I’m having a bad hair day. It’s been going for nearly a year. I’m growing out a short hair cut and it looks atrocious. Hubby only just noticed. He said “your hair looks ugly” (but it sounds kind of sweet in Indonesian). I’m amazed it took him so long to see it: I guess love really is blind.
Hubby’s put up with a lot from my hair. There was the many years of dreadlocks, rough as rope and always unwashed. In order for me to sleep comfortably I’d have to splay them out on the pillow, away from my face and neck. The long velcro snakes would go slithering across the pillow and into his face. He’d often wake up with a nasty dread imprint on his cheek. But he didn’t mind.
He didn’t even complain when I started coming to bed with various foul scented potions on my hair. This happened about a year ago when my happy easy dreadlocks got a bit itchy. Usually that meant it was time to wash my hair. So I shampooed (a fairly rare occurrence I’ll grant you). It still itched. I sprayed some aloe vera on my scalp, in case it was dry. Itch.
Then I noticed the kids had itchy heads. It was the height of summer and their sweaty little heads seemed to have some heat rash. Ever the optimist, I treated them for heat rash. Then we heard that there’d been some head lice at kindy. Suddenly the slight itch turned into a totally convincing crawling, biting sensation. I imagined bugs the size of helicopters with sharp, pointy teeth going “nyah”. I bet you’re get itchy just reading this. Scritchity scratch.
I started treating for head lice. The kids were easy – conditioner and a fine tooth comb. My head was a whole different story. I’d had dreads twice before and lost them to head lice each time, so I was familiar with the problem. You can’t comb the critters out. I was also pregnant, so I couldn’t put anything too noxious on my head. I was left with a bunch of home remedies and “natural” products that were safe.
Remedies for head lice while dreadlocked and pregnant
Here’s what I tried (not what I recommend). Methylated spirits – tip full bottle on head (in well ventilated place), cover hair with plastic bag, leave for as long as you can bear. I found that if you wrap a towel on top, you can go several hours before the alcohol runs relentlessly down your neck and into your face.
Vinegar – as above, but leave it in. Olive oil – supposed to stun the critters. Combine with vinegar for a gourmet head lice remedy. Didn’t work, but I went well with salad.
Anti-dandruff shampoo – leave it in overnight. Essential oils – individually and in lotions – leave in for several days. Neem oil – incredibly greasy and smelly – leave in for several weeks.
Store bought “natural” lice treatments. Chemical lice treatments (carefully chosen for pregnancy). Heat via a hairdryer with a towel cocoon on head. Heat via a hair straightener. Several other remedies which I’ve surely forgotten and various combinations of all of the above. All up, I spent hundreds of dollars on products and had very smelly greasy hair for about 4 weeks. Much of our bedding succumbed to the fumes, grease and smells, but hubby never lost his sense of humour.
One day I just couldn’t stand the smell of neem oil/vinegar/assorted other lice treatments any longer. I’d tried everything and my hair was still itchy. I suspected the critters were gone, if indeed they’d ever been there at all. But I knew I’d never get rit of the psychological itches until i got rid of my dreads. I handed hubby the kitchen scissors, and took a seat.
Hair by Hubby wasn’t too bad at first. It was short but spikey. I got a few hair cuts that looked ok post dreads, but it quickly reverted to hideous. I even got it re-cut at the same place that did it well, with a terrible result. I just had to grow it long. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 10 months, and its look terrible for most of that time. It’s shoulder length at the back, but shapeless. I’m pretty scared of hairdressers, because it always seems to end up worse. But seeing as hubby has finally noticed, I figured I’d better get a hair cut.
Note to self: when asked “layers or one length?” the answer is NEVER layers.
I once had a haircut even worse than the one pictured: mine had the long wispy bits all the way around at the front too. They floated up my nose and in my mouth, irritating me to tears. I had a 360 degree mullet. I went back to the London hair academy (where I had stupidly agreed to be a hair model) and burst into tears. “Just shave it off” I sobbed through melodramatic tears.
I looked pretty crap with a bald head, but at least I didn’t have wispy mullet dregs going up my nose.
Today’s hairdo isn’t as bad as that. It turned out horrible, but I don’t think its much worse than it was. I can still hide it with clips. Damn those little critters getting into my dreads… or was I just imagining them? Scritchity scratch.