Hotel Shampoo? Yes, Please

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I'm having some great hair days on a vacation. I would count my blessings, but I'm too busy trying to figure out what deal I may have inadvertently made with the devil to have this prize land in my lap.

My experience has taught me that the vile combination of Not Wanting to Risk a Shampoo Explosion in Your Suitcase + Your Decision to Not Bring Your Own Tried-and-True Shampoo + Erroneous Thinking That a Nice Hotel Might Provide You With Some Decent Health and Beauty Aids + Holy Crap We're Paying How Much a Night at This Place? + More Naive, Stupid, Hopeful Thinking + Downward Spiral Upon Realization That Even the Waldorf-Fucking-Astoria Puts Dawn Dish Liquid in a Fancy Bottle and Calls it Shampoo + And I Really Want My Hair to Look Good in These Pictures Damnit = Unintentional Dredlocks That Smell Like a Birthday Cake.

You would think for $200+ a night, we'd get a few squirts of Pureology so we wouldn't have to take a rat's nest into the hoity-toity piano bar at the end of the day.

So imagine my surprise when my hair looked a little better than normal after the first two showers here.

"I don't know whether to use this stuff or steal it," I told my husband. I've never been tempted to not use the hotel shampoo so that I could take more home to use in off-vacation days. But now I have that dilemma to deal with.

I don't steal from hotels. Much. A year ago I accidentally took a really nice hanger from a bed and breakfast and I was beside myself with regret. I felt so bad.

"Should I mail it back to them?" I asked my husband.

"I'm sure they have more hangers in a guest closet somewhere," he said. "If you're the first person to take a hanger home, they haven't been in business long enough and it's time they joined the real world." A world of stealers, I guess. That's sad to me. I hoped they just wouldn't notice.

I do take the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner from hotels, because I understand that's permitted. I follow my old friend John's rule of authorized theft, which he taught me at Wendy's in Kent, Ohio. We were leaving when he walked over to the condiment station, opened the bottom cabinet and took a whole big pack of napkins, and walked out the door. When I asked him what he thought he was doing, he said, "You can't be accused of stealing something that is offered to you for free. Napkins are free at Wendy's, so I can take as many as I want." His house in Kent was full of oblong napkins, and tiny ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper packets.

I believe hotel shampoo, conditioner, soap and hand lotion fall into that rule. But I don't take them for my personal use. With the intent of donating them to a women's shelter, I put them in a series of big plastic bags, where they sit in my closet, crushed by tote bags and travel gear until they expire or turn into diamonds.

But now that I think of it, a homeless woman fleeing an abusive husband deserves better shampoo than that. If anyone should be indulged in a designer hair product, it's her. Imagine gathering up a few possessions and fleeing an asshole, making it safely to a shelter, where you share a bed with your own children and several other families, you get a packet of supplies to go to the shower so you can make a good impression in court, and you see that the shampoo is from Days Inn. The final injustice, it could be the last straw for some women.

So for now, I'm going to just enjoy the use of this hotel shampoo, which I believe is the reason my hair looks better than average these days. We wrote down the ingredients, hoping to find something similar from Sally's. It has desert yucca in it. Also jojoba. It smells of expensive salon and not gas station bathroom air freshener. You'll know if I find it, by my good hairdos.

Believe it or not, I've written about Pureology before. Here in "Just Humor Me": Dry Hair Solutions.

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