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Mine Hair
“You’ll have a tough time, Charlie, keepin’ all those gals away.” That’s what the old Wildroot Cream Oil jingle claimed, anyway. I did use Wildroot as a lad, and I suppose that promise might have struck some deep chord in my young psyche, but I don’t think that’s why I used it to groom my hair.

Nor did I choose Wildroot because its spokesman was the slicked-down Fearless Fosdick, “hero of every red-blooded American boy.” I was certainly a big fan of Fosdick’s work as a parody of Dick Tracy, but I didn’t need a cartoon character to tell me how to get my look on. No, I used Wildroot Cream Oil because that was my father’s favored brand.

Later, I moved to butchwax (for the fence at the top of my forehead), then to Yardley English Lavender Brilliantine when my butch cut evolved into a flattop-and-fenders. When I switched to the standard side-part look (first on the right side, later on the left), I turned to Vitalis Hair Tonic for Men, and eventually (to my everlasting shame) Brylcreem. They all worked after a fashion, and they all smelled funny.

Finally, I abandoned grooming products entirely, and that choice stood for nearly forty years. Then I hit the Bernie Sanders wall, and my hair stopped taking orders. The world of hair care, meanwhile, had passed me by. All I could find out there was a product called Groom & Clean. It didn’t say what it was, exactly, only that it offered ”greaseless hair control,” and that was exactly the kind of old-school hair maintenance I was looking for. Tonic, pomade, cream — it’s all the same to me as long my hair stays put and I don’t look like Ed Grimley.

Those Groom & Clean tubes last a long time, though, and when I finally finished the last one, I couldn’t find another. So today I stood in the Hair Care aisle at CVS, searching for a familiar, uh, substance. “Surf paste” did not really speak to me, nor did the prospect of becoming “glued” with a “blasting freeze spray.” “Thickening styling cream” seemed likely to take my aging coif a bridge too far, as did “air-whipped densifying foam,” “volume inject mousse,” and “spiking glue.” This must be the stuff that keeps all those modern bad haircuts in place.

I will say that NordicBliss, an organic frizz control “serum” composed of argan, coconut, jojoba, almond, avocado, and orange oils, was a very seductive option, but I ended up going with CVS/Pharmacy brand Styling Gel. It had the plainest container and promised non-sticky “sport action hold.” It’s the closest thing to old-school they had, and it seems to work fine, despite the funny smell.

I have since discovered that Wildroot Cream Oil is still available online. I could still buy a bottle of Vitalis there, too, and experience anew the wonders of the Vitalis “60-second workout.” Even Brylcreem is still alive on the internet should I ever get a hankerin’ for that foul colloid.

But no. You can’t go home again, even to retrieve your father’s hair cream. Keeping gals away was never much of an issue anyway, and now it’s completely off the table. So I will simply say that Fearless Fosdick’s ‘do will always gleam undiminished in my memory, but never again on my head.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon