I finally did it! I got my hair straightened!
I always had a desire to have soft, silky, straight hair. But I worried about the effect of all those chemicals and what they would do to my hair. And there was the horrible story about what a straightening treatment at VLCC did to this poor woman:
It all started when I woke up one day and decided I was bored with the way my hair looked. I have somewhat wavy and considerably frizzy hair and so it has spent the last 6 years (since I grew it out) neatly tied back in a ponytail in order to disguise the fact that every day was a bad hair day. I tried a lot of cuts and they would look good for a couple of weeks and then you would see the victorious return on the scrunchie. Before a party or sometimes just as a mood-enhancer, I would get my hair blow-dried or ironed but that was just a one-off that lasted till the next time I washed my hair.
So, as I was saying, I was bored. On Saturday, I went across to a fancy salon in Bandra and told them to give me a new look. They did a pretty good job and it looked really great…till I washed it. Back to the Land of Frizz! And now they had cut it so short that it would no longer submit to a scrunchie. So I finally decided to give the straightening a try. I went back to the same swanky salon since this was hardly the time to cut costs (and end up as another before-after horror story) and agreed to shell out a grand sum of Rs. 5000 to get soft, silky, straight hair.
Digression: I was just thinking how much the whole experience of hair styling has changed in the last decade or so. When I was in college, you went to a beauty parlour for your haircut and the hairdresser (as you called them then) was just one of the staff there who enjoyed seniority over the manicurists and the waxers and got larger tips. But today, there are specialised hair salons where the people who do your hair turn their noses up at terms like ‘hairdresser’ and ‘barber’ and prefer to be referred to as ‘stylists’. They are divas/ dons in their own right and usually look much cooler than the patrons – the average ‘stylist’ is dressed in low-waisted jeans, spaghetti-strapped tops, funky shoes and even funkier hair. And you get the feeling that they would be insulted if you tried to tip them...
Anyway back to the main subject of the post, the actual process of straightening, if done properly, takes a full four hours and you have to hold your head absolutely still for a large part of this time. It sounds easy enough but by the end of it all, your back and neck muscles are not too happy about the whole thing and make sure you know it!
The after-care is even more tedious. They give you a printout with a whole list of things that you can’t do for the next three days:
- No washing of hair
- No exercising
- No swimming (just in case you didn’t figure that swimming would violate both of the above rules)
- No steam/ sauna/ excessive sweating
- No use of clips, scrunchies or hair bands
- No helmets or shower caps
- No unnecessary running of fingers through hair
- No tucking of hair behind ears
Phew! Anyway, I somehow managed to get through a very tense three days where I have done all of the following weird things to keep my hair straight and dry (sounds like my hair is a recovering alcoholic!):
- No showers, only bucket baths (no way to keep hair dry under the shower without a shower cap)
- No washing of shoulders since some parts of the hair are in fact shoulder length
- Only face wipes used to clean face
- Umbrellas used even when it was not actually raining to protect hair from sudden showers and drops dripping off soaking wet trees (got quite a few strange looks with this one)
- Removing hair from shoulder on which Ayaan was resting his head to protect hair from tears, saliva and snot (the cough and cold are better but still persist - thanks for all the good wishes and tips)
- No gymming or unnecessary outdoor activities
Anyway, the three days are over and I have survived. I love my new hair. It falls softly around my face and is so manageable that I can survive without a comb. And what I love most are the compliments – and there have been a lot. Since this is my first self-indulgent post, let me continue being shameless and list down some of the nicer compliments:
- "Wow! I didn’t recognise you"
- You look so different – in a good way
- This makes you look younger
- Your face looks thinner
- This cut really highlights your cheekbones
- And my favourite “You look like a model”
I think I’ll stop now. :)
Oh and wait… here’s a picture…