MANE MAN is all about celebrating grooming and how grooming can be a great way for us to take of ourselves. Obviously, I spend a lot of time writing about all the products I get to try. But today, I need to rant.
MY. HAIR. WON’T. STOP. GROWING.
And no, this isn’t a humble brag. Seriously. I know that many of you are hoping and trying for growth. But, I’m annoyed (at the moment) that my hair grows so quickly.
Here’s what’s annoying about that…I got a haircut just a few weeks go. It was a sizable chop but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was a “big chop”. As always, I felt a bit uncomfortable the first few days after as I thought it was a little too short. Fast forward to a few weeks later and it feels too big/too long already. WHY!?
This is annoying because, for me, getting a haircut is annoying. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my stylist at all. She’s great. But, hair cuts take so much time. First, I have to be mindful enough to schedule the appointment. And with my schedule, things tend to be all over the place and varied. By the time I take a moment to sit down and think about life, I often find that I’ve forgotten to do something that is pretty essential. The haircut, by default, gets pushed back.
Then, there is the actual appointment itself. I can’t go in and be out in 20 minutes. I wish I could. It takes that long just to pick out my hair for the cut itself. Then, I’m in the chair…usually feeling pretty warm (because I ALWAYS am) and thus, near to falling asleep in the chair. I feel a little rude because I don’t talk more, but then the silence also makes me comfortable and sleepy. I know, so many non-problem, problems.
I realize this is not a real problem to have. I’m fortunate to have thick hair that grows quickly. I realize that my hair is pretty healthy.
But, can’t it just slow down a little bit?
What are your fro frustrations or biggest hair annoyances? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section below.
One of the perks about being a grooming blogger, and frankly one of the downfalls, is the ability to try out so many different products on my face and mane to see what yields the best results. While that doesn’t seem like a problem, it can be daunting to always be trying out new things. In some small way, sometimes I don’t feel satisfied when I find something that works really well as I’m always on the hunt for the new thing. Call it product-junkieism if you will. That’s probably how I would describe it!
I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the #PMInsiders club which is made up of a group of bloggers, vloggers and influencers who try out some of the best offerings from hair care brand Paul Mitchell. While I’ve liked many of the products that have come across my desk, I think I’ve recently a holy combination!
Let me start by saying that I did a semi-annual hair cut a month ago. Now, the medium to big fro is gone and a little, well-coiffed one is firmly in its place. This is always a frustrating time for me as depending on the length of the cut, due to way my hair works, I have to wait for a little length until natural curl definition happens. It hasn’t been until the past two weeks that I’ve hit that little magic spot and this has been made clear by a combination of two Paul Mitchell products, The Cream from the softstyle collection and the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel from the teatree line.
The Cream is a lightweight styling conditioner that applies well on wet hair right out of the shower. On my short(er) hair I use about a nickel-sized amount. I rake in the product from root to ends with my fingers. Immediately after that, still with pretty wet hair, I use about a nickel-sized amount of the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel and rake in using the same method. I let my hair air dry and that’s it! What that leaves me with is defined (if not a little firm) hair. The gel helps out by giving a lot of shine and luster which means my hair always looks bright and healthy without a greasy feel when I use it.
This unexpected duo packs a pretty good punch and has been my go-to for a couple of weeks now. It will definitely stay on the top of my list as we start to transition the cooler fall months.
A few weeks ago the folks over at Mister Pompadour sent me a sample of their texture paste to try out on my fro. Initially, I have to admit that I was pretty hesitant to put a “paste” on my hair. The name just conjures up images of Elmer’s glue in my mind, and to be honest that wasn’t too far from the truth.
The texture of the Mister Pompadour’s paste is pretty much what I expected. Its consistency is thick and paste-like. White in color, the paste is pretty reminiscent of elementary school glue with a pretty sticky feel. Fortunately, that texture doesn’t carry over to application.
To best use the paste, I took out about a nickel sized amount of product with my fingers and then emulsified the product in my hands. Then I ran my hands over the ends of my hair pretty gently.
I’ve used the product on both dry and damp hair and I have to tell you that dry hair is definitely the way to go. Water doesn’t react so favorably with this product. When used on wet hair the paste just doesn’t have that special manageability that it does on mostly dry hair.
In addition to being pretty effective at controlling fly-aways, the product also boasts some very nice key ingredients that I’m sure many of you will love:
Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil – Deep penetrating oil that instantly absorbs into hair producing incredible shine, helps control frizz, softens and aids in curl definition, and conditions hair
Ilex Paraguariensis (Mate) Leaf Extract – Powerful nutrient and antioxidant, rich in vitamins and amino acids that helps condition and protect hair and scalp
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil – Conditions and softens hair while adding great shine
Additionally, the Moroccan Texture paste is free of alcohol and parabens so you know your hair is getting some pretty good stuff!
Overall, I think that Mister Pompadour’s Moroccan Texture paste is a really solid product that delivers on its promise. As an afro-wearing gent I would like a little more shine in my styling products but maybe that’s just me.
I’ve been a fan of (some) Ouidad products and after reading some reviews (specifically by some kinky-haired folks) of the Define and Shine Curl Styling Gel-Cream online I thought I would give it a try. Here’s what Follica.com’s site says about the product:
Ouidad Moisture Lock Define & Shine Curly Styling Gel Cream softens and defines waves and curls without weighing curls down.
Does it live up to the hype? Well…
Ouidad definitely delivered on the light-ness of the product which is great when you already feel like you have a ton of hair to support anyway (afros produce stronger neck muscles, right?). But for me, in all other regards, the product failed for me. But, let’s talk a little more about that consistency first.
The product’s consistency is great. No, really! But unfortunately, that’s really the only positive thing I have to offer about this styling gel-cream hybrid. While I do think it is thick enough to distribute through thick, porous hair, I found it unfortunate that it didn’t deliver on that “slip” factor which would make it glide easily through dense strands. I assume that someone with less kinky hair would probably fare a lot better styling with this product. On top of that, while my hair was soft after it dried, it just felt like there was a lot of product in my hair. It gave me this sort of “coated” feeling that I really don’t enjoy.
Overall, this product is just…well, weird. It certainly didn’t deliver on my expectations but it should be noted that the product is originally designed for “wavy-loose curls”. I knew I was taking a risk by giving the product a try but it turns out that while this product may work for someone else with a similar hair texture to mine, it totally did not work for me.
Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Ouidad.
Mitch by Paul Mitchell is a high performance hair care brand designed to give consumers products that really deliver. Months ago I received a full sized bottle of the Double Hitter shampoo/conditioner combo in my Bespoke Post box and I found the results pretty surprising.
If you’ve been reading MANE MAN for some time now, then you probably realize how out of love I am with shampoo. I have a dry scalp and ridiculously dense, highly textured hair so shampooing is second only to the inevitable shaving difficulties that guys go through. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Double Hitter as it has a lot of “slip” which helps make shampoo day a lot easier.
The product also opts for arguably less damaging surfactants (see: cleaning agents) and does not include SLS which irritates my scalp to high hell. It manages to cleanse well while sliding through my strands and helping in the detangling. As another bonus, Double Hitter doesn’t have any heavy fragrances which often causes scalp irritation. Not to mention that it comes in a stylish and modern squeezeable tube that’s easy to use in the shower.
Overall, Double Hitter by Paul Mitchell is likely a great shampoo for a variety of hair types given its moisturizing properties. It’s well worth a try, in my humble opinion, and in all actuality should probably be renamed “Heavy Hitter” cause it really works. I look forward to what else the Mitch line of products has to offer.
I’ve personally anticipated the release of this volume for about a year now and I’m happy to see that photographer Michael July was able to publish such a wonderful display of people and hair that we all love so much. Kudos to everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that helped this project come to fruition.
The event itself was great and quickly filled up with fros and natural hair of many different varieties. I can’t tell you how special it is to see a room packed with beautiful natural hair…I got chills! DJ Spinna provided the tunes while Smart Water, Palm Breweries and Bed-Vyne provided beverages to attendees. Luckily for me, I also scored a gift bag which was sponsored by Ouidad, Eden Body Works, and Karen’s Body Beautiful. All in all, it was a great time!
Books were sold at the event (got mine!) and is available for purchase at certain book stores. For more information visit the Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair Facebook page. And do yourself a favor and have this mega-volume of fros as a part of your home’s decor. It’s great!
Disclosure: The products listed were provided courtesy of Shea Moisture for the purpose of this review.
When I found out a few months ago that Shea Moisture was going to release a new hair care line for men, I almost lost my mind. I’ve been a huge fan of their body products and Shea Moisture has definitely gotten me through some brisk New York Winters. But, today is all about their hair care line for men and I’m very excited to share my thoughts and reactions with you. Read on!
Three Butters Utility Shampoo: I’m never one to put too much stock into shampoos as I often find that they strip my hair and sensitive scalp of my natural oils and leave me feeling dry. That being said, the Three Butters Shampoo does a really good job of balancing cleansing and moisturizing both. The shampoo is very creamy (and smells really nice I might add) and has a rich lather that doesn’t make you feel like you’re stripping you hair of anything. That has been my experience at least. To be honest, it also helps me start the detangling process as I think it has some good slip that helps my fingers battle through my thick mane of kinks and coils.
Three Butters Utility Gel Mousse: I found the gel mousse to be very effective at giving girl definition and major shine (not like greasy fried chicken shine, but just normal shine, ya know?). It also has the rich, earthy and masculine smell that the whole line up has which is a definite bonus. I don’t have any major negatives to note here except that the gel gave my hair a bit of a crunchy feeling but that’s probably due to my heavy hand in application as well as it being tailored to “wavy, curly hair”. That’s clearly not my hair type, but hey it was worth a shot. As far as a styler goes, I have to say that the Three Butters Styling Smoothie really stole my heart over this gel.
Three Butters Styling Smoothie: I like to call this one the man’s answer to Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. This is, by far, one of the best hair products I have used since growing my fro. Seriously guys, I can not get enough. It’s rich and creamy but also has a light enough weight so that it doesn’t weigh your hair down. The Three Butters Styling Smoothie is, simply put, a miracle product! Whether I use it on dry hair to shape the fro on day two or use it on wet hair right out of the shower, this stuff performs well. It always gives me good curl definition and soft hair. It also smells manly enough so no need to worry about bright or sweet floral scents here. Also, let me take a moment to just read off the first five ingredients: “Deionized water, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Seed Oil, and Mango Seed Butter”. After that, the barrage of stellar ingredients continues. If you don’t buy anything else from this line…TRY THIS!
Three Butters Styling Pomade: Rich in smell and texture, the styling pomade is a great shea based pomade to help me tame frizzies and revitalize a style after using something like the Three Butters Styling Smoothie the day before. It works fine on its own too, but I really prefer something that helps give me a bit of definition along with moisture and shine. This would be a great product for guys looking for all natural wave pomades at a reasonable price or someone looking to add nourishment and shine to their locs or twists. Did I mention it smells good!?
Three Butters Utility Scalp Conditioner: The line up also comes with a Utility Scalp Conditioner made for bald men. Clearly, I do not fall into the category (and don’t intend to) so I think I’m going to have to pass this one along to a friend pretty soon. But what I can tell you is that it smells pretty damn good too.
Overall Impression: I feel like I’ve been waiting a few years to say this, but I’m really glad that Shea Moisture finally developed a hair care line for men. Too often am I faced with the reality of products that 1) have not so stellar ingredients and 2) are made for women and make no qualms about the fact. I won’t front, women’s hair care products have given me a lot of good hair days and lots of comments, but at the same time it’s also nice to have a company recognize that men have specific hair care needs too. All in all, this entire line smells GREAT, looks GREAT, and is priced GREAT. I feel pretty good using this stuff and some of the line will definitely stay in my personal rotation.
Happy Monday everyone! Remember when I said I hoped the next year of MANE MAN would bring even better things? Well, today I’m very excited to bring you a new giveaway that blends my love of music and hair. Today’s giveaway is sponsored by Supercuts and Live Nation. Supercuts is a nationwide chain of salons offering reasonably priced hairstyling and cutting services, while Live Nation is your one stop shop for concert tickets and music merchandise. Today you get the best of both!
This year, Supercuts and Live Nation have banded together to create the perfect harmony between fly hair and music. Today you have the chance to win either a $20 gift card from Supercuts or 1 of 3 Live Nation Concert Cash $10 gift cards. The Supercuts gift card can be used at any location and the Live Nation Concert Cash gift cards can be used online for either concert tickets or merchandise at the Live Nation store where you can buy gear to represent for your favorite artists. Note that the Live Nation gift cards can only be used at either the merchandise store or for tickets. Sorry, but you can’t split it between the two. Just enter the giveaway below by logging in via your email or Facebook accounts. There are a variety of ways to enter and the more you use the better your chances of winning. Winners will be announced on November 15, so you have plenty of time to gain entries! Buena suerte!
One of the reasons I started this blog was because of all of the support I had received from women in the natural hair community. Over the past few years I have gotten a lot of support from women in the movement and I’ll always be grateful for that. Although I have had a different experience than most of you, I hope that my support of the curly-haired community comes across loud and clear.
I realize that I did not have many of the experiences a lot of you had when it came to your hair. I did not get as much positive affirmation or nearly as much discouragement. I didn’t sit in between my mother’s legs and cry from all the pulling and tugging on my hair and scalp. I’ve never even gotten my hair braided or gotten headaches from having my hair pulled so taut. I’ve never had a comb break in my hair (wait…yeah that definitely happened once!). Images in the media absolutely hit me in a very different, and arguably in a less pointed, way. I never second guessed why I wore my hair the way I did. I just always assumed guys were supposed to wear short hair so that’s what I did.
I had a chemical process once, a few years ago, when I first came to NY. I texturized my hair to get a different look, but didn’t like it enough to stick with it. I also realized that keeping up something like that would be way too intensive for me. So I went back to my regular routine of getting hair cuts every few weeks. Fast forward to today and I have been wearing my fro for two years now. I like having a new style, a new edge, and I recognize that I have a new sense of confidence in myself. There’s a bit of freedom in wearing my hair whatever way I want, no matter what other people have to say about it.
I don’t see the natural hair movement as only a women’s issue. I see it as a self-esteem issue. If embracing your curls in their natural state gives you a sense of freedom and confidence then I fully support anyone who makes that decision. If you choose to relax or straighten your hair, then my hope is that you do it as safely as possible because I believe no one should be sacrificing their health for a good-looking head of hair. In the end, I believe we’re all entitled to express ourselves as we see fit. In the grand scheme of things, it is just hair but at the same time I know when I’m not feeling my hair it’s generally not the best of days.
All things considered, I have to say that seeing women wearing curly hair, locs and fros has inspired me to do whatever I want with my hair and judging from the (re)emergence of these styles among other men, I feel comfortable saying that the boys are following suit. As the years go by I hope that other men and boys will support the women in their lives and their decisions about their hair (and bodies). If this happens, then I think you will probably see more boys and men feeling comfortable enough to take their own risks with their image and hair. We’ve got a lot to learn and I want to keep learning and spreading the word!
If you’re a man above the age of 20, chances are you or one of your buddies has a long-held fear of getting the ol’ “chrome dome”. Male pattern baldness is passed down through genes but don’t rush to blame your father or grandpa for your lack of hair. I recently learned that women also carry the gene and pass it down to their sons (Source). Weird huh? Continue reading Battling “Chrome Dome”→
A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.