Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Hair Won't Do the Bump. Maybe I Should Call Margaret.

I have no idea what this picture is about, but it fits this post so well I had to lead off with it. I did not add "Lid" to this pic. It's destiny, that's all.

When I was a little girl, around 1969, 1970 or so, every Friday my mom would take me to her hairdresser's who had a little shop added to her home just on the outskirts of our town.

Bored out of my mind for a solid hour, I paid intermittent attention to the exchanges between Margaret the hairdresser and my mother and little more attention to Margaret's pretty white dog in her back yard and a few "baby toys" in her shop.

I tried to entertain myself in a room void of anything remotely interesting except the comb and brush sanitizer machine which promised to magically clean those instruments by bathing them in an eerie light on a rotating shelf that reminded me of the rotisseries in the grocery store. Let me remind you that I had never seen a microwave yet.

Part of what Margaret did to my mom each week included a "back-combing" of the hair on the crown of my mom's head, an activity otherwise known as "teasing" or "ratting," two terms my mother did not prefer. She called it "backcombing," but I saw it as the most painful-looking beauty treatment I could imagine. After all, I don't think anyone even thought of waxing anything in 60s. Well, at least good Nazarene women didn't.

I remember Margaret throwing her whole upper body into backcombing while standing on the balls of her feet for extra force. Her upper arms would reverberate with every attack of the narrow toothed comb which had a long pointy end for lifting the teased hair.

The routine: Lift, tease, tease, tease ... gently comb the poof down ... lift, tease, tease, tease ...

Margaret: Paused to talk with comb slanted in the air, head cocked to one side the same angle as the comb.

Mom: Tuft of hair sticking straight up, patiently listening, watching Margaret in the mirror.

Then: Lift, tease, tease, tease ....

All through my teen years, even though Mom went through a couple of hairdressers, she kept the same basic style.

And I was mortified.

Remember the late 60s early 70s? Long, straight hair was in style, the flatter the better.

And here was my mom, poofed to the hilt. I could not understand why women made their hair do something so unnatural. How did that style ever become popular? "Old people" were so ... slow to change, so out of touch with anything current, so "dumb."

I AM "old people" now. I'm pretty sure my kids have those moments concerning me, too, and you know what? I don't care so much. Chalk that up to "old people don't care about anything important." But that's another post.

The point is, I'm old enough now that I have seen styles come and go for years. Biggest case in point: flared jeans versus skinny jeans. I wonder how many times I'll see these styles revolve in my lifetime?

Anyway, for a couple of years now, girls have been bringing back the teased crown look. I was surprised when I first saw it, wondered if they knew it was a "retro" look or thought someone at Style World Headquarters recently made it up.

Seriously? "Bumped" hair? What was next ... teenagers wearing girdles again?

Fast forward a few months to this week, and I confess that I have made my first-ever serious attempt at The Bump. A couple of my contemporaries wear it well. I'm feeling the retro vibe. I like both Samantha Stevens' AND Duffy's hair bumps.

But not Gladys Kravitz' Cotton Candy Bump. Gladys's bump definitely looks like the handiwork of Margaret.

And not 80s big hair. There is a big difference in big hair.

I bought a doohickey to stick under the hair to make it bump up, but alas, it did not work for me or my lovely daughters. I guess I'll have to stick with Margaret's tried and true technique, upper arms flailing and all.

Whaddya think? Mom's hair and my Go-Go boots, and my current attempt at The Bump. How about you, bloggers. Do you bump?


Mocha with Linda said...

You are oh-so-chic.

Before you even mentioned them, I was thinking about girdles. Which is what the advertisers today call body shapers.

Solomon was right in Ecclesiastes: There is nothing new under the sun!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

I got this great 'backcombing' comb at our local Sally's Beauty Supply for about $1.79. I'll take a picture of it for you...but I have a secret to the great American Bump. Lift, backcomb, HAIRSPRAY THE ROOTS, then fold down/smooth the next section and repeat until desired bumpage is achieved. The Girl and the oldest Boy's GF have taught me this snazzy technique and I am proud to say my bump stays ALL day, and sometimes I still have bumpage the next morning for my pre-shower workout at Curves. Needless to say, the ladies in the Silver Sneakers club are impressed.

Carmen said...

Do the bump....and look like my mother? Actually, I'm still trying hard to straighten my really doesn't want to. If I turned my head upside down and shook it a bit, I'd have an afro...but that's a story for another fashion fad.

Heidi said...

I remember teasing in the 80's to get those amazingly high bangs, but I don't remember "the bump". YOU, however, look great, as always!

bensrib said...

No bump here, but my 70s self seriously covets your go-go boots. I wanted them SO badly when I was 11 or 12 and my mother just would not give in. I was scarred for life.

Lori said...

Wow, the description of the hair salon sure brought back memories of going with my Mom as a child. I can see in my minds eye right now, Mom's hairdresser, Barb, standing exactly like you said with the comb pointing off tto the side talking. I too, was usually bored out of my wits. The only difference was our hair dresser had word search books and Highlights magazines and no litle white dog in the backyard. ;>)

Susanne said...

I thought the bump was a dance I did at Esmeralda's in the late '70's. Shows you how fashion forward I am. :v)

You look gorgeous with the Bump and I'm so loving your blouse!

MSW Mom Jan said...

I am saying this only since you asked for opinions... I did not like the bump. Your hair always looks nice, but it looked the best in the photo on your June 15th post. Really nice natural looking style. That is my problem with teasing and bumps, no movement, and not natural.

Brandy Thixton said...

I too have recently attempted the bump. Mine did not turn out nearly as well as yours.

What's the secret?

Faith said...

lol...omgosh I am laughing my head off. My own mother had the bump thing going and totally MORTIFIED me all through my teen years.....omgosh...I just wanted her to have a classic bob or the long flat hair I ironed faithfully each day.
and yes...around our town we see some girls with the is NOT attractive at all....thank God my daughters don't want it! shudder~~~ (you would probably look great with it tho since I have never seen a pic of you NOT looking good!)

Diane said...

I would even know how to begin to attempt the bump you yours looks great!

Anonymous said...

My hair is thick and naturally curly. I FIGHT the bump every day, pulling my hair back into a ponytail!

You are blessed with good that seems to obey whatever tricks you apply to it! Go Girl!

Oh, and I hail from a very, very small town in Alabama where beauty salons like you described are still the gathering spot for the elder women in town!

2cats said...

In the late 60's my mom had what was referred to as a "French roll", I don't know if her hairdresser made up that name or if it was a real name. But, she did the lift, tease, tease, tease thing just the same.
About the time afros came into style (really?) my mom got one of those. Huge mistake!
As for me, my hair is not long enough to try and do a bump. I think on you it looks really cute.

Cyndy said...

Just for the record, the picture is Andy Warhol and who knows who but she was probably famous for about 15 minutes!

Oh and my hair WILL NOT bump no matter how much I back comb. poo!

2Thinks said...

Take a paper Dixie cup- the kind you buy for the bathroom dispenser or one size larger if you want a big bump. Put the cup on your head, hold it in place with one hand while combing your hair up and around it. Then rubber band your hair there- around the cup, so that the cup does not show. Yes, it is the style worn by Cindy Lou Hoo in The Grinch, but a bump is a bump and if you want a bump, this will give you one.

Please post the video of you doing this, for others to learn from. :)

Jewel said...

I agree with Pam's technique...backcombing, spraying...I know it works because I do it. :-)
You look absolutely mahhvelous, Linda! You do!
Your post brought back so many hair-do memories! :-)

Jewel said...

EVERY Friday?? Gracious.

Shawna said...

Oh my word, those boots are incredible!!! I'll bet you wish you had them now.

About your hair, girl, I don't think you could go wrong. You are really gorgeous, and your hair looks great bumped or feathery (like in your header pic).

P.S. I'll take flared jeans over skinny jeans any day! P.S.S. I think I may cut off my miles of long straight hair. It feels like time for a change. Besides, it's driving me nuts. Long hair and newborns do not go together.

Lea said...

OMG! you just brought back so many memories of my going with my Mom to the beauty shop for the very same thing. How funny! I would have to say that "the bump" looks fantastic on you. You go girl!!!

Melanie said...

CVS has the "bump-it" on sale.
I had elephant pants in 6th grade.
I wanted go-go boots. But I guess "our church didn't believe in them." That's why I couldn't take ballet anyway...I was the preacher's daughter and "we didn't believe in dancing."
But I harbor no bitterness.

Going Cerebral said...

my hair is too thick and heavy. i can't even keep barrettes or cute pins in it. the closest i can get is with small butterfly clips atop my cranium. i take a clump of hair, twist it a half-turn and push it forward a smidgen before clipping it.

as for the jeans, i have a personal preference for straight or boot cut. i don't care for a full-fledged hips are too wide and i'm too short to wear them with any modicum of style.

i've ALWAYS been enamoured with corsets though. i think it has to do with my love for history. i shall make my own one day...