After showering this morning I noticed that my shampoo contains a suspicious ingredient: avocado oil. Upon discovering this, I immediately cried foul and raced as quickly to the Internet as I could, so as to debunk the idea that avocados might be good for my hair. Googling the words “avocado oil hair” turned up 269,000 hits, the first several pages of which all tried to convince me that it’d be a good idea to peel an avocado and mash it thoroughly into my scalp. Although I was initially disappointed that the Internet had betrayed me, I felt a little better when I sat back and noted that none of the advocates and supposed experts was, in fact, a Scientist making a Scientific Claim in a true Scientific Journal.
I can see how hair oil might act as a lubricant and help protect hairs from getting damaged while rubbing against one another. Yes beauty product companies, you can have that point. But please explain this to me: why would avocados be any better than a host of other fruits? They are certainly the king when it comes to fat content in fruit, but if this were the only criterion for choosing them over, say, a banana, why not just opt for straight up vegetable oil? Or wholesale used bacon fat? It’d surely be cheaper than using avocados, and you could think up some really great taglines for your product, like “putting the pig in the ‘poo”.
Any claims, spurious or otherwise, that one might make about the benefits of the various vitamins contained in an avocado could surely be made about many other types of fruit. Fruit is full of so much healthy goodness that it seems like a particularly ripe choice for marketers to force into a role for which it is only marginally suited, to lend synthetic products a false natural image.
I’m not sure why avocado in my shampoo bothers me so much. It just seems like an absurd combination. I wonder how anybody could have thought up the idea for this product, and why people would buy it; I only purchased it because it was the cheapest thing on the shelf at my local grocery. My desire for an explanation led me to dream up fantastical connections. I imagined an obscure tribal god who both loved avocados and held dominion over luxurious flowing hair. Croatians would call him Avocadlaka — a portmanteau of avocado and the Croatian word for hair. Sacrifice a hecatomb of avocados in Avocadlaka’s honor and he’ll bestow you with silky-smooth, albeit green-tinted, hair.
Here’s my take on how this product came to fruition: some marketer for a shampoo company noted that a large portion of Californians love both avocados and beauty products and decided to merge the two. With this sort of obscure thinking we can look forward to fish-oil Fanta and marijuana margarine before the year is through.