When I discovered I was expecting a daughter, one of my first thoughts was, ‘Will she have my hair?’ Whilst I’m certain not many expectant mothers would be worrying about the texture of their unborn child’s hair – they would be more concerned for the child’s health – I did fret about my baby inheriting my limp hair gene.
I say ‘inherited’ as lifeless, wispy ‘not really there’ hair runs in my family. And my husband’s too. No one has full, thick, bouncy hair. We are all cursed with hair no thicker than a wet candy floss. My children would surely follow suit.
Nevertheless, and especially as I had a short bob for about thirty years, I dreamed of playing hairdressers with my daughter’s hair, regardless of its thickness. I bought rainbow coloured ribbons, polka-dotted slides, velvet hairbands and bobbles of all shapes and sizes.
Unfortunately, after waiting five years for her hair to be long to enough to really play with, I find myself at a loss as to what to do with it. If I’d grown up with long hair, it would come naturally to me; alas, I am completely inept with hair styling.
Last week I was fretting about lunchbox envy, now I’m concerned with hair dressing skills. All the girls in my daughter’s class have beautifully crafted heads of hair. Delicate, intricate and ornate; each one a perfectly manicured arrangement rivalling the spell-binding hats of Ladies Day at Ascot. I look at my daughter’s mangled pony-tail and cringe. The other mothers must think I only have use of my feet, as surely no one with actual hands would create such a catastrophe!
I am utterly shite at styling anything. Hair, make-up, clothes, soft furnishings! I think I might be the first human man to have a woman’s voice and lady parts. I just can’t seem to do girly things properly. However, in the past, this was acceptable. It didn’t really matter if I gathered up my five strands of hair into a twisty thing at the back of my head, no one really noticed. My husband has long since accepted the woman he lives with has hair as fine as space dust. But things are different now. I don’t want my daughter to have crap hair because of a) my clumsy, fumbling hands and, b) her inherited air hair.
My daughter wants to have hair as long as Rapunzel’s, which does present me with a future problem. The longer it gets, surely the harder it becomes to style, not to mention the increased risk of attracting nits (am yet to deal with the impending infestation of head-lice – although I do keep checking). I wonder if there is a ‘How to Style your Daughter’s Hair’ course at my local college. Surely, there must be other mums out there who wonder how to plait hair with finesse.
Luckily, as my husband doesn’t want my daughter to be teased, he has started styling her hair in the morning. Hopefully he can start on the lunch box next week.