JENNI MURRAY: SJP can Carrie off grey hair. I couldn't!

JENNI MURRAY: SJP can Carrie off grey hair. I couldn’t!

  • Jenni Murray said grey hair has become the fashion for some older women
  • UK-based columnist says she won’t embrace the trend like Sarah Jessica Parker
  • She advises if hair is pepper and salt or iron grey get to the hairdresser quick

What will there be to laugh at in the new series of Sex And The City when the four friends whose youthful antics in Manhattan we followed week after week are reduced to three?

Without Samantha’s vivid and complicated sex life, which she handled with such careless aplomb, we’re left with the serious ones — Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie), Kristin Davis (Charlotte) and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) — all embracing their advancing middle age.

Judging by shots of SJP and Cynthia filming in New York this week, they’ll be trying to convince us they are completely content with ageing — going grey while still marching through the streets of New York in vertiginous stiletto heels. I doubt Kim Cattrall would consent to grey hair as she nears 65 and, frankly, neither would I.

Jenni Murray says she won’t embrace the trend of growing out her grey hair  like Sarah Jessica Parker who was seen filming in New York this week (pictured, left, with Cynthia Nixon)

It seems to have become quite the fashion for some older women. Meryl Streep has done it as have Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell, Jodie Foster, who all flaunted their greys at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, while the hash tag #greyhairdontcare is trending across social media and has been used nearly 430,000 times.

Maybe the silver fox look will become as acceptable in a woman as it has always been in a man.

No-one ever told George Clooney his grey hair made him anything less of a sex symbol than he’d always been.

Perhaps a grey-haired woman will no longer be considered fit only to play a grandmother or hide away at home with her knitting.

But all the women named above are lucky. For grey hair to look gorgeous and not make you appear, as I would, like one of the wicked witches in Macbeth, you have to know what kind of grey will appear on your head in its natural state.

All those movie stars appear to have soft, silky tresses that have aged superbly into the lightest of an almost baby blonde hue.

They either have the most proficient colourists at the most expensive salons to add a little tone to their ageing locks or the kind of fortune that gave them perfect bone structures, lovely eyes and beautiful grey hair.

It was chemotherapy that taught me the hard lesson with which my mother had grappled.

Like me, she was a natural brunette who, in her 50s, developed a flash of grey in her fringe. It was not a pretty silver, but a harsh iron grey. For a while she had it dyed, then decided it was too expensive to have it done regularly and probably too harsh for her hair along with the regular perms she insisted on every month.

She advises if your hair is white or silvery, go for it and let the colour grow out. But if it grows out pepper and salt or harsh iron grey get to the hairdresser quick

She left it alone and never stopped saying how much she hated it.

I was 56 when I discovered my natural state. Chemotherapy after breast cancer took away all my hair whose true colour, sans dye, I hadn’t seen since my early 40s.

As it began to grow back I saw my genetic inheritance writ large; grey all over, but that dark, harsh, pepper and salt. Yes, I looked like an angry ancient badger.

My oncologist was astonished when the first question I asked him as I began to feel more human, was not the progress of the cancer treatment, but how quickly could I dare to have my colour done given the chemicals in the dye.

‘Whenever you like,’ was his somewhat sceptical response.

I couldn’t get to the hairdresser fast enough.

Looking like the me I was used to, made me feel better. Who cared about having only one breast as long as the hair looked great?

So here’s my advice to those thinking of making the leap: It’s definitely worth checking what appears in the roots before going the whole hog and following the star-studded trend.

If they’re white or silvery, go for it and let the colour grow out. Pepper and salt or harsh iron grey get to the hairdresser quick.

You need the confidence, and he or she needs the business.


Jenni reveals her sons were big fans of Super Mario in the 90s, and was very surprised when Super Mario 64 game, from 1996, (pictured) sold at the weekend for £1.1 million

Circa 1996 my two boys loved to play Super Mario. So imagine my surprise when a Super Mario 64 game, from 1996, sold at the weekend for £1.1 million. 

If only I’d made my sons keep their games in their boxes and take good care of them. I’ll be searching the loft next to see what’s survived. 

Like Nicky Campbell, I know that words hurt       

‘Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you.’

I heard that adage so often as a child when someone had said something that hurt my feelings. I tried not to be upset if I was teased for being rubbish at maths or useless at climbing a rope in the gym.

But I’ve learned as I get older that words can do damage just as serious as that caused by sticks and stones.

It’s a lesson broadcaster Charlie Brooker needs to learn. Nicky Campbell has revealed he spiralled into depression and was unable to get out of bed for days when Brooker described him as a ‘w*** stain’ and as the Antichrist. Words hurt, in print, on TV or on social media. Everyone must take note of harm they may cause.

The necklace worn by the model Bella Hadid (pictured) on the Cannes red carpet was huge, dipped in gold and echoed the shape of the bronchi in the lungs

There was some pretty hefty jewellery on display on the Cannes red carpet at the annual film festival, but none stranger than the necklace worn by the model Bella Hadid to fill in the decolletage of her Schiaparelli dress. 

It was huge, dipped in gold and echoed the shape of the bronchi in the lungs. Aren’t the lungs supposed to be behind the breasts and not in a position to barely conceal one’s assets? 

Space flights – what planet are they on?        

Up, up and away went Richard Branson, soon to be followed by Jeff Bezos, as they lead the way in the space flight playground of billionaires. Will there really be daily flights for tourists at £180,000 a pop? 

Will they really be heading for the moon or Mars? Hasn’t enough damage been done to our planet by long-distance flights? Are we prepared to give these playboys permission carelessly to pollute more planets? I wouldn’t take part as a matter of principle even if I could afford it.

Which, of course, I can’t! 

  • What a pleasure to watch the best of British men on the pitch at Wembley on Sunday, despite the sad result. What a pity to witness the opposite; toxic masculinity among the marauding, disgusting fans. May England coach Gareth Southgate and his lovely team be the role models for the next generation of young men.

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