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I’ve got to be honest, Lent normally passes me by without so much as a hint of sacrifice on my part. But this year is different. If Jesus could spend forty days and forty nights alone in the desert, tempted by none other than Satan himself, then I decided I too could give up a little luxury to honour the great man. But what to give up? I wasn’t up for not eating for nearly 2 months, and being a student, giving up alcohol was just out of the question. I’d heard that Catholic bishops in Italy were urging their congregations to give up facebook, but I wanted to make a sacrifice, not ruin my life altogether. Then finally it suddenly hit me; I found something almost comparable to the struggle of living for forty days in the desert. I’d decided to give up hair straightners.
I know what you’re thinking – hair straightners, that’s hardly difficult, but you just do not understand. I am not blessed with the luscious locks of Cheryl Cole, its more cavewoman chic. Without a bit of straightening my hair looks like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, and that’s on a good day. Unfortunately I am not one of those girls that have a delicate curl to their hair, or even a simple wave, I have big hair that flicks out at right angles if its not properly tamed and kept under control. I’m not particularly high maintenance, contrary to what this article will make you believe, but my hair is something that has been a growing obsession with me since I first discovered the wonderful invention of hair straightners, and when, this Christmas, Santa Claus brought me GHDs, I had finally reached hair straightening Mecca. So now you understand, this is a real sacrifice.
So, Pancake Day last month was my last day of straightening. Before I went to bed I gave my hair one last straighten, hoping that somehow it would last until Easter, and laid the GHDs to rest. The night’s sleep was not a good one, with thoughts of matted hair and frizz keeping me up, scared about what tomorrow morning would bring. Shockingly however, that morning, the face looking back at me in the mirror was not adorned with hair resembling a birds nest, but my hair had somehow successfully managed to survive the night – little did I know however this was as good as it was going to get. The week that followed was the toughest, I tried various blow-drying techniques but nothing worked. At one stage, I was so desperate that I experimented with putting my hair up, but I have ears similar to that of Dumbo’s so the idea was soon abandoned. I was beginning to have a nervous breakdown, but it was nothing compared to the sheer horror that I endured when I realised I was going to have to leave my hair au-naturel on a night out. Not cool. A lack of styling mixed with a hot and sweaty club was not a good recipe, by the end of the night my hair seemed to have inflated. Ever seen the Friends episode where they go to Barbados and the humidity makes Monica’s hair expand? I would have been more than happy with that compared to what was resting on my head.
However, I’m now four weeks into my straightening ban and although I’m sure it’s blasphemous to say it I am feeling a sense of liberation. Loosing my straightening addiction means I can sleep for an extra twenty minutes in the morning, and without using so much heat on my hair, split ends and dry hair are a thing of the past. No longer do I have that sneaky feeling when I leave my room in the morning that I’ve left my straightners on, and that they are slowly burning my flat down to the ground, nor do I have to worry about burning my face (it has happened) when being to sleepy to straighten. It’s been a tough 28 days – yes I’m counting – but I’m starting to see the advantages of letting my hair do as it pleases every once in a while. But with just under two weeks left to go I am seeing a GHD shaped light at the end of the tunnel and I cannot wait.