Monday, June 24, 2002

A friend brought this book back from the States recently.

As I remember, in the product review section it lists all ingredients in non-haircare English. The majority of products are 80% water, whatever you pay.

I have curly hair. Frizzy hair. Difficult to manage hair. I've spent my life trying to get my hair ringletty rather than frizzy, and used a lot of African hair products in the late eighties, before the Hair Care Product Revolution (HCPR).

Those rare, Good Hair Days are like fondly remembered great dreams (often the ones that include mind-blowing sex).

Bad Hair Days are like I've arrived at a planet where fabulous hair-care regimes are the norm, and everyone else is sleek and perfect. And I feel grim. Grim, I tell you.

Sometimes I have flatmates with curly hair too, and then our bathroom turns into an upmarket Boots with every product in the known curly-frizzy hair universe appearing on our shelves. And of course, none of them truly help. It's like therapy; it makes me feel better but has no discernable interest to the casual observer apart from me playing with my hair in a possibly Freudian way.

When I stare at shelves of hair products, and start reading the blurby-shit (for example, my current favourite, Modern Elixirs Styling Serum - sold to me by my hairdresser on commission that probably paid for her flat in Essex - claims to "create body or sleek control". Aren't those, like, diametrically opposed?) I generally get choice-intertia. Or oscillate between feeling that if only I spend another fourteen pounds fifty all my problems - and they are not all follicular - will be solved, or getting choice paralysis and doing what I do most of the time. Nothing.

I taught in Sunday school when I was a teenager. Every year I'd do a "ask any question you want, anonymously" box, and the kids could post whatever question came to their mind. Generally I expected questions of the "is it true really religious people do it through a sheet" type (answer = no). One year, I take out the first question, and open it, to the rapt attention of twenty eleven year olds.

And - expressive drum roll - the question was:
"Miss, why do you always flick your hair?"

It's the big, important questions that count.

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