Nothing’s Ever Permanent -- Not Even Permanents

While browsing through old photo albums recently, I ran across a picture of my daughter’s Confirmation class taken in the 70’s and was struck by how much alike the girls looked. Each sported the same long, straight hairstyle. Some, I remembered, could achieve that look only by methodically ironing out their curls. A closer inspection of the picture revealed that most of the boys looked alike, too, with hair that could best be described as abundant. Suddenly I had a flashback of the class as they sat on the bemah. I visualized the girls taking turns flipping their hair back over their shoulders, orchestrated movements that made it somewhat difficult to concentrate on the beautiful service they conducted.

Women’s hairstyles have changed over the years which becomes obvious when perusing old photo albums. From the marcelled bobs of the twenties that my mother wore; to my own pompadour that, as a teenager, I pinned down with a hundred bobby pins; to the beehives and bouffants of the 60’s; right down to today’s free and easy styles, they have identified the generations.

As a child of the curly top Shirley Temple era, I was definitely out of sync with my straight, coarse hair. My mother tried desperately to curl my mop with a curling iron which she periodically heated on the stove. She soon gave up, however, and sent me to a beauty shop where I sat under a huge bubble-like permanent wave machine complete with large metal clips dangling from electric wires. Four hours later when I returned home with burned, frizzled hair Bubbie cried and my mother promised she would never again make me get a permanent--a promise she was forced to break when those Toni folks came out with their do-it-at-home kind.
 

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