Tuesday, December 08, 2009


since I was a little kid I LOVED going to the hairdresser. I love the ‘hot-hair’ smell, the pretty product displays, the magazine selection, the complimentary coffee (it used to be a mug of instant coffee or a glass of juice. This morning I got a full-on cappuccino, although I had to scoop bits of my hair out of it periodically when the guy cutting my hair got mildly enthusiastic).

I’m a little bit paranoid about letting people near my head with scissors. I have a lot of hair, and it grows at an alarming rate (like shoulder-length to almost waist-length in the last ten months), but even so, its not easy to find someone I trust.

Now that my friend’s husband’s aunt (who was awesome) became my friend’s EX-husband’s aunt, I decided it was time to find someone new. Rather than letting her take it all out on me with one of those thinning-razor thingies. Nothing like a bad haircut/slit throat to get a point to the (ex)other side of the family (mafia-with-hairspray style)!

I’m not sure why I trusted the guy I ended up going to. I mean he’s BALD of all things… but when I asked about blue hair he didn’t even flinch and he discussed the pro’s and cons of different methods and booked me in before I could change my mind.

Turns out I am SO glad I did. he’s one of the old-school types, who doesn’t believe in gadgets. You know those thinning-scissors that always give me a heart-attack (they remove every second hair or something, so when they scoop up your hair and it looks like they’re cutting it off at the scalp…)? He did the same thing with NORMAL scissors without me noticing (and he handled my freak-out quite well when I did notice…).

It also turned out that he’s completely fascinated by hair colour (on the molecular level) and so when I mentioned lizard colour he got so excited he proceeded to dump a sizeable chunk of my hair in my coffee while going on about the mystery of the inner hair-core medulla (or something) and how the structure of the pigments is affected by bleach, and hair is just an illusion after all and we just play with something that doesn’t really exist.

of course all of this while complaining how silly people think they can understand what they’re doing with hair and how it takes decades just to understand colour and longer to learn to work with it. Seeing him at work I had to agree, there was a kind of confidence in his movements that made me completely at ease and it was very clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.

After all that he dried and styled my hair, looked at it critically and decided to use the GHD for good measure (I want one) and then proceeded to give me some shiny blue streaks (eight of them) while showing me swatches of other colours. I was tempted to add in pink and purple as well, but decided to stick to the blue instead.

So today I have: done some Christmas shopping, found a hairdresser who is totally passionate about hair (reasonably priced too), had a fabulous cappuccino while being GHDed (girly-heaven?), got rid of my fieldwork-induced split-ends (the tie-dye effect from wearing a hat and not tucking the ends in is still evident though) finally found a foundation that doesn’t turn me pink, rediscovered the joy of marmite and got blue hair!

So basically it’s gone from this: weddingbouquet

(the promised awkward wedding photo, I’m the one screaming in terror at the bouquet at my feet)

To this:


(excuse the emo-pose, I’m not great at aiming a camera at myself)


EEbEE said...

Girls are weird. Why not just leave your hair its natural colour?

I'm not saying your's is ugly. it looks fine... i just don't understand blue?

(I'll say no more else my nuts will be kicked in.)

Green Eyes said...

as someone who cannot live without hers, get a ghd. i also have lots of hair, its extremely thick and really curly but you'd never know it thanks to my (hot pink) ghd.
i have yet to find a great hair stylist.

Helen said...

Yes EEbEE, saying more would have got you into hot water! I used to be confused about the world's obsession with hair-dye, until I tried it. It feels kind of like completely reinventing yourself, in a really good way. Plus you don't have any hair... You can't understand the psychological implications of good vs bad hair days!

Allison: I'd love one but they're a bit expensive for me, and I get along quite well with the straightener I've got. So I tell myself every time I walk past a salon with a GHD display and feel the urge to go and drool over them...

po said...

Awesome!!!!!!! Seriously I want blue streaks! I have wanted b34e ha5r f6r years and years. How do I get to your hairdresser? Make a detour from the airport? It sounds like you have found yourself an artiste.

I really really want blue streaks though.

Kath Lockett said...

I like it!

Tamara said...

I dream of a GHD.

Did you know it stand for Good Hair Day? And that's exactly what they give. *sigh*

Love the streaks. They look so nice in dark hair. It takes me years to find and settle on a hairdresser. But I've learnt from experience that a cut is not just a cut ;-)

Janine / Being Brazen said...

like the blue :)

EEbEE said...

on the contrary. I'm cultivating a beard as a sign of my virility. (see i have a reason ;) )

i've had a few bad beard days so far (especially when eating all bran flakes...)

My sisters wanted to iron and dye it for my brothers wedding... (i had to run away)

Helen said...

Po: they're not that difficult to get, but tricky to get decent ones and to mantain them... if you're in joburg I'll introduce you to hm, otherwise email me before you do anything drastic and I'll send yo a list of questions to ask! this is my fourth attempt at blue hair so I know most of the options pretty well by now!

Kath: thanks!

Tamara: nicely said! It's amazng what a range of skill there is out there, and a bad haircut can ruin my mood until it grows out!

Brazen: thanks :)

EEbEE: your beard isn't straight? I tried to straighten a certain kung-fu teaching labmate's hair once, he ran away and then proceeded to poke at my straightener and burn his finger..

Anonymous said...

I love love hairdressers too! only.. i never get the coffee or juice???