Mirta de Perales Herbal Fresh Shampoo

I grew up using the original Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo. It bore no semblance to the flowery and (barfy) fruity abominations marketed under the same name today: It was a dark green, slightly chemically concoction that actually felt like it was getting my hair clean, not just perfuming the fuck out of it. It also made my dense, wiry locks feel soft and manageable in a way no other shampoo could. After Clairol stopped selling the stuff sometime around the turn of the century, I floated from brand to brand, never finding something I liked as much—until one day I wandered through the Latin section of a beauty-supply shop (don’t ask) and spotted Mirta de Perales Herbal Fresh Shampoo. The color was about right, and the label said HERBAL; could this be what I was looking for? I popped open the bottle and took a whiff and childhood memories came flooding back. I swear that scent has hangover-curing properties, and the smiling Mirta visage on the label—a demented cross between JonBent Ramsey and Tammy Faye Baker—is an awesomely campy presence in my shower. Best of all, my hair feels better than it has in years. Now I just have to pray it doesn’t become discontinued. $9.99, at Beauty 35, 505 Eighth Ave at 35th St (212-563-1010)—Ethan LaCroix

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