Mums Going Grey – Don’t call me Granny!

We tweezer them out as long as we can, don’t we, till it becomes a losing battle. Then the vast majority of us colour. No question. I used to, till the beauticians at hospital recommended no more toxic chemicals be used on our hair, after the second block of chemo left it lank and lifeless. I’ve been natural ever since and 8 years on, I’m 75% white, according to my hairdresser. She has gently suggested some colour, and my friends have been dropping hints about how ‘it’s sulphur-free now’ and it ‘takes 10 years off’. So I would become a convincing 40 year old.

madeleine at ROYAL ALBERT HALL A CHRISTMAS GAIETY

Do I want the expense and the faff? As always, resisting the herd comes at a cost.  I went into a Clark’s the other day and the assistant asked if I was my daughter’s grandmother. It’s not the first time either. I am 54 and my son is 27, so I could very conceivably be a granny.  If I ever do become a real one, I’ll be overjoyed. Of course I will…

Still, WTF. ‘That was the wrong thing to say!’ I said to him, with fake breeziness.

‘Is that your sister?’ His more socially adept colleague waded in, while shooting the gormless one a ‘Numpty’ look, and me a placating one.

‘Thaaaat’s more like it! It’s because I’m the only one in the world who doesn’t dye my hair’, I tried to sound upbeat although still smarting.

So shut up and get some colour, you say. What’s the hold up. I suppose I’m pushing back against the stark alternative: ‘look younger or look like a granny’. One fashionista friend had the gall to suggest a purple rinse – now I’m all for pushing ageist boundaries, but that’s a step too far.

I did read in Times 2 that some A-listers such as Andy McDowell are paying a ‘grey-whisperer’ $8K to go ‘silver’! (hashtag silver transformation). But this tiny bit of quirky reality got into the media only because it disproves the rule. The rule disapproves of grey.

The conflict arises also because I am the same weight as when I was 20, have a good figure and young skin, so I send out mixed messages. It makes sense for the hair to work with the rest of it. The jury’s still out… ‘Fair for 40’ or ‘Fab For 50’.

 

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