I looked in the mirror and realised my mum was right

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There are many nightmares that women can have – and one of the most frightening is going to a new hairdresser.

There’s that panic which accompanies looking in the mirror and realising that you are long overdue for some kind of hair action.

Whether it’s a cut, a colour or a complete overhaul, you know that you need emergency attention.

For me, the warning signs were there when my mother, with all her unbridled tact and wisdom, said: ‘Your hair’s looking straggly’.

There were only so many days I could deny this fact before I finally looked in the mirror in proper daylight (not my favourite half-light in the bathroom which helps to flatter away the years) and thought: ‘Damn, she’s right’.

So I found the Yellow Pages and rang and rang salons until someone said yes, they could fit me in.

It’s not exactly scientific is it? You’d think that I would spend time seeking the recommendations of fellow curly people, or at least any recommendation. But when you’re in desperate times, you take desperate measures.

It’s hard having curly hair, which is why you really should go for hairdressing experience. A millimetre off straight hair and it’s exactly that. But the same amount off curly hair could tip the balance of the whole spiral and see it retract into itself, actually losing centimetres off the overall length.

So, duly robed up, I took a good look in the mirror and realised that, in the harsh light of the hairdresser’s salon, it wasn’t only the hair on my head that was straggly.

Eyebrows, moustache and chin waggled back at me as if alive in the mirror. No longer the fairest, not by a mile.

‘I’m 40’ I said by way of explanation to the beautician who whisked me away, sirens wailing, for an emergency waxing, leaving her other customer to enjoy an extra-long face mask while she rescued me from the ravages of time and laziness.

Then she returned me to the hairdresser, all pink, raw and ready for my hair to be chopped.

How did it go? Well, no-one has noticed I’ve had it cut, but I know the straggly bits have gone – and that’s a success.