Like many men, I’m ordinarily happy to limit my haircare regime to a jumbo-sized bottle of generic shampoo that gets the job done – or to purloining my partner’s stash. But a recent stint in Australia – where UV rays and salt from swimming can turn hair more than a little brittle – caused me to crave something a bit more nourishing. On a recommendation – made more enticing by the brand’s clean, crisp packaging – I went for a bottle of Mr Smith shampoo (£25), just one product in what I later discovered to be a 22-strong unisex range founded by David Justin, the son of a session stylist, which is now launching in the UK.
Suggesting that a hair product is scientifically proven to benefit users’ city-weathered locks calls to mind those TV ads with close-up animations of withered follicles miraculously springing back to life; the incredulous are normally well advised to steer clear.
But, brittleness banished, I was converted and at the risk of applying an oenological level of scrutiny to something which, at the end of the day, exists to get people’s hair clean, the shampoo’s fragrance – a heady blend of jasmine and mandarin oils – immediately stirred the olfactory system, and the product’s delectable smell lingered long after use.
I quickly snapped up the accompanying conditioner (£27), whose rejuvenating properties come from cacao seed butter and wheat protein. It was only a matter of time before I moved onto Shaper (£26) – a slightly viscous but highly effective holding cream infused with babassu butter, passionflower and Kakadu plum. Like everything in the range, these products are sulphate- and paraben-free, made with essential oils and Australian botanicals, and PETA-certified.
I can certainly vouch for the performance of a product that may well reverse the age-old cliché of men raiding their partners’ bathroom shelf.