Say hello, wave goodbye
However, skin is not the subject in hand.
When I was a small child, I deduced - from observation of the world around me - that womens' hair becomes curly when it goes grey. (I do remember finding it odd that men's hair didn't behave in the same way, but I was too young to recognise the significance of that fact for my scientific theory.) However, when I was about five, my grandmother took me on a longer walk than usual and into a shop run by a woman who had long, straight grey hair in a plait. Which goes to show that appearances can be deceptive. Particularly where women are concerned. The fact that 99.99% of old ladies have curly hair (or did, in the 1960s) doesn't necessarily imply that their hair has simply curled with age.
Having long dismissed my childish conclusion as having been based on an entirely false premise, I am beginning to wonder whether it contained an element of truth after all...
For more than 40 years* I had hair of such unrepentant straightness that rulers and pokers would hide themselves away from me in dark corners for fear of coming off worse in a comparison.
But I recently became aware that, when I touched the hair on the back of my head with my hand, it felt different. Feeling rather foolish, and bracing myself for gentle ridicule, I asked my hairdresser whether my hair had really developed a distinct wave.
What is interesting to me is that, not only did she immediately confirm that rulers and pokers may now co-exist with me in perfect confidence, but that she was not at all surprised by the change. She assured me that this happens to a lot of women "of a certain age" and, indeed, had happened to her some years earlier. (I gather it's a permanent alteration rather than a brief dalliance.)
While I'm not disconcerted in the slightest by the news that my hair will never again be ramrod-straight - frankly, I have many and various better things to worry about - I'm surprised this tendency of middle-aged women's hair hasn't been seized upon by the marketing mavens. After all, you can barely turn the television on without being assured that your "first greys" (pardon me while I wince in agony at that unwarranted abuse of a perfectly good adjective) can be covered up so that no-one will know you are no longer twenty-five.
I rely on advertising to alert me to the "signs of aging" about which I am expected to lose sleep, but I have never heard so much as a whisper about the waviness thing.
- the trichologists can't come up with a solution (not that this would usually stand in their way);
- the advertisers haven't been alerted to this potentially-lucrative new niche;
- adverts are aimed at women below the age of 45; or
- the phenomenon is far less widespread than my hairdresser believes.
Can anyone venture a guess as to which (or which combination) of those alternatives is the right answer? (I have to admit, this sounds like one for m'learned colleague, The Goldfish.)
*Er, apart from a couple of years in the 1980s in which I succumbed to the demands of fashion and had my hair permed. This was not an unqualified success. Or a good look.