Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours had been in the charts for over a year and every teenage girl wanted the look. Stevie Nicks was the coolest. She had the original grungy hippy vibe, in her floaty black garb and her shaggy perm, she was every teenage boys dream. Therefore every teenage girl wanted the shaggy perm. Including me.
Well, as a penniless teenager, how could I possibly afford the shaggy perm. My mother’s purse strings didn’t stretch to a hair cut never mind an eye watering 30 pounds for a perm in one of the salons on Grafton Street. There was of course an alternative, actually my only option. “Eileen’s Hair Creations”. Eileen was a local woman who passed herself off as a hairdresser, and operated out of a salon above the local butchers. I use the word ‘salon’ loosely, as it was a room with a sink, two chairs and a bench. As you rose the stairs to her door, the smell of the butchers gave way to the overpowering stench of Elnett hair spray. In a previous life Eileen worked in the fish factory gutting fish so it’s a mystery how she reinvented herself as a hairdresser. Although about twenty years out of date, Eileen wore her hair in a tall beehive. Allegedly, she was an expert at doing perms, very popular with her octogenarian customers who were offered free a blue rinse alongside the perm. Eileen had never seen the cover of Rumours and in her mind this Stevie Nicks person must have been a man.
Nevertheless, I had to have a perm and the only way I was getting it was to succumb to Eileen’s perming skills. I suppose with hindsight the beehive should have been a giveaway, an inkling as to the standard of style Eileen aspired to.
I didn’t exactly look like Stevie Nicks when she was finished with me. I think the problem was that Eileen only had one roller size. The ‘little old lady perm’ size. I emerged with little tiny frizzy curls radiating from my head. I suppose it could have been worse, the free blue rinse wasn’t included.
I pulled my hood up, went home and hibernated for three months.
This isn’t me but bears an uncanny resemblance