My Bad Hair Experience

Okay since there was no date on how far back we could go to our worst hair day, I went back to September 1981 until July 1982. Not only was this period my worst hair days but also one of my best high school friends Lisa Preston.

It was back in the day when Michael Jackson began sporting a Jeri Curl. This became the hairstyle that not only girls of color wanted to rock, but the men of color also. However, unlike Michael Jackson probably did, Lisa and I did not consult a professional.

Because we had become somewhat good at putting perms that straighten our hair, we thought we could succeed at putting a Jeri Curl in our hair also. We reasoned that it couldn’t be that hard to do.

Now how two eighteen year old girls could think they could put chemicals in their hair and results be great is beyond anything I can fathom as a parent now. Just the thought of my three granddaughters maybe doing something so foolish makes me want to cringe.

Picture this we are putting chemicals in our hair to make it curly, on top of chemicals that we had previously put in our hair to make it straight. The look came out curly at the new growth (hair close to scalp) and straight on the ends where the straightening perm still existed.

It was obvious to anyone who looked at our hair what had happened. If we had went to a professional to begin with, they would have refused to put a Jeri Curl in our hair especially after knowing how recent we had put the straightening perm in.

well for about a week we walked around with identical bad hair. When people we knew would walk up to us, their eyes would straight go to our heads. But as bad as this may sound…I still haven’t got to the bad hair part. Because we were so embarrassed of our bad curly perm, we decided to go back to straight hair with another perm to straighten it out again.

So now we are putting a perm to straighten the hair, on top of a perm to curl the hair, on top of a perm to straighten the hair. How could anyone’s hair shaft endure to such torture on the scalp?

First I put the perm to straighten the hair on Lisa’s hair. As I applied the perm, her hair began to come out in clumps onto the comb. I just kept trying to reassure myself it will look better once I rinse the perm completely out. Wrong conclusion….the more I rinsed her hair the more it was coming out in clumps in my hand and down the sink.

Hello! Did this make alarm bells go off in my head? Could I see the dangers signs popping up? Absolutely not! Not only did I continue what I was doing with her head. I allowed her to do the same to mine. Did I think that my hair would be oblivious to the harsh conditions? Evidently I did. It turned out exactly the same! Our head had so many bald patches, you could have played connect the dots on our head.

We did not get angry with other because each had unintentionally scalped each other. From this we realized just how much our friendship could endure. Now think about, does this not sound like something Lucy and Ethel would go through on the I love Lucy show and then try to keep it from their mates Ricky and Fred?

How did we rectify our bad hair day, first all we never allowed anyone but each other and our mothers view our heads. Our boyfriends noticed that whatever we wore, we had colored bandanas, knitted hats and colored stocking caps to match everything we wore. They never asked questions and we never volunteer any information.

Until our hair grew back that is how we rectified our bad hair day. Please read on the poem that relates our bad hair day:

Lisa and I gave each other home perms.
We ignored the directions and the fact that it would burn.
We let it stay in for almost an hour.
The straighter it would get, we felt it would give us power.
The boys like the girls with straight hair.
We wanted to look good, so the boys would stare.
I rinsed her out and then she did mine.
Not once did we think, about the results we would find.
Out came her hair in the sink in bunches.
Next was mine, there would be no wearing crunches.
We had patches of hair, all over our head.
Whenever we went out, we would go in dread.
Scarves and crotchet hats became part of our attire.
To be creative with this, you had to be inspired.
Our hair now has grown back, and yes we still do home perms.
But now we read directions, and remove it before it burns.

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