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. This was Vidal Sassoon
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 - Vidal -when he was just a young apprentice and he had been given the unenviable task of attaching a solid rubber ring-like a giant pessary- 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.
Later 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.