punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

My sad, oily hair

Okay, one of the strange genetic hangovers from my people is greasy skin. When you come from a indigenous people who are used to blinding Arctic cold, one of the adaptations you get is oily skin. A lot of people who spend time in the bitter cold will tell you that your face and lips dry out real quick, and will freeze without some layer of protection, and that there are over-the-counter salves for you wimpy southern folk. But to us, who ate a LOT of oily cold water fish like salmon, we simply ooze skin protection.

Now I live so far south, glaciers would have been a distant memory, or a month-long trek up to what would later become Massachusetts. And so my oily skin, which gave hundreds of generations of seafaring ancestors the protection from a face cracked like glazing on a stale Krispy Kreme, is nothing more than a bane that turned puberty into a macabre diorama of teenaged angst spelled out in a twisted visual form of braille by Jackson Pollock. I could go on about how acne was the flagship product of my pariah-like affairs, but I fear I am preaching to the choir.

No, I will speak of a side effect that long outlasted the ruins of my face that left deep pockmarks along the chin line like bomb craters on the shores of the Bikini Islands. I shall speak of the limp mop of hair that perches upon my head with the finesse and attractiveness of a dead crab.

My hair used to be so rich with natural petroleum, I paid for part of my schooling due to a grant made possible by Exxon research. I used to wake up early in the morning, at 7am, and scrub my hair until it resembled dried straw. But by lunchtime, it stuck to my head in an attempt to be a walking ad for Brylcreem.

A little dab'll do ya!

By the time the shadows grew long, the saturation point of my hair had reached critical, and the oil started to ooze down my face, happily covering my skin to protect me from the winter storms that must surely come soon. I might have to go cross-country skiing to kill a seal! You never know.

I used to be able to scrape my face with a credit card and have enough skin oil to coat the bottom of a petri dish. Not that I ever did that... much Now my face oils have calmed down with age to the point I can actually claim benefits in cold weather. Add the fact I have 80 year old relatives with hardly any wrinkles, partially because there's nowhere for the skin to pucker in this rich petroleum deposits. But my hair is still producing its own gravy, albeit a lot less than it did as a teenaged butter helmet. And so I can't use normal shampoo or conditioner.

If I use normal shampoo and conditioner, a morning wash results in a nighttime of sleeping in a mechanic's rag for a pillowcase. So I try and get shampoo for oily hair. It's out there, really. But apparently in the last few years, only in salons.

Does anyone else out there have oily hair? How do you buy shampoo? If I don't go to some specialty hair place, I now have to deal with "normal hair" shampoo which is passable for daylight hours. But yesterday, I was at Giant Food, and among about 4 shelves full of hair cleaning products, almost 90% of them were for dry hair, split ends hair, and stuff to "volumize" and "moisturize."

I once had to use "moisturizing" shampoo. For a week. I might as well have used linseed oil and axle grease for all the good it did me. Roll me in chopped nuts and I could have been a caramel apple.

The rest of the aisle was for "normal hair," which given its neighbors, was pushed to the lower left corners of the display like redheaded stepchildren. I practically had to lie on the floor and peer behind some empty cardboard displays to get some Suave shampoo and conditioner "for normal hair" like I usually fetch cat toys from under the couch.

Today, the shampoo gave out around 5pm. Usually in cases like these, I skip the conditioner because it accelerates the melting process like storing candles in the attic. In Arizona. But when the air is THIS dry, I spend part of the morning turning doorknobs into static electricity generators. A few locks of hair will separate and splay out like one of those fiber-optic flashlights you see at raves. Then around noon, I can tousle my locks and mix in some of the self-oiling strands to make my hair behave. But by the time I got to the metro on the rush hour home, my hair started to feel like it was trapping otters and seabirds until Greenpeace sends some volunteers in rubber gloves out to clean the trapped wildlife in plastic bins and dishwashing detergent.

Help! I hate spending $20 on a bottle of shampoo, too. I used to use Suave for oily hair, FOHO, and some other shampoos that come with their own blotter paper. Anyone have any ideas? Anyone else have grease traps for hair?
Tags: oily hair, shampoo
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