Hair Care Secrets – Horizon BBC2 23rd January 2017

Hair Care Secrets BBC HorizonSo how much hair care can you cover in an hour?  Quite a lot, but maybe not as much as the producers tried to cram into this one.  We had the biology of hair, a run down of the chemistry of both shampoos and conditioners, restorative hair surgery, a new hair strengthening agent, hair evaluation technology, how to shoot hair for adverts, greying hair and the latest gene research.  I am out of breath just typing it all.

I think I would have been happier losing some topics for more depth on the ones remaining.  But given the amount they tried to cram in they made a pretty good fist of it.  A lot of it was quite familiar to me but I think was a pretty good summary for people who don’t know it already.  There were a few eye openers for me.  I didn’t realise quite how sophisticated research into grey hair has become and that a treatment for it might well come out of that research.  (That might well become a future blog post.)  I was also surprised that L’Oréal are working on what sounds like something genuinely groundbreaking in terms of hair care.  I was a bit suspicious at just how smooth the scientific spokesman sounded though.  I wondered if the PR department might have rather a big hand in that bit.

The presenters were a GP whose qualification was apparently a hair style that resembled a small brown cloud (in a good way) and a professor who was introduced as a molecular biologist, which is probably about as good a background as one could wish for for the subject in hand.  People hoping for debunking of big products would have been disappointed.  The coverage was factual and not particularly critical.   There was a bit of muttering about the research not being published in peer reviewed journals, but I don’t suppose that was an issue of much importance to most viewers.  (And not much of a point either.)

If you were looking for hair care tips you’d have picked up a bit, but not much that regular beauty blog readers wouldn’t already know.  The most interesting bit for me was a quick run through of the techniques that are used to make hair look good when it is being filmed for adverts.  This was illustrated by a third presenter – I missed the bit where she was introduced but she mentioned she was a physicist – being given the glamorous treatment.

So all in all a programme well worth watching.   It doesn’t really reveal any “hair care secrets”.  A more accurate name would be  “hair care reasonably obvious stuff but quite well explained”.  But it was all in all a pretty well put together programme.  I couldn’t find anything to fault it on with respect to accuracy, which is quite impressive given the size and complexity of the business they were talking about.  The only bit to fast forward through is the talking heads from members of the public. They didn’t really say anything that shed any light on anything much.  I don’t think that you need members of the public actually in something like this for it to be interesting to the public.

Here’s a link for UK readers.


1 thought on “Hair Care Secrets – Horizon BBC2 23rd January 2017”

  1. Hi Colin
    Like you I was waiting for something really insightful but also to see whether it might increase public awareness of “the science behind” cosmetic products. I think it achieved that. For the record the “smooth scientist” you saw also gave the first SCS lecture of 2017 and I would say it is his natural style; a rare ability to get across the science in an easy manner. I suspect you would have liked his talk too. It was an update on what “Beauty” really is; or more correctly, the elements current science tells us may influence perception of this quality in men and women. As such it was like the one you gave up in Nottingham all those years ago (I think it was a Society for Biology event?)
    I hope the video of it will be up on the members site soon….

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