I was a child in the 1970s, so I grew up watching Charlie’s Angels with icons like Farah Fawcett and her famous flick. There were also regular adverts for Harmony hairspray, which consisted of somebody with nice straight hair flicking their head about for no obvious reason. As far as I was concerned nice hair meant long hair and definitely not a very short afro. When I was a little girl, visits to the hairdresser were essentially going to have my hair cut very very short. The only thing I hated more than my scruffy little afro was having it cut very very short.
By the time I reached my teens and started choosing my own hair styles, I always avoided anything that involved cutting my hair any shorter, but as you may remember from my first post, I’ve tried just about every other hairdo possible. Many of those styles have reappeared time and time again, and some were done once and never tried again. My 1980s wet look perm with it’s miriad of products was quite high maintenance, which left my hair not only looking wet, but also feeling wet (and if we’re honest a bit slimey) I’m sure that most people have never tried sleeping in a shower cap, but I’m willing to wager that the majority of people that have, were sporting a wet look perm at the time.
The idea of taking my hair all the way back to my scalp isn’t something that has ever appealed to me, so unless that changes I don’t need to worry about what’s happening under the fro. I definitely can’t ever shave my head because there is a possibility that I’ll have a scalp like Freddy Krueger, thanks to my first experience with hair relaxer. At this point you’re probably expecting me to describe the usual DIY stupidity with a home relaxer kit, but no my first experience of chemical burns was courtesy of a salon that charged me full whack!
A little tip folks, if you’re a hairdresser and your client says that her head is burning do not
- Tell her it’s not
- Tell her it’s only tingling
- Leave the relaxer on for goodness knows how long, whilst she grimaces in pain
- All of the above!
There is nothing good about standing at the bus stop on your way home from a salon, running your hands through your new hairdo and finding that your scalp is covered in scabs. I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of thing now. I’d have put my foot down when my scalp started hurting. I wouldn’t have just sat there and made the best of it. I’d have made a fuss. Fourteen year old me didn’t know any better. I just put up with it.
Deep down somewhere, forty-something year old me is still hoping that my hair will suddenly decide to change it’s genetic make up and grow differently, but until that happens I’ll continue to try an assortment of different hair styles whilst I wait for my miracle to happen. The one thing I’m quite certain of is that the very very short afro of my youth, will not be making a comeback.