I am asked often about my hair – how I style it? What products I use? How do I get the curls? Is it naturally curly? And is it all mine? Absolutely! So I enlisted Maestro Will 'IT' Gowing's assistance and we made a little video showing it from freshly washed to on-air ready! I hope you like it…
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My favourite shampoos are Philip Kingsley and Liz Earle. Elasticizer is always in my cupboard, in fact that and Tangle Teezers I would fight you for! Truly necessary and often recommended.
Every strand of my hair is fine but I have tonnes of it! Interestingly since I have had the children I've developed a wriggle , the kind of wriggle you see on corrugated iron, but not the top layers interestingly. I'm truly grateful for that movement, as random as it is, as straight was not the word as I grew up!
You'll see from the picture I was a blonde as a little girl and have always been utterly convinced that I should've STAYED blonde, truly blonde and not from a box, though my box of choice is L'Oreal Recital, lightest ash blonde. My natural shade (not sure I recall it) is a medium/warm brown with warmth in it.
As soon as I was old enough I used to pinch Mummy's purple-toned shampoo in the vain hope I too would emerge from the bathroom a true blonde…the actual 'dye your hair first', the vital part of the process had not really registered ! In fact the purple shampoo was purely to tone coloured hair and obviously did absolutely nothing for my mid-brown shade!
In the days of perming (remember I was poker straight) aside from the inevitable corkscrews of frizzle, each perm I had altered my colour to a rather strange shade of orange! Thrilling for me as that was one step closer to my desired blonde!
'Flying colours,' was a rather expensive albeit classy way of painting hair with an array of colours to add a bit of a wow. Vidal Sassoon in Manchester was where I had it done – it was a birthday present. Hair was an important thing for me even then, however, I still yearned to be blonde. Although looking at this picture taken whilst on holiday in Portugal (I was just 16) I rather like it my natural look.
My blonde moment! (yes these days blonde moments are a regular occurrence) was to come when whilst still at college I successfully auditioned to be a Sindy Doll in a show at the huge annual Toy Fair at Earls Court.
The hugely important designers David and Elizabeth Emmanuelle who created Lady Diana's wedding dress were the designers of our costumes – we were the 'real life' Sindy dolls and did shows during the fair to a fantastic response.
I was in heaven as I truly was a Sindy Girl growing up and not at all interested in the American Barbie. So, a brunette Sindy? Don't be silly! Of all the blondes George May ( the choreographer) COULD HAVE chosen, he wanted me! It was meant to be, destiny was calling!
I was escorted to a salon in North London and literally hours in the chair turned me into a tiger. I loooooved it and that was the start – blonder blonde I now had firmly in my sights.
Throughout my dancing days I toyed with ash/short hair, highlights and a yuk grey-coloured blonde (not a great look!!! ) whole head blonde though became the way for me with the odd set of stripes as I call them just to break up the rather Bet Lynch look I sported!! As I've greyed in areas, I've been delighted to see lighter bits through my hair, so a bonus of age for me!
I have for many years now done my own roots at home and I find it works so well for me and can be easily applied at the oddest of times of day or night which has been so very helpful with all the strange working patterns , auditions and photoshoots I have experienced over the years. I learnt at a very early age to 'do' my Mummy's hair and feel very confident with doing my own roots. That said, I am certainly not advocating home hairdressing is for everyone and lets never forget that a hairdresser is trained and knowledgeable in all areas of colour application.
Bad hair day
Unfortunately for me some years ago now I worked on a commercial for a hair product and the salon I had been sent to made a huge error with the quantity of bleach and the length of development time – the result was a disaster!
My hair was ruined, cotton wool in texture and coming out in handfuls. I was sent to a trichologist (none other than Philip Kingsley!) to ascertain if indeed there would be any lasting damage which thankfully there was not . Equity took my case on and I received a significant amount of money from the hairdressers as my work was compromised during the time it took to grow out, as indeed was my confidence.
I remember acutely how utterly devastated I felt during that whole time and as a consequence I have always been aware of how our hair is such a very important part of who we are. I saw the devastation Ali Keenan felt as she began to lose her hair during her cancer treatments, the dignity with which she coped during her battle and I shared in her immense joy when her new baby fluffy hair emerged! "It's only hair" some may say yet to Ali and to so many of us it is very symbolic.
Perhaps because of this I am always so very very thrilled when any one comments on my hair and although its a bit of a pickle washing and doing it, I know I'm a very lucky girl to have it and am sticking with the long, flowing look….for now at least!