Posted for Lisa’s Bite Size Memoir: Bad Hair Day using the 10 ‘I remember’ statements instead of 150 words.
“Velvet”, 5 blocks of yellow soap in single bar, wrapped in red & blue printed paper… From the Powerhouse Museum Collection, NSW, under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial
I remember when my hair was washed once a week, on Sundays. Mum used yellow Velvet soap as there wasn’t shampoo those days. Velvet (now made by Pental) was sold in Northern Australia as Sunlight soap. Do you remember how hard soap was, once? Nowadays, I remove the packaging right away, to let it dry out.
Velvet soap, a later style
I remember my sister usually kept her hair short. One day she told me how she had always felt disgusted, standing behind me on the school bus, looking at the dandruff on the shoulders of my high school blazer.
I remember wearing my hair in plaits, a ponytail, or pigtails – kept under control with rubber bands, ribbons, scrunchies, hairclips, or headbands. My aunt fixed it in a bun a few times, and I pestered mum to do it every morning before school until the novelty wore off.
1971, single pigtail
I remember the first time I had my hair styled. It was for my first wedding in 1973. It was lovely and boofy for days.
April Fools Day, 1973
I remember how your scalp itches like mad as soon as anyone mentions nits or lice. I don’t recall having them at school, myself, but the pesky little critters swept through my children’s primary school. We took preventative action.
I remember cutting my fringe and trimming my hair for years. I thought I did a pretty good job, too. Nowadays, I still just hack at my fringe when I feel like it. Who takes notice of someone nearly sixty! I intend having a trim for my sixtieth.
I remember putting colour rinses and permanent colours in my hair, usually chestnut or cherry – never ever blonde. The closest I ever got to blonde was tips in the late 80s. My sister peroxided hers, but the idea just never appealed to me.
1989, with blonde tips
I remember the first time I had a perm, an afro of course, about 1980. The hairdresser commented on how uneven my hair ends were. Not surprising. I began using conditioner for the first time after my perm. I still have my afro comb.
1980, with my Japanese penpal. The afro is half grown out by now.
In 1990, I remember seeing a barmaid with a glorious head of hair of all shades of brown and grey, and I thought to myself, if I go grey like that, I will be happy. Now, in full sunlight, my hair gleams silver.
2011, with my self inflicted style
I remember my sister’s memorial service, one of my nephews saying: “Oh yes, Christine, of course I recognize you. Still got the mullet, I see.” I had it cut shortly after that.
2011 – a few days later with my shortest haircut – ever
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