A woman's hair may be her crowning glory, but mine has always been a pain in the b... at least from the time I began caring for it myself. When I was little my hair was long and Mom fixed it in finger curls. After I began school, I was "too old" for finger curls and started getting home perms in August before school started. We would go down to Grandma Ridnour's. Mom would wash our hair then Aunt Lois would put in a perm. The curling lotion was awful. She would give us a towel to hold over our faces, but all that did was trap the fumes in our eyes and noses. Once the curlers were taken out, we'd have a head full of springy curls. For some reason, Betty always looked pretty good with hers. Mine just looked yucky. After a few months, the perm would relax and grow out. I'd go to school with barrettes to hold the straight hair away from my face while tangled curls formed the bottom two-thirds of my "do". I think Betty preferred hair bands to barrettes.
We hardly ever went to a beautician for a haircut. Aunt Lois gave us those, too. There was one summer though when "duck tails" were the fashion and Mom took us to town to have our hair cut in that style. Another time I tried to cut Betty's hair for her. One side would be shorter than the other, so I would cut a little more off the other side but cut too much, then tried to even up the other side, etc. Mom had to have a professional give her a hair cut to correct my mistakes.
The picture on the right is from my freshman year in high school. My hair was also short my sophomore year. By junior year it was growing out and once again curly from a home perm. Senior pictures show it long with straight sides and curly ends - and I had bangs. So many of my diary pages included something about my hair - "looked awful", "wore my hair up", "slept in curlers," etc. And sleeping in those wire brush curlers wasn't any fun.
I wore my hair long all through my twenties. The day I turned 30 I had it all cut off. That's me with my short hair in front of Mount Vernon in May, 1974. It was long again seven years later as I waded in the waters of Lake Viking. I have alternated between short and long the past twenty or so years.
For the last two years I've been wearing my hair quite short. This winter I began letting it grow out with the idea of getting a perm. It was just about long enough to do so when last week I decided to have it cut short again. It is the best way for me to wear it for the way it looks and so I don't have to do anything except wash it and comb it.
"Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair,
Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen waxen......"
"I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy,
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty..."
Actually, I just want it easy to care for. And that's what I've got.