This Hideous Hair

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I have never had problems accepting my own body. I was OK with it, even as a teenager. There is only one feature I’ve never been pleased with: my hair.

Hair is important in our appearance, because it frames our face. Bad hair can make a pretty face look insignificant. if the face is just passable, it will make it look ugly. Hair that’s not looked after will give others the idea of a lazy, slovenly person. But sometimes, care is not enough. If you have exceptionally thin hair and suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, like me, washing your hair everyday might not be a good idea. It will crackle with static electricity if you wash it too often, especially on the lenghts, while roots will turn greasy again in a matter of hours. Also, thin hair tends to look flat, and wavy hair will curl at the slightest hint of humidity in the air. On the other hand, if you try to tame it by using conditioner or gel or anything of the sort, it will perhaps gain some volume and stay straight where you need it to be straight, but again, this will give greasiness a boost.

A combination of impossible hair type and my inability to follow styling tips properly lead me to a decision I’d never thought I’d take: I resolved to go to the hairdresser once a week. This was months ago, when I still had faith in hairdresser as a category of skilled artisans. I lasted the entire winter, but then I gave up again. I’m disappointed and fed up.

There was a time when you went to the hairdresser to have your hair done, and they did just that. In the end, you paid for the service and left, with a brand new style to show off in the evening. You had to endure some gossip and was forced to take part in the small talk for the sake of politeness, but that was fine even with a grumpy person like me. I held on, thinking about the final outcome that would have made me look good.

Today, the hairdresser became a hair stylist. It is not about cutting or styling hair any more. Everytime I sit on that chair, I find myself in a whirlwind of unwanted pseudomedical tips, pushy marketing which aims at selling me expensive but uneffective products supposed to make my seborrhea disappear (I’ve tried dozens of those lotions, wasted my money and still have the dandruff), invitations to courses and conferences with a trichologist or some specialist in alternative medicine or omeopathy, and the usual annoying tampering question: “Do you want an anti-dandruff shampoo? A fragile hair shampoo? A wahatever shampoo?” while my head is being washed, and I keep saying “No, I’ll just go for a regular one”, but they keep insisting and in the end they even want to sell me a bottle to take home.

I really don’t get it. Why do they have to charge me separately for the shampoo or conditioner or hairspray used during the session, when I’ve already payed for the washing and styling? As if you could wash someone’s hair without a cleaning agent! And in 99% of cases they need at least a bit of spray or wax or whatever for the finishing touches, so why charge for that? It should be included, as it has always been! I don’t pay an extra fee for salt or oil when I go to the restaurant!

Their real business is not the service they offer anymore. The main source of income is probably selling those products. I guess they also get provisions on them. They’re often so absorbed by their marketing and self-promotion that they get distracted and do a sloppy job. Sometimes they take too many bookings at the same time to squeeze even more money and the result is that I go home after several hours, late for my appointments, with a messy head and a brain full of rubbish underneath. As a conclusion, I spent a lot of money, wasted too much time, suffered psycological pressure and I’m not even happy with the result. Where is my hairdo?

I’ve changed numberless hair salons over the years. Will I ever find an “old school” hairdresser who remembers what her job is about?


Written in response to Writing 101, Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’


3 thoughts on “This Hideous Hair

  1. Hi, I reached your blog through circuitous paths. I’m a retired pediatrician, and I’ve treated many cases of seborrheic dermatitis. Here’s a strategy that’s worked for most cases: 1/4 cup of jojoba oil (yes, I know: OIL!), 10 drops of the best quality of each of the following essential oils:
    tea tree, lavender, and rosemary. Mix all that up well and apply to your scalp. Just your scalp, not your hair (of course it will get into your hair but we are focusing on your scalp). It may sting for a few minutes but that should go soon. If it stings after ten minutes wash it out. The most effective way to use this is to put on a shower cap and sleep with it on, and wash it out in the morning. Do this monthly. Try your best to use a soap-free shampoo, and spike it with a few drops of your tea tree and rosemary oils. A big problem with seborrheic dermatitis is that it gets infected with staph and strep germs, which I’m sure you already know. The oils I’ve mentioned above, even the jojoba, are highly antibiotic in addition to penetrating clogged up and overproductive oil glands. Good luck and let me know how you fared, if you decide to give this a try!

    • I knew about the tea tree oil but I can’t use it, because my scalp is raw everywhere because of the scratching! I might try and leave it on for the night and then wash it as you said, when – and if – it gets better. I’ll let you know if it works!

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