Sunday, December 1, 2013


In the 50s, young Pinoy lads dabbed their hair with "brilliantine" pomade to create the pompadour look that was the rage of the era. Popularized by James Dean and Elvis, the iconic men's hairdo was completed with cowlick that was forced to curl in front of one's forehead with more dabs of pomade. Early brands included imported ones like Vitalis and Brylcreem, but cheaper, local brands dominated the market from the 50s-70s, like "Palikero", "X-7", "Verbena", "Beatles" and "Robin Hood Medicated Solid Brilliantine Pomade".
Created by Beauty Chemical Lab which had a plant along Dasmarinas in Manila, Robin Hood caught on with the young crowd, favoring its extra-heavy brilliantine effect on hair. The brand icon shows the bemoustached hero-outlaw who robbed the rich to help the poor---Robin Hood--all in his red tights glory. Curiously, the package graphics show him wielding a sword instead of the bow and arrow that identifies him as an archer, first and foremost.
Robin Hood Pomade was promoted nationally and advertising tin signs like this example were nailed in front of neighborhood stores to attract consumer attention. Poamdes went out of style in the 90s, with hair gels and clay taking their place. But in the distant 50s, there was nothing like Robin Hood to groom you and bring out the the handsome rogue in you. Finally, as its advertising blurb proclaims---gleaming, shining, brilliant hair can now be "thrillingly yours!".

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