October 10, 2007 Last week we discussed Grandpa's collar box, how about discussing Grandma's hair receiver? Maybe you did not know Grandma even had one, if not Grandma, then Great-Grandma. For me it was Grandma's hair receiver.
My Grandma's is a tan, round, celluloid receiver. It is about 5'' in diameter and 2'' tall. In the middle of the cover is a hole 1-1/2 inch in diameter. It has a little cover with a knob. Some were fancier, hand-painted china bowls.
Grandmothers all had long hair that had to be brushed, combed, pinned up or put in a bun. Sometimes some of the long chairs came out when she was combing or brushing. She did not put them in the kitchen wood stove. She carefully twirled them around her finger into a small circle and poked it through the hole in the lid of the hair receiver. When it was full she still did not burn the hair.
Grandmothers of yesteryear had never heard of a permanent to make their hair manageable. Freshly shampooed hair was likely to be hard to manage. So, Grandma made little pads or rolls from the hair in her receiver. She could tuck them under her own hair to give fullness. That is how ladies wearing pompadours attained them. I think it is time for pompadours to come back in style again. Long, straight, stringy hair on TV has about run its gamut.
Grandma's hair receiver now holds a lock of Carol's red hair when she went from a pony tail or braids to a Toni permanent. Now when she looks at a picture of her sporting her Toni she says, "Mother, how could you!!?'' Well, all little girls had to have a Toni and of course we moms gave them.
— Country Cousin
Gertie is an Almont native and historian. She has been writing a local column for us for over 30 years. You'll enjoy her friendly and colorful style of writing.