Overlooked Gems of My Lifetime

Credit is given where credit is due regarding the overlooked gems of my lifetime.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Dry Look

In the early 1970s, Gillette introduced The Dry Look, a revolutionary hairspray for men who'd adopted 1960s' fashion preference for longer, natural hairstyles yet who wanted to keep that "natural," blown-dry hair looking unnaturally neat and flowing just so over their early 1970s' wide shirt collars and long sideburns. Remember the old split-screen tv commercial that ran in the early '70s? The "then" version of the man in the ad, with his Brylcreem-gobbed hair, was portrayed as downbeat and most likely impotent. The "now" version of this gentleman was cool and ready for action, ready for more action than any one man should have been able to handle! Who needed Viagra in the '70s? A full head of long, dry, yet tidy hair was all a man needed to get back on the horse. You think Andrew Stevens ever had problems in the sack? Doubtful. Variations on this commercial would ensue.

Remarkably, this ad anticipated the culturally explosive fashion battle that took place during the 1972 World Series, which pitted that the mustachioed, Dry Look-using Oakland A's against the no-facial-hair-mandated, Brylcreem-applying Cincinnati Reds. (Interestingly, Reds star Pete Rose, whose pageboy haircut always threatened the team's rule against hair over the collar, would go on to shill for The Dry Look's main competitor, Vitalis' Dry Control. The cultural implications of "wet" vs "dry" hair would continue through the decade into the early 1980s. Granted, the dry look wasn't for everybody.

Variations on the concept of attaining a "natural" state through artificial means reached new peaks during the bizarre decade that informs many of the overlooked gems of my lifetime. The product, The Dry Look, is still available today, but the instructive image of a man sporting this bold, new look is no longer part of the packaging. Recently, trends in men's hair fashions have moved from a return to the fully wet look to more of a dried wet look, commonly known as "bed head." But who knows? Today's fashion trend is tomorrow's overlooked gem. There are even reports that the dry look is coming back into fashion!


  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Greycats said…

    Wow, that's a pretty sexy hair do. I thought of you the other day. There's a newish Podcast called the Diner, it's waxes nostalgic on many, many things.

  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger javieth said…

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  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger katty said…

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