When the good people at Dove asked me if I would like to be part of their campaign for their Hair fall rescue product, my first instinct was to say no. The second was to find excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. I am, in troth, quite a shrinking violet, and the thought of being in front of the camera fills me with dread and freezes me to the modern day equivalent of Lot’s wife. Then a little part in my head thought it would be an interesting experience, and I would put this down to gathering experience for my writing, which is what I tell myself nowadays when it comes to doing anything out of the ordinary, and by all that is holy, my daily routine is nothing conducive to gathering experiences out of the ordinary, if you exclude stubbing toenails on doors and panic visits to the pediatrician. Ergo, I decided to try out the product, check if it really works and only then agree to do the commercial. And for two weeks I did the post wash application. And yes, I found the hairfall had gone substantially down.
I was doing the shoot. It started with them doing a hair test for me. This included putting me in the middle of four very bright lights and asking me to swing my hair from left to right rapidly. I moved my head as rapidly as I could, but the hair wouldn’t swing as mandated. At some point I wondered if I was doing the perfect Linda Blair Exorcist moves, when the hapless duo trying to get visuals of my hair swinging decided that no swing was happening and they would leave it at that. Some days later I was taken to a salon, where a lovely, chirpy lady called Mehr put the bounce and vim into my hair with some protein treatments. Not that the hair ended up bouncing any in the commercial, but it looked like it could, if it tried.
The day of the shoot dawned. I was taken, bright and sparkly to the studio. Professional make up person with assistant attended to my face, slapping on the warpaint, agonising over the spots and marks on my face. And then the hair person, put my hair in rollers, agonised a bit, pulled the rollers out, blowdried it, straightened it, sprayed it, agonised more, pulled out her hair, chewed her nails….all because of breakaways. I had dandelion fuzz levels of breakaways all around my crown, thanks to my habit of tying back my hair into a tight bun most times.
I was put into one set of clothes, picture clicked, sent for approvals, outfit rejected, stylist tears hair out, puts me in another set of clothes, pic clicked, picture sent, outfit rejected, stylist on the verge of a complete breakdown, finally a white linen jacket and trousers save the day. Along with pearls. Anyone who knows me knows that I never wear white ever. White makes me nervous. I am prone to spilling things, sitting on spots that make unseemly spots on white trousers, getting lipstick on collars(mine own, mind you) and such like. I moved around like a marionette terrified that I might bump into something, sit on something or do something to mess up what I was wearing.
Then the actual shots happened. I had to read out the script from a teleprompter. That was a piece of cake. Then there were the shots, the hand shots, the walk, the typing, the book reading. I have new found respect for models and actors since that day. I also know that I’d be darling at newsreading if anyone offers me an anchoring position. Ah well. It was an experience. And a fun one. Then I got back home and back to mommy duty and rolling out chappattis and get back to ground level from the helium balloon heights all that pampering had taken me to.
And yes. This was my Warholesque fifteen minutes of fame. I did a Dove ad.