Note to Readers : This post is an entry to the Dove Indiblogger contest.
Hair and I haven’t really gotten along well for a majority of my earthly years. We were not the thickest of pals to say the least. On more than one occasion, I have been stood up by my hair which stubbornly resisted all attempts to be cowed down into submission.Needless to say, I could never let my hair down!
I was raised in a household which strictly abided by the moral fabric of the hair. Long well-oiled mane was equated with the right upbringing befitting a ‘propah’ girl. I would glance with envy at the fashionistas at school who could chop off and style their hair in the latest hairdos while I was preordained to sport tightly-braided-thin-spindly hair dripping with oil and ugly ribbons to boot. Every time I hesitantly broached the subject of shearing a little bit, piercing glares would assail me for daring to suggest such blasphemy.
In a fit of adolescent adrenalin, I mustered all my courage to change my life for the good and stepped inside the hallowed precincts of a parlor. As the prospect of being ostracized for my hairy infringement loomed closer, I decided to opt for a lower risk ‘flick’ which was supposed to fall alluringly over the forehead. I waited for my fairy god mother to wave the magic wand on me and soon my image in the mirror acquired a golden glow which receded the moment I returned home. My mom was understandably hysterical at my first open rebellion but was grudgingly consoled as the length of my tresses had not been compromised and I still had a chance to salvage my hair-tainted reputation.
I learnt an important lesson that one had to live with one’s choices. The world became decidedly striped for me with the hair falling well over one brow and covering a substantial part of my eye. I smiled, laughed and cried through my hair. When I was at the risk of getting only half of my face tanned and losing my vision as well, I decided to pin it back where it stood perpendicular in outrage.
Finally, the day came when I stepped across the threshold of my parental home to earn a living for myself.At the first possible opportunity, I attained liberation by cutting off my tresses, which I thought would be an end to my hair problems. But I had
badly underestimated my hair and realized too late that my kind of hair could not be left loose. I envied girls with straight shiny hair and cursed my genes. In due course of time, I got married to a man who was thankfully hair-myopic, but who would in a romantic mood; liken it to the husk of the coconut which of course, did nothing to my hair-ravaged soul. Bad hair days were the pits, with me baring my fangs at anyone even uttering the word ‘hair’ in my vicinity.
My salon outings would invariably involve the beautician sympathetically clucking her tongue at the sad state of my mop and suggesting lots of ways which didn’t make much difference to my hair but made a lot of difference to my pocket. It did occur to me at times to question whether I was paying them for outright insolence!
One day, while flipping through some magz, I realized that God was not the only creator of beautiful hair. I could have it too and so I went to this really fancy salon where wealthy women bring their canine pals in chauffeur driven cars.I was asked a lot of questions and given options, half of which I had no clue whether it was a hair treatment regimen.After a six hour grind and burning a huge hole in my pocket, I came out a changed woman with shiny straight hair. Every hair strand seemed to have its own individuality. This new-found happiness lasted for exactly 24 hours before I realized that it stuck to my head like a plaster.
Whatever I did, it still looked suspiciously like black paint applied to my skull. So it was with relief, when couple of months later, I saw my old hair reappearing. Lesson two: Known enemies are better than unknown friends.
Just when I thought I was getting comfortable with my hair, I suddenly started shedding like a cat.
The thought of premature baldness didn’t seem overly sexy despite the allure of the tattoos and the wig. So I took the Dove hair-aware app test and realized that my nemesis was rough and dry hair .If I didn’t do something fast, I stood a snowball’s chance in hell to save the little that was still precariously perched atop. I sent out an SOS which left me inundated with advice from well-wishers which ranged from obnoxious green pastes with high stink quotient to highly exorbitant hair spa treatments. I decided to stick to the recommendation given by the app and my strands too decided to stick on.
Then came the day when the first grey strand made its appearance. As I tried to hide the sole invader, many more soon followed and defiantly showed through. The more I resisted, the worse it became till the day I decided to end the conflict. My hair was naturally wavy and it had taken me a long time to realize that it was best to leverage the same instead of attempting to make it straight or curly or something else which I was not. Thankfully the grey hair imparted me some wisdom too and I learnt to accept myself the way I was , with all my imperfections and that, my friends, was the end of my hair problems.
As I lay down on the grass and squinted up at the sun shining brightly, I heard the laughter of my family and friends around me.Those who had been with me through thick and thin, did not really care for the color of my skin or the texture of my hair.