Monday, August 25, 2008

My Hair is Fattening

Product Review

I love to shop at Walgreens. Please don't tell the girls at Mommin' It Up! They are die-hard CVS fans. Don't get me wrong - CVS is a fine establishment. But for some reason I just get my giggles at Walgreens. It may be because I grew up on Walgreens. I can even remember as a pre-teen (I think they are called TWEEN now) eating at Wags restaurant next to Walgreens in Chesterfield Mall. Did anyone else ever eat there??? But anyhoo, CVS was a stranger to me until college, when Jewel Osco became just plain old Osco, which eventually became CVS. Walgreens has always been Walgreens. I'm a brand-loyal type of gal.


Last week Walgreens had this particular product on sale, buy one get one free:

Well, I have blond hair that has been bleached colored every 6 to 8 weeks for the last 15 years. My hair is not exactly what I'd call dried straw, but it lacks some moisture, to be sure. So, this product, which claims to restore hair which has been bleached, processed, and damaged by the sun seemed to be just what the hair doctor ordered.

When I went to Walgreens to get it, the very nice cosmetics person who helped me was black. African American. Whatever. I don't get that... if your parents came from Jamaica and you live in America, you're still called African American. But really you're not. You're Jamaican American. Same thing for Haitian Americans. And Dominican Republican Americans. Okay, off-topic. Sorry.

Again, Anyhoo...

When "teenager of color" salesgirl helped me find the hair gunk, it was on the shelf right near the relaxers and cremes. But I happily took the product and went to find the next item I needed. It took all of my strength to figure out if I should ask her, in the most racially unoffensive way, "Um, is this hair product for someone of your complexion, or someone of my complexion?" See, I am fascinated by the hair of people of color. I don't get the specifics of it. What does it feel like? How often do they wash it? How fast does it grow? Why do they need all those special products? How do they get it to do all those gravity-defying tricks.

Please don't take what I've said as anything more than simple curiosity. I am so interested in what I have no exposure to. However, I have never had the nerve to actually ask a person of color all these questions, along with the crowning glory of all questions: "Can I touch your hair?" How does a person ask questions about people of other races (ethnicities? Spell check says no-no to this word) without being called a racist? Or idiot? We are in an age where diversity is embraced but many people are still very protective of their own race. I would never want to offend anyone but I also want to know when I can feel comfortable asking these type of questions. I'm not trying to mock anyone or make anyone feel "less than"; I just have simple child-like curiosity about something I've been told that I may look at but not touch.

Anyhoo (for the third time)...

I used the product as instructed. I washed my hair and towel dried. I took a dollop of it and applied it to my hair. And by applied, I mean I slathered it all over my hair and my hands felt very greasy, like I'd just covered them in Crisco. Then, I added a little bit of water to work it up into a creamy lather. And by creamy lather, I mean the consistency of Crisco + water. Then I covered it with a shower cap. And by shower cap, I mean an old plastic Babies R Us store bag. Finally, I covered with a hot towel. And by hot towel, I mean a heating pad filled with beans. Then I sat on my bed and waited 30 minutes.

At the end of 30 minutes I went to rinse the gook out. I thought my hair would look like I worked at KFC in the kitchen. To my surprise, my hair was really soft and not greasy at all. I didn't even shampoo it, just as instructed. So, I guess you can say this product gets my seal of approval. Go out and buy it for yourself. Especially if you have dry, bleached, or damaged hair. Even if you are a plain-old European American like me.


Jen said...

Um, sorry I don't think so. That looks kinda scary to me.

Bridgett said...

This is hilarious.

When I taught in the inner city, little girls would pet my hair. "Fluffy" is the best word to describe my hair texture, and it was about waist length back then. They loved it.

I had a coworker once tell me that nothing else seemed so different or envious to her about being a white girl (as opposed to a black girl, which she was) except the concept of washing your hair in the morning and letting it air dry. And going to work.

We use occasional black products on Sophia's brittle kinky hair. "Never seen hair like that on a white girl" the lady in Sally's Beauty Supply told me. Ah well.

NewJerseyJesus said...

I never heard of this product until I read, "Running with Sissors."

Donna-Michele said...

LOL, great blog! It is odd to me that this isn’t a PC discussion, as some Scottish folks have similar texture hair and this discussion wouldn’t be a problem with or about them.

I grew up in the country and also had lots of questions about "ethnic hair" for years. I got some of mine answered when I played on a "magnet" softball team in my pre-teens. It was also very positive experience for me to be "the minority" on the team. You should have seen my dad's face when I came home in cornrows!

As an adult I moved to South Carolina and worked in an open-air market with "basket women", who identify themselves as descending from slaves with pride. Again I was one of very few Caucasians in the section. I made friends and being forthright, well, I just asked. I found that I had all the same questions that many of them and their children had about MY hair. It was great! Answers: Although their hair varies just as ours does, most needs a great deal of moisture, and products are made (like our skin lotions and conditioners) to help with dryness. Hair grows at varying speeds for all races, though if their hair is dry, it breaks more easily. Some "perm" their hair to straiten it, and makes it need more oil. The hair has more texture than ours because of kink or curls, so can be formed into more styles than strait Caucasian hair with not much more styling product than we use.

Then my hair was in a pageboy with a perm, and the children would run into my area and yell "crazy-head, crazy-head!!" and toss my mop-dew with their hands...and laugh. The joy was worth every minute of the dirty looks I received from the older 'white folks' who hated that I was 'friendly' with the black folks.

Texan Mama @ WhoPutMeInCharge said...

Whoa, Donna-Michelle, sounds like you've led an interesting hair life! Thanks for all the 411 about the hair of other ethnic peoples. I always want to learn new stuff!!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

My cousin Hillary has "the hair" in her bi-racial roots. Grant, my son, in his bi-racial roots, didn't get "the hair." I was all poised to ask my Aunt Vicki how to handle "the hair" but have never had to. I know if Hillary washes her hair every day it will turn TOTALLY brittle and break off. I know she uses TONS of products like you mention here. I know her hair is totally different than yours and mine and I know that I am no educated enough to handle it, but could if I had to.


Carol said...

I love that is called Cholesterol because it looks exactly like something scraped from a clogged artery.

But if it works it works and you scored a bargain.

If we had Walgreen's in England I'd totally buy some and try it on your say so.

American in Norway said...

So funny! Hope you don't get your butt kicked by asking all of those questions... (just totally kidding)
Dropping by via SITS Funny Blog!

Anonymous said...

I really need this for my damaged, bleached out, pink hair.
And by that I mean, if I don't take care of it soon, I will be bald.

You are SO funny! ;-)

Anonymous said...

OK, I have to comment again. This is even funnier the second time. You know I'm a white girl. But I have black friends. And by black, I mean that they have more pigment in their skin. They were born in Texas, so I don't see them as AFrican-American. In fact, I don't think they want me to call them that. I've never asked, come to think of it. I think they'd rather be called black. Or 'woman of color'. I'm not sure. I'll ask and get back to ya.

Anyhoo. After I read this, I bought some hair mayonaise at the store. Ugh. It was way too heavy for me. I'm going to try Helene's next time. But I do frequent the Black Hair care aisle quite often.

Oh, and another thing. I have been approached by at least two people of color, asking me if they could touch my hair. They were fascinated by the pinkness of it. Absolutely spellbound. Certainly you can!! :0)

Here's what I do know about my girlfriend's hair: She used to perm it a lot, to make it straight. Where you and I would perm ours to make it curly, she'd put perm solution in hers and run a comb through it to straighten it. It was damaging to her hair. She now lets it go naturally curly. These conditioners (cholesterol and mayonaise) are to combat that kind of damage. Her hair is incredibly curly and needs a bit of oil, or conditioner (not the kind we use after shampoo) to keep it from poofing up. She also uses a silicone spray with oils in it to combat dryness, which I use, as well. It works wonders.

That's about all I know.

texasholly said...

OMG. It was the third anyhoo that put me over the edge on this one. GREAT fun. And I am so relieved that your hair turned out.

Thanks so much for linking!

Debbie said...

Who would name a product cholesterol? The whole episode is too funny.