Doing the Do - Big Hair Adventures
Confession time: I don't really like to wear makeup (unless I’m going formal). I actually couldn't care less about my appearance a lot of the time. As long as I am clean and showered, my clothes merely serve the job of keeping me warm and keeping the private bits private. So the fact that I am discussing hair (and offering advice) is a bit beyond my comfort zone, but I feel I have a bit to share on this that may or may not be helpful to fellow big haired people.
Yes, I have big hair. After year and years of fighting the frizz, the curls, the thickness, I've finally given in. Lifestyle, age and a recently acquired zero care factor finally won the battle against the she-beast that is my hair. I no longer straighten, or keep her short for convenience. I’ve given up on anti-frizz products. I wash her less, and she loves me more for it. We are now friends but that doesn’t mean I can control her. She simply can’t and won’t be tamed. Like a non-conforming entity, she is probably the most rebellious part of me, well actually my unused ovaries might want to claim victory there, but that’s another story…….
I grew up hearing comments like “why don't you let it dry naturally?” or “I wish you would wear it down/tied up/just not like you are wearing it right now” or “oh you do have thick hair don't you dear?” or “why are you hiding those curls?”
And of course then there were the days of high humidity which are just hilarious. The frizz. The volume. More comments. Other women with thin straight hair would jealously gawk. Friends stifled a giggle as I negotiated single door ways. Fellow big haired women offer eye contact and a sympathetic nod as we allow enough room to pass each other on a footpath.
And then those unexpected downpours render you straight haired and small headed. Suddenly, people don’t recognise you, even family.
I can't not mention the fur balls in the shower, the bum crack collection point and hair brush handle snapping…I could go on.
Looking after big hair and leading an active lifestyle with the odd trekking adventure thrown in here and there has really had me thinking about hair maintenance – particularly when travelling. Especially a sweaty, shower-less type of adventure. Hair control (and for some, the subsequent stress that goes with it) creates issues that I hope I can address here.
The lack of shower or power to turn on a hair dryer or straightener means we often hear comments like “oh look at my hair!” after seeing themselves in a reflection unexpectedly or the early morning comments of “I hate to think what I look like right now”. Fear not, fellow adventurers, there are a few ways you can manage these hairy situations before you head off on that camping trip or trekking adventure.
You could keep a cap on or a hat on, or try a head band, head sock or Buff (which can be worn in a multitude of ways – my personal fave!). In colder climates you could don a beanie. In terms of hair preparation, you could get a short do for a quicker dry and much easier style to hide under the above coverings. Or if there is enough time in the months prior to departure, grow it so you can tie it back and essentially forget about it.
Remember we will all have bed hair/hat hair/beanie hair/dirty unwashed hair that can unite even the vainest of us all. Enjoy the liberation of hair freedom and yes, the odd whiff of body odour perhaps too. You may wish you had the opportunity to go “natural” more often once you are home again and reaching for that hair straightener for the tenth time on a humid day…..
You know what they say though. You always want what you can't have. Curly haired people want straight hair and straight haired people want curly hair. The amount of times I had people say, “I want your hair” and my reply when I was growing up was, “go and get a perm!”
There were no GHD’s in the 80’s. And there were not that many curly haired role models for us either. Growing up with curly hair was a point of difference that I hated.
But now in my late 30’s it's taken me about 35 years to embrace the aff, the boof, the bigness. I am actually grateful for my mop.
After hearing of many other big haired women in adventure, I am starting to think it is part of the unique genetic material of so many of us out there.
So to my fellow adventure buddies worrying about their do, my advice is ditch the hairdryer, the straightener and care factor. Make your next adventure a big haired one.
Written By: Lisa Murphy from Big Heart Adventures