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Not just for men

October 28, 2013

For sale: four mirrors, of varying shape and size. Free to a good home. Buyer collects, or if that’s inconvenient I’ll bring them round. Whatever – I need rid. This evening, sat minding my own business, I looked up and realised I had to take drastic action against a particularly offensive combination – a bright lightbulb and a mirror at eye level. Staring back at me was my exact double, except she had a badger on her head, so extreme was the streak of bright white hair emerging from my crown.

I’ve been a little negligent with the plucking of late (I’ve noticed the odd one in the mirror in the lift at work and so have resorted to using the stairs), and also taken to heart the tale that if you pluck one, two grow in its place. But this level of stealth, this ninja-esque attack of silver hairs, is quite unprecedented, and wholly unfair.

I blame my mother. Since I’ve been old enough to remember (my memory’s shaky, so I’m placing her at around age 40), she’s had pure silver hair, a cloud of snow, a meringue of light. (I’m being poetic, but I do quite like it – besides, I know she’s reading this.) But I’m not 40! And as if it isn’t enough that my hair turns to the consistency of a brillo pad at the slightest spot of rain (it has been raining a LOT recently), it now seems that my follicles can’t even be bothered to pigment. Had enough of that brown malarkey, it’s time for fifty shades of grey. (With less spanking.)

They’re not always visible. In dim lighting (we have energy-saving bulbs, or at least we did until there was a deal on at Aldi) they’re barely visible, a silver sheen around a dark brown silhouette. They hide beneath the surface, lurking, waiting for the moment I decide upon a side parting, or a jaunty hair clip. Surprise! They scream, and then have a little party around my head, dodging the tweezers, and laughing merrily as I clumsily pull out seven brown to every one silver, a ratio that even with my quite considerable head of hair, is not sustainable.
It seems a laughably short period of time ago that I considered highlights, as I was bored of my uniform chestnut, a monotony I could quite happily go back to with minimal complaint.

Friends have suggested I dye it, but I’ve resisted up until now. The last time I attempted a (thankfully non-permanent) hair dye I got more on my Mum’s bathroom curtains than my head, and looked uncannily like Robert Smith without the makeup. Something tells me that, once you start you can never go back to what you had before, and it will mark a watershed of my youth. It’s easier to just get rid of the mirrors.

I suppose I will eventually get used to the change, and be more accepting. As my already fuzzy eyesight worsens my attention will be distracted from my hair, and when the Alzheimer’s kicks in I’ll forget what colour it was in the first place. For now, I’ll swap grooming tips with my Mum and ask her what else the Harrison genes have in store for me. And get ebaying those mirrors.

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