Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hair Hostilities

When it comes to Tarana's hair, it feels like she and I are fighting a battle on multiple fronts. To understand where I am coming from, you need to see her hair as it is now, in all its glory. 


On a good day, her hair comes together in an adorable mass of ringlets at the back of her head that look almost too good to be true. I was once asked by a lady whether I had got her hair done at the salon. (Yeah right, because that's just the way I like to spend my time and money on a 3-year old old.)

However, on a bad day (and these are becoming more frequent as her hair grows), her head is nothing more than a riotous bunch of curls, each one doing their own thing, usually in different directions. Somewhat like the picture above but it has been known to get a lot worse.

The biggest problem, of course, is figuring out how to deal with the hair on the front since that falls all over her face. Every time my mother sees her, I get a lecture on the likelihood of this causing her to get a permanent squint. (Someone please point me to some evidence that proves this to be an old wives' tale so I can get some leverage here).

When her hair was a little shorter, clips would do the trick but now it is beyond their capacity to reign in the chaos. Also, she has an annoying habit of pulling them out (and losing them, don't even get me started that!). I have been trying elastic hairbands out lately but they too lend themselves to easy removal. The only way to ensure that her hair stays reasonably neat for school is to do the classic two ponytails, one on either side of her head.

This is easier said than done for she hates having her hair put into ponytails. There is a lot of whining on school mornings, when my tolerance for whining is at its lowest. There is also a lot of fidgeting, which plays havoc with my novice-levels skills in parting hair in a straight line. On most days, she leaves home with an uneven parting and even more uneven ponytails.

It's not just the grooming part she takes issue with. She hates head baths with a vengeance. It's only very recently that she has stopped bawling her head off every time her hair was washed. She kept this up from her first hair wash as an infant right up to about three weeks ago. If you were standing outside our door and hearing the commotion on these days, you couldn't really have been faulted for reporting us to the child welfare authorities!

She also refuses to let me apply oil to her hair. Success on this front requires holding her firmly between my knees while I quickly massage the oil into her hair and scalp. As you can imagine, this generates some pretty violent protest and is not something I feel up to attempting on a regular basis. As a result, her violently curly hair is often also violently frizzy.

At this point, you are probably wondering why, given my litany of woes, I don't just take her to a salon and get it all chopped off. Well, mostly because she has flatly refused to submit to anything of the sort. The last time her hair was cut was about 1.5 years ago and there was a lot of shrieking, wailing and flailing involved. A few months ago, I did manage to get her into a hair-cutting salon but she created such a ruckus when they sprayed her hair that I decided it was not worth the fuss (and judgmental looks from the other patrons) to go through with it. Unlike her brother at the same age, she is not open to bribery (lollipops worked for him), distraction (my trusty iPhone does not tempt her enough to subject herself to the barbarity of a haircut) or threats.

In fact, the threats work only in reverse. The only way I can get her to submit to wearing hair accessories is by threatening her with a haircut. The fear of a haircut is the only reason why the ponytails are still largely intact when I go to pick her up from school. Her latest response to our entreaties to let us get her a haircut is: 'I will have a haircut when I become a boy.' Er... oh-kay then.

This post would not be complete without a mention of my struggle to find a good source of acceptable, good quality hair accessories. The worst of the mass-produced, poorly constructed, merchandised crap seems to be reserved for this category. Most aren't really up to the task of reigning in Tarana's hair and even if I were to overlook the overwhelming pinkness of the clips and hairbands in the market, most are far too shiny and/ or over-the-top for regular wear. And then there are some that are just plain creepy:

33 comments:

  1. Seems like a really knotty problem!
    My little one has a squint so I can authoritatively say that squints are NOT caused by hair falling over eyes, not eating enough vitamin A and so on. There's a whole range of eye-related issues that cause squints; some of the non-eye related ones are childhood illnesses like measles, nervous disorders like cerebral palsy, being a premature baby or having a low birth weight.

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    1. Good to know that, I shall tell my mother though she will probably insist that these are all newfangled notions :p

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  2. This lack of decent/non blingy/functional/sturdy hair accessories is a lost case, next only to India's utter inability to make good underwear/lingerie.

    My hair was just as taranas's when I was growing up and when it came to hair accessories, I didn't have the luck, and my mum once had some UR-returning relative bring back a massive stash of things, which she rayioned for many years, bringing out one pack of clips/elastic bands every few months. Nothing has changed. I *still* dont find the right stuff. If it is sturdy, its too fancy for everyday wear, if it is not fancy it is weak and breaks in no time. So I get friends to bring back simple things (packs of plain coloured elastic bands, banana clips, tik-tok clips) for me from the US along with my fixed ration of a couple of bras too.

    We have yet to crack these two, and escape from the clutches of mass produced low-quality crap out there in the market.

    And OMG, those hair extensions! For kids?!
    *What is the world coming to!*

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    1. The lingerie problem has been somewhat solved with the launch of Marks & Spencers and La Senza.

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  3. Sneha9:45 am

    She looks adorable. Her hair is gorgeous! :)

    In Bangalore, there is this great store called appleofmyi, which has very pretty hair stuff for little girls and some good non-pink options as well.

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    1. Damn! Now you tell me. Maybe I shall go check it out on next year's trip. Where exactly is it located?

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  4. Poor you, I feel your pain Rohini. Though if you see D's hair you would think it's the straightest sleekest possible and why I am complaining here, but try to put a ponytail or plait at 6:30 am in that slippery slope and you'll realize :(. I resort to chopping off unfortunately - in my case the resistance to haircuts was overcome by me having a haircut along with her - wonder if that strategy will be of any help to you?

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    1. She has accompanied Ayaan, Jai and me for our haircuts but has remained staunchly unconvinced. :-)

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  5. I LOVE her curls. A bit messy adds to the charm I say!! Try one of those Livon types for detangling, not oil. Wont a plain black hair band do if she likes leaving it open ?

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    1. I should try Livon.

      You mean those plastic ones? Those stay on her head for less than ten minutes!

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  6. Dear Tarana

    Did you meet up with R and decide to trouble your mothers together..and honestly she is almost an year older to you, so I cant blame you for what you are doing...she should be teaching you all this nautanki eh?

    I have taken R to the salon a million times and come back without cutting because of the drama she puts up? Did she teach you how to trouble your Mama?

    Both you girls, can you please tell your moms, how to manage your hair from NOT getting into your eyes, because this masi of yours is at her wits end? Incase you share the secret with your Mama and R, do me a favor and ask either of them to please tell me as well okie?

    Big hugs

    RM Masi

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    1. Ha ha. Nice to have some company :D

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  7. Ha Ha.. Sorry Ro, but the creepy accessories just cracked me up :D I had faced similar issues with Pari, she had a major meltdown at every salon we took her to.. and I resorted to cutting her hair myself for the first 3 yrs. I think she has straight hair, and that made it easy for me to cut it. Tarana has lovely curly hair, but admittedly more difficult to manage, but hang on.. I am sure she will start liking haircuts soon. Wait.. I had also posted on it, twice!
    http://www.violet-gauri.blogspot.in/2009/03/mumma-barber.html
    http://www.violet-gauri.blogspot.in/2010/07/of-hair-cuts-and-heart-breaks.html

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    1. Had fun reading your posts. I have zero hairstyling skills so I would probably make matters worse if I tried to cut Tarana's hair!

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  8. Anonymous3:35 pm

    Hej Ro! I think Tarana's strong will perhaps partially at least comes from good ol' god mother!!
    Am so sad that the month will be over...was such a treat each evening to know that I have a post on your blog to read!! - Ayesha

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    1. I am a little sad too but also relieved. It's been stressful to have the daily commitment hanging over my head. Hope to write more regularly though.

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  9. hey that's my daughter you are describing! lol

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  10. Awww. Sorry but I just cannot sympathise here. She has the most adorable hair ever. My duaghter has a hair fixation but hardly any hair at all. The kid of accessories you mentioned ie. pink and flashy are her only solace.. and I cannot deny her those. What's worse.. unmamagebale real hair or tacky false ones.. figure that out for me please. :-P

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    1. It is not adorable at 7.30 a.m. on rushed school mornings. Tarana would happily give all her hair accessories to your daughter :-)

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  11. Actually, she looks really really cute! :)

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  12. Hi Ro - So understand what you are going through (though KG does not have curly hair). She also does not complain for washing her hair. But KB used to bring the roof down until he was two plus for his hair cuts. He hated them so much. We had to go to an expensive children only hair salon because it so happened a generic one stopped mid way and said they just cannot continue the way he was wriggling and getting out of our hold. What if you gave her a hair brush and let her brush it herself when you just spray water with a spray bottle? Would that work? She looks really cute like a typical little girl - I like her carefree looks.
    I have been enjoying your every day posts in the mornings. I will miss it once the blogger marathon event stops. I meant to comment on some of your other posts as well but somehow got distracted and didn't get to it. I emailed you a couple of days back - hope that the email id you still use.

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    1. You mean, cut her hair myself?! That will look far worse than it currently does!

      Got your mail, replied :-)

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  13. Seriously...are those for kids???

    Do you see any Goody brand clips out there? They usually do the trick for my monster.

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  14. Never seen Goody. Shall keep an eye out for them.

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  15. Twisted Fashion Accessories - Inorbit Mall, Mulund. I get all my girls' hair stuff from there. It is my kid sister's aunt-ly duty to go there every so often and pick stuff for them. Am sure they retail elsewhere too.

    Goody accessories from foren. Also some stuff that the man gets from Manila - cant remember the brand.

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    1. I will see if I can convince one of my friends in Bombay to make the trek to Inorbit, Mulund. Thanks.

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  16. I can't believe kids actually would like to wear them. They are repulsive.

    As far as your fighting the curly war..... At the risk of sounding really annoying, am going to say - So cute!! I guess that's what having 2 boys in the house can do to you!!!

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    1. When I posted that pic on Twitter a couple of months ago, I was told the fake hair clips are quite the rage with young girls. Urgh.

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  17. How about those bandanna type things with a bit if elastic? If you can lay your hands in colourful ones, maybe she'll wear them?

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    1. Have been looking for those but yet to find decent ones in her size.

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    2. Anonymous9:59 pm

      Oh yes. We have tons of those types. Some from India too - Lifestyle I think. Currently sitting unused because the hair lengths are longish. But come summer, hair will get chopped and these will get back into circ.

      Chox

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  18. hahaha...That was funny.

    Vividha has a good brand of clips...but it costs a bomb.
    Rainbow bunting(chk them on FB) also makes lovely crocheted clips and bands. So does a friend of mine. Will try and send some pics to you.

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    1. Yeah, I used to buy the Vividha clips when I was in Bombay. Haven't been able to find a store that stocks them in Hyderabad. Thanks for the Rainbow Bunting lead - going to FB to check them out right now.

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