I’m Certain I’m Overthinking This, But Still, I Have This Conversation With Myself Every Time I Reach for the Shampoo

ist2_2353933_confused_consumer_women_s_cosmetics1.jpgI have an industrial sized bottle of Pantene Pro-V Shampoo in my shower stall because, 1) I have been using it forever, 2) it was on sale, and 3) there is no three.

On the bottle, just under the brand name, it says “Get up to 85% shinier hair!”

So every time I wash my hair, I wonder.

Compared to what, exactly? 85% shinier than it was before I washed it? 85% shinier than any other brand could possibly ever make it? 85% shinier than if I shampooed with Comet?

Is there a scale of measurement pertaining to hair shininess? Other things are measured in pounds or amperes or kelvins — maybe I missed something? I mean, Google tells me that candelas measure luminosity, but I thought this applied to light, not exactly — light as it reflects off of hair. I personally have never encountered a set of locks with enough stunning brilliance to make me squint and wish for my sunglasses.

Who exactly came up with that final measurement, declaring this supposed potential 85% improvement? Were there studies? Were they statistically significant? Were human volunteers involved? Is anyone else suspicious of that nice round number, 85?

What became of the low-shine people? Are they okay? Did Pantene provide them with high quality, natural-looking wigs to wear once the testing was complete and their hair had been damaged?

And what’s with this “up to” crap? What if I happen to think my hair is 86% shinier? Huh?

I appreciate factual claims that allow me to make some sense of all the products on the drugstore’s shelves, but this one just seems a few bristles short of a brush, if ya know what I mean.

And yet, I must say. My hair looks fabulous.

UPDATE: My Pantene Pro-V Conditioner bottle says: “Get up to 99% more curl definition,” and then in very tiny type it says, “in one day.”


The questions. They torture me.


9 responses to “I’m Certain I’m Overthinking This, But Still, I Have This Conversation With Myself Every Time I Reach for the Shampoo

  1. as you said, the ‘up to’ loophole lets them say anything (‘live up to 1,000 years longer!’)
    …a theory on how one could manufacture a statistic like this…get a bunch of folks with dirty hair, hose them down with the product then ask ‘on a scale from 1 to 10 how much shinier is your hair?’

    average the responses, convert it to a %, and voila!

    or they just made up a number!

    (my favorite such story is when Richard Feynman, the physicist, was asked during a psych exam “how much do you value life?’
    ,he answered “sixty-four”.)


    I’m telling you, those physicists get me every time. -KDF

  2. Is it cumulative? Does your hair get 85% shinier every time you shampoo?

    Since your hair would, in this case, be treated as a light source (for shininess measurement purposes), it would still be measured in candelas.

    I knew, without any doubt, that you would provide an actual answer to my question. *smooch* -KDF

  3. How many more definitions for the word “curl” do you really need?? Or, quantitatively, how MUCH more definition do you need for one puny little word?

    Hey, the mathematicians and physicists have chimed in….I’m just putting my foot in for the humanities.

    Your foot is most welcome here any time, my dear friend. -KDF

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    *snork* at 85% shinier than if I shampooed with Comet?

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    Anyway, I think insomniac hit it right with

    or they just make up a number!

    Actually, the “overthinking” thing is my problem as well.

    Isn’t it awful, Jeff? Oh, to just be blindly accepting of what we’re told. Ah, well. -KDF

  6. I personally have never been accused of overthinking anything.

    Feynman is one of my idols, btw. Some of his best ideas were developed on napkins as he sat drinking at a strip club.

  7. Kaffy In Disguise (With Glasses)

    Rumour has it that that’s where Einstein got his best ideas, too.

    Hey, I use Schwarzkopf shampoo and conditioner.. does that mean that your hair is 85% shinier and has 99% more curl definition than mine? I think we need to get together and verify this for sure!

    Well, yes, we do need to get together, Ms. New Zealand, but I’m certain that your hair is byootiful. :) -KDF

  8. sgirlonthebayou

    oh great…now, next time i reach for my shampoo bottle, i’ll be plagued with these questions as well. ;p

    Sorry, sg. It’s a curse. -KDF

  9. I’ll tell you what I told my statistics professor (which I read in the urban dictionary; I don’t remember why I was reading that): “39% of all statistics are made up.”

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