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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wigs, corn rows, dyes and straighetning irons.

image This post starts off with a self picture of me. No, it’s not because I’ve run out of ideas; I have plenty of those I tell you, Plenty!

Today, I insist on telling you a story. Ever since I was in school, I’ve always wanted to keep long hair. That wasn’t allowed in school, but I did it anyway! And then I had my hair cut off by the teachers and also generated a disciplinary report so thick, it almost broke the school budget because they had to buy so many log books.

Finally after SPM I was free from the constraints of all those rules that they make just to mess with us, and I let my hair grow out a little bit in the few months of idle bliss. During this period, I put truck loads of chemicals in my hair and abused it so badly that if it had been a person, I’d have been sent to prison for life. But, having purple hair even if it was only for a month was totally worth it.



You may now fall off your chair.

And since I was already drowning my hair in various products of dubious origin, I tried other colours too:

image Yes, I straightened my hair. Thank goodness hairs don’t have nerve endings.


The day the SPM results were announced, I went to school sporting cornrows. It’s a good thing I had pretty good results, otherwise I would have just ended up looking like a rebel good for nothing angsty teenager. Of course, the education department of Sabah did call my school’s principal subsequent to my newspaper appearance to congratulate her on her my success, but actually his main purpose was to ask her “why is his hair like that?” Quite evidently, I did not fit the stereotypical image of a top scoring student. I might add here, that one of my teachers actually told me to put on a songkok, so I don’t embarrass the school. Naturally, I would have none of that, and proceeded to showcase my unconventional look in all the pictures that were to make the front page in the news the next day. Even then, great pain was taken to fade out the pictures so that my hair could not be seen. Fine, you win!


They even forced me to wear the school uniform… 

After celebrating my total bad-assness, I began the tedious process of filling out countless forms to apply for scholarships, always using the following photo for each application:


This probably explains why I didn’t get that many replies

 to my scholarship applications.


Thank heavens; I was called for a JPA interview (most likely because a photograph wasn’t required for the application). But then, I had to cut my hair in order to look more conservative for the interview. So I reluctantly had my hair shaved off, and totally nailed the interview, and that’s how I’m in France now. Shout out to the tax payers of Malaysia, and the Government!  


But I digress. Less about mundane things such as scholarships and interviews, more about ME!


When I got into college, I was glad, thinking that I would finally be free to let my hair grow long and wild, but that dream was quickly shattered during the orientation week when I learned that they have rules against that sort of thing. You know, just for the fun of it.


And so for a while, my hair was short like this


One day, I got bored, and then this:


And once again, despite being forbidden,I grew my hair out anyway, and by the second semester, it was once again long enough to braid into cornrows:



Some time during the third semester, my hair was getting quite long, and somewhat unruly. I didn’t know what to do with it, so instead of spending 10 ringgit to trim it short, I spent 250 getting it permed!


The perm


Which reminds of a little side story: You see, I didn’t tell anyone that I  was going to curl my hair, so when I got back to the hostel after my trip to the salon, my friends were taken by surprise, and I remember one of them asking me “Hakim, you spermed your hair?!” Which instantly created vividly unappetizing images in my head.


My hair continued to grow and grow, until at one point, it was so huge, I had to tie it up because it obstructed the view of the other people in the class. It might be a bit difficult to imagine, so let me help you:


I told you it was huge.


By this point, it was too long to be ignored, and attracted significant attention from everyone (not that I ever complained). The administration began warning me about my hair, and insisted that I keep my hair short.


You know that I’m a good, disciplined person who listens to authority. I’m not a rebel at all, so of course, I took the necessary steps to comply with the college regulations and dress code. I did the most logical thing, and bought myself a wig!


It was a hassle, definitely, having to put on the wig every morning before heading to class, and then having to wear it the whole day, but I persevered, and that’s how I made it through the final two semesters in MFI. All my course mates and my lecturers knew about the huge secret I was hiding under the wig, but they’re all awesome people and didn’t say a word about it, other than how ridiculous my wig looked.


There were many challenges along the way; times when I had to wear the wig for extended periods and when it was unbearably uncomfortable, but I stuck with it. My hair grew longer and longer, and at one point, even I was amazed that it could all fit into that tiny, tiny wig. I’m pretty sure there were days when I was in a rush to put it on and then it looked completely absurd, but that didn’t bother me; I never lost hope!


I had to wear my wig during the really long exams, as well as for every official function and all the times I emceed an event. Here are a few of those occasions:


image image


You cannot even begin to imagine what a pain it is to wear a songkok on top of that wig.

And still I managed to smile for the cameras.


During a briefing from JPA


In March this year, we all had to attend a compulsory five day BTN camp, and during the whole thing, I had to hide my long hair lest it be chopped off. Never before had I worn my wig for so many hours in a day! We got up really early every morning for exercises, and we only went to bed around midnight, so I was wearing my wig for up to 18 hours a day. I wore my wig during all the rigorous exercises, and even ran 2 kilometres with my wig on. Needless to say, my hair became so terribly smelly that every time I took off my wig in the dorm at camp, it instantly filled the room with the most putrid smell imagineable. It was so bad, the smell didn’t come off for at least two whole days after that, even with rigorous shampooing.



I brought an extra wig, just in case.


Perhaps most absurdly of all, was that I wore a wig to my graduation ceremony. My superior writing skills are not sufficient to describe the hilarity, so here are some pictures:

image image

I think it looks realistic enough, right?

Now, finally I’m in France, and there are no more rules against having long hair, so one of the first things I did was spend 100 euros to get my hair braided:

image image

Absolutely necessary expenditure.


Of course, having long hair does come with a few small problems, like hair fall (which can really mess up a room), for example:


Not one of my best hair days.

Well, that’s the story I wanted to tell you all about today. Now I leave you with a few pictures which I just couldn’t figure out where to fit into the story.


This is when I straightened my hair.



Me wtih spiky hair



After I had my hair shaved


And as soon as it was long enough to dye without poisoning my brain cells:



drifter said...

Hahaha! I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Especially that before and after picture! I think I like the cornrows best.

But, why do you want to keep long hair?

Hakim Bin Luqman said...

I'm not entirely sure, but I've wanted to for a long time.

I think it's partly because I like changing up my look once in a while, and long hair is more versatile, since it can be styled in so many different ways. I can tie it up, braid it, straighten it and do all sorts of things with it.

Plus, it looks really great when it's blown by the wind.

I'm looking forward to see whether long hair will provide warmth during winter.

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