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In A Lather Over My Olympic Shampoo

Image of one of three official Olympic hairstyles at Beijing 2008 Olympics
One of three official Olympic hairstyles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

Dousing my hair with pale mauve shampoo in the shower, I am startled to spot on the bottle the familiar logo of the Olympic Games, indicating that the manufacturer is an official sponsor for London2012.

This makes me smile. My aspirations for my hair don’t echo the Olympic standards as expressed in the motto:  “faster, higher, stronger”. I bought this shampoo because I liked the colour of the bottle (I’m that shallow), its violet scent, and its endearingly fatuous name: “Tousle Me Softly”. If tousling has become an Olympic sport, that’s news to me.

“Stronger”, I can embrace – everyone wants their hair to be strong enough to deter split ends. “Shinier” would be good too, and maybe “softer”.  “Softer, shinier, stronger” would not be a bad slogan for a shampoo, though it’s perilously close to the former strapline of a certain toilet roll brand favoured by labrador puppies.

British Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew
British Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew

Surely the ideal shampoo for an Olympic athlete would not be one that tousles your hair, thus increasing your surface resistance and slowing you down, but one that makes you more aerodynamic and streamlined. “Faster, sleeker, balder.” (Mr Goodhew, I’m looking at you.)

I then fell to thinking (in the shower still – a great place for meditation) – about the other Olympic sponsors. I couldn’t think of any to whose products the proper Olympic motto would really apply, though at least two others score the same 1 out 3 rating as my shampoo.

“Faster, saltier, greasier” perhaps, for a certain notoriously litigious restaurant which I shall not risk naming here (though the Daily Telegraph clearly has no such scruples in its article today about banning inappropriate sponsors).

“Fizzier, higher, windier”. If I tell you that the higher refers to the effects of caffeine and sugar, you will not expect a gold medal for guessing to which soft drink manufacturer I’m referring.

British Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew with Olympic torch
Still a good look…

Can you think of any others? If you do, I’d love to hear them! Please post your suggestions in the comments box below. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might like another one about the Olympics:  Keeping Up With My Sporty Daughter 

More will follow soon! 34 days to go to the Opening Ceremony, and counting…


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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