When I was younger, I was immediately taken by O Brother, Where Art Thou. One of my favorite adaptations, Coen films, and movies in general. The music really killed it for me. Up until then, I had never really listened to any kind of Americana; be it blues, country, bluegrass, what have you. That movie changed my life, musically speaking. However, the other bit that caught me was Everett’s undying love for his hair.
After that, I immediately needed pomade. I was, and still am, a huge Clooney fan, so emulation was a must. I spoke to my hairdresser and she plopped a tub of American Crew in my hand, and away I went. For years, that was my go to. It was only until much later that I realized, “holy shit, that was the Thirties! There’s no way they had a washable product back then!” So, with my trusty internets and a feeling of superiority (I was in college, out of the house, A MAN), I got to researching.
In my surfing, I learned that most old timey products were essentially petroleum jelly, oils, and a bit of something for the pleasing aroma, and were the same products used in the Zuko era. They’re still made by companies today, and can most often be found in the ethnic sections of most stores. So I headed down to the store, on foot, in the cold, determined to get me some.
Once there, a bright red can immediately popped. I grabbed it. Popped the lid off. The pleasing aroma hit me. A dark, waxy, spiced scent wafted. Yes. This was it.
I RAN back to campus, and immediately applied it. Hmm. This is sticky. And pull-y. This is not what I remembered. Hmm. Oh well, I’ll go wash it off. Uh oh. It’s not coming out. Let’s repeat. Oh shit. It’s still in there! What the hell is going on?
Yes, I panicked. I flew into town this time, and ran right into the salon, and lamented my hair. The hair dresser said, “Honey, that stuff never comes out. It’s quicker to buzz it.” FML. Well, with a heavy heart, I left the shop. There was no way I was going to pay hairdresser prices for a buzz cut, so I moped to the town barber. And this, my friends, is where the story gets good.
I walk in. Barber nods to the chair. I hop in. “Jesus, son. What did you do to yourself?” I explained what I did, why I did it, and why I was there. He commenced to laugh. Asked if I wanted to keep my hair or buzz it. I obviously wanted to keep it. He told me to go buy some dishwashing detergent, “y’know, that blue gunk they pour on animals in oil spills”, and pour some of that on my head, let it sit for a bit, and proceed to wash. He let me know it won’t all come out at once, “…but it should knock most of that shit out.” He reminisced about similar products he used when he was my age, and how hard it was then to remove. He said he used bar laundry soap for the task. He also gave me tips on how to apply it (warm up the can on a hot plate, really work it in your hands, make damn sure that you start at the root and go up, etc.).
I don’t remember his name. I never walked in his shop again. But to this day, I’ll be grateful for that guy. And to this day, I still use that product in the red can. Dax Wave & Groom. A great hair pomade. To those who regularly use traditional oil based pomade, I know you’ve had a can at some point. Who hasn’t? Well, ain’t that a thing. Some of you haven’t? Well now, here’s what you do. Go to my delightful Instagram page to find the details. To those of you who haven’t yet tried an oil based product, but were considering it, give this a go. You won’t be disappointed. If you want to skip the contest, check out Dax and buy direct. Good luck, and I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.