You might, after reading this, think I’m really pampered – which I’m not, I promise. But when your DH goes to exotic destinations with 26 flight attendants (I’ll say that again, 26! most of whom are beautiful, perky-bosomed 20-something females), there’s a certain level of maintenance that’s required, especially post-child.
Along with several other ‘problem’ areas, my hair needs regular overhauls – mainly because I’ve always disliked it and have spent more than half my life changing its colour.
Over the years, my naturally mousey hair has been subjected to Sun-In, highlights, lowlights, spray blondes and shop-bought dyes. A hairdresser, aghast at the results of the latter and muttering about an extreme makeover, turned it brown, which I loved for a while, until it started fading and I went blonde again.
It’s also really thick, and while some might think this is an attribute, it’s really not and hairdressers can’t wait to use the thinning shears on me, chopping away with the serrated blades in zig-zags, my hair flying all over the room. But I’ve never liked the results of thinning it out because as soon as I wash it, it frizzes up.
It was with a frizz-free look in mind that I purchased a Brazilian keratin hair-straightening treatment on Groupon, in the hope that the promise of a formaldehyde-fuelled permanent blow-dry was true. Off I went today, in a billowing sandstorm, to the far-end of Dubai, wondering if the fact I’d got it for 78 per cent off was a cause for concern.
Two hairdressers smoothed a gloopy substance over my hair, set it under the hood dryer, then straightened each section of hair, while conversing in Tagalog – for all I know, telling each other my barnet was like a bird’s nest.
“You want drink?,” offered one of the stylists. “Coffee, tea?” To which I responded, always reverting to overly polite English in situations like this, “Yes, please … Black tea, please. Thank you.”
“Ma’am, no black tea. Just red,” she replied (thankful, I was, that I wasn’t having hair colour done too).
Towards the end, my hair looking as flat as a pancake (in a good way), she gave me some instructions.
“You will iron, yes? From tomorrow.”
“Um, yes, I’ll iron,” I nodded in agreement, thinking wasn’t this keratin cure meant to mean I could put the straighteners away?
“And wash it off in three days, using this 320dhs (£55) organic keratin-strengthening shampoo and gel.” (which they bagged up for me and rung up on the till in a flash)
When I got home, my boys peered at me, noticing something – not quite sure what – was different.
“Mummy, you look bea-ooootiful,” said my Big Boy, having learnt long ago that saying nice things like this gets him a disproportionately favourable reaction.
The little boy, grabbing a handful of hair and yanking hard, enquired, “Mumm-eeee, youf hadd-a hair wash?”