And here’s why – it’s literally on top of your head, yet somehow as every Sri Lankan girl will tell you – it’s the last thing on her mind.
Mostly because doing anything other than the same ponytail or bun you’ve had since high school is seen as far easier than experimenting with a style, and have it fall miserably flat at the mercy of the elements.
Clearly, living in a hot and humid country like Sri Lanka does us no favours. The weather is practically designed to thwart all your attempts to be stylish and have hair that is on point with the rest of your look. What’s worse, is that for most girls – just shampooing your hair, i.e cleaning it, and knotting it up into whatever’s convenient is all they care to know. Stylish hair has always been associated with a big occasion, like a wedding or a fancy dance, and not a feasible every day thing.
So, what we do? We stick to textbook hair ‘styles’ – buns, ponytails and braids. If you have it loose around your shoulders, chances are there is a hair band around your wrist when the stray hairs start plastering to your face.
But here’s a little secret we’ll let you in on. Styling your hair isn’t complicated or devastatingly permanent – like a radical new cut or colour you’ll be stuck with for the foreseeable future. It’s a simple flick this way or a twist that way, and it makes a world of difference.
And why should you care about all this? Because your hair happens to be the ‘mane’ event in how people perceive you. That’s right – messy hair can say a lot more than ‘I was in a rush’ or ‘Tuks hate me’. It can cost you someone’s confidence, bring your attention to detail into question and by extension, make you seem ‘not very presentable’ – which is not just a Sri Lankan phenomenon of aunty thinking you could do better. It affects what kind of job role you might end up in, or whether you’ll be chosen to front something new at work or college. Image is everything – and hair is a huge factor in it. Obviously.
So let’s start working on how you can make sure just letting your hair down doesn’t let you down.
Naturally, our hair has a pretty fine yet dry texture. Our hair tends to shine less and frizz more. It’s not a fault of our own, but it’s just how this weather and water has affected our hair. Some people have very thin hair. There are plenty of volumizing products out there – consider using one specifically meant to make your hair good for styling. If you have more manageable, thicker hair that isn’t going to frizz at the slightest bit of humidity – the battle’s half won.
If you ask ten people why they won’t colour their hair or have daring haircuts, at least half of them would give out the answer ‘People would stare’. Yes, as a nation we are scared of what the public would think of us if we had anything that resembles Western culture. We are scared our parents would scream, our relatives would ‘talk’ and that people on the road would point and stare. So here’s a cheat – don’t be drastic. Not because you’re going to just take preconceived notions and cultural hang-ups lying down, but because permanent changes like a super daring haircut or a flashy colour mean you’ve got to live with it for a while. And if you’re sure – that’s great. But most of us change our minds all the time. So styling is an effective alternative. You can be a different person everyday, without being stuck as the person who decided to go for blue tips with a shaved side last week.
This is completely understandable.
Derived from the extensive love we have for our hair, we are scared to do anything that would damage even the tiniest strand. But unlike a cut, which means losing length or colouring that means some chemical alterations, styling only involves minimal intervention. A clip or a tug at most – but doing it cleverly has the power to transform you from ‘going to the supermarket on a Sunday’ to ‘powerful career woman’. Hair, when maintained well, is a great way to pull a look together. It frames your face, girls – and it’s literally one of the first things people see. So start paying attention to it.
You’ve got to have it. Just think about it – you’re a clever, interesting, fun person with a diverse lifestyle. But do you look the part? Do you evolve your appearance to the occasion? Girls are lucky in that we can do that. We can experiment and enjoy changing it up, especially with our hair. So, go ahead. Adapt your look to your mood, where you’re going, who you’re meeting – be a style chameleon and don’t live the same day twice – this is your time to be adventurous. You’re not as boring as your hair says you are.