Network: Jenny Eclair on...My Technology - The high-roller: I think big hair requires respect

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The Independent Culture
MY ELECTRIC rollers are so old and filthy, covered in dead skin and hair. They are the sort of thing I have to hide because they do look a bit obscene.

They are easy to carry; the travel pack has 10 rollers. Then I have a very sturdy, larger set with 19 rollers for maximum bouffant effect. I started using rollers when I was about 15, and was instantly transformed from a sweet-faced 15-year-old to a 40-year-old divorcee. I never had any trouble getting drinks.

I was forever leaving the rollers on and having a panic half-way through the disco. But I hated my mum and dad so much that I didn't go back to check if the house had burned down.

They are not too great for the condition of your hair. Every time I go to the hairdresser's they threaten not to bleach it because it's on the verge of snapping off at the roots. It is not just neglected; it's been abused. I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near my hair.

I like having two looks. My hair is very thin and very small naturally, so when I am not working I tend to put it in plaits and look like Heidi with a premature ageing disorder; then if I want to do the full-blown Eclair that requires a big hair-do. I can't go on stage without full hair because no one would notice you, and I think big hair requires respect. It's a tradition that comes from Nashville, where rather insignificant women would use rhinestones and big hair.

I am incredibly swift at doing it now; I could knock it up in 10 minutes. It's the only exercise I get. I put them in and back-comb and have Fatima- Whitbread-style biceps from that. It is then lacquered,to the point where it could stand being in the centre of nuclear fallout or a night on the piss with me (which is a bit similar). There isn't much skill involved; like everything with me it looks OK from a distance.

People try to tempt me with curling wands but they are just not the same, and foam rollers don't really work - you need to burn your scalp. I reckon, if it doesn't really hurt, then it doesn't work. Anyone who has dead straight hair wants curls. Every girl should have a set.

The other thing I use is a telephone permanently welded to my ear. I don't approve of mobiles; mine is gaffer's-taped together. I have a pager as well but don't know how to set it - it's full of old messages. I am absolutely clueless. I still can't set up the ironing-board. A complete Luddite.

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