I was born. That was the beginning of my hair problems. A boy! And that was the end of my hair problems! Was it? Wish it were true. But think again! Hair problems by no means are the sole domain of the women. We men have our fair share of hair problems too. Just that ‘it’s different’. I wish instead of Dove, it was Maggie Tomato ketchup who were sponsoring this contest. I would have definitely got brownie points and maybe even a T-shirt for using their catch phrase ‘it’s different’. Talking of tomato ketchup I wonder what would happen if one were to use tomato ketchup to wash one’s hair. I remember reading a story by Enid Blyton where one Mr. Meddle uses glue to wash his hair. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to use Fevicol to wash one’s hair, eh? Fevicol’s strong bond will probably keep the hair on the head for the entire life time. For that is men’s greatest hair problem - keeping their hair on their head intact.
In school, we have kids fighting for the first rank and then there are kids struggling to pass. Same is the case with women and men. Women are struggling to keep their hair silky, smooth and shiny. Men are struggling to just keep some hair on their heads. Can you say one is a greater struggle than the other? In this context, I wonder why Dove is not targeting men. Even fairness cream companies are coming up with men’s fairness cream. Possibly because they have branded themselves as a too feminine product I guess. I would then recommend they come up with an alternate 'Falcon' range of products targeting men as well. 'Falcon' sounds cool and masculine, eh? Anyways the purpose of this post is not to discuss product strategies. I have done enough of that in marketing courses at MBA. My purpose here is to share 2 stories related to hair – one from my childhood and one about my dear old grandfather.
It is a curse of being born a man to have to go under the scissor and razor every 3 months. Since childhood I used to hate my visits to the saloon. But there is no way one can stall the inevitable. Once the hair grows beyond a point the school authorities start notifying your parents. I have carried this aversion to haircuts to adulthood and have had more than one boss at work tell me it is time I had a haircut. This story is of one such occasion at school where the teacher had written a note to my parents in my diary to have my hair cut. I wanted to avoid it and my head started to work furiously to come up with a solution. And I soon hit upon an out of the box solution to my problem. Later I came to know I was not the first one to have hit upon this solution. The pirates in the Asterix comics had already discovered and patented this solution. In order to prevent Asterix and Obelix from drowning their ship, the pirates would drown their ship themselves. In order to prevent the barber from laying his filthy hands on my hair I decided to cut my hair myself.
We were having craft class that day. So I had a scissor handy. Instead of working it on the colored paper I decided to work it on my hair. The girl sitting next to me had been so focused on her work she had not seen what I was up to. When she lifted up her head she was surprised to see hair lying all around her. She noticed the hair falling from my head and she got scared that I was suffering from some instant hair loss malady. Her concern moved her to immediately report the matter to the teacher. The teacher was of course not so gullible. She had often tried to impress upon us the values of self-reliance and diligence. But I had turned out to be too proactive even for her taste. I was hauled to the headmistress’ cabin. Mother was called. By the time mother was done with me, it was time for father to come home. Father, mother, teacher headmistress all did their best to ensure any non-conformist tendencies were totally stamped out of me. This is where independent thinking lands you. So much for all the talk of out of the box thinking and stuff! Mere words! Everyone wants only mindless drones that do what they are told.
Anyways let us leave aside my tale of woe and move on to my grandfather. Grandfather was of course old as most grandfathers are. He had lost most of his hair. All the more the reason to love the few that remained! But even bald people are not spared the ordeal of visits to the saloon. The few hairs that remain have to be kept trimmed. During the time of this story, one of my uncles was working in Hyderabad and gramps was staying with him. Gramps did not know Telugu but he usually got by with the few Hindi words he knew.
One fine day he landed up at the saloon and told the barber ‘Kuch Karo’. In Hindi, Kuch means less. So gramps naturally meant ‘trim my hair a little’. But gramps was not aware that ‘Kuch Karo’ actually meant ‘do something’. The barber assumed gramps was being indifferent and was giving him the option to do whatever he liked. It is a human tendency when given an option to take the easiest path available. If one is interested in pursuing this topic further, I suggest a poem ‘The Road not taken’ by Robert Frost. But coming back to the barber, he found it much easier to swipe gramps head clean than trim hair by hair. And so ended all my gramps’ hair problems in a way he least expected. Poor gramps used to lament about being swindled of all his hair for years, even after most of the lost hair grew back.
So those were my hairy tales. Apparently dove is also jumping into the e-bandwagon and offering an e-solution for all your hair problems. You can click this link to check out their hair problem solution app.
Picture Credit : http://www.imalcogroup.com/Professional_Barber_Scissors.htm