Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sober Hair

Day 74, and it struck me, looking fleetingly in the mirror (past the age of 40 it doesn't do to linger at mirrors!) this morning that something had changed.

And it's my hair.

There are many benefits I expected to accrue when I quit drinking - like weight loss, better sleep, more energy, and so on, but bouncy, springy, look at me hair was not one of them.

My hair has gone all exuberant, confident to the point of pushy, American. It's so big that it deserves its own post code (translation: zip code).

I googled 'sober hair.' It transpires that I'm not imagining it. Hair, like your skin, suffers from dehydration when you drink, and goes all dry and brittle and split endy. Plus, alcohol depletes your iron levels which makes your hair fall out. 

My older friends tell me that the menopause is disastrous for hair, so I see this as my hair's last Hurrah! Enjoy, you lovely little follicles. It's your chance to shine.

This hair thing is very good timing, because tonight I have an ordeal.

My old Oxford College is holding a drinks do at The House of Lords (for those of you across the pond, the House of Lords institution and building are older than America).

I still remember when I got the letter containing the results of my Oxford application and interview. I was with my friend Philippa. I poured us both a vodka and orange for courage, despite the fact that it was only 11am (that didn't auger well). When I read the words 'we are pleased to be able to offer you....' it was the proudest day of my life.

So tonight I'll look around the room at all of us - supposedly some of the brightest and most promising of our generation.

Many of my cohort are now government ministers, top lawyers, brain surgeons, newsreaders, best selling novelists and rich as Croesus financiers.

And what am I? An ex boozy housewife. All that promise left pickling at the bottom of a bottle of Chablis.

Not for the first time, I will wonder why I didn't carry on the career (which I was very good at) and leave a highly paid nanny (with far more experience and expertise in childcare than me) to bring up #1, #2 and #3.

I've not done a drinks party yet. I've done sober dinners, I've done a sober ball, I've done a sober holiday, but not a drinks party. What are they for if not to drink? The clue, as my kids would say, is in the name.

And I know from pregnant days that they are useless at providing non alcoholic drinks at these things. Sticky, warm orange juice or elderflower cordial. Drinks for children and grannies. No virgin mojitos for the sophisticated AF lady, oh no.

So, I have decided to treat my new, perky hair to a professional blow dry (translation: blow out). Cost: 2 bottles of wine equivalent - what I would have drunk tonight in the old days.

I might be standing, quivering in the doorway, but my hair will be way ahead of me, propping up the bar and flirting with the waiter.

Wish me luck!

SM x


  1. Have a great night. Can really relate to this, I have started wondering what I could have achieved in life of I hadn't drunk so much!

  2. Stop right there (thank you very much)! What are you now? You're someone whose words I read everyday, someone who supports an online community to better themselves and keep focused on their job at hand. Plus you're a knockout writer and you make me laugh. Not that you'll be coming out With Any of this stuff tonight but still its simmering to remember when you are going sideways (to accomodate big hair) in through the front door.

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate it x

  3. I echo "My time to shine", I've just found you, and I think you have a shining career ahead of you! If you feel the least bit intimidated, try to imagine them all in their underwear! Good luck.

  4. You have thousands of people look forward to reading what YOU have got to say every day...sounds pretty damn successful to me! Go go 'em! To quote Alan Partridge.."I am a tiger...grrrr..." :) x

    1. Love Alan, love the advice. Thank you!

  5. This sounds like quite a challenge, yet I believe you will take this in your stride.
    Good luck SM x

  6. As one of your American friend, I wish I could show you my hair in the 80's.
    It was BIG!
    Now its not, but now I am a little bit older than you!
    Enjoy girl!!

  7. I wish my hair would do that. In one of the first few blogs I discovered the writer described how her hair was healthier, no longer greasy and just better in general. Sadly, that never happened to me. But I suspect you have to string more days together than I did for that to happen. So something to look forward to! I'm not afraid to play on my vanity! Have a great time btw! A x

    1. Just wait, Angie. I've only just seen the difference now, after 75 days....

    My name is JOY EDWIN from UK .I am here to give testimony on how I got my husband back. My husband left me for no reason 3 years ago. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself, my life became very bitter and sorrowful. Then 1 day, a friend of mine told me about a great spell caster that is very good and, he said he gave him some lucky numbers that he played in a lottery and he won. I didn't believe it because I've worked with so many of them and it didn't work. He begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster called DR BENEDICT. I still didn't believe. I used the spell he gave me and the next day I received a call from my darling husband Thomas last month. He apologized and came back to me. He even gave me 10,000USD as a means of compensating me. I'm very happy now. Thank you DR BENEDICT, You can reach him via email=(}

    1. Hello BENEDICT SOLUTIONS. No-one who reads this blog needs a spell caster. We have found enough empty promises and false solutions at the bottom of a bottle of wine. We have already wasted enough of our hard earned cash. So, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, bog off. And have a nice day. SM
      P.S. If it takes a spell to make your husband apologise then he is definitely not the right man for you. Chuck him out.

    2. Love it small! !!! Couldn't of said it better myself where do all these spell caster posts bloody come from so annoying!!
      Think this is the first time I have commented on your blog but have read so many of your posts. You've got so far ... It feels like a mountain right now at day 1. Have just started a blog too you can find it at xx

  9. Hi, I'm new to your site.
    I have made a desicion today to give up the booze for good.
    I can't tell you how amazing your blogs are for me!!!
    Your so funny and have great advice too
    I will read every single one of you blogs and all the replies as well, over these next few difficult weeks
    You are a very special person and if this is all you ever did with your life, well its worth alot , because you are helping women like me to stop ruining they're lives by drowning themselves with too much wine every night xx

  10. Hi SM
    I did not know that about bouncy hair- I have always had good hair and noticed it has been so dry lately. No I know why. Another thing to blame the wine witch for!!! Day 5 and looking towards the field of bunnies