Steve Jones (2014)

Katherine Ryan (2015)


Judges: Denise McAdam and Alain Pichon


BBC Documentaries Production London for BBC Three, 25 February to 1 April 2014 (6 episodes in 1 series)

BBC Documentaries Production London for BBC Two, 13 July to 4 August 2015 (8 episodes in 1 series)


Eight young amateur hairstylists demonstrate their ability to cut, style, imaginate, and bequiff.

Three rounds made up each episode: the first required the competitors to demonstrate a particular style on a live model. The judging included a specific element, such as a quiff reaching at least 7cm high.

Round two was a technical cut on a "blockhead", a mannequin with identical hair. Best in this round got first choice of human models for the final round, where they'd be challenged to make haircuts meeting a broad brief, such as fairytales. Best performance was noted, and the worst over the three rounds left the competition.

Throughout the show, Steve Jones asked judges Denise and Alain what they're looking for, and details how the contestants expect to meet the challenges. The whole programme glowed with positivity, it was a celebration of what these young people could do.

Less snippy than Great British Hairdresser, less shouty than The Taste, we were most reminded of The Great British Bake Off - and indeed so were Bake Off's production company Love Productions, who threatened to sue the BBC over similarities between the formats. Perhaps this caused some of the changes for series two...

Steve Jones gets the hairdryer treatment. And the comb, and the tongs, and the spritzer...

Now on Two

With BBC3 being run down for closure, Hair shuffled across to BBC2 for its second run. Shows went out on Monday and Tuesday nights, half-an-hour at 10pm.

The Monday shows were set in the Hair salon. Each began with a "freestyle" round, wild and amazing hair creations. The best half of the contestants were safe; the remainder took on the "technical" challenge, this time on a live model (and demonstrated on host Katharine Ryan) rather than a blockhead. Who's leaving? Tell you tomorrow.

Tuesday's shows began with the elimination held over from yesterday. Then to a location, such as a fashion show or a bridal fair, for two "professional challenges". Worst performer on this day was out, everyone else came back next week to do it again.

The standard of creations was higher, but putting the freestyle round first meant that we were starting with the best bit. The programme was rushed, too. We hardly had time to appreciate four creations in each hour, let alone understand the judges' decisions.


2014: Marvin Francis
2015: Phil Hunt

Title music

Tom Howe and Mike Reed are credited for "Original music".


Hair was one of the most successful launches in BBC3's history, almost a million saw the first episode during two primetime broadcasts.

Graphics for the programme were made by Kazoo Creative. The Hair Consultant (yes, such a job exists) was Emily Kent.

Web links

BBC programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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