Of Hair Washing and other such important stuff…

When I got married at 23 or was it 24, anyway, this was when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I had hair that fell to my hips. And was the kind that could have been used as a lasso in a crunch. And while it was of no Rapunzel quality, read non silky, non cared for, it was a royal pain in the butt. For one, we live in Mumbai. A city that is synonymous with sticky, given the humidity percentage in the air. And one needed to spend approximately two hours either on the way to and fro to work. Therefore, the hair would need to be washed on an almost everyday basis. And would never dry. And therefore, I took myself to the nearest salon and got the lot chopped off to shoulder length. And breathed a deep sigh of relief. Needless to say, the mater in law went into instant mourning and refused all  nourishment in the proper way as prescribed when a dearly beloved family member passes away. For days together I was looked at with red rimmed eyes spitting anger and hatred. I didnt really notice, I was too busy washing my hair.

And for all my woman of the world demeanour, I really did not have a clue that washing of the hair, had, err, other implications. Therefore, my hair was washed everyday, much to the consternation of the household and the neighbours. Me? It was just a hygeine ritual like brushing my teeth or having a bath, I didnt feel clean until my hair was washed, and I still wash my hair every single day, even today. Being the dimwit I am, this conversation with a neighbour left me completely perplexed and about to consign her to the loony bin, until bells of realisation just rang recently, to my complete and utter knees shaking mortification:

Scene: I emerge  from home, freshly bathed and hair washed and gleaming wet on my shoulders.

Neighbour hanging aimlessly out of her ground floor apartment, with all knowing smile: Ah, so you washed your hair today?

Me, with the absolute innocence of One Who Did Not Know: Yes, I wash my hair everyday. And sometimes if it is very hot, even twice a day.

Neighbour cracks smile even broader, showing very very yellowed teeth: When I was newly married like you, even I would wash my hair everyday, now I wash it maybe once in months.

I automatically move two steps behind in horror: How can you? I cant bear not washing my hair for even a single day. Even a quick wash is enough if I dont have time to shampoo and condition it.

Neighbour rolls out corpulence still encased in floral nightdress, from behind door frame: Arey, kya karen, abhi to wash karne ka mauka hi nahi milta hain.

Me, utterly revolted by what I perceive as disgusting hair hygeine, and getting on my self care soap box: No wonder your hair is in such terrible condition, you have to wash and condition your hair at least thrice a week, or youre going to have no hair left to condition. How can you not wash your hair for months….

And then, while walking off, saying kindly, “Try to wash your hair at least twice a week now.” And perplexed at the broad smile and the wink thrown at me.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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21 Responses to Of Hair Washing and other such important stuff…

  1. SM says:

    till i read your post, i too had no idea of the other, err, implications of frequent hair washing – but it is depressing that i could perfectly understand what your neighbour was trying to say – have i become that old???


  2. Bhavna says:

    Ok I am dumb…but I dont get it or maybe its so obvious that I dont get it???


  3. Amrutha says:

    Lol…Implications of hair-washing indeed!! I wonder how many people got the point… 🙂


  4. BlueMist says:

    Oh she related hair washing frequency with ….

    ROFL ..too much !!


  5. babiesanon says:


    You know what hair washing means in the South – it usually means you finished your period! I never knew of this other implication (read as firsky activity for those who didn’t get it) until now!

    Totally wierd.

    By the way, Kiran WOW, you wash your hair everyday *knowing leer*


  6. babiesanon says:

    frisky not firsky bah


  7. myamusingmind says:

    hahahha..too good and funny !


  8. Priyanka says:

    Rotfl!! I never knew this one! I came to know after my marriage about the never-wear-the-same-night-clothes-after-your-bath thing.. It had me in splits!
    Your neighbor must have spread the hair-washing word around your society.. imagine, not newly-married and washing her hair every day!!! 😉


  9. shilpadesh says:

    Really u wash your hair when you ____ ___ ? Really?


  10. M says:

    LOL! Yes, I was aware of this “other” implication – actually, it is the main implication in certain S.Indian circles 😀 The fact that it actually cleans hair is incidental, believe me 😀

    In times past (I hope! I don’t know any young brides) bride would be sent off for the wedding night with the admonition to not appear the next morning without washed hair!



  11. Suki says:

    What? Really? Washed hair implies THAT?
    Nuts, I tell you.
    Alternatively, bollocks.


  12. LOL !! how many times a day u wash your hair????


  13. Sonia says:

    Kyaa I totally didnt get it :((


  14. Deepa says:

    uhhhhhhh! Didn’t get it, dumb me. I wash my hair every single fricki…n day too. ‘fess up, whazzit?


  15. dipali says:

    I only learned of the Southie implication recently!
    And yes, I have to wash my hair every day too:)


    • Kiran Manral says:

      SM: LOL.

      Bhavna: You didnt??? You innocent virginal thing, you 😉

      Amrutha: Im sure many did…

      Blue Mist: 🙂

      Poppy: *leers right back* Yup I do.

      myamusingmind: 🙂

      Priyanka: No, no, this was when I was newly married. Now we live in a tower, where we dont know who the next door neighbour is…and no one would dare comment on your hair even if you make a mohawk…

      Shilpa: Really. You do. Or you are supposed to do. If you are good devout wimmin.

      M: Young brides today would have to wash hair na, so much of hair spray and stuff in that helmet head for the reception, would be a given.

      Suki: Comes from times when the woman of the house had to light the diya and do a puja after her bath and therefore had to be ‘pure’ for said task.

      Itchy: It would be thrice a day. *Looks nonchalant*

      Sonia: Not yet?

      Deepa: As per Southie and some Northies, you are supposed to wash your hair the morning after you have sex…

      Dipali: Behenaa!

      Es: 🙂


  16. es says:

    ROFL…didn’t get it until i read the comments 🙂


  17. Sands says:

    who would have thought? Wouldn’t have crossed my mind at all!!


  18. Serendipity says:

    Didn’t get it till I read the comments. Seriously. 😛


  19. hehehe. i didnt know this one. i had heard about the suhaagrat milk one. apparently if you guzzle the milk on the suhaagrat it means you done it. else, not. the family then proceeds to investigate the said cup. argh. terrible this is


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