5 Feb 2011

Hestia considers....cutting her hair

Guess which one is me?
One bright morning in July, I sat in my Conference room in Birmingham and dashed off a heart-felt blog about my dreadful hair.

More than anything (even having a non-Scottish mouthful of straight, white teeth) I would love to have had swooshy hair.  Or even shiny hair.  I have hair that could pull trucks and provide a comfortable home for nesting birds.

I am thinking about getting it cut off.

This thought pops into my head from time to time and most of the time I can bat it away like a troublesome fly, but it's getting noisier and more insistent.  I'm putting it down to my age (approaching  50 at light speed) rather than a psychotic episode.

Today I was throwing out some magazines and, as I sat and re-read them in their entirety (which is what happens when you decide to throw out magazines) I decided to see how many women were photographed with short hair in the thickest mag.

I included the adverts and there were SIX images in the whole magazine of people with short hair - one was a man x 2 pix, one was a little girl, one was a woman of colour, one was a reader who hated her hair and the other was the editor.

Further examination of those short-hair images showed that everyone, even the lady of colour, had straight hair.  So, even though their hair was short - they could still have long swishy hair IF THEY WANTED *depressed face*

Out of all the images I've put up here of myself, none of them have my hair in its natural state.  So it's time to rectify that.  And the image you see in this posting is me - pre straighteners, many MANY years ago.  It's no longer that colour naturally and my jawline is a bit *cough* softer.  Look at it - not a hint of shine.  A veritable hirsute black hole for light.  Ignore the pretty blonde, she's not important to this tale. I said IGNORE THE PRETTY BLONDE. 

Let's be honest, no one could run their fingers through THAT without a map to help them get out. 

Straightening it is such a chore that I rarely bother, preferring instead to scrape it back with clips and hair bobbles.  In all honesty, not a very attractive look, but I am lazier than I am vain.

So, I sometimes think about getting it All Off.

What stops me?

Well, this sort of hair, when it's short, does not do wide-eyed Elfin gamine (see Emily Watson).  It does Old Lady.  Like this:

No offence to this lady....but... well...do I need to say anything?
 The other thing that stops me is that if I cut it off now, I will be 70 by the time it reaches the length that it is now.  And when I'm 70, it will most definitely be much more of a pain in the arse for me to straighten it and keep it with some kind of colour in it.

I sometimes wonder about getting shot of the dye entirely and turning into a Silver Fox.  But the hair that looks nice on a Silver Fox is the straight and swooshy kind (see Helen Mirren).  I'd look like this:

Again, no offence to this lady - but this is SO not what I want for myself

A couple of weeks ago Tertarus and I went up to Glasgow to go to a Justin Currie gig and I didn't have time to straighten my hair before we left.  I was acutely aware of my 'au natural' head and kept apologising to Tertarus for it.  He said that he wasn't bothered.  But this is, after all, the man that made me hang sexy knickers back up on the rail in the Anne Summers shop.  So that's not much of an assurance.

I hated it.  As soon as we got to the hotel (other than rootle about for a mini bar) I got my hair clipped out of the way safely.  Not very sexy, but not Fire Hazard either.

Maybe I should get corn-braids or a weave?

PS - Although this pic was taken at a toga party, it wasn't even Red Nose Day. *shakes head*  I don't know WHAT I thought it was adding to the overall ensemble.


  1. Dear Ali, ahh! you poor thing you're always struggling with your hair.

    Come to London and see my hairdresser Vicky who has a salon in Mrs Jones studio. She does this new treatment called Brazilian Blowdry (nothing to do with waxing!!). There's no chemicals and your hair will be fabulous and straight and it doesn't grow out curly either - it has been explained to me why but we had a lot of vodka last night. I think it's about £200 but lasts six months or something. One friend with unmanageable hair has had it done and loves it. Worth a try? Love C xx

  2. Ali.. Hair twin.. do not I repeat do not cut your hair ..unless you think you will really suit it and invest in some GHD's .. I find mine so much easier longer. Invest in some good shampoo one that doesn't lather too much and or a good blo dry treat yourself .. once its gone it takes years to grow back.. I had extensions for a year and it was so thin afterwards and still only shoulder length... it has taken another 18 months to get back to normal xx

  3. My mum's hair is like the second lady's! I think you should keep it long - at least then you have the option to tie it back. I'm hating my hair at the moment missed an appointment to have it cut and coloured this week because of the hideous vomiting bug, now looking a bit Patti Smith but not in a good way!

  4. Mrs TNMA - snap! I completely forgot about my own appointment because son had the vomiting and pooping thing going on.

    Currently got about 1 cm of grey!

    Ruby - your hair looks lovely! I think the secret might be just going to the hairdressers and getting a blow dry and straighten on a weekly basis. It may be time to become High Maintenance :-)

    Christina - I really fancy one of these Brazilian blow dry things.
    I asked at my hairdressers whether they would be doing them and they said no - too expensive to get in all the stuff. But I'd use it, I insisted.

    But they didn't seem to think that anyone else would be interested.

    Let me tell you there's a LOT of hair on this island that could do with a Brazilian blow dry!

    I hope to get down to Lahndan in the Spring, minus Tertarus and Sonshine, so will be looking for pals to meet up with :-) I hope you'll be around!!!


  5. oh dear.....dear cyber twin..I too have been under the deluded impression that I need to cut my hair. Mine is fine, and thin, and long and a mess.
    All I can say is...dont do it!

    Picture yourself without your lovely locks...pineapple head is the last thing you want once you hair starts rebelling again.

    It's a trial that we live with, and live Hercules we must beat the beast down until it does our bidding.

    btw...this word verification is SQUAT ...says it all I suppose :P

    Sara x

  6. Don't do it, step back from the ledge!
    Maybe it just needs thinned out and layered a bit. There are lots of short haired women on Vashon. They also wear Carhart clothing and drive pick up trucks.
    Time to visit Christina I think.

  7. Well I think your hair looks lovely, I really do, lots of body and thick, so you should keep it long, and get a really good hairdresser to put layers in it, but I do sympathise if you feel it is underperforming; I come from a family of dead straight, limp hair, which also manages to stick out and look dorky while at the same time hanging there looking depressed, so I LOVE curly hair. Mr B would love any hair, partic on his own head, god bless him. Would love to meet you when you ae in Lahndan, if you can face it!! xx

  8. I like your hair. Or maybe it's the whole face + hair. You look cheerfull. The blonde looks depressed. She doesn't look like she would swoosh her hair because she is too depressed. My hair, just like yours is of a kind I can do nothing with. I call it permanent press. It is thin and straight and looks stringy if I let it grow below shoulder lenghth, so I keep it shortish. It wouldn't keep a curl for more than 10 minutes and like you I find fiddling around with hair too timeconsuming. Also I don't like spray, because it makes the hair so hard.
    However my point was - the expression is so much more important than the hair.

  9. Dancer - To be fair, she had been sitting next to me for a while and that might account for the glazed expression. That or whatever she was nursing in her paper cup (such class we had!).

    Blighty - yes! If you're available when I'm down in Lahndan, let's do coffee and cake! You won't recognise me cos I'll have been Brazilian blow-dried by that time lol!

    Legend - you can stop looking at the blonde now.... :-D

    Sara - yes! Herculean tasks!!! Beating our hair into submission!!! I was not beaten by the 2009 Accounts, and, goddamn it, I won't be beaten by my fluffy hair!!!


  10. Leave it long.
    Speaking (well actually writing)as a guy who has so little hair left that the only styling i do is to run my beard-trimmer over the grey stubble very time I trim my beard, i can only say.
    1. I am so jealous of people who actually have to *cut* their hair.
    2. Most blokes like their ladies to have long luxuruous locks. The longer and thicker the better. Really go for it, go for the shaggy sheep-dog look.
    The less you can see out of it the better, so you then won't see what we're doing, and then have nothing to nag us about.

  11. Ali, as you know, I am cursed with the curly hair too. it is getting worse as it grown longers as well.

    If you don't get a Brazilian Blowdry (which you should, £200 for 6 months of straight hair is entirely worth it), please just buy yourself really expensive and good straighteners and straightening products. I think you could get away with short hair as you have a wee heart shape face, BUT straightening short hair is a nightmare. Mine is still quite difficult to do and it's chin length now.

  12. Ahhh I'm sure that gorgeous curly hair will be back in fashion again soon and straighteners will be discarded for tongs & rollers. My mum has super long straight blonde hair & her sister has lovely curly dark hair like yours & each was desperate to have each others' hair types. Sods law really.
    PS the blonde looks bored & a bit moody - apologies if she's a great mate & it's just an unfortunate piccy!!!

  13. Butterfly - I live in hope! The blonde isn't a mate, just someone that I worked beside a long time ago. She was a perfectly pleasant girl. To be fair, I think she might be short-sighted :-)

    LM - yep - I'm up for a Brazilian!!!!

    TSB - I think I can do shaggy sheep dog. I would just have preferred a little more class, perhaps Afghan hound?


  14. Don't cut your hair!!! I love wild curls, I'd kill for them. xxx

  15. I have thick curly hair too,though I must say it has straightened out quite a bit as I've got older.I don't know how I managed without GHDs.
    I had mine cut short a few years ago and though everyone said I looked younger it was much more labour intensive,had to be blow dried and straightened every morning so I'm afraid Id stick with the bobbles and clips!

  16. Hi

  17. Have you tried the Avon straightening serum with Aloe Vera in it - it works for my mop, together with my Tresemme volume styler which is brilliant. I have had mine chopped to a bob (longer at front than back) and I am universally told I look better/younger, plus it has taken hours off my getting ready to go anywhere time (husband said it added a day to our holiday). Not sure if it actually qualifies as short though, the thing with curly hair is that when they cut it shorter when wet at the hairdressers, once dry it is an old lady perm :+

  18. is this the same brazilian thing that they're making illegal in canada because it has formaldehyde in it? i'd imagine that formaldehyde would not be a good thing to have on/in you, whilst still alive. just saying.

    i think the problem is hairdressers. i for one have straightish hair and am pissed off because no hairdresser ever cuts it in its natural form, but straightens it first, which means that i leave the salon with a glorious swooshy shiny bob, but after one wash, it reverts back to its slightly bendy ways which, unfortunately, were not considered during the cut. i have asked, begged and wept, but still they insist on cutting some mythical version of my hair, and not the real thing.

    and yes, i realise i could just straighten it every day but really? life's too short.

    so - get a really really great cut, get yourself some argan oil leave-in conditioner, and fuck the swooshy blondes. they aren't even human.

  19. Dear Ali, I'm sure the Brazilian (apparently it's called blow out) does not have formaldehyde in. I will check!! I'm sure I can get you a discount if you fancy one when you come to London.

    I will be around for dinner, drinks and whatever so can't wait to see you xx

  20. http://www.torontosun.com/life/healthandfitness/2010/10/08/15624861.html

    christina, ali - if we're talking about the same thing, apparently there is indeed formaldehyde. see article above. not that there's anything wrong with a little formaldehyde or anything...


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