My adult life has been spent in daily battle against my hair. Thick, wiry and frizzy - naturally the consistency of a scouring pad - the only way I feel it looks respectable is when a professional does it or when I punish it at home with hair straighteners.
I got my first pair of ceramic straighteners in 2008. It seemed almost miraculous to me that with the flick of a switch I could transform my messy mop, my curly hair into something sleek and smooth. I fell in love.
Soon I was using them almost every day, happily ignoring the damage being done to my split ends by the heat.
Sometimes when, out of laziness, I straightened my hair while it was still damp (which you're not meant to do because it's so damaging) I could hear my hair sizzle. Steam would rise from my head. But no matter! Anything for smooth sleek hair.
And it's not just me. According to one survey, a third of women own a pair of straighteners and a quarter refuse to leave the house without first ironing their hair into Jennifer Aniston-like smoothness.
But all this straightening comes at a high price. Trichologists are warning us that the damage caused by straighteners can make hair frizzier and curlier, setting up a 'straightener addiction'.
'Repeated straightening at high heat makes the smooth, protective cuticle that surrounds the hair fibers become flaky and rough.
This makes the hair appear more frizzy and less shiny. Women control this new frizz by straightening the hair more, which dries and damages it further, causing yet more frizzing, which requires more straightening and so on. Eventually hair becomes so damaged that it can break off.
During the past decade, it seems as if 90 per cent of the female population has been walking around with straight hair, even though they were born with curly hair. Women have started to look like clones, 'We've been brain-washed into thinking there's only one way to look good and that's with straight, smooth hair - but that's not true.
'We all look better working with what we've naturally got, instead of fighting against it.'
One fine day, I decided to take up the challenge to do nothing to my unruly hair for 2 weeks beyond washing it, putting it up in a bun and letting it dry naturally. It was bliss. I started to accept my curly hair- better late than never.
While I was apprehensive in the beginning, the prospect of clawing back the hours I spend trying to tame my hair was irresistible.
By the end of week two I've learned to love my natural look. There's something liberating about just accepting what you've got. And I have gotten nothing but Compliments since then.
So could this be the start of a new me? What next? Ditching the make-up? Err I don't think so.
But I won't go back to using straighteners every day. For the moment, they are staying in a box under the bed. The one-woman war against my hair is over.
Guest Post by Priyanka Gulati