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[whitespace] Punky

Stuck Up

Post-doze coifs give way to a mysterious Japanese glue-stick

By Michael Stabile

The whole bedhead look has been in and out in various incarnations for the past decade. Grunge aside, we had the drug-addled club-kid look of 1992, the just-got-f*cked romantic look of 1995 and, most recently, the reaction against the Gucci-ironed hair devastation of Helen Hunt at last year's Oscars. There's a subtle but important difference between manufactured bedhead (i.e., with grooming products) and natural bedhead, though they look remarkably similar and are often confused by my co-workers. As far as I can tell, one involves a shower and the other involves, well, rolling out of bed.

Thanks to Japanese culture--which continues like Pac-Man (and Ms.) to eat up our trends and regurgitate them as wild, more extreme versions--Punky ($20) is now hitting our shores. Despite my numerous calls and web searches, Punky seems generally unavailable, except at the Patrick Richards Salon in Laurel Heights. And even he doesn't know where it came from. "My distributor just brings me these things when he finds them," Richards confesses. "Perhaps they just fall out of the back of trucks." In any case, Punky (as the no-address, no-company, Japanese character-etched product is named) is bedhead glue masquerading as deodorant.

Roll the stick in the direction you want your hair to appear disheveled, and it does (within reason). The blue-and-red container with its cartoon-character mascot is an über-hip bathroom-cabinet eye magnet (for all those party guests who insist on looking through your cabinets each time they visit) that looks as good as it works.

Patrick Richards, who was in 1996 voted the best punk stylist in San Francisco, forever has the hottest products from the most obscure sources. Stop by and see what he can recommend for you that no one else will have.

Patrick Richards Salon, Sacramento St., 415.933.4247, 3631.

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From the December 6, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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