Belfast Telegraph

The long and the short of it ... tresses that keep pace with our lives

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton sported a new hairdo this week at Wimbledon. The busy mum of two had six inches cut off her famous locks. Karen Ireland talks to some well-known NI mums about how they feel about having the chop

Jo-Anne Dobson (49) is a former MLA, who now runs a consultancy business. She lives in Waringstown with her husband, John, and they have two sons, Elliott (26) and Mark (24). She says:

Earlier this year, I really wanted a new hairstyle, so got about four or five inches off my long hair. And it is so much easier to manage now.

The best thing is, it still looks long, but more stylish.

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Jo-Anne Dobson with longer hair

As someone who is always busy, I would either have my hair really short or long enough that it can go up into a ponytail.

When it’s shorter, it tends to need more work and to be styled. Now, though, I can just clip it back or tie it up.

I’ve never had short hair. In fact, when I was at school, I was able to sit on my hair.

But I did have one of those very short, blunt fringes that weren’t very fashionable back then. I treat myself to a bouncy blow dry every Friday morning and that keeps me going for a few days.

Kate looks fantastic with her shorter hair this week and is a real style icon.

She is an inspiration to other mums that you can look stylish.”

'Even though I got four inches off my hair last week it still looks long'

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Cathy Martin's hair after it was cut

Cathy Martin (43), PR director and director of Belfast Fashionweek, lives in Holywood with her daughter Valentina (5). She says:

Like Kate I have just had the chop. I got four and a half inches off my hair last week.

It happened more by accident than design. I was in my hairdresser’s, Monet, on the Lisburn Road, Belfast, and having a 16-week straightening treatment when the stylist said the ends were very dry and could do with a cut.

I asked how much and he joked about four inches so I told him to go for it. I wanted it to look healthy and feel better so I just decided to lose some of the length.

I am going to London for the month of July. Believe it or not, at my age I am going to be an intern for Vogue.

As the air will be hot and humid there, I wanted my hair to be more manageable and healthy.

Because my hair is so long I have to have it blow dried twice a week, otherwise I could never manage it as it is so thick and so long. Even though I got that amount off, it still looks long.

I’ve never really had my hair short, but if this straightening treatment works, and I can manage it better, I might consider a lob (longer bob).

I like having longer hair because there is more you can do to it on days when it isn’t looking good; simply tie it back and off you go.

If I am busy running around after Valentina, making dinner, getting her bathed and ready for bed, I will simply stick it back and it works well for me.

Kate’s new hairstyle looks great but she is always smart and stylish, and it will perhaps be easier to manage with two young children.

As I also go to the gym four times a week, it helps being able to put my hair up in a ponytail.

I never got the chance to live in London as my dad died after I left college and I had to come home. Now my mum has recently passed away and it seems like a good opportunity.

I usually take a villa for a month in the summer and work remotely so this will be a challenge but I know that I will enjoy it.

My daughter is coming over to join me for two weeks.

She will go to camp and, as her big sister lives there, it should all work out well.

I just hope the hair is up to the challenge.”

'My new do won't be as radical as Kate’s ... I suit longer length'

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Sarah Travers with long hair

Sarah Travers (43) is a freelance journalist and owner of Bespoke Communications. She lives in Portstewart with her husband Stephen Price and their two children Jack (20) and Evie (14). She says:

This weekend I will be following in the Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps and going for a shorter hairstyle.

It won’t be as radical as her six inches.

Currently I wear it below my shoulders and usually get it cut up to just above for the summer months.

Before my daughter was born I had a very Nineties flicky out style, and that’s about as adventurous as I’ve got.

A lot of my friends have shorter hair, but I don’t think it would suit me. The longer length is more flattering as I’m quite tall. With children it’s great having hair which you can simply clip up or put up in a ponytail for convenience.

If I am presenting or working on TV, I will get my hair blow dried. I tend to get it done twice a week and that makes it more manageable.

It’s money well spent as it keeps my hair looking its best and in good condition.

I think Kate’s hair is beautiful and she always looks good, but it’s not as dramatic as headlines would suggest. Now it looks fuller.

She is also a busy mum and, although she has a lot of help, she doesn’t want her crowning glory to be too high maintenance.

When I’m not working my hair is in a ponytail, and this will be the case when we spend the summer relaxing in Donegal.”

'I get bored with my long hair and get it cut and then I hate myself'

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Kirstie McMurray has had various styles over the years

Kirstie McMurray (44) is a presenter on Downtown Radio and Downtown Country. She lives in Bangor with her two children, Conor (18) and Katie (16). She says:

I have had more hairstyles than anyone I know. Everything from short and shaved at the back, to bobs and longer lengths.

Every time I get my hair cut, I regret it instantly and miss my longer hair. So I am constantly in a state of growing my hair, but then I get bored with it long and want it cut short — and then I hate myself.

If I see that one photograph where it is sitting well short, then I think I will try that again.

So, if any hairdresser sees me coming and asks to cut my hair — I just say no, as I will only regret it.

My hair is just past shoulder length at the minute after about three years of growing it.

Long hair is easier to look after, as you can put it up. When my hair is short, it needs all kinds of products to keep it in place.

Usually I style my own hair or straighten it.

I get my hair coloured every three months at Kevin Kahan in Bangor. He has known me for about 35 years, as I went to the salon with my mum when I was a young girl.

I’m not particularly vain, so my hair doesn’t have to be looking perfect every day and if the colour grows out a bit, it doesn’t bother me.

My daughter, Katie, had her hair down to her bum and had just got six inches off it, and she is regretting it. Her longer locks set her apart from everyone else. Now she just blends in.

I think Kate always looks stunning, but I must say, I prefer her hair longer.

I guess it depends what sort of a look she is going for. To me, this current style is very mature and business like.”

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