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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