My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.

"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times

"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine

"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll



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19 September 2012

Yes, I'm talking about my hair AGAIN.

You guys all know the battle I fight with my hair. For the longest time I wore it long, just bundled up in a loose bun, and this was functional, if not attractive. Then, I bought a hair iron and spent a winter amusing myself by ironing it out. This took about four hours, and my shadow still looked like Hagrid.

Then, on one of my trips to Bombay, I went to Mad O Wot, and had it cut in a flattering short style that seemed to suit me, and showed off my curls in the best way. It's still big, but it's nice big. Or maybe the only difference is that I've learnt to like it.

But, getting back to Delhi, I found it hard to maintain. My friends who regularly get haircuts here have hair that is straight-straight-straight. You could chop it off to chin length and it would look sleek and sexy and Parisienne. I look like a mushroom. I wanted to find a hairstylist in Delhi who would get my hair, who would understand that it poufs in dry weather, that there's an insane amount of frizz and that it needs a certain style to be its own glorious self.  So far, all the hairstylists I'd been to had said, "Madam, aap toh straight hi karwa do." Which, no.

(Have you ever been the shortest person at  a party wedged between two women with freshly straightened hair? You can tell, because the ends look... battered. And they keep touching it, over and over, and flicking it over their shoulder, and those ends are HARD, and once I nearly lost an eye. I still have PTSD about that.)

So, I did what I always do when I want something. I asked my Facebook, and my Facebook delivered. I was given the number of a Martina Wu, with a salon in Shivalik who was apparently MAGIC.

Martina Wu used to work at Ambika Pillai or something before she started up on her own. She's teeny tiny. Her salon is always crowded. On weekends, she'll line up three people in a row and walk down the line, taking snips out of their hair. Except, when she FINALLY gets to you, it's like she's only focussed on you, you chat, she laughs at all your jokes (even the bad ones) and she listens. I can't tell you how wonderful a quality that is in a hairstylist. She commented on my hair being rather dry, I waited for the inevitable "why don't you straighten it?" and when she didn't, I suggested it myself because you know how I feel about my hair, I want to disown it, I want to wake up in the morning with shiny straight hair that BOUNCES and always looks good, and she wrinkled her nose and said, "I don't think so, but whatever makes you feel more secure."   

And she did a great job. My hair is shorter again (I have a wedding this weekend I need to tidy up for), I've been sent home with a shampoo and conditioner that'll get rid of the dryness. (We'll see, but such is my faith in Martina that I trust everything she says). And even though it was an extremely long wait, I got scarlet nails and toes to match, so all was not wasted.

Go, fellow curlies! (Wouldn't that make a great dystopian universe teen novel? A land where everyone's hair is straightened and curliness is a sign of rebellion?) Full disclaimer: she's better with short to medium length hair, like mine, but I also believe, having worn my hair in many different ways that for people with hard to please hair, shorter lengths are far more flattering.





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17 comments:

  1. To begin with I'd like to say thanks you for this post about curly hair- no one talks about this stuff! I have curly hair, which is big and frizzed out when it's humid and which is really hard to manage. Curly hair is rebellious, well so am I and I like it like that :)I just couldn't find a decent hair dresser in Delhi who'd do justice to my hair, without giving it quizzical looks and just hacking it across in one straight line making even more of a mess of it, and like you I called out to Facebook and was pointed in the direction of Ambika Pillai,which has been my savior for this past year. The stylist there does such a fabulous job with my difficult hair that it looks and feels like magic. Well, and when the blow dry magic is shampooed away, there's always hair serum :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You may find this useful for dry hair

    http://www.amazon.com/TIGI-After-Party-Smoothing-Cream/dp/B001EWF2SI

    and DO NOT IRON! It destroys your hair quicker than anything else!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you tried the "Curly Girl Method" ?
    http://www.amazon.com/Curly-Girl-Handbook-Lorraine-Massey/dp/076115678X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348076629&sr=8-1&keywords=curly+girl+method

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have hair. Try being a balding 30-yr old WOMAN. Gah.

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  5. Hi5 sista! We are in this together. My hair is awfully curly too.. Not that I hate it,, but God it takes a lot of effort to love it.

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  6. Martina is god's gift to women with difficult hair. Even though she does tell me I could try straightening it once, just to see how it goes, she is one of the few stylists who actually gets frizzy, untameable manes like mine. Louve, sheer louve.

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  7. I so totally love the fact that there is someone else too who has massive curly hair, hates straightening them and hates hairdressers who suggest straightening them. I also went to Mad-o-wat and got a fab job done!

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  8. Hey meenakshi. thanks for the blog! tried Martina Wu and am a happy person now :). finally when I walked into my house after the cut my granny looked at me and said you are looking nice- maybe we could start looking for a boy for you. hahaha!

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  9. Does anyone know where Peter of b:blunt is nowadays? Have been looking for him for ages! He understood my hair so well :(

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  10. This blog is a bit old. Almost 3 years now. Though I went to Martina Wu post reading it a week ago and absolutely loved her. She is the same as described by you. Still busy, very intelligent, talkative, great listener and above all a great stylist. Thank you for writing on such varied topics that we can relate to and in a way make our lives better. :)
    Shereen

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  11. Overly hyped!!!!
    After reading all the reviews I decided on getting my hair cut done from Martina this time and to which I was really looking forward to.
    I was rather disappointed with its overall experience, from Martina to the whole staff.
    Getting an appointment with her from all my busy schedule and at the same time going through all the research I felt like my effort was a complete waste.
    All I wanted was a hair cut that suits my face for which I was more than willing to sacrificed the length of my hair.
    The hair cut that she gave me made me look so dull and not lively at all.
    I don't know if she is good with short to medium length hair but I am honestly not satisfied with hair cut at all.
    I have straightened hair and its texture is very frizzy because it's been chemically treated so many times before which I tried to explain to her but then she just doesn't like straightened hair, she said if you would have had wavy hair I been able to give you nice haircut.But now that I have straightened hair she means she has no hair cut to give that suits my face.
    Might be she is a good hair stylist for wavy and curly hair.
    But the thing that really shocked me was after giving the hair cut she left and never got back to check on me if the hair cut suits on me or not specially after blow dry.Everybody left and after a while I looked around and had to ask lady sitting at the counter if this is it and my haircut is done???
    She literally said,yes mam,it's done!!!
    I was soooooooo disappointed!!!!!!!!!!
    Not friendly at all, whatever I tried to convey to Martina she would have some problem or the other.
    I know my hair is thinning to which she also commented but thereafter didn't suggest any thing.
    I seriously felt so not approachable!!!!!! Might be I would have asked it myself but was completely held back, just didn't feel comfortable.
    I couldn't confide in her or any one over there at all.
    Very disappointing experience.
    I don't think so I will ever wanna go to Martina Wu in future to get another bad experience,FOR SUREEE!!!!
    Won't recommend to anyone. :(

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree. At least on the part of approachability and patient listening.

      She is not agood listener and impose on the customers what she thinks is right.

      Never care to rectify and blane it on the hair for her stupid skills.

      Full of attitude and resentment.

      I readall the goodreviews about her and decided to chop my waist length hair in blunt, something what she was wearing. I actually wanted a style exactly lime her. But she did what SHE felt was right, evenhad to argue about the color i wanted.
      After spending like 10 k in color n haircut, end result, no one even gets to know I have a brand new haircut, while chopping off all that length. What a despair.

      She has so much of airs about her, God knows why, but honestly, below average.

      Attitude counts woman! If you're reading. Please be humble to your success and sweet with your customers.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree. At least on the part of approachability and patient listening.

      She is not agood listener and impose on the customers what she thinks is right.

      Never care to rectify and blane it on the hair for her stupid skills.

      Full of attitude and resentment.

      I readall the goodreviews about her and decided to chop my waist length hair in blunt, something what she was wearing. I actually wanted a style exactly lime her. But she did what SHE felt was right, evenhad to argue about the color i wanted.
      After spending like 10 k in color n haircut, end result, no one even gets to know I have a brand new haircut, while chopping off all that length. What a despair.

      She has so much of airs about her, God knows why, but honestly, below average.

      Attitude counts woman! If you're reading. Please be humble to your success and sweet with your customers.

      Delete
  12. Hey Meenakshi, love your writings and this one in particular. I have always been on a lookout for a good hairdresser ever since I have moved to Delhi from Bombay a year ago. Recently stumbled upon your blog and what a fun read. I went to Martina Wu last week and she gave me a fantastic cut. My face is very long and hair dull till my waist. Changing the city had caused it to fall like nobody's business. Layers just add to that long face of mine and all that hairdressers do here is suggest more and more layers as if there is nothing else they know better. Martina gave me a very neat tight cut and I immediately liked the style. Very friendly and a great listener at that. I have been to 3 big salons in Delhi and been so disappointed. Thank god I found you cuz through you I found Martina Wu. Do please keep writing on varied topics. A delight to read. Thank you again!

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  13. You have a great sense of humour meenakshi! laughed so much. It made my day. :) Martina indeed is fabulous. My whole family, extend family and friends go to her. She is good with all hair types not just curly. I can vouch for that. My hair is straight and my daughters wavy and she is great with then. But I suppose curly being the difficult hair, which makes most hairdressers fret and sweat she gets extra points for doing a great job with that. Love her and love thy blog!

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  14. can anyone pls give me martin wu phone number

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  15. I have straight fine hair. I wish to get pixie cut. Is Martina Wu right choice?

    ReplyDelete

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