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Hard-core Hair

[whitespace] sculpting gel
Epoxy-Strength Gel: Dirty Boy, Dirty Girl sculpting gel gives hair industrial strength.

By Diana Rupp

With the in-your-face motto "Fuck your facist beauty standards!" it's clear that Vain is doing more than hair. Fed up with cookie-cutter looks, owner-creator Victoria Thomas Gentry has set out to radically change the beauty industry's Barbie doll image from within.

"I've always disliked model worship and the self-mutilation of plastic surgery," says Gentry. "Horrific things are done to achieve a kind of beauty that isn't even interesting or creative."

The Seattle-based Gentry started out doing hair in the East Village punk scene, where she experimented with such unlikely styling tools as guardless clippers, Mercurochrome, box cutters and Elmer's glue. Frustrated by the lack of products available to achieve the hard-core looks requested by her clients, she followed the DIY ethic and created her own "industrial strength" hair-care line.

Standouts include 2nd Day Hair shampoo, which leaves tresses "marginally clean ... without the fluff." (Think sexy and unkempt sans compromising personal hygiene.) Dirty Boy, Dirty Girl, a maximum-hold sculpting gel, also gives 'dos "a just bedded look" and is made from all-natural botanical ingredients. Hard Up, a "serious spritz for those desperate to defy gravity," promises to keep even a Texas-sized bouffant in check.

"People should have fun with how they look, but they should also keep it in perspective," cautions Gentry. "Although it's important to your self-image and is a legitimate form of expression, in the grand scheme of things it's not important."

A plan to nationally distribute the products is under way. Until then, visit Vain's Web site or call 206/441-3441.

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From the April 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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