In 1996, I was a 22-year-old full-time sophomore at university with two consecutive jobs. I went to a reputable university in a very sleepy and conservative city while living under the same roof as my ultra-strict Iranian parents, which didn’t allow me a particularly happy life in my 20s. Fashion and beauty were two of the only creative outlets that brought me joy. The way I expressed myself often allowed me to escape the monotony of a lot of work and a lot of school, in a city that didn’t have much to do. For entertainment, I often blew my paychecks the first day or two on clothes or cosmetics. Hair follies were reserved for the drugstore (oh, how I loved end of aisle samples in metal crates) or the salon, which I frequented every week.
The end of the 1990s marked a turning point in the field of hair care. All of a sudden I had access to products that had never been available before; there was a plethora of professional grade products for sale. I always thought the ’80s had unforgettable blends of structured and unstructured, glam and artistic punk styles, but the tools and products were limited and mostly relegated to a weak hair dryer, Aqua Net, and whatever the fashionable hair gel at that time. If you wanted glamor remember: there were no YouTube tutorials and the people back home didn’t have the skills to be a Vidal Sassoon ace. In the ’90s our eyes opened: an explosion of powerful, high-heat hairdryers, exotic round brushes, countless deep conditioning masks, irons and more hair clips than I can imagine. could never remember were stored on store shelves. Salons were also starting to offer shiny treatments and sought-after straightening hair treatments (it doesn’t matter if they managed to scorch your hair a month later, they certainly kept it looking and smooth during those humid summer months at the beach. ). There was more of everything, and it was exceptionally fun to try it all out.
It was around this time that I first encountered Tigi Bed Head products during my Friday breakouts. I distinctly remember one afternoon. My very French hairdresser had finished straightening my hair, and just as I was about to get up from my chair (so anxious to get home and check my answering machine for the evening’s plans), he waved me over. sit down. He took a product out of his drawer and rubbed his palms with it, then started to tousle and texturize my hair, almost squeezing it into pieces. I wasn’t aware of what he had done, but once I looked in the mirror I saw that my hair looked messy in the sexiest way. Whatever new product he was using, I wanted it. In my mind in my early twenties, styling gel would solve all my problems by making me look sexy. I asked him – more like begging – but he only had one and made me wait two weeks until he could get me mine.
Once I got my hands on Tigi’s Bed Head Stick, this flagship styling product, I took it everywhere with me. It kept my hair tame on the beach, at work, and when I went to Eurotrash nightclubs with industrial-sized fans, it kept the damn frizz away. I kept Bed Head Stick for years – often I forgot about it when I started to get drawn to new products, but kept coming back (and still do). If this product has taught me anything, it’s that once you find something that works and brings you joy, you don’t beat yourself up. Tigi’s Stick never let me or my hair down.