In a world where word of mouth is the most powerful advertising and marketing strategy around, fake hair product reviews often come with the territory. Some pproduct reviewers present glowing, over the top reviews to deceive or make money on sales of a particular hair product or service. Whatever the motive, fake hair product reviews can not only cause damage to your hair, but also damage to your wallet! So, how can you spot fake hair product reviews?
1.) Fake Hair Product Reviews Often Come From Unknown or Untrustworthy Reviewers
The Internet and You tube have made us all potential product reviewers! Whenever possible familiarize yourself with the reviewer. Is this person known or trusted in the industry or as a reviewer? Have they reviewed other hair products? Most importantly, does their hair look like how you want your hair to look? It is safest to go with reviews from established bloggers or personalities online that you have come to trust. Often times these reviewers won’t be professionals in the industry, just consumers like you and me. But even here, you can usually make a distinction between a quality professional review and someone trying to sell you something or promote a company.
On hair care forums, these untrustworthy reviewers tend to be newly registered and most have only registered for the purpose of pushing the hair product or service.
2.) Fake Product Reviews are Often Short, Snappy, and Spammy Reviews
These types of reviews are thin, contain very little new information. Most do not really tell you much at all. Why? Because it is hard to talk in depth about a product or service that you have no firsthand experience with! You remember in school when you were supposed to read a certain book and you didn’t! When the teacher called on you to answer a question, you tried to keep it as general as possible using what you heard others say! Avoid reviews like this!
In the hair forum world, fake reviews tend to be really spammy. They are every where, in every thread– even unrelated threads. Reviews like this are often started by posters with only a handful of meaningful posts to the forum. In most cases, nearly all of a posters posts will be on the product or service.
3.) Fake Reviews Often Lack Key Product Details
When someone has really tried a hair product or hair service, the reviewer is generally able to go into more detail about the product’s performance. Such reviewers can clue you in to the product’s sights, sounds, smells and everything! A true reviewer can describe the smell of an odorous product with a degree of accuracy that a non-reviewer wouldn’t be able to project. For example, reviews of Dabur Amla oil often include cautionary tales of its interesting odor and staining abilities. (By the way, Amla oil smells like soiled nursing home bedsheets)! Good reviews usually include how the product was used in the regimen, time of use, cost benefit, and suggestions for ways to improve performance (ie- using after a certain step, etc).
4.) Fake Hair Product Reviews are Almost Always “All Good!”
Okay people, we all know that nothing is 100% perfect. This certainly applies to hair products and services. Red flags should always go off when a review pushes hard for the use of a particular service or product and no downsides, even potential downsides, are given to balance the review. This could easily mean that a sponsor has funded or requested a favorable review and the reviewer is under pressure to simply please the paying sponsor. Now, the lack of negatives does not always mean that a review is bogus, but these reviews tend to have less information than what informed consumers need. If you are writing a hair product review, always give the reader a heads up on potential issues with the product or system.
5.) Fake Hair Product Reviews are Fact-defying and Jargon-loaded
At the end of the day, we must all answer to facts. If a review touts a hair product that performs well outside of established performance parameters or against logic and conventional wisdom, then closer inspection is in order. For example, products that “grow hair” several inches in a week or even in a few months are likely bogus since hair on the healthiest head only grows 1/2 inch per month. No matter what. Many of these reviews do not have pictures to back up the claims, or usually present some sort of off in the distance “word of mouth” scenario such as “My sister’s friend’s mom’s aunt uses XYZ and her hair is waist length.”
Some fact defying reviews may even involve pictures of hair changes and growth. To avoid scams in these types of reviews, always compare dated photographs closely. How much time has elapsed between the shots? Compare the sizes of the photographs and lighting schemes. Was one photo clearer or larger than another? Also check out the position of the model in each photo– was her head held or tilted a certain way? Was his/her posturing consistent? Is it even the SAME PERSON? Finally, review the ingredients list for products. Do the ingredients match up to what the product is supposed to be doing? (Ex. Moisturizing but it contains boatloads of petrolatum? Reconstructor with no protein?)
If the review is for a hair service, talk to REAL people you know who’ve had the service done.
Reviews that include jargon and “salesy” marketing speak for the product manufacturer’s website rather than ideas and suggestions from the reviewer’s own experience with the product and service should also be regarded critically.