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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Hair Sticks & Forks

stickMy son’s girlfriend brought back gifts from her trip to Alaska. Each was lovingly chosen for a particular family member, quite thoughtful as well as highly unusual. Everyone else’s gift I had the opportunity of seeing, but my eldest daughter’s was whisked away before I could glimpse it.

“What did you get?” I asked Mashenka later.

“A hair clip,” she shrugged.

“A barrette?” I wondered.

“No, it’s some kind of hair clip, but I can’t use it,” the 19-year-old told me.


“It doesn’t work,” she shook her head.hairstick_2

“Show it to me sometime…” I suggested.

Turns out that she didn’t know what it was. The lovely, wood-and-moose-bone handcrafted stick was about the size of a chopstick, only thicker.

“A hair stick! Oooh…” I enthused, pretending to keep it, instead of handing it back to her. “I remember these from Italy long ago….”

Benedetto and I were in Firenze. Normally, I don’t take two minutes for myself, but when away from home, it seems easier. I ventured into a hair-and-jewelry type of accessories store, you know, the kind of postage-stamp-sized shop that might display items on gold-painted tree branches or something cute like that. The shopkeeper and other clerks all seemed to be wearing their hair in buns or French twists and skewered through with a hair stick. Perfect for a foggy and unseasonably cool day when one’s hair had a mind all its own.

A hair stick! Amazing. A whole new world opened to me.

hair-sticks-The shopkeeper showed me how to twist and turn the stick, going through the bun or twist, sticking the tip away from the head, then under the hair again and out the other side.

Gee, that didn’t explain it very well, did it?

Anyway, if interested, you can look up any number of videos on this very cool phenomenon called a hair stick or a hair fork (two sticks connected at the top by an arch). Believe me, it’s not at all like wearing two chopsticks as someone in a comedy movie.

Pretty fun for me to encounter this handy-dandy tool so many years later.

Have you ever tried a hair stick?

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