9 April, 2010

Sassy Guest Blogger: Kate’s Hair Transformation

9 April, 2010

As many of you know we have been pretty hair obsessed at Sassy lately. We wrote about our new looks yesterday and today we have a guest Sassy blogger who will be talking about (take a guess!)…her hair. Hope you enjoy Kate’s post!

So just to set the scene, I am known as a bit of a hair hussy, a commitment-phobe when it comes to my style. I’ve been cropped short, sit-on-your-hair long, everything in between. Black, brown, lots of variations on red and even once an ill-advised bleach job that came out more ‘tangerine dream’ than ‘golden sunset’. My natural hair (from what I can recall) is something akin to Emma Watson’s. ‘That’s great!’ I hear you say. ‘Emma Watson has lovely hair as well as superlative skills with a black kohl pencil!’ To clarify, I’m afraid I’m talking about Emma Watson as Hermione Grainger here; huge, frizzy, out of control and desperately in need of a keratin treatment. Hardly the stuff of a Burberry campaign.

The only common factor throughout my hair adventures has been poker straightness. GHD’s have always been my closest friend. Mousse (the chocolate kind excepted) has never really featured in my vocabulary. Straight hair equals frizz-free hair, which for me is the only kind to have, and when I arrived in Hong Kong a year ago, I joyfully discovered the local specialty of Japanese ionic straightening, and ditched the GHD’s once and for all.

So it came as a bit of a shock when I realised that I had developed a new hair crush – Alexa Chung. You know Alexa; she’s young, skinny, a former model with her own MTV show and indie band boyfriend. All things I’m not. But most fab of all is her wavy shoulder-length bob, which I very quickly became a bit obsessed with. Look how effortlessly cool she is! How could you not want her carefree, bed-head waves? She is the very epitome of slightly kooky, geeky glamour!

Which is how I found myself sitting in the hairdresser’s chair a couple of Thursday’s ago, nervously clutching a picture of the lovely Alexa in my sweaty palm and muttering the immortal words ‘I’d like a perm, please. Not curly, just…you know…wavy.’ A perm. Not words I’d ever anticipated coming out of my mouth, to be honest. (At least not until the age of 75, when I could ask for a pensioner’s discount for the perm plus a blue rinse.) It was only as the chemicals were being painted on my hair that a terrifying image popped into my head. It was Kylie Minogue, circa 1988, as Charlene from the venerable Australian soap, Neighbours, and at that point I was sure I’d made a grave error. Being a typical Brit, however, I sat there looking pained and saying ‘yes, fine thanks’ every time the stylist asked if I was alright, all the while mentally calculating how long it would take to grow back a crop if I had to get a grade one all over later that evening.

To the process, then. Your hair is painted with some typically stinky perm cream, and then left to, erm, ‘cure’ for around half an hour. You are rinsed, covered with (and this really got me thinking of my Grandmother) setting lotion, rollers and hair papers, and then sat under a contraption that can only be described as looking like one of the torture machines from ‘A Clockwork Orange’. This is a weird curler-heating gizmo and you sit, as your hair hangs suspended from what looks like telephone wires for about an hour to set into curls. Yes, I did say curls, not waves, because at this stage, as my hair is unraveled from the chamber of doom, my normally shoulder-length mane is sitting somewhere up by my ears. Obviously, this horror is reading quite clearly on my face as the stylist gives me a reassuring ‘don’t worry, it’s not going to stay like that’ and leads me over for a final rinse. Once the setting stuff is out, my wet hair looks much more normal, length-wise and kind of ringlet-y. The final blow dry commences, and there is much applying of mousse (adding to my 80’s crispy hair terror) and twisting.

And then we’re done. And do you know what? I might not have Alexa’s thighs or her geek-chic wardrobe, but for now at least, I have her hair. It’s soft, bouncy and wavy, without being curly or dry-looking. I stride out of the salon feeling like a really tacky shampoo ad (in a good way), and spend the rest of the evening trying to toss my hair around in slow motion, much to my husband’s amusement.

My Before Look

My new “Alexa Chung” Look

So a few days in, and the hair is holding up well. I definitely need to practice my twisty-drying skills and it seems to have settled down from shampoo-ad bouncy to a more normal-looking beachy and tousled, but so far so good. The only bum note so far came from a Skype conversation with my mother who pointed out that my hair looked like it needed a brush. Hmm.

Note to self: must stop video-calling my mother.

Mina Dev’Wil, 28 Cochrane Street, Central. Senior Stylist Alex Wong.

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