On… your teen hair

I am on a quest to get my teen hair back. Thick and long and dark blonde.

Unfortunately, years of torturing it with straight-up peroxide sheep dip (I can only assume it was sheep dip?) and tight hair elastics and bobby pins, plus a dash of the ol’ babies-make-your-hair-fall-out curse, resulted in torn, split, meth-addict hair like this:


I do not want hair like this.

I want hair like this:

Gemma Burgess 1995

(This is me! But young.)

So, over the years I’ve used this, which is magic but results in hella bird nest hair the next day, and this, which is ace for a nice strong lift at the roots, but you can’t run your fingers through your hair without getting them stuck to your scalp FOREVER so you can’t do this, not to mention this, which is, obviously, the aim. I also used this, which I liked a lot, but the brand had some bad press for making hair fall out and the last thing I need is LESS fucking hair.

Most importantly: none of them fixed the main problem. My hair just gets thinner and limper and more pathetic and defeated by life towards the ends. (And yah I already cut it all off once. All the way up to my collarbone. It was still crappy and I couldn’t put it in little braids around my head, which I really like doing. So that won’t be happening again.)



I discovered IGK 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo And Texturizer. (In answer to your next question: yes, I am a curious little thing.) Get in the shower, squeeze a little 1995 on your head and smush your hair around so it feels a bit like a clay hair sculpture, then shave your legs or scrub with this magical thing or do whatever you need to do in the two minutes that it takes 1995 to work. Then rinse it out. Your hair will feel sort of swollen and bloated. In a super-sexy way.

Here is where we get radical, kids. The instructions say to just use this and NOTHING ELSE. Maybe that’s fine if there’s any chance your hair might spontaneously do this, but I gave up that dream a few years ago. I need a little slick and shine. So I use a quick dash of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner.


I’m suspicious of conditioners, like all people with fine limp hair should be, but I tried the Living Proof one when I couldn’t get my former favorite Shiseido Shining one and lo and behold it’s pretty damn good, Jennifer Aniston is not lying to us.


Then I smush this Evo Easy Tiger Straightening Balm right out of the shower, brush my hair back and two hours later, this is my hair.


For me, this hair is about as good as it gets.

(I took this photo this morning to send to a friend to tell her to buy the 1995 stuff, then I thought, oh actually I should post about it, and I didn’t re-take the photo without the wastepaper basket or with make-up because… well, because I am lazy and I have to get back to writing an outline. By the way, I think outlines are my least favorite part of writing. Especially since when you actually start writing the thing, whether it’s a book or a movie or a TV pilot, it tends to just go where it wants to go. Characters decide to be total penises or utter heroines. Surprises just appear on the page. You’ll be writing a scene and get this weird feeling like something needs to happen, like when you’re eating a meal and it needs more salt or pepper or something, and boom, an idea pops up. It’s like you walk into your own Westworld and the entire story is happening around you in real time, and yes that sounds pretentious, but it’s true. HOWEVER. Outlines get you paid. And it is extremely helpful to have a map of the journey even if I take a couple of side roads on the way to the destination. So, off I go.)


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10 thoughts on “On… your teen hair

    1. GemmaBurgess Post author

      oooooh – please let me know how it goes, it sounds AMAZING. i too have tried so much – plus all the damn supplements (biotin, etc…). good luck!


    Same ! Pregnancy, child wrangling, multiple international relocations with said children, wine, old age and current tropical location of Singapore have destroyed my once thick, lustrous long hair. Thank you for the heads up on 1995. In return can I suggest Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy Regime. Not cheap, but I have tried EVERYTHING and this has actually worked. Maybe purchase from somewhere like Net a Porter or Look Fantastic so as not to be de-railed by the testimonials from women of a certain life stage on the PK website.

    1. GemmaBurgess Post author

      Thank you SO MUCH for this tip!!! I am ordering it Now!! I don;t know how but I only just saw your comment – forgive me, I am the worst, when you google ‘define the worst’ a picture of me comes up.
      BTW I went to Tanglin School for a few years :)


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