There’s something about the onset of autumn that makes people think about getting a new haircut – everyone seems to be doing it right now (er, by ‘everyone’ I mean swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez who I follow on Instagram and who just got ‘bangs’ and Garance who’s talking about her forthcoming haircut on her blog – that’s ‘everyone’, right?)
As I contemplate going to the hairdresser’s next week (on the eve of London Fashion Week – risky decision? Possibly) I keep wondering, will this be the time that it turns out perfectly, just as I imagined, and makes me feel like the best possible version of myself? I don’t think a haircut has ever changed my life before, so I probably should have learned my lesson by now, but still I live in hope that a serendipitous exchange with a hairdresser who miraculously ‘gets’ me will result in me rediscovering the ideal hair that I once had.
Basically, I want Lou Doillon’s hair – her loose, dishevelled, wavy curls and messy fringe. I don’t know if that’s possible but I’m going to try anyway, by brandishing lots of photographs in the poor hairdresser’s face.
Ain’t it always the way that, as Joni Mitchell warbled, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone? That’s how I feel about my hair, anyway. And it’s not ‘gone’ in the sense that I’m losing it (as far as I know), but more that it doesn’t look - in my opinion anyway – as good as it did a few years ago, and I don’t know what to do about it. The most infuriating thing is when I look back on my ‘best hair’ in old photographs I have a feeling that I really didn’t appreciate it at the time.
Which is typical, isn’t it? That’s the message that always comes through when older women give advice to their younger counterparts – they tell them not to waste a precious moment fretting over perceived flaws – yearning for a flatter stomach or longer legs or whatever – but to treasure and appreciate their bodies for being healthy, useful and yes, beautiful.
So I suspect that in the future I’ll look back at pictures from now and think “there was nothing wrong with my hair, it looks perfectly alright, what was I complaining about” just like I do today with pictures of my younger self.
I will also, however, remember the unfortunate centre-parted curtains I sported in the mid-‘90s (an attempt to emulate Justine Frischman’s slick side-parted bob which went very, very wrong) and the Ann-Widdecombe-esque red and black bowl cut of my early twenties and shudder, just as I do now. No bad hair day will ever be as bad as those ‘experiments’, but I’m glad I tried them.
So what I’d like to know is, have you had a perfect hair moment, when everything came together to express exactly what you wanted to about yourself? (Am I putting too much pressure on what a haircut can do for a person here? You know what I’m talking about, right?) And do you have a hair idol (Lou is mine, clearly.)