Friday, June 30, 2006

Straight Talk

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…


  1. Wow, you look hot rohini! but i dont know how good you looked before so I dont have anything to compare.

    and i know this is self indulgent post, but umm, how did ayaan react to the new mom? i had long hair and when i cut it short, karan took a few days to recognise that this new chick in the house was only his mom!

  2. I usually like hair long and wavy but this suits you so good move! what does jai say?

  3. Looks great! Wow, it seems quite a bit shorter than before. It's so fun to change your hair--way to go!

  4. [Lawyermama]As you can see, I haven't had my fill of the compliments so had to put up the photo on the blog too :) Thanks though. Ayaan didn't blink an eyelid surprisingly...

    [Mosilager] Thanks. Actually, Jai used to like my hair the way it was in MBA school - reallyu, really short so he thinks this is a step in the right direction

    [Talena} Thanks. Actually the length is still much the same but is layered a lot so the front and sides are much shorter but the back is still pretty long.

  5. Your hair does look great.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. How'd you find me? I think I may have to come around and read yours more often! It is a fun read.

    Thanks again and your hair does look really goooood...even though I don't know what it looked like before!


  6. hey that looks really good! am glad its going well for you. it didn't for me!! after the long process and the 3 days of tense living, i washed my hair and the ends curled up!!! the 'stylist' said that was because my hair was not free of the henna residue from much earlier! what a waste of all the trouble and aching shoulders/neck!

    I certainly know how you're feeling tho coz even if only for 2 days, i felt on top of the world!!!

  7. [Beth] I find your blog by clicking on the next blog button on mine. My hair before looked pretty boring since it was always tied up in a scrunchie.

    [Pearl} Thanks. Keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts. It has survived the first wash.

  8. I think Ro's hair looks very very cool. Shes looks much younger and and the add on benefit is less naginess and lower grumpiness.

  9. [Jai] Welcome to my blog husband of mine.

  10. I love it! I'm putting back my red highlights in a few weeks and I can't wait. I like the way a good new hairstyle gives a little bounce in my step.

  11. ohhhh, it looks so nice! All silky straight and all!

  12. [Mint] Thanks. I know just what you mean. In fact, ever since Ayaan was born I have been neglecting myself. This new hairstyle has given me the push I needed to get back into following a proper skin and hair regime.

    [Megha] Thanks. I love it. The mirror is my friend again!

  13. Thanks for stopping by and commenting - I must say, very nice hair. It's always a bit scarry to try something new - but apparently it paid off!!!

  14. i agree with jai.
    even i think your b school haircut was the best - it used to highlight your eyes very well. plus shorter hair makes you look younger and less kain-kain.

  15. [Jenny] Thanks. I was terrified but thi place I went to is really very good and they take a lot of care (and also make you pay through the nose for it!)

    [Zen] I think my face has gotten too fat for hair that short. This is the shortest I can carry off with my emerging double chin...

  16. Rohini, I was doing some math in my brain last night (which happens as little as possible, trust me!), and did the conversion of rupees to dollars CDN for your new do. YIKES!!

    Once, just once, I got to go get my hair done in a semi-posh-for-a-cow-town type salon in Calgary--got it cut into layers and highlighted, lowlighted, and mid-lighted. It was a gift from my mom. I felt so pampered, and was amazed that my rather frugal mother had willingly shelled out for me to have it done. Enjoy every second of your own pampering! I hope you are getting rave reviews from every person that knows you!

    Have a great day!

  17. hello duffer your face is not fat at all. only your paunch is a bit fat.

    i have some twenty chins and let me tell you that i look better with short hair than long hair.
    (ask your rude husband who met me when i was growing my hair and the first thing he said was that i look horrible. &*^&%$#^%& )

  18. U will always look great to me. But this hairstyle does look very hep.

  19. hey, short hair can go ok with fat faces, but you have to search for the hairstyles. Isn't it bliss to have hair without tangles? Only other people with frizzy hair will know how heavenly that feels :)

  20. [Talena] Frugal and me do not go together. Jai is constantly trying to control my spending ways, to no avail.

    [Zen] I just meant that shorter hair puts more focus on your face - so if you are fatter than before than that gets highlighted

    [Mama] Thanks

    [Suemamma] Tell me about it. Especially in the monsoon!

  21. oh wow rohini!
    This defi looks fab!!...Well I anywayz have straight hair so maybe I need to get my hair permed or something to indulge myself;-)
    So which of these compliments was from jai!??;-)

  22. Hmm...My husband also didn't marry me for my good financial management skills. I've learned lots from him, but I have a feeling it will be a life-long struggle with my inate "I spend money because it feels good" orientation.

    My weakness tends to be scrapbooking supplies, though. Closely followed by clothes for my kids, and yarn. Toss up between those two! ;-)

  23. [Ekta] Unfortunately none. He just said "Very cool, ya" after much probing. Husbands!

    [Talena] Your spending habit is a little less self-indulgent than mine which focusses on clothes and shoes for moi.

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  25. Ooh...all swishy and silky like the models on TV! And as i see it also cost an arm and a leg to get there. My sis tried it a few months ago and about 3 weeks later, looked like she had dried straw sticking out her head. I guess she didnt follow the 'after care' properly. And she went back again last week to subject her hair to further chemical treatment so that she can fix the prev damage....i just hope whatever is left doesnt fall off!

  26. [Freespirit] So far so good. I am strictly following the aftercare and it's been over two weeks and my hair still looks swishy and silky. Fingers crossed.... But if this works, I am seriously addicted. Giving up hair like this everyday will not be easy.