The Museum of Hoaxes
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Beauty and Grooming Themed April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Professor Touffu’s Baldness Cure. (1938)
The Dutch magazine Het Leven reported that a Professor Touffu had made a miraculous discovery which allowed him to transplant animal fur onto a bald man's head and induce to grow. Photographs documented a patient undergoing the treatment. More…
No Bottle Baby. (1939)
"CAMERA DECEIVES THE EYE... Don't be misled, folks, Miss Marjorie Tanner, Weber college beauty, is no bottle baby— she merely obliged the staff photographer by climbing into the bottle so that he could hand the editor an April Fool photograph." [The Ogden Standard-Examiner - Apr 1, 1939]
Phoomph. (1942)
"Men at the Fort Riley, Kan., remount replacement center voted Judy Canova the April Fool glamour girl. "She has phoomph instead of oomph," they explained in inviting her to be the presiding wallflower at one of their Wednesday night dances. The April Fool pattern followed through. She's going to accept." [AP] More…
Hair-Restoring Well. (1977)
BBC TV's Nationwide news program ran a segment about a well located on the farm of James Coatsworth in Rothbury, Northumberland. This well supposedly had the power to make hair grow on bald men’s heads.

Anti-Baldness Spray. (1994)
The Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that Mikhail Gorbachev had volunteered to test a revolutionary new anti-baldness spray. As a result he had sprouted a new head of hair, covering his famous birthmark. Accompanying the article was a picture of Gorbachev on a trip to South Korea sporting his new, curly-locked look. More…
Navel Removal. (2000)
Jacki Lyden, of NPR's All Things Considered, discussed a new fad among teenage girls: navel removal. The procedure, called a navelectomy, was being performed in mini malls on both the west and east coasts. Critics of the procedure pointed to the risk of infection and scarring. But its proponents noted that it made the belly a "blank canvas," which was convenient for getting a tattoo. Also, "the aborigines in South America have it done, so it's totally natural, and it's really safe." One mother was unhappy with her daughter's decision to have the operation because it had removed their connection from the womb. More…
FatSox. (2000)
The Daily Mail revealed that American scientists had invented "FatSox" — socks made out of a revolutionary new material that actually sucked fat out of a person's body as they sweated. The discovery promised to "speed up the fight against flab without any extra effort." The socks employed a nylon polymer that reacted with a newly-patented compound, Tetrafloramezathine, in order to draw fat out of the bloodstream: "As the exerciser warms up, molecules in the sock are activated by the increased blood flow and the material draws out the fatty liquids, or lipds, from the body through the sweat." After a good workout, the socks, and the fat, could simply be thrown away. More…
Russian Hair-Restoring Well. (2001)
Russian Public TV reported that a spring had been discovered in the Caucasus mountains with the ability to cure male baldness. "According to the latest statistics, the number of bald men in Adygeya has plummeted," the report noted. The news program showed "before" and "after" pictures of the man who had made the discovery. (The BBC perpetrated a similar April Fool's Day hoax in 1977.) More…

The iShave. (2004)
The German software company Application Systems Heidelberg debuted an iShave attachment for the iPod, allowing you to transform your iPod music player into an electric razor. The website boasted: "Now with your iPod you can not only hear good music everywhere, you can also get a smooth shave to look good." More…
Migrant Mother Makeover. (2005)
Popular Photography Magazine ran a special feature on how to touch up photos in which subjects have unsightly wrinkles or unattractive expressions. "Can these photos be saved?" the article asked. One of the examples used was Dorothea Lange's famous Depression-era photo of a "Migrant Mother" huddling with her children in a roadside camp outside Nipomo, California. Under the masterful touch of Popular Photography editors, the Migrant Mother was transformed from an iconic symbol of the struggle for survival into a smooth-faced suburban soccer mom. The makeover, intended as a joke, provoked hundreds of outraged letters from readers. More…
Tattoo Your Toddler. (2007)
DJs from North Dakota's Y94 radio station created a website called tattooyourtoddler.com that claimed to represent "the first tattoo studio for kids, with the trendiest body-art designed specifically for youths ages 2 through 17!" Parents who wanted to tattoo their child were promised that "Our patented needle-free system only causes slight discomfort and ensures a vibrant tattoo, guaranteed not to fade for at least 10 years!" The FAQ section of the site included the question: "Is this legal?" To which the reply was: "This is still America, isn't it?" A similar April Fool's Day hoax had been perpetrated in 2003 by DJs at at Channel 933 KHTS-FM radio in San Diego who created a site called More…
WD-40 Aftershave. (2010)
The maker of WD-40 lubricating spray announced it was expanding its product line to include WD-40 aftershave. This would ensure that WD-40-branded products would be "not only in every shed, garage and toolbox, but now in the bedroom." The aftershave would come in the "famous blue and yellow can," and like the standard multi-purpose product it would have a "smart straw option for those who require a more precise spray." More…
Vertical Bath. (2013)
Bathstore, a UK seller of bath products, announced a "world first in bathing" — a Vertical Bath. The product was designed to allow homeowners to save space in their homes, while simultaneously being able to enjoy the pleasure of soaking in a bathtub. To use the Vertical Bath, you simply stepped into it, closed the door firmly behind you, and allowed it to fill with water. Bubble baths were not recommended. More…
The HondaHAIR. (2013)
Honda introduced the HondaHAIR™, the world's first in-vehicle haircutting accessory, promised to be a feature in the 2014 Honda Odyssey. Honda elaborated: "Our philosophy is to imagine mobility in areas once thought immobile... Getting a trim is typically thought of as a location-based activity that requires a special trip to your hairstylist or barber, but that's where the HondaHAIR comes in. It's simple, efficient, and it's an enjoyable way to cut hair on the go. Using the HondaVAC in the 2014 Odyssey simply attach the hair-cutting tool to the nozzle, then let the powerful suction of the HondaVAC take over." More…
Beard Glitter. (2014)
Beard Glitter. Offered for sale by the Texas Beard Company as an April 1 only special. Looking for the formula to make your beard more fierce and fabulous. Search no further. All new Texas Beard Company Beard Glitter represents the finest product in the entire Beard Glitter industry. ¬†Get yours and get your Glamour on today! More…
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Media Organizations and Corporations with April Fool Traditions
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.