Most of my childhood hair memories take place in the kitchen. Picture this – Sicily 1978 (for those of you who watched The Golden Girls), 2347 Jefferson Avenue. That was my childhood address. In the room supposed to be reserved for breaking bread, there I sat in the yellow chair surrounded by yellow walls and wooden fork and spoon décor. It’s Saturday morning and I’ve just finished watching cartoons and eating a bowl of Sugar Corn Pops! All is good! That is until it’s time to get my hair did. In a matter of minutes, the kitchen is transformed into a salon. The chair I just sat in while eating breakfast is moved to the kitchen sink and used as a stool. I would place my knees in the seat of the chair, bend my wool like head of hair over in the sink with a wash cloth to block all the water from running down my face and my mother would shampoo and condition my hair and then blow it dry. Next stop – the stove. The chair was now turned around and placed next to the stove. The countertop is now equipped with a blue jar of pressing grease, some rubber bands, ribbons and a hot comb. Just the sight of the hot comb pushed my anxiety to the forefront. I knew a couple of things would happen for sure:
1. The end result would be long, shiny beautiful hair
2. A few battle scars (burn marks on my ear(s) and/or neck)
3. A few smacks in the head followed by chants of “I told you to be still or you are going to get burned!”
This was the hair routine in my home. If it was summer time, the back door, which was right off of the kitchen, would be left open. God forbid I go swimming or sweat my hair out while playing outside in between these sessions. Talk about traumatic experiences! What are your early childhood hair memories? What things spark nostalgia for you?