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.
Mr Albert Einstein’s most famous theory posited that time is a relative concept, a phenomenon that depends entirely on the perspective of the observer. Time flies when we’re on holiday, but it crawls to a snail’s pace when we’re faced with the task of filing expenses. Ageing, too, is little more than an expression of our personal relationship (psychological, physiological, emotional) with a ticking clock.
Had you picked up a gossip rag in the last three years, chances are you would have read something about intravenous therapy, the celebrity fad that had, quite literally, penetrated every accessible vein Hollywood.
Performers, athletes and movie executives – the kind of alpha personalities who simply couldn’t afford to fall ill – were reported to have gained extra energy and a bulletproof immune system by way of vitamin cocktails drip-fed straight into their blood system. The practice had become something of a fashion statement, a rather extreme but high-tech way of sustaining the super-human levels of energy that their jobs required.
My latest contribution to Mr Porter is now live! For the full article click here.
“For many of us, winter creates a sensory blindfold. When it comes to smell – the intangible sense that silently shapes our emotional world – everything is muffled. For starters, olfaction is compromised when ambient air is cool (granted, that unshakable case of flu doesn’t help either) and odour molecules (the very things that carry scent) move much more slowly in winter than they do in hotter months.
The veil of winter is so heavy, in fact, that we invariably turn to punchier and warmer fragrances – orientals, chypres, gourmands – to get us through the freeze. Fragrances need to be powerful enough to make up for the lack of obvious aromatics in the immediate environment. Cue unintentional over-spraying of that leathery eau de parfum.
Finding your signature scent is only half the job. Once you’ve discovered that elusive fragrance, knowing how to spray it is what will seal the deal (and, no, it’s not as simple as emptying the bottle onto your neck). I quizzed the industry’s top female perfumers for tips on how to scent yourself with style.
It was bound to happen at some point: a men’s product designed to target jowls. If you prefer your jaw to be squarer than a Rubix cube then Lab Series’ latest innovation may be for you. This new moisturizer tightens sagging contours in order to (temporarily) defy gravity and time. Like those attractive six-pack treatments, this isn’t a solution for double chins so much as a product that enhances definition.
MAX LS Age-Less Power V Lifting Cream by LAB SERIES £54 for 50ml from labseries.co.uk
Originally designed as a post-surgery recovery product by the UK’s leading cosmetic surgeons, HealGel has gone on to earn a fair few accolades by those who’ve never had the pleasure of encountering a scalpel while under anesthetic. As you might expect, there’s a fair bit of science going on underneath the bonnet: Polysilicone – 11 forms a protective second skin over your boo boo, beneath which collagen-boosting peptides and vital amino acids are hard at work to repair the problem.
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.
Daytime fragrances, by their very nature, err on the straight and narrow. Night-time, however, is an invitation to let your fragrance freak flag fly and experiment with something a little more provocative. “The smell of a man can be the sexiest smell on earth,” says Ms Azzi Glasser, the perfume designer famed for her creations for everyone from Agent Provocateur to Alexander McQueen, “I’m particularly attracted to a man’s neck at the end of the day. It’s the combination of what’s left of his fragrance with the warmth of his skin… I call it the ‘nuzzling neck note’.”
Free radicals are one of the primary causes of internal and external ageing. And there’s no way to dodge their production; everything from being good and working out to partying hard t will cause the little blighters to run rampage in your body. Pretty much everything will cause a free radical response of description.
Antioxidants are a great way to stop free radicals in their tracks..but not all antioxidant supplements are created equal. The advertised ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) on a product isn’t a reliable guideline since most trials overlook bioavailability (ingredients are often tested in vitro) and don’t take into account the different kinds of free radicals that need to be zapped.
About 4 or 5 years ago I first came across Baume 27, a wonder cream developed by a pharmacologist and industry heavyweight who had decided to venture out on her own. It was an exceptionally dense formula built around one magic ingredient that could treat everything from ageing to wounds and chronically dry skin. The results were astounding but the original concoction was too rich for most men’s skin.
Fast forward to today and M.E. SkinLab’s range now includes five products, among them a lightweight ‘essence’ that’s far more guy friendly than the original concoction. All products contain three purified extracts of that one same ingredient: Centella Asiatica (Madecassoside, Asiaticoside and Asiatic Acid – purified at 95%).