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Current supplierCombe Incorporated
WebsiteOfficial website

Brylcreem (/ˈbrɪlkrm/) is a British brand of hair styling products for men. The first Brylcreem product was a hair cream created in 1928 by County Chemicals at the Chemico Works in Bradford Street, Birmingham, England,[1] and is the flagship product of the current brand. The cream is an emulsion of water and mineral oil stabilised with beeswax.[2] It is notable for the high shine it provides, which spawned the name of the product, stemming from "brilliantine" and "cream".[citation needed]


The British pharmaceutical firm Beecham was the longtime owner of Brylcreem. Sara Lee bought the personal care unit of SmithKline Beecham in June 1993. In January 2012, the global rights to sell the brand of Brylcreem were sold by Sara Lee Corporation, to Unilever.[citation needed]

Various Brylcreem products are sold worldwide. Brylcreem is marketed in the United States by Combe Incorporated, in Europe by Unilever and in India by HUL. Before Godrej acquired a 51% stake of Sara Lee, in their joint venture Godrej Sara Lee in May 2010, the brand was distributed by Godrej in India.[3][citation needed]


It was first advertised on television with the jingle "Brylcreem — A Little Dab'll Do Ya! Brylcreem — You'll look so debonair. Brylcreem — The gals'll all pursue ya; they'll love to run their fingers through your hair!".[4] Another version was "Brylcreem—a little dab will do ya! Use more only if you dare; but watch out! The gals will all pursue ya! They'll love to run their fingers through your hair!"

The jingle was created by Hanley M. Norins of the Young & Rubicam advertising agency.[5] The television advertisement for Brylcreem included a cartoon animation of a man with (initially) shaggy hair, who happily has a little dab applied, and, miraculously, the hair combs and smooths itself.

When the dry look became popular, partly inspired by the unoiled moptops of the Beatles, the last line was changed from "They'll love to run their fingers through your hair", to "They'll love the natural look it gives your hair". Subsequent television advertisements used the mottoes "Grooms without gumming" and later, in the 1970s, in the United Kingdom and Canada, "A little dab of Brylcreem on your hair gives you the Brylcreem bounce".

Notable users and popular culture[edit]

Brylcreem advertisement at a railway station in England in 1944 with the slogan, "Keep your hair shipshape - Brylcreem your hair".
  • The Brylcreem Boys is a film from 1998, directed and co-written by Terence Ryan, about the internment of Axis and Allied combatants during World War II.
  • Denis Compton, the Middlesex and England batsman and Arsenal footballer, was one of the earliest British sportsmen to make serious money from product endorsement when he advertised Brylcreem in the 1940s and '50s.
  • Fazal Mahmoud was the first Pakistani cricketer to model for Brylcreem. It was the first time a commercial brand had hired a Pakistani cricketer as a model.[6]
  • During the Second World War, members of the RAF became known as "Brylcreem boys". Initially intended as an insult by other branches of the forces due to the RAF's perceived safe and comfortable job back in Britain, one that afforded them the luxury of personal grooming; the term became one of endearment after their success during the Battle of Britain. [7]
  • Jimmy Buffett sang the Brylcreem jingle at the end of Pencil Thin Mustache.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles-Philippe (2 September 2014). "British vs. American Brylcreem: A Comparative Review | Bespoke Unit". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  2. ^ Brett & Kate McKay (16 February 2011). "Old-School Men's Hair Products: Pomades, Brylecreem, and Hair Tonic". The Art of Manliness. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Sara Lee to sell 51% joint venture stake to Godrej for €185m". 18 May 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  4. ^ [1] Del Ponte, Jimmy, "And now a word from our sponsor", The Somerville Times, Somerville, Massachusetts, 27 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  5. ^ [2] Los Angeles Times, 17 July 1992, "Hanley M. Norins; Young & Rubicam Executive, Author" Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Pakistan: A history through posters, papers and assorted paraphernalia". Dawn. 21 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ [3]The Guardian, 02 April 2012, Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  8. ^

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