After a while, Sylvia and I lost our curls, so Mum tied our hair in rags; the strips were plaited through the hair and twisted before tying. It was quite painful at times to sleep in them, but come morning our hair looked beautiful and curly (well, we thought so!), and we thought it was worth the effort.
As we got older we used tongs, which were heated on our black stove. Sometimes they singed our hair. Or we used ‘dinky curlers’ – a silver metal contraption that gave more of a wave than a curl. If the hair wasn’t properly wrapped around the curler, the ends would stick out instead of curling. Dad’s pipe cleaners came in handy as curlers too. I cannot recall ever having our hair washed with water from the tap – it was always rain water taken from the water butt in the garden. Mum would rinse our hair with vinegar in the last rinse, to make it shine.