grooming justforhim

Issue Feature: A Strange Twist by Thom Olson

Sunday, December 28, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

New products enter the market daily, but not many enter with such a strange twist. Think Bupropion (sold as Wellbutrin), it came onto the market as a solution for depression. Then it was marketed as Zyban for smoking cessation. It was also given to counter to help with libido problems. This is very much the story of a product like that… something used in a general way but THAT has multiple uses… wink wink.

This product is the brain child of Stephen Magnusen and Franz Zwergel. High school buds from Evanston. The two were known for being pranksters and doing strange things in high school – crafting strange science projects that would normally get one expelled. Exceedingly close, they stayed friends after high school and after college. Zwergel did modeling assignments, casting and production work for Art + Science – a hair care group out of Evanston. He did freelance work for American Crew, also owned by Art + Science (now spun off to Revlon). His work as hair model made him pretty comfortable and connected around the hair care world. He did some work for fashion and runway shows. Magnusen was working and selling for a high-tech company and doing quite well for himself. The two somewhere along the line developed the entrepreneurial bug and wanted do their own thing.

This is where it gets a little strange.

A hair care product being developed from these two would not be so difficult to imagine. Using the same product as a… ahem… sexual aide and anti-chafe cream is a bit of a bit stretch to the imagination or is it really? Its primary base is silicon. Silicon was designed to be natural to the human touch and skin. It is slick without being greasy. By design is reduces damage caused from friction. So, it is a natural in hair care and is found in many products. Brushing hair, teasing hair and processing hair can be quite damaging to the follicle. Reducing that friction is a way to give the hair shine as the cuticle is relaxed.



What else could this product good for? RUNNERS CHAFE! If you have ever ran a 5K in shorts that don’t fit correctly or in a t-shirt that gets abrasive with sweat, you are familiar with the problem. Fabric wicking solutions have taken fiber technology to new levels. Runners chafe hurts, so does chafing from any other sport. Another angle to the solving the problem is to make the skin slicker. Reducing the friction on the skin means less burns from fabrics or skin on skin. Hmmmm. Skin on skin… how else is this product used? Rug burns? So, how do ya get rug burn? Let me think about this… Ya see where this is going?

Introducing uberlube.

Ok – the idea of putting lube on one’s head is a little…ok… disgusting. However, ask yourself how many hair care products now use silicon? It is hard to go down the hair care aisle and not find a hair-finishing product that doesn’t incorporate it. Utilizing this type of product for multi purpose use, kind of like an off-script use has made people rise up and take notice – pardon the pun.

Uberlube is not marketing itself like other lubes. It is pretty discrete. You won’t find it coming in flavors or in black bottles adorned with body parts. If anything, it is packaged to look more natural. The bottle is clear with white type. It is almost invisible on store shelves. Bottled water has more packaging. Unlike other lubes, or hair care products, this product uses glass instead of plastic. It feels different. It has weight to it and feels gutzy.

The product does shield the cuticles from ambient moisture, helps the hair to relax and lay flat and requires less styling. Like silicon is designed to be, it will work as long as it’s being manipulated. When you stop, it evaporates and dissipates. Some silicon products feel a little greasy with all the additional chemicals. They may leave a residue. This one does not. It feels smooth to the touch as it reduces the friction, but it does not feel like you need to bathe. It is not about feeling slippery as it is about feeling natural. Thus it works on hair… and other things.

Engineered and formulated to be natural, it does make hair feel smooth. You actually want to run your hands through it. It’s a little hot and unlike other hair products on the market. Though, unlike the cost efficient Aqua Net designed to make any head into a football helmet, this product is a tad pricey — usually running around $30 for a large bottle (that looks deceptively small). Unlike other lubes or hair care products where there is so much alcohol in the base so that it will evaporate, Uberlube doesn’t require a lot. A push from the plunger dispenses an amount about the size of a dime. You use more Brylcreem or Dax or any of other the other products.

The name… well, that was the inspiration of a fun night with friends. Some one happened to use the words “uber” and “lube” in the same sentence — my guess, much like words cracker jack. “Uber” – a German adjective that means “superior” seemed to stick. Innovation comes from an idea. Magnusen’s father, a chemist at Northwestern was able to point them in a scientific direction towards making the formulation.



Colleagues at Art + Science helped them understand what needed to be done to make it useful to hair.

A basement summer at home and a copy of Harry’s Cosmeticology became the starting point. This was the beginning of a giant brain fart that has taken hair care to new levels. After months of trial and error, formulation that had the right properties was perfected. The final product was focus grouped amongst two other formulations to pick the perfect winner. This formulation had a 90% approval rating.

The qualities? First — a no-tack sensation. You want to feel the person you are with…not the lube. Eeeeewww. No foam. No bubbles. There should be a sensation of slickness but with a combination of feeling vs. slide. The product should dissipate when it is not in use. There should be no residue. Like all things simple, they can be very hard to perfect. This product only has four ingredients which is unlike many other hair care products or personal lubes. There isn’t any alcohol to dry things out, nor is there any glycerin, parabens or any unusual oils that are found in many other products on the market. It doesn’t have any flashy scents – in fact, it has no smell at all. So as far as hair care goes, it is pretty unusual. As far as a lube goes, it is a far cry from others as well.

So how does it stack up?

On hair, it does what is says. It does a really nice job on the hair. One gets a good shine without having to use a lot. It feels great to the touch and hair color looks great as the cuticle is tamed. I can’t say I have compared it to other lubes on my hair, however when I stack it against other hair care silicon products, it does do a superior job. Like the name implies — uber.

For runners chafe, it also works quite nicely, but I am not exactly a runner. The last time, I did a 3K run, I took cab faire just in case. The glass bottle isn’t as convenient as some of stick formulations that are available on the market. I also tend to slam my workout bag around. So, carrying a glass bottle in it makes me a little nervous. It is heavy glass, so I don’t think it would break easily, but wow, what a mess if it did. As far a massage oil goes, it is quite lovely and not greasy. As a lube, I asked an expert who knows lube. I spoke with the sales clerk at Cupid’s Treasures Leathers & Sports Shop. They have sample bottles for people to try, just like the Clinique counter. I learned a lot — like the fact that Purell Hand Sanitizer gets nasty lube off your hands.

I also learned that not all flavored lubes taste great and after a while your tongue goes numb. It’s not a pleasant feeling. In comparison, most flavored lubes are water based lubes. They get gummy and yes, the flavors are not always as wonderful as they sound. Cherry Bomb will make you hurl. Watermelon is not too horrible. Massage oils have nicer scents but they get really slick and oily. They work well for a massage, but you really want to wash them off afterward. Silicon lubes are definitely more expensive than water bases — on average I found them to be about double or more. Some come in enormous bottles that make you wonder how much sex is a person going to have before using the industrial size bottle? Some of them however do require you to use more.

“This is our best quality lube. People seem to really like it, but it is expensive.” Mentioned the clerk. “You don’t need as much of this as the others and it does come in travel sizes.”

Yes, it is much smaller than sticking a bottle of hair spray in your bag, but it also screams one night stand. In comparison to other lubes, it is much lighter. It has a noticeably different feel. It holds up longer without feeling like the texture is changing. It doesn’t feel sticky if you leave it on. Your shorts are not going to stick to your junk. I think lubes, however, fall into personal opinion areas like cologne or perfume. These are areas where people’s opinions matter. With that, I’ll let you be the judge for yourself. It truly does give new meaning to the words “bed head“.

If you liked this article, you can read more like it in our winter issue here: www.issuu.com/halfstackmag


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