I'm sure most women around my age - lets say *middle aged* remember one or two frightening ladies from our childhood who closely resembled Mrs Slocombe from 'Are you being served?'
In fact I remember embarrassing my mother once with a loud childish exclamation of 'Why's that lady got purple hair?'
But ladies grey hair has moved on...
Mary Beard has received a ridiculous amount of grief over her appearance but she is one of my hair heroes
as is Emmylou Harris
Yes you can let your hair go grey, yes you can wear it long, and yes this is exactly what I decided to do with mine about three years ago.
I had an epiphany walking along my local high street; the ladies of a certain age with unlikely jet black hair were out in force that day and totally on the spur of the moment I decided I didn't want to become one of them.
I decided to grow out my natural hair colour which I knew from the roots to be mostly grey at the front and sides.
An easy decision to make but a laborious one to carry out.
The first thing you do is have your hair cut really short and then keep it that way until the last of the colour (in my case let's be nice and call it titian) has been snipped off.
Once that is achieved you have the colour you want but a style you hate and the growing process begins in earnest.
You tend to aim for a bob at first and I made the mistake of making it a fringed bob which added time to the growing process when I eventually decided I wanted my hair to be all one length.
I'm probably one more trim away from that now and afterwards I intend to aim for Mary Beard length and sod the critics.
As a bonus my hair is now healthier than it has been for years - the joy of watching the roots grow through the same colour as the rest of your hair has to be experienced to be believed,
And how does my hair look now?
Well as I expected all the hair around my face is white (there is no such thing as 'grey' hair) The back is more mixed.
I've learnt nothing looks worse than greasy grey hair, but grey hair kept in peak condition can look almost ethereal.
A plus for me is that my grey hair is a coarser and has in fact thickened up my fine hair to a certain extent.
And there are plenty of products out there to keep it looking good.
After a few false starts with purple shampoos for grey hair that purport to make it look silver but ultimately give it the dreaded mauve hue I discovered:
Klorane Silver Highlights Shampoo with Centaurea Extract for Grey/White Hair
The shampoo is white and repeated use makes your white hair bright and silvery
For styling I follow through with Shiny Silver Ultra Mousse which completes the silvery shine (well it would wouldn't it with a name like that?)
Both are available from Amazon
I'm getting there.