What’s in a Name?

LA Looks Hair Gel

In recent years, the number of college guys using “product” in their hair has noticeably increased. As the amount of demand has grown, the product offerings have increased as well. You can find gels, mousse, sprays and much more. While I have been known to dabble in the “product” world, I would not consider myself a regular.

One of the most interesting phenomenons in the hair product market is their labeling system. Take the popular LA Looks line of hair gels, for instance. In addition to their 6-10 rating system (for how strong of a hold the gel will produce on your hair), they also offer a description of its power. Here’s the list in descending order (from most to least powerful):

  • 10–X-treme hold
  • 9–Mega Mega hold
  • 8–Mega hold
  • 7–Extra Super Hold
  • 6–Super Hold

X-treme, mega, extra, super–these are some of the most descriptive words in the English language. But when you put them side by side to try to make marginal distinctions among products, it entirely cancels out the effectiveness of their descriptive power.

In fact, when I have tried different levels of gel intensity in the past, I can’t even tell a difference–all of them seem the same to me. It leaves me wondering if it isn’t anything more than a marketing scheme trying to create supposed distinctions between nearly identical products.

So what’s the big deal?

When I spent four months in London in the Spring of 2004, I remember how the locals at church used to mock the way Americans overuse the word ‘awesome.’ Our food is awesome. Our friends are awesome. Our football team is awesome. Everything is awesome.
To them, using the word awesome in so many different settings to describe so many different things robs it of its ability to function as a true description of our Awesome God.

To describe something as awesome means that it is worthy of awe. Is food worthy of awe? How about friends or football teams? No, but our great God is.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

The next time you see a guy with “product” in his hair, let it remind you of the way that wasting our superlative descriptions on worldly things can rob them of their significance towards God.


2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Ha! great post. I have never been to big into the “product” world, but wow — that is certainly interesting. And yes, He and He alone is Awesome!

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