Being fifty-something, I’ve learned to heed the advice of professionals.
I like to call them Team Sheryl.
My hairdresser is a critical member of Team Sheryl – alongside my doctor, my lawyer, my OB/GYN, my cardiologist, my accountant, my physio, my nail technician and my financial advisor.
Yet, sometimes, in the long weeks between salon visits, I start believing that I can work out hair stuff for myself.
This morning I headed to the hairdresser with an exciting new plan … to grow out my fake colour and expose the natural grey hair I knew was lurking there underneath. I’d seen it (the grey hair) glinting in the bathroom mirror from the centimetre wide dye-line along my part. Imagine a full head of that glinting, sparkling shininess.
I was inspired by gorgeous grey hairdos like these:
I haven’t seen my natural hair colour for perhaps twenty years and I’m unsure of the level of grey coverage I have. I decided (quite stupidly) that now was the time to find out.
Jennie, my hairdresser, listened with respect to my grand grey plan and then (ever so slowly), let me down gently. One. Hair. Fact. At. A. Time.
Apparently, it would take about a year of “growing out” to find what a head of my natural hair colour looks like.
Apparently, I have 20-25% grey hair, which won’t provide me with that fabulous silverfox image. (Feck.)
Apparently, my natural hair is likely to be very limp with very little body. (Feck. Feck.)
Apparently, only about 5% of women who grow out to their natural greying hair, keep it – mostly they revert back to a dye job, almost immediately.
Jennie knows me well enough to know I’m lazy and impatient. I’ve grown out a few fringes and lots of layers under her watch, but usually, by the time I get there, I’m well-ready for something else.
I’m eternally seeking out the perfect hairstyle. I remember my natural hair as worse than limp … I recall it as dank, almost straight and mousey coloured. Growing up with three sisters with thick curly hair (and one sister with hair like mine), I always felt cheated by the DNA lottery.
In the eighties, I thought a perm was the answer. It wasn’t.
Heated rollers looked promising. They didn’t deliver.
The flush of wax, gel and texture paste products into the retail market in the nineties sucked me right in. One-by-one I tried them all (in vain).
In the noughties, I imagined the home hair straightener to be my salvation (if you can’t have it curly, it may as well be fully straight). Fail. Feck. Fail.
All this was before Jennie joined Team Sheryl.
Jennie says I’m not alone (she is kind). When it comes to hair, “the grass is always greener” applies to most women.
We want what we don’t have. (I know, that’s true of much more than hair, but let’s not go there, here.)
Apparently, I am a long way off what I want – to emulate one (or all) of the ladies pictured above – so I need an interim plan … or, with my history, several interim plans.
Today, Jennie and I trawled the hairstyle books (for an interim plan) and settled on a short, layered cut (she called it a pixie cut, but that could be stretching it) in a dark, slightly highlighted hue (to texturise the layers). Just because I CAN.
I haven’t had hair this short since the eighties (probably when I had one of those disastrous eighties perms cut out).
I love it. I’ve even gone public with a new profile pic up there on the right and here:
With my lobes exposed, it will actually be worth wearing earrings again. I’ve come home and carefully poked some danglies through the piercings in my earlobes that haven’t been tunnelled for several years (Jennie talked me through that process, too).
I have texturised layers on top that give me height – so therefore, mathematically, I must look thinner. Right?
My reading glasses sit tidily on top without creating flicky little koala ear tufts out either side of my head.
I can wear this style on-my-face, off-my-face or half-on-half-off. (Jennie and I both know I will mostly wear it where it falls after a shower or a sleep – lucky it is easy-care.)
Best of all, even though I was emotionally ready to own my grey hair I have professional advice from a member of Team Sheryl that I’m not physically ready for it (not yet).
And, being fifty-something, I heed professional advice.