hair of a stubborn and petulant child who refused photos because her silhouette would be the only one with little springs sticking out all around the head portion. It was a mess and a great bone of contention until I turned 12 and my hairdresser introduced me to the art of hair straightening, also known as frying the little fritters till they die.
From then on, every occasion called for a hair straighten – mum was all for it, this was the first time I was eager to do anything but plait it. Sadly not until I turned 16 did it occur to me that I could have it straight all the time. All my pocket money, much of my savings and many extra hours of hard earned coins went towards weekly hair straightening.
I started avoiding washing my hair once it was straight in order to preserve the long silky tresses for a few more days, a few more hours. Alas, even all this straightening didn’t do much damage to my hair, the thickness and the curls prevailed. After the life altering 17th birthday I stopped straightening.
Pony tails and my old friends the plait made a comeback. They persisted until just around my 21st birthday when ex boy-friend #6 was leaving the scene and I was looking for some hair inspiration when voila! A friend at uni (also cursed with curls) turned up with dead straight hair that didn’t whither or turn at the sight of rain.
Intrigued, I was. Japanese chemical hair straightening or ionic hair straightening was to be both the answer to my prayers and the new bout of my hair troubles.