Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Redder Shade of Carrot

Look – the ads show merry filmstars lounging in their dressing gowns, checking out another blockbuster script, phoning their mum, rebuilding the kitchen… all while the potion works its spell. Then they unleash bouncy, gleaming locks and rush off to Dazzle!

Even desperate people IN the films do it - Harrison Ford… Geena Davis and… others - they simply dash into some dismal bathroom and three minutes later they’re transformed! It’s easy!

Well, perhaps if my life had depended on it too… Because I found it jolly hard doing one’s own highlights. But the Hairdresser’s prices in these days of Crunch obliged me to have a go.

Daphné herself thought my efforts hilarious. When I sheepishly explained I’d put in a few blonde streaks with a kit from the supermarket she screeched, “Oh thank god – I thought my own colours had turned Yellow!”

Rather harsh, I thought. But as my hair grew to resemble the stuff our rabbits like to bed down on, I felt urged to swamp the whole lot by going back to my roots. Which were ever more apparent, anyway.

So I bought a ‘shiny cream paste’ of brown, but Burnished Mahogany brown. Easy to apply because it’s “wonderfully thick and doesn’t run.” “Be sure to use All the mixture!” urged the instructions.

I did. Suddenly I could feel it glooping down from the top of my head like freshly-cracked raw egg. (You may know that horribly realistic sensation when someone pretends with their finger-tips). (You may know the actual sensation…).

The gloop grew like some hideous palpitating thing, and it was Red. Mirror, tiles, sink, towel, T-shirt, ears, were all deep red. And according to the box, they’d stay like that for 28 washes.

How did the finished hair look? Well... quite red. Quite orange. Reddy-orange. I ventured out the next day sporting large hat and sunglasses. The day after that, though, I noticed an eerily perfect match between hair and favourite TinTin coral-tinged sweatshirt. Hang on a minute - I have clothes that go!

Now the plunge has been plunged, I feel weirdly liberated. One only has to look at Famous Redheads: Katherine Hepburn, Van Gogh, Geri Halliwell, Boris Becker and, of course, Erik the Red, who overcame neighbourhood shovel squabbles to colonise, and become Paramount Chieftain of, Greenland.

Who could fail to be inspired? And George is delighted with my renovations. I intend to sally boldly forth in coats of many colours, sparkly hairclips, feathers… for I am Proud and Boldly Burnished. And God, but I’m Lovely!