The Savage Perm

A poem written about my experience on getting a perm today.

The perm, the perm!

So pretty and lovely!

Giving girls pride and joy

of their gorgeous locks!

However, oh cursed tender heads,

beware, beware the perm!

Smooth, silky locks so fine

are wetted, and turned into a tangled mess.

Special shampoo, rubbed firmly into the delicate scalp,

who moans in discomfort.

A brief rise, and the tender head is,

for once, speechless with horror:

not one drop of that blessed, blessed

conditioner is to be added!

A few short minutes turned into hours

by the howls of the tender head as

the wet, tangled hair is carefully brushed out.

Now, most of the bad part is over,

and curlers, with special paper wraps,

take the hair up. The tender head is only

briefly disturbed, an occasional whimper escapes.

The hair is now put up, turning the young girls into something older:

the image of a granny, with curlers all over her head.

Soft cotton, white and fluffy,

is wrapped around the head

as a safety net from the cold, cold

liquid that is carefully squirted

over the many rolls of curlers.

A sweet, flowery smell reminds

the girls of her job at the garden center,

surrounded by floral fragrances of heaven.

A clear, plastic bag partners up with

the soft cotton, now cold and wet,

to keep in the flowery solution.

As the girl waits, a strange, itching

sensation crawls over her head

like a fuzzy caterpillar.

The tender head has only squealed in surprise

at the coldness of the solution. However,

when the hairstylist unfurls a curler, the tender head

lets a soft noise escape. It can handle this, it tells itself,

as the curler is rolled back up, the head is rinsed with

warm, soothing water. The old, cotton shield is removed,

and replaced with a fresh, new one. A second liquid is

squirted, and this time, two things squeal: the tender head,

of course, at the cold liquid, and the delicate nose. A foul scent,

the scent of the perm solution, assaults the nostrils,

like something out of a rotten hockey bag: foul

and unforgettable. After a few more minutes of sitting,

with the tender head content for once,

but the nose squirming is discomfort,

the curlers are removed. The nose and tender head

sing a song of pain and discomfort as the curlers slowly come out,

and the smells gets stronger. Warm water–the mother of

all healing–silences the song of the tender head,

turning the pain-filled melody into a

beautiful hum of everlasting pleasure.

The hair is dried, scrunched, and hairsprayed,

the tender head utterly silent–it had survived it all,

and had earned the reward of soothing, warm water

that rids it of the aches and pains. The nose, however,

is beside itself with torment–a staggering three days

of no shampoo to wash out the smell, and no conditioner to

replace the smell of perm.

The satisfied girls exits the salon, her head happy

and her nose in misery.


~ by w1s3r on June 5, 2010.

9 Responses to “The Savage Perm”

  1. you know what they say…?
    beauty is painfull.

    I love your blog!
    great writing 🙂

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