I’d like to be able to say that I’m not a vain person, but that would be a lie! And, while I’m not obsessively so, I do worry about my appearance.
I take particular care of my hair…
While spending a lovely couple of hours in peace and quiet at the hairdressers having my highlights done on Saturday, me-time at its best; I posted a photo of me with foils in on Instagram in response to a #widn (what I’m doing now) tag. I then used this photo (or at least a slice of it, it was the most unflattering selfie ever; and I did just admit to being vain!) as my Project 365 image. This prompted a discussion on twitter with the lovely Fiona (Coombemill) about hair, then hairdressers, then hair disasters..!
This got me thinking about the evolution of my hair, and how I reached a point in my life where I spend a small fortune every eight weeks getting my hair cut and highlighted…
I am a teenager of the mid to late eighties. To any of you who also lived through this tasteful period in our fashion history, how many of you had a perm? I did… I badgered my mother for months! And, mum, if you’re reading this, I should have listened to you!
But I was fifteen and it was the thing to do.
Sadly, I have no photos to show you. This was the late eighties remember, before digital cameras, camera phones, selfies…! Any photos I have are in a box in my attic in Edinburgh :)
My strongest memory of having that first perm; other than the awful smell of the ‘stuff’, how long it took, how it didn’t look like the magazines; is that the haircut I had before they did it was the best I’d ever had, and I can remember thinking oh, I quite like my hair now… Too late, she cried!
My hair was permed for the next three years and I started university with long, blonde, curly hair. Long, curly hair that I then dyed a vibrant ginger. I loved it! One of the few photographs of myself that I like from age eighteen; there’s that vanity thing again; is of me (looking rather startled by the flash!) with vibrant ginger curls.
But, as teenagers do, I got bored of it, the colour faded and I dyed it back to blonde. Badly. Think Bet Lynch from Coronation Street, so not a good look. Of course, permed hair is porous, and it had already been fairly badly treated – it was awful. So, I decided to dye it brown and ‘start again’. Ha!
Anyone that knows anything about hair is now saying, but you can’t go from blonde to brown, you need to go red first…
I would attest to this being true. My hair turned a sludgy, seaweedy green.
To rectify this disaster I had to have most of the curls, and therefore length, of my hair cut off and the rest dyed brown (properly!). I spent the next several months with people asking me if I was okay… Me plus brown hair equals worry about my sickly grey pallor.
In the end, as the brown natural dye that the hairdresser had used; in an attempt not to do any further damage to my poor locks; faded, my hair began to look slightly green at the ends again. I ended up wearing it pretty short for a few years, lastly in a pixie cut; just in time for all my graduation photos… Ah, hindsight, you are a wonderful thing.
In the twenty years since then it has been various lengths, always some shade of blonde; mousy through to bright via stripey (my husband, then boyfriend, and mother bonded over a mutual dislike of my ‘tigger’ phase!); and I have never attempted to dye it myself again!
In fact, when I was working in London my biggest extravagance was having my hair done at Charles Worthington’s main salon. I have seen the odd famous person, including Charles himself; I sat next to Rula Lenska one day who was having her signature red hair dyed for a role (she wasn’t too happy…); wine, vegetable crisps and little cakes were on offer alongside the tea and coffee… I loved going to the hairdresser; I would make appointments at the end of the day and chill out with a glass of wine while being pampered!
In Edinburgh I had a fab hairdresser, and it was an absolute pleasure getting my hair done. It took me months once we moved to the US to take a chance on a new salon; and that first trip was nerve wracking to say the least, but thankfully successful!
I am very particular about my hair…
I had a trawl of Facebook to see if I could find any photos of my hair through the years and I found a few (you can always rely on someone else to post dreadful photos of you on Facebook!). None of them really show any curls, although you can see the awful brown, as well as the mousy end of the blonde spectrum :) Apologies for the quality, several are photos of photos!
I like to think of myself as an assisted blonde now, hanging on to the blonde of my youth by my fingernails. But, as has been proved to me through (bitter) experience, I am just not meant to be a brunette :)