Every Friday my mother went to a salon, as she said “to get my hair done.” This was a sacred ritual.
What I did not realize was that literally, she was actually getting it “done.”
At one time she had beautiful dark brown hair that was shiny and silky smooth, but over the years she had rolled it, chemically dyed it, and cooked it so much under a commercial hair dryer at the beauty salon that it eventually became thin, reddish and springy like Brillo. Finally then one day her hair revolted against the abuse and just fell out. It was like a Labor Union going out on strike.
She had literally baked it off her scalp to the point that near the end of her life, she had to cover her head with a Jamaican native style scarf. Sometimes I wonder if unwittingly by hair osmosis she had chemically polluted and baked her brain at the same time too, possibly accounting for her eventual dementia.
The ultimate irony was that although she got her hair done every week, put a net over it and walked around all day stiff legged like a toddler who had pooped his diaper, all to ensure that it would not get messed up, she and my father never seemed to go anywhere on Friday or Saturday nights so that she could actually show it off in public.
The hair ritual eventually became the social equivalent of her Good Tupperware.
Well now, here I am all gussied up,
And I just ain’t got no place to go.
Photo source: Google images