Let’s get this straight…

blow-dryAs World Cup fever grips the nation I’ve decided is time to embrace the Rio lifestyle and I’ve got myself a Brazilian – blow dry that is. And I have to say it’s changed my life. First of all it’s introduced me to Hoxton the ridiculously trendy part of London that up until now I’d only visited at night and under protest. I usually feel out of place in somewhere so self-consciously edgy and cool. Can’t think why.

But on a sunny sultry June afternoon walking out of the station past the glorious gardens of the Geffrye Museum, an East-End institution that celebrates British decor through the ages, it was like discovering a whole new town. Instead of warehouses whose wooden doors have been deliberately distressed and the walls artfully half-rendered to look shabby chic by some over-priced self-indulgent creative who has just discovered Paris and has to force his new-found taste on an underwhelmed world, I found proper painters drying their canvases in the sunshine outside proper unmucked around with railway arches.

I was venturing East thanks to a voucher for the aforesaid Brazilian at Joe Franciosa’s G Salons in Shoreditch, a present from Cleo who was sick of me complaining about my frizzy tresses. Joe guided me from the station by phone, greeted me like an old friend and then plied me with iced coffee while I fired up my laptop to download the voucher, which I obviously had forgotten to print off.

The whole process took about two hours as my hair was washed, dried, painted section by section with something that smelt faintly as if it should be painted on to dented car panels to keep the rust off, then blow dried, straightened and voila. I left the salon feeling ten years younger, thanks to the lovely Liverpudlian stylist, Taneshia, who looked like a supermodel and made Paul O’Grady sound slightly slow. Sample, “I love London but some of the people are so miserable – they wouldn’t crack a smile if they saw a cat dance,” all said while dispensing advice on how to care for my new style.

“Keep it bone dry for three days – so don’t wash it, don’t get it wet in the shower and don’t sweat.” Followed by the slightly scary, “And don’t tie it back, put it behind your ears or do that,” she said warning me not to put my glasses on top of my head. “You’ll get kinks,” she said, happily taking before and (reminding me to take an after…) photos without batting her beautiful lashes.

She sent me on my way with a bottle of Keratin-friendly shampoo and conditioner and “just a trim” because although she didn’t say so, before her handiwork, I was looking less like Gwynnie and more like a blonde Ramone.

I got home just in time for the school run where I was showered with compliments about my new glossy look, though some couldn’t quite place what was different about me. One dad, who I say hello to every single afternoon almost walked straight past me saying, “Sorry I didn’t recognised you with your glasses on.” (He has never seen me without my specs.) So now all I had to do was look after it. Easy enough – till I woke up the next morning with an urgent appointment down the road with a Monsoon in full flow outside. “Why are there never any brollies in this house?” I ranted, threatening to go out carrying Katy’s Moshi Monsters one till I found two telescopic ones in the bottom of my handbag.

My Brazilian and I survived the downpour and the twice daily hair straightening and by Monday it was still collecting compliments, which of course I had to ruin by being needy and saying things like, “Really? You don’t think I remind you a bit of Garth from Wayne’s World,” which at least one person connected to just a leeetle too quickly for my liking.

Yesterday was the day of reckoning – I could finally wash my Keratin-treated hair, but that meant I also had to dry it and attempt to straighten it. Of course it also coincided with Katy’s geography homework day (identify five things you would take with you to the desert). The night before she’d talked me into doing it by recreating the Sahara in cake form (one packet of Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake meets one packet of Rich Tea biscuits and a rolling pin – eat your heart out Katy Reddy). But let’s just say, what with finding the rolling pin and digging out the camel from the Christmas nativity in the shed to decorate it with, there wasn’t an awful lot of time left for “styling and finishing”. But I thought I did a pretty good job, considering. Till I got home and Cleo greeted me with, “Mumma you’ve got a kink – why didn’t you call me?” Well, let’s see – could it be because the last time I borrowed your hot brush it shut down in a cloud of singed hair and fused the downstairs lights? Or because this morning you told me “I hate EVERYONE – no offence”? and oh yes “You’re in the middle of A levels…”

Did I say that? No, I trotted off into her room for some last-minute coaching and emerged ten minutes later sleeker and glossier and ready to take on the world. Vamos la Brasil!

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn 

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