Image, Personal power

Youth at any age

Hairdresser styling woman's hair

In the seven years I spent working as a current affairs reporter I worked on many stories involving the latest plastic surgery techniques. Some were for treatment purposes and others – which were of far greater interest to viewers – for cosmetic reason.

In fact, the joke was that I had to pack a full set of scrubs in my overnight back such was the likelihood that I would end up in Theatre – either her or in the US.

I have travelled the length and breadth of the UK, both coast of North America and – of course – the large bit down the middle where many of the extreme body surgeries are carried out due to the vast number of clinically obese patients.

So it should came as no surprise to me or anybody else that I am often asked about which procedures are the most likely to yield a good outcome.

The answer was given to me by a well established, successful surgeon in LA; none of them can beat the transformative results of great hair and nails. Make no mistake this man made a great deal of money from all sorts of body enhancing surgery but he was clear about one thing. If you want to roll back the years, find yourself a brilliant dentist and a great hairdresser. These are the people who can give you a new lease of life…and it doesn’t a massive investment. Most of the time!

I was delivered this insightful view while I was on a trip to the West Coast with a Girls’ schoolteacher from Surbiton who placed to undergo and extreme makeover. That is she had an eyelift, breast enhancement, lip-suction to at least three areas to her body, and various re-surfacing techniques.

When my crew and I saw her emerge from the elevator to be wheeled to a car to take her to a recuperation centre, the producer said, “Good God. There is the money shot,” as we watched her leave bandaged head to foot rather like an Egyptian mummy. Her next few days were painful in the extreme and we all wondered about how it would end.

Several weeks later we found out. She looked glamorous and younger. We had all flown back to LA to celebrate her new look. But during the drinks reception at The Standard Hotel, the surgeon took me to one side and said, “Of course I should not this…but the biggest difference was made by the dentist and the hairdresser.”

All that pain and in the end it was great teeth and hair that shifted perception away from being a middle-aged, single mother, school teacher and dog-owner to putting out an image of Hollywood glamour while knocking off quite a few years in the process.

My Hygienist confirmed this. She regularly lectures on dental health for big conferences and knows a thing or two about image.

She said,  “People will start making up their minds about you with first impressions. The first one that makes a difference is your teeth. They will decide your age, status, wealth and health from that one visible characteristic.”

Straight(ish), white(ish) teeth  look youthful and indicate self-esteem and self-discipline. Crumbling, yellow teeth do the opposite. Glossy, healthy hair does the same thing.

All very easy and no need to go under the knife.