THE COM­MON HAIRBRUSH .

There is one beauty item re­gard with dread:

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Beauty -

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.”

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