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Behind the curtain

Maddie Hanna | Monday, January 24, 2005

It was just a low-key Saturday afternoon, your average roommate excursion to Super Target, interrupted only by a frantic phone call from a friend in St. Ed’s.

“Hey, do you mind picking something up for me? I really need Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner for normal to oily hair.”

The main point of this: my friend is a guy. As my roommate dashed back into the store to pick up the essential items, I couldn’t help but sit there laughing in the car and wondering what had happened to Mr. 2-in-1 Pert Plus, Mr. One-Bar-of-Soap. Does he really exist? Has the “average Joe” been replaced by the metrosexual?

Determined to find my mountain man, I took a few inside tours, scouring the shower caddies of guys that I knew and guys that I didn’t. I delved into a vast array of shampoos, conditioners, body washes and poufs.

Yes, poufs. Also known as loofahs, or in the words of one St. Ed’s freshman, “my scrunchie.”

This same freshman told me that he also uses Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, but two different scents – Rainforest Showers and Fruit Fusions. When I asked if this mix clashed, he said, “I’ve had only positive responses.”

In another hanging shower organizer, I found Garnier Fructis shampoo, Old Spice Body Wash [yes, it really does exist] and Clearasil Foaming Facial Cleanser. The next group of products I examined contained L’Oreal Styling Gel, Nivea for Men face wash (apparently, the standard bar of soap just won’t do) and again, the Old Spice Body Wash.

And although some might be skeptical, Sheer Blonde shampoo “really works,” according to another St. Ed’s man.

“Scent is a very important thing,” an O’Neill freshman said. He alternates between two shampoos – L’Oreal Vive Daily Thickening and Head and Shoulders – because he likes the L’Oreal better, but is running out. In order to preserve the precious cleanser and optimally maintain his tresses, he uses the L’Oreal sparingly, especially on weekends.

But although I’ve listed multiple products that smack of femininity and definitely break the mold of the male stereotype, I also found that guys are still, well, guys. My questions resulted in the following self-explanatory quotes:

“I just use a bar of soap, except when my girlfriend visits. Then I use body wash.”

“I have no idea what kind of shampoo I use, just that it’s in big bottles.”

“I use antiseptic soap. But body wash before parties when I want to smell nice for the ladies.”

So after this extensive and painstaking research, I have come to the conclusion that while trends may come and go, some things will never change – namely, the male’s simplified approach towards hygiene. But I do believe that guys should have the right to use whatever products they choose, be it scented body wash or exfoliating loofahs, without being ostracized by society.

After all, why should girls get to have all the fun?