>Bette Davis and me


>

Thanks very much, Cheryl, for the plaudits at Christmastime. I was not ignoring your kind remarks but finding a way to respond which either completely ignored my new hairdo or pretended I was fine with it.

Four days before Christmas I woke up with the urge to have hair a bit like Stockard Channing in Grease (above). There are worse things I could do.

Instead of leaving this little fantasy firmly on the inside of my head where it belonged and due to the proximity of our local hairdresser (downstairs) I was convinced what I needed was a perm. I’d never been to the place before but I’d seen lots of old ladies going in and having perms – they must know what they’re doing, mustn’t they?

The answer is they do. They know how to do old-lady-perms. The stylist did ask me if I’d considered a colour – but the thought of a blue or pink rinse was just a bridge too far. I wanted to look like Stockard Channing for f***s sake, not Frenchy in her Pink Lady phase. I was quite pleased with it until I got home, which given it is only upstairs is not long.
I persevered with it and went into town looking like Deirdre Barlow’s 20:20 vision sister. By Christmas Day I was absolutely in hate with it but fairly circumspect: what could I do? I cooked and served Christmas dinner looking like the leader of the hair bear bunch and struggled like a gladiator to get my Christmas Cracker hat over the frizz. It perched improbably on the top and just enhanced the effect perfectly.

Now, most of the time, it behaves itself fairly well. And a lot of the time I even quite like it – I would caution anyone with somewhat blurred and fond remembrances not to try it at home though – a place in fashion history is what it deserves not a place in modern life.

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6 comments

  1. Cheryl

    >HUGS!I had a perm on slightly longer hair, once, that took so well that I looked like Leo Sayer.Unless it’s gone to total straw, a way round it is to have another, milder perm, for less time, on larger(or no)rollers, because perm lotion is pretty much identical to what the black girls use for hair straightener.You seem to be relaxing it in places, from the photo. If its any consolation I never like my haircut when I have it done (and have therefore given up visiting hairdressers at all, ever.) I’ve just home-coloured mine. Three weeks later and my parting looks like a zebra crossing already.And you still have a face like Ms Davis, so ner!

  2. Rantz

    >I had a perm once. When I was 19. Just six months after I died it WHITE. How stupid was that? Glad I did it, glad it’s in the past and glad that it’s certainly not modern life.My mum and auntie used to give each other perms when I was a youngun. They never looked as horrible as I did. Then again, they didn’t bleach their hair white.’Tis good see you’re not letting it get the better of you. I did.

  3. She Weevil

    >I’m doing as Sleeping Mommy said: washing it and washing it. It needs cutting again really but of course now I’ve committed hair hari kari I don’t have the nerve to go back to really good nice hairdresser that cut it before I had the perm at the fantastic-for-old-ladies salon.

  4. Badaunt

    >I’ve had a perm twice. The first time it went a strange greenish colour. (I’d been mucking around with hair colours before that and forgot to tell the hairdresser.) The style was nice, the colour horrible, and took ages to get right. The second time I looked like… Leo Sayer. (Thank you for that horrible but accurate image, Cheryl. We could have done a double act!) And, of course, right after that I realized that I needed a new passport. *Sigh* NZ passports are for ten years, and it runs out next year.

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