When my daughter was born I named her after a princess, not a modern sloane ranger, but one from early history, in the days when if you fancied owning the country next door you got yourself a few soldiers and strolled over the border to inflict bloodshed and suffering. In fact the princess I named her after came to a sticky end, but that was not the point. The point was to give her a name that wouldn't let her down in case of future fame.
I didn't expect, or even want my daughter to become famous, but just felt that your name should make you ready for anything and like Reg Dwight, you shouldn't have to change it to Elton John just to stop yourself looking a tiny bit silly. In the year of my daughter's birth it was like a Little House on the Prairie fest. Chuck a shoe in any direction at the local nursery and you would hit a Megan or an Amy, I wasn't having any of it.
My daughter grew up with the hair of a princess too, amazingly blonde, leading me to wonder if there were Nordic genes somewhere way back in my blood line. That, however, was where the princess likeness ended, with a wardrobe of jeans and checked shirts, a disgust with the idea of make up and a love of martial arts my daughter's hair just got in the way.
Many years before my daughter was born I trained as a hairdresser, but my heart wasn't in it, and it bored me the instant my training was finished.
Now you have guessed where this is going... She begged, she pleaded, for weeks we negotiated; a bob perhaps? NO. Let's do it in stages in case you don't like it? NO. "I want it all off, and I want it spikey!"
I gave in:
Now you can't just cut long hair straight into short layers, it is too cumbersome to hold, so you first chop the length off. "Make sure you keep the hair" said my daughter. Aah I thought, some emotional attachment... "Yeah," she said "I hear you can sell it". Good grief.
So off came the length, and I felt afraid of teenage backlash, we all know they beg for stuff then blame you later. My daughter's favourite speech starts "I hate you all, I was adopted..."
But no, she didn't bat an eyelid, and turning back was no longer an option.
Trying not to think about the fact that it was over 20 years since I did a re-style like this I cut the back. It looked good and I started to relax.
Before I knew it we were done and there was enough hair on the floor for a make-your-own-guinea-pig kit.
Now I don't normally place pictures of my daughter's face on the internet, but since she is nearly 17 and a brown belt in karate, and has commenced training in kung fu I think it is pretty safe. Whether anyone else is safe is debateable of course.
So here you go, a quick hairwash and half a tube of gel later...
and the teen is re-born:
To my endless relief, she enjoyed the double takes her teachers made as she strolled through the sixth form corridors next day and the general celebrity of it all. It suits her far better than I thought it would, and 2 weeks later she is still happy. Plus I no longer have to untwine a horrendous tangle of hair from the rollers of Henry hoover each week.
You see, some fairy tales do have a happy ending!