Like so many subscribers to the philosophy that “Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” one of the items on my New Year’s todo list is to clean up a drawer or cabinet or closet a day. Yesterday I pulled out my Clairol electric roller appliance. Can anyone help me figure out how old this thing is?
It’s missing a whole row of curlers. Those silver rods which heat them stare back at me like dental roots. If you’ve ever had a cap or root canal, you know what I’m talking about. The gaping hair appliance looks as if someone with a hammy fist smashed out Clairol’s teeth. Made me wonder where I might have left those rollers and when? And are they replaceable? Does Clairol still make this kind of thing?
Mostly seeing this piece of my personal history, makes me feel old. They became popular when I was in high school. Which means there was a time in my life when there was no such thing as electric rollers.
Of course, my mother did have a beautician give me a duck tail in the second grade. I felt humiliated, shorn of 95% of my hair, I felt like the proverbial ugly duckling and decided I would never have short hair again.
I started setting my mop in the fifth grade. My awareness of the other sex started around then and it became essential that I never appear at school with unkempt hair. Rollers in those days were round wire tubes with a brush inside and netting over them. I washed my hair every single night, set it in these French Revolution items of torture, capped my head with the plastic hood of a hair dryer and went to sleep too the drone of vanity. I did this every single night of my life until the invention of electric rollers.
I’m trying to remember all the different curlers in my life? The skinny plastic ones of my childhood to achieve the perfect (and still popular) Shirley Temple ringlets, the spongy foam ones that were comfortable to sleep in but gave my hair a flat lopsided look, and pin curls. Sometime in my life before rollers of any sort, there were bobby pins! How important it was that each little strand of hair was twisted in an exact circle. A sloppy job with pin curls led to taunts on the play ground. Ironically in high school, there was a time,long before it was ecologically correct, when I went in the opposite direction using coke cans instead of rollers.
But then, Clairol appeared on the scene with the perfect solution: electric rollers and I used them for years with only a brief four-year period in there when I ironed my hair to get it as straight as a nail.
I’m putting the rollers in a Salvation Army bag. I figure some collector out there will have extra rollers to fill in the gaps and will sell it on ebay for 20.00+40.00 for shipping.
Or maybe I’ll just shove it back into the cupboard, close the door, and forget about it. That way I can pretend that my younger self is still a round…at least a little bit.