This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a part of the 30th birthday celebration for Nadia, one of the awesome girls that make up my team at work. This girl happens to be Scouse – for those of you not familiar with British lingo (it’s a never-ending learning process for expats like me) that means from Liverpool – so the rest of the team and I packed our bags and legged it up for the weekend.
Suffice to say, I was pretty eager for my first Northern night out. Anyone out there who is a closet-fan of TV reality series Geordie Shore will understand said eagerness. As a general rule, the further North you go in England, the more you’ll find that “glam” is not just a word, but a way of life. Let’s be clear, this word is very much open to interpretation, but when talking Northern glam, think fake tans, hair extensions, false lashes, manicured hands, and sequins and sparkle on everything the light touches. There’s even such a thing as a Scouse brow... just Google search it. It’s serious stuff.
Like the first time you do anything that requires a certain level of dressing up, I didn’t want to over-do it, so when Nadia told me how dedicated Liverpool girls are to the art of glam, even going around the city with their hair in rollers, I took it with a grain of salt. Well, about five minutes after stepping out of Liverpool Station I saw it with my own eyes. Rollers. Rollers everywhere. (Check this out if you don’t believe me).
Soon after arriving, my workmate Tala and I decided we needed to up our glam game, so off we dutifully went to get some falsies on our lashes and some polish on our nails. Turned out to be a great decision actually, we had some quality banter with local girls and got an immediate sense of what Liverpool locals are like (conclusion: they’re awesome). We were definitely getting there, but we still needed something more if we wanted to stand a chance of blending in. While we didn’t have rollers to hand, luckily, Tala had pre-empted the need for last minute va-va-voomage, and she delivered the curls, using the somewhat quicker heated curling wand method. Genius.
So this was the end result, and while the lashes and layers of makeup certainly made me feel glam, I just can’t get over how much I loved the curls. There’s something about curly hair that is so friggen’ pretty. I’ve always admired it on others but I think seeing it on myself provided the true moment of conviction. I know girls with curly hair always say they wish they had straight, and vice versa – the grass is always greener, right? – but genuinely, I think curls are the best.
And so, on Saturday night the three of us made our way out with a head full of curls. It was so interesting to see how the exact same curling process – heated wand + hairspray – created such a different effect for the three of us, each with a very different natural hair type. Tala used the wand to enhance her natural loose curls, and they stayed obediently bouncy and beautiful for the rest of the night; mine were pulled down by the weight of my long hair, but as it is naturally wavy and quite thick, it held the curls well; and my friend Amélie’s hair, which is naturally straight (we’re talking that flawless straight-as-they-come type), didn’t hold the curls as such, but took on a soft beach-wave look which was to die for.
Same curler, very different results for 3 different hair types. I love them all though!
Curls - natural or otherwise - come in all shapes, sizes and colours, but I officially love them all. I now just need to master the art of curling my own hair... a process I aim to attempt and record “for the blog” over the coming weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I might need to take some lessons from my cousin Lisa – just look at that head full of curls she’s blessed with! She even has some curl tutorials worth checking out on her YouTube channel – I love this one in particular.
I remember a curly-haired friend of mine once saying people don’t take you as seriously when you have curls; she said it’s hard to look professional and be taken as seriously in an office environment, and she felt people considered her more immature. If this is the case, I think we need to change the perception, and applaud women who are embracing their curls. Sure, corkscrew curls were made famous by golden girl Shirley Temple, but just look how hard she rocked curly hair as an adult too... Hot damn.
Shirley Temple proving she could wear curls and look just as gorgeous as a woman, as she did adorable as a girl
And look, I know that everyone says Taylor Swift looks more grown up and chic and blah blah blah since chopping all her hair off and wearing it straight, but I kind of loved her with curls. Not the manicured country curls she became known for... I’m talking vintage Taylor, when she let her natural mane of wild Goldilocks hair run free. I mean, that hair was pretty amazing.
I know not all of us are graced with curly-haired genes... luckily for me my boyfriend Jesse is, which potentially bodes well for the future... check out his sister’s curls in the pic below and tell me her hair is not all kinds of magic. Just because we’re not all lucky enough to have the genes of dreams though, I’ve put together some of my favourite famous curly-haired women to inspire us all... with a little work nothing is impossible! While the whole Northern-glam get-up was definitely too much effort to repeat except on the most special of occasions, I have officially fallen in love with curls and will be perfecting the art of curling in the coming weeks... Watch this space.
Jesse's sister Emma and her glorious head full of hair. What is this magic?!