Dare To Have Hair


June 06, 1993|By DAVE BARRY


No doubt you've seen the TV commercials for hair-in-a-spray-can. In it, balding men's heads are treated with what looks like spray paint. You've wanted to order this product, but you never got around to it for one reason or another.

That's where I come in. At the suggestion of alert reader Tom Guyot, I called the toll-free number and told the operator I wanted a can of New Hair. She gave me my color options, and I chose Medium Brown. The can cost $19.95, plus $9.95 to cover shipping and the extra salary they have to pay the operators for not laughing directly into the phone.

Several weeks later I received my New Hair. It looks like a can of spray paint, except the label says "as seen on TV," and features "before" and "after" pictures. The "before" picture shows a man's head, viewed from above and behind; the man has a bald spot about the size of a fried egg. The "after" picture shows what appears to be the same man's head after it has been dipped in roofing tar. It's black and featureless.

The label says New Hair is a "Hair Volume Enhancer with Color" that "works for men and women" who have "fine and/or thinning hair" or "small to medium large bald spots." (It also says: "No Animal Testing," which is good, although frankly you don't see animals that are concerned about balding.)

Accompanying the can of New Hair was a plastic spray bottle of Hair Finishing Sealer. You spray it on your New Hair to keep it from coming off.

I decided to first test New Hair on myself, although I have a large quantity of hair. This is not necessarily good, because my hair has a severe behavioral disorder. Nobody can control it. It's extremely straight and wants to lie down flat in a certain genetically fixed pattern. Sometimes I go to a licensed hair stylist, who uses powerful chemicals to batter my hair into submission, just long enough for me to pay her, at which point everybody in the hair salon dives to the floor and -- sproing -- my hair springs violently back into its natural style, which is identical to the style worn by tornado-stricken wheat fields.

But I do have a head of hair, which is why I decided to test New Hair on my forearms. I have virtually zero forearm hair, and I have long felt insecure about this, as a male.

So I sprayed the New Hair on both forearms, and the results were amazing. Within seconds my forearms were transformed from looking naked to looking as though I had not washed them in 30 years. They were covered with what appeared to be reddish-brown dirt. It was not appealing.

I was able to brush the New Hair right off, because I had not sealed my forearms.

Next I tested the New Hair on the head of my co-worker John Dorschner, who was an ideal subject because (1) the top of his head is down to a few wisps, and (2) being a professional journalist, he has no self-respect. A crowd of onlookers gathered to watch and poke fun. John's scalp looked like my forearms, and his wisps had turned a color usually associated with traffic cones.

John chose not to have his head sealed.

The consensus was that, although New Hair was clearly a fine product as seen on TV, it perhaps was not suitable for use on actual humans. So I decided to test it on Ray Bubel's car. Ray is another co-worker of mine, and he drives the worst-maintained car in North America. It looks like an armpit bacteria that grew to 975,000,000 times its normal size and somehow acquired a Florida license plate.

I sprayed the remainder of the New Hair on the roof and hood of Ray's car in an artistic orangeish-brown pattern. I called the next day to see what happened when he drove home.

"Did you feel more confident?" I asked. "Did you feel that your car was more attractive to other people such as women?"

"I don't know," Ray said. "It was dark."

So we do not have conclusive results on this product. Probably the best thing for you to do is to try it for yourself. Call now! Operators are standing by! The number is 1-800-STUPID.

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