Urban Outfitters, that edgy store found in a mall near you, is currently upsetting people for having stocked a shampoo for "suicidal hair"—a tagline so chosen because the product "bring your locks back from a state of complete depression," BuzzFeed reported. Um. First off, hair doesn't get depressed. Secondly, seriously??
The product, from the company Anatomicals, has apparently been in stores for years, the company's co-founder Paul Marshall told BuzzFeed. It was only after Sam Missingham tweeted a photo of the shampoo that people began to sit up and notice the shampoo.
The back of the bottle is just as bad. No, it's worse: it features a woman with long hair jumping off a cliff and this text:
Well, I knew it was feeling a little off colour, but I just put that down to the bad dye job. I never knew my once beautiful hair would actually commit suicide by tossing itself off dramatic white cliffs to the rocks below. Now look at me, completely bald.
Before it’s too late, bring your locks back from a state of complete depression with this conditioning peach shampoo. It’s hair heaven here on earth.
Missingham tweeted her outrage after her friend's teenage daughter alerted her to the existence of the ridiculous shampoo. Good job, anonymous daughter, for drawing attention to this product that has gone unnoticed for too long.
“As an adult, I am fully aware that the advertising and branding of beauty products relies on a level of manipulation,” Missingham told BuzzFeed. “Teenage girls don’t necessarily have the maturity and experience to filter out such messaging."
She put it quite bluntly that, “To use suicide as a marketing hook shows a phenomenal level of idiocy and, quite frankly, is entirely unnecessary."
Antomicals and Urban Outfitters have ceded that there is truth in Missingham's words.
“We’re probably not going to continue selling the product,” Marshall told BuzzFeed. "That’s not to say that we’ve [bowed] down to a couple of people who have made comments that we don’t agree with. So we’re not bowing down to a nanny state, that’s for sure."
"But we don’t wish to offend anyone, and that’s why we have removed it from sale," the Anatomicals co-founder added. "We are a cool, young, fun, irreverent brand—look at all our other products, they all have cute, funny titles." Other shampoo titles include The Sleek Shall Inherit the Earth.
“We want to bring smiles," Marshall said, "to people’s bathrooms, we never set out to offend.”
Urban Outfitter's response has been much more succinct.
Good riddance, suicidal shampoo.