Saturday, 7 January 2012

Deflating the Deathhawk

There are tutorials all over the internet on teasing, spraying and drying one's hair into the great tangled crest beloved of goths and deathrockers - but if, after you have petrified your hair to defy gravity, kept it there with touch-up spritzes and backcombing sessions in the loos, danced the weekend away and then decided to return to a more civilised appearance only to discover that you're going to need a MUCH stronger comb, what do you do*?  I once tried a detangling spray but it only seemed to make things worse and, bizarrely, stickier.  Here's what I doing right now.

YOU WILL NEED: Wide-toothed comb, deep-conditioning hair mask, clarifying/deep cleansing shampoo, patience and a bit of time to spare.
  1. Detangle any 'easy' bits carefully.  Take your time over this - hacking and tugging away with the brush will lead to serious extra damage and potential bald spots.
  2. Get in the shower and SATURATE.  
  3. Grab a bottle of deep-cleansing shampoo and work it right into your scalp's birdnest, taking care not to be so vigorous as to further tangle the hair. Rinse thoroughly, repeat.  Detangling is mostly difficult at this point because there's so much dried-in spray, so you need to get that OUT.
  4. Wring out excess water, coat the lot in a deep conditioning hair mask.
  5. (Optional) Apply ultra-sexy shower cap and go watch an episode of your favourite TV show.  I'm watching a re-run of the old Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes, Hound of the Baskervilles.  This has no effect on my hair but makes me feel sophisticated.
  6. Once you've left the conditioner in for 5-10 minutes minimum, you can either rinse and get on with detangling or begin to comb out the tangles whilst the conditioner is still in. Start from the ends, work towards the roots.  There will still be knots dotted about, and you don't want to suddenly snag one and rip hair out.  They shouldn't be hard to undo though, whereas before you would actually save hair by cutting it out.
  7. Enjoy your hair in its natural state.
  8. For goodness' sake, don't do that to your hair again for a wee while.  Use hair pieces or clips or something else to decorate your head, but give your poor hair a rest.
 Pictured: pure, unadulterated essence of goth.

*One thing you could do is improve your backcombing technique so you don't end up matting.  But we all make mistakes or overdo it sometimes, and that's what this is for.