Hair Straight­en­ers

Se­ri­ously, what was life be­fore flat irons? Deputy Beauty Editor Chloe Bur­cham has a flash­back to her (frankly frizzy) past…

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Kate Moss for Top­shop, The Royal Wed­ding, Hid­dleswift – some events are so mon­u­men­tal they’re for­ever seared into our mem­o­ries. OK, fine, maybe not the last one. But still, if you could fold my life in half… that mo­ment when I first took a pair of straight­en­ers to my hair? Yeah, that would be the fold. Granted, I sound a touch dra­matic – and vain – but I’m pretty sure ev­ery­one re­mem­bers their first pair of ghds, right?

I was 13. My nat­u­rally curly-but-kinky hair had been driv­ing me nuts for a while and I’d have done any­thing to tame it. I set an alarm at 6am ev­ery morn­ing be­fore school, so des­per­ate was I to per­fect sleek hair, load­ing up my straight­en­ers with wa­ter and star­ing at them for what felt like a life­time be­fore the steam kicked in… I mean, the days of steam straight­en­ers!? PAH!

Some­how I even man­aged to per­suade my poor sis­ter to iron my hair – sen­si­bly sand­wich­ing pieces of pa­per be­tween the iron­ing board, the iron and my hair like some sort of ter­ri­ble hair-based tri­fle. Mum wasn’t overly im­pressed when she walked in to see my head laid flat on the iron­ing board… I do not rec­om­mend you try it BTW. My early teenage years were not a good look in the ol’ hair de­part­ment. Then, lo and be­hold, in swag­gered THE cult straight­ener – for­ever and eter­nally know as ‘ghds’ – and my world hasn’t been the same since. Sadly, I wasn’t the cool one in my ‘friend­ship cir­cle’ (that’s noughties for ‘squad’) who dis­cov­ered ghds. That ac­co­lade fell to the Class Girl Crush who sashayed her silky­haired self into school one day, put her new look down to ‘these ghds from Lon­don’ – and left frizzy­haired fe­males like me swoon­ing. It was all ‘The One When Car­men Elec­tra Did A Hair Flick’ in Friends. I re­ally needed a pair. Way back then, £120 for straight­en­ing irons seemed crazy; now I recog­nise it as the for­ward-think­ing and rev­o­lu­tion­ary beauty in­vest­ment that it re­ally is. Even if I still have to save up for them. Well, they do dou­ble as a por­ta­ble iron when you’re in a rush. So who’s laugh­ing now? Sure, I flirt with swanky new mod­els – I’ve even cheated with other brands – but that first set of black and yel­low straight­en­ing irons? Those beauties will al­ways hold a special place in my heart beauty cab­i­net.

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