Beauty is Only Fur Deep

Pioneer Friday in Two Pan…with Changes you May not Squint at.

A few of you neighbors have commented how good I look for the hardships I’ve endured: crossing the Oregon Trail, having 6 children, outrunning wild animals, and putting up with Bricker.

Here’s 2 ways to check if your hair is tuckered from all the changes in your life.  If so, follow my beauteous secrets to middlin’ good looks.


1)      Pull out a strand of hair and drop it in a pie plate of water. (Remove the pie first). If the hair sinks, your tresses are dried out, sucking up water like rain on an old board.  If it floats…LaTeeDah…aren’t you special…like that Alice Woolsey who has hair curlier than a sheep.

2)      Thread a small needle with the end of a strand of hair. (Not the scalp end, silly, the thin end). Can’t do it? Either you’re blind, or the hair is dry and frayed.  Proceed to my wondrous treatments

HAIR CONDITIONING: Dip those dried out tresses in oil before laundering them every 10-14 days. Oil from olive is best, but hard to come by out here, so Roxie Poley has been selling  a product she renders from bear fat.  It works all right. Keeps the dog away from the house.

SHAMPOO: With a few changes, I use Patricia Hopkins cleansing recipe of: potash, soap, and wine heated and stirred with a stick of wood.  I alter it a bit by drinking the wine.  I use milk with a dab of honey to wash my hair. And throw the stick at the bears which keep dropping by because 7 heads of oiled hair make this place smell like a friendly lair.

RINSE: If you can spare any apple cider vinegar from your pickling, add some to your rinse water for a good shine.  Dunking your head directly in an ice cold stream will do the same thing.  Put a few drops of vinegar in your ears to take care of the ear infection caused by dipping your head in the stream.

FINISH:  If you were born with hair that coils like a snake, then drop to your knees and give your Creator praise.  The rest of us use a curling iron. Stick it in a lamp chimney for a minute, then wind a strand of hair around it. Try not to burn your hair off.  (May smoke a little.)

BETWEEN WASHINGS:  Wrap your hair around your fist, to make a bun. Tuck the whole rigamarole along with loose ends up under a bonnet which will protect your locks from dust, rain frizzies, and can be waved at bears so you’ll look bigger as you run.

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
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21 Responses to Beauty is Only Fur Deep

  1. Pingback: Needles, Dogs, and Secrets | Before Morning Breaks

  2. Pingback: The Needle Doctor’s Secret | Before Morning Breaks

  3. Jean says:

    For the longest while I envied people with wavy hair. But as I age, mabye having lots of straight fine hair makes me care less.

    I’m sure you wear your crowning glory with pride –6 children. Jeez. 🙂


    • Barb says:

      Here’s the secret to wavy/curly hair. It’s sooooo simple. Dry hair doesn’t curl. And the older we get, the drier we get. Moisturize like crazy. Oil works wonders. (Although, I doubt you can get the infamous Roxie’s Bear Oil, but another should help.) Why do you think Goldilocks was sneaking into the bear’s house…it wasn’t really for the porridge. It was for their hair care products.


  4. Thank you for the recipes. Perhaps I should do my hair in the kitchen where there is no mirror to see the horror.


  5. dan says:

    Where do you get all this stuff? Did you know you won my Halloween mash up? I’m starting a new blog on wordpress. same articles but rolling observations on my daily boring life.


    • Barb says:

      Hey…where have you been? I’ve checked your post several times, but you were still out celebrating your brother’s birthday. Or it must be hunting season. Starting Nov. 1 around here, everyone hopes nothing breaks, falls in, or flies apart because everyone’s sitting in deer/elk/sheep/rabbit camp. Thanks for letting me win…when will I receive my new Cadillac?


  6. moma escriva says:

    I’m a thinkin the tips to caring for the hair would tucker a po’ ole lady out? Any steps I omit and still have that shiny mane?


    • Barb says:

      Beauty is as beauty does, Moma. Or is that Stupid is as stupid does??? I’m not sure how it goes. Well, it doesn’t matter, both take time. Stupid just takes less of it.


  7. Roxie Matthews says:

    Remember to brush that hair 100 strokes a night to keep it strong and shiny. After all, what else do you have to do all day but look pretty for your man?

    The thing you got going for you, Barb, is teeth. I notice you got all of ’em and none of the ones that show are black or broke. No facial scars, you don’t squint, and you got all those gorgeous teeth – why ma’am, you are a fairy princess beauty!


    • Barb says:

      If I saw a fairy princess around here, I’d ask her how I got this turned-into-a-pumpkin life with 6 kids, a bare-boned farm, and a husband who dreams of gold flakes. But as you so rightly point out our blessings…at least we’ve got our teeth.


  8. Spectra says:

    What a thing it would be to wake up in the mornin’ with a lonely bear snuggling your head. If Bricker is handy with the rifle, well, at least you’ll have Bear meat for suppin’s.


  9. Alice Lynn says:

    What wonderful suggestions. Do you think you could write a column, “Beauty Tips From The Past”? I think that would be very popular and raise the ratings for the local newspaper. One last question. Where can I find bear grease?


  10. Margie says:

    Apparently a cow licked me at some point in my baby hood, and now my hair sticks up at odd angles, especially my bangs (or the fringe if you just arrived from one of those foreign countries). So my question to you is, what do you recommend for taming that cowlick? I tried cutting it off really short, but from the looks I’m getting that wasn’t a good move.


    • Barb says:

      I was going to try to say something witty, like…have the bull lick your cow lick…but really I’ll tell you what my hairdresser tells me…usually with one finger in the air and her stare inches from my nose: PRODUCT. Then she repeats it several times, as though I don’t understand English. I can see how she comes to that conclusion after looking at my hair.


  11. winsomebella says:

    What is up with this changing hair thing? Off to bun my hair for the day………


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