Written for Soul Hair Design, Siem Reap.
“Hi Deb, any chance of a quick chop chop today, please?”
“Sure, darling” echoes from the other end of the line and I am booked in for 4:30.
It’s been a while…. A few months at least with some brave self-hair-mutilation interventions. Will she notice? Of course she will. I casually glance in the mirror and my hair has never looked so long and good. Are you kidding me? “Maybe you should cancel the appointment” the little voice in my head whispers. It’s a mixture of an optical illusion brought up by the dim light in my bathroom and my mind playing tricks on me, I am sure. I am in a severe need of professional help and I know it. The appointment remains firmly in my diary.
I can’t put my finger on why I am so hesitant having my hair cut. There were times when I would put the visit of a hairdresser in the same category as the visit of a dentist. The roots (excuse the pun) must lie deep in my past. Having grown up with only a few straight, wispy strands by the age of 10 I was getting used to the bowl cut but far from loving it. Mousy brownness wouldn’t help my looks in those days either but what can one do at the age of 10? Not much. Back in the “commy” days there was little room for individuality and both my hair and my mum knew it.
Everything changed around the time the Velvet Revolution was making waves and democracy slowly established its presence in the very heart of Europe. My hair, following the rebellious mood hanging heavily in the air and my own puberty hormones, suddenly – I swear it was overnight – embarked on its own unruly journey. The ever so popular “undercut”, the trademark of the late 80’s along with leggings and fluro-fashion found many fans in the rows of my friends and naturally, I followed in (shell) suit. The result was something resembling a full head of cauliflower. These days I am wiser and I know my limits. Back in the 80’s I cried my eyes out and got zero sympathy from my mother who found it quite amusing and thought I got exactly what I asked for. I guess from then on I was scarred for life.
So, no more undercuts, I said to myself. In fact, I am trying to grow my hair long but it’s just not happening or I am too impatient. Who knows? And what is the point anyway? Here in the tropics I mostly end up wearing it up otherwise it feels like having a mop on the top of my head with trickles of sweat forming rivers in the middle of my back. But one should at least try to keep up appearances...
The minute she touches my hair and starts massaging my scalp with sweet smelling shampoo I am in heaven. When I am rich and famous I am going to employ my own hairdresser, that's a promise. Then my locks get covered in another sweet smelling substance and my scalp massaged some more. If I was a cat I would be purring. The rain, which started coming down gently some minutes ago is now hammering on the roof with such force that even a loud conversation is impossible. I drift, relax and let Deb do her magic. She's not taking off much, just the dead ends. Snip snip. It will make my life easier and I won't have to deal with a dead mouse in the bathroom every time I wash my hair. Then out come the GHDs, my frizz gets smoothed out and I am almost ready to go.
Murphy's Law clearly states that the level of effort and time spent at the salon will be destroyed by equally powerful force summoned by all weather Gods out there and the howling wind and drumming rain is confirming just that. I glance for the last time at my smooth curtain of hair and sigh. Before I get completely soaked and covered in mud from head to toe I will have the rare opportunity to prove to Deb that I simply missed my profession by picking up a camera rather than a pair of scissors or better, a brush and a hair dye. The hairdressers' own roots get covered and I hope I passed with flying colours.
Written for Soul Hair Design, Siem Reap
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.