Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Hair Diaries

You wanna know a secret? Well, perhaps it isn't exactly the best-kept one, but I'll reveal it anyway: my hair is my life. Before you can even doubt what I've just declared, my short, chocolate-coloured locks are my heartbeat, keeping the blood flowing just like my heart does. When my mane gets itself into a knotted tangle, a heart attack - filled with nightmares of pulling the knot out painfully - occurs until the drama cools down. All in all, my hair is a love affair that never seems to find a way of ending; even when I'm in my most distracted state, thinking about or styling my glorious locks drags me out of a daydream.

Still, I'm not really the only girl to cherish her hair like an It-girl adores a Chanel handbag, am I? Adolescence has blessed me with a passion for taking care of my mane, which I wear with more pride than one clad in a figure-fitting dress (though I would never have the heart to say 'no' to!). Now that I'm more than old enough to style my hair myself, I'm hardly ever short of opportunities to play with it, providing endless hours of pleasure as I experiment with new looks.

However, that doesn't stop me from wishing that I could be a bit more imaginative with my hair style which mostly depends on whether it is during term-time or the holidays. Since receiving a pair of crimpers at Christmas, I've been transporting myself to the 80s' on multiple occasions by injecting a bit of life in my naturally dead-straight (and, in my opinion, slightly boring) hair, which gives me quite a unique look. The result? My hair develops a thicker texture which enables it to stay relatively grease-free for another day - as all straight-haired beauties will at one point or another discover, is a curse!

Ah, I've lost count over the amount of times that I've wasted on simply moaning about greasy hair, which has affected my life for so many years and blah, blah, blah. Already, I can tell that you've stopped listening to me - as if I'm surprised! Anyway, having to contend with as much grease as deep-fried chicken on your head is significantly tougher than writing a Sociology essay because, no matter how hard you fight against it, nature has a brilliantly devastating way of winning the battle. Sometimes, you have to force yourself to accept nature for what it is, a word of which my mum possibly wouldn't be pleased to read about on here, but you get the message, right?

Therefore, getting my crimpers was a revelation - how was it possible that I had not encountered them sooner? Like magic, my hair would increase in volume and be full of bounce which, if I just stuck to using my straighteners, would have been borderline impossible. Sure, I might have looked like a cross between a human and a poodle when I used the crimpers for the first few times, but I easily adapted my look, which has become my go-to style for school. Instead of tying my relatively short hair into a ponytail which, within a few hours, would tend to fall apart, I can leave my hair down. Although I see the benefits of ponytails - especially for when a heatwave dominates the atmosphere during the hot-and-sticky summer - I much prefer leaving my hair loose because it looks more natural, whereas I get quite obsessive about tying every single hair (big and small) in a ponytail. Seriously, I'm known to stress out big time if I find a hair sticking out in a ponytail, which gives me an excuse to choke on five minute-long squirts of hair spray to stick it down!

Yet, like most things, crimping isn't immune from the negative thinker within me, which has been alerted to a problem or two. For one thing, I have to make sure that spray plenty of mousse onto my hair before crimping it because the crimpers get pretty hot, increasing the risk of my hair being dried out from the high heat. Luckily, I haven't had this problem, but I'm wary nonetheless - once your hair gets damaged, the amount of effort you put in to redeem its former healthy glory is enormous, isn't it? As if I have time to stare at my reflection in the mirror any more than I currently do...

Despite the dangers, I crimp my hair around three to four times a week and, apart from Fridays (as I go to Zumba in the evening and wash my sweaty hair the following day, I can't be bothered to devote nearly half an hour to crimping it like a pro), I hardly bother straightening it. After years of complaining of my 'boring' and 'lifeless' straight hair, I'm relishing a new look which has given me a fresh identity - and plenty of fun! Sometimes, I fancy the idea of leaving my hair in its natural state, but crimping presents more freedom - in terms of how I can style my hair - than straighteners can.

Besides, I get a kick out of looking different in a class packed with straight-haired girls, whose desire to suppress their individuality shields their naturally beautiful hairstyles. I find nothing wrong with curls, waves or straight locks: if that is what nature gives us, let's celebrate it! But copying the same hairstyle does wind me up because it's as though only look is acceptable, and others are looked down upon for expressing their diversity. Maybe I had enough of blending into a crowd - albeit with little effort - which might have pushed me into crimping my hair, just for the sake of making a statement. Anyway, who cares? Whenever I get bored with crimping, I'll simply return to my straighteners or, if I can be bothered to style it for over an hour, my curlers!

Lastly, I have many years ahead of me to experiment with various tools, gadgets or whatever will be hitting the shelves in the future, but crimping appears to be my go-to style at the moment. Quick, effortless and, in a slight way, similar to straightening, I enjoy getting a glimpse into how I would have looked had I been born in the 80s. Still, as a lover of the decade, I'm definitely not complaining!

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