This morning is the morning after. On these mornings I avoid looking in the mirror until I forget what I am trying to avoid and catch a glimpse of myself as I approach the breakfast table.
Then this is the moment when I usually laugh and ruffle my hair in an attempt to return it to its usual state.
This is the morning after a trip to the hairdresser’s.
I laugh because what yesterday could have been described as a cool colour-cut-and-blow-dry now makes me look like an arrogant cockerel. Tufts stand on end like a great mountainous crest in a tint which takes me back nostalgically to my youth. A mixture of copper and auburn strands, once real, now out of a very expensive bottle, are all flying in different directions after a good night’s sleep.
I will wash and dry it myself later and ruin all the hard work that my stylist put into cutting, brushing, heating and pulling my locks until they obeyed her orders. I love what she’s done but I will never be able to tame this crazy morning-after cut into submission before work without a good long soaking in the shower.
Sometimes I wonder how long I will carry on with this rigmarole. This cowardly cheating of both myself and others. This ‘trompe l’oeil’ to fool myself and those around me into believing that the grey hair isn’t really there, hiding under the harsh chemicals which magically make it disappear. Pretending to the world that I am a natural copper-coloured beauty of thirty-five. Okay, forty years old.
The honest answer is probably forever. My hair defines me. This is the look I have had for almost twenty years. Short with a sweeping fringe. Twiddly long strands on each side of my face. Little upward angel wings at the back of my neck. And all in a beautiful bronze medal shade that I am nowhere near giving up, yet.
Perhaps I will change my mind one day. The day when I can no longer kid myself or anyone else. The day when I finally accept that I am no longer a young woman.
Until then, this hairstyle is mine all mine. Today, tomorrow and hopefully ever after.