Problems by a strand

Last Updated : 13 June 2015, 15:34 IST
Last Updated : 13 June 2015, 15:34 IST

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When God created man, he intended everyone to live peacefully. He tried to ensure people stayed out of each other’s hair by telling them to be nice to each other, not covet wives or steal asses of neighbours. I guess that worked for some time. We danced in the garden of life with childlike abandon. Till Lily noticed that Shirlie’s butt was perkier.

And, there was no looking back then. The shorter ones hated the tall ones. The taller ones envied the petite. The fair ones wanted a tan. The dark ones plastered their faces with skin-lightening goo.

And, then there was hair. The perpetual debate on what kind of hair is better. The ones with straight hair sighed enviously at curls. In fact, the earliest known hair-changing treatment I saw was perming. It was a process of taking a handful of innocent straight hair, putting scorching texturising agents strong enough to melt an army tank and leaving behind a crop of mangled tangles.

I had, to many people’s envy, natural curls. I was hailed as the Jennifer Beals of the neighbourhood when Flash Dance was released. Personally, I felt like a kid who had strayed into a chicken coop with feed on her head. I hated my hair. Much later, I found out that hair could be straightened. There was a God!

I went for a back-breaking day-long session that resulted in poker-straight hair and spondylitis. I was over the moon. I looked awesome.

It did not feel like hair though — more like poly-fibre bristles used for sweeping large debris. The hair stylist told me not to fret and prescribed hair-softening agents, the bill for which sent the spondylitis branching out from the toes. The softeners tamed the hair. In fact, they made it so docile and compliant that it meekly surrendered in loose clumps on my palms. Looking at the bright side, I need only half the quantity of hair products than earlier.

Like all anguished, grieving people looking for answers, I turned to the internet and posted my woe. “I hate my curly hair. I have tried all kinds of straightening and softening treatments, but nothing lasts long enough. And then, there is hair loss.”

The replies sure poured in fast: There are people in the world that have great hair like mine — blond, wavy like Adonis’s, with the scent of the laughter of angels — and then there are people like you.

I don’t really find any of this funny at all. Those not born with this particular hair type have no idea what one goes through with this type of hair. I suggest you all educate yourselves before you go ridiculing something you know little about.

There are people born with terrible diseases, blind, deaf, mute, and into poverty, and you’re worrying about your hair? You’re joking, right?

You need to embrace who you are, and appreciate what you have and not let anyone tell you that you need to look like someone else. Self-hatred needs to be eradicated.
Most religious gurus have hair like yours — curly and matted. You should be proud of that.

So, now I live with my sparse, straightened hair, most of it lying on the pillow, far, far from my scalp, and wonder if it is time to make peace with my fleece.

Published 13 June 2015, 15:34 IST

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