Monday, September 20, 2010

Big Hair In Cowtown

** This is a reposting with a new video.

How to get your very own TEXAS BIG HAIR!

You better run tell the world
You gotta have a Lone Star girl
With her cast iron curls
Her aluminum dimples
Cause she's so simple to love

-Willis Alan Ramsey's "Northeast Texas Women"

Yes, I guess we Texas women are known around the world for having "big hair". 'Course, I think that probably got started in the 60's when Lady Bird was First Mama, and "back-combing" (read "ratting") was just the thing to give you nice poufy, helmet hair. I could never figure out why girls would rat up this big ol' mound of hair, then clip in a tiny velvet bow on the side or just above the bangs. I guess it gave perspective to this architecturally designed coif. Surfer chicks like Annette Funicello or Deborah Walley wore these do's, even though they didn't hail from Texas.

But something happened in the late 1960's to Texas gals' big hair. Suddenly, the groovy thing was to have fresh, natural hair, including legs and armpits. Pouf was out, long stringy locks were in. Clairol Herbal Essence made us all believe we needed to smell like a woodsy forest and patchouli instead of hairspray and Dippity-Doo. We had to get down to earth. For some reason, I always think of Joan Baez or Cher as the prototype for this era of hairstyle.

I personally had baby-fine blonde hair as a teenager (still is blonde with a little help from the beauty parlor to chase the VERY few wisps of gray away, ahem), and it was just plain homely laying there all flat against my head. My Mama had a vendetta against "hippie" hair and mine would have won the blue ribbon at the county fair for straightness.

When I was little she would insist on at least twice a year perms, but instead of the lovely curly locks pictured on the box, I got frizzed, fried, duck fuzz. And why is it, you gotta wait a whole week to wash your hair after perming it? Walk around smelling like a toxic chemical plant in Oklahoma. Always had this vaguely skunk-like stink to it when you sweated for at least three months after this tortuous beauty treatment. I digress.

Then, a Corpus Christi girl put Texas hair back on top. One name says it all, "Farrah" (RIP). Suddenly, blonde "wings" were all the rage, and Aqua-Net shareholders were estatic and singing "We're in the money".

Thanks to television, Texas hair was on its way to salvation. After Charlie's Angels, "Dallas" hit the bigtime, with bigger than life characters, and of course, with bigger hair than ever.

Occasionally in my office building, I see a woman I call "Barbie's Grandmother" prancing across the skywalk bridge. This lady is surely in her late 60's, but even so, her big platinum, teased hair can still grab men's eyes. I catch 'em watching her pass by. In the elevators, they take quick little sneaks at The Hair, and I would love to be privy to their testosterone thoughts. Doesn't hurt that she has a figure any 20 year-old would die for (hell, any of us would die for). Her hair probably accounts for 40% of her total body weight, and her fingernails for at least 20% more. I swear she must be the last living paying customer of Loni Anderson's hair stylist. I think I will nominate her as the Patron Saint of Texas Big Hair. At the very least, she deserves to be on the new Texas quarters instead of the boring state outline with a star. Now, that would be a coin to brag about. Big-haired Texas gals - I am proud to be in this Sisterhood.


LC said...

Love it love it love it! My fine but thick hair (then not now) absolutely would not hold that "ratting," no matter how much hair product was glopped and sprayed. Professional hair types never believed me or my mom. They tried to do their magic and then on the way home, a little itch would start and my weird hair would start slithering out of the do. I just gave up, kept it short with that little bit of natural wave showing and rejoiced when that natural "layered" look was the rage. I would never have made it as a big-haired Texas girl. Great post!

Cowtown Pattie said...

Thanks, LC!

Kay Dennison said...

My hair was/is pathetic -- no body whatsoever and babyfine. No big hair for this old gal -- then or now!!!!

Kay Dennison said...

Then again, had I been born a Texas woman -- like my late great hero Molly Ivins -- I would have been "excluded Texas womanhood on the grounds of height". Big hair isn't for us tall gals. LOL

joared said...

Well, whadda ya know. Tried to leave a comment here earlier and couldn't. Suddenly, up pops this little popup, hours later. Forgot what I was gonna say.

Oh yeah! I remember the big hair. Why don't cha just go gray naturally??? There's no physical pain. To each his/her own.

Darlene said...

My hair was always my one saving grace. It was thick and held a curl like a bent wire. One woman said that if my hair looked nice I did too, but the opposite of that was I looked ugly if my hair was a mess.

I guess I would have made it as a big hair woman but I still wouldn't have turned any heads..