Being a modern renaissance man not only requires a great haircut but also grooming products to create the desired style. In the first article we discussed the manly institution known as barber shops and the next logical topic is grooming products. A few questions must be asked and answered to provide greater clarity on the multi-billion dollar industry. Yes, I said multi-billion.
The first myth or misconception is that all grooming products are the same and we declare that they are not. The working definition of “grooming products” for the focus of this article is, any and all products that are applied to men’s hair for styling purposes. The word hair is referring to facial hair also. The following distinctions can be applied to grooming products in general (minus the super rare exotic product).
One major point of contention in the men’s grooming world is oil vs water based debate. There is folklore about oil based products that it will cause baldness due to the “reason” that it will clog your hair follicles and essentially kill it. Likewise, water based products with all the “chemicals” are also believed by some to cause baldness.
As far as we know there is no scientific basis for either of these claims but they are founded upon isolated and anecdotal data. For instance, someone may claim “my friend used product X and now he is bald therefore product X caused the baldness”. DISCLAIMER: IF you are using any grooming product and experience any unusual hair loss or irritation we recommend you stop using it and contact a doctor.
The organic/vegan/all-natural product category creates a whole new set of concerns. Instead of worrying about chemical damage and hair loss the issues have to do with performance. Many companies use essential oils and are parfum free so the fragrances are mint, pine or other strong natural aromas. These products will not hold your hair in place like “gel” or most water based pomades.
The chosen grooming product speaks about style and we are not necessarily referring to grooming. Men can be diehard and ardent about their grooming products regardless of other offerings. Some men choose their grooming products based upon the reputation of the founders and they feel an association with them or possibly have met them. Coupled with the acceptable performance they will use the product the rest of their lives. The association with the companies that were first in the marketplace have a solid hold on the market.
Without a doubt as men continue to pay for a quality cut there will be a need for grooming products. Choosing them and finding what works best may be trial and error and you should speak with your barber about what he recommends. Being a modern renaissance man will require quality grooming products to achieve the desired style that compliment a great cut. Do not be fooled and believe that products create the hair style because your hair cut is the foundation.