Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures



One of the unexpected things expats go through is the trial and error process of finding products that are comparable to the ones we used back home and liked. I’m hyper-brand loyal when it comes to products I really like, so finding replacements has been a real slog. Add in that I’ve lived in three different cities in two countries and my troubles have only been compounded.

In France, my biggest issue was shampoo. When I bought my first bottle of French shampooing, I noticed right away that it was doing something awful to my hair, namely making it dry like hay and coarse to the touch. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was for a long time since taking a dictionary to the store with me wasn’t a really practical option and none of the words on the bottles seemed to suggest that what the product did was make your hair look and feel terrible.

In a way, I was right (yay!). What I was missing was what wasn’t there: “for daily use.” Like an idiot, I’d assumed that all the brands were for daily use, but I was wrong. (No jokes here about how the French don’t bathe: it’s not true. They just don’t wash their hair every day, which is technically healthier.)

This is the kind I get from Carrefour, one of the big national grocery store chains. I like that it’s formulated for daily use, is cheap and comes in a cool, minimal design bottle. In fact, I like the whole range of products from this company. They remind me of Target’s Method line of stuff and anything that’s like Target is okay by me.

Learn something

To “pooh-pooh” is to dismiss something as foolish. I think it’s totally unfair that “pooh,” “poo” and Winnie the Pooh are all pronounced the same way.


Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

7 thoughts on “Shampooh-poohing

  1. I had the same problem finding deodorant in Ireland. They were all sprays and I’m not a huge fan. I had to buy it on my trips to visit friends and family in France and I often asked my mom to ship some to me in care packages.

  2. I used Dop in France; it’s cheap and it smells AMAZING. Try the shower gel made from frambroises du vallé du Rhone (or summit like that). You can thank me later ;)

  3. I miss Target…
    And my hair is horrible here but I don’t think it’s been the shampoo but the water, it’s very hard – calcaire.

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