Mum came down to stay and I really wanted to get her to do something about her hair. It was soft and silky – a strawberry blonde colour – that’s titian in my book - but she wore it in a long plait which she wrapped round her head like a hairy Alice band. I had my own hair done regularly by the top stylists, when they used me, but my personal choice was a Mr Ralph, who was employed by a new, up and coming hair dresser.
Although hairdressers were keen to use me, they found my hair (soft, fine and fly away) difficult until they got used to it. I would tell them the best way to cope with it, but hairdressers never listen to clients – it’s in their DNA. Once a whole session was ruined when the stylist put brilliantine on my hair in spite of my warning her what would happen. Not only did I look as if I had jumped in the pool; the sticky goo had to be thoroughly washed out again.
Mr Ralph was different – quiet and unassuming and a gifted stylist. Mum was doubtful about having her hair cut so I suggested she watched him do mine and then see how she felt. Thoroughly reassured she decided to go ahead. I rejoiced as I saw her lose the dreaded plait and at least fifteen years in the process. She now had a soft pretty style which allowed her natural curl the freedom it had been denied for years. Everybody was delighted – I just hoped Dad would feel the same.
I had chosen this particular salon as my regular salon, because it was a fun place – with rocking music, a real buzz, and discounts for the modelling profession. Some of the Mayfair salons were full of ladies dripping in mink and diamonds, which weren’t my scene. I had met the owner when he was just a young apprentice and he had been given the unenviable task of attaching a solid rubber ring to my hair to represent a ‘Juliet’ hair style. It was an impossible task and the brushing got more and more violent until finally he flung down the brush, said he was a hair stylist not a (censored) genius.
He became world famous for his geometric hair styles – closely associated with the fashion icon Mary Quant. My type of hair was anathema to him and we had a friendly agreement for the rest of my modelling days that I would never ask him to cope with my hair again. My favourites of the many famous stylists were Steiner; who did wonderfully romantic styles, and French of London.
During Mum’s stay we had lots of chats but I didn’t talk about my marriage – I remembered her retort when Maddie’s was in trouble:
“You’ve made your bed – you must lie on it.”
We did talk about starting a family – she was just eighteen and Maddie not much older when they started their’s. I suddenly realised the next birthday I would be twenty –six; the bookings were pouring in and unless I made a stand, another year would fly by. But how would I break it to Paula? A fait accompli seemed the only answer; so my New Year’s resolution was to start a family. It was a wonderful release to discard all the family planning paraphernalia and by the end of January I was preggers.