My beauty products keep getting discontinued and it has to stop. I’ve been left most recently by my favorite Nars cream blush, my eyelash curler, and most traumatically, by my Shiseido mascara.
You get burned enough times and you start taking preventative measures. Makeup is one thing, but my hair is another. Given how serious I am about my hair, I have long stockpiled hair products. I buy cans of my hairspray whenever it goes on sale. I had a couple weeks of satisfying styling with a mousse about a year ago and I started stockpiling that, even though our history together was brief and untested.
But I never bothered stockpiling my Garnier Surf Hair. For starters, it was always available. They sold it everywhere, even at Safeway. You know your hair product has entered the pantheon when they offer it at Safeway. And it was cheap. It was $3.60 with my Rite Aid 20% discount. To my mind, something that cheap couldn’t be worth the effort of discontinuing. For $3.60, the stuff gave my hair texture and volume without stickiness or shine. It was perfect. And I took it for granted.
I should have seen the signs. I couldn’t find it the last couple times I was at Walgreens, but I figured it was a stocking issue. But then it happened again, at QFC. When it happened at my Rite-Aid, I stood in the aisle with my heart racing and braced my arm against the shelf. Breathe, I told myself. Surely it was a fluke. I pushed the red button near the razor blades and waited, pacing the aisle, for someone to come to my rescue. When the salesperson appeared, I told myself to act normal.
“Excuse me. Do you have any Garnier Surf Hair in the back? I’d like to buy eight jars.” The salesperson went to look, and then came back empty-handed to tell me that actually, she hadn’t seen the product in a while. Holy Mother. How had I gotten HERE? I considered asking her to open the razor blade display so I could put myself out of my misery, then and there. I impatiently waited for her to finish talking and then I raced to my car. Then I drove to Target, which is like 20 minutes from my house. If they didn’t have my Garnier at Target for $3.88, I would know that the idyll was well and truly over.
Well, they didn’t have it. I raided my drawers at home and at the gym and took inventory of my rations. The situation was dire, as I’d not bought any Garnier in months. I was down to one container, empty but for the paste stuck in the lid. Soon, I found myself thinking about Garnier Surf Hair around the clock. I’d use ever-smaller quantities of the stuff in an attempt to make it last, which resulted in bad styling that seemed an omen of the hair struggles to come. At dinners and cocktail parties, I’d find my attention drifting from conversation, as I wondered if I could concoct my own paste out of other, inferior styling products. At home, I hid the Garnier underneath the sink, so Tom couldn’t use any. I tamped down the twinges of guilt by telling myself that his hair looked essentially the same with product as it did without. But I was lying to myself. Because Garnier Surf Hair improves everyone’s hair.
I hate everyone and everything associated with the demise of Garnier Surf Paste. I hate Garnier, who is offering a new formulation (“Power Putty”—how original) that is twice as expensive. I hate the friends who tell me I’ll find another hair product, and then recommend the product they’ve been using, which costs $22 per tiny jar. I hate the soulless pigdogs on eBay who see these things coming and stockpile discontinued product to sell it at obscene markups. I support the idea of a capitalist society, but not as it applies to me in this particular instance. Finally, I am annoyed at Tom, who, as a fellow user, is partially responsible for the global depletion of a most valuable resource.
But the most bitter of recriminations, I reserve for myself. Because I knew this could happen, and failed to act with either purpose or conviction. When I see my cans of stockpiled hairspray and stupid mousse I want to go back and do it all again. The mousse makes me particularly angry, because I haven’t used mousse (mousse!) in almost a year.
It’s sad to have hoarded hair products. But it’s even sadder to discover you’ve hoarded the wrong ones.