My mother used to go to another beauty parlor from time to time that was owned by her aunt Gladys. I used to sit in the waiting area and watch through the lattice work at the ladies getting their hair done. Sometimes when the waiting room was full Gladys would let me sit in the back by the shampoo sinks while my mother would get her hair done. One thing unique about Gladys and the two women the worked for her is on most days they had their hair set in rollers and worked that way or at least that is the way I always saw them when we were there.
My mother would usually get a shampoo/set or an occasional trim. Everything else she would let Miss Judy do. I think she went there to visit, gossip and help keep aunt Gladys in business. I also would get the occasional trim there, but just the ends. When I would sit in the back by the sinks I got to watch the ladies and even a few gentlemen get shampooed. I did notice that Gladys and one of the other beauticians would shampoo some clients differently. Instead of taking the client back to the sink first they would cape the client then take out a bottle and shake it up and them apply it to the clients hair and then lather them up. They would shampoo them in an upright position. Then after a few minutes they would take them back to the sinks to rinse them.
One Saturday morning as my mother was getting shampooed She and Gladys were talking as I was sitting there watching. All I could hear was Gladys say to my mother ” I think he likes it don’t you?” and my mother reply ” Oh I know he does, I have set him up a few times.” That made me wonder what they were up to. After Gladys rinsed my mother she told me to follow her to her styling chair and help. I watched as she combed and sectioned my mothers hair and the comb up a section. She began to roll in a Gold colored magnetic roller down and asked me to hand her the clip. She told me that was my job to hand her the clips. I witched her as she set my mother hair in gold, gray and burgundy rollers. When she finished she put a net over moms rollers and placed her under the dryer. Gladys told me to sit in her chair and not to move. She came back with a purple cape and placed it around me. She told me she and my mother had something in mind for me today. She got out this dark colored bottle and poured some into an applicator bottle that already had some sort of liquid in it. She placed the cap on it and mixed it up. She began to apply it little by little to my hair and lathered it in. She continued to shampoo it in as I asked her what it was. She told me it was a treatment shampoo that they use once in a while. It smelled nice kind of like bubblegum. I got to watch her shampoo me in the mirror. She asked me ” Do you like getting your hair done?” Without hesitation I told her “Yes”.
After a few minutes she had me get up and go back to the shampoo sinks to rinse me. She leaned me back and rinsed the sweet smelling lather from my hair then applied a conditioner and after a couple of minutes she rinsed that. She took me back to her chair and began to comb and section my hair. I asked what she was doing and she told me ” We are going to give you an apple pectin perm on rollers.” I said ” You are going to set my hair?” she told me yes and that she knew that my mother regularly shampoos and set my hair. My mom told me ” just sit still honey, you will like this perm.”
Gladys started to set my hair in rollers using a candlestick pattern. My mother used this when she wanted some barrel curls. I got to hand her the plastic pins to secure the rollers. She combed, sectioned and rolled for over 45 minutes. When she was finally done she turned me around so I could see myself in the mirror. So many rollers, could not wait to see the results. She got out the perm solution and started to saturate every roller. The solution kind of smelled like apples with a slight odor but not too bad.
After she had applied the solution she had me sit in another chair while she got mom out from under the dryer and removed her rollers. I watched as she backcombed and teased moms hair into her usual bouffant. Gladys came over and removed one of the rollers to check the curl and said just a few more. My mother came over and sat down and asked if I was excited to see what my hair was going to look like. I told her yes I was. I thanked her for letting Gladys do this. She told me that we are going to be setting your hair more regularly now as it is getting longer and with this perm it will curl better.
Gladys had me go back with her to the shampoo sinks and leaned me back to rinse the solution from my hair. It took a while nut I was enjoying the warm water running over the rollers. She turned off the water and patted the rollers and then applied a foam neutralizer to the rollers. I stayed laying back in the sink for quite a few minutes then she removed the rollers and worked in more neutralizer. She then rinsed that and sat me up and wrapped my hair in a towel and took me back to her chair.
My mother told me she was going to be right back as Gladys was going to set mu hair in some larger rollers. Gladys combed and sectioned my hair again and set me up in some blue and beige rollers as I again got to hand her the clips. She placed a net over my curlers and sat me under the dryer. It was a blissful time while the warm air wafted around my rollers and I could still smell the perm solution in my hair.
The dryer timed out and it was time to get the rollers taken out. She slowly removed the rollers and released the curls. I got to watch everyone come out and see all the curls forming. She gently brushed and combed my hair into a feminine style like my mother had requested. When mom returned she had a dress and shoes to wear home.