If fashion month is anything to go by, (and it usually is) the biggest hair trend we will be seeing this spring and summer is a decidedly practical one. They're calling it "Schoolgirl Hair" by which they mean that it's shoulder length, parted in the centre and held back by either bobby pins, over-sized clips or a headband.
The style was everywhere during fashion month, from Carolina Herrera in New York to Simone Rocha in London, (who opted for side parts with clips) to Versace and Dolce & Gabbana in Milan. Both Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang opted for the centre part sans clips, which might be called "Homework Hair". Too much? In any case, Refinery29 called it "the most surprising thing to take the runway by storm this month".
All of which is fine; it's totally fine. I mean, it's not like I don't get it – I just … I just wonder if we might call it something else? Because, when so many of us are over 35, (and by "so many of us" I mean me), do we really need to follow a trend beginning with the words "Schoolgirl"? Does any adult, for that matter? Can't we just call it Fancy Librarian? No? What about 'Margot Tennenbaum Goes to Prom'? That feels better, doesn't it?
Maybe I'm feeling defensive because I actually wear legit schoolgirl hair five or six days out of seven. I'm talking a high ponytail and I refuse to apologise, (if anyone is asking me to? I'm not sure, this "schoolgirl" thing has me feeling disoriented.)
The irony, of course, is that it's part of a uniform of a different genre – a mum uniform. A high ponytail immediately pulls my entire, over-tired, sodium-afflicted face up, giving the illusion of normalcy. It also prevents my tiny children from pulling at it, which is a great hobby of theirs if my hair is ever down. I like to think of it as the hairstyle equivalent of athleisure. If you're ever at a playground in the middle of the day, you might notice that many of us mothers are wearing leggings, tank tops and sneakers. But let me tell you a secret: we have zero plans of exercising. We wear these things because they are 1. Elasticised and 2. Allow us the freedom to run after tiny children in a semi-dignified way.
I've been told, in a subtle way by a relative or two that my hairstyle is too young for me. And rather than reflexively pointing to celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, (45) and Nicole Kidman, (50) who have worked the high pony this year, I decided to seek out an expert's opinion. After all, I'm actually not a celebrity, well, outside of my own vision board I'm not.
"Most people over the age of 40 are happier to let us decide what suits them," is how Anthony Robles, marketing and communications director at Prema Hair explains it to me. "It's about their personality and lifestyle, which tends to be more about their uniqueness and not so much what is happening in fashion."
I'm pretty sure I was just given express permission by a hairdresser with over 20 years' experience at super hip salons to keep wearing that high ponytail. And if anyone wants to call that "schoolgirl" style I can learn to live with it.