Ah, hair product ads. The models all have perfect, frizz-free, silken locks that crown their gorgeous heads. They never have a hair out of place, and look fabulous all the time, so you think: “I’ll buy that product and it’ll give me hair like hers.” Erm, unfortunately not.
Those commercials are made using all the tricks of the trade and more, and getting your hair to look like the models’ hair will take a whole lot more work than just using one particular product.
So how do the commercials get the hair to look so gloriously flawless that we’re overcome by envy? It’s not as if the advertising industry advertises their secrets, but one Canadian Twitter user and manga artist who goes by the handle @Okolnir has made an exciting discovery.
The artist was researching how to draw hair in motion. What they found was photographs from behind-the-scenes at a commercial shampoo shoot.
Most shampoo commercials feature a model praising the shampoo in question while her perfect hair blows in the wind. When the hair lands, it does so in precisely the correct place and looks picture perfect.
So how do they make the hair look so flawless in a draught without the model ending up looking as if she’s been pulled through a bush backward? It turns out the secret to the whole thing is this: the green screen.
A green screen in film and video is a green background. Moving people (or animals, for that matter) are filmed in front of the screen, and later other filmed footage is added to the background of the final product.
In the commercials featuring models with their hair blowing in the background, the model is joined in front of the camera by two other people. They wear green screen bodysuits described by Twitter user @LonelyGeekess as “green ninjas.”
These “ninjas” stand on green screen fabric draped chairs or crates with green sticks in their hands. With these sticks, they hold up the model’s hair as if it’s being blown up by the wind.
No, it’s not a fan
If you’ve ever thought about how these commercials get the hair to blow outwards, you probably thought that off-camera are large fans blowing her way. But that’s not the case. Because of the green screen effect, the two green “ninjas” use the sticks to move the model’s hair instead of using a fan.
Lots of help
Now that social media has outed the shampoo commercials industry over their use of the green screen method, what about how the models’ hair looks so perfect? Well, we bet that it’s not just the result of using one particular shampoo.
There’s so much more to getting hair that looks perfect, and that involves a team of professionals, many different products, a lot of time, and naturally great hair. So, next time you see a shampoo commercial, take it with a pinch of salt.