Farewell to the Croydon facelift: how one mum got her hair sorted

By - Wednesday 6th January, 2016

‘Mother about town’ Dionne Ormonde wonders just what it is about a mum’s mane that that can create such drama – or such trauma

Photo by John Gass, used with permission.

My hair has not been on my priority list for a while and it’s pretty easy for me to pinpoint the moment I ceased to be able to find the quality time required for me to look like I’d just stepped out of a salon: it was the day I found myself lying in a hospital bed, holding my first-born in my arms.

The problem is that my first-born is eight now, and I’ve managed to pop out another son who will soon be five, so I’m running out of excuses.

For many years I appeared umbilically tied to the Croydon facelift

Becoming a mum can take its toll: hair loss, bald patches and the inability to find a style and colour that you’re completely happy with are just a few of the dilemmas that we mums face.

I’m rocking a short natural curly do at the moment, but in the past I’ve cut all my hair off, twisted it, loxed it, rocked the occasional ‘fro, gone red, gone bronze and cut it all off again. Much of this hair activity has been courtesy of friends: my mobile wonder, Gemma, travels to my home to sort my hair out; my old mate Sophia, a lovely mum of three, will always find the time to wash and twist my hair; and then there’s my Lexi, a natural hair specialist and busy mum of five who manages to juggle her work as a home educator with her natural hairdressing business.

For many years I appeared umbilically tied to the Croydon facelift, but it really is a style that a woman of a certain age should say goodbye to. I have a friend who still laments the loss of a look she came to rely on, not just for the convenience it offered, but the non-surgical enhancements she thought it created. “I loved my Croydon face-lift”, she declares unashamedly. “It was cheap, quick and effective… and as soon as I released the tension that wrapping a head band about twenty times around a top knot of hair creates, I could actually move my face again”.

Finding a hairdresser that you can trust with your unloved hair and overworked credit card can be a challenge

But as a woman flirting around middle age with a face determined to embrace it, she is admirably gracious in defeat. “I’m too old for it now”, the early forty-something admits. “When I try it now, I don’t get a face lift, more a stark reminder of my receding hairline, my grey temples and – if I pull on one side a little too tightly – wonky eyebrows”.

Desperate to avoid the inane chit-chat of young, hip, single stylists with active social lives, she’s found a quiet little salon whose clientele is predominantly made up of the blue-rinse brigade. “I have no desire to be reminded of the life that I once had”, she laughs. “The only time that I’m awake after midnight is when I’ve been awoken by a child that’s either had a nightmare or needs to go to the loo”.

But finding a hairdresser that you can trust with your unloved hair and your overworked credit card can be a challenge in itself. And it’s not just the often exorbitant prices many of the hair salons charge that can be a problem – it’s the time that they take to do the job. Another pal and mum of two young daughters finally went to the hairdressers, after leaving it so long that her split ends actually made her hair look fuller. “It took three and a half hours for a cut, colour and blow dry. I haven’t sat down that long since… well… ever. It was torture. I just felt numb”, she told me.

I wanted to create an online space filled with unique tips for making your hair look beautiful… naturally

My lovely friend Shelly became so tired of shoddy service that she decided to take matters into her own hands. NaturalShelly.blogspot.com is designed to inspire and inform other time-poor mums desperate to avoid the salon experience and treat their tresses at home. “I wanted to create an online space filled with unique tips for making your hair look beautiful… naturally”, she tells me.

I’m not quite prepared to give up on the idea of being occasionally pampered by a professional stylist who knows how to help me look and feel a million dollars. But if you simply don’t have the time to go to a salon, treat yourself to this fab homemade avocado and honey conditioner – my friend Rhoda swears by it.

  • Mash one very ripe small or medium avocado, add three teaspoons of honey and mix to a smooth paste
  • Massage the mix into wet or damp hair and allow the paste to fully saturate the hair from scalp to tips
  • Cover hair with a plastic cap and leave for at least thirty minutes (Take this time to relax – because you’re worth it. We all are.)
  • Rinse out thoroughly and style as usual
Dionne Ormonde

Dionne Ormonde

A journalist and editor, with over 20 years experience, Dionne's previous roles include Arts and Entertainment Editor with British Black newspaper The Voice, Editor at Black women’s magazine Pride, contributing fashion stylist for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV television and 8 years with the BBC World Service as a Managing Editor. But that was then and this is now:a mother to two young sons aged eight and four, Dionne nowadays juggles her responsibilities as a mother with her passion for writing creatively. She has a pile of completed manuscripts for children, is currently working on a collection of women's monologues and looks forward to publishing her first children's book I'm A Star through her publishing house LoveChild Press.

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  • Jamila Springer

    Hair drama…still going through it!! It’s nice to know I’m not alone though. Thank you for NaturalShelly.blogspot.com. Will definitely visit to get some tips to get my out of control curls back in line!!!

  • Sophia smith

    Know the feeling Dionne, it’s really hard looking glam with three kids to look after, it’s good bye ponytails and hello instance weave, thank you for the avocado tip and will defo try Naturalshelly.blogspot.com.

  • Anne namayanja

    Facts facts facts….. Every mum can relatI e to this. Beautiful insights.

  • L Rhoda Molife

    This hits the nail on the head with respect to every mother’s hair journey. I never thought I would try those home made hair treatments but circumstances made me turn my nose down at them and now wonder why I never tried them before! Thanks Dionne!

  • Kemi

    Whilst I don’t have kids juggling self employment, a husband and studies can be time exhausting and having short natural hair can require a bit of tic. It’s true that the salon experience for me has changed in my mid 30′s… Had not considered a mobile hairdresser as an option but will definitely look into that, thanks Dionne…. And reconditions would be great :)

  • Natalie

    A good read very insightful, no kids at the moment but can relate to the get up go look you can fall into when your short for time in the mornings. Great tips will definitely checkout the http://naturalshelly.blogspot.com/ website

  • Lorraine Gallagher

    I am going to try the Avocado and Honey! Can I eat it too…? ha . Very enjoyable read. Thanks Dionne.

  • Serena Alam

    Finding a hairdresser for me, is difficult…because I have no recollection of having been to a hairdresser before. (I’ve been told that at the age of two my mum took me to a hairdresser in Croydon… and my mum was so displeased with the results, she did everything in her power to prevent another “professional” hairdresser from altering my hair without her permission, again. Lol.)