Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Perm

One day in 7th grade I told my mom I wanted to get a perm. I had thought about it a lot and decided what my short, naturally wavy hair needed was the work of a perm. I envisioned the perm giving me perfect ringlets of curls surrounding my head. The kind of curls that would bounce when I walked. My mom said ok to the idea and a plan was set in motion. Around my house getting a perm meant two things:

1. The perm would be purchased over the counter at the grocery.

2. My grandma would be the designated perm giver. She owned the rollers necessary for a perm and she had a tall, sit under hair dryer. Pinkish, if I remember correctly and I loved drying my hair under that dryer. I would sit on my knees in a chair until my head was completely encased in the dryer, inches away from the heat that would blow through.

Will you humor me here for just a moment before I finish the story? I need to get something off my chest. Please hear me out. Are there any parents out there? Any parents of a girl or girls out there? Any parents of a girl or girls who think it's unnecessary to spend "large" sums of money on hair cuts, perms and salon stuff? Listen to me carefully...for the sake of all things good and noble in parenting take your daughter(s) to a professional every time she needs or wants something done to her hair. Just because her bangs only need a trim and "it's only bangs" is no excuse to tape her bangs to her forehead and trim them leaving one side inches shorter than the other because your daughter has a widow's peak and you are not a professional. Don't take your daughter to a barber, yes you read that right, a barber, to get her hair cut even if it's cheap and the barber is a girl. Just don't do it. And don't think that saving money by doing a perm yourself is a good idea. Ever. Trust me, it isn't and it never will be. I don't care if you are a follower of Dave Ramsey and he suggests that this is an area you can save money in. He's a guy and I believe he's bald. Just start saving your money now. Your daughter will thank you someday! :)

Moving on now...the designated perm Saturday arrived and I found myself at grandma's house with a head full of rollers and a nose full of toxic chemicals, eagerly anticipating a head full of curls. Soon enough it was time to take out the rollers and rinse my hair in the sink. I remember seeing a fair amount of hair in the sink but I figured it must be normal.

It wasn't until my hair was dried and combed (and majorly frizzy) that I realized to my horror that on the top of my head I was missing rows of hair! Every other roller of hair on the top of my head was GONE!

Just let that sink in for a minute: 12 1/2 year old 7th grade girl and bald patches on head.

It was not a pretty sight. I cried and cried and begged my parents to let me stay home from school forever. Needless to say my grandma felt horrible. Apparently the rollers on the top of my head were rolled too tight and the chemicals just killed my hair causing the hair to fall out.

I'd love to show you a picture of me and my stubbly hair. Actually, I take that back. I don't want to show you a picture of me and my stubbly hair. Truth be told, I'm not sure any picture of me and my stubbly hair exists. They may or may not have been destroyed.

I somehow survived. I think I managed to tease and stretch the hair I did have over the stubble on my head making it less visible to everyone. Whoever said, "That which doesn't break us makes us stronger." obviously never had a perm.

Take care,
Julie

6 comments:

Suzie said...

OH MY LORD! THat is so awful. I had a perm and it was horrible but at least I still had my hair. I feel for your 7th grade self. I really do

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I remember hearing this story first hand from you. Oh the agony!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

Oh you should post a story every Thurs and link it to Fro Me To You

D... said...

Now that's traumatic! Seriously.

Debbie said...

You should have been able to get quite a bit of mileage out of their guilt after this!

Jennie said...

My first time here and you revive the trauma of my own 7th grade perm? (Which was done at the very chi-chi Fantastic Sams and still was the most horrible white-girl-fro to exist) You are a horrible, horrible woman.