Thank goodness for grey hair…


I have the kind of hair that’s wild. I’ve tried, over the years, to tame it, to bend it to my way and to make it look how I want it too. It isn’t the colour I’d like but on good days it can look amazing but on bad days I can look like a cross between Aslan the lion’s mane and someone out of the ’80’s who got a (very) cheap perm. Oh yes my hair is a talking point. I can be Cathy after spending hours on the moors, flushed and looking very much the English Rose but I have the frizz bomb that doesn’t like mist and drizzle. The fog comes down and the frizz gets bigger. I have been complimented many time for my hair though, I was stopped on Oxford Street when I was at Music College and asked if I would like a free hair ‘do’ but I took it personally and said ‘why, what’s wrong with my hair??’ he looked shocked and said ‘erm no, I just thought your hair was beautiful and would be great to use as a model’. I was embarrassed; he was embarrassed so I shuffled off. Old ladies constantly remark in awe of how thick my hair is but this I find one of its bad points as it’s so darn thick that I can’t constrain it easily, I swear hair accessory designers should get me to test new products as If it works in my hair then it’ll work in anyone’s.

I have hair envy. I often look at other girlies with their gorgeous blond locks that are all straight and under control. I long to be able to ‘shove it in a hair band’ and put little gorgeous clips in yes, I can put clips in my hair but it’s so thick I am at risk of losing them for days. If I wear my hair up I look 12 as I’ve never really worked out how best to style it. I have a high forehead with 2 cowlicks so a fringe is totally out of the question. I know this as I have tried it and regretted it almost before I even got out of the hairdressers. Unfortunately hair cannot be stuck back on and I was left with pinning it back for months until it grew back…

I have dyed my hair many times. The first was when I was a teenager and wanted to try a wash in wash out one. I didn’t realise that my hair LOVES dye and whilst the wash in part was fine the wash out part never happened and I was stuck with the handprint of mahogany hair on the top of my head for what seemed like months. The school picture I had taken with this hair colour was a monument to serve as a stark warning to other teenagers that experimentation isn’t always best. I have also hennaed my hair. I put on the foul smelling mixture, wrapped my head in a towel and spent the 6 hours needed for the dye to work. My neck ached at the end but I was one step closer to having Tori Amos’ hair and that was worth it as far as I was concerned. The aftermath of washing hair dye out made the bath look like someone had either been murdered or at the very least weed in it.

I was just about getting to grips with my hair, loving the curly bounce and the colour and then it happened…

I got a grey hair.

I sort advice from my friends. To pull out or not to pull out –well the consensus was that to pull out would mean that 5 more would take its place so that frightened me into leaving it. To dye or not to dye? Well I was too young to go grey as far as I was concerned so this meant doing it myself or going to a salon. I chose the salon. I know that one day I will be a little old lady with white hair but when I look in the mirror I just don’t see her. I see a 30 ish year old girlie (I don’t feel a ‘women’ yet they are much more mature?) who still has lots of energy and if I can hold onto that for a little while longer then I will seek refuge in the bottle of dye.

I now have my roots done every 6-8 weeks in a proper hairdressers who know how not to leave a handprint on my head and don’t leave the basin looking like someone has been murdered. For those 2 hours I have nothing to think about but the trashy mag in front of me and the cup of warm tea I hold whilst I read it. No one asks me to take them to the loo, no-one fights and no-one needs their nappy changing or nose wiping. I am me in all my grown up glory and I actually quite like it. When they have finished my hair I leave the salon with a spring in my step bouncing my freshly coiffured mane two and fro as I walk down the street. Children seem happier, the sun always seems to be shinning and I swear people are nicer. I feel amazing and stupidly assume people are all marvelling at my beautiful hair (that I will find hard to tame the very next day). I may have that extra ½ hour for a quick cheeky coffee and read a whole newspaper whilst sipping yet another hot drink. I will feel like I have indeed just stepped out of a salon…

So I won’t scream when I next see the white poking through my hair. I won’t worry that I’m getting old and I won’t wail about the unfairness of it all. I will simply book an appointment to get my hair dyed and cover up the white for another few months because I know that I will have 2 hours of time off to do nothing other than get lost in hot tea and trashy mags. It’s time out from the daily norm and any time off I’ll grab as working from home and having 3 boys I don’t really qualify for days off like I used to. Time spent on my own is rare and time with space around me is even rarer so for that I thank goodness for grey hair.

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About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
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One Response to Thank goodness for grey hair…

  1. Amazing. you and I have the same hair, colour and everything. I’ve made the same mistakes, fringe or no fringe – definately no fringe !! Dye or not to Dye, like you I tried it at home, I did all over in a dark brown wash in wash out bottle to hide the red and was a brunette for almost a year !!! People wouldn’t believe when I said i’d only dyed it the once in a non-permanent. My curls have died down somewhat since childhood but they are still thick and bouncy most days. I’ve never learnt to style the thick mane either so it tends to be either wild and down or tied back. My issue now is do I trim or let it stay long. I always fancy a new hair style but when I do it the curls rebel and mess it all up and I can never style it the same as the hairdresser and my hair must be the slowest growing hair on the planet, so a mistake is with me for a long time.

    It’s great to meet another chatty read head !

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