Did I Really Want One of Those? 2. Hair Magician

A cheaper alternative to the salon?

Boxing Day is upon us. After facing Grandma’s Christmas dinner, you have two choices. Either stay at home to the strains of Jeff Stelling and play with the children. Or brave a trip to your favourite out of town shopping centre. 

Then you remembered something. In your top drawer you find three tickets with ‘Stockport Plaza’ and ‘Dick Whittington’ printed on them. Happy days, except for one thing: there are no hairdressers open on Boxing Day. You only need a trim and you’ve lost the charger for your clippers.

Luckily, a tree present from your dear partner came to the rescue. It looks like a cross between a comb and an early Gillette safety razor. Let’s hear it for K-Tel’s Hair Magician!

Harry Potter’s Grandad and the Hair Magician of Doom

The Hair Magician was launched by K-Tel in 1969 and reached UK shores in 1970. In Britain, K-Tel used Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Pat Jennings to advertise their latest wares.

Looking like a ladies’ comb with metal teeth at the back, it would trim hair in the same way a razor blade would with facial hair. Hair was cut by means of gentle combing. You could also taper and cut hair, plus it came with a further four combing edges.

It all seemed good in theory, but good enough to put our barbers out of business? Not so. In spite of Philip Kives’ good intentions, users claimed that it ruined hairstyles. It did too good a job at cutting hair, pulling hairs from its roots. On Channel Four’s The 100 Greatest TV Adverts (2000), Peter Kay stated how use of the product made him look like John Mills in Ryan’s Daughter.

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Original price: $2.99.

2013 price: unavailable (are you surprised?).

S.V., 02 December 2013.

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