The many uses of Aqua net

by Lorin Michel Monday, February 2, 2015 9:51 PM

It was Helene Curtis who first used the term hair spray. It was in 1950, when she released a product called Spray Net, a sticky, resin-based spray used to hold hair in place no matter wind, or storm, sleet, snow, rain or hair brush. Next came a spray called Aqua Net, a product that came to symbolize and epitomize the idea of hair spray. Every woman knew about Aqua Net. In the 1950s and 60s, with beehive hair styles, it was a necessity to hold hair in place. In the 1970s, it was needed because of Farrah Fawcett. How else to explain the feathered looks that never moved?

Sally Albright, Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally, used Aqua Net, spraying it liberally on her feathered hair inside the car before going into a diner. In the 1980s, during the reign of big hair, on both men and women, Aqua Net once again was in the news. Of course, by then, there were also many other hair sprays, some with less hold, few with more. All of them coated the hair with a fine web of goo that kept hair exactly where it was originally placed.

Aqua Net is still around. It’s a cheap, drug-store brand that found renewed fame in 2002 when Broadway revived the show Hairspray. It isn’t used in most hair salons, at least not the ones that I’ve frequented over the years. Maybe in certain parts of the country.

Its reputation of being able to hold anything in place forever means that it can be used for many things other than hair. For instance, creating your own post-it notes. Simply spray a bit on the back of a note and stick it to the wall. Evidently it can also be used to secure a chalk snap line on a cement floor.

Today, Tony the tile guy picked up two pallets of floor tile in order to start putting our floor in place. All of the tile was supposed to have been delivered on Saturday but it was raining and the guys who were delivering it didn’t have a regular delivery truck, plus we don’t have a driveway. We have dirt, at least until pavers are put down. When it rains, we have mud. It just wasn’t a good idea, so we canceled the delivery.

Tile Tony and Architect Mike decided that the tile would start on a center line emanating from the radius point, or the big saguaro in the middle of the drive, through the center line of the front door, all the way through to the deck. In order to create this center, they’ll be using a chalk line, a piece of string curled inside a canister filled with crushed chalk of a vibrant color, usually blue. The string curls like a tape measure. You pull it out as long as you need it to be, hold it taught and snap it hard. The string hits the surface, in this case cement, and leaves a perfect chalk line in its place.

Because it’s chalk, it will smudge and fade away into the desert. Unless it is somehow secured to the floor. How best to do that? An aluminum can with purple/burgundy graphics and a white and black logo. Aqua Net.

My husband suggested it and the men agreed. These big, bad, construction guy guys talking about Aqua Net and the fine art of applying a lacquer and resin-based hair spray to a line on a cement floor made me laugh out loud.

Let’s just hope if works.

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