Tuesday 23 September 2008

Bad Hair Day

Every single day is a proverbial bad hair day for me. I absolutely loathe my hair. In fact I’ve hated it ever since I can remember. Furthermore I am convinced that my hair is a sentient monster that hates me right back.

When I was a boy, my hair was platinum blond and wildly uncontrollable. Old women would grab it and pull it and utter squeaks of delight as they ran their fingers through my locks.

“Oh doesn’t he have gorgeous hair,” they would cry. My mother revelled in the attention for her first born and actually cut bits off for family and close friends. Somewhere in Walsall there is an old dusty chest with a lock of my hair in it.

Mercifully, my dad came to my rescue and dragged me down to the barber shop. He wasn’t happy about the blond jungle on my head and instructed the maniac with scissors to shave off every last lock.

I was too young to care but I do recall not being too perturbed about my appearance. The maniac didn’t remove every follicle; he left most of them extremely short. From a distance I appeared to be bald. Those were happy days.

My mother soon put a stop to my father’s exploits and allowed my hair to grow again. By now, we had left the sixties and entered the seventies, a decade resplendent with dreadful styles. I didn’t have a style as such. My hair took on a life of its own. As I passed through my teenage years, I rebelled and allowed my hair to take control.

“Get your hair cut,” my Mum would say.

“No,” I would reply. “It’s the fashion.”

Fashion? I was really stupid as a teenager.

At the age of seventeen my hair was huge. Unlike the rock stars I loved so much, my hair wasn’t just long. It defied gravity and stood on end as if I were a victim of a constant and relentless electric shock. One of my teachers hated it.

“Dunk your head in a bucket of water, boy,” he bellowed much to the amusement of the rest of the class. “You look like a chrysanthemum.”

That hurt! What if girls thought the same? Was this the reason why ladies didn’t appreciate my good looks?

I decided on a piece of radical action. I was ready to start university as the eighties approached. I decided to have it styled.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I walked into the stylist and noticed that there were no scissor-wielding maniacs in sight. The stylist screamed in terror.

“Boy this is going to be a challenge,” she said.

My hair was washed (or as I prefer to think of it – drowned) and once subdued, the stylist attacked it as if it were a mad beast. The stylist made me remove my glasses so I sat there in the chair staring at a very blurred image of myself being attacked. I had no idea what was going on; all I could see was blond hair cascading to the floor. By the time the stylist had finished two hours later, there was a mountain of blond curls.

Having disposed of 95% of my hair, the stylist did something that I had yet to experience – she blow dried my hair. When I put on my glasses I was amazed. I looked human. Girls would love me. My hair was under control for the first time in my adolescent life.

Off I went to university and for three years I was happy with my haircut.

I left that establishment still in control and started work. And let my hair take control again (foolish bumpkin that I am). The eighties was the decade of the mullet – and I embraced it with gusto.

I let my hair grow at the back and explode on the top. At the sides I shaved it to within an inch of its life. I looked in the mirror and beamed with pride. I looked like a goon.

For three years I walked around proud that I had a celebrity hairstyle. People thought I was a fool. I loved that mullet. I used to blow dry it, comb it, fondle it and even use hairspray. That’s right, I used to use hairspray (I can’t believe that I have confessed to that – don’t laugh; I’m baring my soul here).

And then came that fateful day when I visited my stylist. She was on holiday and one of the young pretenders took her place. The year was 1988.

“Shall I square this off for you?” she said sweetly.

“Of course,” said I, having switched off my brain.

She took the scissors and destroyed my mullet. I stared in stupefied shock as my blond locks tumbled down onto the floor.

“How’s that?” she said.

I should have screamed “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

I squeaked “Yes, that’s terrific thanks”

It was a turning point. My hair became short and has stayed that way ever since.

Many men my age regard my hair with envious eyes. I have a full head of curly, unmanageable hair that has darkened with age. If I let it grow it literally explodes. One day it is short, the next it has become a blond afro. These days I have to go to get it cut so often that I simply go the barber who, for a small price, cuts it down to size with scissors and a razor. I am still in shock about the loss of my mullet, even though people tell me that she did me an enormous favour. I was happy with that mullet – it was like losing a pet.

I have said in a previous post that I will not use products, but Mrs PM insists that I use wax to placate my rampant locks. Hair wax is horrible stuff and I avoid it when I can, sneaking out of the house before Mrs PM can spot me unleashing my bushiness onto the world at large.

I have suffered because of my hair; cruel children and adults have called me a variety of names over the years – each one related to the shape, colour and sheer volume of my thick unmanageable hair. Here are some of them:

Hair Bear




Boggy (as in bog-brush head)

A couple of years ago I heard some of the young lads at the office humming the theme from Shaft whenever I walked past. One of them confessed that they called me “The White Shaft”.

Oh the shame.

Still, I have come to terms with my hair in recent years. I still hate it and it still hates me but we have a non-aggression pact between us. I have the upper hand. If it gets ideas above its station I just threaten to bring back the mullet.


Sandie lee said...

The MULLET?!?!?! I remember when that was in style. YIKES!!

I would pay to see pictures of you. Well, maybe not pay money... how 'bout a compliment?
I would kill for thick, full, blond not-from-a-bottle hair. Seriously...I envy you.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Sandie,

A lot of people do envy me - particularly bald men. Women think I have fab hair - men with bald hair are just green.

But if I allow it to grow a little too long, it really does take on a life of its own.

Sadly it's more a light brown now than blond, which is better because at least the blond jokes are diminishing.

A subject for another post methinks.


Thanks for the comment



Pia K said...

*LOL* This has been a great read, in fact so far I've read the three latest entries and I really must take a break because laughing this much can't be good for your stomach, can it? :)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pia,

My hair and I thank you for your comment.




Anonymous said...

an absolutely amazing read! you sure have way with words, don't ya?? well, i didn't even have to look at your hair to go green all over!!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Thanks for the comment - I would post a picture of my hair but as I said, I fear for people of a nervous disposition.


PM :-)

Martin MY said...

Nothing good about a mullet!

It you've got hair what the hell are you conplaining about?

Plastic Mancunian said...

To be honest, Martin - there's no way Mrs PM would allow me to rekindle my affection with a mullet.

Never mind - got to complain about something




Anonymous said...

Oh my, how great...so very funny! Unfortunately I identified with 'I squeaked “Yes, that’s terrific thanks”' Countless times I have done exactly the same, then over-tipped on top of it! Love your writing and your hair!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Thanks roadgurl5,

I'm sure that if I walked out of a barber with my hair shaped like a unicorn horn and the rest of my scalp bleeding I would still tip the guy.