The Wave

After telling her at least five times how I don’t like curls and at least five times she tells me it will just have body, I agree to get a wave (nee permanent wave, perm). I’m naturally skittish as I drive to the Salon, after all I’ve had this experience before but remind myself that this time my operator is a woman named Crystal who has worked on my hair for years and should know my hair.

I stop and get a chicken parmesan sandwich and a Pepsi for sustenance during this long period of hair handling. First thing I find out is that it only takes an hour, fifteen. I don’t need the sandwich and could have done without the Pepsi, but nervousness has me sucking the straw like I’ve been left in the desert to die.         

The first thing to go is my glasses. Now I’m blind to what she does to me in the next hour. We go into the room with the black sinks, black chairs and little stools. This is usually my favorite part but today seems rather rushed, no silky massages of my neck and occipital bones. Back into the cape room for the “rods.” This part hurts! My sensitive hair follicles scream from the insult of pulling and picking with rollers and picks and it goes on for at least a half hour. Then I’m scuttled off to a table with magazines and black machines that remind me of those things that remove your brain in sci fi movies. I sip my Pepsi but do not unwrap the sandwich—no one else is eating and I don’t want to draw attention to myself. The timer goes off and back into the black room we go. She scalds my head with curlers still in for an interminable time, then the icy bath on the tendrils left when the rods are removed. I feel like I’ve been in a car wash that has malfunctioned and sprayed me like Doris Day in that movie where she was lost on a deserted island and returned to find the world a different place than she left.

Now is the truth time—Crystal uses a large blow dryer and scrunches handfuls of hair until it’s dry—from the outline I can make out with my myopia, the shape in the mirror is anything but “body.” My glasses come back and I’m greeted with an Orphan Annie profile. Curls all over the place—even in the part that is supposed to be the part. I say in a tiny voice—oh curls . . .. She seems delighted with the result and keeps turning my chair so I can see all sides of this horrid mass of ringlets. I remind her in a shaky voice that it’s supposed to relax in a couple of weeks, right? She agrees and cautions me to not wash it before two days or parts of it will go straight and parts stay curly—not a pretty picture. So I decide, I’ll just hole up in the apartment until I can do my own shampoo and wrestle all the curls to the ground.

At least I hope this is how it turns out.

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Published in: Uncategorized on January 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

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