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Remembering the orange cord


David Creel



I remember my mama's arsenal of hairstyling tools from an early age. When you look at today's innovations, you might think she could as well have been beating two rocks together like a cave woman. Her hair dryer was about as small as a closed fist. It was the most offensive shade of tan, and it buzzed so loudly my daddy couldn't even hear the animals roaring on "Wild Kingdom."  


The electrical cord was long enough to wrap around the odd device twice, but not long enough to stretch from the outlet to the big vanity mirror with ease. Mama would rig up an extension cord and sit on the toilet seat with the control in the "on" position, lips pursed with concentration. The unsightly fluorescent orange utility cord from Daddy's toolbox competing with the baby blue porcelain tile of her serene bathroom did not help matters. 


Times have changed, and Mama doesn't even own a hair dryer. That's why she has me! With modern technology, however, and for those who need them, there has never been a more exciting time to choose one. Whether you are looking for a compact version that scores high on performance, but with few bells and whistles, or opt for the cutting-edge devices that come standard with every luxury, you are in luck.  




How hot is too hot? 


Wattage is key when selecting your model, remembering you are not frying bacon. The higher the wattage, the hotter the heat. I recommend the higher wattage for naturally curly girls who battle those curls in a quest for a straight, sleek victory on the battlefields of beauty. For the rest of you who simply want to dry your hair or who use the hair dryer daily, lower your wattage for a more controlled, frizz-friendly happy ending.  


The colors are as diverse as a rainbow, with hot pink, neon green, and even zebra for the divas. You can coordinate your hair dryer to sit prettily on your marble vanity.  


Size does matter, so if you are a daily disciple of the ritual, go bigger. Leave the smaller ones to those who throw one in a carry-on bag or as a backup when your big one fails you. The control panel, much like the ones on a new car, can do just about everything except confirm a hotel reservation. They stop just short of Sirius radio these days.  


Just about anything that floats your beauty boat can be found on a hair dryer nowadays, including a "cool shot" button for setting that wave and sealing the cuticle (read: shiny hair), a control dial to adjust the heat for different textures of hair, and even a newer version that comes with a touch screen like your iPhone.  


Forget the fear of carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist from rocking the dryer back and forth, because now the more innovative dryers have the mechanics to do that for you while you admire yourself in the mirror, hands still. Oh, and talk about quiet! No more need to yell at the kids or scare the dogs under the bed, because the newer hair dryers are powerful and quiet. 


That little gadget Mama tortured herself and us with years ago is now retired. Secretly I kind of miss it, and sometimes when I am rummaging through old boxes at a yard sale or flea market and come across one, I smile, if only for a minute. Then I remember the orange cord. 


Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David Salon in Jackson. Contact him at [email protected]


Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at [email protected]


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