Wild hair colour lifts Mindy Hammond’s spirits during lockdown

It’s a tricky old time, but I’m sure that when we look back in years to come, while devastated at the loss of friends or family, we’ll also reminisce on how we occupied ourselves during isolation.

I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t either started spring-cleaning or decorating over the past few weeks.

We may all be housebound but many of us are making the best of it and getting on with all the jobs that have been hanging over our heads for years.

And even if some of us have gardens little bigger than a window box, it seems everyone’s fingers have turned a shade of green – well, what else could you do when the first day of lockdown brought blazing sunshine to much of the country?

This summer will see gardens manicured to within an inch of their lives and perhaps the increase in well-tended, colourfully flowering beds will result in a resurgence of bees and butterflies.

Imagine that. In years gone by our gardens were teeming with red admirals and cabbage whites and perhaps, through our enforced gardening, they will be again.

It’s been difficult for children, especially those in the middle of GCSEs and A levels (as if they weren’t already under stress), and what teenager enjoys being stuck indoors with their parents, or worse yet, their siblings?

Fortunately, our girls get along and once the horror of cancelled summer travel plans had sunk in and they realised there would be no social life whatsoever, they seemed to revisit their childhoods, spending hours in their bedrooms making up dance routines, playing board games and digging out jigsaw puzzles.

Aww… sweet. 

But not every teenage occupation was going to read like an excerpt from Five Go Into Isolation.

One afternoon, Willow and her schoolmates had made a pact to dye their hair at 4.30.

Naturally, this wasn’t going to be the easiest challenge as they would all need to find some hair dye first.

Or so I thought, not realising the plan had been hatched before the lockdown and the dye already purchased.

As the time grew closer and I was informed Izzy had bought her sister a pack of “four-shades lighter” blonde hair dye, I begged Willow, if she really insisted on going through with the idea, she at least let me help her.

But she was adamant, “No, you can’t. That’s the whole point. We’re all doing it together.”

Izzy took me aside, “Don’t worry. I’ll stay upstairs and make sure she doesn’t make a complete mess of it.”

A couple of hours later, Willow arrived in the kitchen with, thankfully, hardly any change to her natural hair colour apart from a few slightly lighter strands at the front.

She wasn’t pleased.

“That was a waste of time.”

Then, turning to Izzy, who was on her way out, having won the ballot for the supermarket run, she asked, “Is there any dye left?”

Izzy shouted over her shoulder, “No, sorry Wills, I used it all,” and Willow harrumphed back up the stairs to her room.

Some time later we were gathering for supper when Willow’s voice called from the hallway, “Erm, guys… I think I need to tell you something…”

We all looked at each other in confusion before Richard called, “What, Wills?”

“OK, you’re going to laugh,” she giggled.

More confused glances, then Willow burst into the kitchen, laughing her head off, “I’m a ginger!”

Oh lord – she was.

Izzy hadn’t used all the dye. Willow found the last of it, smothered it over her hair then sat in her bed and watched a film, forgetting she had left it on.

“Oh Wills,” I sighed, “I can’t believe you meant to go that colour.”

“Of course not,” she laughed. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as a ginge.”

I raised my eyebrows and pointed to my own hair.

“Oh, no, sorry, I didn’t mean…”

Then she mimed digging a hole and said, “Hang on, let me just jump in here.”

Cheek!

I agreed to try and fix things, pointing out it was seriously bad timing when every hairdresser is closed, but she told me one of her friends had rebleached her already blonde hair and turned it white, while another had morphed from a beautiful head of silky mouse-brown hair to a Goth black and blue. 

Mothers be warned: boredom is dangerous and if you dye your own hair, for goodness’ sake hide the stuff from your children.

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