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  • Writer's pictureTanya Louise

Beauty: What age should you ditch the hair dye?

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Tanya Louise hair dye
I know, it's a shock I dye my hair ;)

PR stunt or not, I think Macca's decision to ditch the dye is the right one for him.

Does that mean I’ll follow the trend and go au natural....? How about hell no.

Sir Paul McCartney hit the headlines recently after deciding to ditch the hair dye. 

Let’s look at the facts shall we? He’s 76 and he’s just had a book published entitled ‘Hey Grandud’ (see what they did there?) What better way to publicise it.

Before anyone starts, I’m not saying that at 76 we should not be dying our hair. I hope I’m A) still caring about how I look and B) Most importantly - alive! My Mum is a normal 75 year old, despite the fact she's stockpiling toilet rolls because of Brexit and daren't touch a computer in case she starts a war, she still dyes her hair from a box with a picture of Holly Willoughby on the front. Now she’s under no illusion that she’s going to look like Holly Willoughby (at least I don’t think so) but she ‘wears it well’ (I know, different artist) My issue with Macca and Cliff alike is dying it that fake reddish colour that no man, woman or beast their age would naturally have.  Against their ageing skin tone, it looks, well...fake!  

At some point they probably could get away with it, but someone should have had a word. I remember when I was pushing 30 and feeling old (God, what I’d give to be that age now) I was working in an office and a client would come in. She was In her 50’s, she had long bleach blond frizzy hair, drove a bus and had a voice like a fog horn. I had an epithony that this might be how I appeared to others and, drastically for me, I got a darker blonde dye.  

When I washed it off, to me, it may as well have been black.  It looked so dark in comparison to my usual colour, and you know what, I didn't feel like me.  My saving grace was that the week after I went on holiday abroad and the sun lightened it back to its usual colour and all was well in the world,  But I can see where the likes of Macca are coming from.

Tanya Louise born blonde - natural hair
Me at Mablethorpe as a kid - before I started dying my roots brown.

If you've been born a certain colour, it can be hard to let go or see yourself as any other.   I was born blonde.  It was only when those pesky hormones started kicking in about the age of 13 that it gradually got darker. I remember the devastation of learning colours in French class, the teacher pointing to my head and a boy saying 'Brun'

These were the Kylie Minogue Neighbours years, and like many I bought a product called 'Sun In' which you sprayed on your hair, burning your fingers in the process, and scrunch dried it to within an inch of its life.

So you see for the majority of my life I've been blonde.  I feel it's part of my identity.  Did McCartney feel the same about his barnet?  We often assume men don't care as much about their appearance as women, but why shouldn't they?

Tanya Louise hair growth following chemotherapy.
Me just after my hair grew back following chemo

More men nowadays are getting more and more hair treatments and even transplants (I saw a guy today in the hairdressers - must have been in his 60's with foils in)  As a woman, one of my worse hair times was losing it to chemotherapy.  Not only are you going through hell, you're robbed of your identity and femininity.  It's a mind fuck. I'm now over two years down the line and it can still not grow quick enough, even though my roots mysteriously constantly need doing.  

I've often thought that if God had been a woman our hair would grow from the tip not the root.  How much easier would that be!

The only plus side of having to grow your hair from scratch is trying the different styles along the way.

So I do sympathise with Macca and the publicity surrounding his hair which has summoned such headlines as Get Black and We Can Rinse it Out, but on the whole I think it suits him much better.  Joking aside, if a man goes grey, as in the McCartney articles, they'd referred to as 'distinguished' or a silver fox, whereas the poor woman tends to be reported as letting themselves go.

We all have different priorities, it may be your kids run you ragged and your go-to style is a low maintenance pony tail. I'm there at the moment - not with kids - my hair is just at that awkward stage when you're trying to grow it. But the fact I don't have kids (and this is my excuse) means I have the time and disposable income to try new things when it comes to hair.  Next week for example I'm trying Balayage. A word I can say in my head but when I open my mouth it comes out 'Blange'. Today I had it straightened then curled (If you've got naturally curly hair, you'll know why that's not weird)

Me and a pal made a pact when we were teenagers, that if ever we smelt of wee when we got old we'd tell the other.  I'd like to think it's the same when the time comes to stop dying my hair.

Love T xx


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