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Friday 4 December 2015

Secret Un'lock'ed

“What’s your secret?" you ask. “Which one?” I wonder. Okay, I’ll let you in on one of mine. It’s a simple secret, a black and white one, with grey notes, brown undertones, blonde overtones – don’t get me do you? 
Plain speak: Talking about luxuriant, sleek, perfect tresses, that are sadly elusive to me. 
My Secret Un‘lock’ed – I don’t have the perfect crowning glory! Rather far from perfect, it’s my crowning fury!

Bet most of you are rushing back to check on my profile pic now….no big deal, looks normal you say as you return back, well, continue reading this.

Being born with incredibly robust tresses is something people would crave for! Yes, mine are of that kind, super thick, each strand could put to shame a copper wire of comparable thickness with its tensile strength! That just about sums up all I can muster to say good of my mane! What follows is a relentless tirade on the traumas these innocuous-looking locks have subjected me to! Have you noticed, stress, distress, mistress are all very painful words with a common thread or should it be a common tress running through them?

Firstly, I firmly believe my locks are not inanimate fixtures passively sitting atop my head. These are wily creations with a life and agenda of their own, not in sync with mine! How else do I explain their total insubordination and unruliness in the event of a special occasion, where presentation is all that matters? They don’t appreciate surprise parties or spur of the moment outings. Their disfavor is on prominent display on such occasions, with warring bunches of them, each turning away from the other in a huff. The resulting tangled bush is left to me for sorting into some semblance of order! These Ascetic-locks don’t favor any glitz or sheen; they prefer the dull, lifeless, dead, dry look! No amount of pampering with oils, conditioners, hair-spas, serums works on them – just bounces off these, thick-haired jerks!

Oh! The embarrassment at being asked, why my hair looks like it came out a washing machine after spending considerable time and money on it at the beauty parlor!

What’s the big deal with these leading hair-care brands making glamour queens like Dimple Kapadia, Deepika Padukone, Shilpa Shetty look even more ravishing after using their products? I vehemently challenge any of these brands to try pulling off their stunts by showcasing my hair!
(Guys, I know, you would have preferred larger-sized shots of these beauts, but I didn't want that kind of major distraction to take you away from my tale!)

Hold your hair folks, I am just gettin’ warmed up here! That’s what happens when you keep secrets bottled up too long…they come out in a frenzied gush!

Being unruly, temperamental and insubordinate is just the tip of the iceberg. My locks have tressmatized me a lot more than my fair share of suffering! A fraction of these highly opinionated heady-keratins, decided that they were done enough with donning the plain old 'black label'! And voilĂ  very considerately, batches of them started trending in glamorous greys! Their fellow hairy-pals soon caught up with this new trend, slowly at first, but very soon it was a rage! How enraging, especially when you are in your eligible twenties! Well, there was no looking back to boring old black now, was there? Greys were in and here to stay, and mature to sparkly-silver! Premature greying….boo-hoo! 

Not a big deal, I said to myself, bolstered by the fact that many of my friends were facing the same Grey Revolution on their tĂȘtes! We unanimously subscribed to age-old weekly remedies of ‘henna-eggs-tea-beetroot-in-iron pan’ concoctions that were liberally and religiously applied and held onto for hours, to add color to the dull greys. Beautiful streaks ranging from chocolate, burgundy, crimson, rusty orange to even pale yellow that displaced the erring greys and these I flaunted with much panache!

The revenge the greys vented was unprecedented, unsporting and totally uncalled for! Slowly yet steadily, they multiplied exponentially, their roots getting stronger. On the other hand, the poor feeble noirs were steadily dwindling in numbers as they were the ones to be ousted from their roots during each combing session, while the brawny greys-turning-white smugly held-on!

Did you know it is incredibly difficult to carry off flaming red hair on an Asian-Indian skin-tone, especially when you are just in your early thirties?! Sigh! Yes, I was resigned to doing just that, but then one day, things got a bit out of hand! 

When the erstwhile ‘Didi’ calling vegetable-vendor started calling me ‘Bhabi’ I had felt elated at the promotion. But when he addressed me as ‘Auntyji ’ I was in shock! That old geezer must have been at least sixty, and he was calling me ‘Auntyji’?? The words ‘Auntyji’ resonated long and strong, very filmy but true, as it threw me into deliriums of soon being upgraded to ‘Mataji’ status!

That was it! I resolved to resort to chemical hair-warfare (a.k.a Hair Dyes/Colors) to fight against the grey insurgency situation. After all, if Aishwarya Rai resorts to it, why shouldn’t I? 

Have you heard of Para-Phenylene-Diamine also known as PPD? No you haven’t? Apparently, it is an intrinsic chemical component of all Hair colors, like the heart and soul of the whole hair-coloring product! And I am certainly not digressing here, as I am personally not a fan of anything vaguely scientific-sounding! 

After undergoing a terrifying ordeal of severe allergic reactions, ranging from severe scalp-itching, swelling up of the entire face to resemble a graphic balloon, steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for a month, followed by very strong reprimands from the Dermatologist to refrain from using any brand of Hair-color containing PPD ever again, I had to concede that I would never be able to have a mane like Ash! 

A tip I would like to share, post my debacle: Patch tests are mandatory for all first-time hair-color users. 
Such useful warnings always come in unreadable font sizes, and I am just following that principle!

That was a bitter blow and ‘the unkindest cut of all’ from you, my dear unfriendly locks!
Go grey, go white, but resorting to such offensive reprisals, far-out Allergy reactions against your own poor beholder? 
*Read this to a background of depressing songs - any of Adele's*

Well, I am done fighting with the Grey-Rebels, and have now made peace with them, their proliferation, insurgency everything, peace is all about tolerance isn’t it? I live with them, just accepting them as evidence of my growing...errr…maturity! Still, I am not bold enough to carry off a silver head!

The 100 brushings before bed is a myth - trust me. I nonchalantly qualify my hairstyle as the in-vogue ‘Out-of-bed’ look. 
If people insist on persecuting me further, I throw up my hands in mock despair and say, ‘One of those bad-hair days, you know!’

So how is it that I look so dapper and raven-haired you ask? (Go check on my profile pic yet again!)

That is another ‘secret’, the result of a very magical and ‘secret’ formula that I have personally devised after much research – no help from Hermione Granger mind you! This elusive formula will be shared only with fellow unmanageable and unwieldy haired, certified PPD-Allergy sufferers! 

And no sniggering, my profile pic is neither 'photoshopped' nor am I wearing a ‘toupee’ or a ‘switch’- it’s my own Crowning Glory!!

Any of you folks out there, who has been equally/more tressmatized
Do share your woes and scary-hairy-tales.....Misery loves Company!!

This post was written in response to a #WritePrompt #WhatsYourSecret from @blogchatter - a wonderful platform for bloggers from every genre, that encourages, motivates and educates on everything blogging!

Copyright © 2015 KALA RAVI

No thanks to my toying around my post on my mobile, I managed to delete a lovely comment on it from Alka Gurha. Thanks Alka! Gmail thanks for saving it:


  1. Stil better than a bad spot :( !
    Really funny post :)

    1. Definitely better than that! Thanks Prateek :)

  2. Kala you have written about such a close topic to almost anyone... ever since I have come down to Pune my (s)tress has gotten worse :| Anyways here's hoping all of us move to better hair days la :P

    1. Hey Richa! Glad to know there are many more sailing in the same sorry boat! Yes Stress can indeed Distress the Tress! Amen to the mythical 'Better Hair Days'!

  3. Hahaha! Excellently done.

    Well, my hair problems vanished long ago - along with my hair :) A tale that I chronicled in 'Yet another hair-raising tale' :)

    1. Went on to read your 'Hair-raising tale', verdict,one can tolerate bald men better than bald women! Thanks for visiting :)

  4. Hair problems! Argggh! I feel I have lost half my hair after moving to Bangalore. And my hair seems to have some agenda of its own! Whenever I have to go out for something that I am looking forward to, my hair ends up looking life a mess. And on days when I just decide to spend the whole day in my room my hair looks as if its set! Nice post thought. Thanks for letting out on something that is a secret for most of us :P

    1. Hey fellow-sufferer! Misery indeed loves company! Here's hoping for miracles and Good-hair days for all of us! Cheers and thanks for dropping by!

  5. You kept me hooked till the very end. Hair issues are something that is not easy to understand and dive deep into but you made this so much fun! Tressmatized is THE word, really, for me as well :( That was a wonderful read, Kala!

    1. Hey Arti, thanks for sharing that! Yes it is good that more and more victims are coming out to EXPOSE these treacherous tresses!

  6. I read this long back but sorry for the delay in commenting . great post but for old men like me I am looking for solutions for my receding hair line . I am well beyond bad hair days .

  7. Ah! I'm reaching the stage where my hair is falling fast and furiously. The time we spend on our hair! I wish I could shave it right off. ;)

  8. I hear you, Kala. I've been suffering from bad hair days from my early days of childhood and would do anything to get my tresses to behave, but alas they don't!!! Today, I can safely say, that after trying all sorts of measures to get them straightened and obedient, I've realised in this lifetime, we will never reach there, so have finally made peace with them. I loved your generous helpings of humour in the post, Kala. As always, a great read. Keep it up!

  9. Kala, sorry sweetie, but it was a hilarious account of your battle with the greys. But, also a sad story many will concede with. And, I am glad you stayed away from the hair dyes and colours. For, as much as those screen divas recommend those hair colours, you really don't know the actual condition of their conditioned tresses, do you? it's all for the camera and for the brand's publicity. After pack-up, those ladies too must be grumbling about their tress related woes!

  10. This is so true about bad crazy hair. I have faced this lost my brain and hairs over it. Done rebondings and all everytime some people are cool with it but the damages are irreparable. I just find temporary alternatives for few special days otherwise learn to live with it. I have had allergic reactions for my skin not hair but I can relate ro your trauma.


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