Coronavirus diaries: Think lockdown is bad? Try lockdown with bad roots

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YOU's deputy editor Nicola Whitfield and her daughter Robynne
YOU's deputy editor Nicola Whitfield and her daughter Robynne

I’ve sorted my wardrobe. Let’s just say I’m finding stuff to do in lockdown and things are generally looking okay at my little patch of property.

The same, sadly, cannot be said for my hair. It’s been way more than six weeks since a qualified person went to work on my roots, transforming them from boring to blondish. Things were looking dire – so dire that, I’m ashamed to say, my locks were the first thing that ran through my mind when Cyril announced lockdown would be extended. Well, that and my dwindling wine supply.

I get it, of course I do: locking us up is necessary to save lives. But by the time this is all over I feared I’d look like a llama that’s rolled in mud – dark and grungy at the centre, light and matted at the edges. Something needed to be done. Fast.

I knew what I needed: a spray-on product a whole bunch of middle-aged ladies were raving about on Facebook. Touches up the roots, they said. Covers the grey and boosts your colour, they added. This will see you to your next appointment, they promised.

And so, earlyish on Easter Sunday, I headed to Clicks, dragging my daughter along for moral support and colour-conferring purposes. First stroke of luck: no queues. We just walked in, grabbing a couple of bumper boxes of marshmallow eggs on our way to the hair aisle because – well, Easter. And because lockdown means you can never eat enough.

Second stroke of luck: the spray-on stuff was in stock! We paid and off we went, merrily munching on eggs all the way home.

One of the joys of getting a bit older is you don’t have to wash your hair that often. Before lockdown I shampooed twice a week. After? None of your business.

Yes, my office has video conferences but if you position your laptop in the darkest reaches of your house (your cupboard, say), your colleagues will barely be able to see you. And there’s always the camera-off feature if you’re having a truly hideous hair day. If people ask you to turn it on, just tell them they’re breaking up.

So the problem was this: I didn’t feel like washing my hair. And I needed to wash it in order to use the product. Apply to clean, styled hair, it said. Styled? Were they mad? We’re fighting a virus here, people – who has time for styling?

I waited a day, then gave in, washed it in the shower and went to bed with it wet. Perhaps it would look all volumey when I woke up, I thought. It didn’t of course, it just looked dreadful. Still, I got out the spray and zapped it to the roots. Leave for a minute before touching, the instructions said. Easy, I thought – no one is touching anything close to their faces these days.

After a few minutes I raced to the mirror: nothing. I sprayed some more, waited more minutes: nothing. Just the same drab roots. I sprayed most of the can on it, ignoring the ‘use sparingly’ direction. My scalp started itching like mad. But the colour did change: it went a little darker. Seems the ‘dark blonde’ on the can is more dark than blonde and that llama is becoming even more of a reality.

Lockdown locks blues are a thing. Trust me. Pass the banana bread.

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