The photos on my previous blog post (Mother's Day) brought back memories of hair. Yes, hair.
My mother had gorgeous hair - very thick and luxurious. Many people thought she wore wigs, because of the radical hairstyles and color changes that she often assumed. In truth, she never wore a wig in her life. She simply enjoyed experimenting with her coiffure.
There was a certain very well-known hair stylist in Los Angeles who liked working on my mother's hair so much that he actually offered to do it for free. She never took him up on the offer.
Mom's hair was naturally light, but her color changes ranged from blonde to dark brown. When we first moved to California and I was about six years old, Mom was hooked on Egyptian Henna. It was a potent powder in a box that transformed hair into a deep reddish auburn color. The process of mixing and using the concoction was so messy that she only dared to do it when my father wasn't home. He would have never tolerated it.
Egyptian Henna tin.
It came in a box when Mom used to use it
The henna powder had to be mixed with water in a bowl and applied (if I remember correctly) with a brush. Mom would sit at a table, with a towel around her shoulders, wearing rubber gloves, and applying the dripping henna. One thing I have never forgotten was the odious smell.
Mom completely stopped coloring her hair by the time she was 50 or so. It never turned gray. It turned an ash/champagne color that was much more beautiful than any of the dyes she used to use.
My father hated hair (undoubtedly because his hair was very fine and receding). For as long as I can remember, he never let Mom brush or comb her hair in the house. He always made her go outside in the yard. If he found any semblance of a hair around the house he'd go into major conniptions.
Ironically, this blog post was going to be about my hair and my own personal hairy tales. Unfortunately, it would be incredibly long. So - in order to maintain your interest without being boring - I'm going to divide this post into two parts. I'll probably post Hairy Stories, Part Two tomorrow.
Mom was sixty years old when this photo was taken. My father was about sixty-six.
You can tell by the look on her face that she wasn't used to Dad acting sweet.