Some people have bad hair days; I’ve had a bad hair life. Starting when I head-butted a hairdresser “somewhere in Mayfair” who gave me a Dennis the Menace when I’d asked for a Kate Bush. My mum Maddie doesn’t recall the salon, just the embarrassment of being asked to leave without paying and a trip to Regent’s Park Zoo where a gang of monkeys tried to steal me.
Her punchline when telling this story is always, “Your haircut wasn’t that bad!” The brunette in a family of blondes, Maddie did her best to Blondie me but couldn’t get my locks lighter than banana; which clashed with the wee red blazer of my school uniform. I had to wear a balaclava until Aunt Irene the Slut bought me a Lolita wig in a porn shop when she came on one of her flying visits from New York where she lived in self-imposed exile away from the disapproval of her six sisters.
I still have Lolita, smiling in a shoebox, and when I’m fed up with the world and everybody in it I jump on my bed wearing nothing but the wig until my black mood turns to glee. Maddie and her sisters used to take turns at the kitchen table while I stood on a box; bleaching their roots with my pink toothbrush. I was trusted with the toothbrush until they went bald. Maddie seemed to have finally forgotten that I’d burned her scalp when she summoned me to do a makeover after my dad died. She can’t be seen in a salon. Folk would think she isn’t natural blonde!
“I can trust Baron Yoshimoto with a blow job, but when it comes to colour nobody beats The Baby,” she said, in between scoffing Black Magic and gossiping about people she hates. “Thank God I don’t have hair like yours, Baby. Your dreamboat daddy would never have married me.” My candyfloss hair stared back at me, hovering somewhere between Mad Professor and Weird Sister, in the twilight of her kitchen window.
At least straighteners are over. When everyone except me had hair like Morgan le Fey on her way to a wedding, I was always being asked if my hair was ironic. I dreaded the despair in the eyes of stylists wondering what to do with my barnet, and that horrible moment at The End when they show you the back view and you wish you’d kept your eyes shut. But this sad story has a happy ending; not just for me but for Chicken Man who used to live in my bin.
I’ve never been a fan of the brown stuff, but when Gill eulogised about Stemm, a brown hair treatment, I knew it must be pure amazing. I just didn’t quite believe it would work for me. But I tried it anyway because the guru never lies. A month later my hairdresser had an OMG moment. “OMG! OMG! Your hair! Your hair! OMG! Can I touch it?” God was being summoned because my hair has been transformed by Stemm; a holy trinity in three bottles: shampoo, conditioner and Density Stimuli.
“Aren’t you worried you might grow a beard?” the manservant asked. No. I’m not. I’m rubbing Stemm into my scalp not my chin. Though things other than my hair have been growing since I’ve been swallowing Fountain: the hair molecule. My nails could be used in an execution. I’ve been accused of wearing false eyelashes. And I have a new tooth pushing its way in, which the manservant examines with a torch.
“OMG look at the size of it!” he squeals. This is even more fun than trying to walk in my shoes. “Are people supposed to grow teeth at your age?!” Hair is welcome on the head but not on the legs. My invisible body hair is my reward for the fine hair on my scalp. The trade off for the manservant’s thick black hair is a body covered in beast fuzz. He’s been using Inhibitif, the potion that stops your hair growing, for only a few weeks and is already bolding about in shorts boasting, “My legs are getting more Likes than yours.”
As my Stemm anniversary approaches, I’m about to have the last inch of rat’s tails chopped off. I am no longer scared of the salon mirror. The downside is I’ve had to slap a few creepy types behind me in queues who “can’t resist” stroking my sexy, shiny hair. On my way back from the Balenciaga show, I was stared at on the tube by that grey haired model. I’ve forgotten her name; possibly just as well. Her hair’s so shiny it’s giving me a headache and I’m stressing about being bit on the bum because I came out unarmed with Unstung Hero which I normally squirt on my seat and everyone within sniffing range.
Was the grey model itching to ask if my brown hair’s ironic when everyone else is silver or pink this month? I was dying to ask if she uses Stemm. I’ve become a Stemm bore; gifting it to everyone including Chicken Man who now lives on a step having been evicted from my bin. He calls me Chicken Lady because I gave him a xmas chicken.
I transferred the Stemm into travel sized containers since he, literally, lives out of a suitcase. And gave him a bottle of sparkling Highland Spring for that crucial final rinse. Last time I saw him, he said, “Chicken Lady, that stuff you gave me…” He pointed at his shiny, smooth hair. “It’s magic!” No…it’s Stemm. And it’s what the world needs now.