If you could see inside my head you would see a number of deep thoughts about important issues such as Brexit, global warming, and fears about Donald Trump trying to grab us by the vagina. But the most prevalent thought you would see would be the one that goes “Is my hair frizzing right now?” I must have been born under a curse because I have naturally fine, dry, frizzy hair. But hope springs eternal, and I am starting a new hair regime…
I want long hair. I want windswept, billowy softness and mythical waves. I want Rapunzel hair past my nipples almost reaching my elbows. I want it to look feminine and silky and swishy. I want it to have burnished hues, the colour of sunsets, apricot jam and cheesy snacks. I want the kind of hair that Axel Rose sang about “her hair reminds me of a warm, safe place, where as a child I’d hide.” I know I am teetering on the brink of the lamb/mutton axis, but I don’t care. However genetics was not kind to my hair, because it looks like raggedy rats tails. If you’re looking for my hair care tips then just scroll past these next …err… 6 paragraphs, which are basically just me whining about my hair.
My barnet problems started from an early age. When I was 11 years old, Partin Mrice (name altered to protect identity) was sitting at the desk behind me at school and he described my thin hair plait as “like a 2B pencil”. That was 30 years ago. I think about it everyday. If he had just stabbed my arm with his compass it would have caused less hurt. I’ve never plaited my hair since. I was also subjected at a very young, impressionable age to the Timotei adverts where a lithe blonde beauty would twirl and flick her shimmering waist length hair and then wash it in a waterfall or a stream in a meadow. I was fascinated by that advert and if when I am very old and I die and I have an autopsy, the image the doctors will find etched into my heart will be that Timotei girl with her lustrous hair and the words “so mild you can wash your hair as often as you like”. I persuaded my mum to upgrade from our usual Vosene because I was convinced that Timotei would give me the bounce and length I desired. Alas, I was wrong.
During my teens I subjected my hair to the normal abuse of that age. I tipped bottles of Sun In Hair Lightener over it, and then my hair would go green after swim club. If I couldn’t afford Sun In, I would just use the bleach in the bathroom cupboard. At that time I was also using a Sharpie for eyeliner, a red Smartie for lipstick, and Tippex for nail polish.
I haven’t mentioned it yet but despite having fine hair, I also have very big hair. Big hair was good in the 80s with Alexis Carrington Colby and Bonnie Tyler flying the flag, but after the mid 90s big hair was passé and the style was to have smooth hair. I spent any spare cash on transformative smoothing serums, but my hair was stubbornly wild and had a life of its own. I would borrow my mum’s tongs or my older sister’s Babyliss Rotating Brush and attempt to pull my hair straight. Sometimes I would use my mum’s iron and ironing board to try to get my hair to lay flat (I don’t recommend this). The night before my school prom I went to bed with a swimming cap on my head. I was always cutting out magazine photos of celebrities with lovely hair and taking them into the hairdressers with me. I knew the ‘Rachel from Friends’ cut was unavailable, but one day I took in a photo of the ‘Damn I wish I was your Lover’ singer, Sophie B. Hawkins, into the Hairtek behind the Bridge. The hairdresser started laughing.
In my twenties I was back on the hair bleach. I wanted to look hot, but I wasn’t really rated as particularly attractive. A really good way to fool guys into thinking that you are hot is to bleach the tits out of your hair. So that’s what I did. I also wore a lot of fake tan, entire tubes of mascara, and a tonne of black eyeliner. Fake tan takes a few hours to develop and I would often apply it just before going out on the lash. I would start the night a sun-kissed bronze, by midnight I was the colour of terracotta tiles, and by 2am I was a deep mahogany. Naturally this look was accessorized with a pair of over-sized yellow gold hoop earrings.
I’m off the bottle now (hair bleach and fake tan) but still I am still taunted for my hair. Surfing wreaks havoc on it, and my shower plug always gets bunged up with my hair. When I go to the salon my hairdresser calls around the other hairdressers and they all marvel over how bad my hair is. One time I told my hairdresser that I wanted my hair to look like our mutual friend Sara’s, who has hair like a show pony. “But Sara has good hair” was her response. When I wake up in the morning it’s impossible for me to get a brush through it, it feels like a wrestling match. One time I actually pulled a muscle whilst trying to brush my hair.
When I first started getting into surfing I was attracted to the sport because I loved the beach, the ocean, cute boys and the idea of outdoorsy fitness. But mainly I was attracted to it because I thought I would finally get the mermaid tresses I desired. However, the reality is that surfing is a nightmare for the hair. I eat pretty healthily with lots of green vegetables and fruit, and I drink lots of water. It would be easy for me just to give up and accept my frazzled, burnt barnet, but I have decided not to give up. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more unto the breach. So here is my new hair regime…
- The Shampoo Bar
I’m not going to lie and tell you it was easy to switch to the shampoo bar, it was a bit of an adjustment. However I am now a total convert and I rave about them to anyone who will listen to me. The philosophy behind them is that they are a lot gentler and don’t strip the hair of its natural oils.
I was skeptical about it before I started using them because I really like to get a lot of foam and suds action when I shampoo my hair (I know, I know, it’s not meant to make any
difference) and I was worried the bar wouldn’t live up to that. However I was pleasantly surprised because you can get a good fluffy lather going pretty easily. I rub the bar between my hands like a normal soap bar and then work my hands around my head. I also get the bar and I apply it directly to the roots around the back of my head. Make sure that you rinse a lot, extra rinsing is crucial with natural shampoo bars. I’ve been using this brand of shampoo bar for a couple of months and my hair feels healthier and denser. They are cheap and I highly recommend them.
- Wooden hair brush
Up until 3 weeks ago I’d never spent more than £1.99 on a hair brush. I had noticed that a lot of my hair and other messy gubbins was getting stuck in my plastic hair brush. So I’ve upgraded to this Olivia Garden wooden hair brush…
The idea is that the wooden bristles reduce breakage and distribute the hair’s natural oils. I haven’t been using it long enough yet to say definitively that it’s helping my hair, but certainly there’s less hair left in the brush and I like the feel of the wooden bristles against my scalp.
I’ve read rave reviews of the wet brush (thewetbrush.com) so I’m planning on getting one of these. According to the marketing blurb it has “super thin and flexbile bristles which will glide through any hair type combing out tangles effortlessly”. It’s designed specially for use on wet hair, so it should be good for women surfers.
This tip is the easiest thing I’ve done to improve my hair. Before I surf I’ve started to put a dollop of conditioner through it. This acts as a barrier to stop my thirsty locks from absorbing too much salt. It also keeps my barnet under better control because after a few poundings I can look like a crazed harridan with a bee-hive on my head. ‘The Marilyn’ is a pre-shampoo treatment from Lush which is great for blondes because it contains chamomile and lemon to naturally lighten the hair. I also like Kerastase products, especially the ‘Bain Oleo-Relax’ range. If I’m feeling poor I buy the Pantene 3 minute miracle conditioner
- Linseeds and other stuff in your kitchen
I just did something quite momentous. I’m always clickedy clicking about on internet articles such as ‘how to make an easy sourdough bread starter’ / ‘pilates abs for surfers’ / ‘find your passion in 3 simple steps’ … but do I ever follow through and act on them? No I do not. Apart from now, because this was the scene just moments ago in my kitchen…
I’d read before about how linseed mucilage was a great hair treatment. All you have to do is boil up some water, add linseeds (some people call them flax seeds) and let them simmer for a few minutes, and then sieve off the gloopy mucilage stuff and stick it on your noggin. And I did it! I thought, sod it, it’s Wednesday night and I’m going to make some linseed mucilage. What the photo doesn’t show is that just seconds later I thought I’d better transfer the mucilage to a tupperware container and keep it in the fridge, but then I tipped it all over the counter and down the side of the oven. But I just swooped it all up and stuck it in the container, because that’s just the way I roll. I put some on my hair and I’m wildly excited because it looks a lot smoother and straighter. I would take a selfie but I’ve never taken a selfie in my life (and that includes ones of my private parts) and it’s a zero statistic which I aim to keep. I’m already thinking of the economic potential for this because I could add a few drops of essential oils and sell it for top dollar at the Saturday organic market. And I could sell it in surf shops, which I think have a moral duty to protect the tresses of their customers. It’s early days yet, but stay tuned for more linseed mucilage news!
Another beauty hack that I’d read about on the internet and was so piss easy that I thought I’d give it a go is the Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Get a small plastic bottle and fill it nearly to the top with water and then add 4 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. After shampooing and rinsing your hair, dump the bottle’s contents over your hair, leave it for a couple of minutes and then rinse out with water. The idea is that it should seal the cuticles of your hair, and I find it’s good for taking out tangles.
- Argan oil
Argan oil is a bit like kale in that no one had ever heard of it 5 years ago, but now it’s everywhere. I tried the OGX brand. It was very cheap but tbh I wasn’t impressed with the results. My hair just felt lank and greasy. I felt let down by the oil product of the century. It’s possible that I just need to fork out a bit more dough on a better brand, so if anyone has any recommendations I would be eager to hear them, it’s quite urgent. Ask not what kookbitches can do for you, but what you can do for kookbitches.
- The Invisibobble Hair Band
Hair bands are one of those ‘best of times, worst of times’ things that can happen to your hair. I always make sure I don’t use hair bands with metal bits because they can rip your hair. The Scunci brand is good, but my new favourite is the Invisibobble Hair Band. It looks like an old telephone cord, and it has a strong grip (good for surfing) and it doesn’t leave kinks in my hair. There are a few different brands of these spiral hair bands, but none are as pleasing to say as ‘Invisibobble’.
Nourishing hair from the inside with a good diet is probably the best thing we can do for our hair. I do however still drink coffee and I have a dirty diet coke habit, obviously there are limits to my vanity. My hairdresser recommended that I should take Biotin and MSM tablets to encourage healthy, dense hair. The Viviscal hair growth tablets have had lots of good reviews in magazines and newspapers, but they are a bit pricey.
- Coconut Oil
I’d read it a million times that dousing your hair in coconut oil before shampooing will give you shiny, soft tresses. But, you know, life is short so I’d never tried it. However, as part of my new hair quest I gave it go, and the hype is true and I am now on the coconut oil bandwagon. My hair felt noticeably softer and nicer and I’m going to do this ritual monthly – ish. As an aside, I also now use coconut oil as a makeup and sunscreen remover, and it’s a great nighttime face moisturiser. I don’t even know myself anymore.
To round up – I’ve been doing the above on and off for a couple of months now. In the beginning it felt like a part-time job, but I’m getting used to it and it’s becoming part of my routine. I don’t want to sound too narcissistic – but if you can’t gild the lily of your ego in your own blog then quite frankly where can you – I’m already noticing changes and my hair feels denser and stronger. If I could only make one single recommendation to you, I would say the shampoo bar – it’s a total game changer.
And if you’re reading this Martin Price – sorry I meant Partin Mrice -I’ve just stalked you on Facebook and for you I recommend the Philip Kingsley Hair Re-growth Shampoo. If you’d told me about your hair loss I could have saved all the broken hair from my old brush and we could have made you some toupees. There is a time and place for settling childish squabbles, and quite clearly it’s thirty years later in a personal blog. Happy days. Happy, happy days.