Big hair – crimped, curly, glossy or just plain messy – is the height of fashion just now. In fact, this is a summer staple along with white clothes , for example, and floral print. Autumn/winter – sleek and soignée. Spring/summer – teased and tousled. Same as it ever was.
The catwalks took the lead. Christian Lacroix and Louis Vuitton went for loosely kinked and aggressively sculptural respectively. Gucci and Ralph Lauren opted for a high gloss, long, Carmen roller curled look. Fendi gave the world a style that appeared not entirely unlike a bird's nest piled up upon models' lovely heads – albeit a highly accomplished one. And so forth.
For those lucky souls who are able to change their locks in alignment with seasonal fashion whimsy, that is all well and good. With the help of lotions, potions and various appliances big hair is achievable by many. Others have to make do with hair that is big, curly, messy, whatever, depending on the day, weather, effort put into it, day in day out.
In the past, my permanently mop-like tresses have been described as a crowning glory – they have also been compared to everything from the gnarled branches of a tree and snakes intertwined to candyfloss and old rope. Speaking as someone who has found everything from dried leaves and cherry blossom (quite romantic?) to cigarette ends (not even remotely romantic) hidden in its depths, it's safe to say that appearances aside, bad things can happen when your hair is big.
Product can make or break a woman. And while every head of hair has its own needs, here's what's in my bathroom – both of the long-standing and current crush variety.
The Phytospecific range is the former. Part of the French Phytologie stable, everything from shampoos to conditioners and – in particular – Moisturizing Styling Balm have tamed my more unruly moments over the years to perfection.
New to my collection meanwhile, is Toni & Guy's Organic Lemongrass Shampoo and Conditioner which not only has a miraculous effect on any frizz – yes, my hair almost looks chic – but also smells like an earthly paradise.
Still, even with the help of beauty technology big hair has to take the, er, rough with the smooth. Solace may be taken in the fact that it is not only attention-grabbing but also, on occasion, even iconic.
Take the crimped, flame-red tresses of Sonia Rykiel. For her fortieth anniversary collection, the French designer invited others to design garments that they felt encapsulated her contribution to fashion over the years. Martin Margiela's was a crimped, flame-red jacket the colour, texture and volume of which were all dead ringers for her hair.