Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Brylcreem (pronounced brill-cream) is a brand name pomade, the precursor to today's hair gel. Created in 1929, Brylcreem was invented at the Chemico Works in Bradford Street, Birmingham, England. Brylcreem was the first mass-marketed men's hair care product. Its purpose is to keep combed hair in place. The shiny "wet" look it gave to the hair was de rigueur for men's hair styles for many years. Other substances, including petroleum jelly, were in use for this purpose earlier and made popular by such figures as Rudolph Valentino of silent movies fame. Brylcreem's use declined during the 1960s as men's hair fashions changed to favor "the dry look" over the "wet look".
Brylcreem is sold in a tube in the US, and a jar in Europe. The user is instructed to squeeze out a small amount, rub between the palms, apply evenly through the hair, and comb hair into place.
Brylcreem has seen a comeback beginning in the late 1990s thru today, as a new generation of men return to using pomades and creams. Part of this trend seems to be a desire to get away from the "helmet hair" that is typical with most gels. Most hair care manufacturers now offer a petrolatum, wax, or oil based hair product that leaves hair pliable yet offers control and a sleek look. This affords a man wide styling options: one can comb in a perfect DA like John Travolta in Grease, get the "bed-head" look, slick that short "Princeton" down, or put in that super straight part before heading off to that job interview. Brylcreem is a perfect choice for achieving today's hair styling options.
Brylcreem is marketed in the US by the Combe Corporation ; in Europe, by the Sara Lee Corporation.
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