Seduction isn’t just a word used by chefs all over the world to name their delicious pastries or meringues or mousse or cakes! Seduction also isn’t just a word in the dictionary that poets dig out when they wish to impress their girlfriends. Seduction is more than any meaning… it goes round all the emotions that humans are capable of and pounds them into a shape that defies definition! Seduction is just as good as seduced, and you must remember this!

I asked Specky, my wife, how she would define seduction and her reply was as hard-hitting as it was simple. She said, ‘Seduction has nothing to do with words. It is all about care.’

‘Care?’ I sounded incredulous, ‘you mean a nurse in a hospital is a seductress?’

‘Well, Waheeda Rehman in Khamoshi did seduce, didn’t she,’ she replied and continued, ‘and you’re not even trying to learn the real meaning of seduction now.’ There was an uncomfortable silence for a while and then she looked at me, smiled and said, ‘Look, women care for their hair, don’t they?’

‘Yes, they do. And they’re surely not trying to seduce their own hair, are they?’

‘That’s precisely what I mean,’ she said in a tone that only a college lecturer is capable of, ‘women seduce their hair by caring and their hair too seduces them by caring for their feelings.’

‘I’m lost. I don’t understand all this metaphysics.’

‘Quite simple, really. Seduction is never one-way. Truth is that a vital part of seduction is to catalyse the seduced to begin seducing,’ she paused to make sure that I had understood what she had said, and then added, ‘only then is the cycle of seduction complete.’

‘Right,’ I said slowly, ‘so those women who care for their hair are actually trying to seduce them and expect the hair to seduce them back?’

‘Yes. Another way of putting this is that the hair starts behaving in a manner that its owner has always aspired for. Seduction isn’t ever parasitic,’ and Specky knew what she wanted to say whenever she wanted to say anything, ‘seduction is a symbiotic relationship.’

We ended this discussion at that point and I mulled over the seduction bit. After a few hours of really painful juggling of the alphabets in the word ‘seduction’ I concluded that I didn’t like any of the anagram that I came up with and so naturally concluded that to seduce well you must make the seduced get actively into the act of seduction too! Sounded formidably good!!

This obviously meant that both men and women need to not just seduce their hair but must also make the hair seduce them as well. Only then will there be a continuous cycle of happiness.

So, the next evening I again caught hold of her and asked, ‘How do you seduce your hair?’

She thought for a while and answered, ‘Well, if I were to be restless about my looks and was blaming my hair for giving me horrible looks, what would I do first?’

The question was directed at me and there was no way I could deflect it anywhere. The perpetual internet surfer in me came to my rescue and I replied, ‘I would ask her to test her looks with different hairstyles and go for it… the rest will be just a happy seduced hair!’

Specky looked at like the cannibals of ancient civilization must have looked at explorers and adventurers, and said, ‘Don’t be a foolish adventurer now!’

‘Why don’t we try it with you?’ I suggested.

We did, and we tried to convert her into Charlize Theron, Emma Watson, Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry, Salma Hayek, Julie Bowen and a whole lot of other celebrities. Obviously we tried to do this by super-imposing their hair-styles on her… so we experimented with golden globes, edgy style, bangs, pixie, and all the other cuts that we could find on that site. The result is all compiled on this photo collage:

The tech solution for seducing hair doesn't work well...

The tech solution for seducing hair doesn’t work well…

She looked at my hard work and then asked, ‘Well?’

‘Well, this doesn’t seem to be working. I don’t think you can seduce your hair by merely copying hair styles.’

The male perspective was just trashed and she told me that the old and the new methodologies were needed to seduce hair.

‘Does this mean that we cannot use the new technology to seduce hair at all,’ I was a bit dejected to have witnessed the demise of my idea of using the net for defining the hair style for a woman.

‘No, not at all,’ she said without even pausing for rearranging her thoughts, ‘we do have the advantage of so much research going on to make hair shinier, healthier, stronger, longer, and better.’

‘Ah! You mean like the Dove shampoo and conditioner that you are using?’

‘Not just those. There is their nourishing cream and their wonderfully seductive serum. Even you must try it out some day.’

‘Me?’ I said, ‘I don’t let my hair grow beyond a few millimetres.’ There was no reply and I actually did not insist on one because I knew it would bring all her seductive forces to focus on the meagre crop of hair on my head and I preferred seduction of a different sort. But we’ll talk of that brand of seduction in a later post.

My next sentence actually saved the day for me. I asked, ‘Dove obviously must be a part of the new methods. Which are the old ones?’

‘Even these new facilities do have a root in the ancient wisdom of hair care,’ she replied, ‘and I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to tell you all the advantages of the correct way of oiling, washing, and drying hair, do you?’

‘Not really, as I myself love a bit of oil massage, you see. It must be the usual academic stuff like…’ and I started reciting the oiling advantages like a nursery student does with his poetry…

Oiling strengthens hair roots
Oiling removes dryness
Oiling scares away dandruff
Rough! Rough!! Rough!!! 

Oiling repairs damage
So Oil! Oil!! Oil!!!

Specky smiled and said, ‘You have a different style of seduction. And now that you came out with lines pretending to be a poem, let me too get seduced into reproducing some similar stuff.’ And she did, for she recited in a sing song tone:

A bit of shikakai on your head
Count to hundred
Rinse it off
Pour some water, laugh it off!

You rub you split,
Remember this
You tug and pull
No hair likes this

Wash well old style
Dry well, you’ll love
Your hair will smile
And, well… (she paused for a while)
These days you have Dove!

‘Well, so we still continue with our old and new methods,’ I asked with some hesitation.

‘Sure, one can choose this as well.’

I have actually been living with Specky for long and I know everything about her. I know that she does use the old and the new methods for hair care. I know that she doesn’t care about following any fads and never wants to look like anyone else. This is good enough as I do love her as she is and wouldn’t anyway want her to look like anyone else.

She then told me that hair drying was indeed an art and that in the past people dried their hair over smoke. Loban/Sambrani is sprinkled with rose petals on pieces of burning coal in an Incense Burner. The fragrant smoke produced passes through washed hair. The mild loban & rose fragrance lasts for many days. ‘This tradition method,’ said Specky, ‘dries hair fast enough and embeds in it an ethereal fragrance that is not just charming and quaint but is actually seductive.’ She later told me that these ancient methods have a fair sprinkling of science too added to them as smoke dried hair drew out excess water in the head and face and had been hailed as a reasonable treatment for sinusitis.

‘So there is surely a wow factor for all sorts of methodologies,’ I answered after hearing her out, ‘But you know and even I know that the keyword everywhere is care.’

‘That’s true,’ she replied, ‘it is through care that one can seduce one’s hair… and then hair is courteous enough to seduce you back by complimenting you with the right fall, the right shine, the right lustre, the right tangle-free strength, and the right split-free existence!’

‘You tried your hand at poetry earlier,’ I said, ‘now let me dedicate a short poem to the way you think about your hair.’ I wrote the poem in another hour or so and the reward was a seductive smile from her.

Hair-care mantra 

Just be what you are
And do what you can
You won’t have a scar
Just be your own fan! 

Why let others scare?
You have you with you!
Have fun, and don’t care
For fads that are new! 

Let hair-care teach you
That care must be right
Best of old and new
Makes you stand, be right! 

Specky heard me say the lines out aloud and said, ‘I think I will keep these lines with me and read whenever there is some problem, which includes hair problems. I know reading these lines alone will be the start of the end of my problems, even hair problems.’

Well, the truth is that I have been living with Specky for well-nigh twenty-six years now and she has taught me all the little tricks of hair care even though, as I mentioned earlier, I have hair that never grow beyond a few millimetres! But I do realise that hair care is indeed a seductive activity. I’m sure John Donne wouldn’t mind at all if I quoted a couple of his lines to illustrate the exact relationship between seduction and the various processes of hair care that involve massage, oiling, washing, and drying…

‘Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.’ 

The way I’d put it is that there is surely no harm in allowing seduction to come to the fore and put an end to all hair problems!



And anyway, we do see a fair degree of seductive branding for Dove… and I love it all!
This post is part of a contest My Beautiful Hair Story on Indiblogger, sponsored by Dove.

Check this out: Dove Hair-Aware App


Arvind Passey
20 July 2012