No, I am not ginger. I am GREY. My hairdresser once described the back of my head as looking like a badger's arse. Which was nice. I'm not grey all over, not yet, and with help from my hairdresser I have been keeping it at bay. I chose to go blonde - so that the regrowth isn't so noticeable. Recently I've realised that blonde doesn't really suit me and so I have now chosen to embrace my natural red undertones with some subtle copper low lights. I feel better for it. I no longer look like a corpse.
So why do I cover the grey? Cos I don't want to look old.
I read a book this weekend called To Hell In High Heels by Helena Frith-Powell, which covers her journey through all the anti-aging procedures you can imagine. She didn't try all of them but thoroughly researched those she didn't. Fairly close to the beginning of the book she describes a treatment on offer at the La Prairie clinic in Switzerland whereby clients can opt to have injections of a youth enhancing concoction that is harvested from the livers of unborn lambs. Apparently there is a whole sheep farm dedicated to this purpose. When the female sheep is in the late stages of pregnancy she is taken to an abattoir and killed. The lamb foetus is taken to the clinic where cells from its liver are taken to use in the injections. People who've had these injections claim to feel revitalised and full of energy. I imagine that somewhere there is a mad scientist working with this research and wondering whether the results could be improved upon by using a human foetus.
Anyhow, my desire not to look old will never extend this far; it will never extend beyond hair dye and face cream. I am far too squeamish to contemplate surgery or needles, even if I had the money. Recently I was involved in an incident where some young people saw fit to draw attention to my age [trust me, they paid the price for their silliness], and I was a little hurt. With hindsight they weren't exactly the most attractive young people I've ever seen. One of the young women was blessed with an awful lot of puppy fat, topped off with a pair squinty current bun eyes. Did I ridicule her for this? No I didn't. Exchanging personal insults never aids a discussion. My point is that youth doesn't necessarily equate with beauty. Where does this idea come from? I wasn't jaw droppingly gorgeous when I was younger, so I doubt I'm ever going to be - even if I decide to have my jowls sewn up behind my ears, being jaw droppingly gorgeous is an experience that I'm never going to have.
The conclusion the book came to was that it's impossible to reclaim your youth, the best that you can do for yourself is to eat a healthy diet and take a moderate amount of exercise; limit alcohol to the odd glass of red wine and STOP smoking. And always wear sunscreen. And get plenty of sleep... basically work with what you've got... and if you've got glorious red locks stop trying to be a brassy blonde... there is nothing less attractive than fighting your own natural colouring. And when you see 50 looming over the horizon, when your jowls are building a long term relationship with your neck, comfort yourself with the knowledge that not all young people are visions of loveliness either.