Over the years I have fallen victim to numerous scams, including many infomercial deals that simply looked too good to pass up. My "doh!" moments have ranged from the obviously regrettable—$400 spent to get a bulk discount on a door-to-door salesman's concentrated organic cleaner—to the marginally worthwhile.
First, there was the home electrolysis machine I purchased when I was a mere teenager. After receiving my battery-operated hair removal system in the mail, I spent hours hunched over my bikini zone with a crick in my neck, painstakingly inserting a little needle into the root of each errant hair follicle and zapping it with radio waves or whatever the heck those things emit.
Unfortunately this process only served to provide me with numerous tiny scabs; the stubborn hairs remained exactly where they were and eventually had to be removed in the normal fashion anyway. I suppose I shouldn't have expected much in the way of permanent hair removal from a device that cost $29.95 and came with a free book light.
I also purchased some gadget that promised to "massage" away cellulite. Ironically, I bought this contraption in my early twenties—way before having children—when I thought a little dimple here and there was actually something to worry about (oh, how naive I was). Said machine succeeded only in greedily sucking and munching my flesh with its rollers, abusing my skin to the point of bruising. Even so, I suppose it's true that the cellulite was a tad less noticeable afterwards; it was hard to spot the dimples amidst the blue and purple splotches that decorated my thighs.
I also bought the ThighMaster and the Ab Roller. I bought Coral Calcium and those bra clip thingies that pull the straps together in the back and are supposed to make your boobs look perkier. I purchased a speed-reading program that guaranteed I'd be able to read forward, backward, and vertically (all at the same time), which would significantly enhance my comprehension rate.
After having my second child, I purchased the Ab Circle Pro in an attempt to get rid of my flabby belly. Despite the fact that this workout required me to be on all fours while lewdly swinging my ass back and forth for all to see—I caught my husband gaping at me several times as my rump waved about in the air—I actually felt like I was getting a good workout from the contraption... until it broke a month after I had purchased it. I bought a replacement, which also wore out within four weeks.
At least, to date, I have avoided purchasing the Shake Weight on principle, but let's be honest -- if the price of the thing dropped below ten dollars, I'd probably give it a shot. What can I say? I'm a sucker.
And so, when Guthy Renker contacted me and proposed I try a revolutionary hair care system they were selling called Wen, I thought I'd give it a go. I've never been thrilled with my hair; it gets frizzy and puffy and requires copious amounts of smoothing agents and polishers to be good for anything besides a pony tail. I lack the ambition to clear-coat my hair with sealants, polishes, waxes and sprays on a daily basis, so I was excited when Wen promised to give me the same results as all that goop just by using their conditioning shampoo!
My kit arrived two days ago, and I tore it open with enthusiasm!
The first thing I noticed was the photo of Chaz Dean -- the developer of Wen (or at least the guy Guthy-Renker thought looked like someone chicks would trust with their hair). He struck me as a cross between Fabio and Jesus, and I found myself gazing at his photo and being taken in by his piercing gaze. If this guy were a therapist, I would definitely be reserving a spot on his couch.
The picture had an odd effect on me—on one hand, I felt compelled to confess a lifetime of hair sins (drying it on my way to work with the car vents—the shame!), but I also had a strange sort of fantasy brewing—one that involved him whisking me away to an exotic desert oasis and sensually shampooing my hair while muscled Arabians fed me grapes.
I turned the page in the pamphlet and was confronted by this next picture of Chaz:
Wait... is that eyeliner he's wearing? Ugh... there goes the Jesus resemblance and the desert fantasy. Now he just reminds me of an airbrushed, Botoxed Hollywood creep.
But regardless, that first evening I excitedly washed my hair with Chaz's conditioning shampoo and awaited the inevitable glorious results. Two hours later, my roots were greasy and plastered to my head, and the bottom half of my hair was frizzy, dry and poufy. I wondered if I may have done something wrong. According to the brochure, my hair was supposed to look like this:
So last night I tried again, paying attention to slather more product on the ends and less on the roots. This morning when I woke, my hair looked like it hadn't been washed for a week and a half. My roots were actually glistening with oil. Is this what they meant when they guaranteed shiny hair? Ugh!!
I placed a call to customer service, and a kind, soothing representative promised I would have much better results with the other type of shampoo Wen offered—something based on cucumbers or eggplant or some other member of the vegetable kingdom. The company is actually sending me a bottle of it for free. So now I wait.
Meanwhile, I can't help but ponder this Chaz guy. There's part of me that feels just a tad naughty buying hair products from a guy who looks like he's undressing me with his eyes through the pamphlet.
But whether this hair system ends up being a success or a bust, I must nevertheless keep my eyes out for the one product that I really need:
Something to get this damn tattoo off my forehead!!!