Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sumotech by Bumble and bumble

Sumotech by Bumble and bumble, no it’s not some new nappy system for Sumo wrestlers but in fact a lo-gloss elastic moulding compound for styling your hair.

If you read my recent post about Bumble and bumble grooming crème you may recall that I said I wasn’t a fan of Sumotech. Well that was then and since smashing palm into keyboard to commit my ill considered thoughts to the Internet I have done a bit of a three point turn, mainly because:

  • I actually discovered some patience and persevered in using it instead of having a mild paddy, stamping my feet and launching it in the direction of the bin.

  • After figuring out how to apply it easily, the hold and finish kicked most other hair styling products into the long grass.

There, I’m man enough to admit that I’m wrong (that makes two admissions in my lifetime) but readers, read on and I will tell you more….

Sumotech came with a batch of other hair products for me to try, and here I will give my balanced thoughts on the compound, particularly my first impressions, why you should take your time when using it and why if I could afford it on a regular basis this would give some of my favourite styling products a run for their money.

When I say if I could afford it this is because it costs so much, it is expensive I think for a hair styling product. Maybe I’m just getting tight with cash in my old age. For a small 50ml tub of the compound it costs £21.50, yes, £21.50.…(insert expletive).

What do Bumble and bumble say about Sumotech? 

‘Flexible hold, lightweight structure, matte finish, water-soluble, pliability

What: It's not a wax, not a paste and not a creme, but a midweight moulding compound that's a combination of all three (and a miracle of modern technology).

Who: Anyone; a natural for short hair; won't overwhelm fine hair; perfect for highly textural cuts. 

When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion; use on damp or dry hair to style.

How: Spread a pea-size dab or two onto palms and work through barely damp or dry hair with fingers and style; work quickly and try not to overwork; spray down with Tonic Lotion (or Bb.Shine) to rework or to cut hold.’

OK, the first time I used this my hair was far too long - it was actually so long I had developed a full blown Shawcrest (a massive quiff, the name comes from a very funny former colleague blending my surname with crest - if Carlsberg made communications folk…..). Had I taken the time to read the packaging instead of diving in fingers first to see what it felt like I would have seen that this compound is actually for shorter styles.

Trust me, in my head there is a man continually slow clapping my original efforts. It was just too fiddly to style and I had to use quite a bit to get the hair moulded and styled how I wanted it, and even then, in the end it just didn’t have that oomph so I used something else. Total time wasted, 30 minutes.

Had I read the blurb above I wouldn’t have been so frustrated, but after having my hair taken down to two inches in length I decided to have another go. With hair slightly damp after washing I took just a pea sized amount (shown below) and massaged it into my palms. 

This is where it gets tricky to describe - to the touch when scooping it out of the pot it has the feel of a wax, but isn’t a wax. It’s almost like a solidified cream that had gone hard in the sun. As it warms though it takes on more of a pomade feel, silky in nature making it really easy to run through hair from root to tip. The fragrance is nothing to write home about but that really doesn‘t matter, personally if it doesn‘t smell like Fructis (fresh apples) I would prefer them to be scent free. 

Styling the second and third time around took just minutes - result. What I found really interesting (well, novel) is the way you can feel the hair becoming more and more rigid as you style. As this happens the shine from damp hair and the product starts to fade down to the final matte finish. It doesn’t look like any hair products have been used and that is a big thumbs up from me. 

The hold is excellent - the style and hair isn’t crunchy in a way some gels, glues and pastes can set. As an example, I styled my hair using this on Friday morning, didn’t wash my hair on Saturday morning and headed out fishing (and wrapped up, even with a ridiculous hat). In the evening the style was still there, a quick brush with my hand and it was back, some forty hours later. As an additional bonus, the residue on hands is negligible and if it doesn’t bother me then it is unlikely to bother others. 

For short hair this is perfect and when worked into a choppy style I have to say that even I find myself nodding in quiet agreement that my hair looks fabulous (and that is rare)

Yes the initial purchase price probably will put people off, but you shouldn’t let it. A 50ml pot, using just a pea sized amount daily will mean that will still be hanging around waiting to be used in six months, with more to give. A little goes a long way and when you consider that in my opinion it has the best matte finish ever then you should give it a try. 

Is it a wax, is it a creme, is it a wax paste? No, it is a cracking little compound that keeps hair in place and looking great for days on end. 


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