Friday, January 6, 2012

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

Close your eyes. Now think back to your past hairstyles. Are you smiling? Or are you cringing at the memory of that perm that went SO wrong? Now, go way back, let’s say, to your high school prom. How did you wear your hair? Did you go to the beauty shop?

I literally grew up in a beauty shop. My mother was a beautician (as they were called in the 60’s), and I probably spent as much or more time at a beauty shop than I did at my own home. It’s no wonder my first novel is set in a little coal mining town where everything you wanted to know about anybody (and a whole lot you didn’t) could be found out at the beauty shop.

My mother became a beautician when she was just eighteen. She began working right after WWII started. Wasn’t she beautiful?

It was her beauty, style, and grace that I gave to my novel's main character Sylvia (but that’s the only characteristics they share!)

Apparently, when I came along, my mother didn't have much hair to work with until I was almost three.

Growing up, I had the usual short haircut with the standard bangs that my mother ALWAYS cut too short. My sister, who was eight years older than me, had the classic style for a teenager of the 60’s. I can remember sitting in the bathroom, watching her fix her hair. First, she would take the curlers out of her hair, second, she would hold up clumps of it and tease it until it stood straight up. When she got it to stand up all over head so that it looked like she’d just been struck by lightning, then she took her comb and smoothed it back down. To my amazement, it looked beautiful! Next came the hairspray assault. When she started spraying Aqua Net (for hard to hold hair) I would run out of the bathroom before she asphyxiated me.

My high school days were in the late seventies, and I wore my hair long and straight. The fact that my hair had a slight wave in it could be easily remedied with my mother’s clothes iron. I would kneel and spread my hair over the ironing board. My sister would cover my hair with a towel and then proceed to iron it with my mother’s iron. I even became adept at doing it myself when no one was around to do it for me. With the wonderful product “Sun-In” I could even create my own blonde highlights. Only we called them "streaks." There was a short time when I wore the “winged” back sides that Olivia Newton-John made popular.

In college, my hair was long and straight. I occasionally curled the ends with pink spongy hair curlers so that I could sleep in them without too much discomfort. It wasn't until after I married and later had my twins, that I cut my hair up to my shoulders. Through the years, it got shorter (and blonder), but I suppose all things come full circle. I now have my hair long again, at least until the next trip to the beauty shop.

What is the history of your hairstyles?


  1. I too used Sun-in. But I had an Unfortunate experience with Miss Clairol; my two best g-f's and I were all gonna die our hair the same color (we were 14). Theirs came out about the color mine was, starting out... Mine had an unfortunate pale olive tint to it. Not a good look for me!

    I've stayed blonde, but now I have much help in the highlight and tinting department.

  2. I'm still getting asphyxiated by that Aquanet, Aunt Becky!! lol...ginger