1996 Shampoo

 Why they don’t make shampoo for healthy hair?

Bitch magazine: A Feminist Response To Pop Culture. August 1996

By Caleb John Clark

The job of buying some high quality shampoo products fell on me. See, since my brother and I discovered that we were out off all forms of soap products, and both needed showers, we had flipped a coin and I had lost. My brother insisted on getting good stuff since his last experience with cheap shampoo had depressed him. I was after quality, price be damned…

In a nice hair salon soon after the fateful coin toss I ended up staring at a small Asian woman in disbelief. I was holding a $15 bottle of some extraterrestrial concoction guaranteed to fix any “dry and damaged hair”. It professed to contain such an amazing mixture of nourishing, and patented, elements that your very life would change forever. It looked like Brill cream and smelled at first of a desert nomads fantasy of a flower shop combination juice bar and pastry cafe.

“But…my hair is not really that dry or damaged, I think it’s sort of well…healthy,” I said.

“Oh, but it’s *wavy* and we recommend dry and damage control shampoo for all wavy hair,” she said with absolute academic confidence, a confidence that seemed backed up by research of the highest order that I must have missed.

I wondered, in a beauty salon is all wavy hair considered damaged? which led to the question, is all hair considered damaged?

To check this I wondered around the shelves of goop and confirmed that yes, all hair is considered damaged, and not just slightly mind you, but damaged beyond repair by any simple method such as keeping it clean, uncolored and unblowdried.

For some reason Europe seems to be particularly adept at making hair products for damaged hair. Considering that their shampoos have to keep hair looking healthy for weeks between showers, this is no surprise.

I circled back and asked my attentive saleswoman if she had any shampoo for healthy hair? She smiled at me and waited for a question her logic circuits could handle. I smiled back and reached for some cash…

As I was buying the goop recommended for my severe condition of slightly wavy, pretty healthy hair, she asked if I wanted conditioner?


She said, “oh, all guys think that, take this,” and handed me a sample with some foreign words on it.

I next headed for a local drug store and purchased a bar of soap that claimed to build an impenetrable sheath of biohazard proof chemicals that lasted for 12 hours, and was good to within 2 ft. of an angry skunk. Hey, my brother wanted quality, I was going to get him quality.

A half an hour later both my brother and I were getting dressed in air so full of different smells we felt like Thumper passed out on acid in a land fill of Cosmo magazines. The shampoo smells were out worldly and indefinable, but we guessed that they must be synthetically derived from the smell of victory. The conditioner was definitely tropical island essence mixed with the smell of the gender of your choice in mid-orgasm. The bar soap smell was in full battle mode trying to neutralize both these smells and take them over with it’s own, “smell what you want to smell, as long as it’s good” patented fragrance.

We decided that shampoo, conditioner and bar soap, like politics, is nothing but perception. We’re planning on switching back to Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Ivory Soap as soon as we get our moneys worth out of this goop.


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