THE COMMON HAIRBRUSH .
There is one beauty item regard with dread:
I don’t own one and never will; if I happen to see one, I experience a small shiver of apprehension and I turn away. I grew up with a mother who held the belief that hair must be given 100 strokes, both morning and evening. I used to writhe and scream under this jurisdiction: it was, quite simply, agony. I have always had extremely curly hair. It grows out of my scalp in all directions, in kinks and curves. It knots together, winds into itself, forming spirals and ringlets. I have lost things in it: pen tips, hair grips, earrings. Like a fishing net, it collects and hoards small leaves, blades of grass, petals, pillow lint and, once, a wasp. I worry that when I greet people with a kiss on the cheek, they are often treated to a mouthful of hair. My hair is untameable, a law unto itself, well-behaved on some days and frizzy the next. “is it natural?” is probably the question I’ve been asked most often in my life. when I was young, it was pale blonde, brushed out within an inch of its life into a kind of mad-scientist halo. I’ve had it short, scalp-length; I’ve had it asymmetric. It’s been clipped to my chin, it’s been halfway down my back. I was in my twenties before I really got to grips with it: prior to that, all through my childhood and teens, I was floundering and it looked, to be brutally honest, awful.the key, as anyone with curly hair will tell you, is moisture — how to get as much of it as you can into your hair and how to keep it there. If the follicles in the scalp are ovoid in shape, the hair will curl; unfortunately, this also means the sebum-secreting gland is unable to operate freely. Dryness is a constant threat and if you can’t combat it you will resemble not a Pre-raphaelite painting but a Halloween crone. I have tried pretty much every product on the market for curly hair.the conclusion I’ve come to, after a lifetime of research, is to wash it no more than twice a week, avoid hairdryers, and find a hairdresser who doesn’t blanch at the sight of you. Conditioners are your best friends; detergents your worst. All shampoos and conditioners, even ones labelled ‘green’, contain detergents and these will strip your curls of moisture. Instead, get thee to the website funkysoapshop.com and order a bottle — or five — of their Argan Oil & Ylang Ylang Conditioner. If you wash your hair with one of its shampoo bars and then leave this conditioner on for up to 10 minutes, your hair will emerge soft, manageable and frizz-free. your curls will behave. Your hair won’t rebel. Other women will stop you in the street, because there is a secret sisterhood between curly-haired women; none of us, I’ve found, mind being quizzed by complete strangers on conditioners, hairdressers, serums … I’m growing my hair at the moment. Stretched out, it’s currently down to my scapula; unstretched, it rests on my shoulders. “are we going for the mane?” my hairdresser asked with relish the last time I sat in her chair. I have two daughters, one blonde and one dark, both with extreme curls. I’m giving my hair free rein because I want them to grow up proud of their hair, to enjoy and embrace it, to let it be all it can be. We never use a hairbrush.
“‘Is it natural?’ is probably the question I’ve been asked most often in my life.”