I did not know I had curly hair until I was in my 40s — not a word of a lie.
I had seen pictures that showed me with curly hair when I was very young but, for most of my life, I had long, thick hair that, because of its weight, it was straight.
One day, in a moment of madness, I had it cut off to shoulder length. It was still straight so I asked to have a perm and … the hairdresser gave me one.
Oh, yes, my hair was curly alright and I just continued having them for about four years, every few months, until the “accident.”
My hair was accidentally “fried” by the incorrect application of one of the perm solutions.
It started to break off at the root and halfway down the shaft.
It literally shrivelled up and was in very sad shape in about three days.
The very responsible shop owner agreed to monitor, trim and care for my hair until it was back to its previous condition.
She thought it would take about a year!
So, I started having my hair cut short and treated every month.
When I was finally able to let it grow long again, it was curly, curly, curly and, as well as surprise, I was very happy to avoid the cost of the perms four times a year I had been getting! I couldn’t wait to tell mom.
When I did, she looked at me kind of funny and said, “yes, you have always had curly hair.”
“Huh?” I said, unsure I had heard correctly, “what do you mean — I have always had straight hair.”
She said I had always, in fact, had curly hair — what was I talking about?
She said it looked nice and that she didn’t notice any difference.
Of course, I had been having perms all along and I guess mom just thought I still had the hair she remembered from my childhood.
And, there was one other moment of hair-raising (sorry) panic a few years ago when I thought I would dye my own hair, at home, alone — that is, without the benefit of any advice except that found in the box.
My hair was bright orange with hideous purple roots until it grew enough to be changed — about six months!
Colleen Crossley is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.