“Condition”

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Hair Fetish “condition”

Hair fetish? Yes, I have been afflicted by this “condition” since a young age. I recall having to go with Mother to her salon and sitting waiting on her getting her hair done. Soaking in the ambiance and smells of the salon and observing the stylists and the ladies having their hair done. The hot air coming from the hood dryers was always a very pleasant smell as I was always placed on an unused seat that had the dryers attached to them. I’m in my mid 50’s now so this was back in the late 1960’s early 70’s.

Then when Mother was finished sometimes it would be my turn for a haircut. I’d never be told this in advance only when Mother was finished she would say to me that it’s time for a haircut. So over I would go to the chair with butterflies in my stomach as I was so excited! I’d sit there and watch as the cape was put on and at that point I’d be feeling shivers as I was in heaven! Obviously I had no idea why I was feeling like this but it was something I liked an awful lot! I wouldn’t even see my hair being cut as it was way down the back of the chair but just sitting there with the cape on and seeing just my head and hair was just such a feeling!

This continued like this with me getting my hair trimmed along with Mother until I was into my second year at high school. I was obviously deemed old and mature enough by age 14 that I could go myself. But it was always arranged by Mother and never any conversation with the hairdresser about what I would like. Just the same old trim the ends to keep my hair in good shape and maintain the past mid back length. To be honest I never really thought about wanting to change my hair during this time even though I enjoyed the experience of going to the hairdressers so much and still I loved to see what was being done to the other clients in the salon.

This started to change though when some of the older girls in their last few years of Highschool were getting perms. The late 70’s perms were extremely popular and at around the same time I had seen an article in a magazine that had before and after pictures of celebrities that had had perms. I was awestruck by the pictures in the magazine and seeing the older girls at school with their perms and the transformations. I recall the excitement I had when I heard someone say “I’m having my hair permed after school” or at the weekend. I couldn’t wait to see them after they had been to the salon. I was always so jealous of them and adored the perms they had got.

So really at this point my hair fetish really took roots. I was still going to the same old hairdresser for the same old trim. I knew there was no way I could convince my parents to let me have my hair permed so I just continued to fantasize about having my hair permed, read as much magazine articles as I could about hair and watched the older girls at school when they had their hair permed.

A few years later 1981 I was now finishing 4th year at High School. Exams were finished and the long summer holidays were nearly upon us. Still my hair was the same as always and still my desire for a perm was with me. I realized that it wasn’t just the result I wanted but the experience of the visit to the salon, the perm rods being wound and secured, the lotion, the smells, the cape that seemed to be only used for perms.

I was fifteen now. I’d saved some money from birthdays, pocket money and odd jobs I had been given a small amount of money for. I could pay for the perm myself. After much deliberation due to the fact my parents I thought probably still wouldn’t approve I decided I would go and get my hair permed in the first week of the holidays.

There were five hairdressing salons in the town where we lived. I wasn’t going to go to the one we had used all these years so that left four. I obviously was well aware of them all as part of this hair fetish ”condition”. I was always looking in to each of them best I could when passing to see what they were like and what was going on. There were two more weeks of school left so I scoped out one each day (they were not open Mondays) to come up with the one I would choose.

I finally settled on the one furthest of the main street that was quieter when entering or coming out. So I waited all weekend and Monday until Tuesday lunchtime at school. Doing the reconnaissance on the four salons and waiting until Tuesday to book the appointment was all part of my “condition” I believe. All part of the excitement and fantasizing about me, getting my hair permed!

The Tuesday morning sitting in class I was so nervous and so excited at the same time about going to make the appointment at lunch time. I obviously wasn’t paying too much attention either! I couldn’t wait for the bell to go to signal lunch. I fobbed of my usual lunch time friends and said I was meeting my Mother for lunch today. I left the school for the ten minute walk to where the salon was. I was by now so nervous and wondered if I would actually go ahead and make the appointment. I so wanted to do it but still at the back of your mind you think what “if” and that “if” basically came down to what your family would think. It was also quite a bit of money from my meagre savings.

Still nervous as I approached the salon door I chickened out and I walked past it to the corner a few shops down. I stood on the corner and thought it through one more time. But to be honest my desire for the visit to the salon and have the perm was overriding any other thoughts and I resolved myself to step into the salon and make the appointment.

I started walking back to the salon door my heart pounding in my chest, still so nervous and yet so excited at the same time. My hand went to the handle and I opened the door. I was in! A quick glance showed 3 clients in. One being permed, one having her wet haircut and another lady under the dryer. One of the stylists doing the perm said “Hi” and called to Yvonne that someone was at reception. Yvonne came through and greeted me. I could hardly speak! She asked if I had an appointment to which I replied no but I would like to make one. OK she said for when? I replied a week Thursday July 9th anytime in the morning if possible. She flicked her pages in her appointment book. The 3 stylist’s names were written in at the top and 3 lines drawn down the page to divide them. I saw Yvonne herself had time free that morning so she confirmed that by saying she could do my hair that morning. She said would 9.30 be OK or later that morning? At this point I realized I had not mentioned a perm and she hadn’t asked what service I’d like either so I said I was wanting a perm. She seemed a little surprised and said “a perm?” So I repeated I wanted to have a perm. I’d done it! I was still so nervous and exited! But I said to myself there is no backing out now! She wrote down perm in the appointment book and made a line on her booking from 9.30-12-30 and said to me that it would be nearly 3 hours for the whole process and asked my name and put that against the booking. I was then handed a business card with the date and time on it for the appointment. I wished she had put “perm” down on the appointment card! We said goodbye and she said see you next week.

Next week! I had 9 days to wait! I wandered back to school in a daze and wondered why I didn’t make it earlier next week as summer holidays started on Friday. I spent virtually the whole 9 days thinking about the upcoming appointment. I was still so nervous and exited by the prospect of my perm and my first salon process! I couldn’t pluck up the courage to tell anyone and decided I would deal with the outcome when I had actually been to the salon and been through the process.

The night before the appointment came. I could hardly contain myself that I was to go to the salon in the morning for my perm. It was hard to get to sleep with the anticipation and excitement. I lay there thinking I would like to wear a dress to make the experience even more special. But in the end decided it would be the regular shorts and T Shirt I would wear to not arouse questions as to why I had put a dress on.

I woke up early too, and my mind immediately went to the upcoming visit to the salon that morning. I lay in bed until normal time to get up for breakfast around 8.00. Father was always gone at 7.15 but Mother used to leave around 8.30 after we had breakfast. So Mother left and I immediately went upstairs to get myself ready. I put some mascara on and some light lipstick from Mothers makeup drawer in the bathroom. Brushed my hair thinking I won’t be doing this again! Finally a puff of Mothers perfume. I needed to leave the house at 8.55 to make the walk to the salon for 9.30 but decided to leave a little early and walk slowly just savouring the thoughts I was having with for my impending perm! It was unbelievable the walk to the salon in the morning sunlight. I was full of nervous excitement and thrilled to be finally going to go through the process of having a perm. Once again as I got near the salon my heart was beating hard and fast with the excitement! I couldn’t believe I was actually going to go through with it!

I got to the door. No hesitation this time as I opened the door and stepped in. No other clients were there yet as I was a few minutes early. One of the stylists walked through from the back with a coffee in her hand and said good morning. I replied good morning then she shouted through to Yvonne that her perm was in!

Yvonne came through and we greeted each other. She invited me to one of the styling chairs and I sat down. My heart rate and nervousness was now stepping up to new levels! She picked up a few sections of my hair and said no issue with the condition of it for perming and we talked about how I would like my hair done and how tight I wanted the perm. I replied I was wanting it tight. She then said to me that if I wanted a tight perm I would have to have a lot of hair cut off and layered. I knew this would be the case as a lot of the girls at school who had perms always had a lot of hair cut for the end result.  It’s what I wanted too and I’d prepared myself for getting a lot of hair cut off.

I was lead to the backwash and a towel put on the back of my neck then Yvonne took my hair in her hands and asked me to lie back. I got myself comfortable and the water came on. My hair was washed twice thoroughly and no conditioner as Yvonne said that affects the perming solutions ability to work properly. My hair was towel dried and wrapped in a fresh towel. We went back to the chair. A fresh towel was put round my neck then Yvonne went behind the wash stations and brought a cape. She unfolded it. It was silver grey and she deftly placed it around me and fastened it around my neck ensuring the towel was just peeking out. It was a heavy duty waterproof cape that completely covered me! I got the same old exited feeling again upon the cape being put on and seeing only my head at the top of the cape! The towel was removed, a bit more towel drying. Yvonne then got a comb and said apologies in advance but it’s going to be a bit tuggy getting this hair combed out with no conditioner. Sure enough it took an age to get the hair all smoothed out for cutting.

She reached for her scissors on the counter in front of me and went behind me again. With her comb she pulled the hair from in front of my shoulders all round to my back and combed it all together. I was sitting there absolutely adoring the experience and anticipation. Shivers were running through me! She bent slightly and lifted her arm with the scissors. She started cutting just below the base of my neck! 15 or more inches of hair gone! Then a rough cut from each side down around to the back was done to make a horseshoe. Yvonne had explained to me before she started about the need to cut a large length off and the reasoning for the layering that would ensure the hair didn’t come out like a triangle with the curls.  Huge amounts of hair were being getting cut off with each section she gathered together. This was especially graphic when sections of hair on my crown were held up and what looked like more than half the length was cut off, falling onto the cape and slowly sliding down. The hair left was around 7-8 inches. One final aspect to the pre perm cut was just about to happen. My bangs were to be formed! Yvonne combed out the hair and the 7-8 inches hung in front of my eyes. She starting cutting just level with my eyes. I kept my eyes open watching in the mirror through the hair being cut off. She ruffled the bangs and combed them then did another pass just to ensure they were even all across. I even just loved the new hair style even without the perm!

After the bangs were done she checked the length was even by pulling on each side together at the ears and shook out the hair and made some final small adjustments here and there. At this point even with just having so much of my hair cut off I was astounded at the difference in how I looked in the mirror. My hair was just down past the base of my neck with it curving up slightly with bangs. Yvonne then went over to the other side of the salon where the dryer chairs were and I could see she was fetching a trolley with the perm rods and other paraphilia needed for the perm. One of the other stylists came and swept the floor. I looked at all my hair. An awful lot was swept into one pile and into the dust pan. Yvonne was back with the trolley. Oh my goodness! Finally! My perm was going to actually happen after all this time wanting, longing and fantasizing for a perm. I took stock of the situation. I looked at myself again in the mirror, caped up with this newly cut wet hair. The perm trolley with the rods of different colours, a box with the end papers. Underneath on the lower shelf of the trolley were a box with Wella perm solution and a perm cap and another box. I was truly in ecstasy at the thought of what was happening. Yvonne opened a small bottle and poured the contents into my hair and combed it through. A pre perm solution she said. My hair was now slicked back and shiny with the lotion in it.

Next Yvonne took a red, blue and grey perm rod from the trolleys upper shelf. She showed them to me and said we use these three sizes of rod for tighter perms. Red smallest, blue middle and grey biggest. She explained the results I’d get with each rod size if used and recommended a mix of the red and blue if I was after a tighter look but if wanting a slightly bigger curl to go with the grey with some blues. I decided on the red and blue for the tighter perm. I had also figured out that I would need more rods if the smaller ones were used thus meaning I would be sitting there having my hair wound for longer!

Using her comb she sectioned of the hair at the back of my head and then once again using her comb at the top of the section made a line in the scalp and using her fingers pulled a small section up. Yvonne then picked up an end paper and applied it below her fingers holding the section then slid it up to the end of the hair. Now the free hand went to pick up a rod. A blue one. She deftly rolled up the hair and then secured it with the rubber band! My first perm rod was in! This continued down the back of my head to the nape. Now it was the crown to be done. At last I would see the rods and be able to watch each one being done!

I watched in awe at my hair being wound on the rods and revelled in the feeling of sitting in the salon, caped and having this perm done. I took it all in. I looked as best I could at the other clients in having their hair done. I couldn’t explain to myself why I found this so pleasurable and wanting it to last a long time. I knew that my fascination with hair and going to the salon wasn’t a normal thing but I couldn’t help it! I so, so enjoyed the pleasurable feelings I was having.

Yvonne was now finished with putting my hair in the rods. There they were numerous rods; red and blue all lined up neatly and closely together. If only there had been digital cameras or phones with cameras to capture that moment of sheer bliss seeing myself with the curlers in! I hadn’t counted how many rods had been used unfortunately as I had been so captivated by the experiences and feelings I was having during the time Yvonne had been rolling my hair.

Yvonne went to a box on the lower shelf on the trolley and pulled out a cotton wool strip and put it around my hairline and above my ears. Next she opened the box with the perm solution. She poured this into a small bowl and picked up a sponge. She warned me that some might drip down through the cotton wool and also that it would start to smell not too pleasant. To me the smell of the perm process wasn’t unpleasant and I couldn’t wait to smell it knowing it was my hair that was being un bonded and reformed around the small perm rods! She dipped the sponge in the bowl and started soaking and dabbing the hair on the rods. Absolutely no backing out now I said to myself as the lotion soaked into the hair on the rods! I could feel the cold lotion getting onto my scalp. The rods were being completely soaked and I could start to feel the solution running down towards the cotton wool. The rods were soaked once, then Yvonne went over them all again and used up all the solution. By now some solution was getting out below the cotton wool but the towel that Yvonne had carefully placed around my neck was taking the excess.

Next came the perm cap. It was the same colour as the cape and obviously came as a set, not dissimilar to a shower cap but slightly bigger and different shape to ensure it went over all the rods without the chance of dislodging them. Yvonne placed it carefully over the rods and said I would need to process for 45 minutes and she would come and check on the progress. She offered me tea or coffee and a cookie. I went for the tea.

I sat there again wondering about the outcome of the perm. I drank the tea and could smell the solution as it worked its magic on my tightly wound hair. I marvelled again at my courage in actually doing this and knew I’d be doing this again and again. The experience was simply incredible, and to think sitting here for several hours in utter bliss could change my appearance so drastically. I managed to look at the other clients. One old lady under the dryer with her rollers secured under a net with a cup of tea and magazine and another lady having her set too right next to me.

45 minutes had passed and Yvonne came over and took the cap off. The smell was very strong when she took the cap off! I loved it! She undid a rod on the crown. She unwound it ¾ of the way and I could see the wave! She pushed it then laid it on her palm and pulled and pushed it again.  “No” she said. “Needs a little longer to get it nice and curly!” The cap was put back on and she told me another 10 minutes would be enough. Nice and curly she said! Yes! That’s what I want.

I waited the 10 minutes and Yvonne then took me straight over to the backwash. She took the cap off and placed it in the next sink. I was told to lean back and then the cotton wool was removed. The smell was once again extremely strong and so nice! The water came back on and Yvonne rinsed the hair and rods for several minutes to ensure the lotion was completing removed. I was then asked to sit up and she used the towel and patted the hair on the rods to get the excess water out. She then took the other bottle from the Wella perm solution box and tipped it into a Wella branded bottle, mixed some water in it and put the cap back on the bottle. I was then told to lean back in the sink and this was the neutralizer solution she was applying. She started at the back again and worked her way up and then the sides. Once again this was sprayed on all over again my head again to make sure all the hair was covered in the neutralizer. Yvonne said this only needs 10 minutes so just stay here with your head back over the sink for the drips.

I sat there staring at the ceiling. Nearly at the end of this wonderful experience and now bursting with excitement to see my hair being curly! It seemed an age those 10 minutes not being able to see anything but the ceiling but Yvonne finally came back and we were ready to rinse the neutralizer. The water came on and she rinsed my hair for a few minutes. “Now” she said as the water was turned off. “The moment of truth!” as she started taking the rods out. This happened quite quickly and she said mid-way through “if you wanted it super curly you won’t be disappointed”. I was ecstatic at hearing those words! The water came on again as the rods were all out and she rinsed and massaged the water through my hair for a further few minutes. She towel dried my hair and asked me to sit up and wrapped the towel round my hair. We then went over to the chair again. I was trembling with the thought of seeing my permed hair when I sat down! I sat down and Yvonne sorted the cape to cover the chair and me properly again.

She said “are you ready?” “I was” I said “I can’t wait to see it!” She removed the towel and ran her fingers through it to puff it out from being in the towel. ‘My God’ I exclaimed! It was all I had dreamed about. My long wavy hair had been cut before the perm and now it was super curly and looked even shorter due to the intense curls! Especially my bangs! It wasn’t even dry yet and so the full effect of it wasn’t yet seen. The sight of this change was so amazing to me and I wanted to start all over again to experience the feelings I’d had having this perm done. But it wasn’t quite over yet as Yvonne wanted to use her scissors to even up a few pieces here and there after the perm. She fetched a mirror and showed me the back. So many curls and now so, so much shorter too! I just loved it so much and still kept saying to myself “I’ve had a perm!” I turned my head to see the total look from the mirror Yvonne was holding and the mirror in front. Yes! I was so ecstatic with it and couldn’t wait to run my own hands through it! I was then offered to have it dried with a diffuser but was told if possible just let it dry naturally. As it was warm outside I chose to just let it dry naturally.

Yvonne said to me that I should not wash my hair for at least two days to enable the perm to fully bond as she removed the cape and towel. I was a little sad my perm appointment and visit to the salon was over as the cape was removed. I asked how long it would last and she said about 4-5 months. That seemed too long to me! I’d have to come back sooner to have this done again. I paid and Yvonne gave me a wide tooth comb to tease the permed hair and said don’t use a brush (I knew this only too well!).

I thanked her and we said our goodbyes and I walked out into the street with a remarkably different head of hair than what I had walked in with earlier on! As I walked by the shops heading home I looked in all the windows at my new hair. It was incredible. I was still on a high from the experience!

I got home and went straight to the bathroom. I just stared and stared at my hair. It was now dry so I ran my fingers through it and plumped it up. What an experience it is to run your fingers through newly permed hair that was straight before! And patting it was a new experience too! I just loved it and it still smelled strongly of the perm solution too!

I removed the mascara and lipstick before my parents got home. I eventually plucked up the courage to go downstairs to see them. Their reaction was as I had expected. Complete shock and “what have you done!” Mother even suggested maybe we can get it cut out! I explained that I’d saved up the money for it and lots of the others at school had permed hair and I so wanted my hair permed too. I said I love this style of hair and want to keep it this way.

I did keep my hair permed on and off, mostly on I might add, from that day on (in various guises) until well into the mid 90’s. I had to pay my own way for my hair appointments from then on in but at least my parents realized I was growing up and it was all part and parcel of that.

This is a true story, and even to this day 40 years later the trip to the hairdresser that day still sticks out vividly for me as it was the first real experience for me with my pent up hair fetish “condition”. Little did I know then, that even today I still enjoy going to the hairdresser for the thrill and experience and my hair has not been in its natural state during the past 40 years much at all. Since giving up on the perms in the mid 90’s I’ve colored, highlighted my hair in virtually every shade you can imagine. I’ve changed styles often and have a fetish for Rockabilly and get my hair styled and set often in the Rockabilly styles (Rockabilly also led to another obsession “fetish?” in that my body is now heavily tattooed but that’s another story!). I volunteer at hair schools for them to practice roller sets and Rockabilly styling just to experience being at the hairdresser. They don’t always cape you there if you are just in for a set but I always insist on one to ensure I get the full experience I want! And as they are new and training it takes a long time having your hair set. Bonus for me!

Of course there are a lot of other things that set you aside as having a hair fetish such as checking out hairdressers and barbers as you go by them, the supermarket home hair color boxes. You always check them out and pick what colour you like. Hair magazines. Other women with gorgeous colours or styles you almost stop and stare at in wonder, awe and longing that your hair was like that! There’s more of course and I am sure you all know it too!  These websites even!

I’ve got one more I could share with you that is a standout in my hair fetish “conditioned” life that happened in 2004. Another hair event that is engrained in my memory that I could share if this story goes down well.

 

JuliaNZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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