Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, March 3, 2018

Hair Wars

See? And yes, Daddy's winking at you.

 I am the daughter of a Swedish-Canadian mother.
Her parents emigrated from Sweden and she and her brothers were all born here.
Let’s just say the ‘blonde’ gene is alive and well among my extended family.
I inherited it.
Throughout my childhood and into my teens, I had ultra-blonde, fine, soft, ‘candy-fluff’ hair.
The kind that looks good in a picture.
Or on a kewpie doll.
But is impractical.
And painful to look after.
Especially if anyone but me was doing the combing and arranging.
Now I know this would suggest that I actually did said combing and arranging.
I didn’t.
Mom did her best.
Chasing me about. Holding me down.
Issuing such statements as: “Diane! You look like a wild girl!” or “Hold still, I can’t let this go another minute!” or “I think there’s monkeys living in here!”.
Followed by the producing of a (Dun-dun-duuuuun!) comb.
And/or hair ornaments.
Ugh.
I will say that I liked it when mom washed my mane in the bathroom sink.
And then allowed me to play for a few minutes with my soaped-up tresses.
Just FYI: Soaped-up hair can be sculpted into the most amazing shapes.
True story.
But the inevitable ‘washing out’ and ‘arranging’ followed.
Sigh.
To this day the sound of an elastic being twisted into hair makes my head hurt.
It . . . remembers.
After the battle. Notice the curlers . . .

10 comments:

  1. My hair is (was) dark. And curly. And the look I managed best as a child (and perhaps now too) is the dragged through a hedge backwards one.
    Love those blonde locks and sympathise on the elastic front.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards look! I had that one down!

      Delete
  2. Mine was long and curly...when wet I could sit on it, when dry it was halfway up my back. Yep...that curly. You think you have comb nightmares....hah!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hear you about the elastics - I cringe too. Or rather, my head cringes too :)

    Monkeys in your hair! hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I looked. But I could never see them. I'm beginning to think she was having me on . . .

      Delete
  4. My hair was as blonde as yours until I was about four/five years old then it went dark to a very rich dark brown. It was also very strong and went whichever way it chose. I used to put enormous rollers in it to try and straighten it which did work to a degree, but if it rained or the air was damp it went very frizzy.

    Joan (Devon)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never had to worry about damp. Imagine my shock when Husby took me somewhere warm and sunny and humid and I developed . . . gasp . . . curls!

      Delete
  5. I was a blonde baby too, with curls that I just loved to comb and brush. Mum always thought I'd grow up to be a hairdresser, but I didn't. (factory worker) My hair eventually browned somewhere around grade five but my brother stayed a blue-eyed blonde until he went grey. We are also part Swedish.
    I remember sculpting soaped up hair too, that was fun. I never had hair elastics though, just a big ribbon bow on a clip which I must have refused to wear after I was about five, because it isn't in any photos after that age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I could have handled a ribbon bow on a clip. Maybe. No, probably not . . .

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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