Mother of God the day I have feared most has finally come. A tragedy of haircare has struck the M.O.T. household.
You see I wasn’t always known for my glossy dark curls.
Once upon a time I was a homely child. My mother shorn my hair close to the temples — with uneven bangs no less — to tame my unruly mop. For years I was referred to as “that little boy over there.”
When I was old enough to shampoo and comb my own hair I insisted on growing it out to clearly establish my girlhood. Unfortunately I did not understand the nature of curly vs. straight hair or coarse vs. silky hair. So no matter how much I brushed and petted my mop it still stood in all directions.
I grilled my little girl friends with milky golden locks. “What do you wash it with?” One day I discovered Conditioner and I thought it was the secret to the universe. [Side note - did Conditioner even exist before 1978?] I applied more and more each time but the result was dull and clumpy mounds, but no milky tresses. How did they do it?
Over time my bushy mound grew longer and somehow around age 15 I discovered that my hair was not intended to be straight and milky, but in fact my massive mound was a pile of curls waiting to be set free. If I only stopped brushing the poor things into oblivion.
Around this time I discovered the Finesse line of hair care products. Quite by accident I believe. I probably picked up the first bottle because it was a clean blue color and I liked the smell. I then tried the Finesse Mousse. I discovered that the more mousse I used the better.
I carelessly tried other brands but by my freshman year in college I was a staunch Finesse Only Girl. Finesse Mousse is the ONLY PRODUCT ON THE MARKET that will form my curls into silky shiny ringlets without stickiness or weight.
In the late 90’s Finesse came out with Anti-frizz lines. Even better than the oririnal. Around 2002 they came out with a Soft Curls line (later known as Curl Defining) and I was convinced THEY WERE SPEAKING TO ME.
Women with curly hair ALWAYS ask me what products I use and when I tell them Finesse I can tell they aren’t going to try it because its a cheap drugstore brand. I pity them.
I estimate that from around 1987 through 2006 I have used somewhere in the region of several tons of, and spent in the thousands of dollars on Finesse Shampoo, Conditioner and Mousse. The Soft Curls Mousse must be a hot item because I have often found the space on the shelf where it is supposed to be empty, so when it’s in stock, I buy it in bulk. 2-3 “cans” of mousse at a time. When Soft Curls is out the Enhancing version will work almost as well.
Lately I’ve noticed the shortage of Soft Curls becoming more and more frequent. I’ve had to visit several different pharmacies to find one with FSC in stock.
And today my worst nightmare has come true. When I visited CVS this morning and scanned for the FSC products not only did I not find a the product, I didn’t even find the empty shelf space!
CVS had no Finesse products in stock, and if I’m reading the stocking tea leaves correctly, they have no plans to ever re-stock any Finesse products!!!!!!!!!!!
I rushed home to get on the internet to investigage, and lo and behold, Unilever, the EVIL company that purchased Helen Curtis in the mid-nineties has SOLD OFF the Finesse brand in May of this year. I can’t determine to whom it has been sold, but as far as I can tell this may mean that I cannot and will not be able to find Finess products for some time, and when they come back they may not even be the same.
Right now I’m in shock, but at some point I’m going to have to come up with an emergency hair care plan. Its hot and humid outside, and August without FSC Mousse could be a very, very long month.
Editors Note: I want to say that I did snag some Finesse Curl Defining Mousse at Duane Reade yesterday, three cans. For all I know perhaps only CVS has fully phased it out. But like with the death of a very famous old celebrity, or the outing of a clearly gay but closeted celebrity, now I have my “Fairwell to Finesse” article pre-written if and/or when it does finally leave the shelves forever.