Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Gallery - Hair! (Oh Yeah Baby!)

Hair - one thing I know a fair amount about, having been blessed (cursed?) with a abundance of thick, strong, uber fast growing locks. With a total will of their own...

My hair has been long, short, curly, poker straight, crimped, backcombed, dyed, henna-ed, plaited, wrapped and in one extreme experiment of sustainable 'natural' living, unwashed for the best part of three years! Ok, stop shuddering at the back there, it really wasn't as bad as it sounds!

I can't remember where the idea originated but I was about 18, I had just finished my YTS (yikes showing my age there just a tad...) placement at a solictors office and had decided that I'd had enough of being 'normal' and wanted to break free...
Enlisting the help of a good friend, several reels of different coloured cottons, lots of good vibes and a couple of bottles of cheap plonk we set about weaving my long hair into teeny tiny plaits, sewing the ends with different colours. It took a whole day and most of the evening, and probably a couple more trips to the offy but once it was done I was thrilled! I was also unable to properly wash my hair till I took the plaits out again about 3 months later.
Ok, so it itched like mad after about a week and I did rinse it in warm water with patchouli oil (well, this was my hippy phase after all...) to stop it smelling too bad. But no chemicals came anywhere near it and when I took the plaits out, despite looking like Crystal Tips, it felt fantastic!

The plaits were a recurring theme for the next year or so, as was the 'no shampoo' rule, before I got a bit lazy (or just more hardcore) and they became fabulous funky dreds complete with wool wrapped bits, bright red hair extensions from Camden Market woven in together with beads, gradually matting together in one glorious mass... When I was shaking my thang I had a clear 2 foot circle around me, no-one dared get close in case they lost an eye when I flicked my head :)

Then I got a job. In a chippy. The dreds had to go (darn health and safety). I cried a bit before having the whole lot chopped off to a 2 inch crop then quite enjoyed having friends I'd known for years walk straight past me coz they didn't recognise me...
Sadly, after all the years of mad hair experimentaton there are only a tiny handful of photos, mainly coz I was the one behind the camera most of the time, rather than in front of it. This one is cropped from a promotional shot from my band days and the only real pictorial evidence I have that the dreds ever existed...


  1. What a brilliant picture....always wish I'd done something a little wacky with my hair, I had some braids once on holiday, does that count?!

  2. I prefer your hair now. I tried the plait thing a few times and it was not for me... how you managed it I don't know. I get frustrated by not having it washed in two days! Still I love your hair and always have done! (enviously glancing at locks I wish I had!)

  3. I always wanted dreds! Great picture :)

  4. I've never done anything remotely that exciting with my hair! I feel a bit boring now...


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