Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Mod cons 3: hair conditioner

Here's another thing the marketing people persuade us to buy: hair conditioner, or all-in-one shampoo with the conditioner in.

Conditioner is a kind of sticky stuff that adheres to the hair and doesn't wash out when you rinse it. It adds bulk to the hair, because it's a kind of gunk, and because it attracts or retains moisture it makes the hair less prone to frizz and a little bit glossy. Unfortunately as well as attracting moisture, it attracts dirt and smoke. And because it forms a film over the hair it prevents the natural conditioning oils that the head produces from travelling along the hair properly, so you end up with very greasy bits near the head.

So the result is that you have dirty hair with greasy tops, and so you have to wash your hair after a day or two. And because you keep washing the natural oils away the hair gets thin and dry and fragile. So you have to put conditioner on it to make it look at all decent. But then it gets greasy and dirty and full of gunk. So you have to wash it. And so on.

This is good business for the manufacturers of stuff for washing your hair and rectifying problem hair, because you always have problem hair and it gets to be more of a problem the more you use their gunk.

Once you've got into this cycle it's very difficult to break out of it. Which is doubtless how the people who market the products like it to be.

It's much better never to get into it. It's a mod con, and once your conned into using it, you'll find it hard to stop. Without it, it's easy to look good by washing your hair just once a week—probably less if you don't live in a city— no conditioner, no fancy shampoo, nothing to paste on afterwards, just the natural gloss of your own hair oils.

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