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Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hi neighbors. The gentle breezes of spring and summer bring to mind how much we all enjoy feeling the wind blow through our hair. And how hard some people work to keep that from happening!

All people have a relationship with their hair. Almost all of these relationships are based on control. We want our hair to do a certain thing and our hair does as it pleases.

Remember beehive hairdos? Not only did they take hours to get "teased up" but they took at least one jumbo can of hair spray to hold them in place. The common idea for the beehive was to backcomb (for those who don't remember what teasing was) every strand of your hair. When it was all sticking out like spikes all over your head, you sprayed it good with hair spray.

Now, this was the days before sprays of any type were concerned about knocking holes in the ozone. Not only did you get the sticky spray, you also got to breathe an accelerant used to push the sticky stuff out of the can in a grand spray. Having done the spraying part, you ran from the bathroom (or whatever room you were spraying in) as quickly as you could so you could finally inhale again.

If you had lots of hair, you might need several trips to get it all sprayed and still be able to breathe. Once all the hair was saturated with the spray, you had to let it dry. So you could do your nails while you waited.

Of course you had to hide out because you didn't want any of your friends to see you looking like the "Bride of Frankenstein." If you had a phone you could call your friends; but phone calls were limited according to how many people lived in your house, how strict your parents were and whether or not you were on a party line. For those who don't know, there were no cell phones.

After you did your nails, called your friends and watched an episode of "American Bandstand," your hair was dry enough to start pinning. Who reading this has ever used a hair pin?

Some girls used a long, slender brush roller (remember those?) to start twirling the hair around. After hours (and sometimes girlfriends called in to help) the hair looked like a fat French roll with a wasp nest on top -- or a beehive. If you have seen the Simpsons, the lady with the blue hair is sporting a beehive.

Guys had their own version of misery with keeping their mops in line. Crew cuts were popular in the '50s, long, long hair was "in" for the '60s; but by the '70s and before the '80s mulletts became the slick look and/or the Moe look (bowl cut). Disco was king and looking cool was a must. Sideburns made a comeback, the long lanky lock hanging down the forehead was popular and the guys had to take their turn at styling.

Sprays weren't popular for guys yet -- at least not in a shared men's room. Gel was the thing, or "grease" as it was called earlier. Brylcreme promised girls would fight each other just to get close enough to touch your hair.

Another crème called Hi Karate insisted you would have to be able to fight the amorous girls off with martial arts.

Frankly, the girls and the guys spent more time messing with their hair than talking to each other.

It seems we go through cycles of difficult and time consuming hair preparation to simply letting it go where it will. The hippies wanted hair to just hang and grow.

The '70s hairdos were very much under control, big, and victims of chemical warfare.

The '80s hair was cut a lot, or shaved off, or half 'n half.

The '90s hairdos reflected the need for economy with time, hair products (everything but shampoo, which was applied at least once daily) and showed a fix it and go attitude.

Sometimes, just going through a photo album showing several generations in their teens can be an eye opener!

Until the next time friends, remember, no matter what your hair style, enjoy what hair you have!

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup