This is a Job for Mythbusters

I’m running my fingers through my hair and trying to decide if I’ve been a victim of a drive-by marketing campaign.

At least three times over the last month I have seen the same “helpful hint.”  I’ve seen it online and in a woman-focused magazine.  (I tend to read magazines at the gym at 5:00 a.m. while on the elliptical machine… so not sure what magazine.)

The helpful hint is this: “Condition your hair before you wash it and your hair will be softer.” That’s right. Instead of shampoo, rinse, repeat, condition — now the cycle goes condition, shampoo, rinse repeat, condition.  Bingo, twice as much conditioner used up every wash.  Something about penetrating the cuticle of the hair and softening it.

I’m trying to decide if my thick, curly, almost wire-like hair got any benefit from this or if I’ve been had by a marketing team intent on reaping baking soda-like pay-offs.

I’m sure you’ve heard the story.  It’s a marketing classic.  When women “stopped” (or cut back) on their home baking, baking soda sales plummeted.  The marketing team had to come up with a way to sell more so they looked at other uses.  The biggest winner — the box of baking soda in the fridge to deodorize it.  A whole box in one fell swoop — none of this prissy teaspoon at a time foolishness.  Kudos to the marketing team for that one.  I hoped they enjoyed their bonuses.  (Although, I always wondered why people didn’t just clean the spoiled food out of the refrigerator.)

So what do you think?  Is “condition before” the product of a marketing strategy (“get them to use more conditioner every day”) or is there anything to it?   I can’t figure out if it actually works to soften my hair.  There doesn’t seem to be an appreciable difference but then, where are Jamie, Adam, Tory, Kari and Grant (the Mythbusters team) when you need them?

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