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A tub of Brylcreem
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. The cream is an emulsion of water and mineral oil stabilised with beeswax.


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 Brylcreem brand was 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 2010, the brand was distributed by Godrej in India.[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!"[1] 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.[2] The Brylcreem television advertisement 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 poster at a railway station in England, 1944
  • 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.
  • Fazal Mahmood 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.[3]
  • The Rutles' All You Need Is Cash (1978), a Beatles mockumentary, mentions that one of its characters shortened his hair "to save on Brylcreem."
  • In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, while a nurse is applying conductant during electroshock therapy, McMurphy quips: "A little dab'll do ya."
  • On January 26, 1987, WWF Primetime Wrestling commentator Gorilla Monsoon mentioned Bret Hart "must have 47 pounds of Brylcream on his head".
  • In Seinfeld, Season 5, Episode 11, George Costanza explains how he still has Brylcreem, despite the fact that he is bald.
  • In Young Sheldon, Season 1, Episode 20, Sheldon Cooper is shown to use Brylcreem.
  • In Louie, Season 3, Episode 11, David Lynch's character explains to Louis CK that he needs some Brylcreem along with a new suit to look the part of a late-show host.
  • In Law & Order, Season 13, Episode 20, Lennie Briscoe remarked, "A little jab'll do ya," a play on the well known tagline with reference to a death facilitated by the drug midazolam.
  • In The Sopranos (Season 2, Episode 3), Junior Soprano remarks to Richie Aprile "The Federal Marshals are so far up my ass I can taste Brylcreem."
  • In King & Maxwell, Season 1, Episode 3, Sean King says about FBI offices "It smells like Brylcreem."
  • American Dad!, Season 1, Episode 9, "A Smith in the Hand", has the title character searching for ointment and in desperation crying 'A little dab'll do ya!'
  • In an episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert calls Ted Cruz "Texas senator, and Brylcreem storage facility, Ted Cruz."
  • In Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 7, Roger Sterling orders more drinks before a meeting with the Nixon campaign declaring "Well, what the hell? It's the GOP. They'll never smell it over the stench of the Brylcreem."
  • In Call the Midwife, Series 3: Ep. 1 "Christmas Special", Dr. Turner's son, Timothy, asks for a jar of Brylcreem while imprisoned in an iron lung upon a polio diagnosis."
  • In The Blacklist, Season 1, Episode 22, Reddington refers to the use of Brylcreem while being held captive.
  • In the Netflix mystery film Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie, the line "A Little Dab'll Do Ya!" provides a crucial clue.
  • Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra is the brand ambassador for Brylcreem in India.
  • 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. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Del Ponte, Jimmy, "And now a word from our sponsor", The Somerville Times, Somerville, Massachusetts, 27 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ [2] Los Angeles Times, 17 July 1992, "Hanley M. Norins; Young & Rubicam Executive, Author" Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Pakistan: A history through posters, papers and assorted paraphernalia". Dawn. 21 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ [3]The Guardian, 02 April 2012, Retrieved 20 April 2019.

External links[edit]