Having children brings with it lots of new challenges some of which I rise to readily and some many of which fall way beyond my zone of comfort and creativity. Amongst the list of parenting jobs I am not much cop at comes the complicated, time-consuming and frankly pointless task of doing my children’s hair.
Now it is probably worth mentioning at this stage that I favour a no-fuss, minimal effort approach to make-up and hair and my current hairstyle is super short and designed to require absolutely no time or attention:
This is partly because I am lazy (and favour an extra 10 minutes in bed over 10 minutes doing my hair), but mostly because I am physically incapable of imitating, even in part, the hairstyles created so effortlessly by the professionals. Too many times I have left the hairdressers overjoyed with my new style, only to wake the next morning to find that – like Cinderella’s beautiful ball gown – my hair has turned to rags overnight.
Aging has few advantages, but recognising where you need to cut your losses is one of the skills it brings. I have ditched all attempts to have long, luscious hair and my life has been simpler ever since.
But I have children. And they have hair. And they vehemently disagree with my attempts to insist that super short hair would suit them too. And so we have begun a dance with haircuts and styles that they will continue into adulthood and that will, no doubt, see them with some serious dodgy barnets over the years. We all know this is an inevitable part of growing up: I once memorably bleached my hair and ended up with two-tone orange. My housemates laughed uncontrollably and I cried myself to sleep. But lesson learnt, I never bleached my hair again (although there were also ‘the dodgy perm’ years, but that’s another story).
Anyway, I digress, my post is about the difficulties of keeping children’s hair neat, tidy and as far from looking like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards as I am able to achieve.
My eldest daughter has thick, luscious, beautiful hair, but man, is it impossible to keep it secure in any kind of hair band or clip. I have spent an inordinate amount of money trying to find the elusive hair tie that will tame her hair into submission, but time and time again I have failed in my efforts.
Luckily, I am pretty nifty with the scissors and always ready to ‘have a go’ at a new haircut, with my eager reluctant hair model always willing ground into submission and ready to try a new style. So I lop it off. And if it’s a bit wonky, I chop a bit more off. And then maybe a bit more….just until it’s even you understand…although, maybe a bit shorter than I had intended…..
So that’s the eldest sorted with some help from the (slightly blunt) hairdressing scissors. That just leaves the little one and a completely different type of hair. No thick, dark locks here but thinner, blonder, fly away hair that may stay in a plait better, but is still far from manageable. In the case of my youngest daughter, I am inclined to blame her tendency to throw herself around the place and crawl around the floor pretending to be a lion for the fact that her hair style lasts all of 5 minutes (and the length of time it stays in place appears to be directly inverse to the amount of time I have dedicated to trying to create a neat and tidy hairstyle).
Because Faith’s hair is easier to plait, I have attempted some more advanced hair styles with her as my model and in this task too, I am frequently unsuccessful. Any trip to a school or preschool will show you that there are many talented parents out there capable of getting up early enough; being patient enough; and having the required skills to produce amazing, impressively secure hairstyles whereas I am happy if I manage a neat(ish) plait or two.
If I can finish plaiting without a) having to start again 3 times because Faith has moved her head to see Pokemon better. b) losing patience with the whole thing and screeching ‘I’ll just do a ponytail then!’ or c) getting to the end and finding that the hairband is missing, then I call that a job well done.
Clearly, if you spot my daughter in the playground mere minutes later she will look something like this:
And you will assume that her unkempt locks indicate a worrying lack of care on the part of her parents, but honest guv’ I tried my best.
Bruno Mars idolised a girls whose hair fell perfectly. I challenge Mr Mars to find this elusive woman and I warrant that when she was growing up, she spent a significant proportion of her time with her hair looking more like this: