My Hair Struggles, or: ‘The Best Things In Life are at Walgreens’ (Part II)

posted in: Day In The Life 20
It’s clay, it’s clay!! Image: Wikipedia.


I told you on Saturday about my shameful hair/scalp secret and I told you I’d share about my big breakthrough solution the very next day.


First, I was eaten by arduous tasks. Then it was urgent to implore us all to be good citizen consumers (there is still time to be one, by the way!) These things had to be done. I had no idea when I posted that first post that it would all go down like this and I truly apologize for leaving you in the lurch. But it’s time to get down to business and I feel that the second part of this post ought to begin like the first one did. With a confession.

Over the past 18 months or so, I have spent an embarrassing amount of money in the pursuit of remedying my wimpier-than-ever hair. I don’t know how much I’ve spent, exactly; that’s a good thing. Consider that the last shampy I bought at Sephora cost 40 dollars. Forty dollars. For a shampoo! Not all of the products I’ve tried cost that much but … a lot of them did. I’m telling you, I was desperate.

And one of them should’ve worked! The fancy salt scrub that promised to rebalance and restore? Yeah, right. I looked like a frizzball and the big chunks of salt fell on my toes in the shower and hurt me. The bee pollen-whatever that was supposed to balance and bring my natural pH whatever to the whatever? Perhaps no bees were hurt in the making of the product, but no Mary Fons hair was improved, either. Thanks a lot, bees.

Some of you are thinking I should try a dry shampoo, maybe a decent hairspray. Oh, I tried ’em, all right. And they seemed to make things worse. Even fance brand dry shampoos would inevitably leave some crazy film on my hair that I felt put me back a few steps overall.

What a nightmare, all of it. I even bought a vitamin supplement! To take with my iron and my calcium! I took it for almost two months! No change. Zero. I was a wimp as wimpy-haired as ever.

So then the other night I’m at Walgreens waiting for a prescription. Out the window, fat, wet snowflakes were coming down. I saw my reflection. Sure enough, my hair was dying — it was 6 o’clock, after all, and I can’t have hair that lasts more than seven freakin’ hours or so without looking pathetic. I sighed audibly and thought, “Aw, hell, maybe there’s a shampoo at dumb Walgreen’s that’ll help me. Might as well look.”

I was at a big Walgreen’s in the Loop (State Street and Monroe, I believe), so there was a lot of shampoo on offer. Too many to navigate without help, I decided, so I pulled out my phone to and tapped in, “good shampoo oily scalp walgreen’s.”

And that’s when my life in hair changed.

That night, I discovered L’Oreal’s “Extraordinary Clay” line of haircare products, specifically made “for oily roots and dry ends.” The bottles were a bilious green, but I did not care that night, nor do I care now. I bought each of the components: the shampoo, the conditioner, the hair mask. I got home, put it all near the shower, and went to bed.

The next day, I grumpily went about my morning ablutions. Honestly, I had zero faith that the stuff would work. (Why would it? The super-fance stuff sure didn’t.) But I did the hair mask, anyway. It felt weird. I looked like a Kewpie doll. Whatever. I grumbled through my mask time, though I had to admit … I had never tried a hair mask. Maybe it would do something. Hm. Then I did my shower thing and used the shampoo and conditioner.

And after I combed and blow-dried my head, my hair was silky. It was not limp. Friends, my hair was better.

Like, way, way better. I hated taking so long to get back to you on all this, but really, it’s good thing; I’ve been able to use the Extraordinary Clay stuff for a few more days and now can give you a better review.* I’ve used the stuff twice, now — the mask just once — and I’m telling you:  My hair is fluffy. Let me repeat that:


That’s pretty exciting. I’ve got the fluff!

Maybe the Extraordinary Clay “system” will cease to fluff me after awhile. But for now, I’m telling you: This stuff is awesome. And it sure ain’t 40 dollars a bottle. So I’m in a good mood. I’m smiling like a dork. The best things in life are at Walgreen’s.

*NOTE: L’Oreal is not paying me in money, products, or anything else to say any of this, but THEY ABSOLUTELY SHOULD.