Grey may be the new black for ladies - but I'm still a dye-hard
I'm extremely low-maintenance when it comes to my beauty routine. I don't do fake tan, I can count on one hand the number of manicures/pedicures I've ever had, and my skincare regime is so basic that it makes my beauty-junkie friends cringe.
There's really only one thing I'm fussily fastidious about when it comes to my appearance - colouring my grey hair.
I've been engaged in mortal combat with grey since my early 20s, when I woke up one morning and discovered the first coarse silver strands peeking through my unruly mop. Two decades later, I'm still waging a war against Mother Nature.
My regrowth is now so spectacularly vicious that I get my hair dyed every four weeks, like clockwork. I could quite happily get it dyed every three weeks, when the first glimmers of silver begin to appear, but apparently this is "not a good idea". So, for the last week I usually dab the offending silver strands with an old tube of mascara that I keep especially for the purpose, anxiously counting down the hours to 'dye day' as I go.
Why do I go to all this trouble? Because, I suppose, on the most basic level I equate going grey with getting old. I'm damned if I'm going to give in to the tide of time without a fight - at least when it comes to my hair.
So imagine how I felt when I read (ironically, in the hairdresser's chair) that young women are going grey on purpose. Yes, thanks to supermodels such as Cara Delevingne, Granny Hair is now considered the ultimate in cool. The phenomenon even has its own hashtag on social media. A quick look on Twitter reveals scores of gorgeous girls modelling their shiny silver tresses with pride - and looking incredible while they're at it.
Talk about a kick to the teeth. It's all very fine for these beautiful young things to mess around and go grey for laughs, but I reckon it's making a mockery of us dye-hards who are fighting tooth and nail to keep real grey at bay.
Frankly, the sight of fresh-faced beauties looking stunning with their fake grey hair doesn't make me think I too could go grey - it makes me feel even worse about my predicament.
Of course, I could console myself with the knowledge that their coughs will be softened when their first real grey hair appears. But that would be mean-spirited.
I often wish I could just bite the bullet, wave goodbye to the dye and embrace the grey. Sometimes - when I'm sitting in the hairdresser's chair with the brown hair colour I'm addicted to dripping down my neck - I fantasise that I'm going to shave my mop off and grow in a silver crop. After all Helen Mirren and Judi Dench are two gorgeous ladies who rock silver hair with style and attitude.
But then I look in the (somehow always very unflattering) hairdresser's mirror and I'm reminded that I haven't been graced with the sort of gorgeous bone structure required to carry this off.
The harsh reality is that to rock grey with panache you have to be possessed of cheek bones that could cut glass or be an adolescent - or both.
I don't know what lies in store for me. Am I doomed to dye forever? Will the day come when I decide that I just don't care anymore and I'll let nature take its course?
Or maybe science will develop some way to stop people going grey altogether, if they choose to? I guess a gal can always dream.