Belfast Telegraph

For Kate, the dye is cast over hair to the throne

By Rosie Millard

I think we can all agree that "disaster" is quite a hefty word. It is bigger than "accident" and bigger even than "calamity". Yet this is how celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke has chosen to describe what would happen if the Duchess of Cambridge - brace yourselves - allows herself to go grey.

But, if the world's most-photographed woman manages to ignore comments such as this and continues to let grey hairs grow in her (admittedly spectacular) mahogany barnet, then she could be performing the most important, subversive and feminist act possible for a member of the Royals.

For times have changed since Nora Ephron announced that hair dye was potentially more transforming for middle-aged women than feminism, or exercise. Clarke clearly has a lot of followers, but suddenly those women in their late middle age, who have naturally mature faces framed by immaculate black, chestnut, or blonde swinging bobs, do start to look a bit strange.

Could it be the case that the barnet-fixer is actually a bit out of step and the Duchess of Cambridge is fundamentally more on the button?

Let us muse, for one second, on the problematic hair - or lack of it - of her husband: a man who was already going bald while still in his 20s.

Does Nicky Clarke suggest that Prince William's baldness is a "disaster"? Is he urging the Duke of Cambridge to go for a comb-over? A transplant? We all know that it is different for chaps, whose grey hair or indeed baldness does not indicate the end of fertility, and their usefulness on the planet. Indeed, as far as men go, it is clearly only the misguided likes of Mike Read, or Paul 'Jet' McCartney, who give the opining of the likes of Clarke more than two seconds' thought.

However, it is the likes of the Duchess who might encourage everyone to question our attitudes. Of course, it helps if you are gorgeous anyway.

The beautiful Anna Ford made the front pages when she stepped out with grey hair. Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren - these are all setters of style who have also all allowed strands of grey to appear in their hair,

Nicky Clarke says "it's not the same for women". And, in many areas of life, it is not. But in this case - under the influential lead of the Duchess of Cambridge and her revolutionary silver strands - it could become just that.

Belfast Telegraph


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