I’m always on the lookout for interesting grooming brands from across The Pond and Hanz de Fuko is certainly one worth looking out for. Hailing from San Francisco it might have a name that’s a danger to pronounce but it certainly ticks all the right boxes in terms of essential hair care. As well as looking cool, it’s packed with stuff you want to see in your products – like organic ingredients, antioxidants and essential oils – and free of stuff you don’t, like parabens and sulfates. I highly recommend the Natural Shampoo which is pH balanced so as not to upset the scalp and has a scent somewhere between mint, eucalyptus and cherry aid, but my testers with a little more hair also rate the styling products like the brand’s fragrance free Claymation clay-wax. Check out the range at nivenandjoshua.com
Reviewing haircare products is always tricky for me on account of the fact that hair is an increasing rare commodity for me. I’m fine with my advancing baldness but it does make road-testing styling products a bit of a challenge. To get around the problem I have a small team of amply-thatched helpers to give me feedback. My favourite haircare product this year, though, is one even follically-challenged guys like me can appreciate.
This Detoxifying Scrub Shampoo from Davines is fantastic for ensuring hair is squeaky clean and for keeping your scalp free of dead skin cells and in tip-top condition. Given that there’s some studies linking blocked follicles with hairloss it’s a good investment regardless of how much hair you have. With cardamon, mint and corriander it smells great too and a bottle is never out of my bathroom.
For more info go to www.davines.com
Coming tomorrow….Best Body Product
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
If you’re coming to this post as a dandruff sufferer take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. In fact, it’s thought that 50% of all men will suffer form dandruff at some point (I know I have!). Nor are you alone in worrying about it. Dandruff is consistently ranked as men’s biggest hair worry, even above baldness.
The culprit is a tiny fungus called Malassezia, which lives on us all but which can multiply out of control in some people, causing flaking of the skin. Since dandruff seems to be exacerbated by stress it’s not uncommon to suffer outbreaks when we’re under pressure.
Using an anti-dandruff shampoo is the simplest and most effective strategy (ones containing Zinc Pyrithione, like Head & Shoulders, are especially good) but if things are particularly bad try a product like Nizoral which contains an anti-fungal agent called ketoconazole to tackle the fungus itself.
Avoiding heavy conditioners for a while often helps, too, as does taking a long hard look at your diet. According to trichologist Philip Kingsley, a diet high in salt, fat and sugar can often trigger an attack since all of these things can affect the balance of the scalp’s protective secretions, allowing the fungus to spiral out of control. Avoid scratching too. The more you fiddle with your scalp the more you’ll irritate the skin and the bigger the flakes will be, plus you’ll also run the risk of damaging the hair follicles and the hair itself.
Thankfully, dandruff tends to ease off as we hit middle age but if you can’t wait that long you might want to abandon the Wii and get outdoors a bit more – one scientific study revealed that men who spend a lot of time outside tend to have less dandruff. Just one more reason to jack it all in and become a landscape gardener then.
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I’ve tried ’em all so what are my favourite shampoos? Well, here are the ones I’d recommend.