Christine – Christmas curls

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Around October time, I came down for breakfast one Saturday morning. Mum asked what I was up to today. “Actually Mum, I need to book my Christmas perm.” Before I could continue, Mum buried her head in my shoulders in floods of tears. “It’s not that bad Mum, I actually enjoy having a perm.” More tears. ” Gary seems  to like me having curly hair too, and Dad certainly likes me to be curly.” The tears resumed with a vengeance. “You like having perms too, and I’m sure Dad likes you curly too. Even more tears. “That’s just it love, Dad wants me to have my hair permed the same as yours, but I’ve never had short hair since I was very young. I cringe when Kath shaves you at the back.”


 I looked at Mum, “I don’t understand. You always seem so pleased when Gran perms your hair.” The tears abated slightly. ” I do love having my hair permed, as I say, I have never had short hair. I don’t like it.”


At that moment Dad came in, and seeing Mum’s tears, looked quizzically at me. “I was just about to book my Christmas perm, Mum was saying that you would like her to have hair the same as mine.” Dad’s face broke into a big grin. “Oh Pat, that would be lovely. You know how I like Chris’ hair since she has been having it permed. I would love for you to have yours the same as hers too.”


I looked at Mum, who looked quite defeated. ” Why don’t I make an appointment Mum, if you really don’t want it done you can always cancel.” Mum smiled wanly, while Dad seemed quite chuffed.


Of course, Mum didn’t cancel, she didn’t know how to explain to Dad, so the Saturday before Christmas, Mum drove us both to Kath’s. Mum dragged her heels all the way to Kaths door. Once inside, Kath decided that to show Mum the way, she would start on my hair, and Mum could watch, and then she would have her hair cut and permed.


I sat in the chair after Kath had washed my hair, and then Kath cut it down to 2 inches all over, as before, and then, after creating a strip front to back, she proceeded to wind my hair in the familiar blue curlers. Mum had be seconded to hand Kath the curlers and curl papers as she went. I could see Mum inspecting the curlers, and how small they looked compared to her own. Kath then continued until my whole head was wound in curlers. Mum watched as my hair was thoroughly smothered in perm lotion. At this point I was parked under my dryer.


Then came Mum’s turn. She too was washed, and back in the styling chair, her hair was cut to the same length as mine. From my vantage point, I could see how uncomfortable Mum was in having her hair cut. The curling process was received rather better, and Mum even wore a smile as the perm lotion was applied. She seemed very much at ease as she took her position in the dryer next to me. 


I was taken from my dryer shortly afterwards and after a rinse, my hair was neutralised. Mum was quite happy with this part. Mum was taken from under her dryer, and also neutralised before I had my final rinse. Mum seemed at ease as my hair was smothered in setting lotion, and I was placed back under my dryer for the final time today. When Mum’s hair had been dealt with in exactly the same way as mine, Mum too was parked under her dryer. We held hands for several minutes while the drying took place. 


After a short while, I was declared done, and I was taken to the styling chair to allow my hair to cool. Kath took a short break, and afterwards, Mum was again sat next to me before Kath removed my curlers. I saw Mum stiffen as Kath retrieved her clippers. I shuddered in anticipation of her machine being used on my neck, and  shuddered again as the clippers touched my neckline. I glanced at Mum, who was horrified at what she was seeing. Ten exciting minutes later, Kath put her clippers down, and started soaping my neck. Poor Mum’s eyes nearly came out on stalks as she realised her darling daughter was about to be shaved, and even more so when she finally realised what she could expect on her own hair. My hair was finally sprayed, and my fingers hungrily delved into my new short tight curls, the big grin on my face displaying that I was pleased with my new Christmas hair. 


Then it was Mum’s turn. I realised that she was shivering as her curlers were taken out. Kath retrieved her clippers, and as Mum’s head was pushed forward, I realised that she was softly sobbing. “Don’t worry Mum, it’s just your straggly neck hair. The sobbing was replaced by real tears as Mum’s neck was shaved.


Mum surveyed her own hair after she had been sprayed. “I’ve never had my hair so short before,” she sobbed.


After we had paid, I led Mum back to her car. I thought I ought to drive, as Mum was still distressed. She explained how a distant cousin was forced to have shingled hair when she was growing up. Mum had to explain that shingles was when the hair is cut short with clippers, similar to a short back and sides in a man. Mum had seen her cousin afflicted with this hairstyle several times over a couple or three years and had an aversion to short haircuts herself ever since. When she had seen Kath attack my hair with her clippers, this had been all brought back to her.


A short time later we got in. Dad was in the kitchen. “Oh Pat, your hair looks fantastic, so short at the back, and so tightly curled.” Mum buried her face in Dad’s shoulder in another session of tears. “Oh John, they used these clipper things on me, and shaved me with a razor.”  Dad missed Mum’s meaning. “I know Pat, it looks really smart. I have wanted you to have this style from the first day that Christine came in with her hair this way. Oh, by the way, yours looks great too Chrissy.” I smiled at Dad, saying “Thanks Dad”, and thinking that he could have noticed my hair sooner. Ther was more putting of feet in mouth from Dad: “perhaps you can keep your hair in the style now Pat.”


Later that evening, Mum and I curled each other’s hair. Mum had calmed down a bit. “You know Chrissy, I enjoyed the perm, the curlers are smaller than my usual ones, and it feels good all nice and tight, it’s just when she picked up the clippers, all I could think of was my poor cousin being systematically skinned, the worse thing being how all her schoolgirl friends made fun of her severe haircut.”


The next day, Gary came round. Mum answered the door. “Oh wow Mrs Roberts, your perm looks really cool, you’ve had it done the same at Chris’.” He even kissed her on the cheek just so he could grab a quick feel of her hair, whilst smelling at the residual perm smell in her hair. I came to the door. “Oh my. You could be sisters with your matching perms.” I had  to bat Gary off, his show of affection to me was starting to mess up my new perm before it had properly set into place. 


Later that day, I popped back to Gary’s. His Mum and Dad were out, so he took me to his room where he showed me how happy he was with my new perm. “Gary Parsons, I could turn you into a sex monster just by getting my hair permed every day!”  We both laughed. Shortly after we retired to the kitchen for a cup of tea, his parents returned home. His Mum and I compared hair notes, she too had had her Christmas perm earlier in the week.


Christmas Day came around, and I helped Mum in the kitchen, both of our hair set in curlers while we prepared the dinner. Shortly before dinner was served up, Gran arrived. Mum and I had dressed our hair out by then, and we had a three way perm comparison session, Gran having defaulted to her usual short tight home perm, which this time wasn’t as tight as either her daughter or her Granddaughters perm. “Pat, that style really suits you, you need to keep it that way.” I noticed Mum smile wryly back.


Later in the day Gary popped over, and he and I retired to my room, where the attractions of my curls were further explored.


Boxing day arrived. Both Mum and I had washed each others hair for the first time since our perms, and then set each other in blue curlers. It felt like it was a competition to each to try to curl the other tighter than our own.


After lunch, I went over to Gary’s for tea. Mr and Mrs Parsons took themselves off for a walk in the early afternoon, to allow “you youngsters to have an hour to yourselves.”


At New Year, Gary and I went to a local pub. Of course, I had got Mum to set my hair for the event. I certainly felt very smart compared to all the other women there.


I returned to work just after the New Year, the girls in the office noticing my Christmas Perm, even the supervisor, Mrs Johnson: “another new perm Miss Roberts, you do keep your hair smart.” I remarked on her new perm, which was similar to Gran’s hair.

2 responses to “Christine – Christmas curls

  1. A healthy nice long hair is definitely very attractive, but it doesn’t suits every typ of woman …… Likewise a extreme short cut, pixie or bob or bubble permed wedge cut needs the perfect match ….. But i do love permed girls and the smaller the curls the more interesting it looks ….. Its May severe or the curls are in a perfect order, this is my sight …… I like it waking in the morning just wetting the hair and every permed curl finds her space – magic
    So another perfect bubble perm adventure and advertising

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