Let’s talk about hair. Mine. I caved, and straightened it. It had been a long season of curls, and finally, I was growing weary of them. I felt ready to return to the straight and narrow.

To being able to wake up, pat head and go, confident that one’s hair was in place. To not wondering if my hair looked insane at any point.

Also, the drastic chop had been more drastic than I had expected. A year later, and my hair was still in the short category. It seemed to be curlier than before, and in summer this meant that no matter how long it grew, it would curl up and look as short as before.

I think I was wearier of the short than the curl. Curly I could live with, rejoice in even.

It takes over three hours to tame hair into a shape it does not want to be. My decision to eschew a heavy book and just take my phone proved to be disastrous. My phone died in half an hour and I was left literally twiddling my thumbs after a five minute browse through the provided Chinese tabloids proved unsatisfactory. Using the last vestiges of battery power I messaged V and asked him to send our helper down with my book (the parlour is literally an elevator ride down from our apartment.) Unfortunately, I was cocooned in a corner of the parlour and straightening requires frequent washes so when she came, she didn’t find me and went away and my phone was dead so I couldn’t call her. So I sat and sat and sat.

Finally, I emerged looking a bit like a pinhead. The hairdresser said I looked trendy, younger, but of course he had to say that.

The thing is that straightened hair lies very flat. Which was fine when my body was very narrow, but now my hips are more than twice the width of my head. So if my head is smaller, my hips look bigger. Ladies, remember this. A fat head is a good thing.

V tried to be nice about it. Benji gaped. The helpers chortled. Mimi came right out and asked: “What happened to your hair?” In office the next day, I drew gasps. You should be used to me and my hair by now, I told them.

Over a couple of days, though, it’s been growing on me. Not literally, but it will and then it will gain volume. Also, the first wash added a smidgeon of bounce. Once I feel daring enough to pin up one side without fearing a permanent kink, my look will be vastly improved. Also, uncurled my hair looks longer, which was my intention. In two weeks or so I’ll be able to tie a ponytail, a whole year after my last one.

A colleague who got her hair straightened two days after me met me in the pantry. “The general talk about your hair is positive,” she said. “That should make you happy.” We both did little happy dances touching our shiny new hair.

 

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