As the reluctant owner of a head of ‘knackered hair’, I wish I’d been alive in 1984 and able to promenade my distressed locks with gusto. Trevor Sorbie, the celebrity hairdresser declared 1984 the year of terrible hair. In our archive issue this week the Observer delves into the trend for unkempt barnets and the newfangled technology revolutionising the hair industry.
You could make a strong argument that the definition of ‘good hair’ is as much based on condition as it is on style - not so in 1984. Simon Forbes, owner of London’s legendary Antenna salon, the birthplace of hair extensions, said: ‘My clients aren’t bothered about how their hair feels. That has been sacrificed to the cause of looking good.’ This sounds like a visit to his salon involved a lot of gel and a finished product that can only be described as matted.
George Orwell imagined 1984 as a year where humans were terrorised by technology and omnipresent surveillance equipment – in many ways he was right. Take for instance the ‘U’ view, a new-age contraption that salon-goers had never seen the likes of before. ‘At the push of a button, a screen displayed the cut of your choice superimposed on to your head.’ High tech indeed, except that, like a bad filter on Snapchat, the styles rarely lined up with one’s head.
These new devices may have not made the cut (sorry), but old hair grooming tricks such as vinegar rinses, daily shampooing and grandmother’s 100 strokes also faced the chop (soz) in favour of products creating ‘plastic-coated, hard-wearing hair’.
I’m sick of seeing manes of lustrous, gleaming hair in magazines, on the red carpet, on Love Island. It’s time we ditched the leave-in conditioner and embraced our horrible, dirty, knot-ridden hair. Imagine what you could do with the additional time! Go for a run, meditate, watch even more Love Island...