Below is another story prompted by the topic request of another Dame, Mary Beth Smith. Her requested topic was “hair dryers.” Mary Beth, here is your story:
My daughter toddled up to my friend with her Barbie, whose hair was wet and messy from a dunk in the sink. Sarah looked at the doll and said, with all innocence, “Well, I think your Barbie needs a good blow job.”
She was referencing the blow dryer and a term she heard used repeatedly in her small town beauty salon. I promise.
Hair dryers can create a lot of good comedy. I remember my mom giving neighborhood women permanents (before we could all afford the beauty salon). I’d come home from a meeting of the Sunbeams at church and that smell would hit me before I opened the front door. Seriously, paint would peel off the front door from that odor, and tears would stream down your face if you got too close to the offending party.
Walking in the door, I’d see one of my friend’s mom sitting under a huge pink blow dryer like a scene from the movie “Grease.” They’d have curlers all over their heads, and a plastic cap, yelling to whoever was in the room because they couldn’t hear themselves talk.
Most of the dryers would come in a little suitcase and unfold into this R2D2 looking contraption. And sitting under one was a treat, since you could rarely control the heat and often ended up with plastic melted into your scalp.
I do remember that the color pink seemed to permeate the world of dryers. Even our first hand-held blow dryer was pink. Did Mary Kay create the first hair dryers?
Once hand-held blow dryers became the order of the day, I remember when they would blow so hot and so fast you could lose some important items on your bathroom counter when turning it on. Or, somehow, your hair would get sucked into the end of it and you’d end up wearing a hair dryer as a hair ornament.
And the noise . . .turning on a hand-held blow dryer was like starting up a jet engine. No matter where you were in the house, the television would be completely drowned out. Or somebody in another room would plug in their blow dryer at the same time and blow a fuse.
I have to admit I would have been lost without the blow dryer during my Farrah days. I had great Farrah hair, swooping out on the sides of my head like vertical waves mid-curl. Nothing was more traumatic to me in those days than losing power and the ability to blow my hair back to perfection. Unless it was losing my hairspray.
There you go, the hair dryer. A part of every woman’s treasure chest of memories. I’d love to hear yours. Or, make a topic request and I will write you a blog!
In honor of all things related to beauty school, here’s the scene from Grease I was referencing: