Zero-cost hair-care

No-one has asked or ever will, but I'm going to share the secrets of my hair-care regimen. You might want to take notes.

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You're standing in the shower, and there's a bar of soap in your hand. Rub it into your hair for a few seconds, for enough soapy suds to 'shampoo' without the expense of shampoo.

Shampoo belongs in the same category as conditioner, mousse, and everything on the rack at a beauty salon — it's something some people might need, especially if they have delicate or fragile hair. But for most people who have hair, it's not a necessity, and maybe it's not worth the price.

Some people use shampoo because it leaves a scent, and I can't argue with that. When I was much, much younger I remember noticing a pleasant aroma from the hair of a few ladies of my acquaintance. So I shampoo with a bar of soap that's peppermint-scented, and my hair smells a little pepperminty all day long.

Maybe shampooing adds a sheen you can't get with Dial or Dove? I've never noticed that sheen, and never wanted it, but then again, writing these few paragraphs is the most time I've ever spent thinking about hair.

Shampoo fell off my shopping list in the mid-1980s, so I've gone 35+ years without it. Probably this is just a coincidence, but my father, uncle, and brothers all had serious male pattern baldness by their 40s, and I'm way past that age but my hairline has just barely begun receding. Not saying that skipping shampoo is why I'm not bald, but it's pretty obvious that skipping shampoo hasn't damaged my utterly ordinary head of hair.

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I do not own a hair-dryer. There's this concept called evaporation, by which wet things — like my hair after a shower — become dry, without human intervention. I know, right?

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Where some men use mousse, I use saliva. Yes, spit. It holds hair in place better than toxic products. It’s easy and effective and free, and you don’t even have to get your hand wet, or touch the spit at all.

First, let a little saliva accumulate between your bottom front teeth and your lower lip. Drag a comb flatly through this puddle inside your lower lip, getting the comb’s teeth very moist. Comb your hair with the wet comb, especially combing hair-areas that otherwise don’t stay in place.

Once it dries, your saliva will be invisible but your hair will be locked in place. It will neither blow askew in the breeze nor become a mop when you sneeze.

Your hair will be slightly hardened to the touch, compared to free-range hair. That may be a problem if your girlfriend runs her fingers through your gorgeous locks, but otherwise, hard hair is of no consequence, in my opinion.

My hair is straight so I’m not sure the spit method will work if you have curly hair. Try it and let me know, please. I'm also not sure whether this would work if you're a woman or have longer hair, or if you use a hair-dryer (I never have). Sure works for this old guy who lets his plain, straight hair dry in its own.

A few times I’ve found pieces of lettuce in my hair, so if you’ve recently eaten, just remember to brush your teeth first.

Tip of the hat to former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the first man I saw using the spit method. Maybe he invented it. He was in a Michael Moore documentary, not sure which one, and they filmed Wolfowitz combing his hair with his saliva. The point was to mock him, because he'd found a clever way to keep his hair perfect all day. Seemed like a cheap shot to me.

Mock the man or mock the method if you wish, but I’ve been combing my hair with spit ever since. Maybe you don’t want to do it on camera, though.



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