February 10, 2011


That time of the year is soon approaching…when I am tempted to do it.
There’s something about the heat that makes me want to. But for some reason I end up putting it off. Only for a while, though…eventually I do end up doing it! But this time, I’m hoping it’ll be different (and I’ll persist).

 The concept of 'a bad hair day' is lost on me, 'coz that would mostly be like the entire year!
Pic: Google search!

The ‘it’ here is nothing but a hair-cut!

What’s the big deal, you ask me? There’s just one-fourth of my ‘former glory’ remaining on my head and I’m desperately trying to keep it there (it’s found everywhere else though – in the bathroom drain, on the comb, under the bed, all over the apartment!). Add to it the fact that it’s “Maggi hair” does not help my cause at all.

Believe me, those who have (naturally) straight/wavy hair don’t know the troubles of having to manage the “mane” as much as us curly-haired folks do. One of my childhood dreams was to grow my hair really long (waist-level, atleast) and to have it plaited all the way (it was thick back then!) and sway it as I walk. Alas, it’s just that – a dream.

My mom had awesome hair, by the way. Straight (or wavy perhaps?), very long and thick – “Ghane mulayam kale baal; khile khile matwale baal” of the Dabur Amla Kesh Tel ad kind! There’s even a snap of just her hair – flowing down beautifully till the floor (even as she sits on a chair). Now, my dad’s kinda fair and has curly hair; whereas mom is darker and has straight hair. Whenever we have these ‘hair conversations’ at home, we always playfully rue that we should’ve got dad’s skin colour and mom’s hair, but ended up with the reverse. (Always reminds me of a G. B. Shaw classic! You can check out more at that site, he’s one cleverly funny guy, I tell you.)

This grave ‘genetic mix up’ was exemplified a few weeks back when my mom went to have her hair cut at the place we usually go to. My mom has never been to the place, so she just told the lady there that she’s the mother of the twins (yea, back at home, near my place you just have to say ‘twins’ and they’d instantly know it’s us – one of those flip sides of being twins and being seen together way too often!). “How come they have such curly hair??” she remarked instantly it seems. See! Why did we not get our mom’s hair!!

For starters, it’s frizzy and begins to tangle as soon as you finish combing it. As I watched the movie Tangled, I couldn’t help but think that they didn’t know the first thing about a ‘tangle’. If Rapunzel had curly hair instead, it’d probably look like those long, knotted, unkempt and dead mass of hair that many sadhus or saints sport (forgot the term for it) and her step-mom and she herself would’ve given up the idea altogether!

So, to make things easy for me, I normally do a ponytail. I’ve sported the same ‘hairdo’ since… well, a very long time. My mom sometimes complains about it, especially when I attend functions. “Why don’t you let your hair down now atleast? You’re young and now’s the time to do it.” (I doubt if she knows about the idiom, though).

I’ve wanted to do something ‘drastic’ or ‘radical’ with it, but there are not many hair-cuts that suit the curly hair (unless you want to go all the way and get it straightened as well). Bah! The only times I feel good about my hair is when they ‘set’ my hair after a hair-cut (the round brush and blow dryer bit – too much of an effort, atleast for me!). The one thing that I remember (and regret) doing is trying to sport a fringe when I was in my 6th std. It looked like I had a mass of fur on my forehead. Eeeeks! I breathed a sigh of relief only after it grew long enough to pull it back behind my ears.

Talking about fur, the one thing that I cannot fathom about the nature of the curly hair is why it has to ‘roll up’. Yes, it is longer than it seems to be. Longest when it’s wet, and then as the hair dries, it shortens in length. Something hairdressers also seem to ignore – resulting in much shorter hair than you expect…always

About time someone did an Ig Nobel Prize winning research on The Properties of Curly hair and its Tendency to ‘curl’, formulae to explain the extent to which it shortens, etc. What say? But the saving grace is its voluminous appearance. Yes, I said appearance. It appears to be fuller than actually maybe the case (amen to that!).

I still remember, a young chemistry teacher had joined the school when we were in the 8th std. (she must’ve been in her twenties). No sooner had she joined the school, than a bunch of our friends already had a nick-name ready for her – kilikkoodu (bird’s nest). She had really frizzy curly hair (to top it, she always wore a hair-band). Thankfully I wasn’t given such nicknames. Coming to the ‘Maggi hair’ bit – that’s the result of one of those untimely and unexpected jokes we get. During a break between classes, one of my classmates remarks that it must not be very difficult for me to satiate my hunger as and when it arises. So I ask him why so, to which he replies that all I’d need to do is pull a lil’ out of my ‘Maggi hair’ and eat it! You see?!

When Preity Zinta got a ‘perm’ done for Dil Chahta Hai, that became a rage. What’s the big deal, I thought. All I had to do was step into the shower and come out, and not try to comb my hair at all. Natural perms, you see!

And come to think of it, Mallus are associated with curly hair. I didn’t realize so much, until someone actually ‘guessed’ I was a Mallu because of my curly locks. And my complexion (that tends to be on the dark side).  

Most of my friends (who had curly hair) have got their hair straightened. And I must say, many of them look better also. ME? I have somehow never felt like getting it done. Like they say in those Kurkure ads – tedha hai, par mera hai (literally)!

And on that note, I'll end with a joke.

Q. What do you call a woman who is experiencing severe hair fall?
Ans. A lady in "dis-tress".
(And that, my dear friends, is a Vijitha original!)

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