Gentleman’s Journal Grooming Awards 2020: Styling

In the fifth of our Grooming Award finals, five celebrity judges trial, test and choose their winning gels, putties and pomades

For the fifth and final final in Gentleman’s Journal 2020 Grooming Awards, we tasked our five expert judges — including model Sam Harwood and grooming expert Adam Tanous — with combing through the best haircare products on the market. From gels and waxes to pomades and putties, they styled and teased their hair to extremes in pursuit of the best products. Here’s what made the cut…

Sam Harwood’s winner in the styling category was this unpronounceable — yet thoroughly effective — hair wax from Maria Nila. But, phonetics aside, what was it about the brand’s Mineral Wax Gneiss that appealed to the model?

“It gave me excellent, long-lasting, textured hold. I may not be vegan — but my hair wax is. I also like that Maria Nila volunteers that its products are cruelty-free. Because surely everyone values animals over perfectly-quaffed hair.”

It’s a sustainable, eco- and animal-friendly product, then. Gneiss, if you were wondering, is a mineral stone, and the wax uses a blend of ingredients including lanolin and beeswax to create a thickening, texturising paste with neutral shine for all hairstyles. A worthy winner from Sam Harwood.

Next up, comes the choice of the Dapper Chapper himself, Adam Tanous. Our grooming expert selected Harry’s Texturising Putty as his winner in the styling category. At just £9 a pot, it’s a popular product — and here’s why it made the cut for Tanous.

“It just works so well to add texture and structure to hair that is already fairly well-trained to go where you want it to. It has a delicate and enjoyable scent, doesn’t leave your hair greasy and washes out very easily.”

It’s quietly effective, then. Without any bells, whistles or outlandish claims, Harry’s has delivered a product that does just what you want it to do — and nothing more. Malleable hold, matte finish and subtle definition without stickiness or stiffness. Your ideal hair product obviously depends on your hair itself — but, if you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective way to keep your hair neat and tidy, Harry’s is the putty for you.

Maria Nila takes the lead! In its second appearance in our styling category final, the cruelty-free, climate friendly and colour protecting haircare brand from Sweden has won over model and personal trainer Toby Huntington-Whiteley, who chose the Schist Fibre Cream as his winner. It’s another tongue-tying name, but here’s why it appealed:

“I’m always searching for environmentally friendly and natural grooming products, but I’ve always found it hard to find such products in the haircare category. This product, however, is not only eco-friendly, 100% vegan, cruelty, sulphate and paraben free, but also works perfectly for styling my hair with a great but movable hold which lasts all day.”

It’s a glowing review. And, perfect for short to medium hair such as Huntington-Whiteley’s, this Schist defining fibre cream delivers a low shine to top off your look. It’s also worth noting that, along with their relatively low prices, both of the Maria Nila products to make this final are also exceedingly handsome additions to your bathroom cabinet.

Actor Max Brown took a different approach to the styling category and, rather than opting for a cream or balm like his fellow expert judges, chose a piece of haircare hardware as his winner. From Percy Nobleman, Brown was taken by the Folding Beard Comb — a product, he is keen to point out, works just as well on hair:

“This was a tough category to judge for me, as I have thin hair and many of the products left my hair quite greasy. So my winner is the Percy Nobleman Folding Comb. I love how it fits, low profile, in your pocket — which means you’ve always got it there for that final check before you head out into the world.”

It’s a good point. Why should the British brand’s beard comb be for facial fuzz alone? If you’re a serial styler, and enjoy checking your look as the day goes on, there really is nothing better to slip into your bag than this tortoiseshell acetate comb. It’s the perfect pocket-size grooming companion. And, at just £10, it’s a steal.

In Acqua di Parma’s sixth (count them!) win of the Gentleman’s Journal Grooming Awards 2020, Eric Underwood has chosen the Italian brand’s Natural Hold Grooming Cream as his winner in the styling category. Creamy and light, here’s why it made the cut for the American British ballet dancer:

“Acqua de Parma, as a brand, produces classic and reliable grooming products. This, the Natural Hold Grooming Cream, is no different. It really is a versatile, fantastic product.”

We couldn’t agree more. A mainstay of our bathroom cabinets, the cream conditions the hair and helps reset static electricity. It doesn’t weigh down your style and manages to create a natural look that is still firmly controlled. Its charm stems largely from its practicality — and, of course, those non-frizzy, smoothly-styled results.

Want more recommendations? Take a look at the products that came out on top in the scent category…

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