by Rachel Mascord, Australia
Make-over aged 15
The first time I coloured my hair, I was fifteen years of age. It was in no way a gesture of teenage rebellion as my Mum took me to get it done. My naturally blonde hair had darkened to a colour that she called “mousey”. What an awful description for a colour! It was a word that said “drab”, “dull” and “plain”. In my desperation to be anything other than “drab, dull and plain” I readily agreed to the process, having recently been dismayed by my appearance in my Year 10 school photo. I thought myself too ugly for words. My hair was the focus of critical attention, and so willingly I surrendered to the offer for transformation via a hair makeover!
Hooked Transformation – from mousey to blond
So I was introduced to the wonderful world of hair colouring, and the medieval torture implement known as the streaking cap. For those who are unfamiliar with this device, it is a thick rubber cap that is pulled down over your head. You feel like every hair is being pulled out… slowly. It clenches on to your head for the entire period of the colouring process… about 40 minutes (feels like 4 hours). To add insult to injury, a fine crochet hook is used to gouge into the scalp to fish out strands of hair for bleaching. You sit, coated in blue peroxide, looking like a reject alien extra for Star Wars, but the result is a lovely, natural blonde effect.
That first appointment had me hooked. The pain and suffering were forgotten when my hair was revealed, all gleaming, blow-dried and sparkling. Ah! I was beautiful, blonde, not mousey, not drab and plain. Mum was delighted too, for her blonde daughter had been restored!
My mum’s relationship with her own hair was nothing short of tortured. She deeply hated her hair, was always dissatisfied with the colour, and I never recall her being happy with a cut. There was always something wrong, and she was always wishing her hair were different… straighter, blonder…. something else. She would tear the brush through her hair in self-loathing and fury, and it was truly awful to witness. I could never understand her self-hatred: why did she not just look in the mirror and see how lovely she was? She was a stunningly beautiful woman, but all she saw was hair that didn’t fit her picture of how hair should be. Continue reading “LOVE – Falling in Love with My own Hair” →