Sisters in hairstyling by
(34 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

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When your mother is a hairdresser with a beauty shop in your home, it’s all about hair.  I was steeped in the mysteries of ladies’ beauty salon confessions from an early age, lurking out of site and eavesdropping.  Oh, the things women reveal to one another when they literally let their hair down.  While this was before the days when we “let it all hang out,” still I heard things that were totally inappropriate for tender young ears.

Come on Susan, I'll give you a *real* haircut!

When you’re five years old, with a sister three years older, the temptation to treat the beauty shop as an after hours playroom can’t be resisted.  Years later our mother retold the moment when she was reading in another part of the house and overheard my sister saying to me “come on Susan, I’ll give you a *real* haircut.”  Evidently mom missed a beat before responding, by which time sister had gotten hold of the scissors and whacked a random chunk out of the back of my hair.


You wouldn’t believe it from the photo, but we didn’t dress alike much.  Diggin’ the stripes plus pansies?  But I digress.  Notable in this picture are the matching hairstyles in process, pincurls done up in those metal clippies.  When your mom is a beautician, she considers the hair on your head her particular responsibility/cross to bear/opportunity for personal expression (hers.)  My sister and I sported some of the oddest ‘dos during our formative years.

With the passing years my hair has begun its inevitable thinning and sister is sporting chemo curls.  I think back with nostalgia on the days when I didn’t miss the loss of a random chunk.



Profile photo of Susan Susan

Characterizations: funny, moving, well written


  1. Cute story of mom and sister, and live in the biz.

  2. blane hansen says:

    Those pants are the best. You should find a colored photo of these. I don’t know which one is you, but you both resemble your kids when they were that age. Amazing. Oh, the hair is amazing, too.

  3. Constance says:

    I want to find some pansy print corduroy and make myself a pair of pants like that again. To add insult to injury, that sofa was aqua, we called it the daveno, and the drapes were a bold jungle print, black background with green and splashes of red. I’m sure they would sell for a bundle on ebay today.

  4. Deb Reno says:

    YES! The metal clips and pin curls! This photo of you two is priceless. Really want to see the “after” shot.

  5. Enjoyed this.. found it poignant and as a close friend of a hairdresser who works from her home, I found it very believable.

  6. David Rock says:

    Very well told story–used language descriptively to paint a vivid picture of this hairdresser’s child’s childhood and family life. Poignant as well, especially with the sad insertion at the end of her sister’s chemo curls. Tight, well written story.

  7. Ella says:

    Those were some great hairstyles.

  8. rosie says:

    Susan I am sad that I didn’t read this story sooner. I delighted in the “random chunk” and your mother’s opportunity to vent her creativity, but I am afraid I would have tried to rebel under the conditions. The clothes were adorable. I am sorry that your sister is ill. I hope things get better.

    A few stories ago you asked me to write about a particular event related to children. It will appear in a few days. I won’t have access to a computer for awhile. Hope you enjoy its slow unwinding.

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