Category: Grooming

The Secrets Behind ‘The Science Bit’ – Hair Care Exposed

September 22, 2009 | By | 4 Comments


The hair care industry has got us all by the short and curlies. But The Nurse discovers that there’s much less to shampoo and conditioners than you might think.

You don’t get many luxuries in prison. The Nurse has often bemoaned the lack of decent shampoo. Most of the time her hair looks like a bird’s nest. 

So she was cheered to discover that almost all the ingredients in shampoo have bugger all to do with hair care. They’re mostly there to improve the appearance, smell, texture and shelf life of the stuff itself.

It’s no surprise that hair care TV adverts are actually bollocks. But The Nurse was intrigued to find out just how much of hair products’ contents are superfluous.

The detergent element, usually between 5-20% of a shampoo, cleans your hair. The rest of the stuff you’re paying for is:

  • loads of water 
  • bubble boosters, because detergent doesn’t foam on its own 
  • oils to counteract the detergent’s drying effect
  • emulsifiers to make the oil mix with the water
  • emulsion stabilisers to hold the whole thing together
  • a water soluble preservative
  • an oil soluble preservative
  • thickeners to create texture
  • colourings
  • UV stabilisers to stop the colour fading
  • opacifiers to make it creamy or opalescent
  • fragrances
  • reducing agents to stop shampoo from fading your hair dye

Next time you see a TV ad with some silly bint fart-arsing around in a flower filled field, think twice before shelling out on expensive shampoo. You might as well choose the cheapest.

And the science bit? That’s bollocks too. Not only are hair care manufacturers’ claims completely unsupported by science. They’re also unregulated. In the words of one expert, they are “free to use just about anything in cosmetics and toiletries.”  

The solution? Try Cosmetics Unmasked: Your family guide to safe cosmetics and allergy-free cosmetics. Why bother? You’ll save money and reduce the amount of chemical shit you expose your poor self to every day. 

The Nurse is off to experiment with home made shampoo. Not on herself, of course. She’ll kidnap a fellow inmate… she’s worth it.

Catastrophic eyebrows plague TV reality shows

January 23, 2009 | By | 8 Comments

Which is best... with or without eyebrows?!

The Nurse’s TV viewing pleasure is ruined by an outbreak of catastrophic eyebrow plucking.

Who’d have imagined that eyebrows could cause such consternation? A complete lack of eyebrows, as you can see,  makes a person look like an alien. But bad eyebrows are even more disturbing. 

Attempting to enjoy Masterchef this week, The Nurse found herself driven to distraction by contestants’ eyebrows. One would-be chef had plucked hers into such a high arch of surprise that The Nurse could only assume she’d sat on something extremely pointy.  The night before some misguided lady had plucked hers from above – a complete no-no, with disturbingly Neanderthal results. And Monday night’s classics included a pair with a wide, stubbly gap in the middle of each. Bizarre.

In the olden days we had Jackie magazine. It taught us how to talk to boys, how to navigate teenager-hood with a modicum of success and – crucially – how to pluck our eyebrows without ending up looking mentally ill.

The Nurse dreams of a time when she can watch telly in peace without being menaced by eyebrow-related aesthetic disappointments.  



Back to Work Looking and Smelling Good

January 17, 2008 | By

Calming and Moisturising Pet Shampoo from Paul MitchellThe holiday season is well and truly over and we’re all back at work trying hard to motivate ourselves for another year of toil and trouble. My colleagues here at college are still talking about the events that took place at our staff Christmas nosh up when certain people (not mentioning any names) enjoyed a little too much ‘Christmas Spirit’ and found themselves locked in an amorous embrace that required a large bucket of cold water to prompt disentanglement.

Like many of you I am now using or attempting to use the various toiletries and underwear items that were so generously donated by various friends and family to this needy old college lecturer. I have a huge collection of outsize underpants donated by a caring relative who clearly thinks I am far larger in the pant department than I actually am. I also have a selection of Paul Mitchell mens grooming products kindly given to me by my partner and my sister who appear to be suggesting that I am in need of a little care and attention.

And this year our pets also came in for some generosity as our dog, Dave, was given some Calming, Moisturising Pet Shampoo and our cats (Molly and Alice) both received some Ear and Eye wipes, all from the Paul Mitchell range of pet care products. The wipes are great for cleanig the cats eyes but so far we haven’t managed to test the pet shampoo on Dave as he has never been too keen on bathing. I shall probably use it myself as it smells really good and I could do with a bit of calming and moisturising myself.