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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Color Me Shampoozled

I ran out of shampoo yesterday. That was my last bottle, so I was forced to use my wife’s sudsy hair goo this morning. I had no idea what sort of adventure I was in for.

(For the record, it was the wet, naked, drippy kind of adventure. But not the good wet, naked, drippy kind.

Just for the record.)

Now, I’m a Pert Plus man myself. I’ve been using it for years. Is it any good? I don’t know. It’s cheap, it’s quick, and it’s easy to find. Those are traits that make a painkiller good. Or a sandwich, or a remote control, or a Las Vegas hooker. Maybe it works the same with shampoo.

All I know is, when I need shampoo I reach for that big ugly green bottle, and it hasn’t failed me yet. By which I mean it hasn’t turned my hair a different color, made it smell funny, or caused it all to fall out. I have very simple needs from a head cleaner, so I like to keep head cleaners simple.

I wasn’t given that option today. My wife had a dizzying array of hair care products, and I frankly had a hard time deciphering what the hell I was dealing with.

“It’s cheap, it’s quick, and it’s easy to find. Those are traits that make a painkiller good. Or a sandwich, or a remote control, or a Las Vegas hooker. Maybe it works the same with shampoo.”

First, she had some bottle with a kangaroo on it. I don’t even know what brand it is; I didn’t make it past the wild animal to check. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t really want my hair to resemble a wild animal’s. Or to feel like it, or smell like it, or whatever the ‘roo is supposed to signify. That’s a hard and fast rule with me. So don’t come to me with any sort of gnu shampoo or yak conditioner, or ‘Gee, Your Hair Smells Like Water Buffalo’. I’m not interested.

Next up was some sort of fancy ‘salon product’. It was called something like ‘Tea Tree’ or ‘Coffee Shrub’ or ‘Hot Chocolate Bush’.

(Okay, probably not that last one. I think I was thinking of one of those Vegas hookers again. My bad.)

Anyway, I discovered two things about this particular shampoo. First, it smells like a peppermint stick wrapped in pine needles and shoved up a gingerbread cookie man’s ass. Very sharp and very strong, in a Christmastimey minty candy cane sort of way. I might like that on my plate, but not on my pate. Not outside of late December, anyway.

The second thing I discovered was the warning message. Apparently, the product in question can only be properly purchased from a licensed hair stylist. If it’s not, then the bottle could be ‘counterfeit, old, or tampered with’.

That pretty much precluded me from using it, ever. First of all, if it’s only sold by ‘stylists’, then it’s probably really expensive. I use a ‘barber’, and they don’t sell anything. Stylists have all kinds of gels and sprays and goops that they shill, and none of them come cheap. The four-ounce bottle in my hand probably cost more than my last fifteen-gallon tank of gas. Or for that matter, the car.

And besides, I myself am ‘old’, ‘tampered with’, and quite possibly ‘counterfeit’. Do I really want to use a shampoo that’s so obviously better than me? I have all sorts of household items to lord superiority over me, without some cocky shampoo getting into the mix.

That left only two bottles, a shampoo and conditioner set made by Suave. I set the conditioner aside — one kind of goop on my hair per shower, thanks — and checked the fine print on the shampoo bottle. More surprises.

First, the shampoo claimed to give best results when used with something called ‘Suave Amplifying Conditioner and Root Lifter’. I don’t claim to know anything about conditioners, but I do know this: if I want any ‘root lifting’ to happen while I’m in the shower, I’ll do it myself. Or I’ll invite my wife in to help. Or possibly one of those Vegas hookers.

(No, not that last one; I’m just kidding. Honestly, if she reads that, I won’t get my root lifted for a month. Shhh.)

The bottle also claimed that its contents were just as effective as L’oreal Matrix shampoo. I’ve never heard of L’oreal Matrix shampoo, but I did see the Matrix. If L’oreal’s got a shampoo that makes hair stand on end in slow motion and dodge bullets, then I’m all for it. Maybe it could learn judo and helicopter flying and flat wooden acting, too. That’d be cool.

But this Suave stuff didn’t do any of that; it just made my hair cleaner, and left it smelling of lilac. Also, estrogen. And shame — bitter, bitter shame.

Maybe I have the wrong idea about ‘Matrix’ shampoo. Or maybe Suave really isn’t as good. L’oreal’s commercials used to entice women ‘because you’re worth it‘. Maybe Suave is telling them, ‘you’re worth some small fraction of it, but not enough for bullet-dodging hair‘. Or maybe it’s telling me:

Hey, jackass — get off your damned duff and buy more man shampoo already.

Yeah, definitely the last thing. A man can only go so long with hair smelling like lilac. And my shampoo clock is ticking.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Color Me Shampoozled”

  1. jENNIFER says:

    Wow that was totally hysterical. I laughed at how it was an “adventure”, and how your wifes array of haircare products were dizzying!!! Oh my, and wait lets not forget this…

    “Do I really want to use a shampoo that’s so obviously better than me?”

    Too funny. You are probably great to have around.

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