Today the women of GenFab are doing a bloghop on “Fashion Disasters” from our past.
This topic gave me pause. Fashion disasters? I knew there were many. But I needed some inspiration, so I pulled several old photo albums off the shelf and started paging through.
I revisited some scary fashion moments: saddle shoes … hot pants … white go-go boots … halter tops … clunky clogs … the list goes on.
But with the turn of each yellowing page, I came to realize that no fashion faux pas, not one, could surpass the extreme fashion dysfunction of my hair.
I was born with naturally curly hair, a gift from my dad’s gene pool. If you need to know the humidity level outside, just check out the curl index on our heads.
As a kid, I didn’t know from hairdos and don’ts. It honestly never crossed my radar. All I cared about was horseback riding and playing outside and reading books.
With adolescence, well, everything changed. I spent less time with riding lessons and more time dreaming about boys. It was the late 60s/early 70s, the era to let it all hang out. I grew my hair long like everyone else. The curls changed into frizz but that was OK. Long frizzy hair was au courant, and I liked to think that my hair resembled Carole King’s on the cover of Tapestry.
But then, my world turned upside down. Frizzy hair was OUT. Straight hair was IN.
And the battle commenced.
I wanted straight hair. I craved straight hair. I would do anything to have straight hair.
I tried giant curlers and orange juice cans, wrapping my wet hair around them and securing them with bobby pins or clips. I slept on all those curlers. In the morning my hair would be straight with bobby pin ridges near the scalp.
The iron came next. Not the flat iron we know today. A real pressing-the-clothes iron. I spread my frizzy locks on the ironing board and got to work. The ends were flattened but the rest was as frizzy as ever. A disaster.
I wrapped my wet hair around my head and taped it, a self-contained turban. In the morning my hair was straight but stuck straight out. Not a good look.
Remember the hair straightening products, like U.N.C.U.R.L. and Curl Free? I thought that this would be the answer to my prayers. The first try didn’t work. So I tried it again. This time, the chemical warfare resulted in straight listless hair for about two days. A week later, I tried another application. My beleaguered locks waved a white flag of surrender and, section by section, broke off and slid disconsolately to the floor.
I ended up with very short hair for a while.
At long last, blow dryers were invented. Finally, something that worked, as long as it was a day with low humidity and I didn’t perspire and didn’t get my hair wet, any of which would cause all the hair blowing effort to have been for naught.
A few summers ago we were without power for about three days. I shampooed my hair at home, covered it with a hat and sneaked into the ladies room as soon as I got to work to blow it dry. One day I was detained and arrived with my hair a curly mop. As I slunk to my office, more than one person greeted me with “You got a perm!”
Nope. Just another bad hair day.
There’s more! Read what other GenFab women have to say about their fashion foibles below.
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