Sunday, 8 July 2012

Extreme Wind

No amount of trial and error or mega extreme hold hairspray could have withstood the front page news-worthy weather conditions at Isle of Wight festival this year. I've spent the last couple of weeks locked in a styling battle with my ever-lengthening mop. It's been emotional, quite literally. Having risked lymphodeoma holding my hair dryer aloft while dragging different types of brush through , I've been known to have a little boo and/or refuse to leave the house.

I know it can be done. Whenever I stay at Katie's and give her the wobbly lip, achy arm treatment she manages a smooth, chic style in about two minutes (she is university educated in hair-doing though). I watch, learn, take notes, practise, and effing fail every time.

Convinced the answer lies in chemical sleekening, I took myself to Headmasters for a long awaited Brazilian Blowdry. I love Headmasters, they're the most un-intimidating high street salon ever, and helped me out a lot with my Bambi steps into wig-wearing. So safe in the knowledge I would emerge a Twiggyish version of my formerly scarecrow self, I booked in the morning of my friends wedding.

Um, not so much. Apparently my hair is very stubborn, corkscrewwy in parts, and immune to the powers of a Brazilian. What I was expecting was smooth, sleek, shiny, manageable hair. What I got was shinier, more manageable hair, which still looks very much like the hair I a hoping to see the back of. I had a slight toys-out-pram moment on my way home since I had been pinning my hopes on the new-hair me being so easy breezy and yes, miraculously photogenic and 100% attractive at all times. A bit like how you build up an impending blind date to be your soul mate forever husband. Of course you're going to be set up for disappointment. In a fit of pique I stormed into Liberty and bought a (gorgeous and slightly ridiculous) baseball cap, weeping at Dadjokes that I was ONLY going to go out in a F*ck!NG CAP from now on, including to the wedding, which he accepted and offered blind compliments down the phone about how lovely he was sure my hair was.

As it happens he was right, OK so it wasn't the super sleek crop I was hoping for, but it has never looked shinier or felt silkier, and yes, when I got home and went to work with the mini ghd's, it was a lot easier to style. I was just hoping the ghd's would be redundant and I could get another 1/2 hour in bed every morning. But I did manage without the cap.


That was until the 'summer' kicked in. Once you've factored in a wash with L'Oreal EverPure (you need sulphate free once you've had a Keratin treatment to keep the effects for longer), an arm aching blow-dry, a very strict regimen of smoothing lotion, styling foam, strong hold wax for the sides, texturising wax spray for the top, your weight in Kirby grips, a final securing can and a half of hairspray, and a good five minutes of pedantic mirror tweaking, you approach the front door with trepidation...

Boom, an entire mornings work obliterated with one gale force gust of wind.

The worst thing is I can't seem to learn from this repeated heartache. Last week I got over excited about my girls night after work drinks, to the point of escaping to the disabled loos illegally ear to preen to presentability.
I have to walk through the InStyle office to get back to my desk, which is a catwalk of intimidation after a loo-preening session. You don't exit until you're confident. Reasonably proud of my hair achievement I made it back to Katie who tweaked a bit more, emptied another can of hairspray over my head, and joined me in the lift. Cue one last revolving door of happy-hair enjoyment and BOOF, straggly mop within two seconds of London wind exposure.

What I'm getting at is this; pretty much no ones hair is great at the moment, but I defy anyone to struggle with theirs as much as a transitional growing out croppee has to, and be happy to see how hot long wind-blown hair looks in comparison. *sigh*

These are my staples;

Sleep In Rollers:
Once I've just about sort of flattened the backs and sides, the top looks better with volume. Yes dear readers, the Du-rag is obsolete - much to the bedtime delight of Dadjokes. These days he is presented with the Nora Batty of bed partners, but I think he'd rather her than Snoop Dag of shorter, flatter hair days gone by. A spritz of L'Oreal Pli, then three of these in the top section are an arm-ache saviour, (no need for barrel brush/hairdryer combo) and the easiest route to gentle wavy volume that stays put.

Adapt Structure Hair Texture Paste.
I'm not a wax fan, but this gloopy cream holds the sides down in a nicely natural way.

Neal & Wolf Silk Smoothing Blowdry Balm.
I don't know if this really makes a difference but its a hair comfort blanket and I'm scared of what degree of curl I will suffer if I skip it.

Tigi Rockaholic Groupie Texturising Spray Pomade.
A little spritz after the rollers come out take any fluffiness away and just makes it look a bit, well, a bit more like it says on the tin. But in a good way.

ghd Final Fix Hairspray.
My desert Island hair product. The mini spray is small but mighty - i it isn't in my handbag I almost get hives from the stress.

Matte Kirby Grips.
I still don't know where to get these from, but having been introduced by Louis, my hairstylist friend, there is no going back for extra easy gripping. If you see them, buy them (then post to me :-)

So, the battle continues, but in the meantime, these foolproof products seem to have my morning routine down to ten minutes - for the two or three weeks my hair is this bouffy length anyway. Only a few more months till wedding extensions. I will NOT cut the backs and sides NO I WILL NOT. Repeat after me...


  1. Totally identify with your plight! Am battling my Larry the Lamb locks in this wet, windy, humid weather (could it be more tricky for one's barnet?)I'm going for another keretin treatment after the summer (no point worrying about hair when I'll be in water for a fortnight - the right sort, a swimming pool). And yet I have the same problem that the straightened hair flattened to the scalp like a skull cap is horribly Dr Spock so I spend a fortune flattening it only to try to fluff it out on top to make me look less Star Trek-y. It's gone way beyond a novelty now and no amount of compliments on my gamine looks can compensate - I want my long hair back!

    Tips for products are great, thanks!

  2. Very nice hairstyle! I will surely try this out soon, I'll just have to take out a little weight onto my body. My alternative cancer center patients will surely appreciate me on this.

  3. Aw, what a lovely post! You’re blog is so sweet! xx

  4. Really great post! I have nearly run out of Bumble and Bumble Brilliant Time, which is great for hair taming - quite frankly hides a bad hair day, no matter the length of your locks.

    Miss V x

  5. Hi there, just found your blog. A very interesting read. I was diagnosed with breast cancer july this year. I will keep reading your blogs and add you to my blogroll!

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