I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for changing my life 🙂
I know many people will read this and think, “What in God’s name are you on about?” but I’ll bet that 99% of those people have fantastic hair and do not have a CLUE what it’s like having wild, curly hair that makes life rather complicated at times!
Hair. Eish. It makes us feel so good and can make us feel, equally, so bad. As a child growing up I felt TOTALLY self-conscious about my hair. I would cry to my Mother about my hair and how ugly I felt. She would cut it off and although people thought I was a boy until I was 12, it was well worth it. I was disappointed that I didn’t have beautiful straight, easily manageable hair like my friends. Even when I was complimented on my hair, my face would burn with embarrassment and I’d hate the attention. No, I do not want to be Curly Sue or Shirley Temple no matter how darling you think they are! Especially since I was a tomboy anyway, girly stuff was a no-no in my book back then.
These are the Hairs of our Lives
The eighties celebrated big, crazy, curly hair – pity I wasn’t able to join them! The nighties took it back to the sleek and chic, but growing up in the desert I didn’t have the product means nor skills to make my hair manageable. When I got to boarding school I just grew my hair out as I didn’t know what else to do with it. In about standard 8 my housemates would blow-dry my hair on a Friday night (Shout out to Jann Pheko!). AMAZING! Life changing. But, of course, as soon as it got wet it would be like the pumpkin at midnight, straight back to bush hair.
When I was in matric I started relaxing my hair. God knows what those treatments were back then! But they worked for a while, until they wore off or grew out. No one seemed to know about the sulphur free shampoos back then…well no one recommended them to me anyway! At this stage though, I had already cut my hair short in order to try to manage it better. So I rocked a short style for quite some time – including at my matric dance! But all that gel, eish. You’d just hope you didn’t get wet so that it wouldn’t go dripping down your face!!
(Once I had my hair relaxed, when my Mom told my aunt her reaction was, “Tough stuff!”)
Hair Without You
While I had learnt how to blow dry my hair at hostel, when I moved to London after school I discovered a hair straightener for sale in the Boots (the UK Clicks) and it was like the heavens on earth! The clouds opened and angels started to sing! Halleluja! I was so excited! PLUS it was portable! I would buy liquid canisters that would convert to gas, it would heat the plates and I could straighten my hair. Honestly, single, greatest gadget of my life, EVER! And because it was wireless, I could even take it camping. You may be thinking, ‘But what about when you swam? What then?’ Don’t be ridiculous. I haven’t swam and wet my hair since 2000!
Back in 2004 I did my first MCing gig at the Technology Convention at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. My dear friend Jesse had booked me for the event and I was paid a really decent amount of money. AT LAST I had a lump sum to buy my own golden egg – my very own GHD!
I believe I bought it from the Partner’s Hair Salon at the Waterfront. It cost me R1900 – A LOT of money more than 10 years ago! It became the greatest day of my life! And I have LITERALLY GHD’d my hair EVERY DAY since that fateful day 12 years ago.
What is also hilarious is that, sometimes, when I wear my hair curly, I FIRST GHD it (to contain the madness) THEN I GHD curls into it! My GHD came with a tutorial disk, which I would watch on my computer and then do. Happiness!
People still say, “Oh, I’d love to have curly hair! Straight hair is so boring!” Bullsh*t. I know in their hearts and in that moment they THINK they’d love curly hair, but once they had to ACTUALLY maintain it on a day-to-day basis, they’d hate it. Also, if us curly-haired girls spend so much time and money on blow-drying, straightening and relaxing our hair, then why aren’t any of the straight-haired girls getting perms like they so genuinely seem to want?!
No. No. No. Curly hair is fun for a Katy Perry or Madonna music video moment, for a fun disco party. It’s NOT fun when it’s permanently stuck on your head! AND, if you have blonde hair – fine, it looks boho chic in the glistening sunshine as you frolic about in fields. It’s NOT the same when you have dark brown hair and it just looks like a bird’s nest – or like a slashed mattress as my mother would say!
My GHD NEVER goes in my hand luggage. I do not have time for people to steal my GHD. It’s always in my plastic wrapped luggage, safe and sound from the world. It’s given me great hair in England (for 2 weddings nogal), Scotland, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Namibia and France. I can’t thank you enough GHD! I have bought many a multiplug to ensure you work, and you have been worth every sore arm session I have ever had.
But now, sadly, my GHD is on its last legs. In more recent years my friends have bought GHD’s that didn’t last. I’ve heard that their plates aren’t as good as they used to be and that they’ve compromised on the quality. I can’t comment on this because mine has been the one and only GHD I’ve ever had and it has been a loyal and constant companion. Even if it totally packs up, I think I will still keep it in its box in the cupboard, just like an old teddy bear.
Thank you GHD
THANK YOU GHD! You have truly changed my life. And while I really have no aspirations of ever rocking the stokstuif “Rachel”, you have made me feel more confident and happier in my life. Even if I do get rained on here and there, my hair still totally copes better than if I hadn’t even GHD’s at all! And when I get back home, or back to the hotel, I can still use you to whip my do into shape.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve become better at accepting my hair and HEY! Sometimes even wear my hair curly! Shock horror! I do! But it was you GHD, YOU, that made me a much, much happier person during the days when being different ‘wasn’t cool’. THANK YOU 🙂