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Fear of ''hat hair'' before his court appearance this week prompted a Dunedin man to style his locks with stolen hair gel, police say.
Police were called to Kmart in the Meridian mall following reports that a man used hair gel without paying for it.
The 29-year-old told police he used the gel because he was concerned over his ''hat hair'' before a court appearance, Senior Sergeant Bruce Ross said.
He told police he thought the gel was a free sample.
The man later appeared on a charge of intentional damage on Tuesday, and was sentenced to 140 hours' community work.
He was given a pre-charge warning for the theft, Snr Sgt Ross said.