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Voluminous and smooth hair is the ultimate goal for many women, especially since we grew up with those shampoo advertisements where the women always seem naturally blessed with a beautiful, glossy head of hair!

You head out to buy these shampoos that promise a head full of bouncy, silky hair as demonstrated in the ads – only to be disappointed that the miracle shampoo does not seem to work magic on your hair. Sounds familiar? We hear you!

There’s actually nothing wrong with your hair. Instead, there are plenty of tricks that hair shampoo ads employ to achieve that level of glossy perfection.

Hair Commercial Ads 1

We’re here to bust some myths about these apparently gorgeous hair ads because, believe us, it takes way more than a mere shampoo to achieve that gloss, bounce, and volume you see on the screen.

Suave, a shampoo company, recently produced a video that revealed to women what really goes on behind the scenes for the models’ hair to look like they stepped out of a fairytale, before showing how their own ads use real women styling their own hair using only Suave products. Turns out, there’s lots more than meets the eye!

These are five of the clever, funny and downright surprising tricks that hair shampoo ads use surreptitiously, that result in those amazing tresses that elicit all sorts of emotions when you see them.

1. Hours of preparation prior to the shoot

If only giving your hair a good wash with the shampoo and conditioner resulted in the beautiful hair you see in the ads!

Prior to filming the advertisements, hair models typically go through at least three hours of preparation for their hair to look so perfect. Stylists will apply high-gloss treatments to their tresses, before carefully blow-drying, curling, and then straightening the hair to get that unbeatable shine.

The next time you want to achieve hair that looks right out of an ad, you need to go to a salon and ask for the whole works instead.

2. People in green tights

Hair Commercial Ads 2

Source: 9GAG

We bet you didn’t know that the hair of a model which looks like a shiny bolt of molten satin cascading down her back in slow-mo is the work of little green men and women against a green screen!

Hair ads use people armed with rods and other implements to make even the hair on models move in a very deliberate way. When these green-suited folk are erased during post-production, you’d be none the wiser!

3. Lights, rods, fans and action!

Hair Ads Green Screen Fluffing

Source: Jeromy Robert

To achieve the shine and movement of that cascading waterfall of hair in those ads, it takes more than just a random flick of the model’s head. Well-placed spotlights trained on the hair elicit as much shine as possible from the model’s mane, while those hardworking green suited crew members use fishing rods to flick the hair up for bounce.

Movement is also enhanced by huge fans that artfully blow the hair back from the face, creating that effortless windswept look.

4. Nobody wants Styrofoam balls in their hair

Hair Ads Styrofoam Balls

Source: Jeromy Robert

This one may be a real shocker because it almost feels rather deceptive. To fake volume, stylists sometimes strategically place Styrofoam balls at the back of the model’s head, especially when shooting front or top-down shots.

The balls help to create the illusion of volume from the front and they don’t weigh the model’s head down, allowing her to retain natural movement for the shoot. It’s an unflattering look, but hey, that’s movie magic.

5. Hair extensions – yes, that’s fake hair

Hair Ads Hair Extensions

Source: Jeromy Robert

Last but not least is the use of hair extensions to add length to the model’s hair. Like the point above on using Styrofoam balls to create volume, this trick feels like a cop-out to us.

Stylists don’t even have to clip the extensions to the model’s head: when shooting from the front at an angle, the extensions could be artfully placed on the platform behind while the model is positioned carefully over the extensions to create a seamless illusion.

The result on camera? It merely looks like the model has such amazing long, silky hair!

Check out Suave’s original video

Suave is, of course, trying to sell their own hair products with the video, and would certainly portray the regular hair shampoo industry in a more negative light so that their own ad stands out in comparison.

However, there have been many other sources, like 9GAG and Jezebel, which have reported on the same tricks and techniques used in the advertising industry for hair shampoo ads, and it does appear that Suave hadn’t exaggerated too much in their video.

After all this, do you still trust shampoo ads? Or do you think the beauty industry is wisening up to calls for authenticity and will heed the calls to stop such trickery in their portrayal of beauty?