Friday, 12 July 2013

Sauna hats

Last time when I was having my hair done at the wonderful Rossano Ferretti hair spa, it was  a day before my holiday in Finland. Towards the end, when my hairdresser Clare was putting the straightening treatment on, she reminded me that I should leave my hair unwashed for 3 or 4 days to make sure the treatment works properly.

I looked at her in horror, 'But I'm going to have a sauna tomorrow, and the day after!' I gasped.

'You can't, it'll go frizzy, and then all of this is in vain.' Clare said, in a matter-of-fact tone.

Now this may seem like a very trivial thing to most of you, BUT.

For one thing, the treatment (which is also called a Brazilian blow dry) isn't cheap. Although I don't have the whole procedure, but just a conditioning product which is cheaper and has less of an effect, it's still more money to pay for a hair cut. Secondly, the stuff always makes my eyes water, so I have to sit there with a towel in my eyes (looking like a plonker) and to be honest, the 10 minutes or so Clare takes to spray the stuff on my hair is agony.

Clare looked at me through the mirror, the straightening irons suspended midair.

'I have to have a sauna when I'm in Finland,' I said.

Finns amongst you will understand this statement. To live without a sauna is bad enough; not to have one as soon as you are able, is quite another. (Sauna is like a religion in Finland. There are over 5 million saunas; that's one per head - including infants)

Clare just shook her head so I tried to another explanation, 'If I don't have a sauna my father will be offended.' I didn't say this to Clare, but to me, the lack of a sauna is the most difficult aspect of our new life here in London. In the sticks we were lucky enough to have a sauna cottage with a seating area outside, where, after a sauna, we could gaze over the paddock into the hills in the distance. It wasn't quite like sitting by a lake in Finland, but it came pretty close.

Clare and I came to a solution that I should cover my head with a towel or similar when in the sauna. I immediately knew what this would be, a piece of handy gear which Daughter convinced me to get from Marks and Spencer a few months ago.

It's a piece of towelling which wraps around your wet locks and helps to dry the hair. Both Daughter and I have very thick hair, so it can sometimes take a full 12 hours to dry (just talk to Clare - she'll tell you what a pain my hair is to blow-dry). This turban makes the process much quicker. (They are now unfortunately out of stock - let's hope more will be coming into the shop soon)

But, guess what, I bloody well forgot to take it with me, so I ended up wearing something called a sauna hat…the things I do for beauty….

With my big sister causing some hilarity with our families...
The weird thing was, that this 'sauna hat' really worked! On reflection, this model below, called Pohjan Akka (loosely translated as 'The Northern Hag') might have suited us better.

Pohjan Akka sauna hat by Saunalahja
The sauna hats, or Saunahattu are available from here or here, should you ever be in need of one. I may just surprise the sauna-loving Englishman with this combo of hat and slippers. What do you think?

Picture by Saunahattu Leeni 


Karen Jones Gowen said...

Very interesting information! It's intriguing how different countries have cultural norms that one must follow. And in the U.S. we are such a blend that it comes down to families and their norms I think. Which is making me wonder what my family "must dos" are! P.S. I think the hats are cute!

Helena Halme said...

Thanks Karen, The Englishman said he was going to call the fashion police if I dared to take the hat home! Fortunately we have no sauna, so there's no need for a hat.