A visit to the hairdressers is a rarity for me. It's a bit of an ordeal and sitting still for hours can feel like a prison sentence. But, deciding it was time for a change, I booked in for the 'ombre'.
This is where it's dark at the top and light at the bottom, creating an appearance of instant regrowth.
Why would anyone in their right mind want to inflict that on themselves? Well, besides being very en trend, it saves repeat visits to the hairdressers for regrowth touch-ups, doesn't it?
So, armed with plenty of reading material to keep me entertained, I set off, only managing to find a car park in a two-hour area.
After discussing colours with the technician, she explained that to achieve the look she'd need to bleach the ends first for the colour to stand out.
"Will this make the time go over four hours?" I inquired.
No, she said it should still take between three or four hours. All good. I'd resigned myself to up to four hours in the chair so, while she set off to mix the colours, I settled in with a coffee and magazine.
First up came the bleaching, then the overall dark colour, which had the same purpley base as last time. Silly me, should have remembered what happens here.
Think The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, where that pink ring in the bath spreads the length of the house, staining Mother's white dress, the walls of the hall … But this was purple and it was rapidly spreading over my face.
Hairdressers use special wipes to remove it at the end of the application but it's hard to sit there and watch it staining your face. I can never stop myself reaching out from under my cape to take a swipe.
This, in turn, leads to it going all over my fingers and then everything I touch. I end up with the wipes placed in front of me and go through nearly the whole tub in a bid to remove the purple spread.
At the basin it took two of them – one washing my hair and one removing the purple off my skin – before I emerged to have it dried, a lengthy process and also a dual-effort.
This was when I looked at my watch. Goodness, I'd be hard-pressed to make it home before the kids. There was still the colour application to the bleached ends and a trim to go.
Actually, did I even need another colour or a trim? The purpley-bleached ends looked fine —sort of — and who cares if I left the salon with wet hair.
It was already 2.30pm. Texting my neighbour, I asked if she could intercept the twins and tell them to let themselves in.
Then, remembering the bare cupboards, I messaged my mum who dropped what she was doing and drove from the other side of town to not only mind the kids but bring them food.
By now the mood had changed in the salon; the other customers and most staff having left for the day. Perhaps my silent stress was infectious or maybe the remaining hairdressers were thinking about that Friday glass of bubbles waiting for them while they dealt to this customer's difficult do.
To their credit, they were very pleasant as they all chipped in, but I could see the sheer volume of hair had been underestimated.
Finally, more than six hours later, the do was done, I was starving, and had a headful of glossy, purpley, ombred locks. But there was no time to admire it. I was off out the door and legging it across the road through 5 o'clock traffic to where I'd left my car all those hours earlier.
You're expecting me to say my car had been towed, aren't you? It hadn't. Thankfully, it was still there and I returned home to find happy kids with full bellies.
Feeling very much like a high-maintenance drama queen, and also bad mother, I thanked my saviours and vowed never to repeat such an adventurous undertaking. At least the regrowth factor won't be a problem.