Operation Grey or memoirs of my hair!

Week 3!

Wk 2 Stats

1)      +1/2 a pound no suprise on a birthday week!

2)      1.7 (a drop to below the safe zone, which is entirely my fault as I forgot to take the drugs one day! I have increased the dose for a few days, and hope for a better reading next week)

Operation grey

Hair, or in fact MY hair has always been so important to me since being a young teenager…

I resonate with Lady Gaga’s lyrics:

I‘ve had enough 

This is my prayer 

That I’ll die livin’ just as free as my hair 


Or Tracy Turnblad’s proclamation

Oh, oh, oh look at my hair

What do can compare with mine today?

As a boy my hair was cut by my cousin, and then by the lady across the road who had worked in a salon! This came to an end when I asked for a wedge, and was not impressed with the results, and finally when she highlighted my hair (80’s style), and I looked like I had leopard spots rather than streaks of gold (like George Michael).

My response was to go to a salon in Hemel Hempstead called Hair Male, which at the time felt incredibly sophisticated! I had the most amazing wedge! Were wedges even cool outside of Hemel?

And what did I do about the highlights, well, I hit the sun-in, to try and give an all over blonde look! The results were multi coloured ranging from mid brown, via every shade of ginger to dirty blonde! BUT I had my flick at the front and I loved it!

Trying to keep it in place was a problem, and Mum was not too happy about me using her Sunsilk hairspray. She started buying me Cossack Hairspray which was for ‘men’! Was there really a difference? It smelt different, but did that really matter…

At least I never went to the lengths of Elnett which was the smelliest, ‘fragrant’ hairspray of them all… I had a school friend Tracey, who could have in part been responsible for several holes in the ozone layer due to her consumption of Elnett! Her entire do moved as one! The urban myth was that she used a can a day, which has never been confirmed, but I suspect only slightly exaggerated.

I spent hours with the hairdryer and Cossack trying to perfect my flick, ready for Tiffanys under 18s night in Dunstable, so it seems rather ironic that the next move was messed up PUNK!

I (1984) had started listening to The Smiths, and Everything but the Girl, and wanted to emulate this more spiky/alternative/ look. It had taken a while to make it to Hertfordshire mainstream! I had 2 really good friends at school called Heather. Heather B had dyed her hair black and spiky and was following a kind of gothic style, and I really wanted to as well. Heather A, was the hairstylist in the making, and the first person to dye my hair black! We went on an exchange trip to Germany and I went with brown, slightly spiky hair and came back with black very spiky hair. My parents nearly collapsed when I got off the coach! But I always wanted it blacker and higher! It got to the point where my Mum suggested that I might not want to speak to her if we bumped into each other in the village where I grew up. This wasn’t helped by another friends Mum who was the original rebel known as Lady Tina, who constantly told me my hair looked ‘wonderful’ and that I should ‘dye it blacker’ and ‘spike it higher’. I used normal household soap which I would lather up in my hands, apply to the hair, and then vigorously dry, followed by several layers of lacquer, each hairdryered to ensure position of hair.  I also used to style a fantastic DA at the back.

This all changed when Heather A had started Hair College, and decided that my hair should be shorter and proceeded to cut it! This was without my consent, but I was moving into more of a soul boy style, so it suited better. I then grew ‘curtains’ and had a sophisticated slick back style.

In 1990 Heather A cut my hair into a bowl, which was becoming trendy out of I think the Manchester scene, and I remember the laughs and guffaws, in fact a number of friends upset Heather by taking the piss! They weren’t laughing the next year when everyone wanted this cut.

The 90’s kind of passed by and I had a very short cut. I remember a 4 on top and a 2 at the sides. BUT I still used to put product on and spray it. It was more conservative, but then again my life was more conservative in the 90’s. There were occasions however, when I slipped back to the trusty black dye.

The shorter spikes started to make another appearance in the early naughties, and I started to dye it black again intermittently, and flirted with highlights in 2006.

In 2009 I realised my 30’s were slipping away and I wanted something dramatic! I bleached the top white, with a few dark brown strands and the sides and back brown. I had a kind of mane which started on the top and carried down the middle of the back, and this was all white! It looked fabulous, but I was worried it would fall out as the condition was so bad, needed daily treatments, and I therefore knew this was a onetime affair.

2010 I was 40, and hit the blue black bottle hard. In the immortal words of Amy, it was ‘Back to Black’!  My hair was now as high as it was in the 80’s (tempered down for work), and blacker than ever. I also decided to start wearing guyliner at the weekends again too. It was incredibly liberating.

This lasted through to 2012 when I cut the back shorter and wore the top flatter in a more 50’s throwback quiff, with short back and sides, and tempered the colour to a dark brown.

I had always dreaded going grey, and the re-growth was getting greyer and greyer. However, I have to be thankful as going bald for me would be so much worse. My hair has always been an integral part of my image, and my very essence, raison d’être, so to be 43 and still have a full head of hair I am grateful.

3 weeks ago I decided not to re-dye when I had it cut, and see what it looks like natural. It’s been over 3 ½ years since I have seen my hair natural and I already know its more grey than brown, but going to stick with it for a while and see what happens. The style is still quiffy with short back and sides (which would be shorter but for working in the boring financial services industry, where a certain boring, samey look is expected).

Those of you, who know me, might say that I can be hair obsessive, but I think its more hair enthusiastic J



10 thoughts on “Operation Grey or memoirs of my hair!

  1. Dear Wayne,
    I enjoyed your last entry – I must say, though, that all the descriptions of your hair treatments made me slightly dizzy…have you ever been on time at school? I would never have managed to get all those spiky thingies ready on time in the morning…thank God for long hair. 😉

    Go on writing, I like it!

    • Thanks Martina. I did have to run for the school bus on a number of occasions. Once whilst in the 6th form, I wore a cap, due to lack of time to style hair, and the Computer Studies teacher asked me to take off the cap in class or leave the class. I left the class and never went back!

      And it was art getting all those ‘spiky thingies’ ready. I knew every one:-)

      Thanks for the positive feedback.

  2. Ha! Don’t kid yourself Wayne. It’s hair obsessive all the way. 😀 Interesting to ponder why it’s such a central part of your image though.

    Cossack Hairspray ‘for men’ – that’s hilarious, especially the supervirile ‘Cossack’ imagery for anyone feeling a bit self-conscious about buying it. As for Elnett, it will always be granny hairspray to me.

    I realise on re-reading that ‘Hair Male’ was a pun on Hemel, and not pseudo-Italianate ‘Bad Hair’. Having not seen the photos, I guess it could have been both.

  3. lmao! Damn, that’s a lot of work for hair! In retrospect, I’m glad that mine started falling out, and I’ve started just getting it super short. I tried a few times to do it myself, but I would always miss spots, so it’s just easier to go to a stylist and just say “#1, all around” and she buzzes me and it’s gone. No time wasted in the morning prepping it.

    Elnett….sounds like our version of Aqua Net, that all the ladies used in the 80s.

  4. Hi herb,

    I have loved reading your blog re the hair,mainly for the memories of that jet black soapy mess that I constantly moaned about,lol,thank you for the blast from the past.

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