I Can’t Go Blonde | a fun coffee break tale from our archives

woman having her her hair dried at hairdresser

I Can’t Go Blonde!

By Susan Wright

Is a change of colour a step too far for Becky … or is it a fresh start on a new path?

Becky shook her head when her hairdresser sat her down and suggested she ought to go blonde.

“No, I don’t think so,” she said, peering in the mirror and wishing she didn’t look so old. I’m a bit long in the tooth for something drastic like that.”

“Of course you’re not.” Craig stood behind her, running his fingers through her brown tinted hair. “Blonde hair would suit you, Becky, and you looked really down when you came in, so I thought a change might cheer you up.”

“It would take more than that. I still haven’t got another job, Craig. I’m too old for everything.”

Craig frowned. “You’re not that old.”

No, I’m only forty three,” Becky whispered so all the young hairdressers in the salon couldn’t hear, “but I feel as if I’ve got one foot in the grave. I went for a telesalesjob yesterday and all the other applicants looked about fourteen -and my experience didn’t seem to count for anything! I answered the phone in an office for years, but I didn’t even get a second interview!”

“But it can’t have been because of your age.”

“Oh, I think it was.” Becky broke into a wry grin. “And apparently I’m much too old to train as a fighter pilot now.”

“Well, the uniform wouldn’t suit you anyway.” Craig shrugged. “You need a job in another shop.”

“I know, but the only shop with vacancies is that trendy boutique in the precinct. When I went in, they had loud music blaring. I couldn’t cope with that.”

‘Tm surprised you could hear it, what with you being so old!”

“Oh, there’s nothing wrong with my ears,” Becky assured him with a smile. “But there’s no way I could work there, Craig. The atmosphere’s really horrible. Nobody asked if I needed any help. When I worked in a shop, I made the customers feel special, but I felt invisible in there. I felt like a total frump, too!”

“So go blonde,” Craig said, taking a swatch of hair from a cupboard. “Ash blonde. What do you think?”

You seem to be very busy lately

Becky took the swatch from him and stared at it. “It’s lovely, but I’d have to have my roots done more often if I went blonde and I couldn’t afford that because I haven’t got a job.”

“OK, we’ll stick to brown,” Craig said. The phone over on the desk started to ring. “Sorry, I’d better answer that.”

Becky nodded, watching him rushing over to the desk.

She was quite used to Craig dashing off during her appointments. He owned the salon, so he had to answer the phone and greet clients as well as doing hair.

He was always racing around, but he still managed to make her feel welcome and relaxed, and she loved her appointments at the salon.

It felt good to be pampered, but it was amazing that Craig managed to cope, she thought, as she watched him put the phone down and rush round the desk to take an elderly woman’s coat.

“You seem to be very busy lately,” she observed when he returned.

“Yes, it’s the recession. People always go to the hairdressers more when things are gloomy.”


“Really,” Craig replied as the phone rang again.

“Listen, would you go blonde if you got staff rates?”

Becky looked puzzled.

“Staff rates?” she echoed.

“Yeah – I can’t cope!” Craig exclaimed, nodding towards the phone. “I need a receptionist but I never get a spare minute to advertise for one.”

“A receptionist?” Becky repeated, her eyes lighting up.

Yes, somebody who can make clients feel special. And who’s good on the phone.”

“And somebody who looks good?”

Craig grinned.

“Yeah – I wouldn’t want a frump.”

“Right, I’ll go for the ash blonde then!” Becky grinned, peering in the mirror.

It was funny, but she suddenly looked much younger – and she’d look younger still once she’d gone blonde.

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Karen Byrom

My coffee mug says "professional bookworm" which sums me up really! As commissioning fiction editor on the magazine, I love sharing my reading experience of the latest books, debut authors and more with you all, and would like to hear from you about your favourite books and authors! Email me kbyrom@dctmedia.co.uk