That time I received a hair probing at the airport


I have indecently curly hair. Essentially, imagine a girl Krusty the Clown and that is me when I wake up in the morning. Now in terms of life problems curly hair is not a biggie. I have grown resigned to the constant surprise of what I see in the mirror in the morning, and I barely even notice when my colleagues play buckaroo with my hair when I’m on the phone (what you can’t see in the photo below is the two iPhone chargers & a spoon lost in the curls). But recently my hair came under the heavy scrutiny of airport security.

Buckaroo with curly hair

I was flying to Belfast for work, it was all going swimmingly, I even made it to the airport with time to spare. But then I went through security, and the metal detector had the audacity to beep when I walked under its hallowed arches. In years gone by the security woman would have waived her metal detecting wand and found the source of the beep, now what happens is you get put in another machine which highlights the area of concern.

My area if concern looked a little something like this.

Area of interest

Yeah. Krusty the Clown was all of a sudden a possible terrorist.

The security woman asked what I had in there. I replied I didn’t know. Possibly not the best answer I could have given.

She then asked if I had any hair clips or bobby pins in my hair, to which I again gave the somewhat dubious answer of “it’s possible”. Now let me explain that one, at any give time I could have between 0 & 20 pins in my hair without them ever being seen. #curlyhairproblems

Rebecca hair with shoelace

Security woman (who by this point thought I was certifiable) then asked me to take them out. To anyone with vaguely normal hair this is a valid and completely reasonable request, but anyone with curly hair would have cringed as soon as they read the words. With a day full of meetings ahead I just couldn’t risk looking like Albert Einstein, so I responded in the only possible way to the scary airport security lady “no it would ruin the curl”.

That one went down like a lead balloon.

Runawaykiwi return to New Zealand
After staring at me open mouthed for a minute or so, trying to decide if I was a new kind of terrorist or just a vain Shirley Temple, she turned away and got what at first glance looked like a magicians wand. It was the hair probe (not its official name) which without warning went in one side of my head and out the other.

With that, curls still intact, I was free to go.



  1. August 26, 2014 / 7:06 am

    Only you 🙂

      August 29, 2014 / 9:06 am

      Just because you don’t have curly hair!!

  2. August 26, 2014 / 3:59 pm

    You don’t know how much this made me laugh – cue awkward cackling in the office!

  3. Kat
    August 26, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    Ha ha, brilliant! You’ve been hair probed! Bless your curly soul.

      August 29, 2014 / 9:06 am

      I think I should get a t-shirt made “hair probe survivor”

  4. August 26, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    Hahaha, this is an awesome post!
    I love that photo of you in the box, and I can so imagine you refusing the scary security people and getting probed instead!

      August 29, 2014 / 9:05 am

      That box photo is essentially workplace bullying, a girl can’t casually sit in a cardboard box without being packed up and sent back to NZ.

  5. August 26, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    I feel you, I havent been curly hair probed yet but its only a matter of time!

      August 29, 2014 / 9:04 am

      Haha I love that we have made that a thing “Sir its time for the curly hair probe”

  6. August 27, 2014 / 12:02 am

    This is now officially my favorite airport security story. Ever. (And I had no idea… I thought I was cursed with frizzy hair syndrome.)

      August 29, 2014 / 9:03 am

      Man you should see what happens when its humid – I look like Monica from that episode of Friends when they go on vacation.