Grey hair is not always for the elderly. It can strikes when you are least expecting it, even at the tender age of 28 as happened to a friend of mine, who hadn’t a care in the World. So what does it mean to go grey – the ‘grey hair’ fallacy of worry and aging certainly doesn’t always add up.
It is a fact that 50 percent of us have grey hair at the age of 50, but it is not the only culprit. Redheads go grey first followed by Caucasians – and vitamin deficiency is a regular cause. Smoking is also a major player, and so a healthy diet and lifestyle is certainly recommended to prevent the early onset of grey hair.
Many of us chose to celebrate the arrival of grey hair and proffer a salt and pepper image. Others strive to eradicate the loss of their original colour and regain it with the many hair products and shades on offer in the High Street or in your local Hair Salon.
Some prolific celebrities are donning the red carpet these days with their shades of grey, and I mean their natural hair. Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, Carole King and Glenn Close are just a few of the super famous who have opted to stay grey.
But if you are determined to eliminate, it is a skill in itself to cover the regrowth of grey hair, matching it against your own regular colour roots, and can sometimes need a bit of careful planning in the hairdressing department to achieve a natural look.
Constant Saloon visits can be costly, and so there are some tips to try at home for in between visits, or to replace them.
Grey hair is especially vulnerable to hair dyes – so ammonia-free products are the best formulas.
The new Umberto Beverly Hills U Colour and Revlon ColorSilk. Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolour Gel is a very good option. When you wash, use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo to help limit fading, go for a product like Aveeno Active Naturals Nourish + Moisturize Shampoo.
L’Oreal EverPure Moisture Leave-in Conditioner is also a good option to preserve the colour. All can be ordered online or in selected hair salons and outlets. You can also do your own research to see what works best for you.
It is all about ongoing maintenance and if you get the products and the shades right, the grey will take care of itself.
If you are reflecting on buying a family dog or puppy this Christmas, before you go down the road of expensive designer breeds, please consider a ‘Rescue’.
If you are not familiar with your local Animal Rescue Centre, you will be welcomed with open arms, and not just by the owners. Nine times out of ten a dog will adopt you. It is a magical phenomenon I have witnessed over and over, with friends and neighbours who have taken in rescue dogs who have then become part of their family.
Take Taffy for instance, who looked a bit like Tramp in the famous Disney film.
A very good friend Jan rescued him from a fate worse than death when he was tethered for several months on a farm, and almost given up for dead by the cruel owner who had discarded him. Taffy had a bad foot infection which had not been treated, due to neglect, and Jan spent days nursing him back to good health with the help of the Blue Cross, the Animal Charity, as she was on a limited budget. Taffy became her soul mate for many years, and they both really did live Happily Ever After.
A very good friend who is happily well-heeled was introduced to rescues over ten years ago, and has adopted several dogs ever since. Lizzie is fortunate enough to be able to transform an entire room and conservatory area for her five rescues, of all shapes and sizes as their own domain, whilst allowing them to surround her and her husband in their living room in the evening.
Lizzie is convinced that since adopting rescue dogs, her depression has decreased ten-fold, and has written articles and appeared on numerous radio programmes, championing the ‘Rescue’ breed, and how rescuing and owning a dog can support and even cure a big part of mental health issues.
Visiting an Animal Rescue Centre will open your eyes to so many wonderful dogs and you will also be creating such value with these poor discarded and often abused animals. There is bound to be one near you, just check it out and go along. You will know immediately when you clap eyes on your new family member, and it is strongly believed that they will too.
A creamy cornmeal porridge, polenta used to be made of other grains, such as hulled barley, spelt, buckwheat or chestnut flour before in the 16th century Christopher Columbus brought corn from the Americas back to Europe. A staple of Northern Italian cuisine, polenta is more than just a side dish. It is extremely versatile, eaten as a freshly cooked mush, cooled and then grilled or fried, or thinly spread out to be dried and baked to make polenta crisps. Instant cornmeal polenta is widespread nowadays and reduces the cooking time to a mere 2-3 minutes. Adding Parmigiano-Reggiano to the polenta enhances its fairly simple flavour to a delightfully creamy and savoury taste sensation. Polenta pairs well with tomato sauce, mushrooms, fried eggs or sausages. This recipe has combined mushrooms and spicy sausages to serve up a hearty meal for this fast approaching autumn. Buon appetito!
For 2 portions
2 thick, spicy sausages (or 4 Merguez), cut in chunks
150g woodland mushrooms (e.g. Shitake, Oyster, Eryngii or Champignons)
½ large white onion, thinly sliced
Knob of butter for frying the sausages
Dash of sea salt and black pepper
For the polenta:
100g instant cornmeal polenta
100g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Knob of butter
Dash of sea salt
For the parsley oil:
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Handful fresh parsley
Dash of sea salt
What you’ll need:
Large kitchen knife
Small fine mesh sieve
For preparing the parsley oil, take a large handful of fresh flat or curly parsley and chop it up. Combine the chopped parsley and about 50ml extra virgin olive oil in a blender and blitz. Let it sit for approximately 30 minutes while preparing the main meal.
Thinly slice the onion, cut the sausages and any large mushroom pieces into smaller chunks and fry in some butter until the meat is cooked through. Add a dash of sea salt and black pepper for taste.
In the meantime, prepare the polenta by mixing 100g of cornmeal with 400ml of water and cook on low heat. Instant polenta will thicken very fast and needs to be stirred frequently to avoid burning on the bottom. Once the polenta is thick and throws bubbles, turn off the heat and stir in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a knob of butter and a dash of sea salt for taste.
By now, the parsley oil should be sufficiently infused. Take a small fine mesh sieve, place it over a jar or glass and pass the oil through it. It should have taken on a light green colour from the parsley.
Divide the polenta into two portions, add the fried sausage and mushroom pieces and round of the dish with a generous drizzle of parsley oil. Serve immediately.
(Credit to: Castelli/Parmigiano for these beautiful recipes)