Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 3 December 2007

The importance of good hairdressing


The poll on whether you can dress well at any size closes early tomorrow, and I will be disclosing my own views on this subject.

Meanwhile I'm off to the hairdresser's. When I was talking to Louise Chunn about the mutton question, she remarked that she thought my hair was so much better than when she was commissioning me back in the 90s, when she was women's page editor of the Guardian. I think that the one thing you should really throw money at as you get older is the best possible hairdressing you can afford. The salon I go to, Richard Ward, does the make-overs for Trinny and Susannah, and indeed my own team of Mario (colour) and Roger (cut) do the hair of Trinny and Susannah themselves. The key to colour as you get older and greyer is to soften it and bring it in line with your changing skin tone. The original colour of my hair was dark brown, it's now warmer and redder and I rarely go a week without someone asking me where I have it done. Roger has also persuaded me of the importance of a more structured cut and of not doing the whole Anna Wintour thing and having a signature look, but changing it with the seasons. See my cousin's guest post on the matter of changing one's hairstyle.

It costs an absolute fortune and I must buy fewer clothes, but you wear your hair 24/7 and you can't say that of a dress.

11 comments:

Toby Wollin said...

With you here 100%. Like so many other things about getting older, the maintenance does cost a bit but is worth it.

Deja Pseu said...

Joining the chorus. Except that for me, a "structured" cut is a short, layered deal. I've tried the Louise Brooks-ish bob and it just is too severe for me. I tend to vary the color a bit with the seasons, going a little lighter in the summer and a little deeper in the winter.

pennyarrow said...

Yes - hair is the numero uno. You only have to watch any make-over show to see that it isn't till they do the hair that you really gasp at the transformation.

La Belette Rouge said...

I agree with Roger, I think a signature cut can be very ageing. There is nothing sadder than someone still having the same haircut they had in the eighties. Not everyone is Anna Wintour. Being the editor of Vogue you can get away with all manner of things.

dana said...

Golly. When I was pregnant with twins and couldn't walk, hair was one of the first things to go. It hasn't come back. I have the world's worst texture, thin, straight and fine, and it's heaven being able to wear it in a clip or a ponytail. That's about all it can do, ever. In spite of products. Sigh. I get it trimmed, with my daughter, about twice a year.

As for things you always must wear, I believe glasses are up there near the top. (I am nearsighted enough that if I drop mine on the floor, I can't see to pick them up.) Someone once said, "It's a piece of jewelry that you have to wear across your face. Spend the necessary." And I do.

A few years ago I got my first pair of contacts in about 10 years, and I looked in the mirror and said, "Who is that old lady with the crow's feet?" So glasses can also act as camouflage. I am lucky enough to own two pairs.

I suppose someday, in 25 or 30 years, I'll have the time and funds to have a proper hairstyle. Although I don't think there's anything more elegant than a silver updo. My grandmother, for the 32 years I knew her, wore her silver waves in a french twist.

60goingon16 said...

One of the very few fashion/appearance bonuses derived from living in the depths of the country is that, if you are fortunate enough to find a truly good hairdresser, they are probably going to be around for years. And - an even bigger bonus for women of a certain age - getting your hair cut and coloured won't eat up your winter fuel payment. (Heat v highlights? No contest. Just put fewer logs on the fire and wrap yourself in a stylish extra layer.)

I have any number of London friends who come and stay with me just so they can go to my hairdresser, save a fortune (even taking account of petrol or the train fare), and go back to the city looking fabulous. Of course, they wouldn't dream of admitting they had their hair done 'somewhere on Exmoor'.

dana said...

My friend in Montana has the same experience! She's a gorgeous woman with long, thick, dark hair, and she got highlights and lowlights done in Butte, and it cost her about $30. Cut included. It looked fantastic. Here, in St. Louis, I don't even know what that would run you. But it'd be well in the triple digits.

ball of fire said...

Couldn't agree more. You can always revamp your wardrobe pretty cheaply with a few new pieces and a rethink on how you wear the old stuff. However, there is no mileage in saving money on your hair. The same applies to bras and teeth I think. My hairstyle has got longer and softer with age. In my twenties I had a very short, Demi Moore in "Ghost" kind of cut, but my jawline isn't sculpted enough now to carry that off. Covering up the grey has given me the chance to go a little lighter too. I like the idea of silver hair, but all over, not in weird streaks at the front like mine!

Icy said...

Over the last 5 years or so I've realised the importance of a great cut. Completely agree that you wear it every day and it makes a HUGE difference. I wear glasses like Dana, and she is right about the importance of a fabulous pair as well!

Anonymous said...

I just had a long conversation with my stylist about color! He used to just lighten my blond hair by pulling it through a cap, but now that the gray is taking over, he needs to use foils so he can add brown low lights as well as blond highlights, which covers the gray much more effetively.

He is very firm in his conviction that as a woman ages, she should never try to replicate the hair color of her youth for all of the reasons mentioned. Phyllis

carolinamoon said...

Yes! Fine dark brown hair at 55 - there's less of it - but a structured cut, movement on top with a very defined shape really helps. Less is more! Adding a fat splash of red flame colour on top. It means no swimming in chlorinated pools, and wear a hat in the hot sun - or colour goes ginger. What can be done for eyebrows thinning? Another important regular expenditure - teeth!