Part the First: Justification
She actually kidnapped me.
This, despite the fact that I was already married to her and contractually obligated to accompany her to most events.*
It was a certain signature birthday of mine, and she literally blindfolded me, threw me in the passenger seat of the car for a 5-hour drive. When we got to Tybee Island, four of my best friends were waiting in a condo. Jenn had packed me a bag for the four-day weekend that she’d arranged, and she thought of almost everything.
You should have seen the look I got when, then next morning, I asked Meg and Eric if they had some gel or wax for hair. I might’ve actually used the word “product.” A few years later, these two would dabble with “no ‘poo,” so I was moussing up the wrong tree. But you gotta understand: I have incredibly fine hair, and if I don’t add something to it — Oil? Dapper Dan? Spray starch? — it’s all in my face, grunge-band style.
I survived the weekend, thanks to the thickening power of humid, salt-water air. But now, four years later, it’s another crisis. See, Jenn’s declared 2015 as the war against plastics. And while it’s easy enough to hand a straw back to the waitress and say, “I don’t need this,” it was a little less easy to figure out how to get some more, ahem, product, when my little tub o’ hair cream ran out.
Luckily, I found a loophole. Plastic we already had on-hand didn’t count in Jenn’s War of Plastic Aggression. It was actually better to find a second use for it than throw it in the recycling bin.
So I kept my little hair-cream tub, I did. And I did a little research on homemade pomade. Ordered up a big block of beeswax from organic beekeepers culling the rest of the ingredients from stuff we had in the cabinets. It was a short list:
- Coconut oil
- Lemon essential oil
Wait! Is that seriously all it would take to make a hair thickener-upperer?
Part the Second: Cauldrons bubble
Making it was as simple as cutting off a few tablespoons of the wax, melting it in a double boiler, adding about three parts of coconut oil and just a couple drops of the lemon oil.
(Bonus hack: If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make one from an upside down steamer inside a big pot. Just fill the pot with water until it’s over the steamer and put a smaller pot inside. That’s a trick I’ve been using for years. Purists will point out there are three hot-spots on the boiler, where the tiny pegs from the steamer touch the smaller pot, but those are pretty wee, and this saves you needing a bunch of space-hogging pots that you’ll use oncet or twicet a year.)
I can’t express how frickin’ simple this is. Melt wax, add oils, stir, let cool slightly, then pour into the secondhand plastic tub.
Technically, I had to re-melt my first batch three times until I got the coconut oil percentage properly high enough. When it cooled after the first two tries, the wax was too hard to soften with my fingers. Next time, I might use a little olive oil, with its lower melting point, to soften up the potion. But once I got the balance right, it wasn’t too greasy and works like a charm. In fact, the wax is so strong that I barely need any to fend off my Janice the Muppet look. And it smells delicious.
There was still one piece of unfinished business.
Afterward: The branding
I mean, what good’s a new product without a proper name?
As you may have noticed, we occasionally like to dabble with puns here at The Dew Abides. And already we’d sort of created a brand, Blue Blaze, with our homemade peapod wine last year. So even though the little plastic tub will never leave my house, I developed a product name, a tagline and a
chickenscratch brilliant logo treatment for <drumroll….>
Blue Blaze Balm for Hair and Lips and Junk
Just don’t look for it in the stores. The Piggly Wiggly might sell white dirt, but they’re not offering this magic stuff.
* Excepting the following:
- Binging on the Emily Saliers’ portions of Indigo Girls records.
- Trips to Burnham Shoes (which, technically, she hates as much as I do but must occasionally endure.)
- Attending Jane Austen conferences.