Imogen Edwards-Jones is middle-aged, not middle-of-the-road. This week: can keratherapy (a kind of Brazilian blow dry) restore her bleach-damaged locks?
They say that the year you get famous is the year you stop growing as a person (poor Michael Jackson, for example, never got past the age of 6, with his monkey, his special friends and his handy amusement park). For those of us who are not famous, the rule is slightly different: the year you lose your virginity is the year your "look" stops changing.
Unfortunately for me this means that style-wise I am forever locked in the 80s, channelling bleached blonde Bananarama hair and more thick black kohl eye make-up than you can shake a Gothic stick at. There is nothing I like more than big shirt, a thick hip belt, a pastel Miami Vice jacket and a skin-tight skinny jean. I dance like a Wham! backing singer, love Barbecue Beef Supernoodles, and even occasionally hanker after a Lean Cuisine - although I do draw the line at Miss Selfridge Flamboyant Peach lipstick and a pint of Black Tower wine.
Anyway, the net-result of all this is my default hair is dipped in bleach and back combed into candyfloss frizz until it is frayed and snapping at the ends - a sort of Patsy by way of a skip, after a night on the tiles with Swampy and a gang of M11 protesters. Or at least that’s what poor Ivan thought as he unclipped my stiff motionless locks in the leather spiny chair in Inanch on Great Portland Street.
“When was the last time you to went to the hairdresser?” he ventured, trying, and failing, to run his hands through my hair. “Last year?” I shrugged. “And these?” he tugged at something on the back of my head. “Oh, those,” I nodded. “Those will be my very old hair-extensions.”
Poor Ivan. I could tell he wanted the salon floor to swallow him up and take him hairdresser heaven where he got to snip 2 cm off some poker straight Paltrow locks while flicking through a juicy Boyzone wedding in OK Magazine. But instead he took two hours very carefully taking the old sticky extensions out of my hair and I shall forever love him for that. He is a very nice, very kind man.
Next came the Keratherapy, a new hair care treatment without any harmful chemicals, that is designed to smooth and coat the hair shaft to make the hair glossy, shinny and strong. Unlike a Brazilian blow-dry which straightens your hair for four months at a time, Keratherapy coats and smoothes it but doesn’t leave it looking like a WAG wig.
Step 1 was a shampoo, Step 2 was a smoothing product, Step 3 was the ironing process and Step 4 was the seal. The whole process takes about an hour and half, with lots of combing to keep the hair straight in between. Fortunately, I had Amy Childs off of TOWIE to one side of me, and Michelle Heaton off of Liberty X on the other side. They were both discussing the porno-tome, 50 Shades of Grey, which was frankly enough to keep me entertained all afternoon.
Sadly it didn’t, and come 3pm, I had to vacate my seat with the glossiest, flickiest, salon hair I have ever had in my life. Honestly, it was advert hair. Bouncing down the street hair looking at yourself in shop windows hair! And what is extraordinary is that three weeks later I still have it. No matter how many times I thrash it up and down a swimming pool, leave it lying out in the sun, or indeed crawl out of a skip clutching a bottle of Black Tower, it still looks perfect. Hair heaven at last!