Men’s wellness brand hims launches in UK

The men’s wellness market has certainly come on in leaps and bounds in the past few years. Back in the early noughties, when I was Deputy Editor of Men’s Health, I wrote about hairloss and erectile dysfunction treatments as if they were exotic, last resort options for a select number of men who had the money and wherewithal to obtain them. Frankly, back then, seeking out treatments for these everyday issues felt less like tackling a common problem and more like scoring drugs.

Thankfully, things have changed considerably in the 19 years that have passed since then; not only in terms of the level of stigma attached to these common male problems (men are now far more likely to ‘fess up to being concerned about hair loss than before) but in how easy it is to access effective remedies. Sales of Viagra rocketed to £4.3 millon in the U.K. in the three months after it finally became available over the counter here so to say that there’s a market out there for wellbeing products aimed at men is an understatement.

Which is where hims comes in. Already well-established in the USA, the online personal wellness experts provide a one-stop-shop for men’s wellness and personal care needs, offering access to both Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) and Finasteride (a proven-to-work hairloss treatments) without you having to rock up at your local pharmacist and tell the counter assistant (along with the entire queue of people behind you) that you’re worried about your hairline or the angle of your chopper. There’s a small initial one-off medical consultation fee, which is there for regulatory reasons and because it’s important to have your order signed of by a medical expert, but after that you’re good to go as long as your eligible to use the products.

The company’s arrival in the UK kicks off with them tackling hair loss and erectile dysfunction but they’ll soon be offering a raft of reasonably priced personal care products too (think everything from shampoo and acne treatments to useful daily supplements). I’ve tried some of these and love the no-frills-but-cool-as-f**k packaging and the quality of the products. The antioxidant-packed Immunity gummies are great (though could be improved by not using animal-sourced gelatin which renders them inappropriate for veggies and vegans) and the Vitamin C-rich Morning Glow Serum provides the perfect pep talk for tired skin and has instantly become part of my daily routine. (It’s especially good when you have a hangover.) To find out more about what hims has to offer you head over to forhims.co.uk

 

Gifted review samples of selected Hims products were sent to me for consideration. 

Aveda’s little helpers for men with thinning hair

AVEDAGood news if you’re a guy with thinning hair: one of my absolute favourite brands, Aveda, are about to launch two new products designed to meet the needs of those with thatches that, you know, ain’t quite as thick as they used to be. Since there’s a wealth of evidence to suggest that scalp health is crucial to heathy hair both products focus on maintaining a clean, healthy scalp – getting to the root of the problem you might say. The Invati Men Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo does exactly what it says on the tin, nourishing and strengthening hair to minimise breakage whilst exfoliating the scalp with the help of salicylic acid. The exfoliation bit is useful because it helps remove the excess oil and dead skin cells that can hinder hair growth if left unchecked. As with all Aveda products it smells fantastic, too, thanks to an earthy blend of plant essences, including organic cedarwood and fir.

The Scalp Revitalizer, meanwhile, contains an ingredient that thickens the hair slightly at the root, so it appears a little fuller, whilst improving mirocirculation on the scalp to ensure the best environment for healthy hair. Right now, there’s still no scientific cure for thinning hair (gene therapy may be our best option in the future) but until there is men are going to do whatever they can to hang onto what they have – and these two products are well worth having in your grooming armoury.

Available from Aveda salons/spas and online from May.

Insider Interview: Brendan Murdock, founder of Murdock

Established in London’s trendy Shoreditch in 2006 Murdock has become a prime destination for guys seeking good grooming and barbering in a classic, stylish but unstuffy environment. The ultimate example of an instant heritage brand (i.e. sounds as though it’s been around for decades but hasn’t) it’s been such a success that there are now sores at Liberty, in Mayfair and in Covent Garden.

Building on the success of the barbershops they’ve even branched out into their own skincare products, accessories, candles and fine fragrances – the Patchouli one being one of my own favourites (and I’m very fussy about my patchouli fragrances). 

Here I find out what makes founder Brendan Murdock tick and manage to get some invaluable grooming tips from him in the process. 

GG: What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to shaving? 

BM: The biggest mistake is undoubtedly lack of preparation. The best shaving results will be achieved when the skin and facial hair is prepared, a combination of a hot flannel or water, pre-shave oil, and perhaps a badger brush to apply the cream.  The pre-shave oil softens the whiskers and prepares the skin for the razor’s edge.

The fine tips of the hairs on the brush create a smooth and creamy lather, while the remarkable softness of badger hair cleanses the face gently, ensuring a comfortable and close shave. The action of a razor is quite harsh and surface skin cells are removed.  If the skin and facial hair is not prepared you may suffer from an itchy, sore face post-shave.

GG: What trends in male grooming have you noticed of late?

BM:Men have gained more confidence when it comes to shaving, and are becoming increasingly inquisitive as to how to perfect the art. When we first opened in 2006, gentleman would simply purchase a shave cream to shave. Most customers were not even using post shave balms after shaving, despite complaining of sore, red faces after shaving!

Today, men are more informed and educated about best grooming practice. Coupled with more visible brand and places to visit for grooming, more educated choices are made.

GG: What are your favourite men’s fragrances and why? 

BM: Green Irish Tweed by House of CREED. I’ve been loyal to the scent for many years; it now represents familiarity and comfort.

I also like the scents by Carthusia they are light and summery and remind me of wonderful holidays in Italy.

I really enjoy wearing our Murdock Patchouli Cologne too. It’s a subltle, sensuous and mysterious scent, suitable for all seasons; great all year round.

GG: What’s your best shaving tip? 

BM: Always use a post shave balm after each shave.  Shaving strips the skin of essential oils and you must ensure that the skin is moisturised and soothed post-shave.

GG: What’s your best skincare tip?

BM: Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.

GG: Desert island grooming product?

BM: Naturally sunblock is an essential. However, I would not be complete without a bottle of Murdock Patchouli Cologne; capturing my more bohemian and free-thinking style for the desert island.

GG: Body hair. To trim or not trim? 

BM: If, for example, you are an athlete and your decision to wax or trim is to enhance your performance in your chosen field, then I am in favour. Conversely, if your decision to wax or trim is purely based on vanity, then I am not as convinced. For me, masculinity is reflected in natural body hair; to wax or trim detracts from this. Ultimately, the decision lies with the individual; each to their own.

GG: Fantasy grooming product? 

BM: A miracle cream that prevents hair loss and baldness, without any side effects!

To check out what Murdock has to offer go to www.murdocklondon.com

Grooming Guru Essentials: Davines Detoxifying Scrub Shampoo

Though it’s not specifically aimed at demi-baldies like me Davines Detoxifying Scrub Shampoo is an absolute brilliant product for the folically-challenged. It’s actually great for gently removing product build up and ridding hair of unwanted nasties but is also really great at removing dead skin from the scalp. Unlike many other exfoliating shampoos the particles are small enough to wash away easily and it’s also free of parabens and sulphates.

It’s no surprise that scalp health is so important to hair health – it’s where hair sprouts from after all. In the same way that teeth need health gums, hair needs a healthy scalp. So this shampoo is a great way to keep it free of dead cells, dry flakes and the grease and grime that accumulates on the skin during the day. Since it’s formulated with cardamon, corriander and mint it smells great too.

£14.35 for 250ml. For more info go to www.davines.com

Grooming Guru Essentials are the products I genuinely love and have used as part of my own routine.

New Lab Series survey reveals 41% of men would rather lose their job than their hair!

As someone who severely fell out with my hair after it filed for divorce from my scalp several years ago I’m always fascinated by men’s attitudes to baldness. Though I’ve come to terms with my ever-decreasing shaft count (and I’m referring to hair here), I do mourn not having a style other than the No.1 crop I’m permanently lumbered with.

Having said that, I’ve learnt to live with it. Clealry, though, hairloss is a subject that still prays on a lot of men’s minds. In fact, a brand new survey of 2,000 men conducted by Lab Series Skincare For Men discovered that 41% of men would rather lose their job than their hair and 30% of men aged 18-24 worry about losing their hair. The reason men are so worried? Well, it seems that looking old is the key, with 34% of men surveyed saying they worry that a thinning thatch will make them look old.

Helpfully, Lab Series now have three haircare products to minimise hair loss by making hair stronger, reducing breakage and maintaining optimum scalp health. Designed as a three-step system, each product contains a raft of ingredients to target hair weakness and dullness.

The lightly-fragranced Root Power Restorative Shampoo helps keep the scalp free of pore-clogging debris and thickens hair shafts, the Root Power Restorative Hair Tonic minimises daily breakage and energises the scalp while the Style Wax (for me the most impressive product) is formulated to give thickness to the hair reduce breakage. They’re not going to prevent you going bald if you’re predisposed to male pattern baldness but are a good addition to your regime if you just want to hang onto what hair you do have.

Available nationwide now. For sockists call 0870 034 2566 or go to www.labseries.co.uk

Agassi wigs out!

AgassiCan you believe that tennis ace Andre Agassi actually wore a wig during the 1990 French Open? Confessing all in his new autobiography he says: “During the warming-up training before play I prayed. Not for victory, but that my hairpiece would not fall off.”

And as a baldie myself I  sympathise, I really do. But answer me this: who in hell actually opts to wear a wig in the shape of a really bad mullet?

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