31 Oct Thank God for the hipsters
This might be poorly timed as I know Todd is working to de-hipsterfy himself (he knew hipsters weren’t where it was at before it was cool to know hipsters weren’t where it was at) but I owe a brief debt of thanks to the community of the painfully ironic.
Cliche as it sounds, one of the many, many pleasures and privileges of being a white guy is you can lock in your hairstyle when you’re 30, never change it, and no one will notice. I was actually in my 20s when I locked in what is better described as my hair cycle more than my hair style. I wore it short and vaguely-kempt until it grew out, then I wore it shaggy until I got my hair cut short. I’ve been doing this for nearly two decades.
One of the things that allowed me to keep my hair short and spiky was Brylcreem. It let me get away with not brushing my hair, or even looking in the mirror, before leaving the house. I have lived in fear of not being able to continue getting Brylcreem because, for decades I claimed to be the youngest person using it.
For those of you unfamiliar with the hair care product, it is a mixture of talcum powder and mineral oil. It smells like your grandfather in a good way — fresh and clean and sharp. It killed any possibility of dandruff by keeping my scalp well moisturized and, even as my hair got longer, allowed me to wear it carelessly without making it look like I was trying to make it look careless. Why I never saw its hipster appeal is beyond me.
I guess it was beyond Brylcreem too because the company’s attitude towards packaging hasn’t changed substantially in nearly 20 years. Further back, there has been an evolution in the look of the package every decade or so (Brylcreem is nearly 90 years old) but it’s always been forward-looking, from the art-deco designs of the 30s to the hardcore corporate look its used for the last tow decades or so. Recently, though, its gone vintage.
This is the first packaging change since I’ve started using it, and it clearly is designed to catch the hipster eye. So, thanks, hipsters, for starting to get jobs at enough of a rate that people believe you’re worth selling things to. With any luck, you’ll also have some success in killing cargo shorts, but that’s a request for a different time.
Why appeal to hipsters? Check out this commercial. As hats are making such a big comeback, it’s important to be able to combat hat hair. Brylcreem does that better than any other approach besides baldness.