Hair – especially for you Françoise.

Just before I left on this adventure, I met a fabulous woman, Françoise. She is the epitome of elegance, beauty and quietly effective strength and bravery. I have great admiration for her.  One of our conversations concerning my worries about the trip meandered to girlie issues, as you may have read in an earlier blog, my hair was looming in my mind as a really big issue.

How would I cope with unwashed hair? What would it look like!? What would I look like!?

Well, after nine months of “hair” I can assure you that it is no longer an issue. In fact, after the first week it no longer featured as a concern. After all, there is no mirror on board and everyone else is in the same situation.

There are however a few hair moments that I’ve gone through.

One starts each race with clean, (relatively) beautiful hair. It may lack a little style not having been cut for months, and it may be a rather odd colour thanks to the sun and sea water. But it’s clean.

windswept hair

windswept hair

More often than not tied in a ponytail or plaited. Depends on how my mood takes me and which head gear I choose to cover my hair. The ubiquitous beany hat. Light weight or thick depending on the temperature. Great for keeping salt water out of your hair for the first few days, and in effect keeping your hair in place.

However that then leads to “hat hair”.

soon to be 'hat hair'

soon to be ‘hat hair’

One then passes onto “sweaty hair”, particularly in the tropics when during an off watch period in your bunk you’re left with sweaty, frizzy, squished flat to the part of your head you’ve been sleeping on kind of hair. You may choose to brush your hair, which usually at this point has become trainee dreadlock hair, requiring delicate handling in order to prevent either the brush sticking in your hair or great chunks of it being painfully pulled out. Bob Marley would even be impressed with the easily soon to be dreadlocks.

Squall hair – torrential downpours that may last a few minutes to several hours, very often accompanied by strong winds. Think Yorkshire terrier dumped in a bath kind of look with the jet engine strength of the wind whipping the hair into differently sculpted forms. An interesting look that then moves into the sweaty hair phase once more. Another rasta protégé.  However, it is fresh water, and if lucky, you may even capture enough water to dunk your head in a bucket and actually wash it. Luxury!

storm hair

storm hair

Storm hair – the “I’ve been on the foredeck changing a headsail and have most of the ocean over me” kind of look. As it dries the stickiness of the salt leaves chunks of hair stuck together. See note re dreadlocks for the subsequent look.

Not to mention that once you have salt water in your hair it remains damp. Your pillow is then damp and remains so for quite some time. Well, until the damp solidifies and you end up with a crispy pillow. Nice.

And once in port it takes at least two huge great dollops of shampoo to actually feel as though your hair is clean. Your fingers are covered and tangled in long strands of hair due to the lack of something in one’s diet. Hope I won’t end up bald! And rather than use a hair dryer, I tend to leave my hair to dry naturally in order to give it a break. That’s after I’ve coated it in large quantities of conditioner. I never realised, dare I say, appreciated, that I actually have extremely curly hair. Think poodle with paws in the electric socket kind of curly…

loving 'boat hair'

loving ‘boat hair’

I’m now resigned to simply accepting it is how it is. I’ve only paid for two haircuts in nine months. Not bad going.

Toni and Guy could market a whole new brand of hair products. After all, who needs ‘bed head’ hair gel (or is it wax) when you could have squall, storm, or even hat hair gel looks.

Bah, no choice really.


1 thought on “Hair

  1. Francoise Andre

    Hi Alyson, I was just thinking of you,and having a little time I looked back over your blogs, to my surprise I had messed the one about hair care!!! I look forward to seeing it on your return,but I bet it looks as beautiful as you are.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s