Retro Drugstore Score: L.A. Looks Hair Gel

The Score

When we brought a hulking squeeze bottle of L.A. Looks Mega Hold into the office, everyone who noticed it had the same reaction: “They still make that?!” Yes they do, and seemingly very little has changed since it was the go-to hair gel for every middle school boy from California to Queens. The “X-Treme Value”-sized bottle—so large that it could be considered a weapon—was clad in a hyper-bright label that promised “Radical Control.” (The fact that the gel itself bore a striking resemblance to “The Ooze” from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn’t help, either.) One squeeze released a heaping dollop of the bright green gelatin, and the overwhelming aroma (described by one editor as “one part lime, one part bad middle school dance”) caused several coworkers to roll their chairs away in disgust. Regardless, some of the braver men in the office forged on and dutifully worked the product into their hair. The “Mega Hold” kicked in within seconds, and soon thereafter our respective ‘dos all fell somewhere between “crisp” and “shellacked.”

The Verdict

As expected, the application of these little ‘Dep slugs’ (each dollop actually slithers downward with the force of gravity in one’s palm, leaving behind a slimy residue not unlike that of a slug)—really brought our inner boy band. And while it was a fun afternoon, it was also a lesson that some things—like acid-washed jeans—stay in the past for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that you should run from hair gel altogether. We crafted a modern man’s guide to using the stuff here.

For a full list of Birchbox Man’s Retro Drugstore Scores, go here.

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