How to be a woman

For as many years as I can remember I have used my hair as a defining feature of my, well ‘me’.

In my early teens it was the blonde thing. Pant style, just without the giant breasts. I was a waif.

Later teens came the long black gothy phase. Still a bit waify, but the lack of daylight and nutrition added to the look…

Next entered a dubious frumpy phase that is best left back in the 90s from whence it came. Weight was gained.

After this, an interesting crop off the waist length hair to a spikes boy cut and wear many sensible shoes phase started. Around age 20 I started to grow a pair and became more self assured. There was still some way to go, but bottoms were kicked where appropriate.

By early 20s spiked hair became purple, numerous piercings were acquired and I saw the return of the goth/punk as I met LSH who was having an equally punky second rebellion with a giant Mohawk. We were made for each other with the same taste in massively baggy trousers and shouty music. The hair went black once more, but this time with bright red underneath.

BeanPole made an arrival and our lives got flipped upside down. Cue major identity crisis for both of us. By the time we’d sorted ourselves out, the hair was longer and fully black, Tinypants was cooking and we were married.

When Tinypants was 5 months old I started a full time degree in Computer Science and had the space to feed my outward personality. So began the endless hours spent with Mrs GypsyTree plaiting coloured dreadlocks into our growing hair while our tiny children played around us. Over the course of several years I maintained waist length dreadlocks of red, pink, purple, green and electric blue which came out every few months to be washed! This was by far one of the happiest times of my life.

Finally came the time for me to actually do some proper work, so the dreads were packed away (I still get them out sometimes to sigh and wish I was a bit younger). But the hair wasn’t done yet! I was a creative programmer employed for her skill, not her looks and sported a two tone hot pink / turquoise dyed look for a long time.

Teaching finally put an end to the wild colours and I tried a variety of blondes & browns until three years ago I went bright pillar box red and became ME.

But I’m ready for another change. After finally getting comfortable in my 33 year old body – which sometimes moves of its own accord, aches at inappropriate times and curves in ways it never used to, I’m also coming to terms with the idea that whilst I know my natural colour is brown, actually a fair bit is now rather white. I’m in no way ready to be a proper grown up, but I’m about to dye it all back to my natural brown then let the white arrive.

Don’t expect frumpy to make a comeback. Think more Betty Page locks (now there was a brunette to emulate!). I just don’t feel the need to make a wild statement on my head anymore, because actually what’s IN my head is far more interesting.

Just Because You Act Like A Hippy, Doesn’t Mean you Need To Look Like One

I’ve joined the ranks of the great unwashed and let myself go a bit ‘summer’. I’ve let the sun bleach my hair to an alarming ginger colour with some serious roots and I can’t actually remember the last time I wore makeup. I even started wearing random fabric bracelets and anklets…. My skin is looking dodgy and I’m feeling a bit old and worn around the edges. I even had a ‘how much grey hair is in my roots?!’ moment. In light of my recent musings on whether body hair is actually that bad, it’s clearly time to take action. I’m 33, but not in my head. In my head I’m singing that god awful Taylor Swift song (that’s “22” for those who aren’t tormented by a 7 year old’s music tastes).

This is me this evening. Tired after a long, but very fun day at the beach with friends and oh so many children (I was given charge of eleven at one point, all under 9).


Phase One of return to looking like me was the hair and skin and eyebrows….

Several hours of exfoliation, mixing stargazer red and purple and plucking and we have this!


I feel much more ‘me’ now the trademark hair is back in place. Tomorrow, I might even stick some make up on!


Alternatively, I have a blog about my amazing friends, car keys, breaking windows and many many children to write…