Once my hair recovered from the TrimComb debacle, the hairdresser started looking for appropriate permanents for difficult hair. She tried a new approach of cutting hair after the permanent process, a somewhat successful method because frizzle-frazzled ends were eliminated.
Our change of station from Baltimore was to an isolated security base at Sidi Yahia, Morocco, one of three US stations in Morocco. We lived on Mehdia Beach, one of three beaches used by General Patton during the invasion of North Africa.
The Bad Hair Days continued. I vacillated between home perms applied by friends or no-perm straight hair. True to my oath, I cut no hair. Some wives had beauty training and there was at least one hairdresser in the PX.
Our next change of station was Denton, TX where my husband was a recruiter. I again had a full time pharmacy job, so I started my once-a-week hair appointments.
One appointment was total disaster: a cross-dresser hairdresser with a five-o-clock shadow confided he was having sex change surgery. Too much information for me, so I moved on to another beauty shop.
After several missteps, I found a shop near home where a friend worked. I scheduled a perm, explaining my litany of Bad Hair Days. Her employer recommended a perm called UNIPERM, a panacea for all kinds of hair.
An advertisement in the '70s said, "By following the foolproof directions, you'll all get perfect results time after time. Automatically." Another ad promised, "The super-mild waving lotions and UniPerm's unique system of controlled heat and time-release processing clamps promise fool-proof results on every head of hair, every time." A pricey perm at $50, UniPerm never met perennial Bad Hair Day!
This cure-all perm was the ultimate disaster with frizzle- frazzled ends breaking off with each brushing. I bitterly complained to my hairdresser and the owner. Both were horrified at results. The shop owner provided several weeks of conditioning oil treatments -no charge.
Then the shop owner and hairdresser sought the best perm available with built-in conditioning steps and no heat cycle, as I said price was no problem. After several of these permanents the hairdresser adjusted perm solution and neutralizer times until we obtained an acceptable perm, given my life-long Bad Hair Day history.
In our mid-40s, we decided to semi-retire in Arkansas. I brought a memo from the hairdresser with specific instructions and the permanent brand name.
The hairdresser I chose in Arkansas became my best friend (BF). She was puzzled by hair curling before the "bent" test and "grabbed the neutralizer." She knew I was adopted.
She obtained the permanent through her supplier. I also took her license to Texas to a beauty supplier I knew and purchased a 12 unit case. The product was discontinued in the period we were using the case of permanents.
Back to square one, she searched for similar permanents. Long periods of time I had straight hair. I was graying rapidly. After a hysterectomy I was post menopause, with no estrogen therapy. Hair began to thin. I had a bout with kidney cancer at age 60 - problem added to problem.
But there came that moment in time when all the roads of life meet at an intersection of revelation in September, 2000 - an epiphany.
My father died in 1999. Both parents were now deceased. I began to wonder about my biological roots. I never pursued my curiosity in deference to my parents who shaped my value system, provided an education. and nurtured me into adulthood.
I employed an intermediary - a fancy word for a searcher who also appears in court on behalf of clients. As we chatted, I discovered we bought our Denton home from her adoptive parents.
In this process I obtained redacted records of my biological mother's interview and stay in a maternity home. The interview asked about bloodlines and ethnicity of family background which stated German, Indian, etc.
BF read the papers with me. "That's it," she said. It's your Indian blood line. That's why your hair is so weird." She had worked with persons of Indian descent, but never connected that fact with me..... nor did I!
After meeting my biological family (a story for another time), some members dabbled in genealogy. As best can be determined, my generation of two half-brothers, a half-sister and myself probably are 1/32nd to 1/16th Cherokee from one side of the family. Since there is Indian from both paternal and maternal grandparents, it is probably more.
A few days ago BF asked me, " have you ever seen an Indian woman with a permanent?" No, but I haven't visited the Cherokee reservation in OK to conduct a poll...