Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Little Orphan Annie Is About To Get Eaten

Image by dishevld via Flickr

It took me three hours to give my daughter this perm. It lasted 30 minutes.

My husband has had the same hairstyle for the past thirty years.  What is it about women that makes us want to change our hairstyle as often as we change our pocketbooks?  Have you ever considered how much of our waking lives is consumed with hair—-thinking about it, coloring it, curling it, straightening it, styling it?  When I was a teenager, my hair was as frizzy as a Brillo pad.  It was Irish setter red, and in combination with my stark white skin, it made me stand out on the beach like Little Orphan Annie.  We didn’t have blow dryers in those days, so my girlfriend would come over and iron it for me.

Once I started having kids, the frizzball subsided, and I was left with what I thought I wanted—lank red locks.  Of course, by then the curly look was in.  I tried hot rollers, shampoo-in curl enhancers, and finally resorted to a perm to achieve that look.  I finally managed the perfect curly “do” just as it was going out of fashion.

Recently, at my son’s rehearsal dinner, we showed a video I had made from pictures of my little boy growing up (it’s a mom thing).  One sequence showed my son at various stages of his life standing next to attractive young women, one stunning black-haired beauty with a pixie cut, another with brown curly big Texas hair, still another with long layered golden locks. A guest at one of the tables said to his table mates,  “Wow!  I can’t believe his mother had the nerve to show him with ex-girlfriends.”  Another guest, one who has known our family since he was in elementary school, said, “Actually, that’s the same girl, and it’s okay because she’s his sister.”

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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3 Responses to Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

  1. I love this post! I remember my own perms…in London, in 1975…and with Lilt, in 1965…

    • comingeast says:

      Yes, Lilt! I haven’t heard that word in years! Once, my mom permed my hair so tight, my brush handle broke off while I was trying to brush through it. I didn’t want to go to school. Thanks for reading.

  2. Pamela Johnson says:

    Isn’t it unbelievable the amount of time and pain that we women endured for our “improved look” each time we changed our hair-do. In high school and college, we slept on those prickly rollers every night! And yes, that wasn’t enough. We needed to iron our hair–though I could never get the straight look I envied.

    Over time, my vanity decreased, and my need for comfort increased. Today, I have my hair trimmed every 6 weeks and am told by the hairdresser, “What nice natural curl! You don’t really need to do anything with it.” And I don’t. I just wash it and fluff it out. When I think of all the time and money spent on permanents, special rollers, special “looks,” blow dryers, etc. I think “What a waste of time, money, and energy.” In old age, ease is the only way to go.

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