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.

Hairspray for men: still taboo?

Of all the grooming products for men hairspray has to be the hardest sell. In the last few years there have been attempts to flog men everything from eyeliner (marketed as cringe-inducing Guyliner) to false eyelashes (risible) and hair dye (successful apart from the ads which are clearly dubbed by the hard of hearing). But hairspray for men? It’s the toughest nut to crack and presumably an ad agency’s worst nightmare. Which is sad really because I’ve always thought it was one of the most useful products a man can have, especially for those ‘thin of thatch’. Seriously.

Weirdly, companies had no such qualms about selling this most glorious of grooming products to men in the past. Over the years various attempts have been made to get men to play with the spray. Even grooming behemoth Gillette had a go by proclaiming that ‘wet hair was dead’ and the dry look was hip with this glorious ad…

Then in the Seventies there were some truly hilarious attempts to win men over with hairsprays with names like Cossack and Falcon. Why they didn’t just come clean and call one Phallus I don’t know (I’m checking to see whether the name is registered for male grooming products the moment I finish this post).

The adverts for such products are always fun to watch, of course. Take this one for The Natural Way (which sounds faintly like the name of a Nudist Colony to me) for example…

I myself, when I had hair, had absolutely no problems carrying the can. In fact, back in the Eighties I used so much of the stuff that if my hair didn’t smoke when I dried it I felt something must be very wrong with my styling technique. Quite often I’d use a whole half can of hairspray to ensure I had suitable height and rigidity.

Eschewing expensive brands, I used Boots’ own hairspray which was essentially Bostik in a can (you never knew whether to style your hair with the stuff or just sniff it from a plastic bag) which left your hair littered in white flakes after a night out. In fact, so ‘claggy’ was it that the first time I used it I woke up the following morning thinking I’d developed contact dermatitis.

Why am I telling you all this? Frankly, I have absolutely no idea, except to say – men, hairspray rocks!

I mean, If you’ve got one of those deconstructed quiffs so popular at the moment it’s great. If you’ve got thin, fly-away hair that waxes just weight down it’s great. If you’ve got the kind of spikey do usually only seen on male Russian Eurovision entrants it’s great.

And I’m telling you it’s positively manly stuff, thereby giving you permission to spray away unhindered by any self-limiting notions of girliness.  Hell, Schwarzkopf even do a gym-bag-sized version in their excellent 3D styling range. It’s unscented and, helpfully, has ‘Men’ written on the can so what’s your problem? If you want great-looking hair don’t just pray – spray!

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

Gone today, hair tomorrow: the world of hair transplants

For anyone who missed my piece in the Telegraph Style Supplement, you can read it by clicking on the image below. 

Oh, and here’s a little paragraph that ended up on the paper’s cutting room floor but which I think gives you an insight into why I fear anything to do with hair restoration!

“This is certainly a far cry from the days when men either reluctantly accepted baldness or threw caution, along with self-respect, to the wind and donned a toupée – an accessory guaranteed to elicit derision and terrify small children. I myself am psychologically scarred after seeing corner shop owner Arthur Moore’s syrup tumble into a crate of apples when I was a seven year old (I thought the top of his head had fallen off).”