Stylish Retro Woman Having Her Hair Dried


I was born in the ’50’s in a time when women were encouraged to stay home and dream for their husbands and their children, for anybody but themselves. Somewhere in all that, my mom decided she wanted to go to beauty school.

To this day, even at 81 Mom is still gorgeous and has always enjoyed the latest styles and fashions. Working at the Bomb Plant (we’ll save this topic for another blog) and with three daughters, my dad thought he should save every penny rather than opening his wallet which would certainly have resulted in financial ruin. Mom was a resourceful woman. She figured out how to whip up the latest styles, but in a time where women had their hair washed and set once a week, and by set I mean girded in lacquer so that it was like a pretty plastic helmet, she was stumped. She wanted to learn how to fix her hair, and with my older sisters nearing college age, she wanted to be able to send us to college, something my dad wasn’t totally on board with at the time.

Out of all this, Betty’s Beauty Salon came to be in a shabby little row of buildings on Main Street, New Ellenton, SC. Mom worked hard and worked her way into a nicer buidling, and while the digs changed significantly, one thing NEVER changed. Women came to her shop to find themselves, to nurture themselves, something that wasn’t at all en vogue like it is today, and to find their dreams.

Maybe they were drawn there because it was a safe place to be yourself, to speak your mind, to share your joys and your sorrows. Aside from a phenomenal haircut, great color, or a scalp massage that often had her clients purring, I believe they were drawn to Mom’s dream itself. Whether it was her or the dryers and shampoo bowls or the building with the little wooden sign over the door, Betty’s Beauty Salon represented a dream that one brave woman dare to dream; and it actually came TRUE! And isn’t that what we all want? At least once?

I’ve got my dream, it’s 292 pages long and is looming on the horizon. My wish for you is that you find yours, and if you haven’t found it yet, answer the call to find it, even in the most unassuming places.

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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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  1. This is inspiring. Good luck!

  2. LOVED it. Remember all my mom’s friends with that lacquer helmet!!

    Great stuff!

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