AtoZ Letter O ~ Operator..."It's a Comb Not a Wand"

"I'm a Beautician Not a Magician".  I get a kick out of todays phrases about Beauty Operators....that's what we called them Back In The Day!  "Don't Worry...it will Grow Back!"  I can't tell you how many times I FELT like saying that when I was a student at McBride-Davis School of Hair Design.
By the time I received this Diploma on November 15, 1968, I had been married for almost three years, been to one semester of college, worked as a waitress and while attending 'Beauty School' part time was a secretary at Texas Tech.
I felt right at home going to Beauty School.  I had been giving hair cuts and perms for years....at home.  Aqua Net, Dippity Do, New Dawn Color, Toni, Lilt and VO5 were staples at our house.  I have to say though, giving perms at the Beauty School/Shop was a lot less messy and easier.  The Shampoo Bowl sure beat hanging your head over the kitchen sink with stinky perm solutions running down your neck and over your face.

Beauty School was not just about fixing hair.  There was Theory Class with studies in Skin Care, Nails and Makeup Artistry.  I learned a lot...especially about Skin Care.

My experience had been a good face washing ordered by my Dad who disagreed with Maybelline on the amount of eye makeup and lipstick girls should wear. 

As for Nails, I had no clue, and was shocked that long fingernails did not have to grow out of your fingers.  You could glue them right on and paint them as red as Mae West's.  Pedicure...who knew feet could be so pretty...or so ugly.  Then there was Makeup Artistry.  I became a Revlon, CoverGirl, Maybelline Makeup Queen.  A mascara, lipstick and fake eyelash wearer.  All the while remembering my Dad's words, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and pretty is as pretty does".  It was a reminder to wash my face!

Besides learning to give a Superb Sassoon Sculpture Haircut and Commendable Color Coiffure...remarks on my State Boards...learning about Wigs, Wiglets, and Falls turned out to be the second most important aspect of becoming a Hair Designer.

After receiving my 'Operators' license, I went to work for McBrides Beauty Shop.  A job offered to the two top graduates from their school. 

In the years that followed working as a Hairdresser was an easy hire wherever we moved in Texas.

It was in 1969-70 that the training in Wigs, Wiglets and Falls kept me in the Operator/Hair Design business when we moved to Maryland.  Without a Maryland Operators License, I could not touch a hair on their Yankee head, but instead became known as the 'Wig, Wiglet and Fall Gal' from Big Hair Texas. 

Oh, by the way....my hair was really, really short in 1968. 

I should have had this button!


Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

Wow I'm impressed, sounds like you really knew/know your stuff. I find it hilarious you need a licence to cut hair :). The most complicated thing I have ever done with my hair is dye it - yep, I know, incredibly adventurous ;) It was purple for a little while.
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I admire people who can do 'miracles' with hair. I grew up calling hairdressers beauticians. There' s a very popular school for hairdressers near here.

Joanne said...

hilarious hair post. You are a woman of many talents. Impressive

Brandon Ax said...

"Don't worry it will grow back" As someone who often grows his hair long and then donates it to Locks of Love, my favorite saying is, "It's just hair, it will grow back."

That is awesome they taught so much. I wonder if they are as thorough today. My sister in law actually went to collage to be a beautician.

I must say you were and are very beautiful. Working with wigs must have been fun and a bit of a relief not to have to deal with real hair.

Sue McPeak said...

Good for you Brandon...the Locks of Love project is a wonderful charity and your gift of love is incredibly generous and so special for the recipient. It was fun working with wigs...they didn't complain a bit. Thanks so much for compliment and for stopping by. I've missed your cartoons and posts this go round. Will stop by for a hello.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - I had no idea you were a beautician .. crumbs and yes I can believe all the various disciplines you undertook - and so useful to have that knowledge through life. A really good skill to have ... and useful wherever you lived ... strange about the State licence though - I guess something to keep some control ... but!! Well done on moving on to wigs, wiglets and falls ... fascinating to read about .. cheers Hilary

JazzFeathers said...

Love those photoes. And the school sounds it was so intersting.
I'm liking your remembrance from that period. It sounds liek it was a very different world (well, even my 1980s sound like it was a very different world from today, but hey...) ;-)

Wendy said...

Is there anything you can't do? Will "S" be for "Surgery School"?

Sue McPeak said...

LOL!!! Nawww...I'm thinking 'S' will be for Scullery School. My scrubbing skills have gone to pot this month...not that they were ever that good...too busy using the kitchen sink for stinky perm solution. Surgery School...hmmm! Previous surgeries...butcherin' chickens...ended up with body parts on the floor...the chickens...and bandaids on mine...still have the scars.

Sue McPeak said...

Well, the Big Hair was certainly different from today. It took me years to get that Big Hair Do off my head. I still have to get a bit of fluff with the rat tail comb. I don't think you can find DippityDo any more, but now I use Mousse...isn't that a hoot...back in the day we served that in a parfait glass...chocolate was my favorite. At least it's not spelled like it sounds...moose!

Sue McPeak said...

Yep, Hillary, I am a walking encyclopedia of useless information, 'Old School Skills' and expired State Licenses. About all it's good for now is....well, writing these posts! Thanks for giving them a 'F'...fascinating!

Sue McPeak said...

Yep, in Texas we call this 'Hairlarious'...at the time though...wearing that button would have been the end of my Super Vidal Sasson Scissor Cut and the beginning of a beauticians assistant 'Shampoo Girl'.

Sue McPeak said...

I am pretty sure I often said, "I'm not a Miracle Worker" but I do know a few Magic Tricks. Then I'd send them to the back to the Shampoo Girl...she was the real 'Miracle Worker' with a Lady Clairol Wand.

Sue McPeak said...

The State Board Judges did not have a sense of humor and did not think my "Don't Worry" button hilarious. We are of the same adventurous hair coloring....except mine turned 'Bright Orange'.


Related Posts with Thumbnails