The Hair Club for (Mad) Men: Your Hair Helmet & You.
February 8, 2008 2:14 PM   Subscribe

The Hair Club for (Mad) Men: Your Hair Helmet & You.

I’m enjoying Gabriel Byrne's performance in HBO's In Treatment but I'm continually distracted by his role in The Brylcreem Boys.

Brylcreem is one of those anachronisms that resonates for me. I've learned that this product enabled the hair helmets in the era depicted by AMC’s Mad Men.

I'm curious about any personal experiences with this product. If applied, would my hair emit a "quaint" odor? If applied, would I have to worry about my hair leaving a lasting impression on anything it touched?
posted by meifool to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes and yes (anti-macassar required)
posted by A189Nut at 2:24 PM on February 8, 2008

There's some user reviews here where it seems to get the thumbs up from most people.

My dad used to use Morgan's Pomade to grease back his hair. Morgan's stank (like Old Spice) and left greasy marks everywhere. I recall my mum always trying to get him to use Brylcreem because it was reputed to not smell vile or leave marks, but he refused.
posted by essexjan at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2008

If applied, would my hair emit a "quaint" odor?

Yes. In the immortal words of Ulysses Everett McGill: "I like the smell of my hair treatment; the pleasing odor is half the point."

If applied, would I have to worry about my hair leaving a lasting impression on anything it touched?

Yes. See also: Pomade and many other "modern" hair products.
posted by The World Famous at 2:30 PM on February 8, 2008

I use it! (I know! Shut up!) I have a tragic case of Celtic hair, and it's the only thing that can tame it.

Your hair will be greasy, but not Jheri curl greasy -- more "whoa, dude, wash your hair once in awhile" greasy. And it will smell nice.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:52 PM on February 8, 2008

I used to use a small bit of this on my hair after blowdrying it when that was what you did with your hair in high school. If you use a "normal" amount of it it both smells and is sticky. If you like the smell, that's good news. If you don't, that's less good. I felt like I had to wash it off before I got near my pillow, for example. It's a more interesting look when it's the look everyone is sporting, otherwise you're the smelly greasy one.
posted by jessamyn at 3:11 PM on February 8, 2008

My Dad used Brylcreem, my Mom used dippity do. Me, I like my hair completely straight, and not shiny. O tempora, o mores.
posted by seawallrunner at 4:05 PM on February 8, 2008

I've been looking for an acceptable substitute for Byrlcreem. Mr Mimi looks awful cute with it in his hair but ZOMG THE SMELL. It smells like the creepy pharmacist when I was a kid AND my evil grandfather. The "red" tube is tolerable but the "blue" tube is nasty.

So anyway, he's on the "red" tube now and a little bit of the stuff will sort of fluff out rakishly, a little more and you can go full-on Don Draper. Mmm.
posted by mimi at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2008

It bears repeating: a little dab'll do ya. Just a bit of Brylcreem and the smell is subtle and not unpleasant, and your hair (well, MY hair. I don't know about your hair) does nice things. A LOT of Brylcreem and I smell like perfumed ass and look like A perfumed ass.

Unless you are Cary Grant, brevity is the soul of Brylcreem.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:37 PM on February 8, 2008

I use Murray's pomade, as does my boyfriend. He uses it to slick back his hair old-school, I use it to keep the short spiky mop from getting frizzy. Concurring that with proper dosage, you needn't be a weird-smelling slimeball.
posted by desuetude at 6:43 PM on February 8, 2008

I recently converted from product antipathy to pomade use at the suggestion of my (bald, hmmmm) barber. I smelled and felt the textures of the lot before settling on Royal Crown. Didn't like the Brylcreem smell, especially at the concentrations required to tame my cowlicks.

As with all pomades, grease based pomades, too much will leave you with helmet head and a propensity for leaving grease marks.
posted by Seamus at 12:26 AM on February 9, 2008

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