When is your hair NOT your hair?

Excuse the cryptic title, please – all will become clear in good time. How are you all? Did you have a wonderful Christmas? Eat too much? Drink too much? I do hope so! I’m taking this opportunity, this ‘lull’ before the new year, to write about all of the things that have been happening recently – to tie up loose ends and make sure that everything is up to date.

You may remember that I jetted off to New York, at very short notice, to do a hair campaign for KMS California. So far, I have written virtually nothing about my trip, and I did have so many things to tell you! So I’m going to fill you in on the details over the next week – a brief respite from product recommendations and makeup videos – although I did film a few things in my hotel room that I’ll post up too. So actually, absolutely no respite from product recommendations and makeup videos! What a liar I am!

I went to New York to shoot KMS and I knew beforehand that they were going to cut my hair. Now many of you will think that is unbelievably exciting, but let me tell you something; knowing that you are to have your hair cut, ‘under contract’ is one of the most gut-wrenching modelling moments that can take place. Once you have signed away the rights to your hair (the cut agreed will depend on what you’re happy with, and how many zeros there are on the end of the fee) your hair is no longer your hair.

All big hair commercials and shoots require the model, and her/his agent to sign quite a detailed contract outlining the cut; how many centimetres will be cut from the length, whether there will be any internal layers (short bits) and whether or not there will be any ‘shaping’ around the front. These terms are hardly ever adhered to, however, because hairdressers by their very nature are snippity little scissor-happy gits, and they love to just slice away a bit here, and razor a bit there. Nevertheless, once you sign away your hair, you have to just sit there and take it – even if the client is absolutely on the button and correct with the cut down to the very last letter of the contract, it’s still a shock to see your hair change and have no say in what is happening!

In this case, I was having my ‘highlights’ retouched too – note the colour change from the ‘before’ picture below:

I know, I know – loads of you will say that the new colour is better, blah blah. My point is; highlights retouched? Me thinks ‘non’ on that one. Total bleach dye-job? Oui. There is no way that the new colour is a root touch-up – it’s a new colour. I’m not moaning, I’m just trying, I suppose, to paint a little picture of what happens when you agree to ‘hair-prep’ (the day that a client always works in to a big job so that they get your hair looking as they want it to). Now, let’s look at this properly: the client has a product to sell, and he, or she, casts models who they think will sell that product. The hair (for that is what they are selling, essentially – amazing looking hair) must look great, and exactly to a brief that a ‘creative’ (yes, ironic quotation marks) has drawn up. Fair play to them – they pay out money from a budget, and on the grand scheme of things. what kind of trauma is a new haircut? People would pay upwards of £500 to get a colour and cut done by some of the people that I work with, yet I sit there trembling and anxious!

Anyway – a rare little insight into my inner thoughts there, I hope that you don’t think I’m fickle – I’m sure that most people have had that sinking feeling at the hairdressers when they think “ohhhhhhh. What the f**k are they doing now?” but are too scared to say anything. Well in my case, I can’t say anything. I’m being paid to do it. It doesn’t make it any less scary – I’m pretty sure it makes it worse, because you can’t shout “stop” like a madwoman, or rip off the gown and leg it down the street. You’re there, babycakes, and you’re there until the bitter end.

Final thought: I like my hair now. I was totally depressed for the first few days, because I had a fringe and I have never had a fringe, and my new dye-job looked slightly orange under artificial light – but I have realised that hair does grow back. It’s a pain in the arse if you hate it, and it really knocks your confidence, I think, but it’s not like a botched nose-job or a chemical peel-gone-wrong – it’s fixable. So I’m all good. In fact, I kind of wish that I’d had a fringe before – I’ve had loads of compliments about my hair, and nobody has ever really commented on it before, it’s just been there. Hanging.

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  1. liz
    December 28, 2010 / 11:04 am

    Even when i have a say in my haircut i still get nervous theyll do it wrong .. but dont worry it looks lovely x

  2. Grace London
    December 28, 2010 / 11:20 am

    It sounds like I’m in the minority, but I’m with you, I liked the before hair best. It looks nice now, but it also looks like the layers could be a pain in the arse unless you faff with them. It’s definitely blonder, and I preferred the more wheat-y blonde in the before too.

    But, like you said, it is hair and it grows. It does look very good and fashionable now, and I do like the fringe.

  3. Anna D
    December 28, 2010 / 1:57 pm

    i know how you feel. despite my request, i still wonder if it will turn out the way i want it to be, and yes there have been days where the before looks much better than the after. ack ack. but great for you… your “new” hair looks fresh!

  4. Sarah
    December 28, 2010 / 3:25 pm

    Oh Ruth i know how you feel! I used to do demonstration modelling for Vidal Sassoon when I was a student for god knows what reason and boy did I have some hair traumas! Hilarious! Lets just say very angular crops and fluoro pink. It’s all in the past now! You’re hair looks gorge so you just have to embrace it!!

    Have to just say I discovered this blog the other day by accident and I’m completely addicted! I love it! Keep it coming!
    Happy New Year!

    • December 29, 2010 / 12:29 pm

      Thanks for your lovely hair comments, people! Seems that going to the hairdressers is a little traumatic for many of us! Feel free to email me pictures of terrible cuts for my own amusement! Hahahaha….

  5. michelle
    December 28, 2010 / 5:28 pm

    I’m sure the main difference you are feeling is that you feel you looked more like “you” in the before. The bottom line is that you look great no matter what so enjoy this little diversion! And as for the whole process…i honestly don’t know what I would do…i have curly hair(which i love by the way) but so many people have f*cked it up that I get palpitations at the salon…literally. So kudos to you!

  6. danielle
    December 28, 2010 / 8:14 pm

    love the after.

  7. December 28, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    This reminds me of the makeover episodes in America’s Next Top Model when the girls start crying because the hairdresser chops off all their hair! And I can see why it’s so traumatic… I always feel nervous before a haircut because I’m so fussy and particular about my hair.

    By the way… your hair looks lovely with or without a fringe! xx

  8. Natasha Bain
    December 28, 2010 / 9:30 pm

    I remember when i used to do hair modelling for Tony & Guys in London (this was over 25 years ago when i was 15/16 years old and had natural strawberry’s blonde coloured hair (defo not ginger)) I remember the last time i done it I had Anthony Mascolo cut my hair. They said they were just going to “trim it a bit” then put the make up on then the pictures!!!!! Hmmmmmm trim it a bit!!!!! “Ok thats fine but not too much” i said. They said “Nooooo it won’t be drastic or very much” my hair was shoulder length so i said “That’s fine” So there is was in there hands with the king of hairdressers! Snip snip snip and more snip and then more snip and more and more! I ended up with a short cut! I was absolutely gob smacked and heartbroken all the hair that had been cut that was now laying on the floor! I had my make up done and then the pictures! On the way home (on the train) to Kent i was in tears and by the time i had got home to my parents the make-up was down my face and i was heartbroken. My mum and dad said that my hair looked lovely but all i kept thinking was was that i looked like a boy! At that point i decided i was never going to do modelling ever again! I was too short to do anything else but hair modelling and tbh wasn’t pretty enough for anything else (I am only 5’6″) I think the main reason they wanted me as a hair model was because of my natural hair colour! It is unusual and i could never rob a place or do anything naughty because of my hair colour! Lol! So after all that i have never done any modelling ever again and now i’m too old anyway (i’m 41 years old although a lot of people think i look between 28-32 years old which makes me feel splendiferous and i only a couple of fine lines. Phew thank you mum and dad they look heck of a lot younger than they are (my mum is 70 years old and could easily pass as 50 years old and my dad (who passed away on 19th November this year) was 83 years old and didn’t look a day older than 60 years old! But there you go one bad hair day LMAO ruined it for me. But i think your hair Ruth looks lovely and it defo suits you. One thing i must say is you go against the grain of people’s image of a model Ruth. You have brains and common sense and seem such a nice person also. Your blogs are just brilliant to read and very open and honest. Keep up the good work xx
    Oooops sorry again for writing so much! Lol xx

    • December 29, 2010 / 12:28 pm

      That’s OK – I like your hair story! That’s great that you look over ten years younger than you really are! My Mum also looks very young for her age, I’m seriously hoping that I take after her!!

  9. Diana
    December 28, 2010 / 9:41 pm

    I completely agree with you, it is a shock, I could never go through that.That said I love your new hair you look incredibly pretty and childlike. But you never know! it’s scary

  10. olga
    December 28, 2010 / 9:48 pm

    whatever you say but you look amazing …Now that I am older I deal way better with hairdressers but I have done the STOP and leave number in the past and other shows like burst into tears ,I am not proud of it,my hair took ages to be normal again(if it is any time)but
    It is not worth it and you will find your way to wear it with pride till it is “normal”again.
    Wish you a happy 2011,x.

  11. Helen
    December 28, 2010 / 10:30 pm

    Oh I love your new hair. I think the fringe and the blonde look really suits you, and like you said if worst comes to worst you can grow the fringe and dye out. Although I do feel your pain about trusting your hair in someone else’s hands, I went to a new hairdresser last week and she cut my fringe wonky grr so frustrating! Anyway, Happy holidays :) x

  12. Yvonne
    December 29, 2010 / 11:59 am

    The fringe and colour both look great, it really suits you. But I know exactly how you felt, I’ve felt that sinking feeling in the hairdressers chair more than once!

  13. Sylvia
    December 29, 2010 / 1:37 pm

    I am as blind as a bat without my glasses – I have to remove them to have my hair cut. It is awful, because you can’t comment as they go along, and after a cut it’s always a terrifying gamble to see what’s been done.

  14. July 29, 2011 / 3:35 am

    I loved the cut after, because it has more style to it. But the color is hard to say because the lighting is very orange. However, you look beautiful either way!

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