It’s just over 150 days to midsummer, Wednesday, June 24.
I discovered this after a quick google search in a quiet moment during a coffee break this week as I looked out the window at the greyest sky, reminiscent of a Lowry painting.
In fact, if you go online you’ll find a clock which will count down the seconds, minutes, hours and days to whichever date you choose. For some people it’s Christmas day or their birthday – for me, it’s looking forward to midsummer’s day. Not for any pagan reason, you understand, but because I love the sunny days that stretch out long into the evenings.
As the lighter mornings gently creep in then, and spring is even fewer days away, I think of change myself. In hair colour. I am nowhere near as brave as some of my students who change their shade almost weekly from intense pinks to deep blues and vibrant purples, although I suspect if I was their age again I’d be going for it, leading the charge with a bright cerise or some such.
I think it goes back to my own teenage years when I had a Saturday job in the local hair salon which did a roaring trade in shampoos and sets with perms half price on a Wednesday for senior citizens. I worked there in my summer holidays too and in fact, the owner tried to persuade me not to go back to college but to stay on and train as a hairdresser. It wasn’t for me at the time, but I really enjoyed the craic with the customers, most of whom were regulars and who the staff got to know well.
Isn’t there something about a hairdresser’s chair though that makes us want to spill our guts and reveal the most intimate details of our lives? Stylists must hear some pretty hair-curling detail when it comes to our most embarrassing moments, what we think about the new guy in the office or a partner’s annoying habit of snoring, hogging the duvet or leaving the lid off the toothpaste tube (delete as appropriate). Things we wouldn’t normally discuss with anyone who isn’t our best friend.
It’s like spending time with a therapist or 10 minutes in a church confessional, whichever works best for you. It’s something to do with the close proximity of the hair stylist to the client and the intimacy of him or her working with your hair. At least so they say.
So I’ve just visited mine – and it’s been a while since we hooked up – a fact that was not lost on her. There’ve been a few stylists down the years, who’ve seen me through TV bobs, graduated wedges, buns, and other up-dos – all of which sounds like the menu at a fast food establishment. But the past fortnight has seen the return of the annual “should I or shouldn’t I change my hair colour” dilemma. It happens like clockwork every midwinter when I get bored and flirt around with other exotic sounding shades like topaz, mahogany or dark copper.
So I took the plunge and opted for “dark blonde”, which sounded safe enough to me. Husband came home though, late in the evening, and thought there was another woman in the house. It turns out dark blonde isn’t really blonde at all. More of a nutty brown. And with that, the hair experiment of winter 2015 is complete. I may be darker on the outside but on the inside, forever blonde.