Friday, April 11, 2008

Inside the 'Fro

I imagine most of my readers do not have hair that looks like mine (and if you want to satisfy my curiosity, put your sex, race, and percentage of baldness in the comments section). But even if you do, you know that curly-headed folks are like snowflakes, each one different, so one product does not work for all of us. And some products don’t work for any of us. Like mustard for example. Arguably does nothing for your tresses and sometimes harms your reputation.

Let’s take a journey through my bathroom pantry…

L.A. Looks

L.A. Gear shoes, L.A. Law the TV drama...this was the era for Los Angeles. This was also my only option as a kid to tame what my mother lovingly referred to as, "The rat’s nest”. Taming meant sitting sideways on a closed toilet while she raked it into the same ponytail from age 6 to 13. Pencils and spiny burrs would get lodged in this bushy 'do (love on the play ground), and I learned that if you stick your finger into the hole of a tightly wrapped hair band it's a window into the world of a proctologist.

Miss Jessie’s

As a sophisticated woman who pays for her own haircuts, I decided to abandon the unkempt look. I researched a salon that got rave reviews and made curly hair care sound like a science. Only catch: the salon had been closed down. I guess science doesn’t rule, Bill Nye. But their products remained, like a rocking horse after an orphanage bombing in a cheesy, made-for-TV ‘Nam flashback. I liked the smell and started telling people about it, but over time, the reviews soured. Apparently this stuff gets flaky. I didn’t use it consistently enough to notice. I had fallen for some one else…

Carol’s Daughter

I was in love. There is a kiosk by my house, they let you take all the free samples you want, and Jada Pinkett Smith tells me it will make my hair grow.

The stuff is derived from natural ingredients, and apparently, ingredients that come from the Earth are a lot more expensive than ingredients that are bad for the environment. I had to stop buying them in order to pay my rent. While looking for cheaper alternatives, I met a girl at Ricky’s who had hair that looked very similar to mine. She said she stopped using CD products because her hair smelled like nuts. No comment.

But assuming she meant food, that is the gimmick most people are going for right now. Everything for curly hair is called pudding, custard, mayonnaise and even whipped cream. I saw a product called Curly Milkshake, which sounds more like a Midwestern locker room prank. There's also cholesterol, butter cream, and smoothies. So if your hair won't act right, you can always eat it.

Blended Beauty

This stuff is king. All-natural, works like a charm, not too heavy and smells great. Well, it smells like baby spit-up to me, which I think is great (quiet, biological clock!) But maybe that's because I keep my stuff past the expiration date. You have to keep these items in the fridge, which means it's cold on your head in the morning. It also comes from Canada. So you can see why I'm having a hard time promoting it. But when I get my hands on it (birthday in one month), I am going to hold it and cradle it and teach it to say "MAMA".

Tubs are frequently used by the way. Someone in marketing decided we like to dip our hands in and get giant blobs of this stuff. Then perhaps rub it all over the walls.


This is the most recent brand I like (but there are so many more left to try! Maybe I'll save it for the yogi awards). It smells like yogurt, feels like snot, and so far has given me the most motion when I shake it, as opposed to a Marge Simpson.

I am assuming Diana Saez is the only one left reading this. She understands me! Have to run do the Living Room! I hope this was informative to people who ask if they can touch my hair. Don't worry, I don't think that's racist. It's creepy.


fantasy weather league said...

I feel ya, Abbi- my hair was a ridiculously curly waist-length disaster zone until I graduated high school.

Only two products have ever loved me as much as I loved them- Paul Mitchell's Styling Serum was the first, and when that got too pricey, a nice glop of...

wait for it...

Luberderm lotion!

(a tip straight from the pages of the briefly awesome Sassy magazine, purportedly used by Jane Pratt herself)

Abbi said...

Lubriderm? I thought that was for alligators.

Thanks for the tips. More to try and buy and cry. For the readers, her hair is now cropped short. I think we all have something to learn by that.

Jerell said...

Male/African American/50%(?)
My sisters have hair gel that smell like strawberries.

Abbi said...

Thank you for keeping it real J.

DiSa said...

I am so late to this - but I was in Narnia!

OMG, the products we have been through. You're making me really want to try that Canadian shit. Serious. I mean, it's Canadian - it has to be gentle!

I remember the L.A. Looks gel - it was the harshest shit ever and made my hair super crispy.

Did you ever use that L'Oreal Springing Curls Mousse? That was my jam for years.

Abbi said...

No but I have fluffed with many a mousse. You have to be attentive or you get mousse globs. The part you forgot to rub in.

The concept is so cool. They even came out with a cheap perfume mousse for your skin called Chloe I wore in the 1900s. They also whip yogurt to look like mousse! AND Sylvia Brown told me one day cars are going to run on mousse. Or maybe moose. Moose will be the transportation of the future.