These are dark days, loyal readers.

Dark, wet, humid days.

The kind of days that call for massive amounts of hair gel/mousse/spray — and still leave you wanting to slouch through work in a ponytail and baseball cap. The kind that make you seriously question the “waterproof” claim on your mascara. The kind that cause you to run through an entire pack of blotting papers before noon.

Really, we’re ready for a little sun. Absent that, we’re ready for a lot of cosmological help.

Enter Sally Beauty Supply.

Because sometimes you just need a gallon of hair product.

Sally’s has a bit of a mystique — we thought most of the shop was for beauty professionals only and off-limits to laypeople. We were happy to discover that wasn’t the case. Now Bag Lady and Shopping Siren have a new favorite stop for emery boards and Practice Hands.

Practice Hands? Yes. And Practice Fingers. We don’t kid.

• Conair pro rollabout dryer, $99.99
Sit under the dryer reading Cosmo and kvetching about the weather — at home! Three temperature settings. Adjustable height. On wheels. Dump that newfangled blow dryer and go old school.

• Queen Helene aloe hand and body lotion, 32 oz., $3.99
The sun will come out. Eventually. We’re sure of it. And in preparation, grab a little moisturizer. Or, you know, a lot of moisturizer to ward off impending crows’ feet. Hey, it’s $3.99 for a 32 oz. supply — you can afford to stockpile.

• Practice Hand, $8.29
Life-likeish pink plastic practice hand for practicing beauty things. Not ready for all five digits? Try the Practice Finger ($1.79.) Practice Elbow does not exist, don’t look for it.

• Assorted emery boards, 79 cents to $1.69
Emery boards are one of those beauty accouterments that every girl needs . . . and every girl needs to replace. The boards come in an array of colors, including hot pink, striking silver and old fashioned brown. Mix and match with . . .

• China Glaze nail polish, various colors, $5.99 and Nina Ultra Pro nail polish, various colors, $2.99
When we say “various colors” we mean “all the colors you can imagine putting on your nails and several you can’t.” For example, China Glaze’s Neon In The Lime Light, the brightest of bright greens, and Nina’s orange flame, an I’m-not-a-deer-don’t-shoot-me orange. For when you want to stand out from the crowd. Far, far out

• Beyond the Zone hair care line, various prices
A product line Bag Lady has never heard of, but with flashy packaging, bold colors and silly names — Noodle Head curling cream, Bada Bing extreme hold gel — it’s instantly intriguing. (Ah, wily marketers, you did your job well.) A potential must-try next Halloween: Spike It hair cement ($5.79). Look for the happenin’ gal with the pink mohawk.

• Wav Enforcer premium do-rag, $3.29
BL and SS don’t know do-rags; it’s one of our beauty blindspots. Nonetheless, we had no idea there would be so many to choose from (black, white, premium). Who knew? (No, really, who knew? We’d love to hear from you if you know what do-rags do.)

• Conair pro foreign travel hair dryer adapters, four-pack, $9.99
Don’t be caught overseas with untamed, kinky flyaways. Unless that’s why you specifically went abroad, and then, well, enjoy.

• Savvi’s Ed Hardy temporary tattoos, $3.99
Go on, ink yourself up (temporarily) in time for summer. We heartily condone fleeting, social badassness. Includes requisite dragons, skulls and roses, along with a, “Love Kills Slowly” tat. Amen, Ed Hardy, amen.

• Salon Care conditioner, one gallon, $7.99
This one sends BL back down memory lane. Her mother used to buy Sally’s gallon jugs and called it creme rinse instead of conditioner, for reasons unknown. So BL called it creme rinse and the kids laughed. Oh, how they laughed.

Best find: Sea Breeze astringent, one gallon, $33.99
What, you’ve been buying your astringent a mere five ounces at a time? Clearly, you weren’t aware it existed in giganto size. Use carefully. More spilled down the sink = less money saved. Sure to cause astringent envy among friends.

Think twice: Sassy hair extensions, various lengths, $7.49 to $46.99
The packaging proclaims 100 percent human hair. Um. Good? We’re not sure whether to applaud such dedication to authenticity or back away slowly. Either way, we’re thinking that hair extensions aren’t really a DIY kind of project. Want to trim your own bangs? Go for it! Giving yourself a manicure? We know where you can get a Practice Hand to warm up first! But we draw the line at in-home hair extensions, human or otherwise. Some things are better left to beauty professionals.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who believe good hair care starts and ends with a rain shower) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] or [email protected]


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