You've seen the ads everywhere; on highway hoardings, newspapers, trains, buses, artfully and deviously distributed along with feminists, I mean, Femina; and sneakily shoved into your house though the gap below the doors. Right from the uber public shop windows to the uber comforting privacy of our bathrooms; shampoos have infiltrated our lives at every level. Sinister.
The standard shampoo commercial is pretty much to the satisfaction of CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. Usually:
A scene with two girls, both wearing light pink or baby blue (or is it baby pink and light blue?) or the brand colours. One girl is sitting with her hair left loose like an angered Phoolan Devi, complaining about split-ends and knots to her friend who MUST have hair that resembles a well-polished shoe. The friend plays the good Samaritan, gives her a bottle of *insert product name* shampoo (Zooming into the brand label is a must!). Cut to an extremely animated and graphic scene where the virtues of the product are heralded and shown in their entire blooming glory. Another cut scene where a drop of the shampoo rolls down the Whining Bitch's hair, thus placing a smile on her face. End the scene with a highly believable bounce-and-lash routine. End the monstrous advert. with a shot of the two girls bobbing their heads joyfully with hair a shade if black that can be achieved only by a lot of post-production work.
Some variants (like Men's shampoo) will involve the Boy flirting with Girl, Girl rejecting him, Boy using shampoo, and the Girl smelling his hair deeply and smiling coyly. Cupid strikes. Yech.
I mean, why can't I get a decent shampoo that really delivers what it claims to? I don't expect my hair to have a life of it's own, like Shakira's hips, have a comb slide down my hair, struggling for a grip, or yank banisters off. Nor do I have the insatiable urge to be a modern day Rapunzel. But what I do expect is some improvement in my chemically tortured locks.
Before use - Messy, Oily.
After use - Messy, Wet.
After a while - Messy, Oily.
You name it, I've tried it. The gorgeously scented and perfumed (albeit highly useless and ineffective) L'Oreal to each of the coloured variants of Sunsilk. The cheap American ones at dollar stores that have lander, ambrosia, watermelon, mango, coconut, rose, lily, honey, salt, chili, and pepper extracts to the God-awful Chinese ones with dubious ingredients. Yet, never has my hair come remotely close to anything seen on TV.
From what I've seen, all the brands claim to magically transform my worried hair into a wave of rippling and oh-so-silky locks along with efficiently eliminating any dandruff or pesky lice. (Whether you have them in the first place is another story.)
I'm sure every woman uses one of the greatest cons of our time. Yet, to this day, I have never come across anyone who's hair would fit the bill. Blah. The last time I checked, Priety Zinta wasn't spared either (She promotes Head & Shoulders I think). Companies gloat over '91% improvement in 80% of the women, and easily tacking an almost invisible Conditions Apply note at the base of the bottle.When I'm done with this article, I'll probably dash into the nearest well-stocked chemist and ogle at the plethora of shampoos on display - for virtually any hair type imaginable - and blow away whatever little cash I have on them (praying fervently that I don't lose all my hair one fine day, imagine running my hand through it - and yanking out clumps. Heh) and the follow-ups - leave in conditioners and the like - and once again fall a sucker in the Holy Cause of finding the Marvel Shampoo.