Late-breaking news: We won Best Achievement in Hair Design at Cecile Zamora van Straten’s 80s-themed “debut”. (It’s called a debut because dammit, when you get to be the age when the styles of your youth are in fashion again, you can call your birthday party anything you want. Happy Birthday, Cecile! Conventional wisdom says we shouldn’t even be friends. Screw conventional wisdom.)
The winning hairstyle was a tsunami that added six to eight inches to my height. (Think Thompson Twins, Dead Or Alive, and other new wave acts of the Eighties.) It was created by Jay Lozada of Propaganda, and the actual work took about an hour. In the 80s when big hair was de rigueur, my classmates would achieve coiffure height using Dippity-Do gel, hairsprays that were eventually banned because they were causing holes in the ozone layer, beer, toothpaste, egg whites, school glue, and industrial-strength blow dryers. Unfortunately, once the desired height had been achieved, the structure would tend to collapse in half an hour. My tsunami was erected at 5pm and remains standing as of this writing, at 1.15am (I wanted to go out for coffee and taunt the normal people, but we could not find parking space).
The process of building the tsunami hairdo consisted of the following steps.
3. Setting lotion
4. Sectioning the hair and winding the sections around “agojillo”, those wavy hairpins about a centimeter wide.
6. 20 minutes under the dryer
7. Styling for tsunami effect
8. More hairspray
9. An hour later, touch-up “teasing”
10. Still more hairpray
The result: Big hair reminiscent of Leni Santos in the seminal 80s film Da Punks, although Marlon Rivera (winner, Best Achievement in Fashion Editing for his 80s tribute incorporating all the major trends of the decade while channelling Sideshow Bob) thinks it was more Manilyn Reynes. (Marlon also advises those who channel Leni in Da Punks not to forget the lisp. “Di mo kami maintindihan, Ma, mga punkth kami.”)
Ironically I never did the tsunami hair in the 80s, although I did have a perm in 1988 that required an elevator car all to itself. The party was fantastic and everything went smoothly, although the security guard had to look thrice before he let me into my building.