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It going to be a Happy Bouffant Easter after all.

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posted by Janice Ackroyd alias Janice Ackroyd on Thursday 14th of April 2022 03:36:56 PM

IF you would like something to read over Easter try this………………. A mother dresses her teenage son as a girl and has planned to have his hair shampooed and set by a mobile hairdresser in time for the Easter Holiday. On the morning of her planned visit the hairdresser phones to say that she is ill and can’t make it. Thrown into disarray and unsure what to do mother turns to her neighbour Mrs Cove, they have been friends for many years and mother has confided in her about her plans for her son and in particular his hair. It was Mrs Cove who’s idea it was to have his hair shampooed and set and arranged for the mobile hairdresser to trim it regularly to keep it tidy but grow it long enough to be set. Mrs Cove has arranged to have her own hair set for Easter and suggests that she phones Tricia’s to see if they can fit the boy in for a shampoo and set later that morning with her. Mother is a bit thrown by the suggestion but Mrs Cove says that she’ll explain about the situation and see what reaction she gets and that they At 10.30 mother walks the boy around to her neighbour’s house. Having seen how Mrs Cove was dressed earlier she has dressed him in a simple skirt, blouse and cardigan and coat with the lightest touch of powder and lipstick. Mrs Cove seems pleased with how the boy is presented and suggests a headscarf for the walk to the salon and is happy for him to wear one of hers. Mother gives Mrs Cove money to pay for her son’s hair and watches anxiously as they walk down the street together, their headscarves swaying in the breeze, and thinks how easily they could be mistaken for grandmother and granddaughter. Ten minutes later the boy follows Mrs Cove through the door of Tricia’s an old fashioned local salon busy with older ladies wanting to be set and look their best for the Easter break. No sooner have they removed and hung up their coats and headscarves than they are called over to the basins and shampooed together, Mrs Cove at the front wash basin and the boy at the rather uncomfortable backwash. Once shampooed they are moved to the workstations. While dousing his hair heavily with setting lotion the boy’s stylist turns to Mrs Cove and asks ‘How would do you want me to set her for you Mrs Cove?’ Realising that in the earlier chaos she had not asked the boys mother about styling Mrs Cove struggles to reply. The stylist seeing that she is struggling and keen to get on as she can see her next lady being taken out from the dryer helps her out saying. ‘Why don’t I do her full and teased up and off the face like you have Mrs Cove. We’ll see how she gets on with and we can always change it when you bring her in next week. At least she’ll be done for Easter.’ Mrs Cove nodded her agreement. Throughout this the boy is silent and feels overwhelmed by the speed with which everything is happening. He is also distracted and intrigued with all that is going on around him, the sights, sounds and aromas are all too much to take in. His mother had been gently preparing him for having his hair done in the quiet of his home by a mobile hairdresser but not for the hustle and bustle of a busy old fashioned salon like this. He found being referred to as she and Miss felt very strange and unreal. As Mrs Cove nodded her agreement the young stylist rapidly went to work, moving his head back and forth and from side to side until his head was full neat rows of tightly wound rollers pinned into place with long lethal looking metal pins. Within minutes she was placing earpads over his ears which she asked him to hold in place with his fingers while she put a hairnet over his head and secured it tightly at the back. She smiled at him through the mirror and then called out ‘Can someone put my lady under please’. She then walked over to another workstation where her next lady was waiting to be dressed out. Moments later another lady appears and smiles at him through the mirror saying ‘Do you want to come with me Miss, I’ve kept a space next to Mrs Cove for you.’ With that the boy is led to a row of dryers and sat next to Mrs Cove where the lady lowers the dryer hood over his head, turns the dryer on, smiles and disappears into the chaos of the salon. Mrs Cove looks over to him smiles and pats him reassuringly on the arm. The dryer allows the boy to gather his senses and collect his thoughts. Despite feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted he begins to relax, trapped under the hood and with the hot air basting down on his head there is nothing else he can do but accept his situation and not think too much about what will happen next. He catches sight of movement to his right and sees Mrs Cove taking out her compact and powdering her face, she then applies some lipstick. He then notices other ladies doing the same. After a period of relative calm he is suddenly distracted by Mrs Cove being taking from her dryer and escorted across the salon where she is out of sight. Within minutes another lady takes her place. The boy settles down again but suddenly the visor of his hood is being raised and yet another lady is saying ‘You should be dry now Miss’ as she eases his head from under the hood and helps him to his feet. He follows her across the salon to one a workstation where she sits him down, removes his hairnet and earpads and then the metal pins and then finally each and every one of the rollers which she has to pull free. He watches as the rollers are removed and his hair instantly springs into a whole series of tight little curls. Running her fingers through his curls to check all rollers and pins have been removed the lady smiles at him through the mirror saying ‘Your hair sets up well Miss. It’s going to look lovely when she dresses you out.’ She then removes the towel he has had around his shoulder since his hair was shampooed and in it’s place puts a floral dressing out cape. As she turns to leave she adds ‘We’re running a bit late today Miss, it seems everyone wants to be set for Easter. She’ll get you dressed out when she’s finished rollering up Mrs Higgins’. The boy is left on his own feeling quite bemused and lost and is delighted to see the friendly face of Mrs Cove appear in his mirror. Her hair has been dressed out and lacquered and looks quite overpowering, she looks relaxed and rejuvenated the way ladies often do after their weekly hour in the salon. She tells him how busy they and how lucky they were to have him fitted in adding that that she’ll wait for him and they can go home together. Then looking at his curls she says most ladies here would die for hair like yours. The boy feels reassured and relieved with her presence. Before sitting down Mrs Cove glances around the corner, opens her handbag, takes out her powder compact and lipstick and says ‘She’s going to be a few minutes yet, I’ll freshen up your powder and lipstick now saves doing it before we leave. You’ll want to look your best for your mother when she sees you.’ With that Mrs Cove does exactly as she has said as though it was the most natural thing in the world, which in this world it indeed was. Just as Mrs Cove finishes the stylist arrives and running her fingers through the boys rollered curls she echos what the last lady and Mrs Cove had said ‘Your hair certainly hold a curl Miss. I think it’s going to dress out really well’ Miss. What of course the boy doesn’t realise is that it is a delight for stylists in these kinds of salons to work with young hair that hasn’t been permed, rinsed, backcombed and lacquered to death over 50 or 60 years. With that the stylist takes a hard bristled hairbrush, brushes his curls through and then takes a tail comb and begins backcombing and lacquering. If the boy thought being set in rollers was uncomfortable he had clearly not experienced backcombing and lacquering. The stylist worked furiously for several minutes until the boy’s hair was a huge mass of backcombing. She then suddenly stopped and calm descending as she began to smooth and shape the hair into a high bouffant. The only sound now was the short blasts of lacquer applied as each part of the bouffant was fixed into place. The boy could now calmly watch as his bouffant emerged and seeing Mrs Cove through the mirror in the background with her chiffon scarf in place he understood now the earlier conversation about being styled like Mrs Cove. The boy had never though his hair could possible look like hers but here he was a Mrs Cove look alike. Suddenly the stylist stood back to examine her work and turning to Mrs Cove said ‘Is that what you had in mind for her Mrs Cove?’ Mrs Cove, probably a bit taken aback herself said that it looked perfect and with that the stylist handed the boy a plastic face shield and telling him to hold it to his face proceeded to apply one long last lingering lacquering. Mrs Cove was now on her feet standing beside the stylist with a chiffon scarf in her hand, both smiling at the boy through the mirror. As for the boy he was too stunned with disbelief to say anything. Mrs Cove thanked the stylist who ready to move on to her next lady wished them both a happy Easter and smiling at the boy said ‘I hope we’ll be seeing you again next week Miss.’ With that Mrs Cole waited for the boys lacquer to dry before placing a chiffon scarf over his fresh new bouffant and leading through the salon helped him into his coat before bidding goodbye and happy Easter to anyone and everyone led him back into the street and off towards home. Needless to say the boys mother was delighted and for her it was a very happy Easter all because of Mrs Cole and Tricia’s.



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  • Published 10.07.22
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