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Noura Al-Migren – Fall 2009

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Noura Al-Migren – Fall 2009 (360 Words)

Karl Nessler, I Take My Hat Off to You

I never had a hero, not a real one that is. I guess by the age of nineteen you start to realize that superman or batmen don't count anymore. Nineteen, ah, that’s the age when questions start lining at your door; not your house but own bedroom. They bang very loudly in request for immediate answer. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go through that. My personality settled a long time ago, yet somehow my hair seems to wonder on its own accord. It is curly at the roots, straightens and then waves- no definite form. Disastrous and chaotic are rather a dramatic way of putting it, but if you were in my shoe, you'd see that it's an understatement. I fear every shower, dreading what shape it'll take this time; a daily struggle I'm willing to give up. It was surely the time to take a firm decision and show my hair who is the boss. That tragic pile mounting my head will turn into lovely curly bangs all by the magical effect of perming.

In 1906, the answer to my prayers was invented by the genius efforts of a German hairdresser named Karl Nessler. A permanent wave system. How easy is that? The whole process starts with you understanding your own hair; is it resistant hair, with good elasticity, or does it prefer the other way around which is straightening. Mine was still a raging teenager so I had the priviledge of taking that decision on its behalf.

The second step is more cautionary. After reading and understanding the directions, comb your hair and get all the knots out. Then shampoo it using a rich protein conditioning treatment. It is recommended not to use a heavy conditioner which may prevent the perm from setting. Avoid wraping your hair in a towel and combing it because at this point your hair is vulnerable. Instead, carefully blot hair dry. Perm chemicals are not designed for use on the skin. Always wear gloves that will resist the chemicals and remember to protect the skin around your neck, face and scalp using a petroleum jelly like Vaseline. Then the magic begins.

Split your hair into four equal sections and place the rods which determines the tightness of the curls. Apply the perm solution beginning at the scalp. Carefully massage it into all your hair. Keep the solution at the correct temperature and leave it in for the amount of time needed for your desired effect. After rinsing the perm solution out of your hair completely, apply a professional neutralizer which will re-form the broken proteins in your hair.

Finally, towel dry or blot your hair with extreme care. Hold your head upside down and shake it gently. Be sure not to let the towel damage your new born curls as it will take up to 24 hours for your perm to set. And now, flood your hair with loads of TLC.

To some people, this process may seem too harsh on the hair, but to me it was the perfect solution. That unnatural thing that used to crown my head belonged to the world of nightmares, not the waking world of senses. But not not to worry, it's all water under the bridge now. To every girl out there who is struggling to mannage her hair, I have four words: put your foot down. And to you Karl Nessler, I take my hat off.

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