There’s nothing like nailing a retro style from head to toe to make you feel like you’re going places in life. You’d think the feeling should be that of going backwards, but somehow to me it feels like I’m a time traveller who’s plunged forward 45 years into the future.
It’s not easy to pull off, though. In fact, getting a pompadour to sit just so, with a perfect balance of impeccable structure and rebellious insouciance, is darned near as much of an achievement as mastering time travel. Then there’s finding a hair salon close to Melbourne that’s willing to accommodate my preference for using old-fashioned products.
I like to bring my own gel, you see, made especially for me by a chemist friend – one of the few people I’ve managed to convince of the greater staying power of 70s hair product formulations. Most of the salons these days have a policy of only using their own products, and most of these all-organic, non-allergenic formulations just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to nailing the perfect jelly roll.
I mean, I get it: you’re an Aveda hair salon and you’re going to use Aveda products, and they’re great for contemporary hairstyles. But try pulling off anything that even whiffs of mid-century, aside from flowing hippie tresses, and you’ll quickly realise the value of something stronger. Sure, these old-school gels and pomades and sprays might be bad for the environment and even worse for your scalp, but coolness comes at a price. That’s the way it’s always been.
Look, I don’t style my hair like this every day – if I did, I’d never get anything done. So you can stop with the judgemental attitude. I’m just a guy trying to experience the delights of time travel in a world where, at present, time machines don’t exist. If that makes me image-obsessed, then sue me. Besides, it’s not like these bright candy coloured hair dyes all the kids are into these days aren’t just as artificial, costly and time consuming to maintain.