What is it, exactly, that makes hair look "expensive?" Is it the bounce you have after a fresh blowout? The carefree tousle you get from riding around in a convertible with the top down? Or is it when you have the kind of volume that's as big as your bank account balance? The truth is, it's much harder to pinpoint what constitutes rich-looking hair than it is to just throw down cash on fancy shampoos and treatments to get it.
So, drugstore staple Suave set out to prove that expensive hair doesn't have to be expensive, and the only thing stopping you from a thick, luxurious, shiny head of hair is... you. And they did it via a social experiment of epic proportions: The brand told a group of women they were trying new products from a high-end, up-and-coming company — "Evaus" — when in reality, Suave had poured its Strengthening Honey Infusion formula into the kind of minimalist bottles millennials go nuts for. In a video, the women shared their testimonials. One dubbed the packaging "modern" and "sleek;" another said the formula "left [her] hair super strong and healthy." One tester, convinced the shampoo was $$$, declared, "Quality is what you pay for."
But lo and behold, they soon learned that the products were actually — surprise! — Suave. ('Evaus' is actually 'Suave' spelled backwards — sneaky, sneaky.) As you might imagine, the women's reactions upon hearing the truth are hilarious. Watch for yourself below.
The lesson, of course, is that there are plenty of excellent hair products — at the drugstore, in plastic bottles, maybe with a pump — that can give expensive-looking hair without the sticker shock. It also shows that brand bias, whether we admit it or not, is real. "Some women see our products as lower quality just because they are at a lower price point," says Jen Bremner, the marketing director for Suave. "So we decided to peel back the label, and Evaus was born."
But if you think this halo effect has its roots in A-list circles, not so fast. "I actually see less brand bias with my celebrity clients and on movie sets than I do at the salon," says Marcus Francis, hairstylist for Suave Professionals. "Stars want what works and trust my judgement. But consumers just assume that if a celeb is wearing a $10k dress, she must have a super expensive beauty routine to look the way she does, and that's simply not true. The truth is I really stick to what gets the job done, and that doesn’t need to cost a fortune."
Now that you're saving so much on hair care, you might just have enough in your checking account to actually feel rich, too — how's that for the best of both worlds?
This story was not written in conjunction with Suave Professionals.