Published 9:09 am Thursday, October 9, 2014

I’m confused, and not for the first time.

And I need the help of those of the fairer sex who read this column to set me straight.

While enjoying lunch last week at Andy’s, I listened as two women – I assumed them to be co-workers – chatted about their hair. I overheard one mention having her hair “done” while the other mentioned the name of a hairdresser that she had used for years and was satisfied with her work.

For starters, I’m curious over the term having your hair “done.” In the world of men, we like to grill dead animals “done” over an open flame. Is this the same in the world of women’s hair fashion? If so, do you marinate your hair overnight in soy sauce and garlic salt before searing it for 60 seconds per side over 400-degree charcoal followed by 15 minutes of cooking time?

When a woman has her hair “done” is that the same as a hairdo? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a hairdo – which I guess is the same as having your hair “done” –  is a way of wearing the hair. “Wearing the hair” – that term brings visions of using a hairpiece to cover thin hair or a bald head. Come to think of it, that term fits me.

I’m confused.

Then there’s the term, hairdresser. To me, that would mean a person who dresses someone’s hair. Is that “dress” in the way of placing articles of clothing on a person’s head or is this another veiled attempt to explain having the hair “done.”

I’m totally lost.

And that brings me to other women’s hair fashion terms.

My mom used to go to the beauty parlor. I always found that strange because she was already beautiful. Perhaps the others that visited the parlor were less attractive than my mom and were in need of “beauty.”

And what goes on inside a beauty parlor? I had to go to one once to take a photo of a young girl who was having her waist-length hair cut to donate to “Locks of Love.” What’s up with the smell in that place…it makes my eyes water. And what gives with those huge domes attached to the back of a row of chairs. They look like a football helmet on steroids….only without a face guard and chin straps.

Another confusing term in the realm of women’s hair fashion is a permanent, or perm. Webster’s defines permanent as, lasting or continuing for a very long time or forever; not temporary or changing. If a permanent placed in a woman’s hair is “forever” then why do they have to return to the beauty parlor / hairdresser / the “do” place and pay to have another one?

Thank goodness I’m a guy. I don’t think I’d enjoy something permanent that’s really not. I mean someone might tell me I’m dead, but I’m feeling just fine. And I’m also not a big fan of those oversized football helmets.

All I have to do is make the short drive to Murfreesboro for a visit to the Barnes Brothers Barber Shop and Political Think Tank, have a seat in Luther’s chair and about 15 minutes later I can walk out the door with a simple haircut.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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