Monday, 15 November 2010

Hairy Story No 1 - More "Hayrick" Than "Puckrik": Taking Katie's Mane In Vain

Earlier this year I went to the hairdresser's and asked them to sort out my barnet. I told them that if they could see their way to integrating the different tiers of the lank and straggly mullet I had somehow managed to acquire, that would be much appreciated. A bit of sleight of hand - or more correctly, "legerdeciseaux" - was duly deployed, but what made the biggest difference was the flamboyant blowdrying exercise, which miraculously jeuged up my hair into a blowsy edifice, perilously secured in place by a fine but glutinous mist. My hair was freshly washed, yet looked greasier than when it was dirty. That is the effect of the "product", without which none of this sticky spun candy floss effect would have been possible. Do I mean spun candy floss? Actually, that might be more for your backcombed beehives. Anyway, you can read more about the original transformation and its link with avocados, salt and Hawaii here.

Studying my reflection in the mirror at home, I decided that the hairstyle I had accidentally come away with had vague echoes of Katie Puckrik's curly bob, as seen in this latest video review of Marc Jacobs Bang: a kind of "Mock Puckrik", if you will, or "Muckrik" for short. Though as you may infer from the reference to hay in the title, it was very much "mock" in the sense of travesty. After all, mock turtle soup is traditionally made here with calf's head and feet, which sounds like a mockery of even mock turtle.

Yes, my hairdo, whilst faintly reminiscent of Katie's in terms of cut, was markedly inferior in terms of its wave definition and staying power. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the true Puckrik involves spectral rollers, supplemented by an arsenal of volumising products.

My money is on one or all of the following, which sound as though they would kick the crap out of any fine, flyaway, limp or otherwise disobedient strands of hair they found cowering behind an ear or, God forbid, trying to flick out in the wrong direction:

•Rene Furterer - Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Strong Hold
•Kerastase Resistance Bain Volumactive Shampoo/Mousse
•Helene Curtis ThermaSilk Volume Infusing Mousse
•Suave Professionals Amplifying Shampoo
•Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick Collection

But there again, Katie may just eat burnt toast.

Right, so my new hairdo may be a pale imitation of the real thing, but it is an improvement on the early feathered "Quatro" that was there before, which felt so right in 1974 - a time when even silver jumpsuits were no more of a head turner than a chunky knit coatigan today. I have been back to the salon twice and asked for it again by name - well, I've asked for a "Puckrik" rather than a "Travesty", obviously. Which reminds me of the time my mother sent me to Sainsburys to buy her a lemon. "Not just any lemon", she called after me. "Bring me back an 'epitome' of one." From that time to this, I only ever buy epitome-type lemons - you know, the ones with symmetrical knobbles at either end and a perfect Bronnley's lemon soap shape.

Reverting to our hairy story, Katie is aware of my low level trichological stalking behaviour, and seems reasonably relaxed about it. Possibly because the "Mock Puckrik" is frankly too poor a parody to pose a real threat of clashing coiffures. The 5500 mile distance between LA and The Midlands must also be a comfort. Moreover, even if Katie were ever to be based in London again, our locations would still not be particularly close, and remain separated by a perpetually congested section of the M6.

By a spooky coincidence, while looking just now for a photo of me in 1974 to see what sort of hairstyle I DID wear that year, I found this snap of my second cousin forklifting me into the air on bales of hay . It is hard to make out the exact cut I had back then, but it looks to me like some kind of overgrown and wayward pageboy with the side parting from hell. My cousin appears to be sporting a curly mullet.

So it seems as though I have at least had consistently bad hair down the ages. A "mane manqué", if you will...

Mr Bonkers has just come in to take a look at this post, while waiting for his evening meal to go ping. "What has all that got to do with perfume?" he inquired imperiously. "Ah, because it is about mine and Katie Puckrik's hair, and she is a perfume pundit. That's the equivalent of you wearing the same Spiderman T-shirt as Victor Wooten - you know, the one you saw him play in and really liked."

"Ah", said Mr Bonkers portentously. "....But I didn't."

Photo of mock turtle soup from Wikimedia Commons, photo of Suzi Quatro from, photo of Victor Wooten by Eric Tinsley, other photos my own.


Ines said...

I just love how I can read any of your posts and go away smiling and chuckling (btw, there is no word in Croatian to rightly translate chuckling, a serious lack in a language).
You know what I find strange about haircuts? At the time you are wearing them, they seem quite good (usually( but when you look back on them some 5- 10 years later, it's usually "What the h**l was I thinking?!"
At least with me it is...

Vanessa said...

Hi Ines,

Nice of you to say so - I am aware that I have been pushing the envelope a bit of late, topicwise, though I do have some perfume "reviews" in the pipeline at some point. Lesser well known ones, probably, but actual perfumes, rather than tangentially perfume-related whatevers.

You really need a word in Croatian for "chuckling". Why don't you have ours and start the ball rolling with your friends and family, then see how far you can disseminate it? I heard that the Welsh have no word for chocolate digestive, but it may be an apocryphal story. Perhaps Wordbird can advise.

I had some really bad bobs in my 30s - like a 20s flapper girl. Not a good look at all, or not on my head, anyway. So I am glad you have committed some follicular faux pas too!

Anonymous said...

Ah, but you have a glorious gleaming hair-do, so you do. If it takes skipfuls of products and hours of arm-numbing blow-drying to achieve the artfully-tousled effect, it's a result! Top-notch barnet, judging from the photo.

Belated congrats on getting to blog on Cafleurbon - hooray for more opportunities to read your work:-)

cheerio from Anna in Edinburgh

Vanessa said...

Hi Anna,

My mop does look surprisingly gleaming in the picture, doesn't it? I promise you it was quite sticky in reality, though you genuinely cannot tell in the shot. Where KP scores is in having much more delineated waves, whereas mine is a bit of a mussed up thicket that you couldn't take a comb through.

And of course sadly my hair-do did not maintain this luxurious degree of bouffancy for very long. Indeed I can track the trajectory of the hairstyle's collapse in a series of photos of it getting progressively flatter.. So I am glad to have captured it at the apex of its titivation here. : - )

Thanks for the good wishes re Cafleurebon - it will be a fun and interesting venture!

Musette said...

Katie's hair is, indeed, lovely but I am going to go out on a stylist's limb here and say......

for her YouTube vids, it's probably as full of product as you can possibly get. It's like shooting a hair product commercial, where they fry it, dye it and lay it way out to the it will look 'natural'.

No disrespect to lovely Katie, btw - it's just the nature of styling for production.

I love her bangs! Love yours, too!


Katy Josephine said...

'Muckrik' made me LOL. Yes, I am currently in Hair Hell myself, trying to grow, knowing it looks like, well...hell.

I, for one, like your new 'do.

Katie Puckrik said...

Well, I for one am flattered and filled with un-Croatian chuckles at this follicular version of "Single White Female". And "Muckrick" is very amusing Vanessa, you wag.

However, I must take the stand on behalf on my hair's natural wave and testify to both Musette and Vanessa that in fact, I hardly use anything in my hair. Just a quarter-size dollop of wave-encouraging goo after I wash it. No blow drying. This is the most low-key style I've ever had, and boy am I happy about that. I had long raspberry red-dyed hair for decade, and that was practically a full time job. And my long hair was always frizzy. Because it was clearly meant to be self-actualized as an updated Suzi Quatro!

Vanessa said...

Hi Musette,

"Bangs" is an appropriate choice of hair terms in the concept of that Marc Jacobs review. I think that is our "fringe", or the Germans' "Pony".

Well, as we have now learnt, Katie's hair is not the big budget production we may have thought, and is attributable to a natural wave and - I am guessing - a killer cut to foster this low maintenance environment.

Vanessa said...

Hi Josephine,

Your hair-do looked pretty darn cute in that photo of you standing by the lake the other week. But I reckon we are more judgemental about our own styles than those around us are. Mr Bonkers, for example, rarely notices when I have been to the salon unless I expressly draw his attention to the fact.

Vanessa said...

Hi Katie

Still marvelling at the revelation about your naturally curly locks. Optimising your haircut must be the hairdressing equivalent of a surfer catching a wave.

Mr Bonkers and I vividly recall the raspberry red decade - an era when I myself experimented with aubergine Crazy Colour and overnight plaiting - but your take on the updated Quatro is a great look. : - )

I was trawling through Google images looking for Suzi's own current hairstyle, and a year ago she was wearing what I can best describe as a "Teutonic mullet" (very short and spiky on top), but that may be historic.

Vanessa said...

Oh by the way, folks, Mr Bonkers has pointed out that that is not the specific Spiderman shirt he meant. It is quite hard to make out the designs on all Victor's stage wear behind the obscuring body of the bass guitar!

Anonymous said...

Thanks SO much (wait, that sounded sarcastic. It wasn't meant to be.) for a good laugh this morning! My blog visitations have been skimpy and/or spotty over the last several weeks due to NaNoWriMo, so I haven't commented here recently, but I assure you that I have been enjoying your posts very much.

And congrats on joining the team at Ca Fleure Bon - I'll visit there more often.

Re: hair. Oh, we poor women and our foolish follicles... my fine, stick-straight hair is beginning to grow past my shoulders, which means it's saggy and flat. I am utterly sick of short bobs, so just yesterday I made an appointment with my hairdresser for a perm. I may regret this - the last time I had curly hair was about five years ago, and I loved it until I was sick of it, but...

I dunno. Hair. The CEO avoids the hair conundrum by barely having any, and sometimes I envy him.

Musette said...

Katie -

You are, indeed, a lovely,Lucky Duck. Your hair is gorgeous as seen in all your videos and photos - wish I could say the same for mine own..... As a former film producer I just assumed it was product-enhanced!

And V, stop stressin' - your hair is lovely!


Vanessa said...

Hi Muse

Now what are the chances of a Muse and a Musette both commenting in response to the same post? : - )

Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats re Ca Fleure Bon, for I know you are run off your keyboard at the moment - I have been following your mounting word count with amazement!

Sounds as though you and I have similar hair. I had a shaggy perm in 1978, as did most people in fact. I used to spray it with water and use an Afro comb. Those were the days! I am sure 2010 perms involve more high tech solutions. If you come out of the procedure with an authentic Puckrik that stays in place for those of us lacking a natural wave, do come back and tell us!

And meantime, keep those words coming...

Vanessa said...


Yes, I should stop stressing about my tresses...

: - )

ScentScelf said...

I think you all have just about gone 'round it here.

I shall dress down my tresses to the lilting strains of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs." (Noun or verb? Apply at will--unilike product in my case, which, like Katie's, involves natural curl and air drying.)

No, wait...there is one other thing...speaking of hairy...that's quite the situation, you, there on top of the bale. Like when we used to ride bouncing around in the bed of the pickup; things that make a parent shudder to think of what THEY did as a kid.

And then there are things the grown ups still do. Suzy Q still rocks tight leather; I give her due props, as she seems to carry it off, but the thought of it makes me think of trying to do so, which is, well, a little close for comfort.

But does bring me back to perfume, natural and Bandit-style. :)

Vanessa said...

Hi ScentScelf,

"She Bangs" - inspired! We should import that word. I wonder if you have "door knockers" over there? Oh, and I do envy you your natural curl.

As for sitting on the bale - several bales stacked up on top of each other, indeed - it actually was scary, as I felt very high up and not terribly stable. The same cousin also taught me to smash an eel's head with a rock, a skill I have never quite mastered, as I was looking away during the original demonstration.

Tight leather at our age? Proceed with great caution, I agree. I don't tend to rock that particular look beyond snug gloves.