Monday, March 18, 2013

When Nirvana is Just a Bottle Away


Google Images


There was a time when we lived happily ever after with frizz, dandruff and split ends. A weekly dose of egg shampoo with a lot of bathroom singing and we were good for a week. The first three days were bouncy bliss while the remaining were a mousy mess, but we were okay with it.

One fine day someone somewhere decided that for their company to sell more shampoos they need to make their prospective consumers feel bad about their hair. It started with the hunt for models with luscious hair. They were made to wear turtle neck sweaters in black, before their head and shoulder were doused with chalk powder. The gorgeous girl with shiny mane was then instructed to turn around, notice the Milky Way galaxy on her shoulders and gasp with horror. Her boyfriend, her legion of admirers, colleagues mirrored her disgust and refused to talk to her till she started using Cynical antidandruff shampoo.

The dawn of realization hit millions of men and women worldwide. The white dusty thing, the giver of itchy scalps was evil and it was time to exterminate it. We set about it with a vengeance and shed much hair at the altar of dandruff-free existence. Rather have less hair than more dandruff and wear a black turtle neck with my head held up high.

Shampoo companies were getting ambitious. After all they had tasted blood. So they started packaging themselves as the nectar of joy. The banisher of frizz, split-ends, falling hair and the provider of happiness self-esteem and blow-dried shiny hair, enriched with vitamins.

Pretty girls endowed with abundant hair on their scalps were now being snapped up by advertising firms only to have their hair tousled, distressed, dried for the “before look”. Freed from the tyranny of turtle necks, she was allowed to wear vests, hold her tresses like it was a piece of dirty rag she had picked up from the floor, roll her eyes in disgust and then run into the nearest shower stall to work up a mountain of lather on her scalp. She would then go running to the fields, swaying her miraculously cured, smoothened and shiny hair. The look that took 2 hours and a battery of “hair-experts” to achieve! Too bad most of us were led to believe that it could be ours for a few hundred rupees.


Suddenly we were feeling ashamed of what we were born with – straight hair wanted curls, curls wanted to be rebonded, black wanted to go copper, short wanted extensions! We discovered keratin, PH balance, Pro Vitamin B5, verbena, lavender. One look at the all new “Sea of Spa Black mud shampoo Enriched with Obliphica Oil” on the pharmacist shelf and our mop of hair would start doing the Samba. We were all convinced that the exoticness of the ingredients stuffed in our shampoo was directly proportional to bliss.

Our hair follicles now had the choice to soak their roots in hibiscus enriched oils, wash it off with a residue free shampoo and use a devilishly deep conditioner to keep it glossy.

A legion of women were now more keen to enrich their tresses rather than their lives! And why not, joy was now packaged in pretty looking jars and bottles.

Not just shampoo; we have an array of delectable options to tighten, brighten, smoothen and plump our skins ravaged by stress and aging.

It’s so funny that there are people who actually believe in the dictum of eating well, sleeping right and thinking positive to look and feel beautiful. In this age of instant gratification who has time for the slow and tedious process of healing? 

 


77 comments:

  1. Oh you're right! My grandma still washes her hair with a bathing soap and it still remains dense and healthy enough. Using soap on our scalp would be the most horrifying thing for our generation!

    We're slaved by the shampoos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have nothing against shampoos. Upset that marketing strategies play on our insecurities.

      Delete
    2. In fact Purba they generate insecurities.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an irony that I just did a promotional post for Sunsilk :P
    I remember the days when shampoo was once-a-week thing until some brands promoted to use their products everyday for better, bouncy and glossy hair. Those were simpler days...
    Now, it is a battle in itself to chose the right brand and then chose the right product from the range of a particular brand. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And keep changing your shampoo every three months to avoid PH buildup. I'm no longer sure what to believe.

      Delete
  4. Trust the advertising companies to make us feel bad about everything. Unless you are using oil with MUFA, PUFA or Olive oil, you are doomed to die of a heart attack. And unless you use anti aging cream with SPF 30, you will look like an eighty year old. And how we walk straight into the net.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And then studies come out exposing all their claims as pure bullshit.
      Time we stopped paying heed to this crap.

      Delete
  5. I recall the joke from Bharat Dabholkar's famous play "Bottoms Up" that with in spite of using many shampoos ,we are yet to go bald !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That day is not too far away :-)

      Delete
  6. If we had your way, millions of scientists toiling in those million-dollar research labs making hair products won't have a job! Tut, tut, tut.
    If not for them, at least think of IndiBlogger. What would they do without Shampoos!
    :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehehe...haven't we all had enough of hair-raising contests :p

      Delete
  7. The crux of this post for me was "feeling ashamed of what we were born with." This is told to us in so many ways, and businesses do not waste a moment to capitalize on our shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shame on us for falling for that trap time and again. We are but incorrigible fools.

      Delete
  8. Fully agree. Wish valuable resources could be spent on something more useful. Interesting my latest post was on the same topic, but a different angle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, read it and commented :-)

      Delete
  9. That's most of the marketing MBAs out of work :) What for do you think the Government is setting up an IIM in every village other than to create people who can sell more shampoos :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shampoos, soaps, oils, toothpastes - so many enticing choices!

      Delete
  10. Is this is a dig at the frequent hair care contests that do their rounds in the blogger circles? :D

    /One look at the all new “Sea of Spa Black mud shampoo Enriched with Obliphica Oil” on the pharmacist shelf and our mop of hair would start doing the Samba/ - classic, are they spur of the moment expressions that come naturally or do you work on them? You're awesomesauce, Madame :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. So true...I got samples of two different shampoo from two different company for review...Hope some one covers up the cost of hair weaving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please, don't write a post on it.

      Delete
  12. Hey,
    Informative post. U've become a brand ambassador for Shampoo. Hatke post:)

    Vishal
    www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They will hate me for writing this post :-)

      Delete
  13. Well written ..It not only applies to shampoos but also to to soaps, shoes, clothes, travel, TV channels.
    We are living in the world of instant gratification. Loved the line
    In this age of instant gratification who has time for the slow and tedious process of healing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am much against our dependence on anti-bacterial wipes. It's making us prone to allergies.

      Delete
  14. I remember the days of Halo shampoo and Clinic Plus which were all we had to rescue our tresses and we were happy with them.

    Even now, I don't believe in all the hair treatments as any chemical will only harm and not do anything great.

    Lazy Pineapple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know women with gorgeous manes who went nearly bald because of a treatment gone awry.

      Delete
  15. How well we managed to complicate our lives with a galore of choices with very little end result! This is a reflection of getting carried away by gimmicks of advertising and marketing and not understanding what is really good!Good one Purba:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I love saying - so much easier to complicate our lives and so tough to simplify it.

      Delete
  16. You are so right... i remember the egg shampoo Halo and the weekly bath in which mom used to either put dahi in hairs or egg.... and now I am picking off the shelves Tresemme and Sunsilk straight and what not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bottle of yellow shampoo. When they introduced the green apple one, I was so excited!

      Delete
  17. U r so verry right!!! In fact u reminded me of my hostel days when girls would painstakingly buy mehndi soak it in awla & coffee water. Mind you, all this in an iron kadhai!!! and then let the thing soak for 1-2 days before applying it on their head!!! From Multani mitti to shikakai everything was tried with patience!!! Gone are those days!!! Now we have umpteen serums to get that look in 2 mins!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! sounds like a ritual.
      My personal belief is healthy eating and living is the key to glowing skin and hair :-)

      Delete
  18. All these adverts about these fancy shampoos and the nutrients they have simply confuse me .. I prefer the simpler days of halo shampoo, oil baths and dahi :P

    ReplyDelete
  19. awesome awesome post...too much science shoved down our throats and too much desire.... and some of us get sucked into the maya of hairy bliss!!!!


    people have forgotten the good old champi and go for the exotic moroccan oil treatment..voh bhi toh champi hai bhai!!!!....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha... Even I haven't heard of Moroccan oil treatments!

      Delete
  20. Correct...people who existed before the shampoo dint seem to have any problem :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They had better hair than us.

      Delete
  21. I have got a sample from Dove a few days back....I don't want to write a post on it now :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ouch! my definition of right and wrong is not universal :-)

      Delete
  22. Wow! You hit it with a bang! Recently I went for haircut and the hair dresser announced that my hair were very rough on the ends. He enquired which conditioner I used. I meekly confessed, none. You had to see the horror writ across his face to believe it. I felt I belonged to some other planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I started listening to my hairdresser, I'd be a very depressed lady :D

      Delete
  23. Couldn't agree more with you on this. Very well thought and written. As always a worthy and interesting post indeed!

    ektakhetan.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh damn! did you have to write this awesome post when some blogging forums are currently filled with some drooling, mouth watering, greed pumping.. hair products related contests ( that i took part too lol ) eerrr... drooling, mouthwatering, greed pumping as in the prizes :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yesh!

      But please don't let me stop you from participating in those contests :-)

      Delete
    2. naah ..nothing can deter my competitive spirits :p its at its peak..lol

      Delete
  25. Being a newbie in the blogging circuit, I can already see why your blog is so popular! You have the guts to stand up and call a spade a spade when the rest of the blogging world proclaims that the spade is actually a club!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should be essence of your blog - never afraid to speak your mind. You may not be right all the time, but at least you are being true to yourself!

      Delete
  26. How else would they be successful selling their products if not by playing on the insecurities or to the greed of humans? Unfortunately for us, that's the mantra for every business out there be it selling products like shampoos or outsourcing projects. Even retirement homes and education aren't spared! And to publicly proclaim through a blowhorn that hey, we solve for your inconveniences too - no longer smelly dahi, no longer soaking in kadhai, no longer waiting for 1/2 hr, and we go drooling, all puppy eyed! Sigh, have switched to naturals this year but I get a feeling that in my case, the damage is already done!

    Cheers,
    Deepa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am appalled by the "Funeral ad" that is regularly aired on Australian television.

      We seemed to have become puppets with others deciding what's good for us.

      Delete
  27. Loved this post Purba Ray !
    U would be aware of the fact that the hair displayed in ads also is not real !
    WE ARE TOTALLY LURED!
    my bro who had an assignment as part of MBA did a ad and in that it seems they show black satin curtains as if its hair like they show some paint or molten liquid as cadbury silk !! Ads are so glossy that I lost belief. I once wrote a post naming a potion as milk n wine :P . Remembered that. It was also a part of hairy sagas and contests :) Neverthless those sheekha kai meera or sambrani days were awesome. Only sunday was head bath day. Even now I bathe oops I wash my head ;) only once or twice a week. Many do it dialy ...Actually i feel there wud be more hairfall if hair is exposed to shampoos and chemicals so many times and straightening--- good lord ....I feel jealous wen i see straightened hair but by the end of the year when it becomes broom stick I dont regret my decision !!!

    how ever we try Life cant be so glossy as shiny as it actually doesnt exist. Who knows how Diana penty's actual hair at home looks and who knows which hero is going bald :)

    Loved the post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a con, isn't it? The K challenge ad is another one that comes to mind. The ad gurus are the Pied Piper of Hamlen and we are the mice following them with our eyes closed.

      Delete
  28. It is so glossy and shiny and please ignore the typos :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Seriously tired of shampoos, serums, oils and the damned contests that make us keep reading multiple posts extolling the benefits of something. I remember having participated in one shampoo contest as well. But now I am completely put off by contests and cheap marketing tactics. It is indeed common sense to be happy with what one has. But then trying new things is so much fun :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a clever ploy - organize a contest and have hundreds of bloggers sing your praises for free.

      Delete
  30. Lovely,lovely post!I have yet to come across that cascade of satiny tresses on any shoulders in real life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But we always knew their claims were bullshit!

      Delete
  31. During my school and college days once in a week (usually sundays), there was a habit of applying combination of 3 oils heated together (castor oil, coconut and a little sesame oil mixed and heated) on my hair and scalp. After sitting for few minutes, I used to clean my hair from shika kai powder. This is a very traditional way of cleaning not only head/hair but was told that this is a way to cool our body from head to foot. This was followed religiously by all family members. After joining work, those advertisements had deeply impacted me as well. I had started to feel that the traditional way of weekly cleaning was not enough to impress men. So I started to just use coconut oil before taking head bath twice a week and used Garnier's shampoo and conditioner. It really impressed me. My hair started to become more and more sleeky. I also started to use hair dryer. Earlier to this, I used to stand out in sun and dry my hair. :-)
    These days I dont use oil anymore and I use L'oreal both shampoo and conditioner. My life was never the same.
    But thanks for taking me to my childhood days of sitting and watching television with oil applied on hair and waiting for the bath room to be free to grab my chance to get my hair washed :-) :-p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frankly, I have nothing against shampoos and serums. In our fast paced lives, who has time for such complicated routines! But I am dead against the tall claims these products make and the gullible ones falling for it.

      Delete
    2. True, I too do not believe in all those super shiny results which are guaranteed. that's the reason i stick to only one and it seems this has worked well for me.

      Delete
  32. Hehehe...LOL...I was and am a character of your post :) Head bath is what it was called and happened only on Sundays :)I graduated from applying yogurt to eggs and transformed to Vodka, Jalapenos and the latest I knew two days back is avocado with aloevera and olive oil...I still crazily perform everything ...hope I will grow of it soon..(closing my eyes n giggling)..half my closet is filled with black sweaters and shirts :P trying to stay out of the chalk powder though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine the naughty twinkle in your eyes while you were composing this reply.

      Mwah!

      Delete
  33. oh no! You mean my organic, humanely tested, egg-protein enriched, collagen fortified shampoo that I bought with hundreds of dollars is indeed NOT a miracle worker?!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's a miracle that you bought it :p

      Delete
  34. Eh...who cares? All this bathing and washing is just a marketing gimmick. They make you feel guilty...as if being dirty is a bad thing. Huh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, killing others with your body odor is!

      Delete
  35. I remember washing my hair with bathing soap and they were as thick and shiny as they are right now. I am the living proof that shampoos are not worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your sabun should be so proud of you!

      Delete
  36. Seriously! There was a time when my Mom would hand me a bottle of random local shampoo and i would wash my hair once a week and be carefree and leasnt bothered how lack luster my hair was. But my hair was thick! And now I wash it twice a week with the best shampoo in the market which promises me straight hair if i use their conditioner along with their purple shampoo. And the hibiscus oil from dove...Now I have highly shiny hair but half the hair I used to have. Damn it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I have more hair clogging the drain than I have on my scalp.

      Delete
  37. The tool of marketing was invented to earn profits not create awareness, one must remember that (Yoda speak :D).

    ReplyDelete

Psst... let me know what you are thinking.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...