Hair, all things considered, it pretty hilarious–it grows in patches, different colours, pops up in places you’d never expect it too. Really, hair is the renegade element of the human body, swearing no loyalty to any one region, texture or pattern. And while we need it (especially with that fall bite back in the air) the war on hair rages on. Not to get all Germaine Greer, (and I love me some Greer) there are a lot of people who are very concerned about women’s grooming habits when it comes to hair, namely how to battle those rogue ones which take root in visible places.

So when I got invited to Esther Garnick’s TIFF 2011 Essentials Lounge for some grooming I giggled a bit. I mean, I don’t shave my armpits do I really need eye lash extensions? But if anyone could convince me to lose my eyebrow waxing virginity it’s Esther Garnick. Formerly MTV’s sardonic voice of reason on The Hills Aftershow, Garnick now runs a boutique PR firm and might be the sassiest communications woman in the city. Plus, she also has hair likeArchie‘s Veronica.

Taking a new view on “gifting suites” Garnick and her crew ushered media up to a suite in Le Germain to create, as she says: “an environment that was solely for the press that we rely on to deliver the up-to-the-microsecond news of TIFF.” Welcomed with more Smartwater than a gurl could ever dream of and a quick hug from Garnick I was directed for a hair consultation from John Frieda. Well, not the man himself, but Alain Larivée, the Canadian Creative Consultant. Taking one look at my hair Larivée quickly set out tying loose knots, pinning them with deft precision at the base of my neck. Discovering I’d lived in Montréal we set out reminiscing (and swearing) in French as he talked me through the style. Larivée’s aim was to eliminate the desire to go for the overused nape-of-the-neck bun, and all but twelve bobby pins and five minutes later I looked, like, presentable. Stepping back he said: “C’est absolument fucking simple.” He was right.

Next, eyebrows. Admittedly this was nerve wracking. I like my brows big. You know when Elaine draws Uncle Leo’s eyebrows back on after his gas stove explodes in his face on Seinfeld? That’s my worst nightmare. I mean, in the realm of what can happen to your eyebrows. I have much more complex and deep-seated anxieties, trust. But the lovely lady from Winks Eyelash Boutique & Spa cut me off before I finished my sentence: “I’ve been here all day. Everyone wants them thick, I know.” So a few little rips later I basically had the same face but with a pink eye look that I was assured would fade (she was kind enough to ask me first if I had plans to go out later that evening).

So there I was. Slightly less hairy and a swag bag richer, with a new perspective from the front lines on the battle against errant hairs. It’s messy (I keep thinking about those  caterpillar like used wax strips) but if someone asks me if I’m TIFF ready, I can say without a doubt my eyebrows are. The rest of me is still figuring things out.

~ Kiva Reardon