The boom in male grooming has revolutionised the way in which men perceive themselves, but it has not come without its fair share of casualties. There are, of course, the extremists – most Major League Soccer players, many Premier League footballers and the entire male cast of Jersey Shore – who are, for the most part, a lost cause. And then there are the gents who unwittingly take a wrong turn on the road to self-improvement and somehow find themselves bolt upright in bed at three in the morning panicking about the amount of gluten in their eye cream.
It is alleged that John Ruskin, the eminent 19th century art critic, had become so conditioned by pube-less sculptures that the sight of his wife’s lady garden rendered him unable to perform on their wedding night. If you possess an unusual amount of disdain for residual fur – especially your own – and have ever wondered how to shave (or wax or, indeed laser) your undercarriage, then my latest contribution to Mr Porter on the highs and lows of manscaping might be what you’re looking for. Click here or on the image above for the full story. I think my journalism career might have just peaked.
There is one aesthetic affliction that cuts to the core of all grown men – hair loss that has the power to elicit responses ranging from steadfast denial to a televangelist-style comb-over. But acceptance is increasingly inconceivable in a world where there are so many viable options to tackle follicular shortcomings.
It doesn’t take a psychotherapist to see why hair loss can break a man. For centuries, a full head of hair has been a symbol of masculinity, an expression of youth, strength and virility. For many men, hair loss is emasculating, a brutal blow to their self-esteem, a depressing reminder that time is passing.
Never judge a book by its cover. Unless that book is a shampoo bottle. And that bottle is a fancy, futuristic-looking one from cult Australian brand Original&Mineral. In cases such as these, it’s perfectly okay to assume the formula is as outstanding as the packaging. Natural extracts and active minerals feature throughout range, not just for a softly-softly eco-conscious touch, but to remove the build-up of harsh chemicals (from styling products and less-conscious haircare products) and to thoroughly ‘detox’ your scalp.
On demand services, you may have noticed, are a hot trend in the app world. In an age of instant gratification, we can get anything from a chauffeur to a Chinese meal with little more than couple of swipes. Enter PRIV, an app that brings masseurs, stylists, personal trainers and beauty therapists right to your doorstep / deskside. An ideal solution for the time poor and / or infinitely lazy, the on-demand app (an abbreviation of the word ‘privileged’) sources the best wellness professionals in the business, and allows you to book them by their bio, ratings or availability. The app is currently operating in New York, Los Angeles and now London.
Aveda‘s Grooming Destination is not an entirely new concept. It materialised in the past as a pop-up offering at their lauded Institute on High Holborn. And while the makeshift barbershop was a stroke of marketing genius (it just so happened to coincide with the menswear shows), the majority of visits were from editorial staff and models who were well-connected enough to bag an appointment while it was open (alas, the pop up space could only accommodate one barber chair).
A range of creative hair products that live up to the inexplicably mad name of Hanz de Fuko (not an actual person – we checked). From hybrid products such as Claymation (the bastard but beloved lovechild of wax and clay) to grease absorbing styling powders and sugar-based gels, there’s no end to this brand’s innovation. The organic products aren’t gimmicky ‘two in one’ formulas; they’re viable one-stop solutions for guys whose styling routine involves mixing and matching countless products to achieve a desired look.
Tweezerman, purveyors of plucking, have ventured into the men’s market with G.E.A.R, a line of cutting-edge and highly durable grooming tools. Rather than tweeze yourself a questionable Ronaldo / Joan Crawford-esque arch, you can use the G.E.A.R range to tame unruly monobrows, excavate pesky ingrown hairs and perfect that stylised ‘tache (see their tongue-in-cheek campaign above) .
The range currently includes eleven durable pieces of kit including ergonomic nail clippers, a quality badger brush, a moustache comb and a handy multi-purpose nail tool ideal for unearthing the gunk that collects underneath your talons. Our vote goes to the heavy duty toenail clippers – the clean, horizontal slice makes ingrown nails a thing of the past.