8 hours ago
Going South: Top knots
September 9th 2013
Imogen Edwards-Jones thought she was on-trend with her hair donut - but finds it's a top NOT...
I think I need a change. Well, I’m apparently ‘that age.’ Well not quite that age: complaining of oppressive heat, while wearing an ill-fitting sleeveless dress in the depths of December, flapping my free-form bingo wings and Dirty Dancing programme in your face. No. Fortunately the menopause and a sudden desire to gawp at a Swayze-alike taking Baby out of the corner, appears to be a little way off… just yet.
But I definitely feel in need of a change. Having spent most of the summer horizontal on a sunny Ibizan beach, with an IV-drip of rose in my arm, a Fortuna fag in hand, nursing a bad case of haystack head; it is time to sit up, sober up and smarten up.
I am back, in town, with clicky heels on, carrying a handbag. I need to answer some emails, put my jangly bangles away and get my hair done. The problem is: how?
I read, the other day, that the majority of women chop their hair off when they reach the age of 46. And although that birthday may well be threatening/looming I am quite fond of my hair. Blond, brassy, in bad condition, it exudes all the smooth, soignée charm of someone who’s gently electrocuted themselves putting the knife in the toaster. And I don’t mind that. Normally. However this week I was going to a glamorous surprise birthday bash and the bush-backwards look wasn’t quite going to cut it.
I needed something cool, something with-it, something young and hip and groovy that says 'parday', even if I am just about to tumble the wrong side of 45.
So I booked myself into the glamorous Hari’s Hair Salon on the Brompton Road, SW1, for a little bit of an up-do. The girl on reception was completely delightful as she handed over their laminated lookbook for my perusal.
“The thing is,” I said flicking through. “I want one of those things on top of my head.”
“You do?” she queried. “Really? Right on the top?”
“Yes. Right on top,” I smiled, looking in-the-know. “Like those Peruvian drug dealers. (Very much allegedly, obviously.)”
“That’s what’s known as a donut,” she replied.
“In more ways than one!” I guffawed.
“Yes,” she nodded, politely. “The thing is, anything on the top is not very flattering.”
“How not flattering?” I must have looked very disappointed.
“But don’t worry,” she grinned, helpfully. “Gazi here is one of our senior stylists and he can do whatever you want.”
Down I sat, with my salon staples - a double macchiato and a copy of Hello Magazine – while Gazi and his assistant Sonal set to work. They smoothed and sprayed and tweaked and pinned, whilst I enjoyed scrutinising Pippa holding various glasses of champagne in various pairs of white jeans. And when I finally looked up, it was all done. My hair was smooth, sleek and in the tightest, highest, fattest bun I had ever seen. Very drug-dealer.
“Very nice,” lied Gazi tactfully.
“Very good,” I lied right back.
Very Kim from ‘How Clean is Your House?’ Or actually just very hideous. I looked like a sort of elderly, blonde, Lorraine Chase. The only good thing was my hair was pulled so high and so tight; my jowls disappeared in what was the ultimate Croydon facelift. As I walked out into the street, a few cars slowed down to stare. I began to walk slightly strangely, like I could feel the crunching of cocaine stashes squirrelled up my backside. Or perhaps it was just my arse clenching in embarrassment?
This was not quite the image I was after.
Back home, after I’d hit my head twice getting both in and out of the car (it was a BIG bun), I tried to get dressed to go out. But nothing would work. My nice Issa dress. My fun Alice Temperley shirt. My old fail-safe Matthew Williamson blouse from the olden-days. All looked completely out of place. This was twerk hair. It would only look good in a prison cell or on stage supported by a rubber bikini.
It took me ten minutes to deconstruct the donut and another five to get ready for the party. I should have listened to the receptionist. She was right. Nothing on top looks very flattering at all.