Because you’re worth it

November 27th, 2003 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, cosmetics, homeopathy, ions, MMR, quantum physics | 8 Comments »

Because you’re worth it

Ben Goldacre
Thursday November 27, 2003
The Guardian

· Reader Helen Porter writes in to tell me about the Ion-Conditioning Hairdryer, which uses “Patented Trionic Action” to “micronize” water molecules and, impressively for a hairdryer, magically hydrate your hair. The Journal of Trionic Physics, for those of you who thought they made those long words up, was the name of a Jefferson Airplane fanzine. But I digress: the manufacturer, Bioionic, is also the inventor of Ionic Hair Retexturising (IHR). And it’s not just a new way to straighten your hair, it’s a whole new branch of physics.

· Colour Nation, hairdressers to the stars in Soho, London, offers Bioionic’s IHR. Its public relations material explains how it works: “Positive ions have lost an electron, and are considered unhealthy,” whereas negative ions “have gained an electron, and greatly assist in a body’s mood, energy level, and overall health”. When these benevolent negative ions encounter water, “the water molecules are broken down to a fraction of their previous size . . . diminutive enough to penetrate through the cuticle, and eventually into the core of each hair”.

· I might be wrong, but surely shrinking water molecules must cost more than the £230 Colour Nation charges for IHR? The only other groups who have managed to create that kind of superdense quark-gluon plasma used a relativistic heavy ion collider, and if Colour Nation has got one of those at the back of the salon then I’m glad I don’t live in the flat upstairs. Although a Mirror reporter who had the compressed molecule treatment did say her hair “itched and smelled of chemicals” afterwards. Maybe there is something more potent than negative ions in there after all.

· Meanwhile a tip from a friend who, may I just point out, doused for the sex of her baby. She was delighted, at her antenatal yoga class, after being told how immunisations would kill her baby, to be handed Homeopathy News. The pamphlet mentions a study from the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in which 80% of 25 children reported an improvement in their asthma after homeopathy. Which sounds impressive. But there was no placebo control group, and it doesn’t seem to have actually been published anywhere (or not anywhere peer reviewed). Which doesn’t mean it’s not true. Just remember that in a recent review of all the evidence on homeopathy – I’ll say it again – it was shown, overall, to be no more effective than a placebo …


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8 Responses



  1. Stephanie Roberts said,

    October 19, 2005 at 1:25 am

    Homeopathy has real healing and curing abilities. It is a vibrational medicine, and the LM potencies will astonish even the hardest skeptic if administered correctly. Determining the right remedy is one issue, but knowing how to dilute the remedy (it’s different for different people), and most definitely from knowing WHEN to redose and WHEN NOT TO is every bit as impportant! Hahnemann has it all right … unfortunately there are so many “homeopaths” that divert from his teachings (“just a little here and a little there”) that it makes homeopathy seem effective sometimes, and sometimes not.

    Homeopathy is about transformation. It doesn’t “get rid” of someone’s symptoms. It brings the mental cause of the symptoms to one’s awareness so one can process it and be done with it (then it no longer has to manifest in the body). In addition, so many people want a quick fix (which really isn’t the way true healing occurs) that when the discharges come up (i.e., the body/mind INFO of the real pain and cause of the symptoms … coming up to one’s consciousness so as to be “re-experienced with awareness” and then RELEASED) they think the remedy isn’t working.

    One can’t heal without releasing the “charged” feelings and energy that create the symptoms. But facing these feelings, truths, etc, isn’t easy or pleasant, and it ends up requiring a soul (young or older) to CHANGE his view, disposition, behaviour, etc.
    All this can happen without even fully conscioussly knowing exactly what is getting discharged (as with animals and babies; they still go through the unpleasant discharges). But the discharges don’t last too long and the remedy enables one to handle them from a totally different perspective. After each “bout” of discharges, one always gains more health and freedom.

  2. Alan Harrison said,

    November 22, 2005 at 2:27 pm

    Dear Stephanie, you’ve lost me already. If your post is supposed to be a refutation of Dr Ben’s article, then
    1) You’re nearly two years late
    2) You lost me at “It is a vibrational medicine, and the LM potencies… ” because I do not know what “vibrational medicine” or “LM potencies” mean. Why did you think that I would?
    3) You failed to notice that Ben’s only complaints were that the study was not controlled nor peer reviewed, and you did not answer these.
    But thanks for joining the debate. I don’t understand your answer but that might be because you were working late.
    Regards,

  3. -RobW- said,

    February 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    An old post, but I’m reading archives instead of working.

    Ionic hairdryers are still going strong: www.justbeautifully.co.uk/parlux-hair-dryers-61148.php

    “With Parlux hairdryers your hair dries faster as the water molecules are broken down”

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a device that generates hydrogen and oxygen next to a heating element should be placed anywhere near your head.

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