While on set in the financial district with Lucky Magazine on one of the first of an unwitting many scorching, eminently humid days that would intermediately follow, I learned The Secret. It was early May and we were working on a fashion feature that had absolutely nothing to do with hair – much less, galvanizing frizz. In a series of dedicated, professional click-click-clicks that were obviously not on par with the adjudicators’ idea of what The Money Shot should look like, I wondered if there was a cure for a syndrome I’d grown to refer to as a cold case of the Cory Matthews. Don’t get me wrong here–it’s not that I don’t like Ben Savage, it’s just that I don’t want to look like the prepubescent version of his Boy Meets World persona.
You know how it goes, right? Try as you might to domiciliate a head of slightly kinky, short Jewish hair while the air is hot, bothered and moist and if you listen hard enough, you may actually hear the gods R.O.T.F. – or rather, in the sky – Laughing at your futile efforts. And like a doctor may finally concede to throw in the stethoscope while trying to treat hiccups, I was all but ready to surrender defeat, pack up my sneakers and head home, the seeds of my labor unplanted and therefore incapable of producing fruit.
But it was in the most vulnerable moment of my flocculent poodle’s misbehavior that the apex of what is arguably the most compelling part of working on set with a team (that sense of camaraderie that manifests haphazardly,) revealed itself.
“Does anyone have a Bounce dryer sheet?” One hairstylist asked.
I know–why would anyone have those fine smelling sheets of portable, paper laundry, right? Furthermore, what would we do with them? This was about my hair, damnit.
The laundry accoutrement has become notorious for its ability to defeat static and so the product has become common place, right up there next to binder clips and safety pins, in any run-of-the-mill styling kit, which, of course, meant that every stylist and assistant stylist had at least one box on hand. The man behind the coiffure was handed an entire box of dryer sheets at which point he began partitioning chunks of my hair and combing through them with the dryer sheet in his hand, functioning as a screen.
Four, five, six strokes deep and just like that, the poodle was tranquilized and I was certifiably elated. Is this how Kate Middleton felt when Prince William proposed?
But it was so simple. If dryer sheets were champions of static on clothes–why wouldn’t they champion frizz on hair, too? When asked where he picked up the little trick, he offered credit to his wife, who’d taught him to use the sheets on clients several years prior. This meant he’d been harboring the informational gem for just about as long as I’d been living in the shadow of static fluff. That’s all forgotten now, though. I smell like a bouquet of fresh laundry for heaven’s sake.