My blonde ambition? Peroxide ‘til I dye

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Autumn. Leaves withering and turning to red and gold.

Us too, it seems. Something about the arrival of a new season has women dying for a new image, according to hairdressers.

So what’s your grand plan? Turning-Leaf Copper, Chestnut Brown of glow-for-it Virginia creeper red?

Bonfire Night isn’t far off; how about Cinder Toffee Caramel, Smouldering Ember Orange or Carbonised Guy?

Not for me, though. I’m blonde ‘til I die. To a hairdresser, I must be the most boring client ever.

I’ve had my highlights highlighted for the last 34 years. I discovered the process that turns mucky blonde to sunkissed honey at 18 and, apart from a brief, ill-thought-out flirtation with full-head bleach (think head dipped in matt cream emulsion) I’ve got so used to seeing myself blonde, I’ve convinced myself it’s natural.

My three-month regrowth is currently spragging to anyone taller than me, or who walks in my wake, that my true shade is Nondescript Mouse shot through with Winter Raincloud Grey.

But I can only see myself from the front, where roots have been lightened to white by summer sun, and I’m happy in my oblivion, deliberately avoiding the brutal reality-check that is a trip to the John Lewis fashion floor. The triple-view mirrors in their changing rooms are as bad for the artifice’s ego as triple-cooked chips are bad for the hips.

We might not all fall (geddit?) for the autumnal colour trend, but we’re all dyeing. I reckon some 98 per cent of women in the UK think they’re not worth if if they don’t. Think about it: do you know a female under 15 who is a natural anything?

Though this faux colour fixation has gone straight over men’s heads. Sit in a barber’s for longer than 15 minutes? Height of vanity. Ridiculous waste of time. Though for some, experimenting with a pack of Clairol in boyhood is seen as a rite of passage. I still snicker at my younger brother for dying what my mother called “his lovely baby blondness” stark, matt, Gothic black at 16. It made him look like he was the Addams Family’s instead or ours. My dad called him The Spent Match.

Boy did the same thing, around the same age, only in reverse. To mark the ending of his GCSEs, he reached for the peroxide. But rather than cool Vanilla Ice-white, it was Vanilla Custard. A bit yellow. Not a good look, though I wasn’t going to be the one to tell him, seeing was the one who had thwarted his blond ambition.