I was up town the other day when I walked round the corner and was met by something I haven’t seen since the 1980s.
No, not a packet of Old English Spangles (though that would have been fabulous!), but an older lady with a blue rinse.
I was immediately transported back in time to the days when my Nana would arrive at our house, proudly displaying her latest shade of hair: One week, blue; another week purple.
I always thought she dyed it pink at one point, though my mum assures me that is all a figment of my overactive imagination.
Either way, I do know (and have photographic evidence) that my lovely Nana did have blue hair, along with most of her friends, I might add.
I always thought it funny that at the time my Nana and her companions were dying their hair a variety of colours, punk rockers were doing exactly the same thing.
And yet I’m pretty sure I had heard the older ladies in my family complain about the colour of a punk’s hair, as they ran their fingers through their dazzling purple bouffant...
I did a quick Google and discovered an article which said the blue rinse trend came from the 1930s, when film stars such as Jean Harlow were known to dye their hair with peroxide and then follow with methylene blue to take out the yellow. I don’t ever recall seeing photos of Jean Harlow with a blue tinge, but that could very well be because all her photos were black and white. Who knows, under that glorious platinum look there could very well have been a blue rinse just bursting to get out.
Of course famous 1970s/80s examples of the blue, purple and pink rinses came in the shape of Dame Edna Everage, and Mrs Slocombe from Are You Being Served?
I’m pretty sure there were also a variety of cast members from Coronation Street; including Phyllis Pearce and possibly even Ena Sharples, though to be honest it was hard to tell what she had under that ever-present hair net.
I don’t know why the trend for blue hair died (or dyed!), but I hope that seeing a lady in town with one means that it’s coming back into fashion. If it does, I shall ditch my brunette dye immediately and reach for the rinse instead.
I always fancied having pink hair like Toyah when I was a kid, and this could very well be my last chance…