I need a hair cut. I was due to go last Tuesday and set out womanfully in the snow and ice only to get snarled up in the gridlocked traffic and so was forced to retreat to the Land of Bad Hair Days. But now, one week on, we have reached the stage of desperation . Short hair is all very well and easy to maintain but it reaches crisis point much more quickly than longer, more forgiving styles. And now I also have the tale telling sneaks that are the grey, curly ones to deal with. My hair has become one job that needs to be kept on top of. Like the ironing pile.

The trouble with hair, in my experience, is that it’s never quite right and yet we women (and possibly men too but not those of my acquaintance) place such gargantuan importance on it. How it appears first thing in the morning can colour our whole day. If it sits as we’d like and shines on demand, then we step out of our door with a spring in our step and a sparkle in our eyes. Those are the days that you see, or imagine that you see (it matters not which) heads being turned or glances being lingered over. By contrast, on the days that your hair refuses to cooperate and can only be teased into an acceptable shape by the use of an excess of product or a hat, one feels more down at heel, less able to conquer the world.

There is another strange hair phenomenon that I have noticed over the years. You spend weeks looking at your hair with an air of dissatisfaction. You buy magazines and turn over the pages of any styles that catch your eye and could realistically be achieved. You discuss you hair and its failings with your friends. And then finally, you make the decision to go for a change and fix an appointment with that aim in mind. No sooner have you done this but your hair raises its game and starts to behave better than you could wish for in your wildest dreams. It styles itself to order. It looks healthy and in control. People comment on how nice it is looking. Heads are turned. Now what? To cut or not to cut? It seems a shame, especially when you have spent so long growing it. So you change your mind. You cancel the appointment. And immediately the hair, confident in its own power, goes back to its old and evil ways. It becomes unmanageable and won’t play. In fact, it behaves more badly than it did before you started thinking about cutting it. But now the appointment is gone and another is not available for weeks. Hair knows this.

But I need have no fear. My appointment is today. By this evening, my life will be back under control and my hair will be my crowning glory, or at least as close to one as I am ever going to get, for another five weeks.