The days of fussing over my crowning glory, spending hundreds of hard-earned ringgit each month, is long gone. It died the day I donned the headscarf many years ago.
No more regular trips to the hairdressers. No more experimenting with all shades and hues to keep up with the trendy crowd. No more fashionable hairdos and expensive hair accessories.
Nowadays it's back to the basic necessity, which means the occasional trim to keep the hair in shape. I like it this way.
Two days back I decided to try out this hairdressing salon nearby. It has been operating in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) for ages (so I was told) but moved to this new location, still within TTDI, about 7 months ago.
The middle-aged hair stylist took one look at my salt & pepper hair and made this remark: "You tak mau colour your hair ka? You banyak uban nampak tua tau! Nanti your husband jemu!"
(Loose translation: "Don't you want to colour your hair? You have plenty of grey hair which make you look old. Your husband may just tire of you!")
Talk about foot in mouth disease! As a public relations practitioner, I couldn't help thinking this was PR at its worst.
You just don't insult your customers (especially those on their first visit!) with offensive remarks and still expect them to patronise your shop.
Strangely enough, I wasn't at all offended, just amused at the seriousness of his tone. He didn't believe me when I said prefer my hair in its natural hues.
The fact is that I love my silver hair from the time I started getting them. I want to keep them the way they are and I want more of them, the sooner the better.
I love looking at women with neatly trimmed salt & pepper hair; they look distinguished. I know of a few ladies who ooze charm, looking absolutely marvelous with their shock of neatly coiffured silver hair.
My aunt Puteri Rafidah Megat Khas of Sime Darby is one, my gynaecologist Dr Siti Zaleha of Subang Medical Centre is another. Their hair is like a fashion statement. It's so chic.
I believe in growing old gracefully. I think there is a lot of merit in that. You don't have to look young to feel young.
I did ask Pak Abu about the jemu aspect of that rhetoric. He couldn't help chuckling. "You look good, I like you the way you are, " he commented with a smile.
That, my dear no-PR hairstylist, may not be an earth-shattering statement of love, but it is good enough for me.