Gift Ideas for Writers - A Vanity Hair Make-Over for Her

22 March 2011
What pops first in your mind when you hear the phrase "freelance writer?" Unless you associate the person to be a fashion blogger, you're apt to imagine the female freelancer as the geeky fashion victim wearing glasses, mom jeans, granny panties and unkempt hair. A person who's always out beating deadlines is likely to care about her looks... or not. 

beautiful hair - gift idea for female writers
Barbie of Meteor Garden and her beautiful hair
(photo credit: Pantene China)
While books and the usual nerdy presents will send the freelance writer gushing, why not boon her with a vanity hair make-over?  It's not the average gift idea for writers, but hey, hair is a woman's crowning glory, you know.

I've splurged a bit on mine because I don't want to suffer from a needless loss of self-esteem and poor self-image.

You might want to prepare your debit card or some cold cash for these suggestions. The busy recipient might be reluctant at first, but deep inside, she'll jump for joy. She could really use a make-over! 

Females love to flaunt their tresses. A more practical reason for the prudent freelancer is that nice hair is easier to comb. The less time she spends brushing her hair, the more time she'll devote for  work. So, what might she need?

Hair Rebonding

Currently, the trend is to have super straight hair that bounces. Don't be fooled by shampoo commercials. I'm pretty sure the models have had their tresses rebonded and cellophaned. There's no way that virgin hair and normal strands would move and shine that nicely in real life.

Hair rebonding is a form of treatment that uses chemicals and heat to break the sulfur bonds , modify hair follicles and supplement keratin to hair. Well rebonded hair is soft to touch, super straight and gorgeous to the eyes. (It's not necessarily glossy though. To make hair shine, cellophane treatment does a better job).

Hair relax is a form of hair rebonding which costs less but which also doesn't last very long. Relaxed hair reverts to wavy or curly hair typically after a day or a week (at most).

Hair rebonding could backfire and cause the hair to become dry and brittle if  you opt for the do-it-yourself kits. It's best to go to a reputable salon and have professionals do the job (If you're in Cebu, 887 Rebonding Salon is worth a visit). An addiction to the procedure though may induce untimely baldness, so beware.

  • Cost: anywhere between 1,000 and 6,000 Philippine pesos
  • Frequency: 6 to 12 months
  • Length of Treatment: 2 to 5 hours

Hair Cellophane

A more pleasurable and less expensive vanity hair make-over would be the hair cellophane. Unlike hair rebonding, this chemical treatment does not straighten wavy or curly hair. It only makes hair glossy by adding a glossing substance to broken hair shaft and by coating the hair cuticle with a semi-protective coat. 

Getting a hair cellophane is equivalent to hitting two birds with one stone. First, it enhances the luster and feel of your tresses. Second, it acts as a semi-permanent form of hair color. The results wear away after every wash, but on the average, the effects of the treatment can last anywhere between  4 and 12 weeks.

I realized lately that I don't really need a rebond. What I want is to have my hair cellophaned. A number of parlors offer coloring options to go with the luster: You can choose to have colored or clear cellophane. You can also select between the washable (good for 3 months tops) and the "permanent" varieties (good for a year). One salon that I know of and which does this  is 887 Rebonding Salon in Sarossa (Cebu City, Philippines).

  • Cost: anywhere between 500 and 2,000 Philippine pesos
  • Frequency: every 4 months
  • Length of Treatment: less than an hour (approximately 30 to 45 minutes)

Hot Oil Treatment

If you hate breaking the bank just to encourage your freelancing friend to become vain for a day, then you might like the pocket-friendliest option there is when it comes to vanity hair make-over.  You can either treat your friend to a hot oil treatment session or simply give her a jar of the solution.

This indulgent luxury prevents hair damage through moisturizing. Hot oil treated hair is bouncy and silky-soft to the touch. Women who have tried it consider hot oil treatment as one of the cheapest staples to hair care. It takes away the need for a conditioner every other day and leaves hair manageable for a week.

Most parlors use steaming equipment to induce your head to sweat and release oils. At home, you can use a shower cap to mimic the "cooking" process -- and this is after rubbing a generous amount of hot oil solution to your hair.

  • Cost in Parlors: anywhere between 100 and 500 Philippine pesos
  • Cost to Do it Yourself: 99 to 250 Philippine pesos
  • Frequency: ideally once a week or once every 2 weeks
  • Length of Treatment: less than an hour (approximately 30 minutes)

The options here are pretty clear. For super straight hair, choose hair rebonding. For shiny hair, select hair cellophane. For soft manageable hair, opt for the hot oil treatment. If you're feeling a tad generous, just go take your friend to the parlor and let her have all three.


Yes, that IS Barbie of Meteor Garden. She is an actress, not a writer, but my purpose of using her picture for this blog post is to show her hair and to introduce hair make-over as a gift idea for the unglamorous and busy female freelancer.

The photo shows her modeling for Pantene in China. I was barely able to recognize her had I not known from a fan site and a forum. According to sources, Barbie just had her second wedding (to the same man - Peter Ho) today (March 22nd).*
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