Uppercut Deluxe is one of those brands you instantly associate with the barber experience — either because your barbershop is loyal to their products, or because you’ve seen the Uppercut boxing logo 1,000 different times in the last decade. The Aussie label is hard to miss, and despite its ubiquity, is just 13 years young.
The brand is the brainchild of two barbers, Steve Purcell and Luke Newman, who also played a big role in reviving the old school barbershop identity in Australia. Some of their friends couldn’t tell them the difference between a barber and a hairdresser, but by now, those same friends probably have Uppercut stickers on their skateboards and car bumpers.
The Uppercut Deluxe products themselves were born of the desire to have products that matched the aesthetic of the shop itself. And the name was the nickname of Newman’s grandfather Willy O’Shea, who was a boxer. O’Shea’s motto was that “a hard beginning maketh a good ending.”
And while that’s the ethos of the Uppercut label to this day, it’s hard to imagine that their success is anywhere near an end. It is the payoff of hard work in building both spaces and products that excel worldwide — but the young brand still packs tons of potential. Just take a look at their range of haircare and styling products: The 10 below are our favorites (and fan favorites, too), but the line continues to expand as Uppercut does the same globally.
Here then, in our opinion, are the best Uppercut Deluxe products.
1. Uppercut Deluxe Pomade, $20
We gotta start with the brand’s original product, the classic high-hold high-shine pomade that harkens back to the 1950s barbershop — which is very much Uppercut on the nose. It gets your unruliest of hairs to stay in place, no matter its texture or coarseness. This is one of those types of products that you may not use frequently (because it definitely suits a certain user), but every guy needs in his arsenal for the “if and when,” be it a wedding, a buttoned-up work dinner, a slick personality change, or something in between.
2. Uppercut Deluxe Matte Pomade, $20
Here’s another product that every guy needs in rotation, though it’s probably going to get a lot more regular mileage. It’s a no-shine, medium-hold finish that you can apply to clean, dry hair for texture and touchable hold. Matte Pomade is probably closest to a workable styling paste, but leaning towards cream since that has also got some heft. (Many brands use the universal term “pomade” for a variety of styling products, and not just the traditional high-shine high-hold pomade.) We love it in short and medium styles.
3. Uppercut Deluxe Styling Powder, $20
This dry shampoo powder sprinkles onto the scalp and soaks up excess sebum — which itself can weigh down the strands in addition to making hair look greasy. So, this powder in turn adds volume and density to styles, and can spare you an extra day between washes (though we suggest washing your hair the night after you wear any dry shampoo, just to keep the scalp fresh). It’s not a daily use product, but an every-second or -third day use, to revive hairs and simplify your morning regimen.
4. Uppercut Deluxe Salt Spray, $17
Part of Uppercut’s identity is that coastal surfer/skater aesthetic that pairs so nicely with the barbershop. And this salt spray can help you channel your inner surfer by adding texture and definition to your strands (kind of like you just took a dip in the sea). They have cheekily packaged it in a graffiti-style spray can, but go easy on the trigger, because a little goes a long way. You’ll enjoy a natural finish and touchable style, or extra volume when used as a pre-blow-dry primer.
5. Uppercut Deluxe Clay, $20
This low-shine, high-hold styling clay is a super tamer, no matter how stubborn the task — but it’s also terrific at delivering choppy, texturized styles to otherwise lifeless hairs. Apply it in dry, clean strands for best results, and rework it throughout the day if you need a zhuzh.
6. Uppercut Deluxe Featherweight Paste, $20
Sometimes the lightest stylers hit the hardest. This barely-there fiber-paste gives you high hold with very little, natural-leaning shine. A splash of water on your palms can help reactivate it throughout the day for a re-workable style, and especially one with volume, texture, and eye-catching definition.
7. Uppercut Deluxe Beard Balm, $17
Barbershops do more than tend to your scalp hairs. This beard balm nourishes the strands, in turn softening and taming them into your desired beard style. It’s a step up from beard oil, in that it helps control longer, bushier beards. It also gives the hairs a healthy glow (but not a glossy one), so that it catches the light from every angle while helping it stay nourished for the months ahead.
8. Uppercut Deluxe Beard Oil, $18
This patchouli- and leather-tinged oil provides a host of benefits to the beard wearer. It works to condition and soften strands of all lengths, delivering light taming powers and minimizing beard itch. It also nourishes the skin beneath the beard, which is otherwise susceptible to beard dandruff. Plus, that rugged scent lingers on your senses, for an all-day soothing.
9. Uppercut Deluxe Clear Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $16
Among Uppercut’s 4 shampoo options, this is the one every guy should own (even if he doesn’t deploy it more than once weekly). It contains anti-fungal Piroctone Olamine to neutralize the threat of dandruff and related itching. Use it weekly if you regularly experience dandruff, or daily if you are actively experiencing it. Otherwise, we like using it monthly on otherwise well-tempered scalps, if only for that periodic assurance. Always follow its use with a nourishing conditioner. And speaking of…
10. Uppercut Deluxe Strength and Restore Conditioner, $16
This biotin- and caffeine-packed conditioner helps restore fullness and strength to dry, damaged strands, ensuring that your hairs stay strong and soft for as long as you wear ‘em. It also stimulates circulation in the scalp, to boost nutrient delivery to the follicles and, in turn, helps reinforce overall hair growth and longevity.
Photo via Uppercut Deluxe