Mankind Grooming Box - Men's Hair Care Review

   As I've previously mentioned here at The Totality , in my younger, more foolish days, I didn't give much thought to my hair at all. Indeed, rather than style, I took something of a utilitarian approach to fashioning my follicles - as summer dawned I'd use an electric shaver to remove all of my hair and spend the next twelve months growing out something of a shaggy bouffant. Ah, the folly of youth.

    These days, as an older man with less hair, I've learnt to love what I've got before it leaves me for good. Similarly, as a fully grown adult I need to maintain locks that are suitable for professional endeavors and, as my face has fulled out more, I don't have the bone structure to pull off the skinhead look. I love drinking Coca-Cola more than I loved being a stick-thin seventeen year old with razor sharp cheekbones so I'm more than happy with this fact.

   Alas, taking great care of one's hair often means spending a wee more money than broke, student me would ever have imagined. Whereas once I would happily have my hair-cut in the more dilapidated areas of Bradford for the princely sum of £3 (by a man who couldn't, or perhaps wouldn't, speak English to me), these days I treat myself to the finer things in life. My most recent trim, accompanied by a "royal shave" treatment, came at the hands of the incredibly talented Jack Burton at Las Vegas' The Art of Shaving and cost around thirty times more than the previous haircut I mentioned.

   As such, my new(ish)found pride of appearance means I can no longer let my hair stick where it may, as was my former style. To keep up appearance means giving my follicles the best grooming as possible and, therefore, only the best cleansing and styling products are allowed near my head.

   This post features a multitude of items currently available at Mankind in their Mankind Grooming Box which constitute hair-care essentials - shampoo, conditioner, a comb and, perhaps most importantly, hair product. (It should be noted that the box, worth £75 but currently retailing at just £25, also includes Scaramouche & Fandango Men's Body Wash and MONU for Men Fresh Wash).

   The first two items in the box come from Redken's Cerafill Defy range and constitute a perfect way to clean, revitalise and prepare one's hair for styling - that they're aimed at men looking to add volume and fullness to their hair is perfect for me as I note my hairline is receding at the same rate as my childhood dreams. The conditioner, when applied, also causes one's scalp to "tingle" - a sensation I'm largely most familiar with when having my hair washed at expensive salons so I figure this is a good thing, right? Similarly, the fresh aroma which permeates from my washed hair is pleasing to say the least.

   According to Mankind, the duo of hair-care items "nourishes to promote a healthy looking scalp environment" and "strengthens fibre to prevent breakage and energises hair follicles to re-densify hair". I can certainly vouch, having used the Redken products a number of times that, pre-product, my hair feels vivacious and full of life, perfect groundwork for the next stage of my hair-care regime - sculpting.

   To a Bradfordian in generations gone by, the possession of a humble comb represented a bravura illustration of elitist wealth and superficial narcissism akin to owning a gold-plated Lamborghini.

   Thankfully, these are more enlightened times and the Kent Brushes A20T Men's Folding Comb with Pocket Clip should represent a solid, sensible investment for any style aware young man. The fact that it is fold-able and, therefore, easily containable and transportable, means its impossible to have an excuse for bad hair days ever again, no matter where you are. Indeed, the simple tool is an integral part of my daily grooming routine and is used to style, and prepare, my hair before the final step of my post-shower regimen - applying "product".

   Coming of age in the 1990s means that, like anyone who remembers the universality of "wet look gel" lathered into sloppily combed forward hair, I often find myself deeply suspicious of hair products. Yes, I like the hold it often gives but not the "greasiness" it leaves behind. Gels, waxes, mousses and clays should, I believe, be like referees in football matches - largely unnoticeable even though they are integral.

   Pleasingly, Men-u LIQUIFFLEX fulfills this role rather well. Although its aroma is best described as "generic", the efficacy of the product is simply outstanding. Only one squirt was required for me to rub between my hands and apply to my newly trimmed hair. The hold, which lasts for the entirety of each day I have applied it, is much stronger than an average clay or wax and, thrillingly, doesn't make the wearer succumb to the "dirty hair" look that falls upon "wet look" gel practitioners.

   Behold - here is me on a windy beach in North Yorkshire in the midst of Spring. At his point I had been sporting LIQUIFFLEX for a number of hours and was, thus, suitably impressed with the integrity of its hold.

   As noted, although there are other (thoroughly good) items contained within the Mankind Grooming box, this post has illustrated that the £25 outlay is an investment worth making simply for the hair care products contained within. Recommended with two thumbs up and no hair out of place.


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