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A Little Dab'll Do Yer
by Clint Wayne
2008-04-19 08:11:37
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Next time you are driving through your local Town Centre on a Saturday Night and you notice all those ‘cool young dudes’ strutting their stuff along the High Street, out ‘on the pull’, donning the latest designer gear and sporting the ‘gelled up’ spiky hair-do, then just spare a moment's thought for the pioneer of the ‘hair-waves’.

Yes, ‘Brylcreem’, that white creamy ‘gunk’ that I remember my Dad unwrapping every Christmas Day and Birthday during my childhood, celebrates its own birthday having been created in Birmingham by County Chemicals at their Chemico Works 80 years ago this week.

This strange perfumed mixture of water and mineral oil stabilised with beeswax was originally marketed in the UK in a clear screw top glass jar and later in a red plastic tub, but always in the States in a plastic ‘unbreakable’ tube.

Back in the 1950s I remember my ‘Teddy Boy’ older cousins looking sleek with their immaculately groomed ‘Brylcreem’ look as they raced around our estate on their motorbikes inspired by Rock and Roll star Elvis Presley and Film Idol James Dean.

Mind you, the thing I really remember from my youth was the black and white television adverts for ‘Brylcreem’ with its catchy jingle. “Brylcreem, Brylcreem, Brylcreem” in ascending pitch and then the classic lyrics, “Brylcreem, a little dab’ll do yer, Brylcreem, you’ll look so debonair, Brylcreem, the gals’ll all pursue yer, they love to get their fingers in your hair”. Go and listen to it on You Tube. It was such a catchy jingle back then that it inspired the writers of "The Flintstones'" cartoon for Fred’s famous “Yabba Dabba Do”.

Advertisers insisted that “even though her neighbour had a ‘nice car’, her good neighbour policy ended as the poor guy had dry lifeless hair, taking all the fun out of his life. But, put it back with ‘Brylcreem’ the sensational hair dressing that’s sweeping the country. ‘Brylcreem’ gives your hair the look that women love. ‘Excitingly clean’, ‘Disturbingly healthy’, So full of life”.

In the 1960s they presented the advert as a ‘Public Service Announcement’ warning “the guys to only use ‘one dab’ as more than this was ‘playing with fire’. The man who ‘dared’ to use ‘two dabs’ was now in trouble as it has an extraordinary effect on women with young pretty girls especially susceptible. All you ‘serious’ men use just a little dab”. It is priceless advertising.

I once used a whole handful as a thirteen-year-old on holiday, without success I might add, but hey one of my Dad’s old workmates worshipped ‘Brylcreem’ and used it everyday, combing his jet black hair down smooth across his head and never washed his hair in over forty years of use. What better proof do you need? Get out and buy some today!!

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Asa2008-04-19 08:14:21
Sadly my cow's lick couldn't be tamed by even three dabs of that gunk!

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-19 12:34:51
"Thou has anointed my head with oil." (Psalm 23:5)

Could the psalmist-prophet been thinking of the coming of Brylcreem?

Thanos2008-04-19 13:26:38
I just felt the smell of ...old spice!!! :)

Asa2008-04-19 18:33:55
How long was it since you used hair products Thanos?

Thanos2008-04-19 19:01:20
Lad you are young yo know, but it was ...lemon!!!

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