I have my little list of things I’d like to ramble on about in my blog posts, stuff that has either impacted my life, the lives of my nearest and dearest or has just tweaked my interest either for good reasons, bad, frustrating or joyful. HAIR… As most of you will know by now I have spent a couple of years of my adult life folically challenged. Before that I’d had a waist length mop of unkempt thick dark brown hair… After preciously growing it back after the first time it all fell out, braving all the many “in-between” stages, the “Leo Sayer” being my least favourite, only to lose it all again during cancer round 2, I decided to have some fun with my new barnet, something my lovely Mum didn’t allow me to do as a young’un, and then emotionally blackmailed me into not doing as an adult…. Sorry Mum.
I’m lucky enough to have 2 close hairdresser friends in my life, and both are frequently given free rein to do whatever they like. It’s been pink, purple, red and peach, brown, peroxide blonde… Oh and don’t forget grey. It’s been curly, straight, slicked and quiffed, trimmed, razored and shaved, and I’m nowhere near finished yet. I do however have an underlying, nagging concern that at 41 I may just be getting a tiny bit old for all this colourful silliness, but then I look at some of the bold haired, slightly older ladies in the media…
… But is that just it?, these women likely have hairdressers in their pockets, and a team of clothes stylists in their Louis Vuitton hand luggage all in the pursuit of paparazzi-ready perfection. Do I just look like a slightly overweight middle-aged lady having a midlife crisis…or am I actually a slightly overweight middle-aged lady having an actual midlife crisis????
Many of my girl friends have grown-up jobs where a particularly vibrant hair colour might be frowned upon, and to be honest not that many of them would feel inclined to plump for a pink or purple do anyway. Most still have fairly close relationships with their hairdressers all the same. All have had some kind of grey covering, highlights, lowlights, tints, regular cutting or styling. I’ve also noticed that the long, flowing, carefree locks of our younger years are nearly all gone, it seems like in our late 30’s / 40’s it’s the done thing to have the chop, a bob, long bob, short bob, shaggy bob, a bob with a fringe or a bob without, does long hair really age women or are we conditioned to think that it’s in some way child-like or simply our desperation to cling onto our fading youth?… I was once chastised by a woman in a bar for wearing bunches in my early 30’s, you can well imagine what I thought about that, wonder what she’d say if she saw the half shaved peroxide quiff I am sporting in my 40’s??!!!
I asked Max, one of my lovely hairdresser friends, to gather some intelligence on this matter from 10 of her regular female customers to get an overview of their observations and thoughts regarding the changes and the rules, if indeed there are any, of middle aged hair.
Q. Have you found that as you’ve got older your hair has changed and how?
A. General consensus, YES!!!!…. Most of my 10 ladies were going grey by 30ish and coloured their hair to disguise it. It also seems that grey hair has a courser texture so hair had developed a whole new wave, curl or kink that could be both challenging and helpful depending on what your trying to do with it.
Q. Do you have an opinion on the notion that older women should go short?
A. 9/10 ladies say “up yours” to convention and that you should have a style that suits you whether short or long… young, middle aged or old, it’s all about your style and face shape.
Q. What do you think about the recent trend of actually dying hair grey?
A. One of my ladies found it a strange concept, why when it’ll probably be grey at some point anyway?… The rest gave it the thumbs up, as long as you/your colourist chooses the right shade to complement your skin tone then it can look both classic and modern.
Q. If you’re fighting the greys then what do you use to do it?
A. My favourite answer was “I use Max”…. 3 used Max to keep the greys at bay, 4 used both off the shelf DIY colours and Max combined, 1 used so much bleach she had no idea what was real and what was not, and the last 2 went au natural and embraced the grey.
Q. Finally…. Is there an age limit on crazy colours?
A. 2 of my ladies put an age limit on the pinks and purples, a 30-40 limit and a 60+… Oooops!!… 7 thought it should be based on your personal style and 1 said it depends how crazy you are.
If my 10 ladies are anything to go by then I’m happy to say that perhaps my mutton dressed as lamb fears are un founded, people are perhaps more open minded than I gave them credit for. They say we dress and look how we do to impress other women rather than the opposite sex. Much as a compliment from anyone, male or female is always gratefully received, as I’ve got older I’ve realized that the most important person that needs to like what they see is in the mirror, you will rock whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable, unless heels, corsets and beehives float your boat, then you can just go with the confident and skip the comfortable 😉
I’d like to say a big thanks to my 10 ladies for your help with this post, you know who you are!!.. and send some big love to my lovely, patient and enthusiastic hairdressers, Hannah & Max!!!!
Max – firstname.lastname@example.org