Mum’s locks were still the key to her iden­tity

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

WHILE look­ing af­ter our daugh­ter’s cat, I was puz­zled to see him look­ing at me in hor­ror, eyes wide with fear.

Then I fol­lowed Jan­gles’ gaze to the top of my head. He was freaked out by the nest of multi-coloured rollers grac­ing my head. What did he think they were? Weapons of cat de­struc­tion?

The sham­poo and set may soon be a thing of the past, as the post-war gen­er­a­tion of women de­creases, but rollers have come back into fash­ion. You see them ev­ery­where, par­tic­u­larly in the dress­ing rooms of Strictly Come Danc­ing.

My mum was a devo­tee of the Sham­poo and Set. Her reg­u­lar perms and weekly trip to the hair­dresser were a must, well into her 80s. When she needed 24-hour care in a nurs­ing home, the res­i­dent stylist took over.

This helped her hang on to the threads of a nor­mal life – for me, as well as her. She may not have known who I was, but she still looked like my mother.

Mum took me along to her proper grown-up hair­dresser when I was still at school – a rite of pas­sage I sup­pose – but fash­ions were chang­ing swiftly, and by my teens I was hav­ing wash and blow-dries in trendier sa­lons.

My hair was poker straight which suited the era of pre­ci­sion haircuts, cour­tesy of Vi­dal Sassoon, and im­mor­talised by fash­ion guru Mary Quant. Th­ese days, when the blow-dry­ing is nearly fin­ished, I put in the odd roller to get a bit of bounce.

When I’m head­ing off some­where spe­cial, I put a roller in my fringe while I’m driv­ing, so it won’t be hang­ing lankly when I ar­rive.

I’ve no­ticed strange looks from fel­low driv­ers at traf­fic lights, but haven’t (yet) for­got­ten to re­move the roller be­fore go­ing pub­lic.

Once, though, when we stepped out of the car, ready to go into a civic din­ner with the mayor, Mr F said ‘What on earth is that? A bright green roller had at­tached it­self to my sparkly grey dress.

He had the same ex­pres­sion as the cat. I re­ally must try not to frighten the horses in fu­ture…

I WAS sorry to miss Legally Blonde, the sum­mer youth project at the Beck Theatre, be­cause I was ill. How­ever, my god­daugh­ter, 11-year-old Sophia was happy to take my place, say­ing it was the best show she had ever seen. Well done ev­ery­one.

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