This greaseless hair control formula has been a staple in barber shops for over half a century. The translucent electric blue of the product beckons; extruded out of the tube in neat cylinders, for a fleeting moment, Groom & Clean appears as a hypermodern toothpaste, but for the hair. Or maybe a jujube tinged a deep azure. These odd observations into the nature of the substance seem somehow correctly juxtaposed against the backdrop of traditional barbershop fare. Nostalgia somehow forgets the hypermodernity of the suburb. The googie architecture. Duck and cover drills amid the American Dream. The unfolding of car culture. Drive ins. Ubiquity of radio and television. Groom & Clean embodies this duality.
Squeeze a dab into the old palm there. Clap and knead the hands together, then spackle it on the head. A comb might help. A sculptor needs tools. Coif that pompadour into something manly. A great curving plume, arced up and back, as if leaning into some intangible wind known only to you. You are lighting into the world (with or without a club), hair first. Curiously, Groom & Clean allowed for that familiar “greaser” look with a greaseless formula. These masculine plumages, prior to Groom & Clean, appeared to glisten and sheen. Perhaps flammable. Now, the doffed mane, though carved and manicured, looked dry as opposed to “wet”.
The Groom & Clean, in a more practical way, is simply a way to manage hair. After a shower, perhaps. Put a little on, brush or comb it in. Groom & Clean is produced by Helene Curtis, under the auspices of Suave. Threats have been made over the years to discontinue the production of Groom & Clean, but a faithful following of users and fans keep it coming back.