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wendy lewis pic
by our Resident Beauty Expert
Wendy Lewis, the Beauty Junkie

Sometime around the release of 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg', my father commented that Catherine Deneuve was the most beautiful woman alive. Regrettably, my mother looks nothing like her, and sadly, nor do I.

I became conditioned at that very moment to equate blonde with something sexy, desirable and what gents prefer. Little did my father know that his comment would inspire a lifetime of highlights, colour wraps, and double process bookings. There is really only one beauty treatment I can never miss and schedule well in advance - the root thing. I'll do my own nails gladly and I've mastered the art of cell sloughing, but I wouldn't dream of attempting to dabble with the sanctity of my scalp. In the realm of high maintenance, colour IS a necessity. It ranks up there between shelter and a good shoemaker and dry cleaner, preferably on the same block. When your roots show, it feels like your darkest secrets are exposed for all the world to see. My daughter Eden caught a glimpse of me moisturising and asked what I was doing. I told her I was erasing my wrinkles. She stared inquisitively with her wide blue eyes searching eagerly for confirmation, "Maybe a little, but it didn't do anything for your brown roots." I rest my case.

The rule used to be that as you got older, you went lighter. It was a right of passage like any other, the natural response to the first sign of grey. As my colourist Elsa Sera at Stella NY has been saying for years, 'Older blondes are going darker. You look better with some depth near your face, rather than light all over.' Elsa tells me this in an attempt to keep me away for more than the six weeks that pass between rendezvous. 'Hair looks thicker with two dimensional colour,' she says, 'blondes don't want to look like Marilyn anymore.'

During the eighties I accepted a consulting assignment in Florida for three months, and had a clause written into my contract so I could fly home every six weeks for 'personal business' (a code word for my dye job). Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like as a brunette. I probably could have avoided attracting the attention of a few jerks who had a thing for blondes. I could have saved enough to put Eden through Harvard by now. But you can't underestimate the indisputable 'I feel pretty' factor of blondness. Toss on a pastel pashmina, a nude lipcolor like Chantecaille Raffia, add a touch of pseudo sun like Guerlain Terracotta, and you look okay even if you feel down in the dumps.

Technology has made great strides in the golden world. Instead of damaging follicles, colour is considered the best way to rejuvenate hair. Attitudes have also changed according to Elsa, 'Women are more colour-savvy and clients are bringing their young daughters in for a little brightening up.' The top sought-after colourists to the stars have become as famous in their own right as their celebrity clientele. One member of that club of Über highlighters is Sharon Dorram at John Frieda NY who does blondes like Jane Pauley and Heather Locklear. According to Sharon, 'great colour should be natural but opulent with a little pizazz to add volume, lift and texture.'

My daughter Eden, who fantasises about looking like Britney Spears by Middle School, wishes she had 'yellow' hair like her mom. As much as you try to protect your children from the cold hard realities of life, this is one of those times I was forced to come clean. 'Does she or doesn't she?' used to refer to peroxide, today it means implants.

FADED GLORY - colour conservation
1. Use a UV protection conditioner or spray
2. Use products with a low alcohol content
3. Wait 48 hours before washing hair after colour (or 24)
4. Avoid dry heat
5. Don't perm and colour the same head




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