steve jones

In a new attempt to beguile British viewers with boundary-breaking reality television, BBC3 really has outdone itself with new show Hair. What’s the premise? Here’s a clue: hair – lots of it, real, not-real, big, small, you name it. In Hair, eight amateur stylists compete against one another by crafting remarkably impractical hairstyles for…some undisclosed purpose. There are judges who no one’s ever heard of and a superfluous presenter. So far, so familiar.

Seemingly, the only thing that all of said hair has in common is that it’s in dire need of a taste injection, and indeed, the same could be said of the contestants themselves. Still, who wants to watch the British public create classic styles with panache when you can watch someone try to build an eight foot braided hair flower that’s been through some magical embiggening machine? Not me, no sir.

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Presented by Welsh mining calendar pin up Steve Jones and ‘judged’ by royal family hairstylist Denise McAdam and Alain Pichon, who the show refers to as a “celebrity superstar stylist”, the first challenge involves creating a classic quiff of AT LEAST SEVEN CENTIMETERS AND NOT A MILLIMETER SHORTER. Some backcombing, a couple of barrel rolls, and a few braids later, and the contestants’ time is up. Cue Alain and a spiky thing to jab into the models’ heads for to measure the heights of said quiffs. Shock! Horror! Approximately 80% of the contestants fail to reach the absolutely non-negotiable seven cm mark. It doesn’t matter, though, as another challenge is round the corner to negate the significance of the first one. This one demands that the viewers watch hair dry. Riveting.

The final challenge of the day, and apparently the only one with any really real consequences, involves creating a style according to a fairytale theme with as many hair extensions, glitter bombs and joke shop accessories as the amateurs can possibly stomach (which is, apparently, a lot.) Highlights include a 20-ft tall unicorn horn which is about 2lbs off breaking its model’s neck, and an ‘ice queen’, which, despite some earlier scepticism from the show’s totally pointless judges, looks almost tasteful.

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Eliminated in week one was aspiring bridal stylist, Amy, who lost her place in the competition for styling a Rapunzel, whose defining characteristic is surely her excessively long locks, with short hair. Too easy. Roll on next week.

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