December 8, 2008

Old White Ladies


I got (what's left) of my hair cut today, and had a nice chat with the person who did the trimming. See it was raining/freezing raining outside, so I was the only person in Great Clips, so we had time to chat about people braving the weather to get haircuts, like old ladies getting their perms. We laughed and laughed, but this brings me to an interesting idea...the old white lady perm.

In my mind, the archetypal old white lady has a perm. I imagine it is the same for a lot of people because of "The Golden Girls" and their Grandmas who all had perms. So, if that is the archetypal image of the old lady is a perm (except on college campuses, where you'll find the long, straight-haired older lady type)...what is the age when that typically happens, where the perm will be the haircut that will nest on your head until the grave? Is this an observable phenomenon? Like is there a change in the old white lady's mind/life where perm makes sense, and can that be pinpointed and possibly indicative of other changes in their mind/life/physiology?

And, will this continue? Like, will the 18-year-olds minxing about on college campuses, not a single one with a perm as far as I can tell, when they get to old lady age, will they go perm? Or, will the archetypal image of the old lady haircut change by then, and to what? Does each generation of old ladies have a different hair archetype (post perm technology, of course, not pre-perm)? When we are all 70 years old, will all the women have "Rachel" haircuts? Or will the perm prevail since it is an ensnonced part of the archetypal old lady, and suddenly, around that 70 year mark, all the ladies we know (Mitch and Jaws included) who start thinking of themselves as old ladies will be rocking a perm (Danielle, of course, will be permed, she has no choice in the matter)?

viva el mustache


The Ghost of Nostradamustache said...

I don't know about ages and what not, but I suspect that all those old white-haired ladies refer to their hairstyle as a "permanent"

Emily said...

The majority of my aunties (all 70 years old and up) have perms. I think it's a generational thing. Perms, once they figured out how to do them right, were really popular. You won't see a perm on this little old lady in 40 years though. My hair won't stand for it.

Diana said...

I think it's a generational thing, too, but I also wonder if, as you age, your hair gets thinner and/or brittle, and the thinking is a perm will give it some lift or volume or body...I bet, too, that going to the hair dresser for a shampoo/set gives an old lady something to do with her day.

I am totally going to be an old lady with a perm. What else I am especially excited about is the blue dye rinse.

Ande said...

See, I have the same thoughts about old men and the way they dress. You know--khaki pants pulled up to their nipples, shirt tucked in, brown leather shoes with black socks. Is there a point where I will stop and think, "Gee, these Dockers look awful nice. I wonder how high up they'll go." Or will I still be wearing jeans, flip-flops, a hoodie, and a stocking cap when I'm 70?