My hair and me…

I have always had a love hate relationship with my hair. For one, I grew up believing I had the worst, most terrible hair that God could ever gift a human being, it being the heavy, coarse, monstrous version that only an indulgent mother herself with hair the texture and appearance of a Brillo pad would ever sit down and painstaking comb it out, and plait it out into two thick ropes that would hang right till my hips when I was in school. By the time I entered college, I freed myself of the need to plait my hair down to a long rope by adopting the easier hairstyle of the bun. Imagine. I went through five years of college with my hair bunned up at the top of my head in a top knot, looking more like the librarian than a young funky collegiate. It took the advent of a boyfriend into my life, current spouse, who finally dragged me off to a stylist and got me the first hair cut ever of my life. A midwaist length layered style that suddenly liberated me in a way I cannot explain. Since then, the hair has been at a relatively constant length and style, between shoulders and waist length, in layers, and the kind of look the mater says looks the same combed out or uncombed. Kinder folk would call it the bedhead look, I don’t believe she meant it in quite such a complimentary way. Once the length was gone, and the freedom set in to experiment with the dead foliage on my scalp, I did go a little wild. I coloured my hair with the deadly method of using bleach to give myself highlights and then gooped on henna onto those platinum blonde highlights to create reddish highlights back in college, I got a perm done that made the hair more Afro than the gentle rolling waves I had been promised and I refused to show myself in public for a couple of days until I could bear to look at myself in the mirror. I grew my hair out to waistlength and got an entire head of platinum highlights done, contrary to the advice of the horrified stylist who kept insisting a mousy character like me should stick to browns but, if I may say so myself, the platinum rocked. I loved it, and if Malinga thought he had pioneered the look, he has a rethink coming on. Then the greys started making their presence felt as is befitting a woman nearing menopause, and I started needing to look at colour not as a fashion statement but as a genuine article of camouflage in order not be taken as the child’s grandmother, rather than natural born mother. Ergo, much of my one monthly efforts to keep myself looking presentable do involve slathering on oodles of colour onto them incriminating white roots scattered randomly across the hair. I have been a product junkie of sorts, I pick up whatever pack catches my fancy. Have used the LOreal Excellence, Garnier Nutrisse, Casting, Revlon and even Streax. I consider myself a relative expert at hair colouring these days, ergo when I was invited to be part of the Wella Kolestint event for bloggers, I must say my interest was piqued. What could they tell me about colouring my hair that I didn’t already know. I had been colouring my hair, DIY and salon, now for well over two and a half decades. Ergo, I went with an open mind and lots of questions. Which their expert, Natasha Naegamwala (of Nalini’s) answered bravely, and with a fantastic sense of declamation that kept a pack of curious women hooting with laughter throughout.
I did try out the pack of hair colour they gave me the very next day. (What can I do, I am a product addict, I must use a new product right now this very minute or die) What I loved about it? The precolour hair protectant which one spreads through the length of the hair to ensure even colouring. And the post colour conditioner, which as Natasha had promised us, was divine. The colour itself. Ermm. My hair isn’t looking any radically different. It’s definitely feeling better though. Did I get noticed as they promised me? They had some interesting statistics on how Indian spouses never compliment their wives, and my spouse stayed firmly on the side of the majority even after the application of said colour. Would I recommend Wella Kolestint? Definitely. The hair texture and sheen is definitely miles above what it normally is after other colour, and I say this with a non prejudiced glance.
As for me, I think I need them platinum highlights put right back in, and the hair cut to a length I’ve never had before, maybe chin. The hair is currently really boring and blah and too much good girl for my liking. I think I’m having a midlife hair crisis.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral is a writer and major social media influencer. After quitting her full-time journalist’s job when her son was born, Kiran became a mommy blogger on the internet, with a remarkably original voice. She was a journalist at The Asian Age, The Times of India, features editor Cosmopolitan, India Cultural Lead and Trend spotter at Gartner Iconoculture US, Senior Consultant at Vector Insights, Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV. Kiran is currently a celebrated author and an independent research and media consultant. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards for Literary Contribution in 2017. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) supported by the Ministry of Women and Children, Govt of India, awarded her the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing. In 2021 she was awarded the Womennovator 1000 Women of Asia award. In 2022, she was named amongst the 75 Iconic Indian women in STEAM by Red Dot Foundation and Beyond Black, in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, and British High Commission, New Delhi. Her novella, Saving Maya, was long-listed for the 2018 Saboteur Award, supported by the Arts Council of England in the UK. Her novels 'The Face At the Window’ and ‘Missing, Presumed Dead were both long-listed for Jio MAMI Word to Screen, and ‘The Face at the Window’ was showcased at the South Asian Film Festival 2019. The Kitty Party Murder was shortlisted for the Popular Choice award at the 2021 JK Papers TOI AutHER awards. Her other books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids-The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, True Love Stories, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting, Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change, More Things in Heaven and Earth and Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India. She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey, Boo, The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018, Grandpa’s Tales, Magical Women and City of Screams. Kiran lives in Mumbai with her family. Social media handles Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Linkedin:
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19 Responses to My hair and me…

  1. Asha says:

    Hey Kiran – if you are looking to change your hairstyle, try this site first – fun to see how different styles can change your entire look 🙂


  2. MinCat says:

    oooooo! Do you live in Delhi? I have this amazing haircutter (though i imagine hed rather call himself a stylist) called sam at the affinity in GK1 N block. i have fairly unmanageable hair and have wanted it short for ages and he not only had the courage to chop it off but did a lovely job, so now i feel all glamorous, and my forgot-to-comb hair look is now stylishly messy, and even my dad doesn’t say, go comb your hair!


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Alas and alack, unfortunately live in Mumbai…found a good neighbourhood parlour and got a chop chop done finally.


  3. sukanyabora says:

    love hate is how i would describe my hair too. i am an experimenter too, have done all sorts of crazy stuff to my hair. the only thing left now to do is to shave it off completely. but i have no guts , hence no glory.

    when i was in college, my parents would call once a week to check on me and the first thing my mom would ask without even asking how are poor hostelite daughter is doing (yeah, sob sob) is ‘did you do anything to your hair?’
    i am also in the blah stage now…and wouldnt be surprised if i think of doing something really drastic. thankfully, hubby dear reins me in everytime such thoughts go through my mind.


  4. I tried platinum highlights on the insistence of the hair stylist though I wanted reds. But they ended up looking great! Now I usually go for the same shoulder length cut, cause I really like it. I have very thick curly hair too so I know how you must feel.


  5. Jaya says:

    go chin-length. something they say about short hair making you look younger 🙂


  6. vish says:

    nice post….i like it!


  7. Writerzblock says:

    Ha ha ha – ‘midlife hair crisis’ 🙂 I am not blessed with great hair,but I’m letting it grow now, and quite enjoying it!


  8. Sonia says:

    Whatever ;)) i insist as always that you remind me of Dimple Kapadia – in terms of hair :))


  9. Pingback: Get noticed like Bipasha Basu with Wella Kolestint hair colour | Alice wandering…

  10. Pingback: Get noticed like Bipasha Basu with Wella Kolestint hair colour … | wella

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