Jayne Dawson: The day my hair stood on end (literally and figuratively)

Woman having a bad hair day.
Woman having a bad hair day.
Have your say

How to break it to you gently? I give up, I can’t.

Sit down right now because here comes the brutal reality: They’re coming after your hair dryer.



I know, I know, you’re saying it will have to be prised from your cold, dead hand. And I’m with you.

But tough as it is, that’s the way things are. Fashion has decided that the blow dry is over and the air dry is in. What’s an air dry? Why, it’s letting your hair dry in God’s natural air. Doh!

Hair now should curl and kink, it should frizz and flyaway, it should lie flat and lank.

Because that, my friends, is very much the new fashion, and since fashion is a juggernaut that cannot be stopped, you need to climb aboard or get squished.

We should have known life was too good to be true. Everyone had discovered the means to make their hair smooth, and to do it in their own home, taking but a moment. Fashion wasn’t going to allow that situation to continue. I mean, if fashion was easy everyone would be able to do it - and then it wouldn’t be fashion, darling.

So, the demise of the Greatest Gadget Ever Invented is coming. Vidal Sassoon, God bless him, introduced us to its magic, and now it’s over.

That being the case, let’s reminisce about the days of the Perfect Blow Dry, when the less your hair looked and acted like hair, the better. The Perfect Blow Dry removed all discernable life from your locks. It made every strand behave as one, all pointing in the same direction at the same time. It basically made your hair think it was a colony of ants, every follicle programmed to work together. The Perfect Blow Dry defied time, space and gravity. Especially when given a good, thick coating of lacquer.

The problem was it could only be truly achieved by an expert, and that meant an expensive visit to a salon.

But then, along came The Other Greatest Gadget Ever Invented, the hair straightener. With these powerful tools in our hands, the heat coming off them akin to the earth’s molten core, we could tame even the most unruly heads. One pass of the straighteners and even the most cack-handed could transform their dry, frizzed, open cuticles into The Perfect Hair, all smoothed, polished, straight and glossy.

They had a dark side, but what doesn’t? Straighteners were a pure Catch 22 - their heat fried the hair so much, only straighteners could make it look human again.

But still, all was miraculous... until a terrible phrase came into being.

You know the one I’m talking about. That’s it, you’ve got it in one. “Newsreader hair”.

Two words. Used separately, so innocent. Together, so toxic.

Suddenly, perfect strands of hair, all programmed to move as one, were the worst thing you could have. The look was outdated. It was Footballers Wives, and that’s a bad thing now.

You knew that, right? You knew poker straight hair was no longer a thing of fashion beauty?

So back to the big news.

The very best hair, fashion has decided, is hair untouched by heated appliance. Hair that has been made wet, and then left to dry again. That is the look to aim for. As for styling, pah. Twist it round your fingers.

What do you think? Are you speechless? Okay, I’ll tell you what I think. I think it’s mad. I think never mind the EU referendum, this could ruin the economy.

How will anyone get to work on time? They will all be madly towel-drying in front of the gas fire, twisting bits of hair around their fingers when they should be on their daily commute.

Plus, relationships could suffer. Life before the widespread use of the heated appliance wasn’t pretty. People looked, gasp, their age.

Any woman over 40, exhausted from a life of towel drying and finger styling, had to resort to a cauliflower perm, and continue it until death intervened

So the heat is on, or rather it’s off. It’s difficult to know what to advise. Perhaps use your hairdryer in secret until the worst is over. And keep calm. In other words, keep your hair on.

Bag obsession not our fault

I understand why the bag tax is coming in on October 5. Understand it and support it - through gritted teeth.

I know the only way to change our behaviour in more or less every area of life is to hit us where it hurts, in our pockets. Equally, I know our carrier bag habit isn’t really our fault - we didn’t demand a world full of plastic bags, stores offered them enticingly to us and made us dependent.

We went from a nation with a couple of hessian shopping bags hung on the pantry door to a country where every house has its own carrier bag stash, but only because the supermarkets made us that way. Their endless supply of free, light, strong containers was too tempting to resist. We threw away our hessian shoppers, we ditched our charming wicker baskets and succumbed.

But I accept it is important for us to get back to the hessian way of life, because otherwise our legacy will be that we choked the life out of our own planet with our nasty ways.

So that’s all clear, but here’s the thing. The take-your-own habit has deserted me, because of all of the above, and I cannot get it back again. Try as I might, my brain will not comply. My car is stuffed with bags for life, my garage is bursting with them - but I have yet to remember to carry one into a store.

Apparently, it takes 66 days of doing something every day to establish a new habit - so that means a lot of shopping trips between now and Christmas.

The milk bar kids terrorising London’s gentry

Sometimes I let myself down. Violence is never the answer, that’s obvious. Neither is intimidation. I despise both. I am a peaceable person, except at home and being faced with an empty toilet roll holder again.

And it must also be frightening to be in a cafe, a safe little haven from the stresses of the day, and find your venue surrounded by a threatening mob.

I would have been terrified.

And yet. And yet. There is something so irritating, so very annoying about a cafe run by “hipsters” - that’s men with beards and a generally Edwardian look about them - and selling only overpriced bowls of cereal that makes me want to forgive those people. They were part of a group in London protesting about gentrification and they surrounded the Cereal Killer cafe because, with its £4.50 bowls of sugary flakes, it symbolises, for them, all that is wrong with the world.

They were wrong of course they were, but I can’t be the only one who feels a bit of sympathy.