Back in the mid 2000’s the “metrosexual” man was in full swing, originally coined in 1994 describing a man who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance. This initial phase limped on through the years when it came to grooming, you only had to put a bit of moisturiser on and you would be branded a metrosexual by your peers. However in the last decade male spending has hit record highs, in 2014 men in the UK spent more on shoes then women. It was no longer a sign of homosexuality to put product in your hair, wear cologne or take care of your appearance.
That same year beards were the trend of the time and with that came a moderate stream of beard oils for men to maintain their new facial fuzz. As men become more astute to their purchases and notably give a damn about what products they’re using it wouldn’t take long for the world’s largest cosmetic companies to take note… it took a while but the masters of the personal care are in the market.
L’Oreal Men Expert introduced the Barber Club, their first wander into a grooming range for the expert care of your beard and moustache. Centrally focused on Cedarwood essential oils it provides a start to finish grooming for beards of all lengths.
The simplicity behind the range is in the 3 step process, so it acts as an all encompassing product range for your grooming routine. Step 1 – clean, Step 2 – soften it and Step 3 – style it.
Step 1 – Clean it
Offering a 3-in-1 wash for face, hair and beard. For your beard: Washes away beard dandruff and flaky skin under your beard, removes residue, and eliminates odours, leaving your beard feeling soft and smooth. For your face: Deeply cleanses and gently purifies your skin. For your hair: Cleanses and conditions, leaving your scalp feeling comfortable. What better way to integrate an all in one smell that using it all over your noggin – it smells great and really does leave your hair and beard feeling soft and smooth! At £9.99 you can’t complain.
Step 2 – Soften it
This is where they have nailed it – two different products depending on your beard length. The beard oil that we’ve tried smells great – it has a real cologne/aftershave vibe but does die down quickly as you’d expect, it’s light and not greasy but you will rely on Step 3 to keep it in place! Then they have a beard moisturiser for shorter “corporate” beards – giving the soft and groomed feels but without oiling the skin! With both just landing either side of £10 – you can nail 60% of your routine for £20.
Step 3 – Style it
Often an overlooked routine for beards but fundamental to avoid that scruffy wired dragged through a hedge look. You can use L’Oreal’s beard and hair styling cream. Given it’s a combination styling cream you’re not going to get an all day strong hold – suited for medium length beards to keep the sides in check and also for shorter hair styles like a crop. Again, the fundamental Cedarwood essential oil for the final stage of conditioning. A slightly pricey £9.99 for what is essentially a light hold hair product but gives some light and non-greasy hold.
It’s good to see the industry getting the mainstream recognition it deserves and was neglected for some time. It will continue to drive development and open up more choice for the consumers. For the price point it’s an affordable option so you can’t go wrong, appealing scent and lightweight with the reassurance that it has some cosmetic behemoth backing so you are getting a good product.