My mom owned her own business. She had a beauty shop in the front of our house, complete with the stations with the big mirrors and a row of driers and a little rolling table with the stuff for doing manicures. I was always surprised when friends thought I was so lucky regarding that. I just didn’t see it. A big part of it was that I think I was an ungrateful little twerp that took things, and her, for granted. But there were also the (inevitable?) break downs in communication. I can remember being in grade school and trying to describe how I wanted my bangs to be “like a rose.” To this day I think I’m the only human who knows what that meant.
Later, with the advent of all that rode in on the coat tails of the Beatles, Op Art, mini skirts, big eyes and pale lipstick, swinging Carnaby Street, long straight hair with looong bangs, bangs became the designated battleground between us. She thought it was important to be able to see my face and my eyes. I was cringing in shame every time a trim ended up with bangs terminating an inch above my eyebrows.Was she that out of touch with the new styles? Didn’t she know she was dooming me to looking completely gross? Was she doing it on purpose? And it seemed like it took forever to grow out. After a couple three such incidents I decided I’d better take over the job, but this was before I learned how to cut hair. Although the bangs weren’t too short, they never looked all that good either. This was long before You Tube tutorials. I was in good company though. Lot’s of girls in school were obviously trying to trim their own bangs as well, with similar results. Eventually I braved the long growing out period and just had all long straight hair. Eureka, I had discovered wash and wear hair. What blessed relief from all those curlers and bobbie pins and backcombing and hair spraying. Wasn’t there a thing with girls getting hair spray on their contact lenses? And oh the mascara and eyeliner. I got pretty proficient at doing Twiggys. Twiggy paved the way for that emaciated boyish figure type of model and her signature look was the set of little lines painted along with the lower eyelashes.
During this time there was a strong parental resistance to long hair for boys. “Why do you want to look like a girl?” “Hey, Jesus had long hair.” Back and forth it went. Father’s were withholding allowance money until such time as the lads got a haircut. Fortunately they didn’t specify short top and sides, just a haircut. Along about in here somewhere, mom had caught up to the times and taught me how to do a pretty good shag haircut, and this same basic haircut with a couple of variations in length here and there looked pretty good on most everybody and came as close to satisfying both sides in the conflict as was possible. I had plenty of guy friends in the shop after hours for a shampoo and haircut. Really began to appreciate what work it is to work on hair.