Worst bad hair day ever!
Helzie Amnell-connor, 24, from Leeds, thought she was getting a quick fix to her hairstyle, but she was left scarred for life…
Coming out of the shower, I rubbed a towel over my wet hair and ran a comb through it.
‘All done!’ I said. My short cropped hair was very low maintenance.
Never needing to blow dry or style it meant I could be ready for work in minutes.
It was great. But sometimes I did wish I could have long, luscious locks like all my friends.
For me, though, that didn’t seem possible.
Born with mousy brown hair, I was never happy with the way it looked.
And from the time I was a teenager, I’d experimented with trying to make it look better in whatever way I could.
Sizzled straight one day, singed curly the next, it was no wonder that now, my hair was an unhealthy disaster. ‘I’ll start from scratch,’ I
said one day, fed up with my straggly locks.
So that evening, I took the plunge and shaved it all off.
I’d assumed that when my hair grew back, it would come back as a new healthy batch. Wrong! If anything, it grew back more fizzy than ever! Mortified, I cut it
all off again.
And so a vicious cycle of growing my hair then lobbing it all off began.
When it was short, it was easy to look after, and it even looked quite sassy at times.
‘You look so cute!’ my friends would say.
But, after years of having it short, I was desperate for a change. I’d planned on going to the Leeds Festival and Manchester Pride weekend in a few weeks’ time, and I wanted a long flowing mane to show off. Researching online, I found various ways of making your hair grow, but I found that a weave would be the best option for me. It would involve false hair being stuck onto my existing hair. I would have long hair in an instant! And although pricey, it would at least stay put no matter how much I moved around – unlike a regular wig. After
reading more about it, I learnt that normally, your hair would be plaited, and then the false hair is sewn into the plaits. My hair is too short to be plaited, I thought.
It seemed the only way to get the hair of my dreams would be to glue on the false hair.
So, in March, I bought a Brazilian wig online.
It was long and dark – exactly what I wanted.
Taking it to a salon in West Yorkshire, I was hopeful.
‘Can you fit this?’ I asked, handing over the wig.
‘Of course!’ the hairdresser said. ‘I’ve been doing it for 20 years!’ She got to work straight away, but to my surprise, she started combing through my hair, ready to plait it.
‘I thought you’d have to glue it on?’ I said, confused. ‘My hair is too short to plait.’
‘The glue doesn’t last as long,’ she explained. ‘Don’t worry, it will be no trouble to plait it in.’
Taking her word for it, I sat back and let her get to work.
I was just happy that I had enough hair for her to do it the proper way!
As she twisted small sections into tiny braids, I winced in pain. ‘Ow!’ I cried. ‘That’s really tight…’ She reassured me that this was normal, and she kept pulling strands of my hair together, stretching my
It was the hair of my dreams
And, finally, after an hour, my head was a mass of braids.
‘Is it meant to feel like this?’ I asked. ‘My head is burning up!’
‘It will hurt for a few weeks, then you’ll get used to it,’ she said. I decided to trust her. She was a professional, after all. She then placed a lace cap over my plaits and began sewing the wig into place.
The process was so painful, but I just imagined what I’d look like when it was all done, and that got me through it.
Finally, after hours of pain, I looked in the mirror.
With her long, luscious dark hair, I barely recognised the girl looking back at me. ‘I love it!’ I said. I paid her £200 for her service, and as I left the salon, I couldn’t stop swishing my new locks about.
I was so happy with my new style, I soon forgot about the constant pain on my scalp…
‘You look amazing!’ one of my mates said that weekend.
‘I’ve been telling you for ages to go long!’ I was so happy, I only
wished that I’d done it sooner. It was worth every penny. And, sure enough, three weeks after having the wig fitted, the pain started to go away and my head began to go numb, just like the hairdresser had promised.
Then, one night in April this year, I fell asleep after being out with my friends, exhausted.
But at 4am, I woke to a feeling of wetness on my face.
Figuring it was sweat, I switched on the light.
But looking down, my chest was covered in a dark red liquid…
Reaching my hand up to my head, I felt thick globs of blood! ‘Dad!’ I screamed in a panic. Rushing to the bathroom to look in the mirror, blood was pouring down my face like a scene from a horror film. Dad came rushing in. ‘Oh, my God!’ he cried, taking one look at me.
‘It’s this wig thing…’ he said in disbelief. Pulling a pair of scissors
from the drawer, Dad started cutting the fake hair away from my head. But every move was agony. Hacking it away as best he could, he was finally able to start pulling the stitches from the lace cap.
Blood was gushing down my face and I was shaking in pain. The whole scene was horrific. After about an hour, flinging the last blood-soaked remnants into the bin, I was so relieved when Dad had finished.
‘The wig was embedded into your scalp,’ he said. ‘I think we need to get you to the hospital.’
Wrapping a towel around my head to stop the bleeding, we raced to St James’s Hospital in Leeds. There, doctors were shocked. ‘We’ve never seen anything like this,’ one said.
I was put on an antibiotic drip to stop any infection, and given some painkillers.
It turns out the plaits had been started too far forward on my head and were done too tightly.
So, when the wig was sewn in, it had shifted, and the front part of the lace cap had embedded into my flesh, cutting through the skin.
After a day in the hospital, I headed home with some antibiotic cream and a 6in gash on my forehead.
Unfortunately, there was nothing more doctors could do. I’m now in the process of taking legal action against the salon.
Doctors say I’ll be scarred for life, and as it’s on my hairline, there’s no hiding it.
I can barely look at myself in the mirror anymore.
I just want everyone to know how dangerous weaves can be.
They say beauty comes at a price. Unfortunately, I’m proof of that.
I was soaked in sticky red blood
I was desperate for longer locks
It had embedded in my scalp
Back to square one