The day before Sunday was a special day in the African American household, especially if there was more than one women or girl in the household. If it was a holiday especially Easter even the most heathen of Afro American households was in full “get ready for Sunday Church services “ mode, which included the ritual of hair straightening. That is smoothing out the jagged hard kinky curly natural hair that most dark skinned black people possess. A thick head of Negroid hair can be a challenge. When white people say they wished they had curly hair like our’s, they don’t mean the hard kinky naps that can become matted and impossible to pull a comb or brush through. A thick head of natural Afro hair can conceal weapons in a pinch, or razor blades !
Things would get started early Saturday morning, depending upon what modern conveniences the 60's-70's women had - during the early to mid 60's many households still had a wash board until they could get a used washer with rollers - but you had to start early to get it all done. If you actually participated in Church then there were the Easter pieces ( little poems that you recited at Easter programs in Church the Children had to learn those and recite them in from of all the proud beaming smiling faces of the parents without making a mistake ) and the big Sunday Church show, of clothes , hats, shoes and everything else and the Church might be having a dinner etc.. if you participated that meant you had to bring a dish of something.
Saturday was getting up early catching the early cartoons, because by 10:30 - 11:00 AM vacuums started if you had one, or sweepers. Brooms, mops, lawn mowers, anything that was used in cleaning was used on Saturday, and if you lived and ate there, you were a part of the clean brigade rather you liked it or not. Now not all families were clean and tidy, some lived amid the chaos of unorganized clutter and down-right garbage, but one thing had to get done no matter if you were a “holy ghost hallelujah every Sunday from Sun up to Sun down” Church going Bible spouting sinless vessel of God. Or you only went to Church on Easter, and have to wash the whiskey off your breath with Listerine. Still one thing had to be done, and that is the hair had to get straightened. Even if one could go to the beauty parlor not all could go.
And at about 3PM in the afternoon depending upon how many women there were in the house, (and who was going to wear wigs and pieces ) but this was before all the wigs and pieces and falls, and weaves. This was before the “relaxer” that was friendly enough to use at home. We’re talking about the days when $ 2.25 per hour was a good wage. But if you had 6 kids 3 of them girls and the Mom hairdressers were expensive. (One thing about Easter even the kids whose fathers you never saw, always had Easter clothes, in that generation a lot more dads took care of their kids or so it seemed ? )
Hot-combs were passed down through generations, they were heavy cast iron affairs which were indestructible you have to remember there was a time when things did not come easy, things as simple as a Hot-comb which was sometimes borrowed by neighbors or family ( to let some body borrow your hot comb or pressing iron you had to be really close ) Saturdays were the steam of greens cooking with the ham-hocks, the ham in the oven for Easter dinner, and the stench of burning and sizzling hair depending at how many heads had been done so far, if you were first there was less burning because the person doing the pressing wasn't tired yet if you were last then the whole kitchen was smoky from the hair-grease, and the Hot-comb.