Have modern hairdressers forgotten how to curl?

I had a bad experience at my hairdresser tonight and cried on the way home – I’m very loyal when it comes to hairdressers, as I rarely feel as vulnerable as I do sitting in their chair with my glasses off and all my flaws on show.

Better than myself, they know my natural hair colour and exactly how much of it has faded to grey – I dislike the amount of time it takes whilst I sit there reading magazines or mentally writing “to do” lists. Decidedly not one for the “pampering” culture, I can’t help but think how much I could be doing elsewhere whilst my hair “cooks”.

On Sunday I’m helping out at the Lindy Charm School for Girls at Como House for their Mother’s Day vintage hair and make up demonstration – so I needed to get my hair recoloured first, so hence the last minute appointment. My usual hairdresser was busy but that’s okay, because they’re all nice there.

Except…except that the rules have changed and they wanted to charge me an extra $30 to dry my hair. On top of the $120 for touching up my regrowth. Suddenly my hair colour seemed like an indulgence I could no longer afford – and to make matters worse, I always have to restyle my hair when I go home because their carefully produced curls with hair straighteners and product fall straight out.

You’ve probably noticed the flaw in that idea: using hair straighteners to put curls in? Maybe it works for others but it doesn’t work for me. Over the past few years whilst straight hair has been in fashion, they’ve tried all kinds of tricks and it’s all to the same result – I come out with curls but within an hour or two I’m looking like a ’70s throwback with Marcia Brady hair.

Now in case you’re thinking my hair is difficult, I’d like to assure you otherwise – my hair has sufficient natural wave that it takes very little coaxing to either straighten or curl. I’m baffled at how my hairdresser can fail to get it to perform so when they said the blowdry would be extra, I just replied that’s fine – I’ll let it air dry and style at home as per normal.

I was surprised that they were happy to let me leave with dripping long wet hair, and happy for me to leave unhapy, but the alternative they offered me was a bit of “moisture removal” whatever that is, and mentioned something about a diffuser (which summoned dreadful ’80s memories) so I declined. Bizarrely though, my receipt still included a blow dry. I suspect I’ll be looking for a less expensive hair dresser, maybe even an old fashioned one who knows how to set hair.

Meanwhile, in my vintage-flavoured world, curls are all the rage – here are some pics from a workshop Candice DeVille did on my hair a while ago – a nice and old fashioned set complete with big rollers. The result is the user pic you can see over on the right —->

All photos courtesy Candice DeVille. I love it and wish my hair could look like this all the time!

Incidentally, Candice has some great hair tutorials over at youtube, and is also available by appointment for hair and make up styling or workshops (including bridal). Additionally, if you’d like to recreate this particular style it came from an easy to use book called “Vintage Hairstyling”.

Meanwhile, over at Esme and the Laneway, Marianne gives terrific instructions on rag rolls – my mum used to give me ringlets as a child using this method and I’d lost the knack. Thanks to Marianne rediscovering it, I might give it a go. My hair’s grown quite a bit since Candice styled it and it’s too long to hold hot roller curls now, but shorter than Marianne’s so I think it will work.

Our grandmothers would be proud of us! I love it when old fashioned methods work best, and better still, you don’t need any high tech products to get the effect – hairspray, water, setting lotion, bobby pins do the job.