Consulting a hairdresser for advice can be daunting, but this time it was a refreshingly straightforward experience.

I like my hair the way it is, mostly: long and usually fastened up. It’s no bother like that, and trimming the ends is a trivial task easily executed by an untrained husband with a ruler and a spirit-level. The only problem is the bits that won’t grow long — little wisps that spring from my hairline all the way round, but most noticeably around the ears and temples, and never get to more than about 4 inches long, so they won’t stay tied up with all the rest. They’re especially irritating when outdoors if the wind is blowing, and unappealing when indoors again afterwards (strands sticking out in all directions). So I made an appointment with a posh stylist in town and explained the problem. Could it be fixed, perhaps by artful cutting, perming, something?

No, she said, it could not. Some people’s hair is just like that. There’s really nothing we can do about it. Cutting would only make it worse. The only way to keep those wispy bits under control is … hairspray! Now, why didn’t I think of that?

So I bought some, and tried it — and it works. It had simply never occurred to me as a possibility before. Not for ordinary day-to-day use, anyway. Hairspray, like make-up, was a thing for “girly” women and for very special occasions, not for normal use by sensible grown-ups like me.

I gave the hairdresser a big tip, and left happy. Such a relief to get proper advice.


And I always thought it was a deliberate look, a charming Herrick “sweet disorder”.

x Diana