Twisted, gnarled tree with wayward branches and twigs, and text Bad Hair DayWhy do we have bad hair days? It is because keratin, a fibrous protein that hair is made of, is affected by humidity. It breaks the bonds in the protein and that what makes hair frizzy.

Stress, which releases hormones, has a similar effect.

Which leads to the conclusion that dry climates and a stress-free life are the keys to good hair.

We hate it when our hair becomes unmanageable. Women hate it and there are advertisements in magazines and on television to prove it. Men hate it too, but they can ‘get away with it’ in more situations because the social conventions allow it in more situations.

Which only goes to show that women have it rougher yet again.

Straight Asiatic hair that hangs thick and luxurious is easy to manage, but the difficulty of introducing any individuality into a person’s hair brings its own problems, even if flyaway or frizzy hair isn’t one of them.

It’s funny in a sad kind of way how hair can reduce a confident person to a nervous wreck.

As we read in the newspaper, people with enough money sometimes take their own hairdressers with them on holidays and business trips.

Would you do that if you had the means?

Everything Is Wrong Today

Did you ever think about the fact that we use the phrase ‘bad hair day’ to mean a day when everything – not just hair – seems to go wrong?

It’s an interesting phrase when it’s used like this, isn’t it? It’s the idea that it’s no one’s fault that everything is going wrong, it’s just what fate has decreed for us; it’s just one of those things sent to try us.

Photographing The Bad Hair Day

I photographed this bad hair day tree on the outskirts of a village in Lincolnshire. I shot it with a film camera and developed and printed the film.

After that it’s all a bit hazy. Perhaps I scanned the negative and toned it digitally.

Or perhaps I sepia toned the print and scanned that. I forget because it was several years ago. But I remember the scene when I took the photograph.

I was attracted to the bit of fence, and the ‘arms’ on the trunk of the tree that reminded me of a tree man.

When I look at the tree, Arthur Rackham’s drawings come to mind – he was fond of trees that came to life.

You probably know his drawings even if you don’t know his name. He made illustrations for Alice In Wonderland, Rip Van Winkle, Aesop’s Fables, Gulliver’s Travels, A Christmas Carol, and many others.

If there is one message that comes through to me from his work it is that tucked inside the minds of people there are glorious imaginations.

Arthur Rackham was lucky in that he had the talent to bring his ideas to life in his drawings and illustrations.

The tree wasn’t as bent as it looks here. I manipulated it digitally to twist the trunk. You can see how the barbed wire and the tall grass beyond the fence are bent and curved.

The Bad Hair Day message came much later.

Perhaps next time you or I have a bad hair day we can imagine we are trees with twigs and branches reaching everywhere. It’s ridiculous, just like the worry over hair is ridiculous in a world that needs so much care.

Think that and then things won’t seem so bad.

If you want to get your hands on the Bad Hair Day greeting card, here’s the link.