November 12, 2013


Filed under: MEMOIRS — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am
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Hug to Sandy


A fine head of hair adds beauty to a good face, and terror to an ugly one.  ~Lycurgus

While I was writing Farewell to Polamalu’s Golden Locks I read the following in the November 7, 2013, issue of the Ligonier Echo (item published Oct. 29, 1913):

  • How often you see an otherwise lovely face spoiled by homely hair—a face that would be most charmingly beautiful if she only had prettier hair. What a pity. And how foolish. Because that ugly hair, stringy, dull, lifeless-looking though it may be, can be made as glossy, soft, silky and beautiful as the heart could desire if only taken proper care of.

The piece took me back to the crossover time between the 1950s and 1960s when I worked very diligently to achieve the “do” of the day. I slept with varying sizes of rollers in my hair, styled my baby-thin hair strands into the stylish pageboy of the day, then doused it with excessive hairspray—and less than 5 minutes later my hair wimped out on me. I might as well not have bothered; I might as well have spent my time on something more productive. But I relentlessly kept trying.

  • Hair: we want it; we don’t want it. We try to grow it; we try to remove it. It is despised; it is sacred. It is our ‘look,” though we cannot ever actually see most of our own. But this paradox is an old one. We have been fussing with our hair for centuries.**

Years later I was the mother of a daughter, Sandy. She was luckier than I was. She had a thick head of naturally curly hair that everyone admired.

“It’s in the genes,” I’d explain.

I call the time she spent mucho time achieving the right (more…)

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