In fact, if you squint and tilt your head to the left, it looks like I’ve got a full on bowl cut.
And yet, I know I’m nothing special. I’ve seen my friends’ photo albums. Little girls across this great nation all possessed similar coiffures that challenged the biological laws of hair growth.
Was it a 90’s thing? Do kids still have this problem now? And would it even pass today’s exacting health and safety procedures??
2. The holiday braid I passed a braiding booth on the seafront in Portugal last year and a ripple, charged with agitated desire, surged through my being. I was awash with nostalgia, of both the excitement and fear that would strike every summer of my childhood when I saw the holiday hair braiders. I wanted one. I NEEDED one. But what if I wasn’t allowed? What if I had to go to school after my holiday WITHOUT a hair braid?!? Would anyone even believe I had been??!!??!
It’s funny how nostalgia holds onto the joys of past memories and forgets to remind you of being scolded by your teacher and your mum being forced to cut it out that night because strangely enough, mummifying a strand of ice cream slathered hair really isn’t up there in maintaining your follicles’ wellbeing.
P.S. The reason I don’t look happy in this photo is because I had literally reached my ultimate limit of happiness for the whole entire year and I was just having a quick rest
P.P.S. Still can’t see the origin of that damn fringe
3. The big decision haircut I was in Year 3 when I decided that I wanted to be a boy. Well, not be a boy exactly, but I wanted to be ‘one of the boys’ at least. I begged my mum to let me have my hair cut and she agreed – as long as I had my ears pierced. Et, voilà.
After break each day, I’d form a new line – girls, boys and tomboys. My tomboy line recruited a few members, there was about three or four of us in total who would stand there, elated at how contrary we were being. Mortified at the thought of going to the ‘Ladies’ toilet on a school trip, our intuitive teacher told us to not worry as it actually read ‘Laddies’. I loved that. I mean, I still remember it now. That’s how much I loved that.
It took me a couple of years to realise that loving football and hanging out with boys (and my tomboy chums) didn’t mean I had to be a boy myself. I think it hit me one day when someone in town gave me a leaflet and said ‘here you go, little boy’ and I was secretly horrified.
But thank heavens I grew up with family and teachers that just let me get on and find that out for myself.
P.S. THE START OF MY FRINGE! AT LAST!
4. The bang-on-trend hair accessory Now, I know the bandana is masquerading as a cool headscarf these days but here you see the traditional style, teamed with a pensive squinty look into the distance (I’m probably trying to scout out the nearest braiding joint). I’d like to point out this was an ACTUAL a bandana, and not one of those try-hard triangles of material that you strapped to your head. I did it PROPER.
I WAS JUST ABOUT TO COMPLAIN AND SAY I NEVER HAD ONE BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T DO MY NAME BUT I GOOGLED IT AND THIS WAS LIKE THE FOURTH IMAGE THAT CAME UP.
And my sister is called Holly.
Right. Wow. Sorry. I’m okay. So.
I was sooooooo jealous of all the girls with their personalised headbands. They all had them in green velvet (school colours) with gold, glitter lettering and I had to make do with my rubbish plain one until ONE DAY, my mum came home from the market with a lemon yellow headband that doubled up as a pair of sunglasses. OH YES. I HAD NOT ONLY WON THE HEADBAND BATTLE, BUT ALSO THE HEADBAND WAR.
5. The dodgy dye job
Funnily enough, I don’t have any photos of my first dodgy dye job because HELLO. I was going to WASTE any of my FILM on BAD HAIR. Instead, the memory is stained in my mind. The reason why I’m still terrified of dying my hair these days.
It was a semi permanent colour. It was a lovely, warm auburn. I felt really fancy after I left the hairdressers.
The only problem was it didn’t stay a lovely, warm auburn. No. It changed colour. It changed colour EVERY SINGLE DAY. I wouldn’t even have to wash it and it would change colour. From a warm brown to an effulgent shock of tangerine, every day would be different. And it lasted, not 6 weeks, but 6 months.
I remember a boy from two years above (two years above!!!) stopping me and asking me why I had dyed my hair ginger. Ginger!! The dreaded G word! I now coo over red hair – but back then, I was mortified.
6. The drunk trip to the hairdresseres
Apologies for the huuuuuge leap from teenagehood to extremely mature adulthood but I had limited photos to work with and also recently learnt that if you go out, stay out until 4am and then have a hair appointment at 9am, you will be still drunk and you will make rash decisions. The decision this time was that my ‘trim’ turned into cutting off A LOT of hair that had been long for a very long time.
When I got home, the housemate took one look at me and said ‘oh no, you’ve got shit Taylor Swift mum hair’.
What do you even say to that?
7. The final update
This leads me onto the whole reason for this jaunt through my tressled past. My latest hair fiasco.
Having thought I’d skipped this critical life point in many a ladies’ hairstory, I have been scuppered by a plight that most encounter at the age of 13.
Now, I’ve had highlights before and I’ve quite liked them. I’ve just always instructed them to miss out the top layer. And I forgot that, when I went to the hairdressers last week and ordered half a head of the wicked little things.
As the hairdresser pulled the foil off my head I saw a flash of bleach blonde and I thought ‘oh god, what have I done. This is worse than the time I tried to curl my hair with a barrel brush’. I was blonde. Like, ACTUALLY blonde. I mean, it wasn’t bad but I had got it into my head that I was going to have a few natural looking strands shining through my otherwise bland brown hairdo but no. This was different. OKAY, OKAY. SO IT LOOKS FINE. But that’s because it’s been heavily coiffed, filtered and I’m doing a slight head tilt (works eveeerrryyy time).
But today, I’ve had it scraped up into a messy bun and I look like a stripy abomination. Does this mean I have to actually brush and style my hair everyday?! I am not ready for this high maintenance world!
I HAVE THE ANSWER.
I’VE ALWAYS HAD THE ANSWER.
I KNOW, LIZZIE.
BEST IDEA EVER.