Grooming Editor

Tried and Tested: Hair Styling Products

Buying hair styling products can be a pain. You spend hard earned cash and valuable time on a multitude of products that you’re never quite satisfied with. It can take years of shopping around to find one that does the trick. And often when you do, sticking with them can seem the better option even if you think there might be a better product out there.

We know that were it possible, you’d try every product there is to make sure you’re getting nothing but the best. Sadly, for most, this simply isn’t possible. Thankfully for you, at Mankind, we’re all about making sure you stay informed about the products you buy. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up some volunteers, and pitted four of our best performing hair styling products against each other.

The method for our rigorously scientific test is as follows…

The 4 Products

Firstly, we picked our four products. Given the current popularity of matte looks, we focused our attention on low shine products, including one product with a high shine for balance. With the selection in place, we let our trusted testers loose. We’re allowing each product to be tested for a week, giving our participants ample time to really get a feel for them. Each is popular in its own right, and each performs a different job well.

These products in question are:

  1. Lock Stock & Barrel Ruck Matte Putty – Good hold with a Matte look, favoured for everyday styling needs and perfect for a relaxed look.
  2. Hanz De Fuko Claymation – High hold, matte finish. A perennial favourite used to create big styles that stand out.
  3. Paul Mitchell’s Wax Works – ‘Industrial Strength’ hold for hard to control hair, with the greatest shine of any of the products.
  4. Closed on Monday Deluxe Pomade – Offering a lower degree of hold and, unusually for a pomade, a matte finish, it adds a little something extra to fine hair. Great for day-to-day wear, as well as classier, combed back styles.

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The 5 Testers

Showing our commitment to the scientific method, we picked product testers with a spectrum of hair colours from black to blond, with a ginger thrown in for good measure. For the sake of diversity, we chose three guys called Tom, one guy called Tim, and Sverre.

Name: Tim

Hair Type: Thick black hair, lengthy on top.

Job: Head of Growth

Who are you?

I am a Singaporean born and bred. I moved over to the UK around 6 years ago for further education and I’m now working here. I’m Head of Growth, and I contribute to the Mankind Blog too.

What do you get up to in your free time?

I have plenty of hobbies! Depending on my mood, it fluctuates between watching films, playing the guitar, reading, basketball or even totally random stuff like going out for a drive.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

One unusual thing would be that I like to picture how I will look when I am much older. Will I finally have some facial stubble, grey hair or even have hair at all?

What does your existing hair care routine look like?

I care a lot about my hair but I’m also lazy at the same time. I want to be that guy with great hair well into his fifties who’s the envy of other men. So I try to keep my hair care routine simple but essential. I shampoo my hair no more than once a day, apply natural conditioner twice per week, and scalp detox once per week. I also try to avoid towel drying, blow drying as much as possible or letting  my hair air dry in stead. In terms of styling, I try to use as little product as possible too by only applying clay and finishing spray.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

I would say durian but not because I like to eat it myself. Durian is unique to where I come from, South East Asia, and it’s also known as the “King of Fruits”. Try it yourself and let me know what you think!

Name: Tom

Hair Type: Medium length, dark brown.

Job: Brand Analyst

Who are you?

I’m Tom, and I’m a Brand Analyst.

What do you get up to in your free time?

Rugby, Squash and Skiing.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I competed in an Indian National Schools swimming competition. I didn’t go to school in India, I was just on holiday. I lost to two Nepalese blokes.

What does your existing hair care routine look like?

Shampoo with Klorane Mango once or twice a week. Product applied every morning on dry hair after showering.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

Strawberries, I require a lot of watering and I go terribly with salad.

(Emphasis Tom’s).


Name: Tom

Hair Type: Long, fine, chestnut brown

Job: Head Buyer

Who are you?

Hi! I’m Tom.

What do you get up to in your free time?

I love sport, and I’m always up for a beers at the local. But I’ve also got a bit of a green thumb. My veg patch is my pride and joy, and I also look after a little window box at work.

What does your existing hair care routine look like?

I use anti-dandruff shampoo most mornings and a small dab of wax to scruff my fringe up every day.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

A peach. I’ll leave that one to the imagination.


Name: Tom

Hair Type: Short back and sides, red, thick

Job: Head of Trading at MyVitamins UK

Who are you?

Ed Sheeran or Prince Harry, depending on which drunken mob is chanting at me. In reality I’m a 26 years young Nutritionist, workaholic and sport enthusiast. I also work as Head of Trading for MyVitamins.

What do you get up to in your free time?

You’ll usually catch me watching a sports channel, trying to do some kind of sport, in the gym, or up a mountain somewhere. Or sometimes in Jaunty Goat in Chester getting myself the perfect flat white.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I’ve been told on many occasions I look like a ginger Ben Fogle. I’ll take it!

What does your existing haircare routine look like?

Shampoo once or twice a day (depending on how hard the gym session was), condition twice a week and meticulously style with matte wax every morning. Simple.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

An avocado, I get through a tree-full most weeks. I’m a nutritionist, so naturally I spend all day posting them on Instagram. I could also be soft or tough, but you can’t tell by just looking at me.


Name: Sverre

Hair Type: Blonde, fine, medium-short.

Job: E-Commerce Executive.

Who are you?

I’m Sverre, I’m from Norway and I’m an Ecommerce Executive.

What are your hobbies? What do you get up to in your free time?

I love playing chess, going to gigs, and being out in nature.

Tell us something (interesting/unusual/funny) about yourself:

I’ve choreographed and participated in two synchronised swimming shows and have a rap video on YouTube!

What does your existing haircare routine look like?

I usually style it in the morning and wash it in the evening, but I don’t really have a routine. I’ve got awkward hair to work with so I like to keep it safe and easy with the styling.

If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

A pineapple according to buzzfeed. Probably because just like the pineapple, I’m very compatible with pizza.*

*Mankind does not endorse this statement.

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The Test

We’ve met our volunteers, and testing of the products has been officially underway for the last week. We’ll be posting what each of our testers makes of them every Friday for the rest of the month, followed by The Final Say. So stay tuned.

Week 1: Lock Stock & Barrel Ruck Matte Putty

Week 2: Hanz De Fuko Claymation

Week 3: Paul Mitchell’s Wax Works

Week 4: Closed on Monday Deluxe Pomade

The Final Say

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