Thursday, November 02, 2006

Slippery (Yet Shiny and Manageable) Slope

I spent twelve dollars yesterday. On shampoo. This is not typical behavior for me. I think this is an example of the insidious "expenses expanding with income" phenomenon, where one is living from paycheck to paycheck regardless of their amounts. But you see, this stuff is specifically for brunettes! Generally blondes and redheads get all the fun hair products: brunettes, particularly those of us with lighter shades (I'm not sure if I'm 'amber' or 'maple') generally don't get much in the way of shine enhancement, or what have you. Until now. And see, this stuff was on sale! With my Duane Reade card it was just under six dollars each for shampoo and conditioner, as opposed to nearly seven. Fourteen dollars for shampoo, now that would be outrageous. Who does that?

Okay, so I was still feeling fairly silly about it all. Even calling myself a 'brunette' feels silly. Can boys be brunettes? Why does that word seem more sissified than blonde or redhead? The word brunette makes me think of Jacklyn Smith for some reason (who?), I don't find myself picturing George Clooney. So even buying the stuff was a bit awkward. I know the cashier couldn't care less about my purchases, I'd buy condoms with nary a shudder from the same person, but hair products? FUSSY hair products? Fussy EXPENSIVE hair products? "Yes dear, I'm not even a metrosexual, I'm a big ole flaming homo."

I've been openly gay for twenty years, was never what you'd call 'macho' and this sort of thing still slows me down. I have an easier time buying eye-liner, frankly. Though I pick my neighborhood carefully for that too, I suppose.

Once the gauntlet of the cashier was passed, I was still feeling silly about the price. I've tried various shampoos over the years and I have to say I've rarely noticed much difference. Okay, the volumizing stuff (which I always have bought by mistake, needing more volume like I need another hole in my head) does seem to frizz my hair out like nobody's business. But for the most part I want my hair to feel clean and the 99 cent Suave seems to do that just fine. What could be so much better about this stuff. Then I read the label; "low-ph formula with tea leaf infusion and crushed pearls."

Goodness. Suddenly twelve dollars seemed cheap. Crushed pearls? Seriously? Like the real deal? Not the plastic ones you can buy for a dollar? Farmed no doubt, but still, real? Wow. Okay, tea leaf infusion, that starts to bug me again; I mean, I know what the word 'infusion' means, so they brewed some tea and threw some pearl powder into it. I could do that myself, if I knew where to get pearl powder. I wonder if mica flakes would work just as well?

But wait a minute, I can see how pearl powder MIGHT make my hair shiny and glossy looking, if it got left in my hair. But I rinse this stuff out after just a few minutes. Even the conditioner. Does pearl powder magically bond with one's hair so it doesn't rinse away in the shower? Is that what the 'tea infusion' is for? It claims not to add color, which is what I would expect the tea to do. It stains teeth, why wouldn't it color hair? Oh, and the label on this stuff says it's safe for 'color treated' hair. People DYE their hair brown? Really? Who does that? Blondes who are tired of being called 'dumb'? Redheads who just want to fade into the woodwork? I don't get it.

Oh yeah, grey. I forgot about that. Gotta say one thing for us 'amber to maple' types, grey doesn't show up intil there is a LOT of it. I've got more grey in my eyebrows and chest hairs than on my head.

Too much information? Where am I going with this? Oh yeah, throwing money at my hair. Okay, so nowadays I'm spending about 40 dollars on haircuts, as opposed to the 15 dollar (plus tip) I used t spend, I'm using products, most days TWO of them (one for shine, one for 'manageability, since I'm sporting a longer style and my hair is curly), which also opens up a whole new category of expense. Is the fifteen dollar 'pomade' really going to be that much better than the four dollar stuff? How can one tell? Is it all in the level of alcohol involved? Am I throwing good money after bad by using expensive 'moisturizing' shampoo and glossy stuff that fries my hair like a potato chip?

My head hurts. But for now, I'm using tea and pearls on my hair. I'll let you know how it's going. I'm sure this is all rivetting.


Kate said...

Well? Were the pearls magic? I just spent $14 on new shampoo, too... *sigh* It seems to be an epidemic.

Patrick said...

Can't say I've noticed any difference in my hair, though the day after I used it for the first time, my friend Melissa commented on how nice my hair looked. Since she also reads this blog regularly, I wondered if she was satirizing me, but I didn't ask. You? Being a platinum blonde comes with a whole set of specific hair issues, I would imagine. Are you noticing a change since your pricey shampoo purchases?