Hair Dryer sketch 1967


My mother at age 9 in 1932.

I don’t remember my mother using a hair dryer except for a short period of time.  In the aftermath of the Detroit Riot of 1967, many people began to wear afros.  My mother had waist length wavy hair. She remembered it being very curly when she was a child and thought that when she cut it, it was going to become kinky enough to make an afro.  Much to her chagrin, it did not. Until it grew out again, she would wash it, roll it up in curlers and sit under the dryer to get some curl.

Below is a sketch I made of my mother for a drawing class in 1967. At that time, my drawings added at least 20 years to family members age. It was not on purpose. Click on images to enlarge.


Doris Graham Cleage under the dryer.


My mother after her haircut.



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26 Responses to Hair Dryer sketch 1967

  1. Tara says:

    My mother couldn’t make an afro with her hair either…she had to wear a wig lol

  2. postcardy says:

    I used to have a bonnet type hair dryer. I even bought one of the hard plastic ones that were big and bulky and looked kind of like the ones in beauty parlors, but only used that one a few times.

    I don’t remember my mother ever washing her own hair. Her hair was naturally straight, but looked wavy. She went to the beauty parlor once a week. I don’t think she paid much attention to her hair the rest of the time, but it didn’t really look too bad (unlike my hair that looks too dirty to go more than a couple days without washing it).

    • Kristin says:

      We never washed our hair even once a week. We had a bathtub and it was a big ordeal. Now that we have showers, much easier.

  3. Angella says:

    I hope you still do your art. You’re so talented.

  4. j wms says:

    you’re GGGREAT! and KeepOn …!


  5. Vicky Daviss Mitchell says:

    Your story reminds me of my mother also. She too cut all her hair thinking she could wear an afro when it grew out. She had another think coming. Mom had long straight hair before she cut it all off and when it grew back in. (LOL)

  6. Barb Rogers says:

    Love the sketch of your mom…do keep drawing and being the artist you are. It’s really really important! Really.

  7. Wendy says:

    Oh I remember those hairdryers. I would have to tug at it and try to move the hose around to make sure ALL my hair dried. When I got a table-top salon-style dryer, I was hot stuff — made my life so much easier.

  8. Jo in Melbourne Aus says:

    A perfect sketch fir this week’s prompt, and a lovely photograph of your mother post haircut too.

  9. Helen McHargue says:

    The sketch is great. I agree that you should keep on doing them. Your mother was a beautiful woman.

  10. La Nightingail says:

    Drying our hair in the wintertime was easy. We had a floor furnace & we simply hung over it & our hair was dry in a jiffy! Otherwise, we put a small free-standing electric heater on a table & sat in front of it – not that I didn’t, for a very short time, have a bonnet & hose type dryer, but as Wendy pointed out, the darned thing didn’t dry hair evenly.

  11. Alan BURNETT says:

    The drawing shows character in the way even the most sepia photographs can never aspire to. I think I know more about your mother from your drawing than I do from the accompanying photograph.

  12. anyjazz says:

    I fine post and a fine sketch! I remember the trend toward Afro-hair styles too! I had a son who just had to have one, and he has red hair!

  13. Karen S. says:

    I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll share it again, your mother was beautiful. Especially adorable as a little girl. I featured a photo and something from Detroit as well in my post this week.

  14. Susan says:

    Keep sketching! The one here is wonderful.

  15. Nancy Javier says:

    I love the sketch of your mother under the bonnet hairdryer. Reminds me of my post. Her photo with the marcelle type hairdo is really beautiful.
    Ladies of the Grove

  16. Alex Daw says:

    Aren’t you glad you did that sketch all those years ago? You have a fine hand and it was a great contribution to this week’s prompt. Well done you!

    • Kristin says:

      I am glad and that I still have the sketch! I never imagined that 47 years later I would use it in a Sepia Saturday post on my blog (which I also didn’t know I’d have.)

  17. genepenn says:

    A lovely personal tale, and yes the sketch is really a wonderful contribution

  18. Sharon says:

    How I would like to be able to draw!

    In the 1980s, I had perm after perm. It wasn’t good for it though!

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