(Pic courtesy : cartoonstock.com via Google)
“I wish I had hair like yours” quipped someone, the other day. “Falls in such soft waves around the shoulder, looks like you actually style it that way” remarked another. Trust me, people – you do not want to have hair like my crowning glory. My crowning glory has a mind of its own – literally, it does. It is like a child – a rather unpredictable one.
On some days it decides to behave itself – so beautifully that I cannot believe my eyes when I look at the mirror. It falls in waves around my face, softly framing it, delighting me with its rather gleeful bounce and swing at every nod and shake of my head. The kids at school do not know this yet but those are the days when I shake my head the most, just because I delight in the feel of silky, wavy hair and revel in the fact that it’s all mine.
Yet again, there are days when my crowning glory is irritatingly, vexingly errant. It’s almost as if it just decides that it’s not going to behave. It just falls, limp and lifeless, making me look like a drowned mouse or one that is in the process of drowning.
Yet again, there are days when my crowning glory behaves as though it is high on something, like its snorted some wrong stuff up its nostrils and is pretty much in the grip of a heady feeling. It just blooms like a flower opening up to the sun, effectively making me look and pretty much feel like Medusa.
All in all, there are many a times when I’ve wanted to just have straight hair. Straight, silky smooth tresses. There are some pretty crazy things I’ve tried, all in the name of attempting the straightening of my hair.
1. Milk – I remember having read somewhere at some point of time in my life that spraying milk on the hair about 15-20 mins before shower helps straighten hair. Needless to say, you’ve got to shampoo and condition your hair after spraying milk on it unless you want to spend your day smelling like milk that’s gone bad. The site also rather helpfully mentioned that one needs to spray milk on one’s hair before a shower and not after. Thanks for that. Imagine walking around with your head smelling like curdled milk. Ewwwww !!! Well, all it did for me was made me feel like Lord Shiva sans the tiger skins and the snake and the vibhuti. Speaking of which, it does make me want to ask a question here – has anyone ever wondered if Lord Shiva does indeed want milk poured on his head ? The so called “milk therapy” left me feeling rather rancid for it did absolutely nothing for my crowning glory which remained as indescribably wayward as ever.
2. Milk, Honey and Strawberry – Hmmm. Sounds yummy, does it not ? It was pandered as another “home remedy” for straightening hair without chemicals. Having had the “milky way to straighten hair (described above) fail miserably on mine, I just opted to drink milk with honey and eat the strawberries instead of squashing the entire lot on my head. Seemed like a terrible waste, truth be told.
3. Coconut cream – screamed another helpful website. Only fresh cream, it said. Well, now if I had to extract fresh coconut milk, it would be only for one thing – to make payasam. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine spending a couple of hours, all read and steamy faced, squeezing milk out of a coconut and proceeding to rub the same on my head. I did try the canned stuff though. Ended up looking and feeling like having a whole tin of grease rubbed on my hair and not all of it washed out. Far from straightening my hair, it just made it drab and lifeless. Made me want to hide my locks under a winter hat on one of those absolutely hot, summer days.
4. Another website suggested a medley of herbs –rose geranium, chamomile, cedarwood, sandalwood, rosemary, lavender and on and on went the list. I am still pretty much in the process of collecting all those exotic herbs mentioned on that list. I guess by the time I do lay my hands on all those (as also those of you who intend trying this therapy), I’ll just be much too old to even need those for the said purpose. Gah !!
5. I once tried tying my hair up. Yes, tying. Real tight. I figured if tight binding can work in keeping feet small and petite, binding should work in straightening stubbornly wavy hair too. Guess I didn’t realize exactly how stubborn my tresses are. Feet among the Chinese community in the olden days remained petite because of foot binding but my hair – nah !! It still went wild all over the place – binding or no binding – made not an iota of difference. Thank God my head does not have to wear shoes. I mean, talking of shoes – that’s another sore point with me because I absolutely have feet like a hobbits. Gah !!
6. One of my school friends, during our school days actually took a candle to her hair, tried to burn off all the curls at the bottom of her locks, in the hope that it leaves her with straight hair. She ended up with hair that looked as though it had been chewed on by a bandicoot. Needless to say, I wasn’t half as enamoured enough to try something as radical as that.
So here I am, even today, with a headful of unruly tresses that absolutely refuse to heed my whims and fancies. It is as errant as ever, curling on some days beautifully and falling softly on my shoulders like a wisp or a caress while on other days it makes me look scary enough to give Medusa a run for her money.
Any more bright ideas, anyone ?