May 22 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I’ve always hated having my hair cut – sitting in the chair, I’m always reminded of those sinister halls of mirrors at funfairs with the added knowledge that I look terrible in every single one of them.
Those that know me, love me or simply tolerate me will all have suffered the “should I have a fringe?” debate which I instigate every time I consider whether I should vainly ward off the ageing process with Botox or a fringe that covers my entire face.
Having had Botox in the past, I am wary about dipping my toe in the murky waters of cosmetic surgery again and spending six months with no facial expressions whatsoever.
It took a full year for the effect of the Botox to wear off completely, during which my face crept from Stepford Wife to Mick Jagger in stealthy increments.
Having wished to have a face as smooth as an egg, the ravishes of time defiantly frozen to the point where the staff in Sainsbury’s would ask me for ID if I tried to buy a butter knife, I swiftly realised that the illusion of youth is a high price to pay for not being able to register surprise, excitement, anger, horror or any emotion other than “slightly vacant”.
Then again, the alternative involves visiting a hairdresser.
I have nothing against hairdressers – lovely people – but the experience they offer is one I would cheerfully forgo forever if scientists unveiled a pill you could swallow that did the job for you without having to make small talk.
It appears, however, that help may be close at hand: Panasonic has invented a robot which washes hair and offers a head massage and hope that, in the future, robots will be able to cut hair, too.
This means you could use the robot at home. It means you could burst into tears when you saw what it had done and not choke them back while you hand over a tip. It means no one would realise that you never go on holiday.
I shed more hair than a Newfoundland dog after an Immac shower – if I sat still for long enough, I’d leave behind one of those outlines you see at murder scenes, except mine would be made of my crowning glory, not chalk lines.
Sometimes, when I unblock the vacuum cleaner, I marvel at the fact that I still have any hair left on my head, let alone that it remains long enough to keep my neck warm in the winter.
Once upon a time I would leave fuzzy balls of hair outside in the springtime, having read somewhere that it saved lazy birds the hassle of pulling out their own feathers to line their nests.
Then I found it. A nest in my garden made up almost entirely of my own hair – it was like something out of a Stephen King novel, although I have to say that those birds were marvellous housekeepers; the hair in the nest looked in considerably better condition than that remaining on my head.
Now the hair goes in the bin, which is a real waste when you consider the Elton Johns and local radio DJs of this world who could save themselves a fortune and the indignity of those painful-sounding pubic hair grafts if they happened to beat the binmen to it on a Thursday.
My son, now 11, has only recently stopped insisting that I collected the hair he had cut off to keep as a slightly sinister souvenir.
The last batch I was forced to keep was stuffed hurriedly into my purse, resulting in a month of explaining to shopkeepers why the cash I was handing them was hairy (I am unpopular enough in my area without being the giver of hirsute money, yet couldn’t quite bring myself to hoover my purse).
My boy hated the idea of his golden locks merging with the grizzled remains of the last customer’s head at the barber’s and would always ask what happened to the abandoned hair after it’s been swept into a corner.
If he’d had his hair cut in Suffolk in 2009, I’d have had an answer for him.
There, a Sudbury hairdresser was fined hundreds of pounds after it emerged he’d been dumping customers’ hair illegally in nearby countryside.
The very last thing I want to see on a charming countryside walk is a pile of human hair – forget the twig shapes in Blair Witch Project, a mountain of Suffolk hair is far more chilling.
I hear Suffolk hair is made of razor wire, too.