Call Me Hans

7th June 2006


Call Me Hans

Originally uploaded by MaggieMason.

On Alda’s advice, I showered very thoroughly before entering the lagoon, but ignored the posted warning that I should somehow obtain a bathing cap because the water dries your hair. By the time we left, my hair felt like a wad of wet cotton balls. Even after a shampoo, I couldn’t get a comb through it. I couldn’t even run my fingers through it. When it dried, it collapsed flat against my scalp, creating a flattering German schoolboy effect.

I managed to yank it up into a ponytail the next day, and when I removed the rubber band that night, my hair just stayed exactly where it was, piled atop my head.

Three pointless hot-oil treatments later, I was beginning to think I might have to Sinead it. I felt greasy and scratchy and irritable. Bryan convinced me not to shave my head and this morning, three days later, it has finally begun to regain flexibility. Who knows what’s living in there by now.

3,047 thoughts on “Call Me Hans

  1. Bryan Mason

    Like we didn’t have a hard enough time convincing people we weren’t from Holland. The ‘Heidi” hairdo isn’t helping.

    We should just learn Dutch.

  2. Alda

    Hi Maggie, dead pleased that you took my advice to heart, you’re hereby admitted to the Bathers’ Hall of Fame here in Iceland.

    Clearly those warnings at the Blue Lagoon aren’t drastic enough… that place does extremely funky stuff to your hair, no question. One trick I’ve learned is to wash my hair about five times with the shower gel they provide there… that comes close to getting all the silica out. File that away for next time.

    Shame I didn’t read your June 1 post earlier, I would have enjoyed meeting up. Are you returning via Iceland as well?

  3. Kate

    Hi, Maggie . . . I spent an afternoon in the Blue Lagoon last March and had a very similar post-swim hair experience. I went with it though–I washed it like crazy but didn’t bother running a comb through it for days. It was rather freeing. Anyway, be assured, your hair will return to normal. Eventually. *grin* Have a great time in Amsterdam, and don’t forget to visit the Van Gogh, and the Anne Frank House. Oh, and drink Amstel. It’s yummy.

  4. Colleen

    I know you’re totally not asking for hair advice but if you happen to run across bottles of Pureology’s Hydrate shampoo and conditioner, you might give them a try. No sulfates, essential oils, good stuff.

  5. abby

    any experience that turns one’s hair into a state of gracelessness is usually completely worth it. and what a great story to come away with too!

    fwiw, it took about a month of daily deep conditioner use to return my poor hair back to its normal state after a particularly adventurous Burning Man experience. don’t be put off by hair trauma! you have a nice collection of hats to employ, no?

  6. Her Ladyship

    DUDE. I went to the Blue Lagoon with a friend when in Rekjavik years ago. We both had very long, thick hair, and I’m sorry to say it took both of us about a week before we could drag a comb through it. I don’t know what’s in that water, but it effs up your hair like nobody’s business.

  7. Lisa

    It seems to me that, since swimming in the blue lagoon is like the blissful sleep right before the alarm goes off, then the nasty hair is the alarm screaming you awake. Quite rudely. I hope your hair is feeling better. Maybe you could use a thick cream conditioner. My friend had thick curly dry hair and often puts creamy conditioner on her hair as a leave-in treatment, even the kind that are supposed to be rinsed out. Good luck!

  8. Maggie Post author

    We are returning via Iceland, but unfortunately will only have a two-hour layover this time. I’m hoping there’s a next time, as I loved Iceland.

  9. jac

    once you make it back home, high tail it to a cheap discount store, walgreens, or a sally beauty supply and get “queen helene’s cholesterol conditioner”. it comes in a short fat plastic jar. smother your hair with that stuff and sleep with it in your hair (with a plastic shower cap over your hair and a towel over your pillow). rinse it out in the shower in the morning–don’t shampoo… just rinse. best stuff on earth for messed up hair. then go to an aveda store and get their leave in damage treatment to use for a while. you’ll be good to go!

  10. Buffy

    No kidding, Hans. You really do look like one of my German girl friends. Kerastase has some super kick arse conditioners. Guaranteed to de-cottonball any ole German’s head.

  11. MJ

    My daughter calls it the “Barbie” hair syndrome. Thick, synthetic tangles – in your choice of colors! Now we know how Mattel does it.

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