Does an apple a day really straighten your hair?

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The Independent Online

Hair-product advertising is wonderful. Think what it's given us; the arc shot (shiny long hair moves 180 degrees in slow motion); the tumble shot (shiny long hair tumbles down a slender bare back); the computer-graphic hair-shaft situation (scientific miniature magic happens). But the conventions of Big Hair Advertising have that Reagan period look; they're obviously the aesthetic of a generation before the Starbucks' lofts-for-all lobby, the world of Gap and CK one. Fructus is, in marketing-speak terms, a second brand's sub-brand.

Laboratoire Garnier is part of L'Oreal and Fructus is a Garnier sub-brand. It's that bit more modern, with a theme of youthful naturalness, and the story that nice hair comes out of a fruit bowl.

There's a Fructus look – younger, unisex, not so obviously Seventh Avenue – and a Fructus palette; it's citrus, with a lot of lime slices. It's not exactly Hoxton Square, and certainly not Genoa/ Gothenburg/Seattle but it's moved on a lot from early Cindy Crawford. So we get a girl with bad hair – frizzy hair – pouting miserably, in black and white. "Is frizzy hair doing your head in?" says the voiceover, who sounds like a Saturday morning TV presenter, a sort of Home Counties Mockney Mild. Doing your head in isn't L'Oreal main brand language, which is relentlessly upbeat ("because I'm worth it").

The answer, as always, lies in fruit therapy. Fruits are saints who give you long-lasting frizz control. Fruit therapy lets you move on (and now that really is important language, because moving on is a crucial concept in shrink-speak). You move on to the first day of the rest of your life with fruit micro-waxes. Did you know that fruit contained micro-waxes? Well it does, and they're combined in smoothing milk (don't worry, haircare language has a higher logic that rises above kitchen pedantry) that makes everything super-smooth. As hair gets straighter, the world gets happier and the screen gets more colourful, as swirly as a citrus lava-lamp or a Gordon's Gin cinema commercial. Boys and girls cluster for a Fame Academy group shot and everything is completely life-affirming and as organic as you can get in the aspirational mid-market, 20 through 35.

But exactly how fruity is Fructus? That's what we Naomi Klein/Planet Organic types all want to know nowadays.

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