Tuesday, August 22, 2006


The young women in the picture above were part of a singing group that appeared on light entertainment programmes throughout the 1980's. One of their number was "disappeared", possibly due to a David A. Stewart-related coup in the Wag Club circa 1984.

The fact that it was now acceptable for women to walk around with hair that looked as if it been dried in a cake blender (including dried up cake mix) made my 1980's slightly easier from a tonsorial point of view. The introduction of rudimentary hairstyling products like Boots' Country Born hair gel (which left huge clumps of bits of dried green plastic stuff on your scalp and smelt rank) at least meant that you could wash and go with something resembling The Rubbish Styles That People Have In Magazines.

As the 1980's dragged on, hair grew BIGGER and BIGGER. Even my unbelievably normal sister-in-law used to have a big curly perm. I have seen the photographic evidence. Carole "Oh! Eyes Wide! Like A Child In The Form Of ... MAN!" Decker and Julia Roberts embodied the look of the day. If I used enough mousse, hair gel and spray and backcombed enough, I could achieve massive hairness without the aid of a perm, and it looked even better after a windswept walk in the driving rain. At last I felt free to be meee, even though I had created a twenty mile hole in the ozone layer.

Then, inevitably, the dark days returned. Long faced, beige all over Jennifer Aniston cast a scrawny shadow over the 1990's and we were back to neat, tidy, flat, glossy hair as a fashion statement. Hair straighteners were supposed to be compulsorily used by every woman, regardless of age, hair type, race. Presumably now you are supposed to travel from door to door by taxi so that you don't have to encounter any sort of adverse weather condition which will encourage those awful kinks in your hair that will make you a laughing stock to the pinch faced, undernourished fashionistas.

Except I've had enough of it. I'm too old to care about fashion anymore. I will never own a set of hair straighteners. If you want to accuse me of looking as if I have put my finger in an electric socket ... well, so be it.

I probably have. Just for a larff. Hahahaha.

Betty, did you have a Peter Sarstedt moment at the end there?

In Florida I would drive south for hours,to Boca Raton and the only person outside Miami who could cut curls. He was Cuban and there was a constant line of Jewish and Latin ladies waiting to see him. We worshipped him.
The hairdryer (WMD to curls) rules here. You will NEVER see a woman with curly hair on TV news/weather/anything remotely serious.
Yeah, it was a Peter Sarstedt moment. My loveliness goes on and on, heh heh.

Exactly (it's something I ended up ranting about in the my last comment on the previous post). Where ARE the hairdressers who can cope with curly hair?

Too true about television presenters as well. I saw one news presenter with curly hair. After a few months she succumbed to the straightening irons and it just looked WEIRD - didn't suit her face. But I'm sure it proved that she was a professional who was in control, hem hem.
But then how did the lovely Kim Delaney in NYPD Blue manage? Maybe it's one of the reasons she developed a drink problem.
Exactly Rob - here's a mugshot of her after a drink driving charge:

Well, typing that lot out would drive you to drink but: NOTE THE BLOW DRIED STRAIGHT HAIR!
I'm glad that there was that brief period of 'big hair'. It was fantastic. I have really, really thick hair...but it is straight as well..so it is unmanageable and horrific in the mornings. Once...I was in Blackheath and thes two trainee hairdressers came and dragged me off the street (were they trying to *tell* me something I thought) they offered to *do* my hair for free. It took them three hours to repair it. And they just said at the end of it all, 'I think it's time you started to *think* about your hair.' I thought they were so brutal and honest that I left them a ten quid tip. Needless to say...I never went there again.*

Big hair rocks.

*The relevance of this story is unknown. I do apologise for my crap anecdotes.
i did the hair straightener thing for about a year. then i noticed that, in every photo of me, i looked as if i'd spammed my hair to my head with lard, and that, on reflection, i was accompanied at all times by a smell of singed cat.

now i am frizzy and proud! yeah!

*adjusts cleo lane t shirt*
Molly - hairdressers always used to wince and say to me "ooh, your hair is luverly and NATURAL" by which they meant that they couldn't do anything fashionable with it, and the best you could hope for was to end up looking like a born again Christian.

I always think having really thick hair would be great - it grows really quickly and is bouncy and shiny and stuff. Still, I suppose it causes its own problems ...

Surly Girl - there are those really hard faced women who have ironed flat, blonde hair with stripey bits that seems to accentuate the hardness. I should imagine you have to use loads of serum and stuff. Doesn't it end up getting greasy a few hours after it's been washed?
The Barnarnars were quite sexy, even if the concept of harmony completely eluded them.

I always thought 'guilty as a girl can be' sounded like 'guilty as a cocoa bean'.
I was watching the film 'Cast Away' the other night - Wilson had very 80s hair towards the end.
my teenage daughters go nowhere without hair straighteners - they did mine ONCE - I looked like an Afghan Hound - enough to frighten the horses. I'll stick to being an old English Sheepgirl.
Garfer - I'm sure the concept of Harmony hairspray didn't elude the Bananas.

Ah, Robert De Neerowz Waitin, Towwkin' Itawyunn. Dead profound.

Arabella - haven't seen the film, although I was in the 1986 movie Castaway. Apparently.

*rolls eyes*

Ziggi - interesting concept, the hair/dog coat comparison. I'm looking a bit collie at the moment. New shampoo. Not enough conditioner.
Big Hair! It's not so bad is it Bett. the secret to all of this is to cut loose from all this fashion bollocks and head out into the freedom of eclecsia.
Do your own thing and bollocks to everyone else. It's not like your on the pull is it. And even if you are there's always loads of the male equivalents out there looking for partners who don't give a shit.
What about Moira Stewart - she's a newsreader with big hair
I realised that curly hair must be back in fashion again recently because everybody finally stopped asking me "Don't you straighten your hair?" all the frigging time.

No I fucking well do not. I don't own a hairdrier either and I never get colds.
Tom - I suppose Moira Stewart is a newsreader with big hair, but it's not styled naturally in an afro, is it? Then again, black newsreaders seem to be even less common than newsreaders with curly hair ...

Spinsterella - "I don't own a hairdrier and I never get colds". Are the two connected? I wonder, because I very rarely use a hairdrier and I very rarely get colds ... all that artificial heat applied to the scalp reducing your ability to withstand germs ... give me a few years and I might be able to work this one up into a Nobel Prize winner.
Betty, when are you going to show us the evidence?

One of the things I miss about Belvedere is Anne, who used to do my hair down on the Lower Road, at one of those salons with the punny names. She was the only one who could handle my baby-fine flyaway locks with any degree of consistency. They get mullered up here.
Richard - hairdressers are absolutely not to be trusted. Except Sheryl-Marie at Herr Flikks in Barnehurst. She does a lovely head massage as well.
I think it's time we actually SAW your hair, Betty dear. I dare you.
Now - I've been away from Engand a long time...but is there really a salon called Herr Flikks?
I really hope so.
Probably is Arabella, it sounds real enough. My Dad used to go to one in Ashford called either Banana Split or Banana. I tried and tried for years to work out the stupid pun but it's lost on me.

The baby hair isn't too bad, I get two styles a year, long and short bedhead. If I shave my beard I get rough-hewn thrown in (it really is baby hair, like a head full of spider's web).
Can I just interrupt all this hair-related wotnot to say "Keren" in a slightly plaintive voice?
I just have to come back here and say...what a brilliant last line.

And I have to say that I have laughed so much over your last post where you say, 'I'm helping the police with their enquiries' line. I was thinking about that in bed last night and giggling.
Mark - ooh, no. What would if it add to the sum of human existence if anyone saw a picture of my hair?

Arabella - I really hope so too.

Richard - Wasn't called Bananarama, was it?

Tim - talking of which ... blokes always say Keren was their favourite one. I always thought Siobhan was better looking, but perhaps being married to Dave Stewart made her about ninety per cent less attractive.

Molly - to be fair, the last couple of sentences are nicked from Peter Sarstedt, gawd bless 'im.
I don't own a hairdryer and I get colds all the time.

Wot, you don't own a hairdryer with that quiff? Hanging upside down from the lightfittings for an hour and a half drip dry job is it?

That's what is affecting your sinuses then. It's alright for bats to hang upside down, but not human beings.

*except in some circumstances. Fnarr fnarr*
Betty, this post and your comments are hilarious. Thank god I had short hair in the 80's because my hair goes 'big' all my itself. I can't imagine if I actually gooped it up and made it go bigger, I'd never be able to make it through the door.

I'm with Mark on the photo thing...would love to see a picture of the mysterious Betty and her amazing curly hair.
There is a photo of me somewhere with a home DIY David Bowie/Serious Moonlight era perm/quiff...

....I am wearing braces too...

Is it any wonder I am in such a desperate place???????

fikpfyy? Like *that* really helps...
This is a true fact right! The percentage of female bloggers with BIG HAIR is twice the average over the entire western world. That is why, if anyone ever asks you to put money on what a blogger looks like always, always, go for big hair.
Kyahgirl - well, if I don't use any product my hair looks like rats' tails because it's so fine and flyaway, so hair mousse, wax, gel, anything is necessary. Which means it gets really BIG. No logic behind it, but ...

Bob - you think that's bad, well, I recently bought some red shoes in the Primark sale because they were a lot like the ones that symbolised capitalist oppression in the Let's Dance video. I doubt that I'll ever wear them ...

Tom - you may be right, but, as I've never met any bloggers I can't confirm if this is true. If so, maybe it's down to all the static that rises up from computer screens.
cue: Robert De Niro is waiting, talking Italian..
.oh how I loved my bright blue vinyl Banan!

I laughed every time I watched them show up for the Feed The World video. The Bananers looked like they had just been dragged out of a whorehouse at 6am on a Sunday.

You are so right about 'the rachel'.. what is the look now anyway? My teenage daughters seem to be content with good ol fashioned long hair? Who knew.
Oh, that Live Aid video - most of the people on there were coked up to the eyeballs. Allegedly.

Teenage girls always seem to have more or less the same length hair and style during whatever era. One teenage girl, somewhere in the world, must have decided to grow her hair long and then the rest did. Who'll be the first one to get it cut short?
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