Monday, 17 December 2012

Straight from childhood..

             I was born straight. Sparse hair but straight nevertheless. In my maternal family I was the only one with that kind of hair (courtesy the paternal genes). The only woman who had such straight hair was my naani (grandmother). She took it upon herself to see that my strands were nourished so that they become as long as hers (a distant dream).
             The relatives never had enough of playing with my hair. The women in the family would stroke my hair and sigh. "Just touch and see, her hair is soo silky to touch." I would get irritated with people always commenting on it. It was not a good thing to say to a child bubbling with energy who would rather like compliments on her climbing skills than on the naturally endowed hair.
             Naani would oil my hair daily and wash it. It would then be dried with the vapors coming from the coconut shells and cumin seeds burning. Till I was 10, I never used a shampoo. It was the shikakai soap which I would use at the most. Growing up years (read the teenage) introduced me to a world of products which so far were forbidden in the kingdom of naani :P
             My first stint with hair problems started the year we had school in the morning. Gone were the days where I would get enough time to wash my hair and dry it at leisure. On days I could wash it, I would be in a hurry to tie it up wet. Lack of care made my soft silky straight hair a mess. It would tangle easily and started coiling at the ends.
             My experiments to straighten it started then. I discovered that if you use enough Hammam soap (read almost half the bar) to wash your hair it would become silky. True fact. I would love to flaunt my hair but it would last only the day on which I washed it with Hammam. I would spend so much time washing my hair with Hammam that it became impossible to wash it during school days! Only when Dad discovered how the soap ran out so early in the month did my foolish trick came out in the bright. What followed was lecture on how I was damaging my hair with so much alkalinity.
             During holidays I visited  naani and she was distraught looking at my hair. "See I told you not to play out in the afternoons. The sweat is doing it!" she would lecture. The fact that I was almost 12 and done with playing out at noon did not deter her. She first introduced me to a shampoo. Sunsilk black was the one she used. I remember it well because I was overjoyed that I would finally use a shampoo and get the perfect shiny hair as shown in the advertisement.
            My joy was short lived because I soon learnt that the shampoo could do little to get my straight hair back. The maternal genes were dominating my strands and soon they turned more wavy then I would like them to. The hair in front were short and would roll back giving me almost  curly hair in the front like Juhi Chawla in the olden days :( So upset I became with this turn of events that I used a scissor to cut them off and ended up looking ridiculous :P
           My last 2 years in school were the worst in terms of my hair. Mom would plait them in the morning and by the time I came home and freed them, they were as curvy as the sea waves. The front hair was as irritating as ever.
           One of the saddest things to hear, second only to "You have become fat" is "What happened to your hair??" The very people who would swoon over my hair now never missed a chance to remind me what my hair was like! There's some wicked pleasure we all derive from the downfall of people who have what we don't have..
          I considered straightening my hair for the Class 10 send-off but Mom was against it. The friendly neighborhood beautician was ready to do it at a low cost but still I couldn't get a nod from my dear mother. I decided to take matters into my hand. Armed with a shampoo, a conditioner, a towel and the iron at home, I set out to practice the making of a straight hair at home.
           I washed my hair with the shampoo and then applied the rinsing conditioner. Then I went a step further and applied a leave in conditioner. I wrapped my hair in the towel and ran the iron over the ends of my hair. It was tough doing it all alone with the constant fear of burning my scalp. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
          Although the hair looked visibly longer it looked like a broom. Within a  few hours my hair became all sticky and I had to wash it the next day. Thank goodness I didn't do it on the send off day :P
         I left all thoughts of straightening my hair until I went to my cousin who had this awesome hair straightener. She volunteered to straighten my hair and voila my hair never looked longer. I loved my hair and couldn't stop twirling and eyeing the length in the mirror. I made sure that mom saw it enough so that I could convince her to buy one for me. No tricks ever work with dear mom when it comes to hair altering.
         With a heavy heart I compromised with the fact that I m not getting a straightener and secretly resolved that I would buy one as soon as I can with my own money :P
          This was 4 years back. Then came the trend when almost everyone straightened their hair. From blonde brooms to poker straight to the natural (read permanent) straightening. Everywhere you turn, everywhere you see-  straight hair in your face (quite literally if you travel in local trains).
          What we forget is that-beautiful hair comes from caring for them. By caring, it does not imply not pushing your hair behind the ears lest the straightened hair curve. It does not mean not washing your hair for days so that the temporary straight hair doesn't wear off. It does not mean subjecting the hair to ridiculous amounts of sweating because you fear rolling it up will spoil the effect.
         Your hair is beautiful as it is. All you need is right care. There are innumerable products which provide this care. Choose your pick.
          Wouldn't it be ridiculous if capsicum wanted to be red in color so that it could look like tomato? What's the point of everyone going for a straight hair?
          I personally feel that your hair type would be great if you take proper care of it. Straightening can be kept for special occasions but then its better to do it at a parlor than harass the hell out of that pretty hair at home!
         After regularly oiling, caring and massaging my scalp well and protecting it from harsh chemicals, my hair now feels soft and silky. I have begun to accept and love the waves :D
         I feel that when S ruffles my hair and I don't reach for the comb to straighten my hair :D Running my fingers over my hair sorts them out :D I m wavy happy :D

P.S: This post is written for Sunsilk The Straight Hair Experiment.



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