January 13, 2005

Mayo in my hair and nowhere to go

I stood in the center of my kitchen staring into the plastic bowl I’d just filled with mayonnaise. Tonight, I was going to slather this bowl of beige, greasy slime all over my head. It was hardly a thought that filled me with anticipation.

In fact, a wild mixture of feelings surged through me - dread, disgust and disbelief. The strong mayo smell didn’t help matters either. Heck, I didn’t even like the taste of mayo!

But I promised myself I’d do this and do it I will. I grabbed dollops of mayo and gingerly smoothed it over my dry hair. I held my breath, wondering who on God’s green earth actually had the time to dream up such a ridiculous home treatment for hair conditioning?

I pictured this guy in his kitchen fixing himself a tuna mayo sandwich. He’s scooping up the mayo when his wife reminds him to buy some conditioner from the store. He groans. "But there’s soccer on TV," he says. Then, he looks at the jar of mayo and comes up with a brilliant idea - why not give her the mayo? It’s got butter and eggs and stuff, all the things you need to oil up the hair. Plus, it’s natural too.

That was probably how this mayo treatment came about. Interesting story but I still didn’t see how this could possibly work.

I finished applying the grimy substance all over my hair and ran over to the kitchen shelf to grab a roll of plastic wrap. According to the book, I was supposed to wrap my head up in it.

It was difficult. I must have plastered three to four hastily ripped off pieces in order to cover my entire head (some might point out that it was because I had an extraordinarily large head).

With the plastic loosely in place, I filled a tub with hot water and immersed a cotton towel in it. I then wrapped the towel over the plastic. Cringing, I looked at myself in the mirror - my T-shirt was soaked with greasy water and my head all bundled up. I looked like a lobotomy patient. I was sure I’d never looked stupider (several people might disagree with me at this point). I was glad no one else was home. Thank goodness for social life.

The instructions said to leave the concoction on for 20 minutes. Good. I was in no hurry to unwrap the layers. Who knew what lurked underneath?

I tried watching Baywatch - it was the episode where all the girls pranced around in skimpy swimsuits, pretending to rescue drowning people - but I couldn’t stop wondering what was going on in my towel-wrapped head. Was my scalp going to start itching? Would my hair transform into a sickly yellow hue? Would I break out in rashes? Or worse, what if all my hair fell out?

Sick with worry, I waited in agony for the clock to strike 7:30. It finally did. I lunged for the bathroom, armed with a truckload of shampoos and store-bought conditioners. I was all ready to get that smelly gunk out of my hair.

When I finally stepped out of the shower, I breathed a sigh of relief - my hair was intact, it wasn’t yellow and my head hadn’t exploded. Phew.

I fingered my hair curiously. Nothing happened. It was the same as it had always been. It wasn’t destroyed but it certainly didn’t feel "as smooth as if your hair were threads of pure silk", as claimed in the book.

I’m now sitting in my bedroom, desperately feeling my hair and waiting for some trace of softness to emerge. When I felt nothing, I grabbed a pen and a paper and settled down to write a letter to the author of the book ‘Wonderful Ways To Transform Your Hair With Things Around Your Kitchen & Garden’, telling her exactly what I thought of her book. I also told her what I would do with her book once I finished my letter (I was going to build a bonfire, stick a marshmallow stick through it and roast it to ashes).

Today, I learned three things: never put products that are meant to be used as salad dressing on your head, never believe everything you read, and never ever run out of shampoo!


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