Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hair Stories, Part One

Hello again, Hello!

For those of you who have posted, thank you so much for being part of this process! Your in put is the key to this blog.

The opportunity of hair came up when Rachel talked about the snarls in her long blond hair in grade school. Every Girl Scout in the troop that played on the bars and had long hair had a big ol snarl at the base of her neck. Those that didn't have the tangle, chewed on their hair. Those that didn't play on bars OR chew on their hair, twisted it around their finger. And for those who don't know, the battle of the tangle was solved one day when we went to the T G & Y discount store and the clerk gave us a magic combination. She told Rachel to wash her hair in Ivory Liquid and rinse it in Downy Fabric softener. They are cherished memories to me, doesn't every mother love to untangle?

Let's get back to the hair. As we know from looking at Hannah Opseth in the picture previously provided that she wore her hair back in a severe bun. I suspect it was practical. I would like to have known how long it was. Imagine, a grandmother with long, flowing white hair out in the wind and heat and it swirling around her head and her holding parts of it down with her hands and her husband asking her to help and she says, "I CAN'T MY HAIR IS FLYING AWAY!" Good Luck Grandma!

Look at the pictures at the top of this note. The one to the left is of the Opseth sister, Julia and Hilda. I don't know who the guys are and when viewing the photographs with Julia years ago, she did not tell me. But I want you to look at those poodle bumps. Grandma Julia obviously did some major snarling and hot curling to get those ridges in her hair. She had fine hair; don't you think she has some sort of form under them? Hilda, I HOPE, has a bow in her hair. The other picture is pretty tame. They had hats on so one couldn't see how their hair was styled. Julia is the one in the light colored dress. I do not know who the other two are. Think about the pictures you have of yourself. Have you ever posed with both hands behind your back? I do like the clothes; the ladies may have made them. The picture is taken near the edge of a poplar grove.

Now I want to tell you about Julia. Grandma had fine hair and she didn't have a lot of it. You must remember that my grandparents raised me from age 5-7 and again in my fourteenth year. In between I spent a lot of time with them because I really loved my grandparents. I have a host of day to day memories. Some of them are hair memories.

When grandma wanted her hair curled, she used about 5 metal curlers. They were small, like a permanent wave roller. They had a wire which came over the wound hair and clamped shut. I don't remember her having anything but yellow tinted gray hair. It didn't help that she washed it with bar soap or Tide. It was sort of slimy to the touch. She always wore a hair net, always. After her curlers were removed, she would brush it in a fashion to make it puffy before she put the hair net on to flatten it down. I am just now remembering something called wave set and that was the slimy stuff she put on her hair before she rolled it. One of her best friends from New Solum had gone to beauty school. It affected all the women in the group except Grandma. One with furrow deep wrinkles name Lena always had her hair dyed black, another was a red head, and then, there were those who had their hair blue. Most of them wore hair nets. Too bad Hannah didn't have one when she was outside in the wind!

Many years passed and Julia asked me to help her with her hair. She was sick then but wanted to get dressed up to go to a whist party. We washed it and I set it with Get Set and rolled it up in my rollers using at least a dozen +. When it was dry we combed it out and teased it. I have to tell you it really looked good. Before Grandma left for the party, she had rerolled it and put on her hair net because that is what she liked best.

1 comment:

ryen.anderson said...

Things have changed, especially in New York! With such a chaotic schedule, people get one good hair cut every few months. They get up at 7, go to work, have a dinner meeting, then have some event they have to attend but don't have time to get home to change or style their hair again. At BEST, they'll rub a little pomade through their fingers and fluff their hair a bit with their fingertips. It's so common, that it's considered chic to have "easy" hair for both men and women.