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  • Writer's pictureanusha gopalakrishnan

My Hair Journey Over The Years

Growing up, I absolutely hated the term “boy cut” as I was forced to wear my hair this way throughout my formative years and for most of the years that followed. To add to my challenges, I was born with curly hair, which I truly disliked back then.

"I can't stand my hair" or "I wish I had her hair"? I found myself uttering these words nearly every morning as I grew up. All my 8-year-old self-wanted was long straight hair – I longed for straight silky hair cascading over my shoulders. 

Sadly, my mom never allowed me to keep my hair long; so, I had short curly hair that defied gravity throughout most of my childhood.  I am still lowkey upset about this btw. lol

Constantly being teased about my hair intensified my insecurities.  I hated the way I look and I just did not feel pretty. After all, society’s notion of “beauty” was long, straight hair – at least that was what was fed to me.

When I finally had long hair I had no clue as to how to manage it - it was frizzy and unruly. I did not know how to care for my hair properly. So, I resorted to brushing out my curls and putting it up in a tight ponytail. I recall wearing so many hairpins on my head that my peers were concerned that I might be struck by a lightening, should there be one.

I eventually found a solution to my dilemma with rebonding – hallelujah, my dream finally came true. However, my joy was short-lived. After the first wash, the silky, straight hair I adored turned dry and damaged. No matter what I tried, I couldn't restore the shine to my hair, so I just let it be and ended up walking around with what Tevan refers to as "carpet grass hair."

No judgments, please, but I'm not kidding when I say I tried straightening my hair with an iron box (clothes iron). Lol. Looking back, I realize how foolish and reckless I was. Naturally, my parents were furious when they found out; I'm glad we can laugh about it now. There was no escaping reality, and I had to endure my awkward hair days as my hair returned to its natural state.

I had just finished my A-Levels and had a three-month break when I decided to try rebonding again, but at a different salon, of course. I stumbled upon this salon by chance – it was a modest place, and the hairstylist was straightforward and honest. Most importantly, he didn't push unnecessary products on me.

When it was time for the first wash, I was anxious and silently prayed – yes, I was that desperate. I couldn't wait for my hair to air dry; I was eager to see the results. I felt so relieved to find it glossy, straight, and shiny. What a relief it was! I had finally found my go-to salon, and a decade later, I still visit the same stylist. I morphed into a serial straightener – I would touch up my roots once a year. I had long, healthy, black hair that reached my waist, and I finally felt beautiful.

While living in Turkmenistan, I had the desire to switch up my hair. Growing tired of my black hair, I craved some colour – something striking. I chose an ash sandy warm blonde hue. To get this colour, bleaching was necessary. It was one of those choices you know you might regret but proceed with anyway. And so, I took the plunge.

My hair looked fantastic for a few months, but then it began to fade into an unappealing gold hue. I resembled a two-legged German shepherd. It was terrible. The ends of my hair were dry, damaged, and fragile.

And how did I try to fix this issue? I bleached it again, as if bleaching it twice will restore my hair to its former glory. The phrase "once bitten, twice shy" went right over my head. Hehe! My rationale was that since my hair was already damaged, I might as well go for it – a logic I would deeply regret.

I entered the salon with golden hair and left with red hair! Ah, the wonders of technology! I left the salon exuding some main character energy, lol flips hair completely unaware of what awaited me in terms of my hair.

Maintaining red hair was more challenging than I had anticipated – the colour faded so quickly that I couldn't keep up. Every hair wash seemed to change its hue. And, to make matters worse, the colour-infused shampoo was making my hair even drier.

Soon after colouring my hair, I moved to Malaysia, where the humidity didn't help the situation.

My hair was beyond repair, and the only solution was to cut it. I couldn't bring myself to cut off a large portion at once, so I did it gradually. Styling my hair became impossible, and curls wouldn't hold their shape. I had to spend an hour blow-drying my hair. My Dyson Supersonic became my lifesaver, and it's one purchase I genuinely swear by.

I finally cut off the remaining damaged hair last December. My hair was in dire need of some TLC, so I opted for the keratin treatment. I was pleased with the results, even though I had to endure three days of greasy hair. But it was a small price to pay.

After that wild experience, I vowed never to bleach or colour my hair again! I had my fun, and now I'm sticking to the basics. I learned my lesson, albeit it being an expensive and tough one. Well, we live and learn, don't we?

This doesn't mean I'll stop experimenting with my hair; I'll just limit it to trying out different haircuts – like the one I just got! Hehe

I feel like I should have a drumroll to announce that I've finally gotten bangs (well, curtain bangs)! I've wanted to try it for so long but never had the courage until now! I think it looks cute on me, lol! I might even think about getting shorter bangs at some point in the future. But for now, I'm just going to enjoy this new haircut.

I've put my hair through a lot, and it's been quite a journey. Right now, I'm content with how my hair looks, even though I've lost most of my curls from years of chemical straightening.  Honestly, it's been months since I last used my flat iron – I see that as a victory. Although, I'll have to find it now that I need to style my bangs, lol.

If I had the opportunity to research my hair back then, I might have approached things differently. I likely would have embraced my curly hair and learned how to flaunt it.

I admire girls who confidently wear their curly hair, and I'm inspired to someday follow their lead.

In short, don't compare your hair to others or envy those with different hair patterns. Set your own hair standards and don't hesitate to embrace them. Wear your hair in the way YOU feel most confident and attractive, and don't let others dictate otherwise!

If it's any consolation, I had my fair share of ugly hair days before I finally got to this point! I still do but I manage it better now!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I feel oddly liberated writing it! flips hair

Till next time, toodles!






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