If there’s one thing that fosters frustration in little (as well as big) people, it’s hair. Despite my experience in wrestling with my own big mop, I’m still learning how to keep my cool around hair that won’t do as its told.
As the eldest, I remember taking charge of my sister’s hair out back of a Pennylane’s bake shop while our parents toiled away making sandwiches. Long, blonde and straight, my sister had pin-up hair, but alas she was also allergic to it! I couldn’t have imagined that 30-odd years later, I’d be staring accusingly at almost identical hair with an equally fussy young customer.
My primary schooler hates ridges (“hitch-hikers”) and the shorties that fall out at the sides.
“Put the clip in.” I snap out of my reverie, placing said hair-clip into fringe carefully to avoid escapees.
“Not like that. Like the other one. Mummy, what are you doing? Put it higher and join the other hair together.”
One is fine, twice, I’ll grit my teeth. Three strikes and put nicely, my reaction might be “Mummy can’t do magic all the time.” But instead of pulling out a smart remark, I need to smartly divert this plane if we want to leave the house on time.
Having suffered a few bad hair day hold-ups in my time, following are a few of the hair hacks we use at home.
- Declare it a ‘bad hair day’. You know those stretchy fabric headbands that tie (or twist over) at the top? They’re our greatest ally. We found them at the chemist and stores such as H&M. After trying several times to do that perfectly neat high ponytail, gently brushing to avoid screams of pain, I suggest we resort to the ‘bad hair day headband’ to cover all those sneaky fly-aways. It’s quite funny (luckily).
- Give it a spritz. Refilling a trigger hair spray bottle with water and (gingerly) spritzing the hair line area can work wonders to tame those unruly, soft baby hairs. We use it to brush all the hair away from the face before working out those snags.
- Hide the bad bits. Got knots that refuse to come out today, either of their own volition or their owner’s? When time is short, we’ve found that a simple plait or high bun covers them up beautifully. Outta here!
- Pink sticker it. OK, so there are days that Mum has to do it, because even though she’s told she’s no good at hair, she’s probably the best option! But if we’re feeling independent and on top of things, we can earn a sticker by doing it all by ourselves. When said number of stickers equals a reward, it may just be worth relinquishing the struggle!
Aside from saving my sanity while expediting school drop-off, by training my young one into some good hair day habits, I may just have time to tackle my own hair.
Although I often resort to scraping it back into a practical ‘Mum’s ponytail’, a few minutes to spare and I can slap on a coloured headband or master that cool braid, messy bun or half ‘up-do’ from Pinterest! Nothing says it better for a Mum than done, but not over-done!
I suppose I can’t quibble about the pursuit of perfect hair. For little – and big – people, having good hair gets everything else off to a good start.
Here’s to hair (and everyone else) doing as they’re told!