"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, October 26, 2009

the emperor's new hairspray

I'm trying out a new hairspray.

They didn't have my regular (read: cheap) kind, so I had to find another. I found one that was not only a decent price, but also "flexible hold". This is important to me.

In the 80's, I needed spray-on concrete, for the ever-enlarging, gravity-defying, teased-to-distraction hairstyles. But in today's chic world, we scoff at such silliness. Today, we cheer for natural looks - you know, absolutely "naturally" straight, with the slightest of perfectly-placed "natural" flips, and of course, in a variety of "natural" colours. (Plus my hairdresser and I engage in high-level negotiations regarding the length of hair at the front. She wants me to look gorgeous. I want to see out of both eyes.)

But I digress. No more spray-on concrete for me. It's all "natural," baby, and that means - "flexible hold" hairspray. Which oddly, is not that easy to find.

So I found a new one. It's SO flexible, the label said, that it sprays on with a dry mist, leaving you with none of the stickiness or stiffness that characterizes other hairsprays. Just perfect, natural, flexible hold - no side effects.

I've been using it for a couple of weeks now. But here's the thing. Imagine it with me. Your hair is perfect, the best it is going to be all day. You stand in front of the mirror, and carefully reach for the hairspray, without allowing a single strand to move from its place. You hold up the bottle, and spray. But it goes on dry. Not a hint of moisture. And it's flexible. Not a hint of stiffness. In fact, the only evidence that you've sprayed anything at all, is the smell wafting up your nose (competing with the smell of your shampoo, deoderant, perfume and mouthwash - we're smell-a-holics, you know).

Are you with me? And here's the question: How do you know it's there? What if the makers of this product have SO THOROUGHLY SCAMMED me, that I'm actually spraying scented air around my head, and it's doing FAT NOTHING, and I'm PAYING for it???

What if ... *gasp* ... the emperor has no clothes??!!!


vjc said...

Whew - that's a toughie. Finding a new hair product I mean. Especially the ones that let us look "natural". My "natural" takes every de-frizz product on the market plus a couple of hair clips. And a day with low humidity. Too bad I didn't realize in the 80s that I was SO capable of achieving big hair. I was busy trying to look like (then) Lady Di. I would have had more luck trying to have hair like Aretha Franklin.

But scent is the real biggie. I once dropped a product entirely because they used coconut scent. Phew!! So if you like the smell, I don't think you've been scammed. The emperor at least has a bikini on.

jarod said...

its all in the film....spray it on a piece of transparency (yeah cause we all have some of that sitting around at home) and you will see the film left behind.

That there film has all the chemical proof you need. Then again, a mirror after 6 hours might do the same thing. If it's the same, it must work. If you've had to go around maintaining a minimum distance from people and avoiding wind to keep the look, maybe it's not living up to the hype.....

Sheepdog said...

The mirror is a good idea.

If the hold in the hair is the same as when she used another product, maybe she never needed the other product, either?

Anonymous said...


The point is, does it do the job??

Does your style 'stay' (hold)?
Does it have 'fluidity' (flexible)?

I don't have a chunk of transparency at home.

I ain't spraying it on a mirror, which then adds to my things-to-clean list.

If you're reasonably happy with your hair at the end of the day, celebrate!

chRistine said...

i used to think, "if i wanted my hair to look natural, i wouldn't be putting product in it..." and then stopped buying hairspray altogether.

Patti said...

Oh, I should have clarified.

When I said natural, I should have put it in quotes, like this - "natural".

Like my hair colour.