Crimp off

Straight hair is like so out. Which is a pain in the bum-bum if, like me, you are naturally poker-haired.

I’ve been experimenting with many a weird and wonderful device (and method) to beat my wave-less barnet for about a year. With all the massive, in-yer-face trends that have taken hold (jumpsuits/hareems/military/maxis….) it just seems wrong to have all that obsessively straight and sleek stuff going on up top.

I was also put off it last time I went up North. It was Leeds, this time last year and, I swear, every single girl had identikit straight locks. There were GHDs in every loo, the faint scent of Charles Worthington’s Dream Hair hung in the air at every club and bar. I even found a handbag-sized bottle of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny in the bog ( which was swiftly pocketed, but then I have magpie tendencies when I am under the influence of a few cocktails and a large group of inebriated women).

Anyway, after being surrounded by straight-a-rama, I pretty much decided that trying to shiny-up my already-straight hair with ceramic plates was to be no more. And Cheryl was rocking an enormous wig at the time too (I must point out that I do not require extensions to create Chezza’s silhouette – my natural hair is mahoosive). What more encouragement did I need?

But un-straightening the hair ain’t easy people.

Velcro rollers take hours (seriously, hours) and no way can I sleep in them. They also fall out, which makes me twitch.

I’ve watched my hair stylist like a hawk, but I’ve never been able to fathom how to curl my hair with GHDs at home, and my £5.99 curling iron, again, takes forever, and while it desperately tries to curl-me-up I have visions of it exploding into flames and burning me to death (God, I’m so dramatic).

I’ve settled on three major solutions: number one, heated rollers for big hair. I’m not quite sure how the ancient gadget I’ve got is looking after those split ends, but appaz, the way forward is The O, which was devised by the same peeps who invented GHDs. It sounds posh and exciting – so I’m in. It’s on the Christmas list.

Second solution is the old fashioned way…sleep in plaits. It results in a sort of uneven, just got out of bed Carrie Bradshaw look (or on a good day, like Madonna’s style to the right), but I do like rocking the plaits through the day on occasion too (and if you clocked the shoot with Dree Hemingway in this month’s Vogue, you’ll see that she was wearing her plaits very nicely – particularly with the beautiful bobble knit jumper by Topshop Unique).

Third, and best of all, I’ve got new crimpers. They are so fast I can’t believe it. Even my ridiculously big hair is done in less time than it would take me to make a cup of tea (I always sacrifice tea breaks for fashion faffing).

I’m writing a book about 80s trends at the moment (you’d better all buy it!) so I’ve gone a bit 80s crazy. But there is something deliciously zany-yet-stylish about crimped hair. It makes me think of good things and bad things all at once (and I like that); Christina Aguilera being madder than mad in the Lady Marmalade video (he-he-he-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh), Halloween costumes with added bite, my entire adolescence…

So now I’ve got my crimpers I’m going wild. Mixing crimped sections with straight, bits up, bits down, little samples of hair furniture thrown in there somewhere…crimping makes you go a bit bonkers (not that I needed much encouragement).

Right, I’m off to find a plug socket…

Some lovely catwalk crimps from earlier this year:

Written by Johanna Payton